#retirement #RetireTomorrow #UseYourTimeWisely #EnjoyYourRetirement
If you retired tomorrow, regardless of your age, what would you do then?
Many, if not most, see retirement as a type of utopia – no work, sleep in, no worries etc.
In reality, many never give much thought to what they will do when they retire. They see the end of their W-2 life as just that: an end to be achieved.
They’ll worry about what’s next, well, next.
Even if money was not going to be a problem, at least in your mind, how you spend your time may be the key to a fulfilling retirement.
Some financial advisers sell themselves as a guide to their clients’ longest vacation.
But vacation and retirement are not the same. A vacation is a temporary R&R period. Retirement, when it comes, is usually forever.
Some people are retired by their employers, often before they want to be. That adds an extra burden and importance on what a person will do next. Sometimes, that does not mean R&R.
The pandemic has prompted others to retire, perhaps prematurely, for a lot of reasons: workplace safety, job insecurity etc.
So, where do these questions lead? It’s not just finances that make a good retirement, though being financially OK, even comfortable, is vitally important. But, to make a retirement successful, enjoyable and fulfilling, a person should give thought to how he or she will use his or her time, now that his or her personal rat race has ended.
In short, retirement is a state of mind, a state of health and a state of relative wealth.
It begs the age-old question: if you had all the time in the world, how would you spend it? As a corollary: if you had all the money you could want, how would you spend it?
Both are possible, at virtually any age, by making the right decisions, sticking with a plan and pursuing it with vigor and tenacity.
The adage: “do today what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t,” applies here.
But as you do today to get to tomorrow, think about what tomorrow can bring. Think about the freedom to do as you wish. Use that time to do good for others. Use that time to pursue the things you had little time to pursue before, but always wanted to do. Use that time to make the world a better place for you, and all.
Before you get the time, take the time to know how you will spend it. Work to gain the resources that will give you the options you want. Work to clear your head of negative energy, and infuse positive energy.
Make a plan, starting as soon as possible after you start your career; follow the plan to a great degree. Certainly, you may deviate a bit to, say, buy a house, but such a decision will ultimately fit into your plan. If you make a plan and follow it, then decide how you will spend your time.
You’ve made and followed your plan. Now, make the time and make a difference.
Your world can be what you make it. So, make it with care.


#EarlyRetirement #retirement #jobs #work #time
Are you planning, or would you like to, retire early?
Most, probably, would say, “of course.”
Others don’t plan to retire, unless forced to.
Still others would insist on a definition of “early.”
Wes Moss, who writes a Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and has a same-titled radio show on WSB radio in Atlanta, gives five reasons to retire as soon as possible. He discussed them in his Oct. 10, 2021, column.
Moss’ five reasons: drive time, no love lost for your job, a roller-coaster schedule, a lack of recognition for what you do and being capped out in terms of financial advancement.
Let’s talk about each of these. First, commuting can be a bear. It takes time from your life as a whole, it adds stress to your body and it’s costly, in terms of fuel and wear-and-tear on your vehicle.
Moss also says that grueling commutes can cause stress in a marriage. According to one study, people who drive at least 45 minutes each way to work are 40 percent more likely to get a divorce, Moss writes.
Work-from-home, or remote-working trends inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic may change commuting patterns for the long term. If your employer is flexible in this area, you might decide to work longer. Think of having a beach house, or mountain cabin, from which you could work. Would that interest you?
Perhaps you don’t really love your job, or even like it, as Moss points out. Would working from home change that perception? If you are just grinding out a living at a job that, to be kind, doesn’t inspire you, Moss suggests perhaps finding a new way to parlay your skills by consulting, or starting your own business.
Remote-working options may alleviate another of Moss’ concerns – the roller-coaster schedule. Many people have jobs in which they have to be on site at specific times. Those times could vary from week to week, turning one’s body clock upside down. If you have one of those jobs, chances are you don’t like it. If you can get out sooner, you should.
Being recognized for your good work is also important. Your boss saying nice things about you and your work are fine, but you probably need more tangible rewards. If those are not forthcoming, maybe it’s time to go.
