Are you thinking about retiring? Planning on retiring soon? Already retired?
We are all in the sequence some where!
If you listen to all the experts - you will never feel adequately prepared to retire. We used to listen to Suze Orman - and let me tell you, according to her, we would never retire! We did so many things that she talked against.
We probably got a late start saving, according to many people (we were in our late 30's). I did get a 401K at a job that allowed contributions and company match. Let me tell you, I jumped on that - I was all about getting FREE money. It did quite well. G had an investment opportunity at his job as well, and each time he got a raise (after we married - not before) it went into that program.
We lived below our means for sure. We still had fun - albeit cheap fun, like camping and friend and family patio parties, or just wondering Indiana (when gas was cheap)! We tried to never have more bills that one or the other could pay alone. We just didn't want to be in a situation if one of us was unemployed (and it happened a couple times) that we couldn't pay the bills.
We worked really hard to pay the house off early. We managed that in 15 years (our house was not real expensive). We always had used cars that G maintained (he was a mechanic). Finally after the house was paid off - we bought our first & only new vehicle (EVER) for either one of us. We paid it off in 3 years.
We tried to never have more charge card debt than we could pay off in a month.
Granted it DID happen a few times, but we always had LOW INTEREST RATE cards.
We knew that G would be disabled at some point, so we made that our mission, to have things paid for, and some money saved. We worked hard at it.
He retired at the end of 2004 due to physical disability. He couldn't get his retirement (not old enough) till he was declared disabled by social security. That took months - with just my income.
Once he got both - I quit work, as he really wanted me to stay home.
I was 51.
Granted I could have kept working - and maybe I should have - BUT it has all worked out and I love being retired.
Now that G can't get around - I take care of the house and yard. I love gardening and canning. I LOVE bargain shopping and getting deals. So he has money coming in, and I do what I can to allow us to keep it.
We you retire - remember it is NOT about what you have. It is about what you DON'T have!
Have your home, vehicles, and any other large purchases paid off - then think about retiring.
Utilities are necessary bills - but you do have some control over how high those bills will be. Groceries are necessary - but you can control that amount as well.
Insurance is necessary if you aren't old enough for Medicare. That is by far our largest expense (for me) - it is bigger than any house or car payment that we had.
You can control other bills, as they are all not necessary. Cable, internet, phones, vacations, clothes, stuff - it's all NOT really necessary! Chose what you can afford ONLY!
Stop and really think about things. Experts say you need a million or more dollars to retire. I find that totally hysterical!!!!!! We would have nothing even close to that! Granted - if you have that - more power to you.
We can get by on so much less than we think. If you have been frugal through the years, you are way ahead of the game. YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.
You lose so many expenditures when you retire. That in itself is a huge savings. No lunches out, no transportation costs, vehicle insurance lowers, no new clothes, home to cook meals, and on and on.
Folks - take some time and really think about things. Don't over analyze it - you will just make yourself scared!
Get your large items paid off - then take the leap if you are inclined.
Yes, it is kind of scary at first - but you will learn to THRIVE and LOVE IT!