Retirement -Here It Comes!
In my book, Retire In Luxury, I begin by saying that Dick’s and my retirement starts a little unexpectedly.
Oh, sure, we knew retirement was coming. We had known that for years, but to choose a day when an actual paycheck would no longer be coming in… that was scary to say the least.
Through Dick’s work career, we had always matched the employer’s 401K contribution fully toward our eventual retirement. We had managed to save a little money from the building and remodeling of houses that we had done for years — although back in those days, we congratulated ourselves when we walked away from a sale with $5,000 profit in our pockets. And we did almost all of the physical work ourselves. But we were young and strong, and now Yikes! Well, we still feel young. We are still fairly strong, and we were going to need that strength now.
Talking About Retirement
The whole process started with a lot of talk about retirement – I mean a lot of talk. What did we want to do with the rest of our lives? Where did we want to spend the rest of our lives? How in the heck would we pay the bills? And just how long might this “retirement” last?… Oh my gosh, that’s right… the rest of our lives… hopefully for many, many years!
Remember… this was a little over 10 years ago – so I grabbed pencil and paper – yes, I had computer, but I was still relying on the good old tablet and pencil for the first-round. It took a bit of work, but I finally had a list of bills – debits, and the list of income – credits. Darn, the debit list is a whole lot longer than the credit list.
On the debit list, there were utilities, there were insurance payments, there were credit card payments (luckily years ago we had learned to pay off that debt monthly), we had a very small payment for the maintenance fee where we lived in Louisiana, and every little bill I could think of was placed on the list -I wanted no surprises in our retirement.
Retirement …or Mortgages
I want to tell you now that if you are still making mortgage payments on your home or if you are still making payments on a vehicle, you may not find retirement very rewarding. But, maybe you’re just one of those few souls who happen to absolutely love your work – then, keep it up – and enjoy – you’re not really retired – you’re just enjoying working. Or then again, maybe you have a whole pocket full of money – if so – that’s good too!
However, if those big payments are still coming due, you will most likely be one of the many who take up a second career – or just continue your original. So if it is at all possible, get those two bills paid off… you will be very glad you did – if you actually want a good and enjoyable retirement.
It’s strange, but once you have all this information down on paper, a lot of those spooky clouds and worries started to disappear. We realized if we were careful – frugal — maybe downright tight, this retirement just might work out.
Even if you’ve already taken that big step and retired – go ahead and get those lists down on paper (or on the computer). They’re not nearly so scary in black-and-white.
The “where” choosing portion of our retirement, I’ll delve into later.
Retirement article by Barbie.