Retirement May Be Your Own SHTF If You Are Not Prepared For It
Guest article, by ‘NRP’
Do you believe that someday TS-will-HTF ? Well then you are absolutely correct. We sometimes talk of how an EMP, economic-crash, WW III, Cyber Attack, Pandemic, so-on, will change the world (your life) forever, and/or bring it crashing down.
Retirement IS an event that will totally disrupt your current life in ways you have NO idea. Retirement WILL be that SHTF and hopefully we all get to enjoy it.
For those here that are thinking about that 10 letter word ‘Retirement’, and I know there are quite a few getting close, and for those that are a few/many years off, I wanted to touch a little on this.
So before I begin, and to those young whipper-snappers out there,
I remember just yesterday when I turned 25, young, healthy, full of pizzzz and vinegar, I looked at retirement like it was sooooo far away. Today I’m in the process of ‘getting my ducks in a row’, and tomorrow the day will come when I load all my ‘stuff’ at work, say ‘see ya’ to the ones still there, and head home to a new life.
There are a few things to think about first:
1. Health Insurance is one of the BIGGIES, Medicare, Obamacare-less, Supplemental Medical Insurance, Private Insurance. Let’s face it, we ALL are going to get sick and we all will die at some time. If you don’t have or if you screw this step up, the medical bills will eat up every penny you and your family have. As an example when my late wife got cancer and passed, the total medical, hospital, hospice, so-on bills totaled well over $500,000.00 for a three year battle….. Do NOT make the mistake and say ‘I’m healthy now’……
2. Money. Of course this is important (somewhat). Do you have an IRA, 401K, Retirement account, Money in the Bank, Social Security, and PM’s? All are important, as long as the Banking and Economy are stable, How about inflation, a crash, and unexpected expenses? Do you live a lifestyle that allows you to continue as is without wondering if you need to go on food stamps or live in a shelter?
3. Land and Home. Are you protected from Probate Court? Do you have a Land and Personal Trust, and a ‘Will’ set up dictating EXACTLY what, where, who gets this or that? Remember that Probate Court and Lawyers will completely drain everything you had, that’s what thye do; they feed off others for a living. How about Land deeds that are ‘Upon Death’ to someone?
4. Funeral arrangements. Have you made them? Cremated, Buried, Viking Boat, this is something that we ALL need to arrange, why would you put those choices on your loved ones?
5. A Deep Pantry. Very Deep Pantry and the ways to maintain it, PLUS the skills.
Ok, how about that ‘Fun Stuff’?
Traveling, we all want to see the Great Wall of China, right?
Spending time with Grand/Great Grand kids.
How about that time Fishing and Camping?
FYI, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Puamana Beach, and tens of thousands of other places are in full ‘go to’ right about now.
Can ya say Camping on the beach in Costa Rica?
How about time to just sit on the porch enjoying the evening with a few good friends?
Anyone want to visit Ken and eat his Steak and Lobster?
Personally I LOVE to Garden, Fish, Hunt, Camping, and a LOT of outdoor stuff, there is NO WAY I’m going to sit in a chair stagnant for the rest of my life, how about you?
I plan on hours and hours just sitting by a nice stream somewhere and meditating on that 28” Rainbow Trout I’m going to catch tomorrow or maybe the next day, than head to the Fish House and have a nice Halibut Steak with Orange Sauce.……
My friends, when you do finally ‘retire’ please do NOT just sit around doing nothing…. I know people that have; usually they are gone within a year. Plan properly, be prepared as best as you can, this is usually the last ‘Job’ you will have, please do it right.
I know several retirees and almost all of them tell me “With all of the things I have going on, I don’t know how I had time to work”.
Time for Tea and Chocolate (as per 0ldhomesteader), and maybe a little fishing.
[Ken adds]: I believe that one of the biggest issues upon retirement will be the change in CASH FLOW. Unless you are “well off” or adequately wealthy, one’s lifestyle will likely be forced to change upon retirement. So to avoid this, it’s a great idea to change (downsize?) your lifestyle BEFORE you retire in order to ease into it with less of a shock.