You may also be at the very end of the pay scale for your job category. If so, then ask yourself: am I just marking time for my pension? Or, especially if there is no pension, could I go somewhere else and advance financially? If you are at the top of your pay scale, you may be near retirement age anyway. If you can afford to retire, do it.
There are many things to learn ahead of “early” retirement regarding health insurance expenses and, more importantly, what you will do with your time.
You also have to study the likelihood, even though it’s tough to predict, whether one day you will come to work and be forcibly retired, or otherwise unemployed. Know that if this happens to you, you are not likely to be forewarned.
So, think about your situation, and do what is best for you. At the same time, realize that there are ways to escape bad work situations, if you need to.
In short, if you like your job, stay as long as they will have you. If you don’t like your job, stay open to other options. They are out there.


#HardtoRetire #retirement #jobs #LeavingAJob #OtherInterests
It’s one thing to like a job.
It’s also one thing not to want to give up a business that you had founded.
But, eventually, there will be a time to go – particularly if you are 70-something.
In an article for the Washington Post, reporter Sindya N. Bhanoo discusses a couple of Baby Boomers who, even after they had “retired” officially, could not stop going to the office. The article was also published March 6, 2022, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
What eventually got them to stay away? COVID-19 and remote working.
Of course, these gentlemen were important to their companies. They were highly respected, One had even sold his share of the company, but did not stop hanging around. Staff did not know what to do, how to approach him, whether he should participate etc.
This wasn’t just transitional. The guys just didn’t know how to retire.
There have been numerous stories about people, particularly those 55 and older, who were essentially forced to retire because of the effects of COVID-19, or other reasons beyond their control.
The problem was they were not ready, financially, to retire. In the people profiled in the article, money was not the problem. They were just so comfortable at their offices they didn’t want to leave.
We all long to have jobs we love. Many people do. Most will want to leave them eventually. They hope that when they do, they won’t have to worry about money.
Most people who love their jobs also have other interests they put on the back burner while they are working, intent on pursuing them when they have the time – and money.
That’s certainly a healthy way to look at work. Today’s work environment changes so often – and often radically – that a job a person loves suddenly turns sour. The work life they so embraced becomes difficult, even toxic.
The best thing a working person can hope for is that when it’s time to go, the worker can go on his or her terms, with a smile.
Not everyone – in fact, relatively few – can say that’s what happened to them.
You’ll notice the caveat “when it’s time to go.” The worker may not know when that time is. But he or she can seldom dictate when that time will come.
The lesson here is, if you like your job, stay as long as your employer or company will have you. When the company doesn’t want you anymore – it may not be a decision against you personally – you usually know it. Things will start to happen to make your life difficult.
Preparing throughout your career for that day, since you almost never know when it will be, is the most prudent action you can take.
If you dedicate your life to your job, try to find some time to develop other interests. That will make departure a bit easier.
If you have no interests other than your job, be confident enough in yourself to believe you will find other interests as time permits.
Jobs and careers don’t often end with a handshake and a party. But if you get the handshake and party – or even if you don’t — go quietly thereafter.


#LaborShortage #retirement #resignations #BabyBoomGeneration
It was predicted years ago.
When the Baby Boom generation starts to retire in earnest, there will not be enough labor, given immigration restrictions and low birth rates.
Now, thanks to COVID-19, here we are.
Many folks 55 and older are leaving their jobs –“retiring” – whether they are ready or not.
Some, according to reports, had plans to work well beyond the “normal” retirement age. But the jobs became difficult, perhaps because clients and customers became more demanding (read: abusive).
The lesson for employers here, according to a LinkedIn thread, is to give those 55 and older a second look. They are generally reliable. They generally have a work ethic. Many of those who have retired did so before they were financially able.
Another lesson for employers might be to meet those older workers where they are. Making them work excessively long days for low pay will not do it for them. More flexible hours, better working conditions and decent pay may bring some of those workers back.
The workers, or potential workers, have to think outside the box as well. If your old job is not worth going back to, for whatever reason, but you still want to work, you may have to find something better – more suited to the life you want. That may involve doing something you may never have thought of doing.
