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Old 09-21-2011, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,196,724 times
Reputation: 14007

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...what would you do different to make today better than it is?

I am officially past that half-way point (at least until they raise the retirement age ) and a couple years short of the half-way point through a government retirement pension plan.

I have three kids, two almost to the teenager stage and one just before kindergarten age. I haven't made any retirement plans because it still seems so far off, but I guess I'm getting older because the first half seems to have gone by fast.

What advice would you give to someone like me?
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
Reputation: 32304
It's a good sign that you're thinking about this now. Have you crunched some numbers? If not, you should do so. Get a rough idea what sort of monthly retirement income you'll have if things continue as they are now: SS, plus your pension, plus....? Are there any programs available from your employment other than what is required (what is automatic)? If there are, and if you do not already participate, consider doing so, as saving by payroll deduction is probably the most painless way because you never see the money. My remarks are pretty basic and pretty general; your level of sophistication may already be beyond them, but I wasn't sure from the info in your post.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 3,779,535 times
Reputation: 1292
From the money side, make good informed, and very very conservative choices. You can be a liberal in your politics, but when your own money is involved, be very very conservative.

Assume at this point that you will not have Social security. So you will need SS supplements done by you. So you will need to invest an additional amount of your current spending to come up with the amount that SS won't be giving you. As you get closer to the time, try to look at every possible expense you might have and adjust for it. For example, if you have money today for another pump for your well, buy one, so you have it in reserve. If your roof will need repair, budget for a replaced roof. Make sure you empty your septic tank every 12 months so that when you are retired the system doesn't break down and you owe big time to fix it.

Instill in your kids the ideas that they need to be self reliant, and especially, that any handouts that you are giving them while you are gainfully employed will stop when you are retired. Encourage them to choose a state school to go to, and not something that you cannot afford to send them to and that they will have a huge bill to pay when they get out. $17,000 may not seem much to us, since its only the cost of a car, but to a new student out of college who has to take a dirt wage non-profit job, this will be a nightmare payment. It was certainly a nightmare for my daughter, and as loans go for students her age, its very low.

As you get closer to retirement, remember the advice of people who are not influenced by the "this time its different" boom adages. Within 10 years of retirement start withdrawing your money out of volatile investments and into safe and protected ones. You don't want to lose your nestegg.


Planning for expenses is not just planing for having money, its planning for stuff that wears out and that you will have to buy. Look to buy a vehicle with a huge resale value and inexpensive fixing. For example, a Jeep Wrangler 4 door sedan has a huge resale value, and they are so simple that anyone almost can fix them. Plan for cost in energy to increase dramatically: so put in solar cells while you can, and look to alternative ways to heat your house.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,133 posts, read 20,824,289 times
Reputation: 8293
If I were able to go back that far any decisions I would have changed (except my Lottery picks) would have left me worse off than I am. Life comes at you and you live it as it comes, I'm fine
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
Reputation: 29071
I'd habve divorced the ex then instead of merely 17 years ago. That would have been like money in the bank.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:57 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,068 posts, read 9,529,219 times
Reputation: 5805
I'd have kept up with being physically active. I let it slide, and at my current age it's more difficult to increase my level of physical activity.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:48 AM
 
28,242 posts, read 39,901,543 times
Reputation: 36747
Save every penny you get your hands on. Skip that third beer. Eat in instead of at Mickey Dees tonight. Drop the difference in a coffee can and take it to the bank once a month. Invest it carefully.

I second staying physically fit. It's amazing how fast things can happen and being in shape makes a world of difference when you are recovering. Been there done that.

Don't forget to tell those you love that you do. Once they're gone it's too late.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,196,724 times
Reputation: 14007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Planning for expenses is not just planing for having money, its planning for stuff that wears out and that you will have to buy. Look to buy a vehicle with a huge resale value and inexpensive fixing. For example, a Jeep Wrangler 4 door sedan has a huge resale value, and they are so simple that anyone almost can fix them. Plan for cost in energy to increase dramatically: so put in solar cells while you can, and look to alternative ways to heat your house.
Funny you should mention the wrangler; I just bought a JKU a couple months ago. It wasn't cheap though; it put me 27K in the hole.

There is lots of good advice here so far!!!
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
Reputation: 23711
I planned to retire @ age 35, so I would have been age 5... I would have watched more Roy Rogers and NOT bought the farm .

That purchase delayed my retirement about 14 yrs (and is cause for much more 'tired' in retirement)
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:21 PM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,138,131 times
Reputation: 9518
I would not have gone all in on the oil boom (stock market) in '81.
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