Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dreaming of Retirement?

If you have a lot of money and want to retire, you don't need to do anything, at all.

You  never have to plan for the time when you can no longer make a living. You have only to decide how and where you spend your money. Not, if you can survive without that paycheck.

People with money have more confidence, fewer anxieties, more luck. People with money make money work for them. If they work for an employer that matches their retirement savings in their 401K, they have found the golden key to retirement.
The more they save, the more they are gifted
Their money will make money as long as they don't spend it all.

It turns out that if you are one of those people with money, you are also healthier, and seeing doctors and dentists regularly will guarantee you remain healthier. Your resources will allow you to have more choices in life than those people who must work and scrimp every minute of their lives.

People with money most likely received a free-paid by their parents-education, a free wedding, free loans or low interest loans to get started in a business. They married better partners; they left the marriage that had not worked out; they moved on to careers that were more rewarding.

People with money have always had more choices.

What about the rest of us? 

Since the last recession took a bit bite out of their investments, if they had investments, the average family is not equipped to pay for their children college education. Settling the younger generation with substantial debt before they have their full career ahead of them is bound to complicate things for these children for decades.

Should the parents become incapacitated and in need of help, their children will not be able to take them in, offer assistance, pay for the extra help to maintain a minimum of amenities and lifestyle. At all stages of life, the average family does not have sufficient resources to achieve the American dream.

If you feel comfortable in your present lifestyle, and are planning to retire soon, do a bit of research before you quit that job.
If you can, continue to work part-time, see if you can live on half as much.
If you are young enough to start somewhere else where you will be happier and fulfilled, make that move. Retirement may be postponed. Retirement is not all that it is cracked up to be.

Most people enjoy working and contributing to society.
Most people do not have enough hobbies or money for hobbies. And even if they did, how much fishing is too much; or golfing; or needlepoint?

Ask yourself if you are prepared financially first and foremost:

1.What can you cut back on? Your retirement funds may have to last you thirty years...
2. Things will break down and will need to be replaced: cars, roofs, teeth...
3. Prices will go up for your basic needs such as food, medicine, transportation...
4. Traveling and hobbies will take a big bite of scarce resources.
5. Your medical costs, even if you have always been in good health will no longer be paid by your employer, or subsidized by your company. Even with Medicare's coverage, you are looking at increased medical costs. Plus, as you get older your body needs to be checked more often, at the very least. You will see more specialists, take more drugs, require glasses more often.

Last, but most important, why are you retiring? If your job is fulfilling and rewarding, keep working, but take as many vacations as you can, check out places and activities you might want to pursue to remain active and happy in your later years.


Linda Myers said...

Pretty fair assessment of the reality.

yaya said...

Perfect, sound advice. I know you have "been there, doing that" in your stage of life. Thank you so much for this list. I know I'm taking it to heart and trying my best to work as long as I can in my field. I have a former coworker who retired from nursing awhile back and is still in the work force at Wal-Mart..part-time and loving it! She's 82! She's lucky to be in good health and when it's time for her to finally say "I'm ready to retire"...I think she'll deserve the rest!

The Odd Essay said...

Bill & I met when we were 40... pretty much flat broke... both of us. We just clicked... it worked... we figured we could retire at age 55. We planned... we schemed... we worked like hell. We did retire at age 55. At 59 we became full-time RVers.. now, at age 72 we're still on the road... still traveling... still solvent. Couldn't have done it without the understanding and support of each other. We're still frugal, but we still are able to do what we want. The only thing I would say.. Have a plan. It will have to flexible but stick to it or adjust. Retire if that's what you want to do.

Brian Miller said...

ha. i will never retire...i doubt many will of my age...or after...unless they are the lucky ones...if lucky i will own a bookstore in my age and work there til i die among the pages...or maybe i will walk into the woods and give back what i took in all my books...smiles.

Eddie Bluelights said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eddie Bluelights said...

Your post caught my eye Rosaria, and I agree with every word.
We live in an unjust world where money seems to begat money for those who have it and blow the rest.
I am a pensioner now but it gets harder every year as inflation bites!
I do a bit of voluntary driving for our local Dial-a-Ride bus service - love it but it is unpaid. Best wishes ~ Eddie

mxtodis123 said...

