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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Preparing for the Inevitable.

I married my opposite! I plan in great details. He jumps right in the water without a floating device. I make lists and maintain a timeline. He sees a  place and we stop and enjoy it and give up the  list. I go shopping with a list. Then, I add what's fresh and on sale, things that are too good to pass up.


Preparing for something inevitable is a no-brainer.  With a bit of preparation and backup you will be more comfortable and ready for any eventuality.

You'll need to do your homework on a few fronts:

1. financial security
2. health
3. physical comforts
4. mental stimulation
5. social outlets

And the list could be quite lengthy.  Most of our time will be spent on financial security first. Without a source of steady income retirement will be dismal.

You don't need to retire to enjoy "the retirement lifestyle". You need to identify your priorities at this time of your life. Take long weekend vacations to destinations you might enjoy. Spend more time with your interests.  Cut down your other obligations. Tell the kids you'll be building your nest egg and they need to be more responsible with their finances too, since you can't bail them out anymore.

Travel the world. Don't wait for time.  Make time.  If there is one thing we wish we had done more is just that.  We could have done it too.

Take classes, in whatever you want. The more hobbies and interests you can pursue, the more interesting your life will be.

 As a matter of strict financial perspective, the longer you work, the more secure you will be, the more money you can set aside, the fewer obligations you will have to contend with in your golden years.  Financial advisers (certified and fee-based) will guide you toward financial security at a time when you can put aside more money and need fewer goods to get by.

Don't wait until you're in your fifties. Do it today! At whatever age you are. Every dollar you put away will grow and be available to you those days when you cannot work anymore.

49 comments:

etoile said...

Ah Rosaria! You make it sound so easy! I am trying, I swear! Thanks for the great advice. I forwarded this to my 45 year old mom who has been talking about going to med school for YEARS and still hasn't gone because she is "too old". Silly lady...

Bill Yates said...

Excellent post! You're exactly right; we should MAKE time for the things that are meaningful to us!

Anonymous said...

Great advice from the mom who thinks she is too old to go to med. school. I have decided to do other things though. I did not just decide to do "nothing". I have a full life doing things that I am enjoying and am quite content where things are at these days! I am glad my "etoile" is willing to listen to the wisdom of those who have lived that beaten path and can offer good advice for those that will tread its destiny

Maggie May said...

Great advice. Wish I'd had someone like you to urge me on when I was young!
Unfortunately savings can crash and we have not been lucky! The climate today does not favour savers in England & if you have your own home then you are penalised! Not an easy situation.
However, it is good to make time for hobbies and slowing down, though I still have a part time job!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Snowbrush said...

Peggy and I are opposite in some ways, but we're the same in ways that count.

Ann Best said...

Saving IS crucial. But if you don't have the money...that's been my problem. But now I have enough to save, and I'm working hard to do it!!

Excellent lists and advice. (And opposites, I swear, always marry. This happened to me! Why?? I have always wondered.)
Ann Best, Author

Footprints of Peace said...

What a refreshing blog. I enjoyed reading your words of wisdom.

Donna said...

That's why I am still working, Rosaria!! It helps that I like my work but you certainly can't retire on social security!
Laughed about being married to your opposite...me too! Someimtes it gives me a giggle and sometimes...NOT!!

Munir said...

I like your guidelines that can prepare you for retirement specially about taking classes.

Natalie said...

Very wise. There is really only now. x

Brian Miller said...

nice. i hear you on this...on establishing the priorities as well as the financial matters...not a last minute kinda thing you know...i think i am more your hubby from your description...and my wife more like you...

Forrest Seale said...

Who was it that said "Life happens while you're planning something else?" The best plans and efforts will go out the window in a moment, and that moment in our instance, was in a Doctors office.

I am convinced that retirement is a matter of luck and nothing more. No matter how much you save and prepare it can vanish in an instant. Use today and to the devil with tomorrow. I sincerely wish we would have done that. Instead we saved and said "Someday, when we retire." Now that's impossible and yeserdays have been wasted, given instead to prodence..

Joani said...

Thank U for the article. I will be leaving my part-time work in December and I don't know what I'll be doing after that but whatever it is I'm suppose to be doing, I'm sure that it will find its way to me. In the meantime, I'm going to live everyday and have fun everyday with or without my significant other. Bless U all. Hugs.

