Monday, January 27, 2014

When you realize just how big the pickle your in, really is.....................

Sweet Man has been 65 now for a few months. But because he has such a strong work ethic and really can't stand to be bored will not willingly retire until age 70. He says that he will still find something to do then because he doesn't think he can stand to stand still. Actually it's a very good thing that he is how he is.

Many of our acquaintances are of retirement age and have found it difficult to live the life they had planned for themselves after retirement because of finances. Some are just throwing caution to the wind and running down their savings while they still can go and do those things they planned. We will need to be thrifty because of all the money we lost in the stock market. Who in the for crying out loud thought that what we planned for would be a dream unrealized.

Our generation were the ones who defied the government, stood up to the man, demonstrated for equality and peace thus changing America. I saw a documentary on PBS not long ago about 1964 being the year that forever changed the US and was intrigued that that was when historians chose. But thinking about it, I suppose it's true. President Kennedy died in Nov. '63, LBJ continued the equal rights endeavors, Goldwater changed the political thoughts of a nation, we slipped deeper into Vietnam, young people defied the government on so many levels and I was there in the middle of war TV at dinner thinking how I wanted to be a part of the change.

But that begs the question.....what the hell were we thinking? Different isn't always better, it's just different.

I'll tell you what Sweet Man and I thought, that we were making things better, investing in our future and the growth of the US. And in many ways we did, but then we became part of that "establishment" and expected that our lives would be different than our parents. Boy, that is an understatement. And I'm a little embarrassed to say SM and I never saw it coming. We had faith in the monetary system. Now, not so much. But it's like closing the barn door after your donkeys have run off (sorry for the liberties taken) nothing to be done now but dance with the music that's playing.

Some nights I worry about how we will make it if we live past 80. I know this is a Debbie downer post but this is where I bring my thoughts, good, bad, snarky, silly. So, I know you will bear with me.

Sweet Man is very fortunate that he has his health and tenacity, knock wood. I'm fortunate that I have such a wonderful partner, provider and friend. We're lucky to have each other.

Yesterdays drive to nowhere was a serious discussion of finances, plans and even so, I feel better just knowing we are on the same page and have each other's back. This really isn't how I saw our "golden years". I thought we would be free as birds and as the song goes, "heading down the highway, looking for adventure". But, I will see our drives to nowhere, Sunday lunch in a new locale and being together as the best of our "golden years" because it is. All we have is now.


  1. Don't you even consider croaking before 100, young lady. You've got grands and great-grands to look after and spoil yet. ;)

    Seriously though, I appreciate the thoughts laid out here. Joe and I have talked about retirement and the planning for it but both feel like no amount of scrimping, saving or planning will ever allow us to do so. Not in the traditional sense anyways. Sometimes dreams are just that, meant to be held in the head and the heart but not in the hands. And our reality is sometimes the dream we never knew our hearts had wished for. So, while we still plan and talk, we're trying to take the "come what may approach" and hoping we can squirrel enough away to get an RV and live life on the road in our old age while the Child holds down the fort for us. ;)

  2. we probably lost $30,000 in the two stock market crashes. We stopped putting new money in the stock market after the first crash. No we just sit on it. put it in IRAs or money market accounts for a whole whopping 1% interest or something similar. Not making any money but at least we aren't losing it either. Not that we've ever had any real money to put away. it's been a hand to mouth existence. I try not to think about it but just take every day as it comes and get as much enjoyment as I can. what will be will be.

  3. Both my hubby and I are retired and we are still living from paycheck-to-paycheck. I have always felt that the problem is that when something goes wrong in this economy the cost is always passed on to the consumer. Excuse me! Who do I pass the cost to? The consumer is the one who carries the burden...not the rich. Just my $.02 worth.

    Linda, you and Sweet Man hang in there...I would miss you and this wonderful blog :)


  4. I can imagine how scary it is. I'm scared now, and the way our legal retirement age is going, I'll be over 70 before I'm even allowed to retired, which is more than my entire life so far away. I have no savings. I'd love to, but I spent 10 years after I graduated paying off student loans/debts, and since then have had to spend money on those nice practical things like 'new windows', 'a new roof', 'loft insulation' and 'a car'. I have no other half, and no prospect of getting one, so it'll be me, myself and I in my future. Much as I hate to say it, the people that look like they'll be keeping me in my old age is my parents, but unfortunately it will be because they're no longer with us.

  5. So many people were harmed by the financial meltdown in recent years, yet nobody was sent to jail over crimes that have left so many people devastated. Ours will be the first generation in a very long time that is not as financially well-off as the generation before.

  6. Life has a way of jumping up and biting us in the ass. I've noticed that too.

  7. I too had it all planned but the Bush years caused my company to restructure and everyone over 50 had to go. My age group was making too much money. Too young to retire, too old to hire..I had no choice but to down size. Arkansas provided the lowest cost of living and most bang for the buck in real estate of all the states I researched. We adjust and do the best we can. Luckily for you,SM is not opposed to continuing work. That is a blessing.