Get yourself out of all debt as early as you can. Also remember that property taxes will always go up and some places are lots worse in this regard than others.
The years tick by faster than you think, so the sooner you start thinking about it the better.
If you think that you’re going to retire early, be aware that private health insurance (until you’re on Medicare) will be one of your biggest expenses. Maybe you can “semi-retire” early with a part-time job or some such way of earning enough supplemental money (cash flow).
Remember too that it may require a larger sum of money than you think (e.g. within in a 401K, IRA, and/or savings) to supplement your post-retirement income over time. Why? Because lets say you retire at 66…well one would hope that you’ll live another 20 years right? Take your lump sum and divide it by 20 (years) and then divide by 12 (months/yr) and see how much you actually have left to supplement your retirement income… (could be eye-opening).
One last thing: Your health. Get in shape (as best you can). Exercise somehow. Walk! Move! Eat better. You’ll live longer (hopefully) ;)
(just my 2-cents)
What about those of you who are retired…
What are your suggestions for those who are not there yet?
My advice is to pick exactly what makes your heart sing and plan on doing quite a bit of that. Dad was retired for about five years before he died, but he spent much of that time listening to his classical music collection. Most of the albums (those old red 78 rpms) played while listening on the head phones or out loud. I caught him many times in the wee hours listening to them with his eyes closed in his Lazy Boy recliner, a big smile on his face. I thought he would go nuts being retired (worked since age 10 to 65 except for his U.S. Navy years) but I was wrong – he really enjoyed it.
My advice – do the same. What makes YOU happy, to hell with everyone else’s opinion on what being ‘retired’ means to them.
Been retired for over 20 years, but officially about 15….love every moment. We do the things we want, don’t worry about anyone else. We pack up our little Travel Van without notice…and the world is your apple. We are not wealthy, but can live very comfortable with no mortgages, and no dreams of big ticket gems. I’ve decided my boat has to go, I can’t handle the things associated with it..so body young ers time. Look ahead each day, smile and be glad you are there. Live it and love it – you earned it.
Don’t sit down unless you want to see Jesus. Make death hunt you down like a small child lost in a big mall. That drives him crazy don’t you know.
Your comment reminded me of;
Hunter S. Thompson
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Remember– you got to have a reason to get up each day.
One foot in the grave the other on a banana peel
If you have your bases covered, then the only thing you have to know is, that the Fat Paper comes on Sunday.
Health issues later on in life should be a huge concern. You can cross all the “T”s and dot all the “i”s but sometimes things sneak up on you.
How true about health issues sneaking up on you. As a 25 year old I weighed 165 pounds with a 32 inch waist. I could run 7 miles in under an hour, jump out of airplanes, hump an 80 pound pack 10 Klicks and do many other fun things. At age 40 my eyes needed glasses, at age 50 my knees started popping with arthritis and now at age 67 I can tell when the weather will change. I cannot walk far with out the aid of crutches. No matter how good of a shape you are in now latter in life your body may have other plans for you. But like it was mentioned you need a reason to get out of bed so I have a very large garden. I taught myself how to can and I do projects around the house. I go to the range several times a month and try to fire different weapons each time but I always gravitate to my M1A1 Scout. It reminds me of what I carried when I was in my prime. I have a small business where I only work on Saturdays leaving DW and me time to travel. Our goal is to find some land and build a ranch house since going up steps for both of us is a major pain in the knees.You plan for TEOTWAWKT but how many of you plan on getting old and infirm?
I hear ya on all of that,
Sadly what we put our service man and women through at a young age will destroy their bodies at a later age. Too many retire out with a disability.
Nice article NRP. So many of us on this site so close to retirement (or some form of it).
I, myself am VERY desirous of retirement. DH IS retired. We have PLENTY to do and keep us happy and busy.
Retired six weeks ago from LE, but have spent three weeks of it in court on various homicides. Retired? Maybe some day soon…. :-)
By maxing out your IRA/401K/457 contributions in the last year or so, you can get used to living on less, benefit from the tax savings as well as add to your nest egg. I did it and it works! A win-win!
