How much have you and your priorities changed over the past twenty years?
Oh, let’s see. I had my heart redesigned. I had cancer. I had my stomach removed — twice. I almost died. Twice. Garry got a lot older. We both stopped working. All our money vanished. We learned to live on less, but there’s only so much less you can live on. I calculated today that in the past 18 years, Garry’s social security has gone up by (are you ready?) ALMOST $100! Slightly less for me, but I’ve only been getting Social Security for the 12 years, so mine has gone up less than $50. Garry’s two tiny pensions are even tinier now, but our mortgage went up because taxes and insurance went up.
Meanwhile. the house got old while we lived in it. Suddenly, or so it seemed, we needed gutters, a deck, a hot water heater, a replaced septic system, a revised well. New doors, new windows. A new boiler. I don’t even know how much we have spent keeping this house from disintegrating. All the work we did when we first moved in is now 20 years old. Where did the time go?
So what has changed? Everything.
For every one of you who are “saving for a rainy day” while planning all those fun times for when you are retired? Rethink your plans. Unless you get a lot richer than we did, you won’t retire until you decide you are too old keep working — or the people you work for declare you obsolete.
What if you don’t get a pension when you retire? A lot of places take pension money yet somehow, when retirement comes, there’s little or nothing remaining — or it turns out to be far less than it should be.
I’m incredibly grateful for all the things we did. We enjoy our memories. They make us laugh. If we’d been saving them for retirement, we’d have nothing to remember.
If you can, build memories now. Tomorrow is a question mark. Live in the moment. Don’t wait until you are old before you do the things about which you dream. Enjoy life. Savings are great, but so is living.
If you are saving for a rainy day, have you looked out the window? I think it’s already raining.