Linda Myers said...

All good suggestions. We did those things while we were both working at good jobs. Now we're retired, living on somewhat less, grateful to have enough.

We do a lot of traveling. When I told my husband I felt guilty we were taking so many trips, he said, "Why? We're not always going to want to travel and we may not always be able to. Let's do it now."

erin said...

Skin of my teeth, Rosaria. Skin of my teeth. Good advice, but unfortunately, no blood from the stone, or however it is put. I do jump all over today, though. Today, today!

xo
erin

Arkansas Patti said...

Where were you when I was in my twenties.
All sound advice and especially meaningful for those who may not have Social Security to count on as a help.

The Red Angel said...

I definitely agree. :) Every moment counts, whether you want it to or not.

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

yaya said...

Great advice and besides saving for retirement, getting our health is order is crucial too. That's been something I've been trying to do this year..hopefully it will happen!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

It is true, time waits for none. Marrying opposites provides balance,m we are kind of like that too. Your thoughts on this post remind me of "The Station" by Robert Hastings, I think it is.

wvhiker said...

Good advice if it could always be followed. Today's times seem to demand a little more. I have tried to do more in earnest with hobbies. Getting out more to see things and do things I've wanted to do. Now about that lottery thing...

Dawn said...

Excellent Post- ANd GREAT advice!
:)

Simon said...

How very true. I am in my early 50s and thoughts of retiring has creep into my mind lately. Your 5 points helps focus on what to look out for....though I'm not known as one that plan things ahead. Many thanks.

Miss Sadie said...

Very thoughtful, Rosaria.

Among other things to consider:
• an up-to-date will
• pre-planned funeral expenses
• power of attorney documents of health and finances.

Yes; I like art, and photography, and singing. We're content to live on a small budget. Life is simpler that way. And, in Canada, we have reasonable health care which is financed through taxes.

Eva Gallant said...

My husband is the list maker, and I'm the impulsive one, except when it comes to finances; then we switch roles. And my husband is the first to admit that the only reason we have any money at all in our retirement is due to my efforts. I wish we had more, but I did the best I could. We don't have to go without the necessities, but we don't have the money to travel as much as we'd like to. I encourage young people to put money away, as much as possible while they can!

ds said...

You are a very wise woman, Rosaria! I hope it's not too late for me to follow your excellent advice...
Thank you.

Katie Mazur said...

Touche! I'm a 22 years old American, living in Germany and traveling the world! I couldn't agree more! Great advice.

Lois May said...

That's why I read your blog.
Such wisdom. I like to be prepared and learn from others.
Thanks for sharing your life with us.

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

hi Rosaria, this is a good down-to-earth blog. My husband is retiring at the end of this month : )) let's see what happens next!

Lonely Rivers said...

Getting Ducks in Order!
1.Eat well, exercise.
2.Follow Doctor's Orders
3.Update will, power of attorney etc.
4.Sign up for classes
5.Commit to seeing friends at least weekly
6.Be the thoughtful, cardsending, giftgiving person - always pictured you would be when there was finally time
7.Find the sewing machine
8.Live each day well
8.Give Thanks

the walking man said...

Why is what should be common sense, never is?

becky said...

You are ever the wise one, Rosaria...

That Janie Girl said...

Amen, sistah.

Amen.

rosaria said...

Advice for Etoile and for everyone---my husband returned to school to get his PHD after we had our first child. At the time, I thought it was a great sacrifice and much too hard.

Now, in retrospect, I see that step made him the man he wanted to be, and in turn, provided the impetus for me to continue my ascent in my career. Both of those things have made all the difference.

Let your mother know that we are always "too old" or "too young" for the things we want. The only thing that matters is living a fulfilled life. Don't wait for it. Make it happen for yourself!


A few things I would do differently:

1. save more, by being more prudent on what and how much we bought. We gave away or threw away lots of stuff, with each move, each change of life-style.

2. learn about investing. Neither one of us is savvy in those things. We bought way too much insurance at way too much cost. Learn while you are young by taking classes and reading books.

3.Travel. We never took enough time from our jobs to do much. Both of us were slaves to our carreers, which we loved and couldn't wait to get up in the morning and get back to it(them). In retrospect, we could have had our cake and eat it too if we planned more carefully.

