Curious about what others do to stretch their after tax dollars... if rational and conscious thought regularly factor into the equation....living paycheck to paycheck seems to be very common.
Retirement is nudging closer (I will be 56 in March) and thoughts of modifications to the "budget" do worm their way into my reality, rather more frequently. I do not focus on money, I am not "obssessed" with it, it has a purpose but beyond that I don't dwell on it....maybe I should...at this stage of my life I might need to be more proactive in my financial house.
I am not a big spender, maybe because I am not a big earner.
Working part time, by choice, I have taken a cut in pay but the trade offs are much to my liking...
less stress and time to do what needs to be done and what needs to be enjoyed.
Money must be managed or it manages you.
Spending without thought = trouble.
Debt can mount up quickly if one is not mindful...
a healthy balance is the goal...
I have an obvious weakness for luxuries...
and splurge now and again.
Bubbly beverages, Hermes scarves, clothing, shoes and bags....
I also like to get away where sightseeing, dining out, and shopping, all play a major role.
There was a recent report released in the news about how ill prepared Canadians are when it comes to planning for their retirement...and as unbelievable as it sounds most people polled said "winning the lottery was their retirement plan."
I am not sure how well prepared we are for the future but I do not think that the lottery will be our plan, it would be nice but that's just absurd!
I can and do economize in certain areas...
we had a bad patch back in the 80's when there was a slump in the economy. We managed to pay all our bills and a large mortgage payment and we did without frills so that our children could still enjoy lessons and that "most things" remained unchanged...we made our own fun.
The children still remember drinking skim milk and eating the bumper crop of zucchini and rhubarb that year!
Our lifestyle will be affected as our pensions will be smaller than our current salaries
and the RRSP investments will need to be carefully guarded.
Medical and dental plan premiums will increase....other things will disappear...professional dues, parking fees and work clothes, for a start.
I will re-evaluate my personal expenses and think that things I "take for granted" now will have to be prioritized on a scale of what is most important.
Things such as my hair regime, which involves a trim every other month and highlights which I cannot do myself....this is #1 now and I cannot forsee this changing.
Seasons tickets to the two local live theatre productions might need to be replaced with "seniors seats" for matinees which are less expensive and by then we will have met the age requirement!
Our boat and boathouse are expensive and I cannot envision boating in my late 60's or beyond!
Thoughts of choppy seas and me slipping and falling onboard and possibly breaking my bones does not sound very attractive. Sea legs, agility, quick thinking and balance are vital for safe cruising.
More than likely we'll sell one of our two vehicles as this would amount to a very large saving considering there is maintenance, insurance and gas. We are close enough to walk to the city or hop on a bus... besides which, that's the greener option.
I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, so dining at home is what I am used to and would not expect this to change.
Hostessing and entertaining casually for friends could definitely increase when I do not need to get up early for work.
I may host a weekly bridge group. I played for many years until one of our key players passed away from cancer. It's a wonderful game that requires concentration, counting and strategy. It can be very social depending on the skill and seriousness of the players.
My wardrobe is smallish and colour co-ordinated for maximum versatility and wearability....
so I do not forsee a drastic change here either.
If you are nearing retirement what thoughts or considerations are you wrestling with?
Have you planned for every eventuality?
What does retirement look like for you?
Are you planning to travel, move to a new place or stay put?
Are you confident with your plan and feel that you will have enough to live on and still have some money left for luxe treats?
I hope we have planned adequately for the future...
and if not,
there are plenty of lottery tickets...
available every week.