“Retirement is wonderful if you have two essentials —
much to live on and much to live for.”
The author for this quote is unknown but whomever made this observation was certainly an astute observer of the human condition. Most retire with much to live for; watching their children mature and become successful responsible adults, enjoying their grandchildren, and just experiencing many of the things they dreamed about doing in retirement. Others love to travel, expand their hobbies, garden, or remodel their homes. One of my friends spent the first 10 years in retirement totally remodeling his home, Nick did most of it himself. His brothers helped with major projects, and he contracted out what he didn’t have the expertise or equipment to complete himself.
You may have much to live for but if you don’t have sufficient resources retirement can become a burden rather than the reward it should be after a lifetime of work and sacrifice.
Putting off retirement planning until the headlights are on the stop sign; in other words, fast approaching your target retirement date can be devastating. By that time you’ve lost much of the advantages of compounded interest which produces considerable investment gains over your lifetime.
I know of many who believe Social Security and their annuity will be all they need to live comfortably in retirement. That may be the case if your mortgage and major bills are paid off and nothing extraordinary happens such as a major illness or financial crisis arises. A number of variables can push you off track and before you know it you are knee deep in debt and have no way to recover during your lifetime.
Fortunately a majority of employees plan ahead, save for a rainy day, and have alternatives when diversity comes knocking at their door. Those who don’t plan ahead often lament “why me!” Even though you lose the advantages of compounding interest the longer you wait it’s never too late to start the process. There is hope, it’s just that the later you start the more you have to put into savings to reach your goals. Fortunately Uncle Sam foresaw this problem and for years now allows those over 50 to make additional catch up contributions to their 401K savings accounts. Just one of a number of ways to get ahead when you are behind the curve.
I talk to many that say, “I can’t save, I live paycheck to paycheck now, just can’t do it.” Yet, after those same individuals evaluate their spending habits they often discover many ways to economize and transfer a portion of their unnecessary spending to their 401K plans and other savings accounts. My article, titled “Where Are You Now! Looking At The Numbers… “ helps individuals discover where they are overspending using several helpful tools including the free Kiplinger’s online Budget Worksheet. Many have found this very helpful and it is so easy to use. I also offer a free report, “How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire ” with a free downloadable spreadsheet that will help anyone discover where they are spending their money now.
Financial planning  is one of the major topics I cover in my articles and on our Federal Retirement Planning Center . It’s such an important part of life in general and essential for a sound, happy and rewarding retirement. Whether or not you are approaching retirement or retired if you anticipate or are having financial problems evaluate your spending now. Use the tools I list in this and related articles to determine ways to economize. It’s never too late to start. Another option for retirees is to explore employment options . Your work skills could transfer into an exciting new career.
Request a Federal Retirement Report™  today to review your projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
Helpful Retirement Planning Tools / Resources
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- Retirement Planning Guide 
- Financial Planning Information 
- Thrift Savings Plan 
- Master Retiree Contact List  (Important contact numbers and information)
- 2018 Leave and Schedule Chart  (Excel chart tracks all leave balances. Use this chart to set target retirement dates.)
- Annuity Calculator (FREE Excel chart estimates annuity growth)
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein by the author are not an investment or benefit recommendation and are not meant to be relied upon in investment or benefit decisions. The author is not acting in an investment, tax, legal, benefit, or any other advisory capacity. This is not an investment or benefit research report. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of various federal benefits and potential investment in securities of the TSP and companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. Any analysis presented herein is illustrative in nature, limited in scope, based on an incomplete set of information, and has limitations to its accuracy. The author recommends that retirees, potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment and benefit research of their own, including detailed review of OPM guidance for benefit issues and for investments the companies’ SEC filings, and consult a qualified investment adviser. The information upon which this material is based was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but has not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice. The author explicitly disclaims any liability that may arise from the use of this material.
Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp
- Required Retirement Application Forms  - September 18th, 2020
- 2021 COLA and the 2020 Health Care Open Season  - September 12th, 2020
- Health Plan Comparisons – The Good News  - September 4th, 2020
- There is No Vaccine for Rioting  - August 28th, 2020
- Survivor’s Checklist Update  - August 22nd, 2020
- Savings Bond Redemptions & Memoir Update  - August 14th, 2020
- Second Opinions Matter  - July 31st, 2020
- Random Thoughts - From the Front Line  - July 17th, 2020
- Stand Up and be Counted –The Story Continues  - July 4th, 2020
- Stop the Insanity: History Can’t be Rewritten  - June 18th, 2020
- TSP CARES ACT & Life Cycle Fund Changes  - June 13th, 2020
- Prescriptions Revisited (FEHB)  - June 4th, 2020