How to retire without a huge pension and enjoy it, Part 2
Thanks, maybe someone else will chime in .
Wish I had the money and knowledge 40 years ago that I've picked up the last 10 . So much more to learn in this economy.
Yep, I have to admit to having on several occasions blown enormous amounts of money for naught. I refuse to spend time feeling badly over it. I need to use the times that has happened to instill in my mind that I don't want that to happen again. Money sure goes quickly when a person isn't paying attention.
I recently was blessed with a check from my now deceased father in law for over ten thousand dollars. I was floored upon receiving the check and in shock for some time afterwards. It came a couple of weeks before Christmas and I was able to have a very decent Christmas after all. This past year has been one in which my husband and I have struggled financially and this check and the one his dad gave him before he died has certainly eased things in this household for now at least.
During the fifty six years that I have resided on planet earth, I have known times of both feast and famine. The famine times are very scary for sure, but I suppose by keeping the faith that there is a higher power looking out for me and so far not allowing me to completely destroy myself has kept me above board each and every time I had a fear of sinking. For some weeks now I have been thinking about how I am much like the Apostle Paul who claimed that he too had known both feast and famine and he had the ability to be happy in whatever state he found himself.
Anyway......I am quite happy for the most part and the less I listen to the news about the economy, the better I feel. I have a son who tends to run it in to the ground and it has almost become a task to hold a conversation with him. I am doing my best to help him have a change of attitude so that he is a happier person and not such a cynic. I can't push anything on him but can set an example by my actions, and that is about all I can do. I do admit to giving him a book for his recent birthday regarding how important our self talk is to the type of person we are. If he continues to bellyache about everything in his life, he is headed for lots of unhappiness down the road. I am only able ro recognize this in him because for most of my life, I was just like him. There is a lot to say for aging.....the lessons we learn from our experiences enables us to have the opportunity to turn things around for ourselves. He doesn't yet have the knowledge that he doesn't have to spend the majority of his time feeling disappointed about life.
Anyway...I suppose this is getting off topic, but is what is on my mind today. I suppose I am fortunate that I don't have to go out to work each day and be subjected to the masses who are hurting in this present economy. We have certainly felt it here over the past few years but keep plugging away hoping for a better tomorrow for all. I have been lucky to have been born a cheapy I suppose, because I pretty much live the same way whether I have nothing or whether I have plenty.
You folks all have a good week coming up.
I was glad to see this thread come to life also. I read the whole string about a year ago when I was moving toward retirement (with some concerns). I actually retired as of October 1, 2011 and my husband retired as of 12/31/2011. So we are facing a new life - so different from the past. Both of us have worked all our adult lives (and some teen years also) in addition to raising 3 sons (all grown now - 2 with families). Although I am 66 and he is 68, we hesitated about leaving our good jobs. Money is not specifically the issue (although who knows what could happen - retiring in the middle of a recession seems a bit imprudent). We went ahead with it because we know at our ages, it had to happen pretty soon anyway. We no longer had 40 years ahead of us. I don't think it would have been any easier emotionally in a year or so anyway, so we made the plunge. It is really strange not to have a schedule set by others. I feel like we are on an extended holiday and I also feel a bit guilty to be doing what I want every day (gardening, knitting, reading, cooking, etc.). He is spending a lot of every day in his wood workshop. This is going to take some getting used to - but there is no going back. He seems better about it than I am - more practical. He says it is what is and we just have to get on with it. I know many people would like to be worried about this and not about needing a job. So there is that guilt again. Oh, well.
Good for the two of you stillwood. Just don't get into the habit of sitting in the house and using the T V for entertainment . Lots to do and see away from the house , and I don't mean visiting grand kids .If you don't do anything else , get a small camper and hit the road . See all the things you've read about these years .
D H retired from G M and didn't do anything the first 10 years except prospect for gold in our area of the state . Then he got a summer job delivering radiators around N Georgia . We used that money for our every day expenses and the S S and retirement went to pay off all our bills including a new double-wide M H .He will only work to fill in for a driver that needs time off now . I love it .
Congratulations on the new lifestyle .