4. Spend time away from the children for our own pursuits--
We did very little as a couple with other couples. Most of our time at home was attending to our children's activities, sports, lessons, performances, etc.

rosaria said...

Thanks for sharing, everyone!

Ocean Girl said...

Dearest Rosaria, thank you for the great advise. A penny saved is a penny earned and time compounds. And we have today, we may not have tomorrow, so we must take time and enjoy today.

Opposites attract and I think they give a balance in life.

Rosaria, thank you for visiting my blog, I enjoyed each of your visit and it is an honour to me. My trip will last only a week, but I would like to tell the story in a journal form. It might seem longer than it is. We shall leave the boat in Phuket and continue to enjoy the area at the next opportunity.

Hope said...

great sound advice, , Rosaria
thank you

NormalToEatPB said...

Thanks for encouraging a common sense approach to enjoying life, I always appreciate your words.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Good advice Rosaria. When we're young it's difficult to set some of this in motion. I did do the traveling at a younger age & am glad for it... especially my foreign travel. I hate getting on planes now, I'd rather go by auto & see the country!

Velva said...

As always, great advice. I have made note of your list. :-)

velva

quilterliz said...

Great advice Rosaria. We are never to old to pursue our dreams. I have always wanted to travel, so last year I did and intend to do it again next year. I have learned a new hobby, have started a new job and at the age of 58 (59 in March) am enjoying every moment. Thanks for your kind comments to my blog. All the best. Liz from Oz...

NitWit1 said...

Yes I agree with all those points, and the earlier you realize that retirement and old age are realities, being prepared for what you know you can, is mostg important because there will also be surprises, both good and bad.

kakon said...

Keep up the good work. Everyone is opened to there opinion. Excellent blog here, i am still reading Kesha Tickets

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm totally with you - and I'm 28! I figure I should take my time to enjoy life as I go along, not work a 50-hour week and hope I make it through to retirement! :)

liZZie said...

I chuckle whenever I read in the press about high paid professionals opting out of the corporate life, downsizing, becoming low flyers... Inevitably the article ends with how they can survive quite happily on whatever amount in thousands they will have per year ~ usually four or five times as much as I live on. I opted out age 52 and reckon I will live longer, wiser and healthier. I've also discovered what it's like to wear clothes until they show irretrievable signs of wearing out.

Munir said...

Thanks for stopping by. When I look at younger people's life today I want to reach out and help. Your blog is a great guidanc.

The Broad said...

I have only just discovered your blog and so enjoy your photos and words of wisdom ... My husband and I have been very lucky -- When he retired at the age of 55 he was determined not to find another job. We had invested several years before in an investment property of rental flats -- in the very early 80's when such things were much more possible! Nevertheless we had to live in this property ourselves and for a few years it was very basic -- in the beginning we didn't even have drains. But we persevered and worked hard rennovating. After 3 years we were able to move into a lovely Victorian house -- also in need of some work, though at least with drains, bathrooms and central heating! At the age of 69 he is still is able to do the upkeep and maintenance not only here, but there, too. In fact he is over there as I write this putting the finishing touches to a new kitchen he has installed in one of the flats! Next October he will be 70 so he has his health and mental faculties, too. And we live in England -- I'm American, he's British -- no health care worries and all our prescriptions are free.

LindyLouMac said...

Just caught up on your last few posts, you always write something inspirational. One of your earlier comments has mentioned the problems with saving in the UK at the moment. Spend to enjoy life while you can seems to be the way forward.

Grandmother said...

The roles are just the opposite between me and my husband, plan man. But since we knew very little about things financial, we put ourselves in the hands of a trusted financial adviser many years ago who put us on a drastic savings regimen (we had nothing for retirement) and locked us into it. Best thing he could have done. Today, I'm retired, my husband works half time and we travel the world while living in Italy. I bless our financial adviser daily!

rosaria said...

I'm just saying that preparation will help. But, preparation will not ever be enough.

You will be surprised and shocked how you will change in your senior years. You will be a different form of your present self, and you need to accept that because, just as you changed when you became a teen and young adult, and then a spouse, you became more of something, and less of something you already were.

We need to evolve and adapt.
Enjoy the journey. It's yours!

Thanks so much for the visit, the comments that illuminated the topics, your sharing of personal stories that were testimonies of real experiences, and your willingness to learn from strangers like ourselves.

The world is a marvellous place when we share across frontiers!