Retirement decisions

retirement decisions
thebalance.com

Getting the most out of your retirement dollars

by Larry Hungerford, Winston-Salem Journal

July 1, 2017

“Given that so many baby boomers are retiring as they age into their 60s, I thought that a column that provides some basic ‘money tips’ for them might be appropriate. Certainly, it is a huge adjustment to give up that regular paycheck to live off of Social Security, pensions and savings.

Of course, the best of all possible scenarios is to retire from a full-time job to work part time doing something enjoyable. It means you don’t need to deplete your savings as rapidly and you still have the opportunity to fund (up to $6,500 per year per person) your and your spouse’s Roth IRAs. (As of last April, 19 percent of Americans age 65 and over were still working, the highest rate since 1962.)

When I discuss the retirement decision with clients, there are always two key questions.

The obvious one is how much income will they have available to maintain their preferred lifestyle? The second question is: Do they still enjoy going to work every day?

If they are in their mid-60s and dislike their jobs, then I argue that we need to do everything possible to make the numbers work so they can retire. It may even mean taking Social Security early — giving up the yearly 8 percent raise (plus cost of living adjustments) as well as scaling back on planned expenditures after they retire. (The usual best strategy for Social Security is to draw on your spouse’s account while you permit yours to keep increasing until age 70.)

The amount of money retirees can withdraw from their savings and the way that is done to pay the lowest taxes possible are the two most crucial financial decisions they must make. Given how little safer investments pay (money markets, CD’s, government bonds, etc.), investing during retirement in the stock market is a must.”

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Contact Larry Hungerford, age 81, at 335-941-3164 or e-mail him at hhplanner@aol.com.

Retirement tips for workaholics

Trust me, workaholics never really retire.  We just find other ways to fulfill our drive to accomplish something. The following article will help my fellow workaholics find some peace and success in retirement:

Surviving Retirement When You’re a Workaholic

By By Douglas Dubitsky, Next Avenue 

June 28, 2017

Can a workaholic ever retire?

“Many workaholics genuinely enjoy the rush of starting and completing projects and continuing the non-stop cycle. So it may also be difficult for them to contemplate what life may be like in retirement once they are officially out of the workforce.

If you’re a workaholic, smoothing your transition to retirement means uncovering the answer to the question: What part of the end of your job will you miss the most? It might be the people. Or the challenges. Or having purpose. Once you know which it is, you can focus on how to reap the same benefits — and feelings —while not holding down full-time employment.

workaholics
adobe stock photo

5 Retirement Tips for Workaholics

 Start slowly.

 Experiment and schedule.

 Give yourself a break.

 Talk it out.

 Look ahead.”

For more details

Shedding your work identity

shedding work identity
clausa.com

The trick to navigating the road of retirement?  Figure out who your post-work self wants to be

by Eric Sebo, The Dallas Morning News

June 22, 2017

“Something is missing in my life after retirement. I feel as though I am on vacation, going down a scenic country road with windows open, music playing, hair (what’s left of it) blowing in the wind. At the same time, I’m anxious because I don’t know which exit to take and realize that my time and energy are inevitably winding down.

The problem is not financial. I worked longer, saved more and delayed Social Security payments. Nor is it medical or social, as I work out regularly, eat the right foods and maintain great relationships.

What is wrong is that my work identity has vanished, and I have no ready replacement.

Seeking a retirement identity is not a topic often covered. Radio shows provide advice on investments, real estate and the stock market. In the print media, each ‘new retirement idea’ seems to be a repackaged article on financial, familial, health or social challenges. While all are important, so too is preparing for who you will be after your final day at work.”

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“Strolling down retirement road”

strolling down retirement road
etsy.com

Retirement Truths

by Dave Bernard, LoveBeingRetired.com

June 7, 2017

“Before you retire you will hear all kinds of stories of what it is like to live the life of a full time retiree. Whether it’s Uncle Bob sharing stories of how much the world has changed (typically for the worse) or Grandma Williams reliving those most special moments from past decades, words of wisdom are seldom lacking. Many describe initial struggles adapting to new roles as they leave behind full time employment. Most share their new found excitement discovering the joy of controlling how you spend your time. A few may explicitly outline what not to do if you hope for a fulfilling retirement experience. Everyone has a story and everyone has advice.

Living your own retirement is a very personal journey. You will be the one making important decisions along the way. Should there be a fork in the road you choose which path to follow….

