Thoughts… way too many thoughts! Let’s step away from the news for a moment!

OK… here it goes.  I’ve been a little quiet lately on this blog thing.  The news… no the world seems to have gone crazy lately!

First off, there are 7000 Guatemalan’s heading for our border through Mexico, to enter our country illegally (NOT LEGALLY).  The Mexican government is giving them no aid, HOWEVER, they are letting them march through the country on their way to the United States.  The goodhearted Mexican citizens are aiding them with food, water and shelter.  Why would anyone pack up their children with no plan to march over 1000+ miles to escape their homeland?  I do understand its a 3rd World impoverished country with a corrupt out of control government.  Imagine if the United States became what these 3rd World Country’s are.  Where would we pack up and march off too, and would we risk the health and lives of our families to do it?  The smart ones are now turning back.  On the good side, the whole thing brings to light the wrongs in their country, and now perhaps something can be done to their benefit if they choose to stay in their homeland, or maybe they can apply to enter the United States in a legal manner.  It just seems to me like this whole situation was set up as one big passive aggressive bully tactic.

Oh wait… but in the United States its quickly becoming pretty scary…  if we disagree with one party, bombs show up in our mailboxes; people get shot at while trying to participate in a bi-partisan baseball game.  Men (and women) use their power to get away with sexual assault and rape, in some cases.  Some loose their jobs, some don’t…  Lives get destroyed in the process running for public office; Female Journalists get fired for commenting on “blackface”, while other Male Journalists dress up as women for Halloween with no repercussions.   Why does this make me shake my head?  I have no desire to promote racism, or sexism in any way.  But it’s a slippery slope once you put these two situations side by side.

Mentally ill people are walking into school buildings and mass shooting children, and complaining that they were bullied in the process.  Some adults even reinforce their actions, blaming the children who were shot at for being bullies.  Our schools have become locked down safety houses during the day.  Unfortunately, we need the security, along with the mental health programs to deal with the PTSD that occurs along with these events.  When did our country become this?

Wanting to be the opposite sex has become surgically possible and accepted, and in many cases, even covered by insurance, when cancer survivors, and diabetics risk being denied coverage just for getting a disease they never wanted in the first place.  Sorry folks, just my opinion… if you want to be the opposite sex, and you can afford the surgery, more power to you.  I’ll be the first to give you a big ol’ happy hug in celebration.  If the majority of middle America lives paycheck to paycheck, how can we afford to make this our priority?

So, soon we get to vote.  Here’s my take on what how I am voting:  Humanity… yes, we need humanity more desperately than we ever have.  We also need common sense.  Parents need to be involved in raising their children, just like when we were kids. We need to watch out for our senior citizen’s that worked so hard all of their lives.   We need educational programs on all levels, including skilled trades, or we will become a nation of outsourcer’s, with no good jobs available.  We need those jobs to have good quality affordable health insurance, so we can depend on quality healthcare options.  We need representatives that can work together and listen to opposing opinions and perhaps even agree now and then to come up with great solutions.  We need reasonable humane and LEGAL solutions to immigration into our country in order to protect our National Security.

Lastly, we all need to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and pull our own weight. Turn off the news for a day or so, so you don’t get pulled into the drama of Washington DC., and get out there and vote!  If you don’t vote… don’t complain!  Don’t bother sending me any bombs if you don’t agree with me either.  More than likely, my ticket will be split where I see fit.

Now that I have all that off of my chest…  I may be able to get some sleep tonight, without turning on the news!

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.

dollar-currency-money-us-dollar-47344.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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…

photo of vintage stationery
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

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.

woman using space gray iphone x
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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!