Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Achieving The Dream: Retirement In Paradise

I've got one more week to go before I start working.  I have to admit - I've kind of lost the knack of knowing how to fill my day when not working.  I thought it would be so easy.  So many projects and ideas swirling around in my head.  But I haven't started one of them.  I don't really know what my paychecks will be like and it's thrown me for a loop.  Made me scared to spend money, and anyone who knows me will not believe that, but it's true.  I feel like I'm in some kind of limbo.  An alternate universe where I have the same wants and needs, but I'm afraid to act on them.  L and I have lately had some serious discussions about retirement, and where we want to be, and how we want to live.  And we've realized we need to step things up a little bit in the savings department.  Not that we weren't doing OK, but it was just that: OK.

I don't want to retire just OK.  That implies a part time job being the greeter at Walmart.  I hate Walmart.  I want to retire greeting friends and family in a house in Hawaii.  At least for part of the year.  (L actually found one for sale that had a view of the ocean AND a guest house for less than 1 million.  Can you imagine?? That would be the ultimate for me.)  I want to spend my nights falling asleep to the sound of the ocean.  Weeks at a time breathing thick salt air while beachcombing.  And for that we'll need to have lots saved up so we have some ready cash to achieve our impossible dream.  So we've been having lots of Serious Talks about budgeting and saving.  Not my favorite conversations, but I'm trying to be adult.  A responsible adult, for once in my life.  So we've discussed not eating out as much (no more that once a week - GAH!), cutting down on the clothing allowance, and other such no nonsense measures.  Sooo, my working from home has come at a very opportune time, hasn't it?  There's a master plan in the works for each of us, my friends... always a plan.  I'm convinced of it.  I don't need a corporate wardrobe to sit in my home office during the day.  And while it sometimes hurts my heart to realize I'll have to use words like "No" and "Budget" and "NO," I know in the long run it will be a good thing to stifle my/our compulsive purchases.  I'll just have to hum hymns loudly when confronted with a shoe sale, the same as others do to overcome evil thoughts.  Evil thoughts being a whole other problem, but I can only concentrate on financial planning or evil thoughts at this point - not both.

It'll take some getting used to.  Instead of each keeping our own money, we're going to *gulp* POOL IT.  It will be hard.  I haven't discussed or asked anyone else whether or not I could or should make a purchase in years.  My MO has been to do pretty much what I please, within reason.  As has L.  But no more.  We will discuss. We will weigh the fiscal soundness of each expense.  And, if we don't kill each other first, we may actually end up with that Hawaiian beach house complete with guest house in our golden years.  Trade winds on the lanai... that would turn "sticking to a budget" into the sweetest phrase ever.


  1. YES! YES! Stick to that budget so the girls and I can come stay in your guest house!!! :) Oh, and I guess Zach can come too if he wants ;-) LOL...

  2. What a great thing to be doing, Karen. We need to do the same. We already pool our money, but we go out to eat, etc. way too much as well.

    We need to get in retirement mode because that is coming soon for Dave!


  3. Great post and something for us all to think about for sure.
    We already pool our money but I am still at the "Hope for the best" stage - LOL.
    Seriously, we have always invested, etc..for retirement but I think that with this economy and the way the world is that stepping it up is definately a must. Always reevalutating because sista I am so with you - I do not want to be a greeter at Wal-mart!


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