Friday, November 17, 2017
Planning for Retirement Years
Had a lovely day yesterday. It was nice to drink coffee and watch the news and blog in my jammies and play Candy Crush until I decided I wanted to get up and do something. My "something" was starting on the laundry. I cleaned the kitchen, swept the kitchen floor, made two batches of salsa - one for us and one for work.
I had to create a sign on and get my social security statement to take to the financial meeting. That is one of the key pieces that they needed. I don't guess anyone has stolen my ID's b/c the right amount of earnings are showing up. So that is good. I was actually surprised by the amount. George and I are both quite surprised at how much our social security will be when we retire so long as the program remains in tact for us by then. I cannot retire "fully" until 67. For George it is 66 and 10 months. I was disappointed. I had thought it to be 65. I will try to hold out for that long. But George said that may not be necessary. But I will probably try to hold out til at least then.
So I also had to print out my 401k statement. I have been active in 401k and doing matches with what employers had it and have done well through the years. I have invested former 401K's rolled over into some other funds. Over the years it builds up.
So the advisor spent some time asking us about our retirement goals. Retirement goals? What? George and I have not really discussed our future much. Whenever we try to talk about future, it always involves thinking about where we want to be and it usually involves a cost, and when talking about money - it never really was a good conversation and was often discouraging for me. So it was something to really avoid talking about. Which is kind sad. So most of our future is what is going to be for dinner or what is our next event.
George always wanted to handle the finances and he always thinks about the future from that standpoint. But to dream is just to dream for me, not necessarily anything that would come true- of one day living near the ocean. To discuss it, is usually not going to bring me much hope. George will only say "you are the beach person, me not so much...who knows where we'll end up". So never any excitement or anything in planning for the future. It's uncertainly always looming. It's been really hard for me to visualize. And while it's kindof a bummer not to have any specific plans to lean toward, I've been ok with that. I have books to read and I'll get to read them whenever I retire! That has been my only thought.
What surprised me was having to answer the questions about what are our retirement goals. I realized I didn't have any. The only thing I could think of was living in a coastal town, but I don't HAVE to do that. I'm not even sure that is the right thing to do. I mean if you DO live to 80 would I be in shape to evacuate from that big hurricane coming in? lol
I was stunned at how to answer the question but it needed to be answered. It felt good talking about it. And safe, being that someone was there, where George wouldn't poo poo my answer. lol Because I would get my turn and he would get his. And I got to go first and was not interrupted. And had plenty of time to answer. Yay! My answer was that I wanted to be assured that I had enough money to be able to eat, have and maintain a roof over my head, still be able to do pleasurable things, travel some. I said I don't have to do all the things we do now b/c I feel we often go overboard and I can reign it in quite a bit. I said that it was important to me to feel that my house is nice and clean and decorated and updated, although not necessarily with the latest modern flair. I said technology was important to me and would like to continue to have laptop, iphones, and ipads, etc.
It surprised me that I sat in his office at age 55, that I didn't have any more life goals other than reading books, doing some travel, updating the house, maybe moving to a different locale at some point depending on where the kids were- and that was ok! I realized that I pretty much had met my main life's big goals already. I got the spouse, I got the house, I got the child, I got the job, I got the car, I got the computers, the dogs, the books, we get to eat out a lot and travel some. Anything else in life is icing on the cake. I sortof had a defining moment there realizing "I met all my goals in life - every one" sitting in that chair talking about my future, and thinking about my past. It gave me a sense of accomplishment - not a prideful one - but more of a realization that it all occurred and that it was ONLY fitting to be sitting here discussing our retirement. I realized I'd had a full and exciting life already. It actually felt - maybe not good - but fitting is a good word. And it did feel good to be sitting there talking with an expert that we have come to trust. This guy has been handling George's Mom's financials.
So, George's answer was that he wanted to live the same life style but like I had said, we could tame it down quite a bit. So the guy crunched some numbers and told us what we'd need to do to have exactly what we do today. We'd have to save a lot more to do that. Then he refigured at 80% of that and said that this is usually the more feasible approach. He reminded us that with retirement you have a lot less expenses not driving to work every day, not eating as many lunches out, cooking more at home and so forth, not as much wear and tear on the car. He said we were on the right track to be where we will have what we need. I was really thinking that we were not going to be very well prepared for retirement. We are going to make some changes and tweek some things. Up our 401k's, continue to pay off the house, and we may move some investments around from our funds from previous employer 401ks.
So working hard all these years and putting money in the 401k's have really paid off. All that is to say that we are on the right track provided that there is NO risks that occur and so forth. Risks being loss of jobs, one of us disabled, health issues, unable to work and so forth. I think we both felt really good leaving the meeting. He is looking at some stuff closely and will make some recommendations on how to allocate the funds, we may change some things around. We will have another meeting down the road after he looks more closesly.
So then we went shopping at World Market and then went to Stein Mart (I found some summer sandals, on sale). Then we went to eat at Carraba's. I got spaghetti bolognese. And a wonderful glass of Merlot. It was so good. Sleep was good until Tugie decided she was ready to get up and needed to go out at 3 in the morning. I took her and Maisy out and then gave them breakfast and then we went back to bed til my alarm went off.
Well, I need to finish getting ready and get to work. We have our "taco meal" today for Thanksgiving. I also will have my head stuck in a report all day! But it's Friday!
We have a birthday dinner to go to tonight at a favored restaurant with friends. Looking forward to that.
Well, up and at it. Ya'll have a good one. OHHHHH and tomorrow we get to go look for a new sofa and chair! ;-)