My greatest retirement treat took a whole month to get used to – threw away that wrist watch (well put in a drawer to tempt me) and after a while I realized the battery had long gone dead. Freedom can be in the form of dropping many small anchors that you thought you needed, but really meant nothing in the long run.
Well we have been retired since 2000, actually I couldn’t retire officially for 10 more years. We both retired early and have never regretted the action. We learned, have your debts paid off, get a good supplement health insurance, if you are VA, still at least get medicare. If you are careful you may not have to pay income tax. Oh and make sure to get dental insurance, your teeth go away after you get old.
Be prepared in all ways and realize that your children will think you are nuts. Get rid of your stuff early because you don’t really need it. When you are in your 70’s your stuff is too old and no one wants it especially your children.
Something not mentioned, there are a lot of programs to help people but not many for seniors. Somehow they must think Social Security is the golden ticket. Remember, what you have monthly in social security won’t keep up with the changing incomes and it also won’t change very much. What you get now won’t change much through out the years. Each time it goes up, medicare goes up the same amount-dang! So you never get ahead. Wish I was getting what burger flippers get!
But I suppose mostly you need to remember, there is always another adventure out there, just do it.
379 Days, 7 Hours, 23 Minutes, 18 Seconds, not that I’m counting HAHAHA
Hence the Article to get a feeling from what others have experienced and things you have done to ‘Prepare’ for that day when ya don’t ‘HAVE-TO’ get up and face the grind. Ya look around and ask yourself ‘what next?’
FYI, Ken’s a heck of a good editor… HAHAHA Thank you Sir.
Almost everything im doing is to prepare for that day,
My life has taken detours throughout,
Im not complaining though, am very grateful,
The farm really is my plan B, combined with everything else i like to do, figure i should be able to get by. Its not perfect but i should at least have a roof over my head so wont be living at the park,
Honestly, besides this project im working on wich i should have never taken on, i was pretty much saying i was semi retired, nobody ever said you had to have money to be retired, ive been looking at it more like a state of mind. And i do stuff because i want to.
God has a plan for me, so the best thing i can do is put one foot in fromt of the other and do what is placed in front of me. Life is imperfect and so am I, and its ok, as long as i just keep getting up and getting stuff done
Retirement is like the estimating and bidding that I’m sure NRP has experienced, unless you know all the variables and hidden pitfalls, (and cost plus is not available), you should get compensation every hour in the form of satisfaction and happiness.
Sometimes that works, definitely on my own stuff, but when working for others,,, not so much
Speaking of cost plus, my husband came down with a bad rash while helping a lady emptying a shed. They just told us the cream he needs would cost $325 and that was the generic!
So based on NRP’s statement above I’m thinking he will retire effective May 31, of 2018. Mark your calendar’s and we can bomb Ken’s blog with well wishes for NRP.
Sounds like a party at NRP’s place…
I was going to call for a party at your place, but I decided that was rather presumptuous of me. NRP’s place would be closer. We could have it at Navajo State Park. Lot’s of boating, camping, and fishing. I’m available that week.
You will know when retirement works for you – when you jump out of bed at 5 or 6 am because you want to – things to do – burning daylight, ….
Yea thats funny, im going to have to work till the day i die, im just lucky we have this farm in a family trust so i in theory shouldnt end up homeless.
Farming is retirement – you’re already there. I had to wait until 55 to begin working on my dream acreage. The more you get from the farm, the less the system has a hold of your — censored –.
I just love being out there, puttering around, making stuff, doing stuff, growing whatever, it all fits together, have a ton of hobbies and they all dovetail into the farming lifestyle, it has been my life, its good! No complaints, now if the bureaucracy can just leave me alone it is perfect!
Yes, I hear ya bro :)
Sorry me again oops
@ Shepherdess, The new MSB system code is now much much faster to load a page from the website.
Unfortunately a side effect is that it apparently requires that you enter your user-name / alias upon each comment (otherwise it turns up as “Anonymous”).
Some are complaining about it (understandable since this is a different behavior of the site), however lets see how it goes…
If anyone is experiencing different behavior please email me via the “Contact” link. Thanks.
