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Old 07-24-2014, 04:02 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,141,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
I really disliked the idea of planning too much for the retirement life we had envisioned as being one of leisure, my wife died just a few months into my retirement and the changes just kept coming. But at some point I finally realized that this is just life, retired or not. We seem to have such a button down life due to the fact of working and child rearing requiring it. Just let loose and see what life hands you when the bills are rolling in and you've got twenty years on the chain gang to go. Retirement planning usually IS thought of as a financial feat rather than seeing the possibilities now that you have time, and money. Basically I'd have to say that things went well, simply because I didn't plan my life with an eye towards great expectations.
Ah, "great expectations." I think those expectations we are wont to envision are what trip us up all through life, if we are not flexible enough to change the vision as circumstances change.

I agree that being flexible and having the ability to re-group, re-assess and to some extent -- do exactly what you said -- accept that this is life -- nothing is engraved in stone -- that attitude is what keeps us open to possibilities.

I know everyone has heard it, but John Lennon's quote stuck in my mind when he first said it and in the years since, it has continued to be somewhat my mantra: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

I like what you wrote: "Just let loose and see what life hands you . . . " I get that. Every day is a new possibility.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:25 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,141,087 times
Reputation: 22373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondy View Post
We shifted gears somewhat due to a parents illness. We decided to change states in the same area of the country.

Due to the housing crisis we bought our retirement home sooner to get a good deal and took longer to sell our old home both due to market and also process was interrupted due to needing to care for parent. Also, slowed a bit by one boomerang child lol.

But, our plan had flexibility built into it in because the plan was to retire within/beneath our means same as we have always lived.
We really are the sandwich generation, aren't we? Taking care of parents and that boomerang child! Almost all of my friends over 55 are dealing with (or have dealt with) these family situations.

You mention flexibility. I am thinking this is key to a successful retirement.

Planning a lifestyle that is comfortable and within one's means is everything. I haven't known many people who did otherwise, and those that suffered financial losses that impacted their retirement income all seem to have adjusted and made it work. My friends are all resourceful people and I learn from their experiences.

I found myself making decisions earlier than planned due to hubby's health issues. We bought our retirement home several years sooner than we had anticipated -- and it is NOT in the place we had assumed/intended to retire (but we are very excited and pleased with where we will be moving). We were able to purchase a foreclosure at about half the value of the property, so we jumped in. Now, to sell our primary residence . . . Our friends are holding their collective breaths, lol. I am sure they all think we are crazy but are too polite and caring to tell us!!!

Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope in a few months I will be able to say things fell in place for us, too!
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:31 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,141,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
except for a lot larger projected balance from 2000 on and not seeing it materialize as markets have been below average since then but things are still solidly on track and it is all systems go.
Full speed ahead, MATHJAK! I think for many folks, the planning is an exercise that keeps them moving forward and is an exciting part of life. It was always that way for my husband. He hit some bumps in the road that set him back and affected his optimism, but good advice from trusted friends and a daily infusion of optimism from me got him through the disappointments. Things don't always work out according to plan, but that is when Plans B and C come into play.

I know you will have a very active and full retirement life!
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:32 AM
 
2,732 posts, read 720,256 times
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Because we were escaping from our jobs instead of running to a fulfilling retirement, we didn't make any plans (or even think) about what we would do once retired. It was all about the finances.

When we retired in 2006, the first curve ball was that we had to move from our condo because the owner below us had started to rent his condo out and the renters were horrible (domestic violence, parties at 3 a.m., stereo blaring). We had to planned to remain it indefinitely (no plans to move since at the time we had to hang on to our current health insurance and it wasn't transferable across state lines). So two weeks after retiring, we were looking frantically to move. Found a place still in the metro area, but 20 miles away and a world of difference culturally.

Next up was the financial crash in 2008 where we lost 25% of our net worth.

Along the way were same health issues.

