Questions on planning for retirement

zofieNovember 12, 2004

My retirement is still 15 years away, but I am interested in your feedback for my own retirement planning.

With all the pre-retirement plans that you made, are there some things that you would have done differently? (Knowing now what you didnÂt know then?)

At what age did you retire?

Would you have worked longer? Or would you have retired even earlier than you did?

What part of retirement living really surprised you, or took a while to adjust to?

Were you prepared for the high cost of medical expenses?

Did you wait until your house was finally paid off, before retiring?

When you retired, did you remain in the same house, or did you downsize to a smaller home? Did you purchase a new home and move elsewhere in the country?

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We were very fortunate that I am an insecure person. LOL "I" did everything right and my husband trusted me enough to go along with my plans. When I entered my second marriage and we got on our feet, I encouraged my husband to save and save and save. I saw buying a new house as an investment and in a few years it was worth a lot more than we paid for it. I also saw that the 30 year loan was paid off in 15 years. We charged nothing except a new car every 5 years. When he retired we were debt free except maybe a car payment. Now for your questions. He retired at 65, there is nothing I regret about how I handled the retirement. We use Blue Cross Blue Shield as our supplemental medical insurance and took out an umbrella policy to protect us against law suits. I found we had more money to live on than when he was working full time because was saved most of it. We stayed in our home, I would not downsize unless we needed money to live on. My husband would have retired at 55 if he could have. We are lucky that he was able to stay with the same employer for 37 years. We have a nice retirement from that company, that with our social security we are very comfortable. I have only worked outside the home about 4 years in my lifetime. The only difficulty I had with my husband's retirement was losing my freedom and having him questioning me, where are you going, what did you buy, etc.. That took some getting used to, but we worked it out.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2004 at 10:48PM
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I took early retirement at 59. Mainly to get out of the workplace. I loved my work but couldn't take the office politics anymore. I really didn't plan well and still don't. I had a small income check coming in and after retirement got 2 small checks from two companies which just covered the mtge pmt and my living style. Then at 62 I started the SS checks which have been helpful ever since. I have my home, the mtge payment is a lot smaller than any rent I've paid in the past. I'm doing ok and still have a little money in the bank to fall on if need be. I think I should have worked longer but just couldn't take it anymore.
I'm happy.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2004 at 8:29PM
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Minnie, I often see elderly working and have thought about what I would do if I needed money. There is a 78 year old woman working at one of the buffet restaurants where we eat. She said she works to get out of the home, for the exercise and to have an outside interest. All she does is bus tables 3 days a week. I wouldn't mind that at all. One fast food place had a senior lady in just to wipe down the tables and chairs during the rush hours. I have only worked out of necessity for 3 years in my lifetime. The other jobs were because of boredom and I think I would suffer greatly from that if I were alone.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 7:32PM
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Our story is similar to Jonsey's...we married about 15 years ago and knew that we were going to be in trouble if we didn't get hot on the retirement planning...We made a plan and stuck to it...The wisest thing we did was talk to an investment counselor and let them guide us...We have change companyies a few times but are happy at the moment...We invested in a house also that we knew would appreciate and make us some bucks...We sold the house not long ago and the profits or part of the profits are paying for our retirement home...The best thing we did in planning was to change jobs several times...each time it mean't a move to another area, headaches, leaving family, making new friends etc etc but it also meant a big salary increase...and we banked that increase..not once did we increase our standard of living to match that increase...Over the years it amounted to some big dollars and every month they just rolled into the bank....We have just retired but with a great deal of confidence and all done in less than 20 years....

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 12:28PM
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