I was 68 when I finally got my dream acreage. Only 2+ acres but it’s beautiful and soil is perfect for vegetable and flower gardening. I’m in heaven.
I like getting up, just got to remind myself to not take jobs where the people want a fixed bid, hourly is the way to go,
I see im not the only one who had a blank on my posting space,
Good post, NRP. One thing that some of us youngsters (I turn 40 in a couple weeks) need to consider is the very real possibility that social security will be dead and gone by the time we start thinking about retiring. It might not be the best but it is an income stream that many rely upon and when it dries up a lot of people will be left high and dry. Plan accordingly.
Nihilist, I am just a few years older than you and completely agree about the likelihood of SS not being there when I get to retirement age in 20+ years.
Right now our plan is to get out of credit card debt and invest in real estate. I don’t know many people my age who believe that market investments (IRA, stocks, etc) is a good strategy.
Everything will probably cost more than you think. : )
Just checking to see if I am in the Spam folder again.
I think that my post just disappeared into cyberspace
Work to be debt free at retirement.
It is a good feeling.
@ anonymous, ” except Navy years ” ??? :) Can’t stop laughing about that one :) Anyone know what happens to the 401K, IRA’s, etc. if the financial world is turned upside down?
I have heard that you lose the money.
My son recently told me I seem busier now that I retired then when I worked. I told him when I worked I only had two days off a week to do what I want now I have them all off. No wonder I’m so busy. I love every minute of it. I’ve started two businesses and numerous projects around the homestead. Heck, don’t worry about it, life will all play out, enjoy the ride–it’s all attitude. Remember the stumbling blocks in your road are not stumbling blocks they are your road. Nobody gets out alive. What have you got to loose?
Great article, NRP (even if you didn’t mention having a TP stockpile).
We are looking very forward to both of us being here at the home place all the time. We’ll have more time to do what we enjoy doing, and without me homeschooling a granddaughter 5 days a week, I’ll have more time, too. We will both garden more, enjoy more canning and cooking together, enjoy some kayaking, fishing, and tending to the critters together. I’ll also get to quilt more, ride and work the horses more, and just might even convince my Mister to hop on! (That’ll probably go over as well as whitewater paddling though… LOL)
We both have a variety of hobbies and have actually made purchases for the future so that we have extra supplies and needed items for our hobbies. Have others done this?
Retiring will also mean that we’ll be more available for family if needed. And a few more get-togethers. Thankfully the grandkids are no longer babies. I’m too old to change diapers… and to young to wear ’em. :-)
@ Modern Throwback
Please understand that most of us do not consider 600 rolls of TP as a ‘stockpile’…. :-) :-)
Sure that amount of TP for retirement is no more than a contingency just like in construction projects – ya got to cover your A$$.
My bad NRP, as you did say a stable economy. @ anonymous, as a former squid, I found your comment humorous, sounding like he didn’t work while in the Navy. No comments from the soldiers please :) NRP thanks for the thought provoking article.
Retirement, I retired in a little over a year ago. I have spent more time improving my garden. I bought dirt and installed 4 30 foot raised beds. I’m growing potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cantaloupes, okra, and cucumbers. I enjoy morning walks and my wife has turned over grocery shopping to me now. I still do a bit of consulting work from time to time.
When I was young I visited India and learned that the elderly men some times renounce worldly life and take up the search for enlightenment in earnest. The spiritual life has always held great appeal for me but now at 72 I prefer the creature comforts of home. Since I never did make a lot of money I haven’t had to scale back a lot. While I was still working I managed to pay off my home and autos and live debt free. I do enjoy volunteer work and find helping others is the most rewarding thing I do now. I am grateful for every day. Thank God I made it.
@ Man on foot
“I am grateful for every day.”
A retirement warning
I have several friends that prepared for retirement with grandiose plans. After about tens years the projects have overwhelmed them and it is sad to see them forlorn over having to scale back the dreams due to lack of energy, poor knees and hips, insufficient finances, divorce, ….. They failed to look at where they would be ten years down the road or even five years. A person should have a realistic plan. Before you put in that two acre garden, can you plant it, tend it, harvest it, store the produce, ….
