I’m back again after a long blogging layoff. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to write about. I was just concentrating on life as it happened, pushing the reflection and writing to the back burner. Now I seem to have a little breathing room. So I will update you. Please read on if you are interested.
Susan is a grandmother of one. Currently, I am a grandfather of none. That is about to change. I have a grandson due any time, but no later than this coming Tuesday, when labor will be induced. This is a good thing. My daughter-in-law is more than ready to have the baby and no one wants to spend Christmas in labor or in the hospital.
I am returning from a blogging pause to tell you the story of my Black Friday shopping experience. Here it is:
Last week I visited a local Walgreens pharmacy but not to pick up a prescription. No – I went expecting to receive three separate vaccinations but I left having received two. Now I need two more. So what is going on here? A baby boomer receiving four vaccinations?
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.