Congrats! Sometimes I find myself busier now than when I was working full time. We just moved here a couple of years ago so the first year was spent mostly doing all the things it takes to get "settled in". Then I began to start planting my perennial gardens and revamping the yard that's 40+ years old. My DH is ill so that takes up time and energy that could be spent elsewhere, but as your hubby says, stillwood, it is what it is. You play the hand you are dealt. Sometimes I get into a stew and try to change things a bit too much with that rather than going with the flow of an illness. You learn that there are bad days and good days. On the bad days, chill out, and on the good days, make the most of them. This isn't necessarily directed toward you, just sayin' in general. Our "retirement" was forced and didn't go the way I pictured it going, but you have to make the most of it and as I said, play the hand you're dealt.
For several years, I had time to help a friend at her antiques and collectibles shop. I love yard sales and sales of all kinds anyway, so when I got a pile of nice antique/vintage things ready for resale, I'd take them up to her shop. It allowed me to indulge my love of yard sales even more along with making a little extra cash. Her shop is an hour's drive north of me so I had to stop that when caregiving began to take up more of my time and energy as well as the price of gas creeping up. I've found that if you have a passion like that and start out by volunteering to help someone in their business, once they see what an asset you can be, quite often they will hire you for at least some hours per month. At one point in time after I stopped working, I stayed nights with an older woman who was afraid to stay alone at night. All I did was sleep which, of course, I was going to do anyway. Sleep and get paid for it. Imagine that. I didn't have to do those things in order for us to survive, but since I had to stop working early, it was good to still earn a little of my own money while helping out others in the process.
Well, don't know how I got off on that other than to say it does seem to take a period of adjustment once you retire.
Right now, I'm getting involved in our local Senior Center. They have a lot to offer. They have a pottery class and a creative writing class I'm enrolling in. The center also has exercise classes, craft classes, language classes, dances, and lots of other activities, as well as free screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, vision, hearing. They serve a free continental breakfast four days a week and a nice full breakfast for $2 on Fridays. They also have what they call the Thrift Store open three half-days a week where seniors can buy donated items for very little money and sometimes get them for free. That's a huge help to many. There is a travel club for those who can do that. Membership is only $15 a year. This is my first year to join (true confession: I avoided them for a long time thinking they were a bunch of sedentary old people) ... so once I get busy there, I hope to volunteer as well. Volunteering is something I always did a lot of in the community and church ... tutored for Adult Literary program, mentored troubled teens, taught studies and so forth. Also volunteered at the local battered women's shelter which was another place where I went to work for a number of years after I had volunteered for awhile. They liked to see how people did before hiring them.
There is certainly much to do besides sitting in front of the TV and computer (which I tend to do way too much during the cold months). :-o) But I do write on the computer so it helps keep my mind active and busy. Keeping both mind and body active is so important.
Retirement does take time to adjust to and often many adjustments along the way. Sometimes it's a love-hate thing for me. But in spite of it all, we're okay. :)
This message was edited Jan 9, 2012 5:55 AM
Cville , no way I could keep up with you and those are great ideas for an extra income . Big or little ,every dollar counts
Some people I know go around and collect things off the curb , before the trash trucks come along . They collect things for resale in yard sales and do quite well . I'm not above it when I can get D H to stop , money is money. I love "free' . Austin Tex is a good city for that ,the trucks will pick up anything , so you never know what you'll find as you drive by .People clean out the garadge , easier to set it out than haul it to the dump.
I've been "settling in " for years . Never finished .
Volunteering is a wonderful way to give to others . We all need that at some point
OOh , just heard thunder . Maybe the rains are truly on the way .
Congrats Stillwood on your recent retirement.
Steve has been retired for 3 years this Jan and on January 31 I will celebrate one year of freedom from the rat race I called work. I never skipped a beat - I had my last day of work and then just kicked into retirement the next day. I too am busier than ever. I am a breast cancer and melanoma survivor so help with group meetings on a monthly basis. Steve volunteers at our local YMCA doing woodworking and we get a free membership so we work out there every day. We have a cabin in the mountains and though we close it up in the winter we spend a lot of time there in good weather fishing and hunting and hanging out at the creek.
I love to crochet and make a few extra dollars selling items on Craigs list and Steve carves walking sticks from my corkscrew willow to sell.
I love my gardens but didn't work in them much last summer as it was either way too hot or way to wet. I hope for a better season to work out there this year.