A good tip might be: see who is hiring, find out what they want, determine whether they are willing to accept your experience and see whether they have something that will work for you. Many industries need help of all kinds. Perhaps you may be able to cobble together some part-time or entrepreneurial gigs to give you an income that will help you build for your eventual, comfortable retirement.
In the old days of work, older employees were forced out of jobs long before they were ready because of reorganizations , management changes, they made too much money etc. Few wanted to rehire them, because they felt they would not stay long enough because of their ages. Or, there was a perception that because of their vast experience, they would want too much money.
Companies are still reorganizing frequently – some would argue much too frequently. But the idea of having an employee stay in a job for many years has trended out. Therefore, buying a few years from an older worker might just help you out enough until, well, the next reorganization.
For the employee, it all comes down to starting a retirement fund as early in your career as possible. That will help cushion the unexpected blows that could crater your career path.
Like the financial markets, most career paths do not travel upward in straight lines. The same goes for workforce development.
The lesson here is that both employers and employees have to be flexible. A job you thought you would never do may be just the right thing in these circumstances. That person you’d never thought you would hire may be the just the right person in these circumstances.
Employers and employees must, of course, choose carefully and wisely. The Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” should play in the heads of both employers and employees.
As the song says, “If you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”


#retirement #EarlyRetirement #ForcedRetirement #WorkingLonger
Illness, injury, layoffs and care-giving responsibilities often force older workers to leave their jobs sooner than they would like.
So say experts as quoted in an article by Andrew Soergel for the Associated Press. It was published July 8, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But the thrust of the article says nearly one in four don’t plan to retire, despite the fact they are aging.
The article gets that data from an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. It says two in 10 people older than 50 don’t expect to stop working, according to the article.
Government data shows one in five people 65 and older was working or actively looking for a job in June 2019, the article says.
“People have to live in retirement much longer, and they may not have enough assets to support themselves in retirement,” the article quotes Anqi Chen, assistant director of savings research at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Ronni Bennett, 78, was pushed out of her job as a Web site editor at age 63, according to the article. One thing she did when that happened: she moved from Manhattan, where her job was, to Portland, Maine, the article says.
Although she searched for work after her layoff, it was like “banging my head against the wall,” the article quotes her.
Bennett’s example is fairly typical in this day and age. First, she was fortunate to survive at her job until age 63. Others were not quite as lucky.
It boils down to this: it probably won’t matter how long you WANT to work, the workplace will more or less dictate when you “retire.”
Decades ago, workers looked forward to retirement. In fact, an early-retirement package was a real gift. Workers were much more secure then. They had ultimate confidence that their employers would keep them until at least age 65, the common retirement age back then.
Remember, though Social Security and some pension plans – if you are fortunate enough to have a pension plan—have age rules about when you can access them. But your “retirement” may be foisted upon you much sooner.
What should you do? How should you plan for that unknown time when you “retire?” First, have a Plan B started. Have some of your paycheck go into automatic savings as early in your career as possible. Second, take a look at one of the many programs out there that allow you to devote a few, part-time hours a week toward picking up extra income – potentially a lot of extra income – while you still have your job. These programs require work, but it’s not really like having a second W-2 job. They also require you to have a mind open enough – education, skill and background are not factors – to check them out. To look at one of the best such programs, message me.
We are all getting older. Regardless of how healthy you feel today, as time passes your health will start to deteriorate. If you are lucky, that deterioration will come more gradually, and you can feel healthy well into your elder years. Of course, much also depends on how well you take care of yourself.
The job market today is fluid. Companies reorganize rapidly and frequently. You will never know from day to day when your last day at your job will come.
So, prepare now for that eventually. If you are lucky, when the day comes when you have to leave your job, you can do so with a smile, because you properly prepared.


#retirement #RetirementCrisis #RetirementAccounts #pensions
The three legs of the retirement stool are rickety, at best.
As Bob Pisani put it in his article for CNBC, all three legs – retirement savings, pension and Social Security – “are all in dire shape.” His article was published April 1, 2019.
The article was published to plug CNBC’s new financial wellness initiative it calls, “Invest In You: Ready, Set, Grow, “ published in partnership with Acorn.
