As long as DH and I can keep our monthly expenses at $2500 a month in our retirement (one car, one cell phone, one house), our current money holdings will pass the 30 year mark. Whew! At first I was elated that we weren’t going to run out of our money in retirement until I made an observation. How realistic is expecting our expenses to remain at $2500 per month several years from now despite plugging in a 3% inflation increase in the calculator? What if our cost-of-living per month jumped to $3000 or even $3500? Then what?
I re-ran the calculator plugging in the new anticipated monthly increase and got an eye-popping result. Based on a $500 to $1000 a month increase, our retirement money would run out after 18 to 20 years. That’s not good! We’ll be in our late 70′s to early 80′s and who in the world wants to be that old with no money? We’d be forced to sell our home and either downsize to an even smaller domicile or move in with someone. This is something neither DH or I would ever want to do. BUT, if we had to downsize yet once again, we’d do it. Move in with someone? That I’d have to think long and hard about.
I’m glad I used the calculator because it brought some valuable information to my attention. It also made clear that DH and I needed to spruce up our full retirement goals. I’m retired six years already. DH however, still has ten more years to go. (He’s younger than me.) Ten years gives us enough time to make some adjustments to our budget, start saving more and eliminate things we don’t need, want or use. Serious thoughts are going into selling the vacation home. I think its usefulness has run it’s course.
Lately, I’ve been elated just to be living in our home in the Hudson Valley longer and longer. The more time we spend here the more things I am discovering to do. First off, was discovering the Adirondack Mountains. Next month we are journeying off to Niagara Falls for a long weekend. I hadn’t realized how close we were to some serious vacation spots. New York State seems to have everything I long for: mountains and the beach. We’re only a five-hour drive from Montreal, Canada. How cool would it be to spend a few weekends there? And eat authentic French croissants and cuisine? Who needs Paris?
I am also sort of liking the cooler weather. I can no longer tolerate high heat days. I’m actually looking forward to walking (snowshoeing) in the snow! It’s great to hike and journey through the cooler months vs trying to walk in 90 degree, sweltering, humid, hot days (and nights!). I don’t like being inside a house with air conditioning on. I want to be outside all the time! Do I really want to spend two to three months in Florida anymore? Truthfully, two weeks in February is more than enough.
What’s happening to me?
What’s happened is that I am enjoying staying still. I’ve changed. I want to put down roots, literally. I want to have a vegetable garden and plant fruit trees. My constantly fluttering from place to place has put a damper on my style. I want to stay AND live in one place now. Doing so would free up a lot of money and it could be re-directed into a savings account.
I had a budget meeting with DH last night and we discussed my new findings and revelations. We also discussed mooring our sailboat back in New York vs Rhode Island. I’m longing again for the Long Island coastline which is a closer drive to than RI. The waters are still the same. The price tag would be more affordable. We’ll still get our beach fix in the summer but less cumbersome and financially un-restrained. It’s all good.
I was unanimously elected to a political seat here in my home town. It’s been fantastic attending the monthly meetings and getting involved in local town functions. I’ve been meeting new people and attending social functions. I’m making new friends! I have new neighbors! There’s acoustic night once a month at the library. Free weekly Italian conversational lessons every Thursday. Memoir writing class every Wednesday. Parties at the Hudson Yacht Club. Free concerts at the local university. The list has been growing steadily. I don’t want to miss a thing here. I don’t want to leave.
That’s the great part about being in your ‘Encore Life’ You get to pick and choose how you want to live because you’re free to do so. I can change with the wind and do stuff on a whim. It’s good to take a moment and re-evaluate what you are doing and re-adjust your goals. Making sure my money lasts throughout my lifetime was a good place to start.
And so my beat goes on.