So, what I am saying my friend, is once you get a routine and things you like to do in motion, the guilt you feel right now will leave quickly!
I love reading what others do in retirement . I hope I'm not hijacking this thread , but seems extra money is in line with the orignal theme .
As far as I'm concerned, you are not hijacking the thread at all, digger. Your input is always good. ^_^
Thanks for the new thread.
I wish I could retire, but keep getting new contracts. Manager is trying to work up a severance package for me, but there are so few of us left with extensive knowledge of our products that it's hard for him to turn us loose Been installing hospital software for over 26 years.
Several of our restaurant customers who are retired, have warned me that I will be busier than now when I do retire. Got a sample of that during the interval between Christmas and New Years. Spent almost every day working with our son on the house we mutually bought next to his. Had a ball!! He has been after me for at least 3 years to retire and join his business - he's a master motorcycle mechanic with an international reputation.
I hope DW & I have socked enough away to have a comfortable retirement, but know I have no intention of slowing down yet.
As DW keeps telling me, " You enjoy what you do so much, why quit?".
I have been out of the PAID workforce for about 10 years. DH retired October, 2006. He traveled for his company for over 35 years. From 1985 on we owned class a motohome and I went with him. Now that was the way to travel.....company paid all the expenses. We made friends with his customers and their wives and each trip was a visit to someone special. After that many years the lure of travel lost its sparkle for us. Now we prefer a Bed & Breakfast and let someone else cook and wash the linens. We have days where we do absolutely nothing.....take a nap....read a book...play with the computer.
Those days I have guilt pangs because we were raised with such a strong work ethic. Have found that our energy levels aren't what they used to be. Today is cold and rainy and it is a blessing to be able to stay home and not fight the traffic.
Last week was beautiful weather and I worked 7-8 hours everyday preparing the flower garden for spring.
Will probably hit my "sewing room" in a bit as there are dozens of projects waiting for my attention.
I do realize that all of us are a select few that have the opportunity to retire. Now, next thing we might do is provide a good definition of that word: "retire"
Such enjoyable reading here. Thanks for the input all.
Stillwood, I hope that you will soon take everyone's advice and be able to see the positive side to retiring and not allow guilt to eat at you. Feeling guilt is such a waste of time and sure beats our self image down. The ideas given here today are great. Sort of along the lines of bloom where you are planted. You feel guilt about for once in your life being the one in charge of it? My goodness lady, you earned this rest and deserve it to be a time of real joy instead of it eating away at you. I hope that by hanging with these positive mindedness women you too will soon realize that you never had it made so good as now.
I have been retired for some years now. I had to leave my employment early due to health problems. It is now twenty years since I have worked away from home. I too had to adjust and can remember being envious whenever I would see women dressed in their business suits coming or going to their jobs. I felt as though I had lost my identity because my job had been so much of who I thought I was at the time. You may be feeling somewhat like that yourself. You are really, really new to this and the adjustment may be harder for you than for some others.
After your adjustment period and beginning to realize how wonderful it is to be able to set your own schedule and have time to do any number of things you might have liked to do before but were unable to do due to time restraints will make the adjustment so worthwhile for you. I am fifty six years old and haven't worked since my mid thirties. As I mentioned, it probably took a few years to begin to see that I was indeed very fortunate to have a life opened to me that I would be able to do the things that wouldn't have been possible if I were tied to a job forty hours a week.
I too became interested in antiques and collectibles and also volunteered at a Second Hand Store for a while. I loved it. My younger son was small when I first had to leave employment and so I was available to do things with him that hadn't been possible with my older son. Even though I was fighting health issues at first, the mere fact that I am not longer stressed by going each day to a job has worked wonders in terms of me not living a life with chronic pain. As soon as I was able to settle down and accept my plight, I began getting better.
I know that when I hear my currently employed friends complain about some of the ills that often come along with working with others, I thank my lucky stars that I am no longer having those sort of issues to deal with. I would have never chosen being ill as a way to get out of working, but it happened and I believe I have put my extra time to good use and feel as though I am a contributing member of society, even though I don't hold a paying job.
