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Old 02-11-2014, 05:09 AM   #85
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The new term for "Retirement", is "Restylement". Be right with the person you are with, place you are living, and develop purpose regardless of compensation or not.

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Old 02-11-2014, 06:29 AM   #86
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Planning for retirement is not all that difficult except that now we live in what I call "The have it all now environment". I believe it began with our generation with ads such as "Fly Now Pay, Later, no interst for 90 days etc. Many of us bought into that advertisement and IMO oit has nly gotten worse.

I say it is not all that difficult to plan for retirement, however, it takes self discipline, restraint and in many cases the ability to say no to our children when they want the latest game, clothing etc.

I subscribed to my parents philosophy about planning for retirement. They were born during WW1, raised through the Great Depression (my Mother in an orphange) fought and lived through the 2nd WW. Neither graduated from high school. My dad did have a steady job as a janitor/maintenance man but it never paid much. Their philosophy was to fold. First and foremost was to save 10% of each pay raise no matter how small or large it was. When I asked why, Dad told me we lived without it before so we can live without it now. The second was to pay cash for everything except the fist home they bought. As a result of this philosophy they lived very well in retirement. they went on cruises took their children on vacations and when my Dad passed left my Mother with a very nice nest egg to live on.

To some extent my wife and I have tried to follow that philosophy and have been somewhat successful throughout the years.

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Old 02-19-2014, 08:47 PM   #87
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Time to spend, not save

I just talked with our financial guy....good news, we are good to go, per plan, in 7 months. The interesting nugget from our conversation was his question, are we ready to spend and quit saving? I thought this a strange statement but assured me that most of his newly-retired folks struggle with this concept, after years, decades of saving.
I wrote a bit about it here.... Stop Saving, Start Spending | A Voyage To Retirement

I guess I will see in 7 months. Meanwhile, we have our new Bambie ready to head out.....can't wait
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:37 PM   #88
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13 years after saying goodbye to the working world, I can confirm the transition trauma from saver to spender in mindset lingered for about two years. It wasn't until I re-categorized my prior monthly 'savings' as 'retirement payments' did I get comfortable with the notion that I was now enjoying what I had bought years ago by doing without instant gratification.

My philosophy during the 'labor' years followed urnmor's storyline and the rational became habit. I still question whether I need something beyond the survival basics as all my desires are easily met by rote behavior while I am consuming my investments' income stream.

Bonus: If SSI is still solvent in 10 years, I'll be good to splurge for far longer than this body can last and the Airstream may get her third owner sooner with the upgrade :-)
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:36 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I knew I'd never get wealthy on a Government paycheck, so my financial planning for retirement started two decades ago. I started by estimating what my retirement pay would be, based what my salary was at the time. Then I made a concerted effort to live on just that, and bank/invest the difference. Every year, if I got a cost-of-living increase, a promotion, or other pay increase, I recomputed my estimated retirement pay, and adjusted my budget accordingly.

I've known far too many coworkers who couldn't afford to retire because they couldn't take the pay cut and still pay all of their bills. I didn't want to be like them. My simple plan seems to have worked. That simple adjustment in my standard of living allowed me to pay cash for a new Airstream Interstate two years ago. And a year later, to pay cash for a toad to pull behind it. And still have close to three years' worth of retirement income scattered among my various accounts and investments, while still being eleven months away from retirement.

And best of all I'll only be 56˝ years old when I retire from Federal service, so I should have plenty of years to enjoy my retirement. I could increase my retirement income if I kept working for a few more years, but why? I don't have any dependents to leave it all to. All I need is enough to live on; as long as I don't run out of money before I run out of life, or vice versa, I'm good.
A lot of good advice there, especially the part about saving and then paying cash for things. I am very fortunate to have a like-minded wife. We have both been "savers" and "cash customers" all our lives. There is a big disparity between the interest paid to "savers" and the interest charged to "borrowers", which goes to what is pleased to call itself the "financial services" industry. It's best to stay on the "savers" side of that Great Divide.

We married (second marriages) during our working years and agreed that our criterion for retirement was zero debt, including having the house paid off, and X bucks in investments. We met those criteria around age 60 and retired. We've been retired for more than ten years. We are still debt-free and now have about 2X bucks in investments.

That's the way it's supposed to work, and to our joy and wonder, it has. We've been through some rough times for investments--think 2007-2009!-- but we approached the problem like sailors--reef the investment sails, batten the hatches, hang on, and trust the ship to hold together. It did, and here we are.

My wife has a couple of small pensions. I have no pensions aside from Social Security, and after saving for many years, it does hurt a little to "write my own paychecks" out of my IRAs. (For various reasons I ended up with three of them.)

I try to skim no more than 5% per year from each of them. In a good year the IRAs are still supposed to end the year with more money in them than they had at the start of the year. Most years they do, a phenomenon of which I stand in awe.

My wife and I are now at our biblical "three score and ten", and it's beginning to dawn on us that every year it gets more likely that we will run out of years before we run out of money. Which is OK. Our kids can use the money--especially with the likelihood that neither Social Security nor Medicare are going to do them much good.

Meanwhile, we take off with the Airstream and go pretty much wherever we damn please, whenever we damn please.

Life is good.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:37 PM   #90
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I retired at 52. That was 17 years ago. Haven't looked back.
I watched my parents struggle their whole life. Swore I would never be in their situation.
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:01 AM   #91
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Don't worry about being "ready to spend and quit saving". Just follow the "What did you buy for Your AS" messaes and you will have no problem spending
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:27 PM   #92
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May 2nd will be my last day in the office, with June 6th being the "final paycheck". This thread has been timely reading and filled with great thoughts and advice. Thank you each for that.

We've got our first three Airstream trips planned and that's before the 4th of July. We have project lists - Marie's list, my list and our list: all ready to go and plenty to keep us occupied. We have a plan, a back-up plan, and a backup-backup plan, and if that all goes awry, well, we have shelter that we can take with us, thanks to the miracle that is aluminum (pretty good engineering in its own right.)

I can't help wondering, how many National Parks can we fall in love with, in the time we have?

Thanks for the posts,

Roy and Marie
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:34 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by 64airstream View Post
I can't help wondering, how many National Parks can we fall in love with, in the time we have?
All but seven. Can't drive to Hawaii.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:19 AM   #94
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Next Chapter

Five days left as a Federal contractor for the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, helping Veterans of the Reserve Components before, during and after deployments. Last pay check 8 March.

We have sold our furniture and have spent the last two nights in the Airstream. Friday we clear quarters (our rental house) with the property management company.

Saturday we hit the road for an extended trip (1-2 years) and an other serious lifestyle change. First direction from Lincoln City OR is south on Hwy 101 and California Hwy 1 all the way down the coast to San Diego. Then two months in Mulege' Baja California Sur, Mexico. Then North to Colorado for awhile. Then, who knows?
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:40 AM   #95
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You have a beautiful trailer Colonel. Enjoy your travels!
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:20 AM   #96
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I agree, what a beautiful rig and a great adventure. Keep us posted on your travels.


Great comment. If you don't mind, I'm going to use that line when I'm asked what I'll do in retirement, "Visit all but seven National Parks in our Airstream." By the way, last fall after searching several of Hawaii's islands, we finally spotted the illusive Airstream. Apparently, a rare sight. This one is on the big island at the northern-most point. That's the Pacific to the left.

Roy and Marie
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