@ hermit us
Golden words my friend — “A person should have a realistic plan”
I bet every one of us know those that have all these outrages/grandiose plans that are totally impossible to achieve.
I have a neighbor that is that way, now thinking he alone can do the 5000 things he believes, and with NO WAY to accomplish them, can only imagine when he “retires”, he’ll be like watching an ant savaging for the tribe, 90% of what he starts, never gets finished, just running like a crazy dog after his tail, round and around in circles all day long, tired as heck in the evening with nada finished. I just sit back and smile, he’s one of those that don’t listen to nada….
Me? I’m going fishing right after I Weed the Garden, Wash Dished, Do Laundry, Clean the house, Cook, Do some Canning, Drive to town for ‘stuff’, Do the Bills, Take a Shower, Walk Blue, Clean the firearms, Fix the freezer that quit, Sweep out the Garage, Repair the Truck ……… AHHHHH CRAPO!!!!!!! So much for fishing HAHAHA
Thanks hermit us, now I’m depressed as all get out.
Time for a Brew and some Popcorn, I’m tired
Yes, every person should know their limitations. Just retire to the couch and have a nap with Fito.
Fito is looking into life extensions too, retirement, ya know beyond the standard 9 lives…
Fito plans to have a youtube channel to collect ad revenue
You know, be the next viral cute kitty and all
Once he hits 3 mil views, he’ll
Work the late night talk show circuit while he’s able
Figures it will buy a life time supply of kibble and treats
if he’s lucky a cat tree by a big window and poofy cat bed
hermit us, this could be Fito’s moment now you know….
and Fito’s been known to be kick a little back to his owner ;)
Long live Fito :)
It twas me Shepherdess ;)
Retirement will be good for NRP. He must look ahead to the estate disputes over Fito’s fortune when it passes. Estate matters always get messy. :)
@ hermit us
Hence very VERY important to have a Trust for the estate and all funds.
Does the trust need to be in the name of a beneficiary or can you hold it in your name and access it in your retirement?
@ hermit us
Need to answer on a computer not this pos phone.
This is a very importain question.
@ hermit us
First the Disclaimer; I am not a Lawyer, so I would GREATLY suggest if you want or have a need for a Trust, find a ‘Trust Lawyer’ mine cost around $600 to set up and finalize with everything I needed (normally first consolation is free). A good T-L will discuss every aspect and help you with making it a legal document. I GREATLY suggest you do NOT use the ‘forms’ you can find on the net, get a Lawyer!
A Trust can be thought of as a box of your stuff in it. The way I have mine set up is, I personally own nothing anymore, everything is ‘owned’ by the Trust, yes even my TP stash. It’s actually called a ‘Revocable Trust’, meaning you can change it at any time. When you set up the Trust you will identify everything you want the Trust to ‘own’. I even have all of my Bank Accounts, 401s, Insurance, everything in the Trust.
So for the guts; basically there is a Setter, you the ‘owner’ of the Trust.
There is a Trustee, normally you will set up more than one, so there is the First Trustee, a Second and so forth in case the First cannot perform the task. This is the person that will execute the Trust upon your death, they normally are given a copy of the Trust and ALL changes you may make, The Trustee MUST follow everything you set out in the trust to the letter, it is a criminal offence to not follow the Trust.
Then there are the Beneficiaries. These are the people you wish to ‘give’ stuff to. This part is much like a Will and again must be followed exactly as you set forth.
OK, why have a Trust
1. As a single person with no children, I have decided to distribute as I wish, not as the Siblings and Courts dictate.
2. With a Trust there will be no Probate Court or Lawyers deciding what where and so forth. Remember what % the Courts and Lawyer will ‘charge’.
3. There can be zero fighting among the Beneficiaries, period. BTW, out language in the Trust to remove a Beneficiary if they choose to challenge the Trust.
4. You can choose who you want to receive ‘stuff’; for instance, my firearm collection goes to the local ‘Range’ to be auctioned and the proceeds to be used for the Youth Program.
