Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, December 5, 2016

What does retirement look like for you? (Question of the Month)

         If you haven't done so yet, please vote on my current Battle of the Bands post which can be found here.  


Question of the Month

       The Question of the Month is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined. The first Monday of each month I'll be answering a question posed by Michael prior to event day. Click on the link to his blog for more participants. 







What does retirement look like for you?

        As one who is already retired I have some advice for those who aren't: Make sure you're financially prepared!  My job history never provided for any type of retirement plan other than Social Security and in all honesty I never thought about it that much.  Besides, my retirement was kind of forced on me--I didn't expect it when it came as I had planned on working much longer.

         When I was last employed I was working as a manager of a wholesale costume company near Los Angeles. I'd been working there for 18 years when my branch was shut down due to economic situations and changes in the way the industry was starting to do business. In a sense, the internet had a hand in my job loss and the internet has had a control over my life ever since.

         My blogging is an offshoot of being retired and not finding a suitable job replacement.  When I hit 62 I went ahead to go officially into retirement phase and collect my Social Security benefits.  I still keep an ear open for money making opportunities, but so far to no avail.

          Thankfully my wife is still working as a teacher so that we've been able to travel during the summers and other times of the year.  But when she's working, I'm pretty much holed up at home which is prime time for blogging activities or other endeavors.

           Since I never thought much about retiring, I had not much in the way of expectations about retirement.  It is nice to follow my own pursuits and not have to work for someone else all day.  Still, I do miss the work to some extent and especially the paycheck.

         When my wife retires in the next few years we'll have to figure out what to do next.  Our children and grandchildren live back east, which means we don't see them much now.  We might need to address that when she retires.  It would be nice to be closer to them so we can see them more often.

        To my thinking, getting older should include being with the immediate family more often and participating in grandchildren's lives.  My mother was fortunate to have a lot of family nearby or who visited her frequently.  That added a great deal to her life and I'd like to see the same for my wife and I.

            No matter what happens though I believe that God will provide the best for what we need.  My life has been rich with blessings and I feel that good things are ahead.

              Where would you most like to go to retire?   Do you like to be close to children and grandchildren?   Did you plan (or have you been planning) your retirement wisely?  




          



43 comments:

  1. I am way past retirement age, I travelled quite a bit as you may well know. Due to a bad relationship which ended two years ago life has changed, but I hope to persue my travelling when I can fully forget the horrors I went through.
    Have a happy week Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, you certainly were able to do some fine traveling. Too bad about the relationship problem and other setbacks. Hope you can travel again soon.

      Lee

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  2. Had to scramble at the end, fortunately during the Clinton years of higher CD/IRA gains, and stayed with a job I wasn't too thrilled with for 17 years. This gave me a small pension and small savings. Relocated to an area that has a lot of good things happening (for free) and picked up a part-time position with Monticello in the gift shop. Life's been good! Even though I have to live within my means and my means aren't much, I still feel content and do what makes me happy. My children/grandchildren are scattered all over yet we manage to have amazing get togethers off and on, and stay connected through phone, email and Facebook. All is well! :)
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/

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    1. MLQ, I got my job in L.A. at just the right time in my life so that my children could finish out school and I could get settled into a regular off-road life which was good prep for retirement. Your life sounds like you've gotten to a nice point. Later in life I think a lot of our wants change making living within means easier to do.

      Lee

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  3. At least you didn't have to greet at WalMart or something.
    We didn't start saving for retirement until we were in our thirties, but we've planned ahead enough we'll be all right when I retire early. What's scary is I work with so many who have zero retirement investments. They probably will work until they die.

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    1. Alex, I applied at WalMart before I was eligible for SS, but never heard from them. I was probably "overqualified". I think there are a lot of Americans who are not prepared for retirement because they approached it the same way I did.

      Lee

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  4. Retirement is a long way for me, but my life is a bit different than most people's... I'm disabled, so the financial part and free time part are two things I know about now.

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    1. Chrys, I guess in the ways you mention "retirement" would be similar to your current situation.

      Lee

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  5. It is so true that a lot of people are under-prepared. My husband had to take early retirement because of a work-related back injury. It makes him unable to do the work he used to do, but not completely incapacitated thank God. Because he was 65, he was able to get Social Security Disability which means his benefit is the same as if he had waited to retire until age 67. I work from home so even though I am seemingly working all the time, I can do so in my pj's if I want and it hardly seems like working. Financially, we have some annuities which are fixed so even if the market tanks, we'll still have some income. We'd love to do some traveling as we have not had the chance to do much of that. Have a great week, Lee.

