Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Retirement: it will happen to you ready or not

Ready for retirement?
I'd like to talk about retirement. I'd like to retire too, but since that's not coming anytime soon (unless my books start really rolling off the digital shelves--feel welcome to participate in precipitating my early retirement), I'll just talk about it.

First, you must consider as early as possible that you will retire one day and that you want a place to live, a partner to share it with, good health and money coming in. 

My mother was recently placed in elder care, and she had little liquid funds and only a house with investment value. We are scrambling to support her care. She is in excellent health though deteriorating mentally. But living with funds available is the issue. 

Second how can you prepare for retirement?  Investments are good. (Can't help you with choices on that.) We have employee retirement that we are vested in, and a supplemental retirement plan we send to monthly. We purchased land at a nice but not popular lake, and we started building a house on it last summer. We are doing everything except pouring the concrete for the foundation, but we did handle troweling the concrete into place and smoothing it, relatively anyway. 

We just about have the house at the dry-in stage: windows in, roof on, last of the siding going up as I type. Time frame for completion?  Was two years, but my husband recently, nonchalantly, stated a day ago that five years wasn't an unreasonable likelihood. 

Point here. Be ready to face the obvious thing you forgot to note. In our case, that was our daughter's college tuition. It impacted our savings potential significantly. Both our retirement-related loans (land, building) are on less than ten year runs. Still, we do have that house we are currently living in that has value we can make use of for tying loose monetary ends later. 

How far away is our retirement? Ten years. So we'll make our deadline fine. But we wouldn't have if we hadn't started early. 

As for the other requirements? I've been married nearly 35 years and my fellow continues to be good company. Health for both of us is good, and we make the effort to maintain it. Continued employment appears strong as well. 

I feel better now that we've had this chat. How are you pre-managing your retirement? Are you planning ahead or buying lottery tickets? Do you have a will or are you indestructible? Smoke and eat fast food or are you taking your vitamins, prescriptions, exercising regularly and vigorously and seeing you doctor once a year?

Retirement, it's getting here whether you are watching for it or not. I'll take tremendous sales figures on my books any day, but in the mean time, I'm going to do a few supporting actions for a modest retirement just in case the New York Times list does not come knocking. 

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