Stillwood, you may want to give some thought to what the good things are that you derived from working and see if they can somehow be attained in some other way. After I gave the early years of my retirement some thought, I realized that I too had some adjustments to make to the new life ahead of me. It didn't happen over night, but there did come a day when I knew that I wouldn't trade my life today with my old one for a a billion dollars. I look forward to the day that we hear you say the same thing. Good luck, get involved, make a new life for yourself. It will all be worth it, I promise.
Well said , Ruby .
I just wish I could have enjoyed retirement earlier , when health was better and my knees worked .
I am really enjoying these threads and this group of go-getter gals as well. I appreciate you all. I don't know anyone here personally or many very well at all on DG since I've only been a member for about 18 months. Sometimes it takes awhile to find a forum that's a "fit". I hope this is it for me. These are things I really want to discuss and hear other people's success (or maybe not so much) stories.
We need one another as we move into and through the retirement years. I think everyone here has a lot to offer. ^_^
Oh poo , C G , from the posts you've given , you'd fit anywhere . Isn't D G great ?
Thanks to everyone who has offered me the fruit of their retirements - someone who has already had an experience can offer such valuable insight! Not just theory - real experience! I will be thinking about all this and learning how to go forward.
I was surprised at myself at the delight I experienced this morning to receive an email from one of my former bosses asking me if I was interested in helping her by editing a report she is doing for the the FDA - just simple editing, nothing complicated. She first off said she would, of course, pay me and if I was not interested, that would be fine - we would still be friends. She was just asking as we had done good work together in the past. I was pleased to be asked and immediately wrote back saying I would do it (no pay expected, but as a thanks for all she has done for me over 37 years of working together). She was a good boss and I am glad to help her (once). My husband laughed at me and said I apparently have not completely weaned myself from the work world, but he supported my wish to do the job (once). Maybe it is just "nice to be needed" by those whom I respect. I guess that shows so much of what we think of ourselves is bound up in our work identity (for better or worse). At least this can be done at home with a cup of coffee at my own pace.
I think that's great, stillwood.
Everyone needs a hobby - lol - and one that pays occassionally sounds like a good deal to me.
With a government agency, having a good editor for the report is an excellent project. Sounds like your former boss is appreciative of your talent and expertise.
You cannot buy a good reputation, so you have obviously earned it.
Way to go!!
I mentioned "go-getter gals" earlier but adding "go-getter guys" to that as well. I don't know who everyone is or what gender they are so I apologize if I excluded anyone who posts.
Done the same thing Cville. Talked to a lady for a year and it was a Man . Embarrassed !
I just read an article that is totally different that what I believed.
I am married and my husband collects social security. I thought that when I turn 62 I could collect 1/2 of his benefit, but this article says that I will only receive 35% of his benefit if I file at age 62. It says that I must wait until my full retirement age of 66 to collect 50%? If that is the case, I will likely be better off collecting my own SS benefit at age 62 rather than his.
Here is the article:
Yes, everything is reduced by a certain percentage if you take SS early.
I took my own (which is pitiful) when I was 62. When DH started drawing his they added to mine but it will never be as much as if I had waited. I never had a real high paying job so therefore not much in SS. Too bad if anyone believes they can live on SS alone. Not possible and we are super frugal.
Haigher , you can collect on yours and change to his when you get 66 . IF they haven't changed it again .
I collected on mine for 5 1/2 years , as I'm younger , but when he turned 621/2 , I got his and kept mine too , as it was so small . Now I'm in good shape.
Do the numbers for those 4 years and see if it doesn't amount to more than you will draw if you wait
Don't know what the difference is as lou and I crossed posted .I just figgered mine and I actually draw more than 50%of his . Go to a S S office to get good opinion before you lock in on something you regret later ..
This message was edited Jan 12, 2012 1:15 PM
One of the benefits of drawing SS early was recended last year.
In the past you could draw early and bank/invest the money, then when you qualified for full benefits, you could pay back the money received and draw the full amount, and it would be retroactive. Congress killed that option (darn it). We were planning on doing that with DW's SS.
We have always saved and bought investments, so should be OK for many years, but it would have been nice to have had some extra income every month.
Thanks for the info and advice. I did some checking and called Social Security this afternoon and they said I have to draw mine first. If it is less than 50% of Steve's they will give me the difference. But upon checking it appears that my stipend at 62 will be more than half of Steves so I will just draw my own.
