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Old 03-28-2015, 08:16 AM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,260,047 times
Reputation: 4309

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Approximately 2 years ago I came to this site worried because I had a little more than a decade to transition into retirement... I had no idea how to do it. I had no idea if I had enough assets, no idea how to make sure I had enough to live on, no idea where we would live, no idea how I would care for myself if I became infirm. I had no plans. I hate having no plans.

I have no living children, My husband's health is not good and I don't expect him to be long-lived. So all of the above questions preyed on my mind.

I had been searching for a financial planner who would work with me. This sounds really easy to do, but many wouldn't work with me because I didn't have enough assets. There was one CFP who wanted me to give her 2% of my assets and she would manage my money. I didn't like that. I wound up talking with a lot of commission-based people, but I could never really get a straight answer.

So, City-Data has been my go-to. Through everything I've read, through all the people who have so graciously answered questions both by post and by direct mail.... thank you.

This past week I finally walked into a CFP who is charging me by the hour. We sat down at this huge conference table... much like the Mad Hatter with two people seated in a tiny corner. I presented my plan.... the plan I developed because of all your help and ideas, and debates. At first he didn't like it. He kept asking me questions which I was prepared to answer. I gave him facts. I gave him figures. I gave him print outs from Mr. Pfau's blog. He said he has heard Mr. Pfau speak in person and that I am making a lot of sense. To my shame I heard myself say "bada bing". He started subconsciously nodding his head. He told me he needed to think about this.

Today I found an email from him. He says that it is unusual to have a client so knowledgeable, who has come to him with a plan for testing, rather than coming to him for a plan. He wrote: "I believe that could be modeled effectively using my planning software. I would be interested to see how it works."

Ah, I am finally feeling intelligent! Thank you for your wonderful education. Please keep your fingers crossed that my plan for my retirement will work.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
Reputation: 32304
That original post was heart-warming to read, even though I cannot claim to be one of the financially savvy people who has helped you here, being that I am not a financially savvy person to start with.

You are touching on the very best aspect of public internet discussion forums, namely the opportunity to learn from others at the same time we share what we know. I can think of a number of City-Data forums, such as History, where I have deepened my understanding of a number of things. Sure, sometimes we have to sort through a fair amount of baloney to get there, but that is just part of the nature of the beast.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,233 posts, read 8,527,906 times
Reputation: 35652
Yes - this forum and others have the real possibility of making very positive changes to people's lives by disseminating knowledge that even a decade ago might have only been available to the privileged "1%"! Thanks to all!
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:16 PM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,260,047 times
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Escort Rider, you are one of the people whose posts I have learned from. You are happy and comfortable in your retirement. What else can anyone ask for?
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:29 PM
 
29,779 posts, read 34,867,277 times
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Congrats to the OP and anyone else loving it all
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:36 PM
 
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,579,794 times
Reputation: 3810
I have learned a lot on this forum.

Especially social security. Pretty much everyone's circumstances are different.

Thank you MathJak et al.leonora, Ariadne.
Mercia.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:03 PM
 
1,577 posts, read 2,202,242 times
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Wow, I'm inspired by the OP's post. I've been lurking on here reading some of the posts by Mathjak and others for the past year or so, slowly taking in bits here and there. It just was so overwhelming for me for so long ... I've been very resistant to learning. I have a CFP for the past 15 years (after my divorce) who I see once a year to check in with and he has suggested classes offered by the company he's with or our community college, but I just never went. Now it's really bothering me when I read on here about guaranteed variable annuities, which is what I have (he suggested it after I told him I was really worried about the market going bad again). I don't have much to begin with or at least not where I should be at my age (57). But I also have a separate 401k at work so he said it balances things out. Somewhere on this forum it was mentioned in the past about online sites for beginners or dummies ... to that effect? Anyone have suggestion for a good site to start with? Thanks, and thank you OP for sharing your experience ...my very best wishes to you.

Last edited by smpliving; 03-28-2015 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,461 posts, read 5,928,514 times
Reputation: 16156
If the opening poster started this thread as a shameless shill to get positive votes it worked. I gave you one because in all honesty this is one of the most heart whelming threads I have ever read on the internet. I think it's tremendous that you went to the table with such knowledge, I think it's even more so that you took the time to share your experience with those here who helped you and for those looking in who may be in the same position.

I do wonder why the hourly planner hesitated at your plan before realizing it would work.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,461 posts, read 5,928,514 times
Reputation: 16156
I'm sorry, I almost forgot. I'm sorry to hear about your husband. Good luck to you both.
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:07 PM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,260,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
If the opening poster started this thread as a shameless shill to get positive votes it worked. I gave you one because in all honesty this is one of the most heart whelming threads I have ever read on the internet. I think it's tremendous that you went to the table with such knowledge, I think it's even more so that you took the time to share your experience with those here who helped you and for those looking in who may be in the same position.

I do wonder why the hourly planner hesitated at your plan before realizing it would work.
Thank you DaveinMtAiry. Actually I posted this because I was raised to be polite and to thank people if they help me. I wasn't thinking about positive votes. I'm not sure what I get from these votes, but I thank you for giving me one anyway.

The reason he hesitated is because, unlike most, my plan has to take into account that I will be alone. It is a plan for being widowed and having no living children or relatives and having friends as old as I am. That means I need to have figured out how monthly income can be accrued and expenses paid in the event my thinking isn't clear. I could hire a trustee, but that could cost a lot of money and I might not have enough assets for a trustee to want to work with me. In the end, I think what I have set up will work. But I need someone with the proper software and knowledge to test it for me.

Also, he tends to favor Michael Kitces' teachings. However, I find that Mr. Kitces doesn't always factor in that people may not have his abilities/understanding in managing assets and that age might play a significant part in lack of ability.
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