At Vanguard, the financial services group, the median 401(k) account value for an investor age 65 and older is a mere $58,035,” the article says.
That’s about a year’s salary for the average person, and a pittance, considering all the time these folks had to save.
The St. Louis Fed concluded, “It could be worrisome that, for many American households, the total balances of their retirement accounts may not be sufficient to ensure a solid life in retirement,” the article says.
There could be many reasons for this crisis. The average person can do little about the condition of Social Security, or if their employers have cut back, eliminated or never offered pensions.
The savings part is the only thing within a person’s control.
If you are already in the 65-and-older cohort used in the Vanguard numbers, starting to save more may be advised, but it may be an exercise in futility. Working until you die may not be an option, either, because employers may not want you around anymore, or because your job is so demanding you’ll kill yourself before you get to retire.
If you are young, start socking away money now, however you can. As it grows, move it carefully from a bank to a more lucrative investment. Get good trustworthy advice as you do this.
If you are not sure how to begin saving, find a good financial coach. Bear in mind your income may not be the issue. Your spending may be the key to saving. Keep track of where every penny goes. Those pennies saved can be dollars earned in the future, to borrow from Ben Franklin.
If you are middle aged, and still have a decent job, but have very little, if anything, saved for retirement, start socking money away in bigger chunks. Again, that could involve analyzing spending habits to find savings.
Finally, no matter your age, job situation, education or background, there are many ways out there to earn extra money by devoting a few, part-time hours a week away from your job, or you can devote more time if you don’t have a job. The money you could earn could dwarf what you are otherwise earning, or did earn, at a regular W-2 job.
To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
The responsibility for retirement security has gradually, over the decades, be foisted upon individuals. Some 50 years ago, one knew he had a secure job, with a pension coming, as long as he or she behaved himself or herself, did satisfactory work etc. Social Security, plus that pension, and maybe a stress-free, part-time job in retirement could make one comfortable.
Pension plans and Social Security have become less stable, though Social Security should be around in some form for years to come. Pension plans? Not so much.
So the burden largely falls on the individual to secure his own retirement. If savings alone isn’t going to give you what you want in your later years, perhaps it’s time to think about doing something different – perhaps something you thought you would never do


#JobMarket #women #OlderWomen #employment #BackInWorkforce
Erica Hernandez, at age 54, decided to go back to work after 19 years as a stay-at-home mom.
The best job market in half a century has been a boon for older women going back to work, typically after raising children for nearly 20years, according to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published April 1, 2019.
The 3.8 percent unemployment rate is near a 50-year-low, and there were a near-record 7.6 million job openings in January, the article quotes Labor Department figures.
In Hernandez’s case, she and her husband’s retirement fund had been depleted while she stayed home, and they were unable to do a lot of dining out and other fun things, the article says.
“My husband shouldered the burden all these years,” Hernandez, from South San Francisco, is quoted in the article.
Incidently, Hernandez did not get a job as a public relations executive, as she once was. She got a job as an administrative assistant, according to the article.
Therein lies the rub. Certainly, there are jobs out there for older women and others. But are the jobs as good as the job a person previously held? In many cases, they pay much less.
It’s tough for anyone who has been out of the work force for a time to go back to a job that was as good, or better, than the one they once had.
In some cases, people have lost jobs through reorganization, downsizing etc. What they find when they check out the job market is: what’s out there generally pays less, and often require as many or more working hours.
In other cases, what might be available may not give a person enough working hours to make a living. That induces people to cobble together an income with several part-time jobs, or even several full-time jobs, to allow them to live the life they’ve known.
If you are an older woman, like Hernandez, the income may not matter to you, as long as you can squirrel it away for retirement, college tuition etc. And, there could be less stress than she may have been accustomed to in her previous career.
But for others who may be approaching retirement, or facing college bills, it may not be such a convenient choice.
If that sounds like your situation, there are alternatives. First, if you have children going to college, or getting ready for college, talk to them about your financial situation. If they can apply for scholarships, and get them, that certainly helps. But, a good student can postpone college for a time and get a job that will help pay for it. This may be the only good reason to have adult children living at home.
