Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Retirement Planning Already?

I’ve had major focuses over the decades, probably much the same as yours.

In my teens it was all about boys and dreaming of a life free of parents and all their rules.

Twenties were devoted to men, sorting through the lot of them to find the right one for me. They sure do take up a lot of time, don't they?

Thirties were a blur of activity, raising the kids the best I knew how while maintaining 'us' as a couple.

My forties were devoted to plotting to get rid of the kids while wondering what to be when I grew up.

Next (boy, those years are flying by) the fifties, when I launched my writing career. Yes, I was exactly 50 when my first mystery was published.

Now in six months, the big 6-0!

And what am I thinking about the most? Having fun in work and play.

What am I supposed to be thinking, or rather, worrying about, according to the nay-sayers? Retirement, that’s what.

I love my job, have no plans to retire, but I’m researching a little and starting to plan.

As with everything in my life, I’m a late bloomer.

The experts say I should have started saving in my twenties? Really? But I was busy and broke for most of it. Since I didn’t do it right, I’m supposed to cut back, put it all away, stop eating out, no more vacations? You have to be kidding.

I’m afraid to take the online calculator test. You know, the one that tells you how prepared you are. I’m here to tell you, I do not have five years of income put away. Geez.

I hope the key ‘later’ in life, is to find something to do that you really love, something that brings out your passion. And make some cash doing it. That's my whole plan - write stories until the very end.

In my sixties, I am going to put a little more away and learn to live with less. But I’m also going to remember what George Burns said, “Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”

Have a great day no matter where you are in your journey.


Adrienne said...

Funny how you should quote George Burns! He was one of my favorite my dad. And George Burns died the day we were preparing to bury my dad. All I could think of was the two of them telling each other jokes and laughing so hard the other one couldn't hear the punch line. You have a wonderful attitude, m'lady, and sound like you've lived life well and with joy and passion. I'm sure you will continue to do well and the "serious planning" will happen because you ARE after all, a business woman so you know you do what needs to be done. And you'll do it. Wishing you a happy birthday when it comes. I LOVE your books so I'm glad to hear you'll be writing them 'until the very end'. Best to you, Adrienne (Ande) in Minnesota :-)

Aurian said...

Great post. Here in Holland, it is a law that you start contributing to your own pension when you have a paid job. This starts at age 25, or earlier if you get married. (Strange, right?). So, I have been contributing to the pension company for quite some years, but now they have lost most of their funds in the bad economy (squandered in bad investments), and have to up their rates and cut down on what they pay the people who have earned their pension. And of course, the government has raised the age of retirement to 67 now, and that will perhaps be changed to 70. So, when I ever get there, how much of my money will be left for me?

Deb said...

Ande, that's a great story. Your dad sounds like he was a wonderful person. And you made my day extra special with your kind words.

Aurian, In the U.S., we contribute a portion of our wages to social security, which sounds like your pension. And like Holland, the age we can collect keeps going up. We also worry that there won't be anything left.

Jeannie D. said...

Good for your! live life to the fullest,enjoy what you have, don't worry about what you don't. We get old soon enough without worrying about it. I love your books and I am glad you plan on writing til the end, which I hope is a long long time from now.

Barbara said...

The financial experts who tell people to start saving for retirement in their 20s always crack me up. Who has any money to spare in their 20s? And especially now when they have so much to repay in student loan debt. In your 20s you don't think you'll ever be old enough to retire. Of course, we're retired and wish we had more money saved, but really . . .

Linda McDonald said...

I agree about finding what you love in life and do it. And though I realize that saving for retirement is a good thing, I also know that we need to live here and now because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. A friend of mine retired in March (at age 62), was diagnosed with cancer in April, and died a couple of days ago. He had planned for his retirement for years, and never got to enjoy it. So live now, pursue your passions, and yes, put a little money away, but don't put off those vacations, dinners, etc.

Deb said...

Well put!

paul said...

financial advisors are living in la-la land with their la-la land advice

i remember some years ago the dumb look of shock on our financial advisors face when he thought my wife and i were crazy that we weren't stashing money away for retirement

and i had to explain to him that even though we both worked my wife and i lived from paycheck to paycheck and sometimes we even had to - gasp! - use a credit card for some needed groceries

neither my wife and i are big spenders - almost all of the furniture in our house was given to us - i think financial advisors seem to forget the purchasing power of the almighty dollar has been eroding for decades

Deb said...

I agree, Paul. Apparently these 'advisors' never had to make ends meet.