Retirement planning is no easy task. Oh, you may think it is, but it never really is, at least it isn’t for most people. Maybe if you are lucky enough to hit the Powerball jackpot and win a few hundred mil, you may be able to just coast into a retirement and never have to worry, but seriously? I hope you aren’t actually trying to do that. If you are, your retirement plan sucks!
There are a lot of things that go into your retirement planning. Obviously, factors like salary, debt, and expenses all will affect your ability to save, but also know this: there is no one-size-fits-all solution to planning and realizing the vision of your successful golden years!
Money is a good thing to have. At least that is the huge consensus opinion of most of us. That’s the way we look at it and why we work for it, even if we are like Mother Teresa who gave most of it away.
We need money so we can help ourselves, or at the very least use it to help others. Having money is necessary and seems to be the difference between merely existing and having a life that is way more than that, a life that is building something. So, let’s just say that money is really a good thing and that’s a given despite the old proverb about the love of it being the root of all evil. Having real money issues will make you feel very helpless.
Being retired gives me the time to read more than I ever did when I was working every day. Sometimes being busy with a job can be a cushion from discovering some really worrisome facts that you may just hear about, but not really see the fine details. That may be the situation you are in when it comes to thinking about healthcare costs for you and your family. Healthcare costs are a reality that just might be the reason why you are just one step from financial disaster!
The Big Fear
It’s a fear that we all have, the fear that we may have to face financial ruin someday. We may not know exactly how or why, but it is something we sometimes do think about. Most often it comes when you lose your job or if you are really unlucky you might have to face some sort of natural disaster like a flood, fire, or weather event that sets you so far into debt you can’t see ever climbing out of that hole. But the number one thing that can send you into financial hell is much more devastating and personal then suffering through a hurricane.
Do you like playing games—like board games, card games, role playing games, pretty much anything like that? Most of us do as kids and many still do even these days a la the computer or phone app as adults, even if they have meandered into their 40’s (no names mentioned here, but I have a few friends and relatives that are waaaay into it!).
I’ve always loved sitting down with friends and playing games together. It’s a great way to spend leisure time unwinding on any given afternoon or evening. It’s always fun even if you don’t actually win, right? Fun, that’s usually how we think of a good game night or afternoon event.
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How many times have you said to yourself, “I just have to find a way to save more money”? Over and over again and again I imagine, but when that happens it’s more often than not that you get started and then suddenly…failure. You just don’t stick with it.
Why? We’re a nation of overachievers and when we decide to do something, we want to do it really BIG. While there’s nothing wrong with setting really big goals, when it comes to saving money, drastic big lifestyle changes often backfire. That big goal becomes such a huge pressure cooker that it eventually can explode and all you have afterwards is an even bigger mess than when you first started.
Researchers will tell you that we are all basically a combination of the beliefs, habits, and opinions of the people we surround ourselves with and spend the most of our time in life with. That starts in your childhood and is the unreal influence that a parent has on a child. Think about it. You probably believed almost everything you believed as a kid because of your parents through at least the first 10 years of your life.
Unless you came of age in the ’60s like me, that probably continued right on through adulthood, because everyone knows that my generation was the dawning of “The Age of Aquarius” and was a totally enlightened generation, a totally innovative and newly ordained very special generation with all the answers to all the questions of the ages…not!!! We just thought we were that at the time.
But seriously, when you really think about it, it does seem true that you probably get most of your opinions just because of how your closest influences (like Mom) think and that gets reinforced constantly by them. At least that’s my “uneducated” opinion here.
Not so newsworthy, in case you failed to notice, is that it’s winter out there. I can tell because I find myself watching TV each night wrapped in a blanket and drinking hot tea while the wind blows incessantly outside and my car sits snow covered in the parking lot of my condo complex. Nothing gets by me.
So it’s winter and it will stay that way for a good while whether I like it or not, despite the fact that South Florida calls my name almost every day and says, “Garrrry, oh Garrrry, its 83 degrees today.”
I’m not heading to Florida, but instead I am using my time to do what you may think is “the impossible”! I’m figuring out new ways that I can earn some extra money so that maybe, just maybe, next winter I can actually go to Florida and sit in the sunshine (or is that “Sing in the Sunshine”…I tend to get that confused).
You may not have given it that much thought while you were socking away your retirement contributions over the years, but in every life, some rain must fall! The rain in your IRA may be that “special” time when you must start withdrawing funds from it. Many retirees taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their traditional IRAs may not know all of the ins and outs of exactly the right way to do it and avoid any penalties along the way if they don’t!
Making IRA RMDs: the What, When, and How
When you reach age 70½—and that’s about 3.5 million Americans right now—you need to know the ins and outs of required minimum distributions (RMDs). If your parents or grandparents are the ones moving into RMD-land, do them a favor and give them some really good advice and information about this subject ASAP.
Having done just about everything one can do in the business world myself, from working as a trainee to managing a huge chain of retail stores and ultimately running my own business, I think I can, with some expertise, tell you that there are ways to do it successfully and there are ways not to be successful. A word of really good advice on how to run your business: do the former and avoid the latter!
Why do I mention it today? Well, for quite some time now, I have been observing the demise of some of the greatest American business institutions and thinking to myself “why did that happen?” Every time it does, from Blockbuster Video to Radio Shack and from Lehman Brothers to the now-on-life-support Sears and Kmart stores, I think about what might have been done differently to help avoid that disaster.
As you probably know, every ten years the federal government conducts a census of the U.S. population to get a count of how many people live in each state. The results of the census help to determine each state’s congressional representation and how much federal money each community receives. Additionally, it provides a better understanding of American demographics. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.
The next census is scheduled for 2020 and will require hiring thousands of census takers to complete the assignment. I’m always trying to recommend and steer people into new ways to earn some extra money and in the case of the census, you can earn a pretty decent stash for a pretty decent period of time, too. If you happen to be available to work flexible hours and want to get in on this, here’s all the things you’ll need to know.