Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Things I didn’t know about retirement……….

Instead of a food post, today I am writing about retirement as I see it.
I think I was always planning for retirement financially, but had no serious thoughts about what I would be doing after I retired.

The business models used by the company where I spent most of my employment years were 10-year, 5-year and 1-year plans. 

Well, I never quite had a 10-year plan until I left that company during a merger. At that point in time, I decided that I would plan on working at least 10 more years with the possibility of retiring anytime after that.  That including continued saving a percentage of my earnings.

My 5-year plans weren’t detailed, they were simply to save x amount of dollars per year.  When I knew I would be leaving the last company, I went into immediate mode, forecasting expenses and income and paying off anything that wasn’t paid for.

I looked at things I could easily eliminate.  Things like satellite TV or cable, indiscriminate spending could be reduced or cut completely.  Things that can be eliminated depends on which items are needed. Housing and utility costs usually do not go down, instead actually increase, because you are home more.

One of the things I did not plan for was time.  Everyone thinks they will have lots of time after retiring to do all the things that they could not do while employed. First, a lot has to do with ones health. As we age, the joints may ache, the over-all health may go downhill. Do to diet restrictions or newly identified food allergies, preparing meals may take more time.

So although you may think you have saved enough to live comfortably, you may need to pay someone else to do your normal cleaning and cooking. There can also be high medical bills or medical insurance premiums.

Something to not expect in the future is getting an easy disability check from the government. While you may be trying to keep up with the  Kardashians today, think about just who you are trying to impress. When you are old and in need of assistance, those you were intending to impress will have their own problems!  It was keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ during my work life.  I never felt that I had to impress anyone, so things I did or bought were because I liked it.  Guess that came from growing up poor.

Before retiring, I had weekly cleaning schedules. I vacuumed and dusted every weekend.   Now, I have no cleaning schedules other than changing the bed linen and doing laundry!  It’s a clean as necessary strategy.  Of course, the kitchen and bath room have  to be kept clean daily or that could get out of hand.

Previously, I planned out meals as to not cook more than twice a week. Now, I cook when I want to try out a new recipe or there is nothing in the fridge. At least I have an advantage since I do not really like most meats.  But, I can chow down on some pork ribs occasionally!  I can throw a bag of veggies in the microwave, open a can of black beans or quickly cook some rice and I have a meal!  Due to food allergies, it is not as easy to just drop by the fast food place and grab lunch or dinner.

My last job was so stressful, that I actually retired about two years before I had planned.  My two-year plan became immediate! That is another reason for planning for retirement….if the crap gets too bad, have a plan, just in case!    I developed insomnia during the last year there, would be awake until about 2 or 3 in the morning.  I had to get up at 5:30 AM.  Three years later, I am still a night owl, I cannot get to sleep before 2 or 3 AM.   But, I also do not have to get up at 5:30 AM!  Even if I am in bed by 1 AM, I am still awake.

I try to eat healthy foods, but I do like chocolate, cocoa to be more precise. I also have noticed that I can gain 5 pounds very quick, so I have my chocolate, but less frequently. I have also learned how to bake low-carb too.

I spent a lot of time online on a foodie site or Facebook, during  about the first eighteen months of retirement.  I even joined a few support groups.  My observation for some of the groups/sites; they are more like the office I left when I retired.

Now back to eliminating things from the budget…. technology changes require one to keep up with certain trends. I was probably the last one to get a smart phone, but DTV (I will be nice) pxxxxd me off, so I cancelled them after eleven years!  I only watch local channels anyway!

My plans also include penning a gluten-free cookbook.  After seeing so many gluten free cookbooks with some of the same recipes, I decided instead to do only charitable type smaller cookbooks (for the Ipad) with the monies going to chosen non-profit organizations.  This will be my activity for a few months with the intention of getting two books out.

I am by no means wealthy, what comes in, goes out, either in medical expenses or taxes.

At least, I can say I am retired with no regrets!

1 comment:

  1. Planning is one of the toughest activities to do. When you do decide to retire, you need to have a retirement plan that is concise yet comprehensive. And yeah, nutrition and health should be considered! The best thing to do is to look ahead and set realistic milestones that will make you happy all throughout. :)

    [Cara Larose]