We’ve been talking with our financial advisor about our retirement living finances and what needs to be done to be ready. So much to learn and comprehend. The biggest fear is not having enough to live on and even more important not having enough to see us through our lifetime.
I’ve always been a saver. As a single woman for over three decades, putting money aside was peace of mind. In the early years of me building my business, I worked long hours. Two clients a day for business management services and at least 3 times a week, this was followed by seminar presentations, in the evenings, which I had to drive to throughout the Southern California region. Mom and Dad were good for a couple of meals a week, as were my sister and brother-in-law – eternally grateful to them. But, certainly, I was not going to rely on them for anything else; parents were retirees and sis/bro were raising three children!
As I got older, I realized that the saving pattern I had had to be increased. But, how could I? House and car repairs loomed every time I turned around. Funds were needed to grow my business: website, marketing, productions of a dvd and e-book, etc. Only way out was to get more clients – which increased the workload. It was an endless vicious circle.
I plugged along. Eventually, new avenues opened where I could work smarter – less effort and more money! Then I got married. Zaf and I joined forces and created still more sources of income for the both of us. Savings increased and things got better.
Here’s what I learned from the financial expert:
Retirement Portfolio must be realistic. She had us create a retirement budget that was sensible, pragmatic and prudent. First to do: How much money would be coming in and for how long. I’ll still be working part-time so that is earned income, added to Social Security and IRA mandatory and potential disbursement taken. Second up was to figure out what it would cost to sell house/buy new house along with move-in costs which can be prohibitive. Mortgage/Utilities for our new home came next. Then the everyday living expenses were listed: food, clothes, cars, repairs and maintenance, household supplies, entertainment, travel, etc. The biggest section on this list was for medical insurance: medicare, secondary coverage, caretakers, long-term care, etc.
The underlining point for all this preparation is the truth of the unknown: how long we will be around and what shape we will be in. We determined that our comfort level was to set everything up as though there was only one of us around to pay the bills. Exhausting and scary for sure. But we did it and we now know what to expect. All things being equal and there are no major surprises.
Quite often I see articles on social media, magazines and newspapers on how to prepare for retirement. We RETIRE-AGERS™ represent quite a large portion of the population so thankfully they provide invaluable information on the “best” way to retire…from finances to downsizing to staying active to exercising your body and brain to……it’s endless!
What is left now is to explore options and put the plan into action. Prep and sell house…pack the things we want to keep/get rid of the rest…decide where to move to…plan for our time living abroad…once again, it’s endless!
We are on it!
Checkbook photograph From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf
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