#HappyRetirees #mortgages #MultipleSourcesOfIncome #FullCalendar
There are three characteristics that make happy retirees.
Those are a paid-off, or at least paid-down mortgage, multiple sources of income and a full calendar of activities.
So says Wes Moss, who writes a Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and has a Money Matters radio show on WSB in Atlanta. He discussed happy retirees in his April 24, 2018, newspaper column.
Moss narrowed the happiness criteria down from the research he did for his book, “You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think.”
The mortgage issue is certainly up for debate. Certainly, when one is working, paying down mortgage debt is certainly a good use of money. It’s not a substitute for saving and investing, but if you have a relatively high mortgage interest rate, applying extra money to one’s principal in mortgage payments is like putting money in your pocket.
Of course, if your interest rate is relatively low, and you have a good financial adviser, you can probably do better saving your cash and investing it well. A rule of thumb: if you have a 5 percent interest rate on your mortgage, and you have a good financial adviser who can certainly make you a good deal more than that on your money – on average, of course – then saving and investing could be more lucrative over time.
On the other hand, in a down financial market, paying down that mortgage debt IS a good use of excess cash you might have. It’s certainly better than spending it on frivolous things.
Keep in mind that the more debt you pay down early in the mortgage, the less interest you’ll be paying toward the end of the mortgage. As more of your monthly payment is applied to principal, the sooner your mortgage will be paid off.
Multiple sources of income is also a good thing – not necessarily more income, as Moss points out.
We think of income sources for retirees in terms of a pension, Social Security and perhaps a low-stress part-time job that you like doing.
If you’d been a good saver and investor in your working years, you might also use some of the dividends, interest and other income your nest egg is now earning for you. Try to refrain from touching your nest egg’s principal. Whether you die young or live a long time, as long as your principal is relatively intact, you will NEVER outlive your money.
As for a part-time job, it may serve two purposes. It will provide some pocket money and keep you busy in your elder years. However, if you don’t need the job, your time may be better spent pursuing your favorite hobbies or other activities like, say, golf or travel.
Or, you could add to your sources of income one of the many vehicles out there that allow folks – retirees or not – to make a potentially substantial income by spending a few part-time hours a week. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me. It could allow you to spend some non-stressful, even fun, time adding to your income sources and help friends do the same.
The lesson here is to plan for your retirement while you are young. You never know when you will retire – or be retired by your employer. You never know when that one bad manager comes into your orbit and kills your career.
If you plan well, perhaps forgoing some immediate pleasures to save money, you can retire, as Moss’ book title says, sooner than you think. If you are forced to retire before you want to, good planning could allow you walk away from that job with a smile.


At age 45, some years ago, Denise McColister felt very secure in her job. She believed she would retire comfortably at 62.
Then, her husband became disabled. Their house, which was paid for, had to be leveraged to pay for his care. So now, at 55, she’s working a part-time call-center job. There is no retirement in sight.
McColister’s story was one of several told in an article by David Markiewicz, in the Sept. 23, 2012, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Over the years, retirement has evolved. Decades ago, workers longed for the day when their pensions, Social Security and retirement savings could be pooled into a comfortable life in the last years of life. They’d spent many years of hard labor and this was their reward.
They combined what their employers, their government and their own diligence did for them over the years to reach their dream. They hoped they would have enough good years of life, without sickness, disability or ordinary ravages of age, to travel, enjoy their hobbies or just relax with family and friends.
Today, the Baby Boomers look at retirement differently. If they are lucky, they have a pension, they have, or will have, Social Security and, if they were smart, a nest egg of savings and investments. But, presuming they are healthy, they can, and want to, still work at something that they can do largely on their own terms, so there is time to enjoy “retirement.”
The economy, however, has produced a number of folks like McColister who are not working at a job because they WANT to. They are working because they HAVE to. They are in this predicament through no fault of their own. The economy, or some other life catastrophe, has put them in a position in which, as Markiewicz quotes McColister, they will be working “until I am called home.”
If you are at or near retirement age, hopefully you have things in place that will allow you to enjoy some kind of “retirement,” or at least get you out of the rat race. If you are looking for something that will help in this regard, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. This vehicle could be the financial solution you are looking for, if you see yourself working until you die. Despite the ravages of a horrible economy over the last several years, there are ways out there to generate income. This is one of the best.
If you are young, and not yet thinking about retirement, start now to prepare for that day. Check out a way you can work full-time at your job, and part-time on your fortune. Put a little money away each paycheck, and don’t touch it until you reach the age you want to retire.
Of course, should you be hit with a layoff or some other calamity,that may be easier said than done. Still, you must prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Bad things happen to good people. Having multiple streams of income will help cushion the blows. We must presume that promises made to us, either by employers or government, will NOT be kept. If we do what we can do to prepare for trouble, and it never comes, we are that much ahead of the game. We also have to learn not to blame ourselves, or others, if misfortune comes. If we’ve prepared for the worst, we can use our energy to deal with misfortune, rather than retaliate against whomever or whatever we believe caused it.
What should you do now? First and foremost, don’t presume anything, other than YOU having control over your adversity. Secondly, think about creating multiple streams of income. If you do that, it won’t matter much what happens to you. You’ll be able to deal with it comfortably, without the angst and stress McColister and others face.
The greatest moment of your life is being able to leave a job that has consumed you, on your terms, with a smile on your face. Then, to quote former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson in the AAG reverse mortgage ad, “live the life you’ve dreamed.”