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    1. Janet, it would be sad to have to retire with extreme incapacitation. Good that your husband was able to get his full retirement though. Too bad that so many have to wait until retirement in order to travel or maybe never get to travel at all. I feel so fortunate for the travel I was able to do.

      Lee

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  6. Retirement can be a shock for those unprepared for it. We're lucky in that 5 of our 6 children have settled nearby. The 6th, our only daughter, is just getting started on her career, so we don't know where she'll end up.

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    1. Susan GK, I'd prefer to be much closer to my kids so we don't have to make visiting a major vacation--though the big vacations are nice. I'm sure there are a few people who'd prefer to be far from their kids, but I don't really get that.

      Lee

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  7. I have zip for retirement as that takes money in the first place, eating comes first haha Not having to bother with a 9-5 and a boss would be grand though.

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    1. Pat, it can be very difficult to save depending on how much you're making. And then there are the cases like mine where situations occur when you spend any savings coming right out into retirement. If I hadn't received a stretch of unemployment benefits I'd really have been in a fix.

      Lee

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  8. Replies
    1. CW, for me retirement is basically the same as working except not going to a job site or getting a paycheck. Young people should listen when they are advised to save money and prepare for retirement, but of course I didn't pay much attention to that advice.

      Lee

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  9. Wow, an unplanned retirement sounds scary, but I'm glad you've made the most of it. I get the desire to be closer to your children and grandchildren; that alone could save you some travel money. I agree, God will handle future well.

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    1. Toinette, it was bad being caught off guard from a financial standpoint, but psychologically I was prepared because I could see for several years what was happening to the industry and the economy. God knows what is best for me and I have trust.

      Lee

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  10. My ultimate goal is to someday make aliyah (move to Israel), though I have no idea if I want to retire there or move there while I'm still relatively young. (I'm still under 40, but I'm not as young as I used to be!) I used to think I wanted to settle in Haifa, since it's Israel's best-integrated city, with the friendliest interfaith relations (like a yearly Christmas party for all faiths at a place called the Santa Claus House), but then I fell much more strongly in love with the peaceful Galilee. I want to live right on the lake, perhaps in the holy city of Tiberias. Interfaith relations are pretty friendly there too, and the whole region is so calm and peaceful.

    I don't have any kids yet, but I'm still holding out hope of having at least one before I'm too old. Perhaps I'll finally find a husband in Israel, or if I move to another city in the U.S. before moving overseas. Perhaps my parents might consider moving with me, though they seem pretty happy since retiring to South Carolina last autumn.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, there could be something to be said about a move to Israel especially from the standpoint of Biblical prophesy. Your parents are probably near my age and I know I'd be unlikely for such a move .

      Lee

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  11. That's tough when one has to retire before one is ready. I have seen this often in my line of work and it can often be very sad. Personally, I hate the word, restructure, because that is what people hear just before they are canned and many have been T their jobs for many, many years. I do have rrsp's which I am glad about. I hope that I can keep working at my job until I am 65 which would mean I would be there for 38 years. You never know what life throws you so you just have to keep plugging along.

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    1. Birgit, well if you're still under age 30 (if my math is right according to the figures I'm reading) then believe me, a lot can happen. When I was 30 I felt invincible and that I'd never have to think about retirement. Economy and the world situation can change in a matter of a few years. I feel pretty fortunate with the life stability that I've had.

      Lee

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  12. Sadly, I'm mostly in the not thinking about retirement boat. Of course, I still feel like I'm trying to figure my life course out because nothing has really gone how I expected it to at this point in my life. I do believe God will work things out. It is good to know that God knows what the future holds even when we can't seem to figure out the present.

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    1. Elizabeth, not thinking about things like retirement is my usual operating plan in life. Besides I've seen so many people make plans that get radically changed and sometimes these people are devastated. It's okay to plan, but we should have no absolute expectations that anything will turn out like we think it will.

      Lee

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  13. That must have been a bit scary to retire before you were really ready to.