After that discussion, determine that your retirement will be the priority. If the kids really want to go to college that badly, put the onus on them to figure out how to pay for it.
Secondly, there are many vehicles out there that can provide an income without having to take a W-2 job.They are suitable to anyone, regardless of age, education and background, if the person is willing to check them out. In fact, the income potential could potentially exceed any expected income from a traditional job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
The article about older women going back to work points out that these ladies face many obstacles, including rusty skills, a lack of confidence, employer discrimination, new technologies and social media.
If you care not to deal with those obstacles, and want to earn extra money to fund your retirement and other expenses, you may have to think outside your comfort zone and look at something completely different.


#SocialSecurity #retirement #savings #earnings
It’s a question discussed numerous times in this space: when to take Social Security.
Maurie Backman of The Motley Fool took it on in a Christmas Day article, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Take it early, at age 62, and you get a lesser amount than you would at your full retirement age. But, if you have already retired and need to cobble together an income, taking Social Security early is an option.
Of course, the longer you wait to take it, the bigger your check will be. Wait until age 70, and your check could be pretty good-sized.
Backman cites three reasons he believes taking Social Security at age 62 might be a good idea for you: first, you are unable to work (or are having trouble finding a job, even though you are able to work); you’re in bad health; and, you’ve earned the right not to wait.
All those reasons make sense for some people. But everyone’s situation is different. Here’s one rule of thumb for everyone: don’t take it early just because you fear the government will run out of money and the checks will stop. Most experts believe Social Security will be around for quite some time, even if the government does nothing about the funding. Benefits may have to be adjusted in the future, they say, but it’s unlikely to go away entirely.
When making the Social Security decision, consider the following: what other income do you have, or will you have, in retirement. Income includes pensions, dividends and interest from your savings and investments and, perhaps, a no-stress, part-time job. Income, for some, may also include a full-time job. Yes, there are those who love their jobs enough that they don’t want to retire. If you are fortunate enough to be in that situation, and your employer will keep you on forever, that’s excellent.
Most folks, though, have jobs that will get old after a while, if they haven’t already. Others may have employers that are eager to get them retired, or at least out of their employ.
It’s a good idea, if you are among the latter categories, to have a Plan B in place that will give you income that will enable you to go with whatever happens, “retire” when you want and potentially give you financial freedom. Many such vehicles involve only a few part-time hours a week, with the potential to dwarf your working income. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Also, as you ponder when to take your Social Security, know that no matter how many years you paid into it, and no matter how good your income was, that government check alone probably won’t give you enough money to give you the retirement you want. You WILL need some other financial resources.
If you haven’t yet retired, and don’t know what your resources will be when you do retire, it’s time to start planning for it. The earlier you start planning, and the more disciplined you are, the better off you’ll be when you get older.
So, start saving, and get a good, trusted financial adviser to guide you in retirement planning. Remember, too, that retirement planning isn’t all about money, though money is a big factor. Know what you’ll want to do when you retire, and plan to make that happen.
The Social Security office nearest you can give you your options, based on your income. The wise person will have a plan so that, no matter when he or she retires, he or she will never run out of money.


#retire #DontRetire #retirement #working
A man on a TD Ameritrade ad tells the financial adviser that he likes working, and that his retirement plan is to keep working.
So, the adviser says, instead of creating a retirement plan, let’s create a plan for “what’s next.”
“I like that,” the gentleman says.
Oh, if only it were that simple. One likes to work, so he just keeps working. He may vary what he does as he ages, but he keeps working because he wants to.
It seems a rather inappropriate ad for this economic milieu. Today, most employees essentially have no say on when they stop working. If they don’t retire when the company wants them to, usually they are given signals to go, or else ….
Worse yet, in many situations, many are forced out of jobs either well before retirement age, or before they had planned to retire.
And, many of these folks want to keep working. But their options suddenly become very limited. They may be forced to take a job that either they don’t enjoy, pays much less than their previous job did or gobbles up more of their time than they care to give to a job. If you selected all of the above for your situation, you are not alone.
