The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Planning on Retiring?

That is both a question and advice, I think. It's a question one might think about after hitting the "Big Four Oh" but one shouldn't wait that long. Trust me, I waited a little longer than that and I am sorry for it.

In my old age and wisdom I have come to the conclusion that planning for retirement should begin around age 18. I regret not having set goals in my life, obviously. But, on reading what I just wrote about planning, it shocks me a little. I'll try to explain...

When you are fresh out of high school, the world and your life await you. Not all of us are blessed with coming from a wealthy family (oddly, those that are tend to plan their lives or have parents who do) or have innate talents that are in demand or will be in the future. The vast majority of us will have to struggle to achieve anything. You might say the odds are set against us. That may not seem fair but, as my dear old mother used to say, "Life ain't fair, quit yer snivelin'." Mom wasn't one to mince words... or tolerate whiny kids.

The other day, I came across this:
Seniors have brighter financial outlook in 2014

And it made me think. And, when I think, I tend to also muse... and, when I muse, I tend to bore you folks with what I come up with.

The first thing in the article was this:

She and her husband are from Wisconsin. They retired to Arizona, but now they're looking around Highlands County.

"We're visiting here for the winter months. We are kind of looking for something in Florida. We'd like some green space," Weidemann said.

I imagine so... Arizona (and I have been there many times) can only be described as "brown"... or maybe "beige." There is very little green until you get up in the northern areas (mostly the northwest part of the state) and there's precious little of that. But what struck me was that they had retired to someplace with mild winters and then spend the winter at someplace even more mild.  Poor planning, I'd say.  Why didn't they check out Florida before retiring to Arizona? Or maybe they did and thought it too humid at the time. I shouldn't second guess them, I suppose.

I can tell them now that they will be longing for that sparseness they once knew when they find that green space takes a lot of work; weeding, mowing, edging, trimming, etc. Not to mention the cost involved.

Living in a place where many people come to spend winters that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy (actually, I would wish them on even my nicest enemy... I am that kind of guy), I have come to realize that I definitely didn't plan well for retirement. Like most of my life, I just stumbled into it. These people all have houses in some miserable (in the winter) place and either can afford to rent for 4-5 months or own winter homes here. Homes that likely stay empty all the other months of the year.

I never could afford that. I have owned many homes over the years and, occasionally, owned more than one at a time. But I could never afford to leave any of the homes empty for any length of time. I had to rent them out. At one point, Faye and I owned three homes: two in San Diego and the one in which we lived. Both homes in San Diego were rented out. Eventually, we sold them.

But if you want to live a carefree life in retirement, you had better plan for it early in your life. Especially if you want to spend different seasons in different states.

Oh, today is Valentine's Day... A wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark, I think. Have a happy one and hug (at least) your honey.

1 comment:

Sharra said...

I'm in the same boat, wishing I had started sooner getting ready for the inevitable end of my working days. So I'm also struggling to get ready for it, and I have certainly struggled! At least I've been able to find some great resources for information, like With a bit of luck, I won't have to put off retirement for too many years...