DECISIONS FOR A SECURE RETIREMENT

#retirement #SocialSecurity #PensionFunds #pensions
Recent reports and studies have Medicare funding drying up by 2026, with Social Security only secure for a few years after that.
Geoff Mulvihill reports that many pension funds for public workers already owe far more in benefits than they have in the bank. His article for the Associated Press was published May 26,2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Just two days later, the Atlanta paper published an article by Susan Tomor for the Detroit Free Press discussing how to become a 401(k) millionaire. In summary: start saving at a young age, consistently, from every paycheck you receive. Also, if you get raises, put those in the bank, too, and don’t touch the money, except to reinvest or improve your investment portfolio.
We’ve all heard the stories about people at or near retirement age who have very small nest eggs stashed away.
Obviously, they did not make that a priority as they’d gone through various life stages – marriage, children etc. Some of them might argue that there is no way they could have saved money and dealt with whatever life threw at them.
For the young person, making retirement saving a priority is essential if, of course, you don’t want to be broke in your elder years, when you might have the time to do things that you never had time to do as a youth.
It really doesn’t matter what you earn. It matters only that you take what you earn and use it wisely.
Spontaneous – some might call it frivolous – spending ought not be a big part of your life. Knowing where every cent you have is going is essential. Of course, a life of complete amusement deprivation is not good either. But choose your fun wisely, as cheaply as you can.
Check you daily expenses. Are you buying your lunch at work every day? If so, bag your own. Are you making daily coffee shop runs? Buy a Thermos, brew your own and take it with you.
Are you ending your workweek with “happy hour?” Why not have you, and your friends, pick someone’s house, each buy a favorite beverage or snacks, and gather there instead of at your favorite watering hole.
Of course, not everyone has to cheap out. But for those who insist they cannot afford to save money, it has to become a conscious decision.
Even bigger life decisions, such as how many children to have, and when, should be considered as part of creating a financial future.
Young folks, too, have to decide when, or whether to buy a home. It may be considered part of The American Dream, but there is no shame in renting, if that works better for you. On the other hand, a house can be an investment you could use later as part of your overall net worth.
If you are older, and think you are out of luck now, or even if you are younger and are looking to secure your future, there are many ways out there to earn a decent, potentially lucrative, income by spending a few part-time hours a week. The bonus: if you are diligent and consistent, it’s money no one can take away from you. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
The lesson to learn with these various reports on retirement is that a secure financial future is in no one’s hands but yours. Take charge. Use what you have, to the best of your ability. Perhaps even be open to looking for things that may help boost your future.
As the adage goes, if it is to be, it’s up to me.
Peter

WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE IN RETIREMENT?

#retirement #RetirementHomes #RetirementDestinations #WhereToLive
If you had a million bucks socked away for retirement, where would you live?
Presuming you stay in the U.S., the places where $1 million would last longest in retirement are: McAllen, Texas, 42.3 years; Harlingen, Texas, 39.5 years; Richmond, Ind., 39.3 years; Kalamazoo, Mich., 38.1 years; Cleveland, Ohio, 37.4 years; Martinsville, Va., 37.1 years; Knoxville, Tenn., 36.7 years; Ashland, Ohio, 36.6 years; Jonesboro, Ark., 36.6 years; and Norman, Okla., 36.5 years.
On the other hand, the places where $1 million would be spent the fastest in retirement are: New York, N.Y., 12.5 years; Honolulu, Hawaii, 14.8 years; San Francisco, Calif, 15.9 years; Seattle, Wash., 18.7 years; Boston, Mass., 18.7 years; Orange, Calif, 18.8 years; Hilo, Hawaii, 18.9 years; Stamford, Conn., 19.3 years; Washington, Va., 19.4 years; and Kodiak, Alaska, 19.7 years.
These figures were compiled by SmartAsset.com and were part of an article by Ron Hutibise of the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was also published May 14, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A couple of things are obvious. First, $1 million isn’t what one would call a lot of money today. It may have been a fortune a few decades ago, but no longer.
Second, the most expensive places might be the more desirable places to live than the least expensive places.
As the article pointed out, Fort Lauderdale came in last among Florida cities – even worse than Miami. Your cool million would be gone in 25.2 years in Fort Lauderdale, the article says.
Something else is at play here. Many people at or near retirement don’t have anywhere close to $1 million saved. It’s hard to imagine how they will survive – never mind enjoy – retirement without a decent financial cushion.
So what might the lesson be? If you are young, start saving, even if you have to give up something, or things, you enjoy. Though it may be hard to imagine what life will be like in coming decades, or whether you’ll even live that long, you still should plan for all eventualities as best you can.
If you are middle aged, or nearing retirement, and you don’t have what you think you will need to enjoy your golden years, your choices are limited. You can keep working, presuming your employer is in no rush to get rid of you. The worker shortage many employers are experiencing now, thanks to an economy that has pretty much recovered from the recession, may be a saving grace for you. That’s presuming your health is good, your job is bearable etc.
Still, that could change. You have to work under the presumption that you could be let go any day. You almost never get a warning of when that day will come. You have to keep your eyes and ears on what is happening around you, so you can spot things that might forecast your departure.
Finally, no matter what your age, there are a number of vehicles out there that will allow you to pick up extra money – potentially a lot of extra money – by dedicating a few part-time hours a week. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
If you plan well, you can retire at the appropriate time. If you plan really well, you can retire whenever you want, wherever you want.
It all depends on your diligence, how much of a priority you devote to a good retirement and the sacrifices you are willing to make. It does you no good to have enjoyed life while you are young, only to barely survive in your elder years.
Whatever you do, don’t presume the promises made throughout your life will be kept. Your retirement security is entirely in your hands.
Peter

