Last week was huge – I finally closed on the big family house. It was a long, difficult last month with repeated trips to remove and deliver unwanted and unneeded stuff. A local charity received a windfall and drove away with an entire moving truck full of furniture and household goods. I was relieved to see it all go to a good home. I am so glad that I no longer have to care for a large home and keep track of all of the stuff associated with it.
I am one week away from closing on the sale of the large family home. This has been quite a process. I made the decision to sell in February, moved out in March, then hired a contractor to do some renovating to put the house in better selling condition. That work took two months. The house was on the market for almost three months. After one price drop, one failed negotiation and one scam offer, I had a contract with a legitimate buyer in late July.
We are in Houston this weekend visiting Susan’s Mom and sister. We are staying with Susan’s Mom. She lives in a beautiful senior independent living facility. It is quite interesting and a wake-up call to be around so many folks who are 15-25 years older than I. Susan and I discussed this at breakfast and I thought I would write about it.
I hope that most baby boomers who are close to retirement have developed a fundamental understanding of the “sequence of returns” risk as it applies to their retirement security. In a nutshell, the sequence of returns risk tells us that the annual returns on our retirement investments do not by themselves determine whether our retirement nest egg will support us until we die. Rather, we must also carefully consider when those returns occur. For example, a significant market downturn at the commencement of our retirement – say at age 65 – is much more dangerous than if the same downturn occurs ten years later, at age 75. Let’s think more about this for a minute.
I called the national Social Security phone line last week to discuss survivor benefits. (More on that later.) Of course, the person I spoke with could not actually process my claim. Instead, he had to schedule a future telephone appointment to do that, with my local Social Security office. The first available appointment time was in August. Keep that in mind if you need to apply for a benefit that cannot be processed online. Before I called to file a claim, I did a lot of research on what I was about to do. Given my circumstances, determining the optimum filing strategy was quite complicated.
I finally got busy this week doing a lot of work on my retirement spending plan. This has been a work in progress for several years as I have acquired TIPS and I-Bonds as part of my Failsafe Retirement Plan grand strategy. But interesting things are happening (including getting older) and the time has come for me to get more specific with a plan for how I am going to use my retirement assets to provide spending money. I’ll try to explain my logic without giving too much away or boring you.
My siblings and I are trying to encourage and help our mother move out of the Florida house where she has lived for twenty-five years and relocate to a senior independent living community in Virginia. (Truth be told, most of this burden has so far been on the shoulders of my oldest sister.) This is not an easy task but it should be done. Our Mom no longer drives and currently lives alone in a rural Florida community with poor health care options and limited senior resources.
Susan and I are back in Nashville after a weekend in The Villages. The Villages is the world’s largest community for 55+ adults. There are over 100,000 retirees living there. My father is one of them. He turned 90 this past week and his family gathered to celebrate this milestone birthday. We had a great time in two short days. I think my Dad really enjoyed the experience.
We all have heroes in our lives. Maybe a teacher, a mentor, a parent, or even a child fits that bill. I have several. I must confess, I like strong women and many of my super heroes are just that, strong women. I’ve learned a lot from them and I still do. Maybe you can benefit from what I have learned.
Baby boomers like to drink wine, don’t we? I do (although it is hard to beat a good IPA). We hear and read that a moderate amount of wine – red wine in particular – is good for us. I choose to adopt this belief in my own drinking habits. Sadly, based on this new report, I may have to cut down when I am older. But why am I talking about wine here and now? A short video will explain.