Monday, January 01, 2007

Change in financial focus

I have not given this much more than a short thought in the shower this morning, but I think I will BLOG about it since this is how I tend to get clarity of some ideas.

My personal finance thoughts in the shower revolve around my wife Cheryl's passing and how I am going to think about our savings. (both retirement and otherwise)

We had always thought of these savings as having two or perhaps components to them. The first component is more of a short term component where we had always planned to make sure our daughters had their college schooling paid for. We have two daughters, and we have squirreled away a bit of money for that purpose. (and are also relying on a reasonable level of return on the whole nut as well as continued contributions in savings in order to fund the costs)

The second component of our nest egg was the money we needed to ultimately retire and maintain some sort of standard of living. Once again, we were pretty well on our way to getting that saved, but certainly could not there yet. Again, we had plans to continue our savings regiment, and baring any sickness or loss of job, the trajectory of this portion of our savings was going along OK as well. The savings held in our home equity was a bit piece of this, as well as most of our 401K money.

The third component of our plans revolved around money we wanted to save in order to do more traveling in our retirement. Nothing fancy, mostly around our own country and perhaps a few other interesting places in the world....but this was sort of going to come from money that came above and beyond the second net egg component above. Neither of us had champagne tastes, so we would be doing all this on the cheap....but still, we had plans to do a lot more slow, sight seeing kind of travel.

My thoughts this morning have changed quite dramatically. I guess not having my wife here makes me consider my priorities.....well, not so much my priorities, but the goal of each. You see, I still keep as my priority the idea that our kids need an education. But having lowered my need to travel, I think I would like to try and see if they are interested in as much education as possible. My daughter Kristen is already talking about a PhD in Archeology, but I think I will try to figure out how I can ore properly support that. I am not sure what Kim's ongoing education plans are, but I guess I need to talk to her. (and soon since she is a Junior now)

In terms of travel, I will still travel at some point. But my idea of fun is loading up a van with a sleeping bag and camping across the country, seeing the local sights and sounds. (It sort of comes from the stories of my Uncle Joe who was the Merchant Seaman, and who was a very free spirited soul who loved to travel simple and light.....all he seemed to NEED was a guitar and a local bar to drink and play in.....I can't play guitar, and don't my traveling will be different for sure)

We currently work with a financial planner, and one of the things we have worked on is making sure he understands our risk tolerance and our financial goals. I think I described our previous goals pretty clearly above.....but I admit that I still need to formulate and solidify my future goals....well, in the future. (the near future)

So perhaps later this quarter, perhaps in spring, I will be going off to see Larry to get my finances perhaps heading in another direction. Sort of like my traveling plans in the future, I am not quite sure where my mind will lead me on this journey....but like the name of my BLOG, I am the conservative type, so I will almost certainly "Measure Twice and cut Once."

Happy New Year to All!

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Financial matters are important.

3:20 PM EDT  

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