Retirement… thoughts that enter your mind in your 50’s.

Yes, we all know we think about it.  What do we need to retire someday?  Well… financial advisers tell us we need to have $1,000,000.00 in the bank to support ourselves through our retirement years.  Seriously???  This just isn’t going to happen here in the real world.  I’m no financial adviser, but I’m just a person who hopes to be able to take it easy someday…  So here are just a few thoughts I have on making it happen for myself someday!

SIMPLIFY!  Right now, I live in a 4 bedroom 2 bath home on a little less than one acre. With any luck, I will have enough equity in this home when I retire (lets just say in 15 years for all intensive purposes), that I can sell it, and buy a house outright with cash.  Let’s imagine a home equity as it stands today is right around $110,000.00 (which doesn’t buy much… but it will get you a roof over your head…)  So in 15 years, imagine the equity that will build towards a mortgage free home.  So, when you ask yourself, “should I include the equity of my home in my total net worth?”, my personal opinion is YES!  Not having a house payment in retirement years will be a big plus.  Just don’t forget that there will always be taxes and insurance, along with possible HOA (Home Owners Association) fees to pay!img_6067

LIVE IN A WALKABLE COMMUNITY!  Right now I have a car payment… I’ve had one all of my adult years, with the exception of the 1975 Ford Granada I bought for $1,000.00 when I was 20 years old.  Having a reliable newer vehicle is a must for me at this time in my life when I drive 15 miles to work each way.  Gas prices, auto insurance, and car payments really add up.  Luckily, my job affords me the be able to pay for this.  I have never really lived in a walkable community, but the whole idea sounds fantastic to me in my later years!  Of course, I will always have a car, but at some point, I hope that I don’t need a 4 wheel drive, snow busting SUV.  The older I get, the better it sounds to be able to live close to a community where I could walk or bike or (yes…) GOLF CART to places I need to go.  It’s a quiet dream I have to be “That lady” with the basket on her bicycle riding down the road to collect sea shells on the seashore.  Those “Over 55” Active Community’s don’t seem so bad after all!5-5 Lady alone in Heraklion

HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS…  Wow… these go up every year, along with health care costs.  This is huge when making the decision of what age to retire at.  At 62, Medicare isn’t at option.  So working full time may just be the best decision.  Eligibility for Medicare begins at age 65. Just don’t forget about supplemental insurance for major health care costs if something catastrophic hits, like cancer, heart disease, among a million other conditions that may create a medical financial disaster if you aren’t properly insured.

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SOCIAL SECURITY… Right now, it does still exist.  We’ve all been contributing to this fund every day of our working lives.  Our parents are drawing on what they’ve contributed in their retirement.  So what we do today is cross our fingers, and hope that it still exists to supplement our retirement savings in the future.  Right now at age 62 we can collect Social Security at a lower rate.  Full retirement actually is set at age 67.  Can we exist on Social Security alone in retirement?  Do you enjoy poverty?  The answer to both questions is a big NO! Unless you really do enjoy poverty…   So…

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RETIREMENT SAVINGS!  Yes, it’s soooooooo very important; SEP, 401K, IRA, Roth IRA, etc…  the list goes on and on.  Make a point to put away as much as you can each paycheck!  Each person is different.  So I don’t feel like it’s a good thing to define exactly what a person should have in the bank at the time of retirement.  But, it’s so very important to have that financial adviser who can help you set up just the right plan. Be upfront and forthright with the lifestyle you wish to live after you retire.

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KEEP WORKING…  If you don’t like slowing down, by all means, keep working!  No one says you have to stop, especially if you really love what you do.  If you retire, and decide you can’t stand it, you can always go back and find a new job (even if its just a part time gig!)

So that’s all I have for today’s blog!  Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas as well.

Happy Spring!

“Side Hustle”… I love this phrase!

This year I turned 52…  I’ve been working at my current job for almost 27 years now.  When I got my SEP statement at the beginning of the month, it dawned on me, that I might actually be able to retire someday!  But do I really want to retire?  Maybe I will just look into doing something else with a little less stress involved someday.

Then I saw the term “Side Hustle” on the internet one day… Let’s take a look at this!  A “Side Hustle” can be an extra way to make money on the side, in addition to your job.  It can be a monetized blog, a direct marketing consultantship (not sure if that’s a real word, but I’m using it anyways…), weekend bartending… even selling crafts at a craft sale.

So then my brain started ticking!  Hey… if I start a side hustle now, maybe someday it can be my main hustle?  I do love my blogging, so yes, I’m hoping that someday it will pay off with Ad clicks and views.  For now it’s only about $.25 per month… but it seems to be growing each month.  It’s worth a shot, and I love writing, so why not?  Blogging is one of my favorite side hustles, even though the payoff is minimal for now. Feel free to share my blog if you like it!

Of course there is always direct marketing.  I’ve been involved with one company for a couple of years, just for the benefit of a discount that I can share with friends.  But, their products are constantly changing, and my best sellers are now discontinued.  This month I decided to jump ship. So that’s where my Mary Kay business came in… (Yes… check it out at www.marykay.com/tpeal).

Mary Kay has been around since 1963.  The company is older than I am, and, lets face it… I love the products and the pricing doesn’t send people over the edge.  Good products sell themselves, and if people really love them, they want to use them on a regular basis.  So why not jump in?  For $99.00 I bought my starter kit with a giant bag full of goodies to share with friends.  I can choose to keep an inventory on hand, or order them as my customers need them.  Personally, I’m loving the products I’m using.  So… of course, this side hustle may actually be a good option for me!  If anyone ever wants to sign up for a Mary Kay business, I recommend it, and I can even show you how!

My third side hustle (why just have one?) came to me last winter when the snow was coming down in buckets here in Northern Michigan.  I didn’t have any desire to leave the house, but I was bored silly!  So to keep my mind off the bitter cold outside, I took an online class for my Real Estate Salespersons license.  So I’m now a licensed Realtor with my license in escrow.  I’ve always been fascinated with the real estate industry, and since my full-time job doesn’t allow me the time to practice this profession, I keep my license in escrow with a local company, and refer clients to some of the best realtors in the industry.  In return I can make a little commission off it.  It really paid off last spring when I sold my house (referring the sale to another realtor), and bought my new house.

None of these are “easy money”… they do take work… and I honestly enjoy taking time to work on them.  Someday I’m hoping to end a blog with “The Pay Off is real!”  In the meantime, why not hustle.

That’s all for my lunchtime blog for today…  back to bean counting!  Happy Holidays to everyone!