I constantly worry about money. So much so that sometimes my friends and family do not want to be in the same room with me because I am constantly talking about money. While I understand their reserved treatment of me, I can justify my actions due to the fact that I’ve gone broke twice before in my lifetime. When you experience not having fifty cents to your name, trust me, it’s a life changer.
It doesn’t take much to go broke in America. A few bad decisions, a wrong turn of events, can wreck havoc with your finances. I used to be a risk taker. I’ve taken chances in the stock market, real estate and various business ventures. Sometimes I’d win. And sometimes I’d fail. Miserably. I’ve gone broke two times and I’ve recovered (quite nicely) from both events. Do I want to make it a third time? At this point in my life, the answer is a resounding ‘NO!’
I’m retired now and that alone opens up a whole new can of worms.
One of the top main concerns most retirees have is running out of money in retirement. I’m no exception. Life may be short but retirement can be longer. Especially if one retires earlier than expected, as is in my case. I retired fifteen years sooner than I should have. That means I had to financially carry myself fifteen years longer than most other retirees. I’ve worked for thirty-two years and if all goes well I will be retired for forty years. How does one provide for themselves for forty years without a steady paycheck coming in?
That’s where my experience going broke comes in to play. You learn an awful lot about proper money management when you’re trying to recover your financial life after going broke. Personally, I think the only way a person can truly accomplish successful money management is by going broke. And then recovering from it. If you learn from your mistakes, vow to never have those same calamities befall your way ever again, you get mighty smart in Finance 101.
I planned my retirement on the ‘sure thing‘. I calculated how much money I would receive in social security, pensions, saving investments (no stock market fluctuations) and I structured my life to meet its financial match. If only an annual, guaranteed income of $25,000 a year was to come into my retirement life, then so be it. I structured and downsized my life so that I could live on $25,000 a year.
I’ve done all of the things suggested in this video from #FinancialWoman as she suggests. I came to these conclusions back in 2001 long before the author had a YouTube channel. That’s because in order to alleviate oneself from future money insecurity, there really is a proven pathway to our retirement journey. Figure out your bottom line and conform to it. If you can accomplish the least, you’ll be better off than most.
Having a secure roof over my head, healthy food on my table, paying my monthly bills in a timely fashion, competent medical care, a cash cushion and family and friends who can tolerate me, have all contributed to what I want and expect in securing a comfortable retirement lifestyle for myself now, and in the future.
I trust that God will make certain that nothing interferes with ‘our’ retirement plans.