Here are some words of wisdom shared by those strolling down the retirement road.

  • It’s not just about money
  • Adjusting to retirement can take time
  • Don’t wait too long to pursue your dreams
  • It is up to each of us to find ways to say engaged
  • The future is bright.”

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My first major retirement/remodeling project…

Retirement/Remodeling Project–You Can Do This!

When I purchased my home in 2013 I did so knowing I would have some remodeling projects to do.  My first major retirement/remodeling projects was changing the 1977 fireplace surround and popcorn ceiling in my family room. Below is the before picture taken by the seller’s realtor…

retirement/remodeling project

My son-in-law who lives about 25 miles away and I removed the painted tile fireplace surround and the painted cedar wood slats above it right after I moved in.  We, or should I say he, removed the side box for wood storage and the drywall above it (with my permission). Then it stayed that way, open studs and all, for about two years.

I began the remodeling project by stripping the paint off of the wooden beams on the ceiling.  This took a bit of time and elbow grease.  A lot of the white paint was embedded in the grain of the wood.  After several coats of Citristrip stripping gel, a scraper and a nail, it was ready to be stained the original dark walnut color.  I filled the beam joints next to the walls with sealant (I used brown DAP window, door and trim sealant).

Next, my son-in-law hung some drywall and cement board for me.  We only had to add a bit of framing as we kept the original fireplace framing.  Then I taped, mudded and textured the new drywall with all-purpose joint compound and a spray can of knockdown.  I had used knockdown in the past to help a friend patch some of his walls.  Easy enough. Painting was next…I’ve had lots of experience with painting and I enjoy it.  It makes such a difference right away.

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Supporting your grown children financially?

supporting grown children
budgeting.thenest.com

Are you putting your retirement at risk by supporting grown children?

By Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post

June 5, 2017

“As the parent of three children — and two college students — I understand that many parents feel responsible to come to the rescue when their grown kids face tough financial times.

Your daughter graduated with a lot of student loans, so you might be inclined to offer to pay some or all of her monthly payments for a while. Your son’s car breaks down so you dip into your savings to help him fix it so he can get to his job.

Or maybe your adult child is just trifling with money. But rather than see him or her go without, you still step in with a bailout.

Recent findings from a Wells Fargo/Gallup survey found that a third of investors are helping an adult child, parent or both. What concerns me is that 61 percent of those who provide financial assistance said their support is affecting their retirement savings.”

Underfunded pensions – Do you have one?

This morning my friend Sharon and I were talking and the subject of pensions came up.  We both receive a pension from the Public Employees Retirement Account (PERA), a Colorado teacher’s retirement fund.  I asked her if she knew if it was in good standing.  She said she thought it had gotten better than in years past.

This evening while reading the Denver Post, I read an article by Terry Savage titled, “Pensions at risk, group finds.” After checking out the website mentioned, it appears the Colorado PERA account gets a grade of D.  The School Division Trust Fund of PERA (Sharon’s and my pension fund) had unfunded benefits of -$15.30 billion in 2015! That’s a negative in front of the number!

underfunded pensions
biswa.net

Check out your city or state pension fund to see if you have an underfunded pension after you read this article:

Don’t Count on that Government Pension

by Terry Savage, The Savage Truth

April 23, 2017

“Millions of Americans are expecting to receive a pension from the city or state that employs them. Many will be in for a terrible surprise, according to the nonprofit organization Truth in Accounting.

It surveyed 237 municipal pension plans across the country, using newly required reporting data about pension underfunding. Although it has taken decades for many of these pension funds to get into such bad shape, only now are the details being revealed, says Sheila Weinberg, president of Truth in Accounting and a CPA who has dedicated her life to requiring full and useful disclosure of federal, state and local debt obligations. (I am a board member of Truth in Accounting.)

This newly collected data should be frightening to those counting on a state or municipal pension. The latest numbers are available at http://www.statedatalab.org/pension_database. There you can search by state to find both state and local pension statistics. The report for each city and state includes the amount of pension plan assets, the amount of plan promises, and the dollar amount and percentage of pension underfunding. Every plan also receives a letter grade, from A to F.

Of the 237 cities studied, 29 received an ‘F’ grade, reflecting a funding ratio of less than 35 percent. Those plans cover many thousands of workers who cannot possibly be paid their full promised pensions, absent a huge tax increase (which would also come out of their pockets as workers).”

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