5. you can dictate on how your savings/401s/IRAs can be distributed to underage children or people not in your ‘family’
6. You can assign Land to someone without them being ‘TAXED’ to death on the transfer. FYI, you can also do a ‘Upon Death’ Deed to someone else outside the Trust. I did not, because it’s a LOT easier to change a Trust than a Deed.
7. You can actually attach a Will as part of the Trust assigning ‘stuff’ right down to the Dirty Socks and TP.
I truly believe that EVERYONE even if married and 23 years old get a Trust built. Just imagine if (God forbid) you are single and get killed in a Car Accident. What will happen to your ‘Stuff’ now before you say it, everyone has things they would want XYZ to have, and not be sold to pay some Lawyer, right?
Hope this helps a little, a little long, but Ken loves me…. HAHAHAHA, AND this is something everyone should think about.
PS; yes, the Trust ‘owns’ everything, BUT you own the trust and can access at any time your funds/stuff. A Trust is only an after death document/instructions.
PSS; if your married, you had best let the spouse know you have a Trust, or they WILL hunt you down and kill you many MANY more times.
NRP, that’s sound advice right there. It makes for an easier transition when you pass away for the family.
My wife took early retirement. Lost 5%.Worth it for her to be around the kids/ Grandkids all the time.
My wife and DD are starting a business together. When I inquired about it the Wife tells me they are selling hammers!!
A not so subtle way to tell me to mind my own business! LOL!
I personally dislike the word retire. I don’t work as much as I used to but I do still work.Sometimes in my chosen profession. Most times working on stuff that makes me happy.
I have made good money my whole life. I could go out of the country still and make good money. But why? Just because I can? It’s not worth missing out on what is really important. Family, friends and making connections with new folks.
We can all do with less of everything. Money included. We all did it when we were young.Pb&j sandwiches for lunch and hamburger helper for dinner. We can certainly do it when we are older. We all have learned a few things along the way.
No one will remember your new car or big house after your gone…
They will remember how you treated folks (good or bad btw.)
Plan your “Olden Years” now. Be happy and content in your retirement. No matter how much money you have.
We all somehow made it when we were young and we will somehow make it when we are old.
Besides,none of this “stuff” travels with us to the other side…
Oops,anonymous was me.
Got to check the name each time…lol!
Thanks for the good advise – I will take the flogging from Ken, it is worth it. :)
Thanks for the good advise – I will take the flogging from Ken, it is worth it. :)
AArggg – forgot my handle – sorry
Yep. Thought about those things before I made a decision that I would be unhappy with. My situation is that of a senior,single lady with almost no family. None that would come to aid. I looked at fairly remote areas and decided that it would be the wrong place for me. I am going to an area that is still smallish but growing, easy to get away from people and still has the things that most of the conveniences that most us want. Hope to heck I made a good decision!
I think that a person should try to “get to where they want to be living” now, and not the day after they retire.
I think that it would be stressful to suddenly be a new and different location/environment, after one retires….
I think new adventures and experiences would be welcome, healthy and life affirming. But, I think that one likely does not feel as grounded and connected to suddenly be planting oneself in a totally new location/circumstance.
I know a few folks who moved to new Towns/cities/geographies after retirement because “that is what one does” (really?)…They do not seem happy and content to not have the resources and such they had become accustomed to over the past forty or so yrs. As well, they seem to have had some sort of idea that “moving after retirement” would somehow magically solve any “lackings” in their lives etc..
I can positively testify to your observations. I recently spent some forced time in Vegas at a large RV park where many live full time. Talking to some , it was clear that the life on that little patch of pavement, crowds of people only feet away, not much to do, living under the dictates of management, … this retirement move that seemed like freedom was the worst move they could have made. So they contemplate moving to another RV park expecting a different outcome – insane.
ah..so it proves out.
also, I am thinking that living in a situation such as you describe, with pretty much one age group (aging), would not be as mentally stimulation, or even physically productive.
It seems to be a law of entropy, that physical action decays (okay paraphrasing here) to the lowest common denominator. Also, if SHTF, there may be considerable info/advice/knowledge an older person may offer to offset the strong back of a younger.
