Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Making It Happen

 So, you're thinking about retiring.... because you're just so sick of working, getting up early every day, dealing with strange co-workers who whine EVERY day, an un-grateful boss who hovers over your shoulder, a demanding workload.... you know what I'm talking about.

I worked for years, but when I was nearly fifty and laid off from a 'going nowhere fast' kind of job, I decided enough was enough and walked away from the life of keeping office hours.  My husband retired from the corporate world at age 62.  With his type A personality I think waiting until age 65 would have killed him... seriously...

If you are nearing retirement age then here are a few things you can do to prepare for a bit less income.

1.  Cook at home and eat out much less.  (you can make a nice grilled chicken and even bruschetta at home)  If you're not a cook, learn to be one.  Eating out will gobble up your monthly funds in a hurry.  Also, cook in bulk and freeze what you can.

2.  Shop less.  Learn to wear what you already have.  No one cares if you have a new outfit except you.  Lifelong relationship and friends don't judge you by the fashion you wear.

3. Do not, and I repeat... DO NOT buy a new vehicle unless you have the cash to pay for it.  It's just a given that driving the one you already have is cheaper... If you are so hell bent on keeping up with the Jones or another relative who always has a new vehicle, then you better just accept the fact that you will be working a LOT longer.  My husband and I drive very old vehicles.... it's one of the reasons we are both retired.  

4.  Get rid of all those cable channels.  They can end up costing you $150 or more a month.  We have Netflix and Showtime.... I think our monthly television viewing cost is $18.  

5.  Watch those electric bills if at all possible.  Even in this terrible heat and humidity, our July electric bill was only $135.  Unplug things, and invest in using light bulbs that use very little power.  Your initial expense is high, but in the end you will see a huge difference in savings.

6.  Raise or lower the thermostat just a degree or two depending on the season of the year, then adjust what you wear or keep a lightweight throw blanket available to you or a sweater.... This can save a lot on electricity bills.
Pull your curtains shut at high heat times of the day during summer months, and make sure you have curtains that are somewhat thermal.  

7.  You'll most likely find that if you are not yet old enough for Medicare, that your health insurance will be a HUGE monthly cost for you, so shop around...   The same goes for homeowners and auto insurance. 

8.  Take less VAcations and more STAYcations.  We have made our home and enjoyable place to be, so spending money on hotels and airplane tickets is not an issue.  

9.  Learn to shop with Coupons, and NEVER even consider buying something unless it's on sale... except food... we cook at home, but scrimping on the quality of the food we use in our home cooked meals is never an option.

10.  Leave that credit card at home and pay cash for your purchases, unless you are sure you can pay the credit card off every month to avoid interest.

11.  If you still have a house payment, see if you can re-finance and bring your payment lower. This could save you hundreds of dollars each month.

12.  Check and KNOW what you have in your retirement, 401K, any stocks, and also what you will be getting from Social Security.  Make sure you can live off of these for the rest of your life, since that could be another twenty years. 

13.  Know whether you will be able to spend time with and ENJOY being with your spouse... you will have lots of together time during your retirement years.

 I've probably left out a few things from the list... but we all lead different lives and have different concerns and wants as to what we want our retirement years to be like.
Just know that there are wants, and there are needs in making a successful retirement happen for you.


  1. Very good advice. I am 59 and semi-retired - working 3 days a week at a very low salary in a job I truly enjoy. If that changes - I will retire in an instant. I spent years in the corporate world and have no interest in returning. Health Insurance is the biggest problem for me because premiums are outrageous and costs continue to rise. All other expenses are easy to control with discipline. Thank you for this post. I love hearing how other early retirees are making it work.

  2. Great post . . .
    Excellent points . . . I would say the same.
    We struggle at times with the eating out . . . and ve to "pull in the reins" again and again.
    It will " eat up" money and add to the waist Line!
    I think keeping a cushion so as to account for the variables is a must . . .
    Increasing health insurance costs continues to create many adjustments . . .

  3. Very good advice, even if one is not close to retirement. Cars are just transportation...who wants to park their money in the garage? Eating out does take a huge bite out of the budget. Besides what you cook at is home is generally better and you know exactly what is in the food. Hubs and I are both on Medicare and have an excellent supplement.

  4. Now if you'd just posted this today, you could have played Thursday 13! I need cooking lessons. Or to at least learn to like it.

  5. Good advice..I've managed so far..Retired in 2002..One thing you left out is to figure out what your income will be when a spouse dies..I lost two thirds of our income...:( but had no debt