Over our retirement years, I have had people ask why we continue to save and don't spend our retirement money down. I think they thought we should be spending it down all of these years. I guess you are supposed to do that so that so you die broke on your last day on earth. If anyone here can tell me when that day will be, I would be very appreciative.
First, we do spend our retirement money down. That is how we pay our bills and all of the luxuries we need. But we know how much we can spend each year. We will be retired two decades in a few years. Wow! Where has all of that time gone? It just flies on by. However, due to the great stock market over the past few years and the fact that we continue to save money each and every month, we have more money now than the day we retired.
That said, we have not gone without anything that we want. We live luxuriously and do everything that we want to. We traveled a lot more when we were younger retirees so more money went towards that. I still take trips with my children when the opportunity comes up. But Hubby no longer wants to fly or travel except for road trips that are less than 6 hours away. He loves being at home as do I.
Secondly, we can't control the economy. Since we have retired inflation has eaten away over 30% of our spending power. For every $1,000. we had in 2001, it now costs $1,387.54 to buy those same goods. Over that period inflation has been about 2.7%. That is a relatively low number but now that the Feds are raising interest rates, that number will be increasing. I remember all too well in the late 70's when interest rates went up to 16+%.
Third, as you age, you need more money to meet health issues. Since we became Medicare, our health insurance has been relatively cheap. However our out of pocket co-pays and drugs have sky rocketed. You see that in our monthly costs for medical. We do not want to go without good health care because we can't afford it. It is frightening to me to be in line behind someone pricing out their prescription before they fill it and walking away because they can't afford it. We also do not have dental insurance. We have looked into it many times since we retired and the cost per year isn't worth what we would be paid back. Dentists in this area do not take insurance as payment in full. So we self insure for dental. We pay out of pocket what we need to for our teeth. We don't want to be toothless. These costs will continue to go up.
Fourth, we still have goals that we look forward to. My grandchildren are a big part of that. We want to see them through their educations whether that be secondary school or college. We want them to have a choice as to where they get that education. Education was one of the reasons that we have gotten as far as we did in our lifetime and it helped our children get to where they are today. We want the same for our grandchildren. Our parents did not have the money to put us through college. We paid our own way. That is hard to do today.
Fifth, as we age, there are more things that we need help with. With Hubby's bad back, he can no longer do the things in our yard to keep it the way we want it. He still mows the lawn since we have a John Deere riding mower. But everything else we pay to get done. We love our home and love having the beautiful property so we will continue to pay for these things. If we had not saved, we would not have these choices. I still clean and take care of our home with the exception of minor repairs that Hubby does. But there may come a day that I need to hire help and we want to be able to hire someone to do those things. Our sons do help with little things(like getting the spring furniture out for the patio, carrying heavy things to the basement, etc.) but they don't have the time to do the bigger things. They have their own homes and families to take care of. We remember how busy we were when we were their ages.
Sixth, when you own property and your own home, you need to be able to pay to maintain it. You also need to be able to afford your school and property taxes. They just keep going up as we see our assessment keep going up. We get no break from the state, county or town for being a senior citizen. We have too much money. But that is a good thing!
Lastly, I believe that genetics play a large role in how long you live. My mom died too young because she got a very rare disease. I don't know much about my father health wise since he was out of my life before age 3. However, my grandmother and her siblings lived to ripe old ages. My grandmother was 89 when she died. I plan on beating that record. Hubby has heart disease on his side of the family but with modern medicine and diet he has outlived both of his parents by years.
We also believe that optimism plays a large role in how long you live. We always like to see things as bright not dark. We have never been bored a day in our lives. There are always too many things that we love that we can do. I love writing this blog even though I don't benefit from it. I look forward to your comments and chatting with each of you.
We didn't retire to be couch potatoes and waste our days. We move as much as we can. I get my exercise each and every day. We both have many interests that we pursue. We continue to make friends and be around people on a daily basis. We still go to parties and BBQ's. We chat with neighbors on a daily basis in the nice weather seasons. We go out with friends. It's a great life. So when we will die is in the Lord's hands but we don't plan on checking out any time soon.
Bottom line is we don't know when the good Lord will take us but we do not want to ever be put in the position of running out of money for the things we need or want. We have seen too many retiree friends spend their money all the way down in a few short years and now they have the added stress of wondering how they will pay their bills. We retired to get rid of the stress and we are not letting stress back into our lives.
So we continue to enjoy our lives in retirement, saving for our goals, and making sure that we never run out of money. Could we spend more? Yes but we don't know what we would spend it on. We have everything we want and need.
Everyone has to design their own retirement but this is how we are doing it. We planned our retirement to have many passive income streams which enable us to save each and every month. That plan has worked well for us. So we continue to save each and every month.
We have a few friends who are retiring soon. They are both online friends and friends in our every day lives. Congrats and we wish them all the best in their retirement. We hope it is all they want it to be!