Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finances for those who are getting close to that "retire" word

It will be a few more years before I (52) retire, but my husband(59) is almost there. I actually wish he would leave his job today and begin his woodworking...but there is "that Harley to buy for the cross country trip when our son gets back from overseas".
We started the "end" retirement money count about a year ago, when he had a "routine surgery" go bad. Six months after the surgery, he was (and still is ) recovering. He is back to work- but that surgery (and the death of several family members) put us on a steady track.
What does it take to retire?
Here is my plan so far:
1. We consolidated our accounts.
When you have accounts all over the place, you often lose perspective of what you have.
2. We took our envelope system to the next level.
We have used envelopes for the past twenty years. Now they are stone in areas of allowances and more flexible in house repairs.
3. We dug out all of our journals and really looked at our true spending.
I have been journaling our expenses on and off for about five years.
From there we figured out a better idea of how much we actually do spend on traveling (a lot) and clothing ( a little). We could see the trends in gas and how long our cars last. Best of all we could see which investments were good.
4. We rid ourselves of mutual funds.
I would not recommend this to anyone who does not have the time to track stocks.
5. We took a long look at how much we could live on alone (if the other passed away) and together.
That is still an on going debate here!
6. We are currently saving 60% of what we make.
Do you think this teacher/ GS worker takes the idea of "what we want to do when we grow up" seriously?
That would go down a great deal if one of us leaves our position.
I'll let you know how the rest of it goes as we progress.

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