So no, it didn't all fall into place. We didn't have enough to fill our time and we needed more companionship than each other 24/7. Within two years we had considerably less money to live on for the rest of our lives than we thought we needed. But---since we were capable of adapting, being resilient, and being open to new things, retirement is now wonderful. We have learned how to roll with the punches and are healthier and happier than ever, thanks to learning to meditate, do yoga, and so on.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:58 AM
 
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,577,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Just curious. I know many folks on this forum planned many years for their retirement.

And it appears that many are already retired and indeed, their plans fell in place as envisioned.

I am wondering how many folks planned but then something did not work out either a few years before they retired (or planned to retire) . . . so they had to restructure their retirement "vision." Also, those who went into retirement with everything "on course," but then something occurred and they had to shift gears.

It seems when we discuss "retirement planning," it is almost exclusively to do with FINANCIAL PLANNING. And the second topic would be: Retire in place, Downsize and stay in the same location, or Relocate?

But what about all the other variables?

In my own experience, I would say that more than half the folks I have known over the course of my lifetime planned for their retirement and things went smoothly and the things they envisioned fell in place. But a significant percentage of people had something happen along the way . . . from an adult son having an accident and ending up a paraplegic and in their home . . . to the death of a spouse just prior to or right after retirement. Also in that group are folks who had everything planned, made a move and then realized they were not happy where they had moved. One couple even sold everything, bought a houseboat, moved across country, only to realize that this was NOT the life they had dreamed of for more than a decade.

So . . . what has your experience been? Smooth sailing or Readjusting the Sails?
So far smooth sailing, but
When he's home all the time I WILL have a different answer.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:18 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,141,087 times
Reputation: 22373
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
Because we were escaping from our jobs instead of running to a fulfilling retirement, we didn't make any plans (or even think) about what we would do once retired. It was all about the finances.

When we retired in 2006, the first curve ball was that we had to move from our condo because the owner below us had started to rent his condo out and the renters were horrible (domestic violence, parties at 3 a.m., stereo blaring). We had to planned to remain it indefinitely (no plans to move since at the time we had to hang on to our current health insurance and it wasn't transferable across state lines). So two weeks after retiring, we were looking frantically to move. Found a place still in the metro area, but 20 miles away and a world of difference culturally.

Next up was the financial crash in 2008 where we lost 25% of our net worth.

Along the way were same health issues.

So no, it didn't all fall into place. We didn't have enough to fill our time and we needed more companionship than each other 24/7. Within two years we had considerably less money to live on for the rest of our lives than we thought we needed. But---since we were capable of adapting, being resilient, and being open to new things, retirement is now wonderful. We have learned how to roll with the punches and are healthier and happier than ever, thanks to learning to meditate, do yoga, and so on.
Ugggghh. I cringed when I read what happened w/ the neighbor situation. What an awful monkey wrench to get thrown into your lives. And no way to plan around that . . . what a mess.

We lost a lot of $$ in the crash, as well. And I had already lost big time when Enron went down (thank you, financial planner, whose advice I should never have followed. Live and learn). I know how shocking and disheartening those losses can be.

But you bounced back! And it sounds like the changes in your life led you to new experiences. Once again, it seems to me that being flexible, resilient and resourceful is the key to overcoming the disappointments and finding a new path to contentment.

Your story is hopeful and encouraging! Yoga and Meditation are part of my daily routine, too and I highly recommend those practices. I still haven't convinced hubby how helpful it would be for him to incorporate Meditation . . . Deepak Chopra offers a guided course online. Maybe someday . . .

Wishing you many years of happiness, JAZZCAT!!!
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:31 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,141,087 times
Reputation: 22373
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmyhoss View Post
So far smooth sailing, but
When he's home all the time I WILL have a different answer.
Yes, I understand the sentiment, LUVMYHOSS!