I retired last year. I would have liked to have worked a bit longer but my job was very stressful and was messing with my health. I receive my social security and a small pension. I don't have the funds I had when I was working, but I have a roof over my head and food to eat. My bills are paid. I have just enough to be comfortable, but will never be rich. What helped me was before I retired I did a lot of research online about programs available to senior citizens. As a result, I ride half fare wherever I want to go, receive stamps for the farmer's market, assistance with my medications, and have applied to the state to a program to help with any rent increases.

Unknown said...

good advice!

Rubye Jack said...

It is not pretty living on a small social security check, but my retirement was rather forced. I retired in 2007 thinking I would find another job easily after a year off but the times thought otherwise and there were no jobs to be found. Good advice you give here Rosaria.

Tabor said...

All very good advice. I retired as my job was no longer fulfilling. I showed up for work and did very little as the budgets had dried up. But I am so lucky in that I was able to retire easily. Working longer at a job one likes or loves is perfectly good advice.

Marty said...

Another snag I see coming is the age that people are having children now. I wouldn't recommend my path of 1st child at 20, 2nd at 23, but it worked for us. By the time I was 40, my daughter was in Boston at Northeastern U., with son at U.Mass a few years later.
On the other hand, that daughter had her third child at age 40, so when she's in her 60s she and her husband will be dealing with retirement simultaneously with college bills.

Tom said...

I'm a big proponent of the keep-working school of thought. Not necessarily fulltime in your old career, or at any job you find too boring or too taxing. But at something ... because it really does relieve the financial pressure, even if you're only making a little bit of money.

Munir said...

This is a very good advise. Also, there is only so much we can do with our time.

Journeyin' Lady... said...

Money or no money I think that the best way to enjoy retirement to keep working at something, whether for pay or no pay. Keeps you active, more likely fo stay healthy and even happy. Many of those I worked with who retired and went home to sit in their recliner died!

the walking man said...

Some of us were retirement savings interruptus. We adapted though to 25% (and falling) income, knowing there is no more extravagance. *shrug* Can't moan now just continue to adapt.

dianefaith said...

I retired at 65 because I had my mother's care (dementia) and young grandchildren. I think I made the right decision, although finances would be much better if I had stayed another year or two. My 83-year-old aunt still works full-time for the school system and another 5 or 6 hours per week in a part-time job. She's healthy and happy.

rjerdee said...

The big thing we discovered after retirement was our need for medical care. Fortunately, we opted into buying a retirement home where lots of other retirees live. The doctors there are accustomed to the needs of older people and there are doctors galore for seeking care.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Excellent advice, Rosaria! You offer so much to think about -- and it's all so true!

Everything costs more than you thought it would at the outset and I'm getting a close-up look at some neighbors in their seventies who have run out of money, together get less than $2,000 a month from Social Security and are too disabled to even think about working. It's a scary scenario.

When we were in our early 50's and talking longingly of retirement, my Aunt Molly, who had retired from her government job at 55 and seemed to have a good life, discouraged us from discontinuing work too soon. I was puzzled then, but now I know what she meant. I would do the same now. A gradual letting go of full-time work and keeping part-time opportunities makes so much sense for those of us who aren't rich. My husband turned down some part-time consulting work four years ago. Now he wishes he hadn't, but the opportunities are no longer there.

Maggie May said...

Having savings for us anyway, has backfired. Now that bad health has hit my husband...... if I can't cope with looking after an invalid now, I might end up having the Government take it all away or even risk losing the home........ if it comes to a Nursing Home care, that is. There are many, many people in similar positions over here and all feel bitter and duped.
Makes you think that it's better not to save.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. I'm looking to restart earning and build an entrepreneurial life .. it's been my expectation for a while and now I'm really working at it ..

Life is challenging and we need to think and plan forward if we can .. cheers Hilary

Unknown said...

I like the realistic and pragmatic tones delivered from this post. I've met people who wanted to retire at a younger age, but they don't really have an idea what that decision entails. Even at an advanced stage in life, retirement may seem daunting, and without proper information, like the ones so expertly given here, retirees might find themselves in a tight situation. I hope more people would be able to read your very informative article here! Thank you for sharing!

Trudy Nearn @ Generations