There's just no getting ahead, or so it seems

JudithJuly 7, 2003

As I have posted before, I had hoped to retire in October of this year. I didn't plan very well for retirement and didn't join the retirement plan at work until about 12 years ago and I am only contributing the minimum. So, my retirement income will be around 50% of what I am making now. I had a large dental bill of a little over $3,300 in April, so I dediced to go ahead and work until the end of Dec. Now, my car needs major repairs and my roof needs replacing do to a shoddy job done by a fellow church member who said he had a roofing business. He is long gone from the church and I am left with a leaky roof that also has that dark fungus growing on it so that it is not white anymore. I have been trying to pay off my credit cards and got them down to $172.00 but now will have to put the major car repairs on a credit card and one of my horses has developed a slowly progressing wasting disease that two vets can't figure out. So, my plans for retirement are now on hold. I need and want to retire I am tired of working. I have worked for 46 years without a break but there is always something that happens when I think I might get a head and be able to get the bills paid off. Judith

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I don't know if this is a possiblity for you, but more and more people are choosing to work part-time rather than retire. It is an option I will probably persue whether I can afford to stop working or not. It is a very good option for people who have saved enough to meet their basic needs but still need a safety net against big expenses or extra money to keep their standard of living at a level they are used to. With the length of time that people are living now, it just isn't practical for most people to retire at 65 anymore. Even if someone has worked for 46 years like you have, it is pretty hard to save up enough money to support yourself for another 30+ years.

Best wishes.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 10:18AM
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It's going to be hard for you to retire when you obviously don't have any savings you can use for financial "emergencies," such as the dental work or the car repairs. So long as you continue to finance these events -- which do happen to all of us -- using borrowed money, you're never going to get out of the hole. I know it's not what you want to hear, but you need to not only get your CC bills paid off, but you also have to have an emergency cash fund to tap into when the unexpected happens. If you can't manage that, then Bill is right -- you'll need to keep working at least on a part-time basis.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2003 at 10:32AM
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I hate to say this but now is the time to quit.Get rid of all those things and get a new car.Move into a senior apartment and live a little.They are just things and they will soon be gone.Why have the extra worry. The purpose of buying a home is to cash in on it when you are old.Why let it be a burden to you?If you have children ten times to one they have their own and if you leave it for them they will sell it overnight and it will be gone in a flash.What I'm trying to say "you should enjoy your hard earned work."

    Bookmark   October 23, 2003 at 11:27AM
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Is a reverse mortgage a possibility for you? My parents' best friends did this and it has been a godsend.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 3:18PM
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This post is a little old, and hope you've gotten things worked out by now. Are you eligible for social security? You can work part time and still draw that.

Maybe you could find someone to repair your roof, not get a total new one. Would this help? Ask around about car repairs. It helps to know good mechanics who won't rip you off. Pay the dentist in payments.

Do you have family members nearby who can help if you need car repairs, etc.?? This helps, too.

Also, have you thought about trying to make money from your home? I believe you said you have horses----perhaps you could board a few extra horses. Would that be a possibility? Or maybe there's other interests you could capitilize on from your home.

Have you consulted a financial planner?

And, my final suggestion-----take you a little vacation! You'll get a whole new perspective. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2003 at 5:14PM
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Thank you all for your replies. My biggest problem is that I didnt't spend enough time planning for my retirement, actually, I really didn't spend any time planning for it and that was a big mistake. I did get my car repaired two weeks ago and it cost me over $1,800, which I had to put on my credit card that was all paid off. The car runs so much better and one of the things included in that $1,800 was 4 new tires, so now I feel a little safer in it too. I did apply for Social Security benefits last August and my first SS check is due Nov. 12. That will help a lot. I am still working my regular job and will for a while longer. I have good insurance at my job and since I work for a university that has a good medical facility, I can take advantage of that while I am still working. I did talk to a financial planner a little over a year ago. His advice was all based on my selling a piece of property that I own in another state and that is where a lot of the problems originate. The property has turned out to be not as saleable as everyone always thought. The sale of that property, 9 acres, was what I was depending on for my retirement. It is vacant land that has some wetland and due to houses being built on all sides of it and that property being built up, mine is now mostly wetland, but I am still trying to sell it and have taken steps to have some preliminary engineering done on it. I am trying to get things in my much too cluttered house in order. I never married and have no children or close relatives. I am basically alone except for an older sister on the west coast who is worse off than me and an older brother in Michigan who is in poor health and not quite himself anymore. I am trying to take control of my life and my situation. It is not what I had thought it would be, but I have to try to make the best that I can of the situation I find myself in now. Judith

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 12:48PM
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Hoe about taking most of that SS check and putting it into an emergency fund? Try to save enough to cover things like house repairs, dentl work, unexpected vet bills, etc. That way, you wuoldn't have to use your CC for these unexpected expenses and lif would go much more smoothly. I wouldn't even consider retiring until I had done this.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 10:59AM
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