Happy New Year; and newest forum celebration.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Wow, thanks Terry, and everyone at Dave's that granted us this brand new forum. Welcome everyone.

Davenport, IA(Zone 5a)

Good morning,

How exciting to have a retired forum.

I've been retired for two years now, and finally "feel" retired. lol
It took quite awhile to adjust, as I'd been in the workforce for 43 years.

Looking forward to participating, altho I may just lurk for awhile, to get the lay of the land. :-)


Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Sasha, I'm glad to be part of the growing number of retirees. I too will be around, and participate when I can. I just love it here at Dave's.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

Good New Year's resolution:

Be more proactive in 2008 at preparing for retirement.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I can't retire for 7 years yet, but DH can retire pretty soon if he chooses to do so. We have recently started putting more into our deferred comp plans and along with that we are trying to get all of our beneficiaries updated on EVERYTHING. We didn't have all the kids listed as equal beneficiaries on everything. Big mistake!

Our next step is to find a financial advisor that we trust, and also see a lawyer about a will. We don't have that done either. :(

I look forward to reading what others did as far as planning for retirement prior to it happening.

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

Two years ago I spent an entire summer putting together a 3 ring binder for our children; it has everything in it they need to know when we pass and also a check list of what to do and in what order. It was a lot of work but when it was done, my daughter said, "This is the best gift you could give to us".

There are two copies of the book . . one here in Iowa and one in our safe at the house in California.

The following year I spent putting together information about our manufacturing plant . . that too was a lot of work. I submitted it to two companies who did a complete analysis of the business and it's value.

We received the reports back almost a year ago and now waiting on our CPA, attorney, and the trustee of our family trust to analyze the reports and make some sense out of them.

We do all this to make our children's lives run seamlessly after we are gone.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Twinlakeschef, I think your efforts are to be applauded. However, right now I am more interested in what my DH and I are going to be doing in our retirement (and yes, spending our kids inheritance LOL) than preparing for when we are gone....

(jax) Dundalk, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks Terry for such a quick response, and thanks to everyone who also thought this was a great idea. I am sure there will be much information shared here. I will be here, lurking in the background.LOL

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I hope I can get our affairs in order like you did TwinLakes. I'm a little on the OC side, and I want all of that in order so I don't have to worry about it so much when I retire. I want all that in order so I can concentrate on being retired and having fun.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

It's a good thing, I admired how Twinlakes got it organized. JoanJ, just think that we've all our ducks in a row, so we can enjoy our gardening more. :-)

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Well I guess we have planned some, have participated in a 401 for many years although have not earned as much return on the deferred comp as anticipated due to the market.
We are fortunate that our home is paid for and have heard a lot lately about reverse mortgages, something to consider if needed and perhaps some here are familiar with them.
We do have our wills in order both for our ultimate demise and also living wills so there is no tangled mess or guessing if a crisis arises.
I do have some concern with the prices of heating fuel skyrocketing of whether we can manage in retirement.

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

"Be nice to your children; they WILL choose your nursing home"

I guess I should have added that these were MY projects. DH is the one who is constantly planning for the retirement challenge. My reasoning for these projects were in case we died before we hit retirement.

So far the best books he has read . . and re-read . . and re-read are:

The Retirement Savings Time Bomb . . and how to diffuse it
by Ed Slott

Your Complete Retirement Planning Road Map
by Ed Slott

(we were able to purchased them reasonably "used" on Amazon)

He also subscribes to Smart Money, Money Magazine, and Consumer Reports. (He hasn't said how helpful they are but I know he reads them).

I also listen to Clark Howard out of Atlanta, Georgia, who is a consumer advocate but does address retirement.

Now that our plans about dying are finished we feel more able to focus on "living" and "retirement".

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

I retired in 03....had a lot of heart palipatations in deciding whether we could make it or not. One thing that pushed me towards it was that all my friends retired and I was left with a bunch of 20 yr old having babies and buying their first new homes. I felt like a fish out of water.

Where I worked, offered a buy out and that sealed the deal. It gives me a small check until age of 62...it is just my spending money.

DH got caught up in a company downsizing and was let go. He's in tool and die and no one was hiring an old tool and die worker. He was at the top of the pay scale, now has a pittance of a job, but does like it. He would have died had he stayed where he was= stress was outta sight. Also, where he worked he had no retirement plan.

I am the financial planner for the family and we are doing well. We tend to be homebodies, no big gala trips...just camping in the summer. We did get a trust made so all is fine on that front.

All in all things are working out well for us.

Crossville, TN

I have been a widow for 6 years...living on SS alone. But I make it each month, and am usually able to go to DG RU's at least once a year...maybe more.

I put $100.00 per month in a savings account....knowing that it won't stay there too long. It is for those "big ticket items" that come along perioically...like getting Propane GAs, paying car and home insurance...and taxes on the home. Boy! Do I hate to take it out of that little wee savings account...BUT...that's why it's there.

