Monday, June 11, 2007

Money, life and retirement planning


IT HAS BEEN A WHILE:
It has been a while since I have posted even though I have been sort of storing up ideas for posts ever since.

But this weekend I was talking to a friend of mine about retirement and about retirement savings, and it struck me that there are so many different approaches. (duh...how obvious)

They were telling me how lucky their parents were to have invested in a house because it is currently their retirement nest egg.

At this point with the housing market melt-down, I am not sure that investing in a house would be the way to save right now. (it might be good after the market adjustment / collapse though)

MY RETIREMENT SAVINGS APPROACH:
We own a house....well, most of it at this point, and we have seen appreciation from the $175,000 we paid for it. (it's probably worth about $310K after all is said and done)

But the major problem is of course that I would still need to live somewhere.....so I would be trading rent for a mortgage payment.....but then I guess I would have more in savings.

But I have never considered my house to be a savings vehicle.....I always thought it as gravy on top of it all should I make a profit in the end. I was more of the slow and steady saver.....always trying to put as high a percentage of my pay away every week/month.

I knew enough NOT to put that savings under my mattress, but to try and put it into fairly safe investment vehicles. No...I never really bought individual stocks....I never bought on margin...I never bought short....I basically went into very safe mutual funds and bonds.

As the SBLI ad says: "It ain't glamorous"..... but it works so long as time is on your side.

Buy and hold....that is my life of retirement investing. This means I investigate things in the finance investment arena, I readjust any savings I have into areas I feel comfortable with...and I go to sleep for about a year and do it all again. (with money going into those investments I chose every week from my paycheck)

Boring indeed....but I never really wanted white knuckle adventure from my retirement investments, so it suites me.

RETIREMENT:
As I see the computer industry slowly being absorbed by companies overseas....I think about my future employment. First of all, I see great pay cuts in my future if I have to change fields. I also see possible re-tooling of skills....which might mean education costs too.

My daughters are still in College...with Kristen having 3 more years of her BA degree and Kim one more year. But Kristen will be going on to more school, and I would like to help with that. (and Kim too, if she decides to go on)

Right now I am amazed that our investments are brining just enough in to pay for these costs......at least with the continued money I still save from my pay. But if I lost my job, things would go upside down very quickly because I too would need to start taking from the pot.

So the next few years are important to my work life....I have to keep that in my mind and work hard to be the most valuable employee possible. (of course, even that doesn't help some times :-)

STEPS TO RETIREMENT:
The article I reference above is an interesting one as it talks about the five emotional stages we go through as we move into retirement. These steps are described as: Imagination, Anticipation, Liberation, Reorientation, Reconciliation. (with retirement day happening between Anticipation and Liberation)

I would say that I am somewhere between Imagination and Anticipation....even at my young age of 48. I probably should not be thinking so "old", but it really isn't so much a matter of what I want to happen...but what the outside influences of the job market are thrusting upon me.

I'd love to work until I was dead....and I probably will....but I might not be working in a high paid job that will make ends meet....so I have to at least have a plan to get the cash flow needed.....and I guess since I would be playing with my retirement money....I tend to think of that as "retirement".

Such is life....it never goes per plan.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BQ,

I like what you said about the whole pic of retirement, forecasting and etc.. I think so many people live on the edge financially. I am doing the same but making my plan with a Roth IRA and real estate.
Jon
real estate investing

_____________________
retirement planning

5:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Bigqueue said...

Jon,

I'm not an investment guru by any stretch....nor that knowledgable with Realestate, but I would be careful with Realestate these days.....it "feels" like a bubble. Thankfully it seems to be deflating slowly and NOT like the stock market did in 2001...but then there is still the possibility of it all going bust fast too.

I would actually stay out for a while myself....but then again....market timing has never been my strong point. Just look at my last investment in Vonage for proof of that!

5:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Boulevard R said...

BQ,

Are you really going to be able to work when you're 85 years old?!

The startup that I'm with has just created a private beta web application for consumers who are trying to get on track for retirement. We've developed this step-by-step process by working with leading independent financial advisors. If you have the time, please check it out and let us know what you think:

http://beta.boulevardr.com/

Matt

7:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Shawn said...

Just a suggestion. Maybe you can consider bad credit home mortgage refinance loan just in case you don't have excellent credit rating so you can take advantage of a better loan.

10:58 AM EDT  
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8:42 AM EDT  

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