Boy the years pass quickly when you’re not paying attention! We (the Bosslady and I) can actually see an end to the proverbial employment tunnel. We were discussing various retirement related items the other day:
– When are we going to retire?
– What are we going to do in retirement.
– How much do we need?
– Should we downsize the house? If so; what do we do with the current hacienda? Do we sell it or rent it?
Needless to say, it was a lively discussion; but necessary discussion. We had to put many points put off for future discussion. Like many couples, we cannot fully agree. The sooner she sees the error of her thinking, the better (although I’m sure that’s what she is telling her friends about me too!) things will turn out.
The first question: When are we going to retire – well, that’s a complicated question. Her occupation has been hard on her; so she’ll be retiring from her current employer at the first opportunity – maybe picking up a part time job until she can draw Social Security. I on the other hand I am lucky enough to have work where I can make my own schedule, work from pretty much any location I desire. Given the flexibility afforded to me; my plan is to work until age 70, from hence I’ll get the full social security payout. But that may change :).
The second question stirred up quite a debate. I want to travel the country/world in timeshares. Put everything in storage and move from one timeshare to another. I know a couple of couples that do this already, driving from place to place, with all they carry; in a Prius. That might be a bit cramped for us, but proves the concept. She on the other hand would like to have a place she can call home, near some family and friends that don’t rotate a lot (very difficult if we live in a timeshare).
For the third question. It comes down basically to; “what’s the magical number needed in retirement?” I’ve heard all different kind of things, and values. I think it is largely dependent upon one’s lifestyle, amount of debt, wants and needs. We have been working very hard on knocking out the debt portion. What makes this such a challenging topic is; there is no single answer that fits every situation. I ran across a website recently, and this website is actually the catalyst for today’s discussion: Real Deal Retirement. He states in his mission statement, among other things, that “RealDealRetirement will focus on helping you get the Big Things right—namely, saving consistently, investing sensibly, judiciously managing your nest egg in retirement, occasionally monitoring your progress and making reasonable adjustments as you go along.” There are some other websites that I’d like to share with you to aid in establishing, but more importantly keeping; your financial nest egg. My strategy: creating residual income streams for the duration of our retirement.
Financial advisers: They are like those little fish (pilot fish) that attach themselves to sharks (lawyers). Hate them both. One thing I have come to realize, very slowly to my own demise; those little bastards (both of them) are really useful. Although I wouldn’t trust either one any further than I can throw them, they do have their uses. There are a couple of web articles, from trusted sources that are useful in aiding one looking for a financial adviser. Forbes publishes 10 Questions to ask when choosing a financial adviser (sure wish I would have read that one years ago!) and the Wall Street Journal’s article titled How to choose a financial planner. One last webpage regarding investing is called Investor Watchdog. This site is all about keeping others honest. They have a good article on the 5 biggest mistakes people make when selecting financial advisers.
Knowing what I have said about financial advisers and lawyers, there are two financial planners that we like – a lot. I encourage anyone in the Hampton Roads area to visit with Mr. Tim Fitzwilliams from Fitzwilliams Financial. I like him a lot, I have been dealing with him for a while now; and believe he is a straight shooter. On the other hand, my wife likes this young man representing another full service firm, he was referred to her from one of her relatives. Sometimes a relatives word means more than a husbands. Both men are sharp; and both I consider friends. More importantly; both are professional and seem to know their stuff quite well.
There are some serious conversations to be had.
Should we downsize the house – that is another question that raises emotion. Our children were raised in this house. I do not want necessarily to sell it; but I am very open to renting out either the whole thing or just a room or two. It is too much house for two people. If we take off on our timeshare journey, I think it would be a good time for a trial run on letting our daughter run the house. There is a good article on CNBC that asks this very question: Is it worth it? I want to live on the road. The only question, how can I keep the Boss lady happy while doing it?
And finally, as all things – eventually we will stop sucking air and stop pushing CO2. We have already made most of our “final arrangements.” We are going to be planted in a local cemetery after we pass. I’ll be parted out, used for spare parts (the proverbial “hanger queen”), and if not needed; cremated and buried. She’ll be planted next to me, or I her; depending on the timeline of our demise. Either way, she wanted a place for the kids to come and visit, figure’d its the least we could do.
I just hope my son in law picks up his beer bottles and doesn’t piss on my grave marker.
That’s it for today, thanks for helping me think through this. Any comments, suggestions?