  8. Oma Linda, you and your sweet man hang in there! It's like when mom was scammed out of her money! Things will work out! I don't know how, but I know they will! Mom always says I am too positive, but that's me ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

  9. This happens all over the world - we all save for that golden time and what keeps surprising me is that no one paid the price, except the people, the every day Joe n Josie's investing in their golden dreams. I have believed for some time now, that there is no law to protect the people and you can be darn sure the people that committed these financial crimes, devastating many, have their little nest eggs tucked away somewhere else. My Mom always said, it'll all work out - might not be the golden years you worked for, but it will all work out because you have each other.

  10. Sweetie, I don't think I can add more to what you posted. My sister and brother in-laws, both lost big bucks in the Enron fiasco, both are teachers, and lost just about all of it. They had to return to work, after they had retired, and last year, they finally retired for the time being, anyway...both in there early 70's.

    Vern works "for the man" and there's always fear he'll lose his job since Corp. American is all about the bottom l$ne and my honey is no push-over...he's never drunk the kool-ade. We do have a Plan B, but that can still be scary in these economic times.

    That's why our lives are simple and we're grateful just to spend time with each other, and on occasion, our grandchildren (since they don't live here), and just being "us." You and Joe are so much like us...maybe that's why we're see what's "real" and what's "donkey caca!!" LOL Using a bit of the same said "liberties!" LOL Great post and no "debbie downer," just the truth and our generation's reality.


  11. I retired last June after 32 years as a teacher. My husband retired in 2006 mainly because the company broke everything apart to ship the work to China. The nice thing is that we always lived below our means and saved money. We downsized to our retirement home in 1997 before the prices escalated so we live small in a little cottage by the sea. My husband is an artist now and fortunately has made a name for himself so he actually sells his work regularly. But, we never counted on the sale of art in our planning. We just continue to live small and enjoy our days together.

    I hope that you and your husband enjoy many more simple days together.

  12. At the moment, I'm a freelancer and disabled. Every time I read the news or get a litter of the VA, I start wonder about the size of my future pickle...

    Oh, and I'm with Danni, if you die before you are 100, I will find a way to travel to the Summerland just to yell at you. You are warned. And loved. ♥

  13. Im a GYB visitor and this post resonated with me, despite my being here in UK. Im alone, long story but at 64 had hoped Id have those companionable golden years with someone like your sweet man. Lucky you two and many years more for you both.
    Ive been alone for some 20 years, raised 2 kids and have 2 grandkids and consider myself lucky despite all.
    My pension will be small and so I dread stopping work although Id love to although I have a magic job in many ways.
    I will have to manage one way or another and have never had savings so have none to fall back on lol
    I was one of those 60s young, hoping we could change the world and right enough we did, in so many wonderful ways.
    But the bankers ? dam it they should be named, shamed and imprisoned not given bloody huge bonuses and handshakes when they leave their jobs.
    But Im convinced that all the banks, insurance and other institutions are riddled with a materialism that is fraudulent at worst and radically inefficient at best.
    What was that song?
    We will survive?
    We will, but it will be our common sense that pulls us through not the society that we tried to build for the benefit of all!

  14. Good post, Linda, and lots of food for thought here, including in the comments. I lost track of your blog some time ago and am so glad I found it again. I like that you get "down and dirty" real here. It's refreshing! xo Jennifer

  15. You took the words outta my mouth!

  16. Goodness, this gives me a lot to think about. I don't do planning well. It is very difficult for me to see future events or goals. I have always been a person in the now or the then but have great difficulties figuring out a month from now, let alone retirement time for hubby and I. That will definitely be coming up this weekend when we go through our finances. Hugs and love, Bird

  17. Oh honey, we all live and learn, don't we? We've been one step away from bankruptcy for the past few years, and are honestly completely down to a 401K of only $5000.00. I have lupus and fibromyalgia, and struggle to maintain a 38 hour work week so I can keep my benefits. Dan is out of work due to lower back injury and we are waiting to hear back from his MRI on his shoulder. When I think of the future, all I have to fall back on is experience. And experience has taught me that things always work out. Maybe not like I'd have envisioned or hoped, but we are always ok. And of course there's always that love thing we share. It seems to go pretty far at times like these. ;-) Mina

  18. My husband plans to work until he has to stop too. He is 64. I just read that if a person begins using their Social Security money before they turn 66, they will loose maybe 40% of what should be coming to them. It seems they keep hiking up the year to be able to access Social Security, and yet, the immigrants who come into the country who have NEVER WORKED HERE are receiving funds from Social Security. It's all politics, and we are part of the Baby Boomer's at the tail end, so the government KNOWS what they are doing. We have been taxed to death, and are paying through the nose for everyone else. There is no 'Golden Egg' for us when retirement finally is forced upon us.
    Just venting. Somehow, they will take it away from us and we will be living on the bare necessities. The American Dream...Ha! It's gone for good.


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