Not to be overly negative but the older persons that I met in the RV park seemed to have already suffered complete entropy and should not even consider driving their land yachts let alone trying to impart knowledge to the younger generation. I will not even begin to comment on what I think of the strong backs of our youth.
I retired 14 years ago and I love it. I started a 401K when I was 40, at 42 remarried but to a very conservative lovely lady. We stopped buying anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary and about 6mths later we were debt free. Five years before I retired I maxed out my 401K so I took a loan from it and put that money in the bank. Now I could max my 401K and add money to it by paying off the loan with interest. You pay the loan and interest to yourself.
When I retired we moved to a state with low taxes, military tax credit and over 65 your school tax is cut in half. No sales tax either.
You have to plan ahead and be willing to move.
My wife and I started to entropy so now we workout 3 times a week.
A word of caution because we made the mistake, don’t get any animals they will control your life and put a damper on your retirement. (3 cats.)
Retirement? LOLOL!!! “…the change in CASH FLOW…” Not sure if I’m blessed or lucky in that regard or whatever. I work harder since I finally retired than I did when I was working. On the bright side though.
Today, my total retirement income from all sources is about $20,000 a year more than the highest salary year ($67,000) of my last job. I never really made specific plans for retirement, it just evolved because of several lifestyle decisions I made early on in life. Who’d a thunk it?
1. Stay out of debt. I lived most of my life debt free, by choice. Saved and invested whatever I could.
2. Buy some property. I bought a piece of rural property when I was 19. Retirement never really entered my mind. I paid the property taxes on it but it lay fallow and I never set foot on it for the next 26 years. I think a couple old local geezers used if off and on for their garden and help keep the weeds down.
3. I retired from my first job as soon as I became eligible instead of waiting around “a few more years” trying to pick up a few more retirement points like most people. That was like an $1,800.00 dollar a month pay raise after I found my next job. I was unemployed for 6 months, working on building my home.
4. I never had a mortgage. When faced with the horrible prospects of paying nearly two hundred thousand dollars in interest over 30 years I chose instead, to pay a contractor cash to build a small 1,600 sq. ft. frame house 40 percent complete (foundation/framing and exterior walls/roof and subfloor). I had just enough cash to pay for that. I spent the next two years finishing the rest by myself. I did the insulation/sheetrock install and floating/painting/windows and framing/floor tile/exterior water and gas lines. I paid a local electrician to wire it, I paid a local plumber to install all the interior plumbing and I paid an old cabinet maker I knew to do all of my kitchen and bathroom cabinets. He built them, I finished them. He made them from Ash and they cost less than half the cost of the cheap particle board crap I looked at from Lowe’s and Home Depot.
5. I retired from my second job, two years after I became eligible.
6. Grow a garden and can as much food as you can. For most of my life I grew some kind of a garden whenever I could. Most of them were small. When I left my first job, I started gardening big time… more than an acre. Plus we canned most of our own food.
7. My long term investment is now paying nice dividends. In the beginning the periodic investments were tiny and the return looked so pitifully small (and it was). But, 5 splits and 45 years of dividend re-investments later has culminated in almost 11,000 shares of XOM. I consider that my third retirement. I dumped an IRA 35 years ago and took the penalty after wasting my time and money for 5 years. I put that and then some into my Exxon DRIP (And no, I didn’t work for Exxon.) No penalty’s, no financial advisors, no government rules telling me what I can or cannot do with it, no brokerage fees… just a growing investment that pays a nice quarterly dividend. Anyone can do this through Computer Share and you don’t need the government’s permission.
8. Social Security wiggles its way in there somewhere but it’s really insignificant compared to my first job and DRIP account. This covers a lot of my insurance costs.
I’m not trying to write a book about my life story because I have actually lived under some pretty horrible conditions early on. But, I did make some lifestyle decisions throughout my life that had nothing to do with retiring, but in the end, seriously impacted my retirement for the good, whether I was fully cognizant of this at the time or not. I always thought I’d wind up living under a bridge somewhere but that’s not how it turned out. Maybe there’s something there others can learn about what not to do. Just saying.