So how does one deal with planning for retirement, or for “what’s next,” in this milieu? First, as soon as you begin your career, get your head in the right place. Know that the following will, or is likely to, happen:
• The job that you were hired to do will change over time, perhaps sooner than even you may expect. If you like what you are doing, you may not like what you will be doing next. If you like where you work, you have to decide whether the changes in your employment situation are worth staying with your employer, or trying to find something more to your liking. The current job market has improved enough over the last decade that you may have more options than you realize.
• As you get older, and earn more employee benefits, you become a greater cost to your employer. Don’t necessarily go by your parents’ advice that says if you keep your nose clean, show up every day and do good work, you’ll have a job for life. Someone came up with an arbitrary matrix some years ago that says something like: in the first three years, you get more out of an employee than you pay him. After three years, as the cost of that employee increases, you are paying him more than you are getting from him. You’ve heard of being on the clock? Well, you may be on the clock for more reasons than you think.
Given all that, here’s what you do: first, save. It doesn’t matter how much, initially, you save. Even $5 a week will work, if you are not making much. You may have to go without some pleasures to do it, but do it, and don’t touch the money unless there are dire circumstances, or you are making a long-term investment in, say, a house. Also, put any raises you get into that savings. If your costs go up, cut out more discretionary spending.
Secondly, come up with a plan B that could put money in your pocket whether you survive for years at a job, or not. There are many such vehicles out there that will allow you to spend a few part-time hours a week off work, and potentially make an income that could eventually dwarf what you are earning now. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, follow the old adage that says, “plan for the worst, and hope for the best.” Because you like a certain job doesn’t mean you can keep it. After all, the job doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to your employer. He or she can do with it whatever he or she pleases, even move it to a different country, or replace it with a machine.
A good job is a gift. Certainly, one earns a good job. And certainly, one can become really good at that job. It doesn’t mean the gift can’t be taken from you. It’s up to you to prepare for when the worst happens, even if it doesn’t.
So, if you like working, that’s admirable. Just don’t presume that you can always do what you like, for as long as you like.


#women #retirement #WomenInRetirement #RetiredWomen
Forget the doom and gloom.
American women are increasingly viewing their retirement years with optimism, seeing the aging process as liberating.
So writes Adam Shell for USA Today. His article was also published in the Nov. 17, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Women are so enthusiastic when it comes to aging, and that is a different message than what is out there,” the articles quotes Christine Russell, senior manager of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade.
Seventy is the new 50, Shell writes.
The stats suggest that women are “planning for a longer life,” an acknowledgement that should home in on taking the financial steps to fund the lives they want to lead in their later years, the article quotes Russell.
If women are planning for a long, healthy and prosperous life, why can’t all of us do the same?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. You might add the adjective “wealthy” to the women who are planning so carefully.
Truth is, we all can do it, to varying degrees. If you are not wealthy, you will just need more time to plan so you can get there.
That means starting early – right when you start working. You may have to start with a small amount. Even socking away $5 every week from your paycheck will be a start. That’s the equivalent of one or two beverages from your favorite coffee shop every week.
Then, as you get raises, sock those away. As your costs go up, perhaps you can bring your lunch to work instead of buying lunch.
In short, you can plan for a healthy retirement by making it a priority in your life.
Sure, not everyone has that discipline. For some, the discipline may have to be cultivated.
Also, expenses, foreseen and unforeseen, will come up for which you may have to tap into your savings. Buying a house is a good example of a foreseen expense. A big medical bill is an example of an unforeseen expense.
Still, if you have cultivated the discipline and made retirement savings a priority, you can catch up relatively quickly.
Some believe that in your young life, you need to provide for your family first. As your children grow to adulthood, you can start saving in earnest.
That works only if you know that your job will be there for as long as you want. Few can say that today.
If you have trouble leveraging your income, perhaps leveraging your time can accomplish the same thing. There are many vehicles out there that allow people to spend a few part-time hours a week and pick up a potentially lucrative income in addition to their regular W-2 income. If you are willing to step outside of your box and check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Saving for retirement, and planning for a long life, mainly requires discipline and prioritizing. Anyone can do it, by spending less and saving more. You can still treat yourself, but make those treats worthwhile and rare – perhaps until those later years come.
To quote the old adage: do today what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t.