    My wife and I retired on the same day. I'm 8 years older than her, so I was going to work 8 years (or close to it) longer and wait for her. Fortunately, she was offered an early retirement 5 years before she was eligible. She wanted to talk about it, and crunch numbers. I didn't even want to talk about it, I kept pushing her retire the first moment she could. It cost her more than 10% of what she would have received had she waited. She finally agreed to retire. We discovered that we needed a lot less money than we had thought. We used to travel a lot and were able to do pretty much whatever we wanted. We still travel, but now do it in an RV (NOT top of the line), and rarely eat in restaurants, and almost never stay in hotels. It's now been about 8 years, and so far so good. I also tried to convince her to move somewhere that was rural, or even to a wilderness area. I didn't get my way on that front, and haven't made much progress since. We have 5 kids, and several grandkids. Like you, she doesn't want to be that far away from them for extended periods of time. I get it, but still...

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    1. Pat, your case has one of those positive outcomes that is an argument for wise planning for the future. It sounds like you are living the life that many dream of.

      Lee

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  14. retirement is not an end to me it is new beginning of life after being so much attentive and careful about things , it is time for being little moody and adopting new ideas to be USEFUL for yourself and for surroundings .

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    1. Baili, you have a good outlook on the future. Every day is a beginning of a new life chapter, but often we fail to recognize that and except our days as mundane continuations of a long boring drawn out chapter. Getting older can require a lot of adaptations that should be taken in stride as challenges and not burdens.

      Lee

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  15. Being prepared financially: wise words there! I got a late start in preparing for retirement and just hope that I'll have enough saved to sustain an enjoyable retirement.
    I think being close to family is so important, especially as you age. You'll need family close by as those twilight years settle in. I'm still trying to talk my Mom into moving here with me so I can take care of her. I was fortunate to have both my parents stay here with me in Texas for the last year and was grateful to be able to be with my Dad when he passed. I would've been devastated had that happened with him hundreds of miles away. So if you can make it happen, plan on being close to your kids.
    I don't have kids so I guess I'll have to depend on the dogs to take care of me! :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I was on a road to amassing a tidy sum for retirement, but then the end of income messed that up. Hopefully I'll be closer to my family in a few years, but whatever happens is what I need to accept with a positive attitude.

      Lee

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  16. My husband claims I will never retire. Downfall of being self-employed.

    I would like to be closer to my husband's parents, but there's a reason I'm on the east coast and my family is on the west.

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    1. L.Diane, I've know a number of self-employed people who continue to be involved in their business late in life even if their children have taken to running things. In a way I guess it can be called a downfall, but likewise it can be considered a raison d'etre.

      Lee

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  17. I never expected to 'retire early', but as it turns out I'm only semi-retired. Which means I often run into patches of chaotic busyness - when I'd rather be reading or writing. Or blogging;-) At least I am able to work from home. We're pretty well set for retirement but neither of us are ready to not have anything to do.
    This is where hobbies and socializing become so important. The best thing about blogging is that no matter where you go, you take your friends with you. The value of friends and family increases with age, I think. When you're young it's harder to image life without those things because you haven't yet experienced the losses that occur over time.
    When we do become full-fledged retirees; he with his fishing pole and me with my laptop and books, I do hope health insurance is cheaper ;-)

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    1. Diedre, I hope I can stay on my wife's health insurance after she retires, but I don't think I can.

      Lee

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  18. I like how you wrap up by identifying the fact that God is able to provide for your needs. Not that we aren't expected to exercise wisdom or can foolishly throw our money to the wind...

    My children aren't married yet and don't have any children of their own, but I definitely hope to be part of their lives as we all grow older. I don't know if you necessarily need to move to the same town/city as there's always a chance they'll pull up stakes and move elsewhere, but being within 2-3 hours drive seems optimal. That way you're close, but not too close :)

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    1. Susan, we need to be as responsible as we can be, but still things beyond our control can interfere. Some distance is probably wise. Then there will be cost of living factors that will require moving to a nearby state.

      Lee

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  19. That's something to really think about...

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    1. jg, as though we didn't have enough to think about already.

      Lee

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    2. Yeah...Can't help not to, though, not where I am geographically and financially speaking.

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  20. I plan to retire...never. I want to write forever. I have accepted that one day I will die though. That just might be my true retirement.

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    1. Sheena-kay, I can see myself doing just that as well.

      Lee

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  21. Great advice about the financial planning,Lee! Hubby and I have never been much good at saving money and got a very late start with retirement planning. We'll likely have to earn extra money for as long as possible, because we do like to travel and enjoy life. It's going to be a tough adjustment, but at least our home is mortgage-free and has increased substantially in value. That should help!

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    1. Debbie D., I'm hoping I can find ways of earning extra money. Yeah, there's always the house. I hope if we decide to sell there will be a very strong housing market when we do.

      Lee

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Lee