I will still be working part time until I can’t anymore when I draw SS to make up what my ex took from me. At least I will be busy and feel useful. A guy at work who runs the ASV is 88 years old, and doesn’t do it for the money, but he is getting too forgetful working around machinery which can be dangerous. I am afraid he will be forced out of work and he will deteriorate without this job. He is a man who worked 2 lifetimes with 74 years work under his belt. Maybe I would be so lucky to be ABLE to work 74 years myself.
My posts, my name, my email are disappearing…why???
@JJ, I see three of your comments from today and one from yesterday. Is there something missing besides them?
I already figure I will have to work till I’m dead. Sorry ass kids expecting me to pay for their crap and the wife is on their side. It’s just little things, like $50 or $100 a month. She says they deserve it since one of them is going to college and the other is having a tough time paying his bills. Worse part is that they both make more money than I do and 1 makes more money than both the wife and us together.
That’s ok I found that there is a easier way out.
Adapt and whatever.
Your comment at the end sounded sorta ominous.
11HE9, is it feasible for them to live at home (assuming they don’t), and pay you rent?
JJ perhaps you’ve been retired :/ Just kidding! Crabbe excellent post, thanks for sharing! Goldman 3 cats? Fito, Fito Jr.,& Fito III :) It’s late, time for some zzzzZZZzzz.
Oldman that is, doncha just love spell check!
My working life has been about retirement from one job into my next job for most of my adult life. In my 20’s I knew I did not want to be cutting fireline in the mountains at age 45. After gunfight #2 I knew my career in Law Enforcement was going to be short of the full 20 yrs.
Fortunately, I found out along the way that I am a pretty good medic. I still work as a medic within an underserved population and I plan to continue working as long as I can because my wife has expensive tastes. I do not really relish retirement because I still look forward to going to work most of the time. I still have a sense of purpose and goals to meet.
I have also observed police officers and firemen retire and crawl inside a bottle and die within 5 years of retiring from their respective departments. The longest lived are the ones that have a rich and fulfilling life outside of their jobs and were truly ready to go to “the next stage”.
My father became fascinated about economics when he retired. He read all of my upper division books on the subject and invested in precious metals when he retired. As I progressed in the medical field, I brought home information about the Human Genome Project being decoded when I started school. ( it was decoded by the time I finished school ) and the relatively new field of Gene Splicing using PCR.
Between my Father’s knowledge of engineering and metallurgy, My brother’s knowledge of software in the Silicon Valley and my knowledge and curiosity about Genetic Engineering, our Family Trust has a very diverse portfolio currently under the care of my mom.
If I was not able to work, I would probably go back to school or see to the affairs of my aging mother and siblings. i would try to take a more active role in the selection of stocks and commodities for the family portfolio. I have started a retirement fund for my wife because she has no interest in financial matters. I am also in need of exercise for my body and my brain. I continue to carry and buy the Wall Street Journal several times per week and my hobbies are either simple and inexpensive or they pay for themselves.
Case in point: Shooting and hunting:
Most of my guns were obtained when I worked at 2 different gun shops and several bolt rifles were rebuild projects or inherited pieces. My wife could not keep up with the guns constantly coming and going in my house because I had the ultimate excuse: “That’s not my rifle Honey. I’m replacing the springs for a friend of mine” and: a repair on a gun by me required that I fired the weapon to test for both durability, accuracy and function of the action before returning to the customer. Since I had a steady job already, sometimes I just worked for pizza at the end of the day. (Tough to make a living as a gunsmith in California. ) I learned a lot about keeping guns up and running in those days.
Lastly, continue learning about things period. the smartest people I know are also intensely curious people. They love to learn about things. School is an option but it is not the only option out there. I still intend to learn how to can my own food one day when I have time. The constant state of learning is also one way to possibly prevent memory loss and dementia. Learning can be fun. Life and community can be a great teacher so I choose to become more active in both as I grow older.
I’m 71 & been retired 8 yrs. My only income is SS but I’ve always been a rather frugal person. I did have the foresight to have a lot of kids & now they help if I need it. I seem to notice that, in general, women do better at old age than men – seem to find more to do. A word of warning – if you sit still too long someone with kids will drop them off on you. Haha I guess that’s what keeps me young.