Thursday, June 18, 2009

Retirement, Defined. Or Not.

CNN blogger, Jack Cafferty had an interesting question today. Has Your Definition of Retirement Changed? Among the usual political responses (let's blame the Democrats, the Republicans, Obama, sunspots), smug "I'm doing fine, thank you, and I could care less about those who aren't" declarations, and concerns raised by Gen X and Y'ers, are other comments both wise and funny.

Absolutely, my definitions of retirement have changed.

I believe we've all had to rethink exactly what retirement will mean to each of us. It's not only the money, but the time. As retirement draws closer for me, I've started to realize I must make lifestyle plans as well. What I discovered during my recovery from heart surgery was that days filled with books (even good ones) and TV (even good. . .oh never mind!) quickly breed boredom.

I don't share the paranoia of some of those who responded to Cafferty's column. For example, I'm quite confident Social Security will be around for coming generations. But this particular recession has been a wake-up call for everyone. We just can't count on the things some of us thought would always be there: ever-rising markets; lasting good health; an encompassing sense of having made it.


Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say about retirement. My Plan A is kaput! Plan B is to keep working part time. Sort of like a retirement I guess. Since you really can't make money anymore on your investments, the only way I have found to keep up with inflation and rising prices is to keep working a little bit for a lot longer.
I am always a little skeptical when people tell me their retirement is going super well. Nope. Just don't buy it.
I've cut out a lot from my lifestyle. Doing with less. Doing no more than whats necessary and it's still a bit hard at times. I don't want to downsize anymore but will if I have to.

Oh well.

I don't blame anyone for this (anymore). I think this crisis was just a natural progression of over consumption on the government and every persons' part.

Did it MY way said...

If you are debt free when you retire you really can get by on a very small amount of money.

I have friends that get by on less than a thousand dollars a month, and don't seem to be hurting.

Grace. said...

Tony, I agree with you. Because I started late saving money for retirement, a very large chunck of my monthly income goes into my 401(k). The end result is that I'm currently living on $3400 net per month. By the time I retire, I won't even need that much since my house will be paid for, and (please, God!) my adult children won't need as much help. I figure a net $36,000 a year would be plenty.