1. MEDICARE. When I first transferred over from my own, personal health care insurance to Medicare, at age 65, I was NOT a happy camper. At first, I felt I was giving up my freedom over managing my own health care and giving it to some government agent. Now, in retrospect, especially this past month with all the health ills I have had to deal with, it was a pleasure and a blessing to have the guaranteed medical health coverage that Medicare seems to offer. No co-pays. No paper work. No hassles. No worries. I just handed over my Medicare and my supplement insurance cards and was treated immediately.
2. SOCIAL SECURITY. Say what you want about this guaranteed monthly income check, but it sure is nice to know that when all else fails, I am still going to get money in my life each and every month. If you live as frugally and realistically as we do, the monthly check can certainly make your retirement life so much brighter!
3. PENSION. Despite the fact that DH worked hourly for this particular Forbes 100 company for over 12 years, the last year of his employment his boss put him on salary. Apparently his boss knew something that DH didn’t. The company was planning to close the satellite office DH worked in AND DH also now qualified for a pension. The lifelong pension was going to be based on his last year of employment, provided he was paid by salary and not hourly. What a stroke of pure genius and what a lifesaver this was for our retirement lives. DH started collecting at age 55 and should he pass away, the benefit will cover me (his wife) till my own death.
4. MORTGAGE AND DEBT FREE. Living mortgage free and knowing that we will always have a roof over our head (provided we keep up with the taxes) has been a Godsend for us in our retirement. Also, not having car loans, student loans, equity lines of credit have also been another cause for our happy dance. We do from time to time, engage in large, zero interest purchases, but we pay them off long before they are due.
5. CASH IN THE BANK. We scrimp and we save and we put as much money away in our cash savings accounts as possible. Most of it is in laddered ROTH IRA CD’s with FDIC banks and when some of them become due, they are rolled over into other bank CD’s that are now currently paying upwards of 3%. We use the interest monthly (or in some cases, annually) to supplement our monthly/annual retirement expenses.