Tomorrow I leave for Italy. I will be gone for 18 days. The first 15 days are vacation. The final three days are visits with business contacts and clients in Florence, Milan, and Zurich. This trip is a new adventure for me in several different ways. I am excited and nervous at the same time.
I recently wrote about my intention to move some of my retirement nest egg into a defined maturity bond fund. I thought this initial investment would be inside by 401k plan. Instead, I used cash that had been sitting in my taxable retirement investment account after I sold my gold ETF holdings earlier this year. [Read more...]
This weekend I had nothing planned with friends or family. Going to the lake was not an option because the AC there is awaiting repairs. Thus, I had to come up with some activities to fill my day so that I would not end up a couch potato in front of the TV. It was sort of like another small test run of being retired as a single guy. So, late Friday afternoon I decided to go people watching. As a retiree I will have plenty of opportunities to do that, won’t I?
Regular readers know that I have been managing my retirement investments with an increasingly risk-averse attitude, particularly as applied to my equity allocations. On the other hand, I think I need to be more strategic in managing my fixed-income investments. My concern arises from the anticipated increase in interest rates that will probably kick-in sometime next year. After some study, I am considering moving some of my retirement nest egg into one or more defined maturity bond funds or ETFs. If you have never heard of these, join the club. I knew nothing about them until last month.
We have all heard that the future cost of health care is a huge retirement wild card. I consistently read retirement health care cost estimates in the low to mid six figures. At 65, we are eligible for Medicare but it doesn’t cover everything. Also, are these general cost estimates applicable to all of us? Not necessarily. In some cases, luck is involved. In other cases, your current health status can be a predictor of future costs. A free tool from the AARP tries to take all of that into account to give you a number that you can work with, a number that will scare you, or both!
I managed to squeeze in two trips to the movie theater this week. On Friday afternoon I saw Hercules. (Save your money on this one.) My real purpose on Friday was to check out a restored downtown theater in Princeton, Kentucky. This is the closest theater to my lake home, a 25 minute drive.
I returned from my 45th year high school reunion on Monday morning. I had a fantastic time at the reunion events and enjoying other activities with my high school friends. I think I smiled – at least internally – the entire long weekend. I also came away with some new and updated baby boomer insights.
On Thursday I depart for upstate New York to attend the 45th reunion of my high school class. I have attended every reunion (at 5 year intervals) starting with the 20th year. The format this year is typical of past reunions: Happy hour/mixer on Friday evening; picnic on Saturday afternoon; dinner/dance on Saturday night; and brunch on Sunday morning. We have all of these activities because we have a fantastic organizer. On the other hand, for me this reunion will be different from the others.
I’m averaging about four trips per month to the local theaters to see a newly released movie. This past week I saw three: Jersey Boys (with a friend – he hadn’t been to a movie theater in 20 years!); Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (with my sons and daughter-in-law); and Begin Again (by myself). I liked all of them. I suspect that many of my fellow baby boomers will as well.
All retirees and pre-retirees need to think about their life expectancy a/k/a longevity. There are at least two important reasons for this. First, one goal of your retirement plan is to limit the risk that you will outlive your money. Second, anticipated longevity is a key factor in deciding the age at which you want to claim Social Security retirement benefits.