Most research I found says that because of life expectancy, women generally fare better if they start collecting early as they often live longer, while men should wait to full retirement age to get the biggest bang for their bucks.
Some thoughts and smiles ... and maybe a few ideas:
I wrote months ago----
Been retired for almost 4 years before age 62 and I will not do anything different as far as preparing for it.Dh and I has excellent communication and always discuss budgets , savings, insurance and Children's education.We have 2 and they are grown.
We believe on saving for the rainy days and if we could only afford $10.00 at the beginning then be it !!! It was very hard at first but DH kept telling me it will be it will get better.
I am very fortunate to have a college education and took advantage of what they offer planning for retirement like a company that offered retirement planning. One thing good is the frequent meetings with financial planners. Took advantage with matching up to 3%.
My job was very stressful and before age 62 I had it. i retired!!!
I missed my paycheck but i adjusted !!! One thing good about DH, i got to spend my paycheck after all the deductions.
I had always been very active in the community as well as my church. I have my own key to my church because i open and close once a month. I do numerous ministries and every Wed i help at our Food Pantry where we give groceries to the less fortunate . We are open 3 times per week and serve over 500 families. I enjoy this ministry tremendously and feel good about it too!!!
i love to play golf because DH is a good golfer and during summer i play 3-4 times per week. DH on the other hand plays almost everyday weather permitting.
there is not a day that I am bored. do i have time to garden?? Yes I do and finds time to do it. i do however hire help for 3 days till my flower and veggie garden is ready.
i hope I did not bore any one.
Good for you Belle . Another one that has it together on what you have . I really feel sorry for those that don't have a clue about finances . It can't be laid off on education , because I didn't finish the 9 th grade . Got married at 16 and went from there . I do believe that you have to have some money to make money . It just takes sacrifice and thrift to get started .I'm certainly not rich , just well off enough to do pretty much what I want . I just don't want much , just to be comfortable , that's all . And Chinese Buffet twice a month LOL
I can only speak for myself, but you didn't bore me one bit, Belle. Everyone has a story and that's what shapes and molds each of us into the people we are now. And bottom line is ... we're all really equal. None better than another whether they have little or much.
We were fortunate to be in the CA real estate boom for years, had rental property, bought and sold homes. And fortunate not to have lost anything when it all crashed. What goes up must come down but folks tend to live like there's no tomorrow. Our "retirement" came early due to an illness and didn't go as planned so it's a good thing we were in the position we were. You never know what a day will bring. But we're okay ... and I'm very thankful.
What inspiring reading here today. It is always nice to be around folks who may have burdens on their shoulders to bear, but who are still able to see the good around them. This living well on a budget is an interest of mine too. I have done it the majority of my life for different reasons in different seasons. Even when the pocketbook has been full, I find getting items for the least cost is a challenge and I like to do it.
C'ville Gardener.....I loved the Dollar Store story. That author described me to a "T." I have been shopping those stores for many years now and have some great finds that I too have used as household decor. They are so great for buying items that will be triple and more the cost at other stores. I have a firm belief in doing things as cheaply as possible. On the other end of the spectrum, I have been an awful waster of money over the years too and if I allowed myself to spend too much time thinking of financial losses, I would drive myself looney.
When I retired in my late thirties, my spending habits didn't change too noticeably because at that point I had been a single parent to two boys and we were already surviving on a shoe string budget. I am much like digger or whoever said that they are very satisfied with their lifestyle, I neither have grand ideas about my wants. I want for very little. As with your twice monthly chinese buffet, there are things that I too will not do without and will stretch a penny in another area to satisfy the area of more importance to me.
I am lucky that even though my parents died and left behind a quite good sized estate, they taught me the value of money early, and I had been employed since about age fifteen and before marriage and the every day work world, already knew about earning for myself and buying according to what I had. Thankfully, my wants for the most part have never been more than what was at my disposal. I cringe when reading stories of folks charging themselves in to high amount of debts. I am the type who wouldn't sleep at night if I thought I owed out a lot of money.
Anyway.....I am loving hearing each of your stories and why you are interested in this topic. Thanks to everyone who is participating.