So many adjustments . . . hubby and I are working on the "staying at home" issues right now. Post-surgery for him, and right now, he is dictatorial and tends to treat me as if I were an employee. NOT GOOD. However, I am counting on his attitude adjusting once he is able to get involved in his own pursuits rather than being indoors and overly concerned with my every movement during the day.

I hope you will find a happy equilibrium when that full time presence becomes a reality! One of my friends went back to work after being retired for 5 years -- to escape dealing with her husband's need to make her his personal assistant post retirement, lololol.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,800,954 times
Reputation: 6195
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
The downturn was scary for many of us but I would think the stress of the situation had to be more palpable in the worst hit areas. It sounds as though you were basically optimistic about the future and took a "batten down the hatches" approach, along with staying calm and looking forward.

I have noticed that my friends who made it through that period with the most grace assessed, stood back, took a deep breath and were able to disengage a bit . . . the ones who didn't ended up with health problems that even they think were exacerbated by all the worry over "the future."

One of my friends told me (in 2009) that he felt things would be back on course by 2015 and so the thing to do was enjoy every day with that assumption. Good advice and it looks like he was right with his assessment, at least in regard to the housing market in most regions of the country.

Good to hear there have been no unexpected disruptions!
I had the unfortunate situation of moving from an area with stable but slowly appreciating housing prices to an area that was very "hot" at the time, we bought the house in November 2005 to be built for a move in the summer of 2006. About a year after we moved in the market dived and the house fell 50% in value. But we had put a lot down and were able to afford the payments so we just waited it out.

I have seen people mentally destroyed by the housing situation, though I feel bad for them they were really in over their heads.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:44 AM
 
29,764 posts, read 34,851,819 times
Reputation: 11675
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Hee Hee. As long as those waves were behind you, and not in the form of a tsunami, sounds like you left some turmoil behind and have navigated to calmer waters, lol.

Isn't it a gift to wake up each day and feel excited about the possibilities . . . a walk on the beach, a nice evening watching the sun go down. You have a good life, my friend!
TY, the wife and I our sharing a love seat on the front porch. Each on our tablets and it is raining. Simple basic and awesome. Yes big waves.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:44 AM
 
6,438 posts, read 3,065,752 times
Reputation: 5851
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
We really are the sandwich generation, aren't we? Taking care of parents and that boomerang child! Almost all of my friends over 55 are dealing with (or have dealt with) these family situations.

You mention flexibility. I am thinking this is key to a successful retirement.

Planning a lifestyle that is comfortable and within one's means is everything. I haven't known many people who did otherwise, and those that suffered financial losses that impacted their retirement income all seem to have adjusted and made it work. My friends are all resourceful people and I learn from their experiences.

I found myself making decisions earlier than planned due to hubby's health issues. We bought our retirement home several years sooner than we had anticipated -- and it is NOT in the place we had assumed/intended to retire (but we are very excited and pleased with where we will be moving). We were able to purchase a foreclosure at about half the value of the property, so we jumped in. Now, to sell our primary residence . . . Our friends are holding their collective breaths, lol. I am sure they all think we are crazy but are too polite and caring to tell us!!!

Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope in a few months I will be able to say things fell in place for us, too!
Yep to the sandwich thing. Fortunately, the kids now seem to all have themselves in shape so I don't expect to see them back other than for visits. And on the plus side boomerang child came in handy monitoring the old house and helping get us out of there.

Dealing with my parents certainly gave me empathy for those still working who deal with that. My sister and I frequently said to each other how do people do this while they are still working or how do people deal with this when they have no one else to help. Caused us to tighten up our plans regarding long term care.

The one thing I learned is contrary to my original plan to have a second home at the beach, I have no desire ever again to own two homes lol. Much cheaper to rent someone elses home for a week or a month when we want to go there.

My best advice is now that you're ready to get out of your old home do it as fast as you can even if you have to take a hit financially and move on with your life. Whatever we lost in doing things the way we did, we have almost made up in appreciation on the new house.
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