BUYING A HOUSE REQUIRES MUCH THOUGHT

#HomeBuyingMistakes #homebuyers #BuyingAHouse #DreamHouses
Buying a home is a big decision, no matter where you are in life.
“When you’re in your 20s, your life isn’t the same as when you’re retired, and yet you’re both going to make some timing mistakes (when buying a home),” Natalie Campisi quotes Ilyse Glink, author of “100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask.”
Campisi wrote her article for Bankrate.com. It was also published June 11, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Campisi discusses the various mistakes buyers in different age groups make. Young buyers, in their 20s, often get the wrong type of mortgage because they may not have had the ability to save as much for a down payment. The lesson here is to avoid adjustable rate mortgages, tempting as they might be for young buyers who see a great introductory rate.
Buyers in their 30s, meanwhile, may not be considering a future family when standing in the middle of a downtown condo with great views, Campisi writes.
Middle-age buyers in their 40s and 50s tend to overestimate their budget and buy houses they can’t afford. One can avoid this by figuring out his or her lifestyle comfort level, Campisi quotes Glink. When figuring out a budget, these buyers should leave enough room for things that are important to them, such as private school tuition for the kids, Campisi writes.
Retirees, in their 60s and older, tend to fall in love with a vacation home, Campisi writes. They get attached to a vacation home before making the decision where they might want to retire – either where they live now, a warmer climate location or even another country, Campisi writes.
In short, buying a home requires careful thought and wrong decisions, no matter how old you are, can be costly.
Younger folks may opt for a smaller, more affordable house as a starter, with plans to trade up as they get more financially settled and decide when, whether and how big their family will be.
Older folks may go from bigger house to smaller house, as children leave and the desire for less upkeep strengthens.
But it boils down to money. What if you could buy whatever you wanted, wherever you wanted? For most, that’s a dream. Yet, it could be a reality if you consider ways other than a traditional job to make money.
There are many such vehicles out there for those willing to consider escaping – even for a few hours a week – his or her comfort zone. If you are that type of person, and have the desire to live where you want and in whatever house you want, message me to check out one of the best such vehicles.
The Bankrate.com article talks a lot about the practical considerations to home buying, and less about emotional considerations.
For example, you may have sentimental attachments to a house – perhaps it’s where you raised your family or, as the article pointed out, it’s where you liked to go on vacation.
Remember that adding emotion into such a big decision can complicate matters. So, if you buy a house, think of it strictly as a house – a financial asset that provides you shelter, and comfort, of course. Your home is wherever you are.
A dream house can be created with building materials. It can also be purchased already built. A dream home is wherever you decide to settle. You can create a dream home by making the most of life wherever you are.
Peter