Loved the "dollar story too "
I used to sew and got pretty good at designing my own clothes and ex D H western shirts . (My mom was a master tailor ). That is , until I discovered Wally and thrift stores . The good thrift stores are tied in with the various churches , where the do-nee can say which church they want the sale money to go to . These are the ones that the various retail stores donate the off season clothes to . OH BOY , now I'm cooking . New outfits for pennies on the 10.00's I haven't bought a coat or a sweater/ blouse and paid full price in years. All my grungy yard sweats are there too .I do buy my jeans and good sweats at Wally , but when they get stained , they become yard work clothes too .Or for painting or those other jobs that ruin (Go to the grocery store ) clothes .
Now I do have a closet 11x7 with clothes rail on two sides the full length and an 8ft closet with upper and lower rail that is full of clothes that I used to wear when I was working, some with the tags attached . The problem is , I've gained 35 lbs and can't wear them any longer and I can't give away a wool and silk jacket that has never been worn . Someday I Might lose the weight and it will look so good topping off the tan , wool , fully lined pants it was bought for . Can't wear them either .I need to go to therapy ! I think all that goes back to the days when I didn't have but two tops and bottoms to wear when I was first started selling and calling on prospective clients .Those were the days that I lost 40 lbs for want of food over a seven month period .What money I did make went for bills and gasoline to go out to work , calling on farmers and ranchers and selling , building up my renewals .
Oh yes , I've been there .Didn't know about thrift stores back then , and that I wouldn't "catch something "wearing used clothes .Even washed first , by hand , at that time , couldn't be real sure . LOL . Forgot to mention I was between husbands then and paying all the bills . Happened twice . But I'm so much richer for the experance back then .
I have never been above wearing clothing or shoes from thrift stores. Have done it a lot in the past. I haven't worked outside of the home for twenty years now and my regular day to day garb is either leisure wear, mainly short sleeveless nightie types of things or stretch slacks and tops. Unless it is a special occasion I wear mainly blue jeans and any number of tops with them when visiting the doctor or going shopping. I began having walking and balance issues about five or six years ago and can no longer wear the cheapie six bucks a pair of shoes that I loved for so many years. These days, the five or six pairs of shoes I own come from Foot Comfort which specializes in health types of shoes. These are not cheap to buy, but they fit well and are doing very well by me and my new way of walking.
I always wished that I had the patience to sew. I took Home Ec. in high school and picked up some of the basics, but never really had a passion for sewing but do admire and very much respect the people who can do it. It is probably a skill or talent that will go to my grae wishing that I had given it more of a try, but heck, not going to beat myself up over that or the other desire to be artsy craftsy that I have carried throughout my life but never given the proper attention to in order to be any good at it. Let's hope we do get to an after life or a second life where we might do some of the things we missed out on during this go round. hahaha Maybe there are quilting and sewing bees in heaven and I will pop up there and already know what is needed and have developed the patience and other characteristics that are needed in order to be a seamtress. Wouldn't that be a hoot? All the things we didn't get to do in life, are waiting for us to experience later on.
Anyway....way off topic there. I am enjoying hearing about how others handle clutter and I believe that having too many clothes is almost universal. I know that there are things in my closet too that I just watch hang there year after year and are never touched.
Digger, there is another Dave's member who goes by the name Huckleberry and she is often seen posting on the Clutter Free boards. Her main de-cluttering or downsizing project for last year was to take control over her weight and she has been very successful with it. You may want to see if you can contact her on some getting started ideas. I believe she used some of the threads here to keep sort of a running journal on her dieting journey. Oh yeah, there should be a thread somewhere on the Clutter Free Forum about what to do with excess clothing. She started it and I believe you may find some of her tips for keeping at the getting healthier gig she has been on for over a year now. You might pick up some ideas from reading that if you can find it.
Anyway.....good luck with tackling the weight issue. I too have been known to hold on to too small newish items that once fit and no longer did whenever I put on a few pounds. We all do that I believe.
Anyways....to all reading.....I hope that everyone will have themselves a right nice old weekend. I hope to. Might be some snow visiting us later tonight. We will see, so far it has been a very mild winter here.
Nice here today too , Ruby . Windows open and fresh air is wonderful .
I'll jump over to that forum and cruse around . Thanks , bunches .