The new raise that we got this year on SS was about $25.00 for me...after Medicare was deducted....my Supplemental Ins went up by $5.00 and my RXDrug ins by $3.00...so I ended up with about a $17.00 raise....YIPEE

I'm not one that complains that "I can't live on SS"....it wasn't designed for us to LIVE on, but to supplement the income we had set aside....which was nil in my case. Jo

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Dave and Terry, thank you so much.

I'm not retired yet, but I'm so glad this forum is here. It's going to happen whether I'm prepared or not. I think it be better if I'm more prepared.


Southwest , NH(Zone 5b)

Before I took early retirement at age 59 (my husband was 65 and ready for retirement), I read all of those self-interested articles written by financial planners that said you shouldn't retire until you have X number of years of your current income saved so that you won't have to reduce your life style! Well, BALONEY!!! If we all waited for that, we'd be too old to enjoy being retired. So, we took the jump and after 13 months of retirement, we haven't regretted it for a minute! In our case, we put lots of pieces of the puzzle together - pensions, retirement savings, social security, a liquid fund for emergencies, got rid of car payments and all debt except for current balances each month on credit cards. We definitely have reduced our income significantly, but it is something you just adjust to. We don't go out to dinner as often, but without working all day at a job with a commute, we don't feel so exhausted we can't put a meal together! We are also very fortunate to have good health insurance, and that is a huge piece of the puzzle.

The best part of being retired is being the boss of how you choose to spend your time each day. It's all about flexibility to me. When I retired, I told myself that I'd take one year off completely - to rest and regroup and to enjoy some time to myself. Then I'd assess whether I wanted to work part-time or take classes or do some form of work commitment. But, our first year was spent doing home projects we had postponed at 2 homes, so it feels that we have just recently begun retirement in earnest. I recently had a request to do some work in my field again, but after some thought, I have decided that I am enjoying our life just as it is for now. I have yet to feel bored or restless, and I am enjoying taking long walks, gardening and having the freedom to be spontaneous, so for now.......this is just great for us! The main advice I can share is to eliminate debt and then take the plunge.....somehow, it just works out even with far less spending money. P.S.....we gardeners are very fortunate that we have a wonderful "hobby" that brings beauty into our lives......what more do you need? And you don't have to spend a lot to garden....I'm enjoying growing lots of things from cuttings from friends....very cost effective! LOL

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

Thank you Terry & Dave!

I'm saving like crazy 'cause its highly likely I will get layed off. No one
makes it into their mid to late 50's in my field. DH got a package this
past summer. He had an offer to come back (but also was supposed to
return the severance package). He said nope. He's so happy its
making my life much happier too.

I figure I need to pay off the house and save for another 2-3yrs and we'll
be OK. We don't have heath insurance once we retire so that is the
biggest worry. I'm sure that will be a topic for a thread.


Southwest , NH(Zone 5b)

Good luck, Tam! It will be here before you know it!! Enjoy and stay well.....LOL

Davenport, IA(Zone 5a)


Health Insurance is a HUGE factor, when deciding to retire.

My husband and I both have insurance through our previous employers (he-union ins, me-company ins.) We each pay $300.00 PER month!!
Then there's all the co-pays at DRs, and monthly RX's, plus the major medical that we are responsible for, before the ins. co. picks up 100%. So far, we're running around $11,500/per year.

No body should cut themselves short, or figure future med. expenses on the low side.

We planned ahead, and we are homebodies-did all our remodeling, landscapeing and building before retirement, so money isn't too much of a problem, together.

He's on Soc. Sec. disability, and will be for the long haul. I think I'll draw my S.S. at 62.


Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

Health insurance is our big worry. I am on Soc Sec disability and currently on Dh's health insurance. When he retires it will be medicare for us both. I have more than my share of medical bills and medication.

I am 60 and have been on SS for almost 7 years now.

DH really likes his job, he isn't interested in retiring for a long time. He changed careers and has less stress plus less income so we have taken the first step in reducing expenses to accommodate for that. He is 60 so it will happen even if he doesn't want it to.

Our only retirement plan is what we saved over the years. Our house and cars are paid for.

It seems that the biggest expenses are utilities, food and medical. None of which we can do without.

We did so much traveling when we were younger that now we just want to hang out at home or our cabin when we vacation.

That is a brief summary of where we our in our retirement plans.

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

How much can one trust the medicare system will still be there when we need it? Maybe if it went broke our government would come up with something different to help us?

Victoria Harbour, ON

Great thread..I'm only 60 this March..lordy I've retired twice to date..always something in the workforce that calls me back..

Took a part time job until BIL (boss) found someone, well he didn't look too far from my desk as it was 2 years in Nov. I've been here...lol...

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