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REQUISITE BLOG DISCLAIMER: Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be long country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. Any products, places, and / or whatnots that I review for this blog are purchased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Presidential Pardons, or any flavor of sexual favors for doing any review.
EU TRACKING COOKIE NOTICE: Our Lord and Savior, The Almighty Gooooogley, bakes those scrumptious cookies and whenever The Almighty Gooooogley cooks something up it means everything related is for sale; it is possible that some of you good souls could be sold-out. The author of this blog sincerely appreciates the many visitors from inside and outside of the USA and feels obligated to mention that YOUR RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS (and / or employers) MAY KNOW THAT YOU WERE HERE and they may not approve of you perusing the blog entries regarding GUNS ... KNIVES ... SELF-DEFENSE ... CORRUPT POLITICIANS ... SELF-SERVING ROGUE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ... GOVERNMENT SPYING ON CITIZENS ... Human Rights ... Freedom of Speech ... Life ... Liberty ... Pursuit of Happiness ... War isn't Peace ... Slavery isn't Freedom ... Ignorance is Weakness ... and all that other "subversive" stuff that worries the living hell out of the dictatorial elite.
Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all!
Ante omnia armari
To each of you ... Thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Archive from October 24, 2007
Part of the idea of a Web Log (blog) is to make regular entries. Some do so daily, some are somewhat irregular like this one. Most folks start a blog and let it fold after an entry or two. I would like to thank those that have visited here, especially those that visit more regularly than I have been writing. Thanks for peeking in at my life and I’ll try to get back to some regular entries. Few will be profound, a few will be profane, and most will be mundane.
As far as retirement, it will soon be three full months. Hardly a full test-run of a new life, but I have to be very honest and say it is every bit as great as I thought it would be. At least a third of life’s stresses are work related. A large chunk of life’s stress comes from worrying about money. By putting a focus on a retirement date, and saving and planning for years, retirement can yank a whole lot of stress from your life. Age 55 is not too soon if you think things through. Not retiring at all is fine too, as long as it is your choice. Needing to work until the age of 80 years of age, because of finances, would be a bitch.
A few words of unsolicited advice are in order. Money is the key; quite simply money is power. You do not need to be rich to retire early, but you will need to live within your means. The first part of any retirement plan should be unrelated to retirement. Learn to set a budget (computers and spreadsheets have made this much easier than with paper and pencil). I look at mine most every day and make adjustments where needed. Keeping a budget will guide you to retirement. Next, pay off all debts if reasonable. Carrying a credit card balance from month to month is not a good idea even if you are rich. There is no greater waste of money than credit card interest fees. Here is a kicker; I have two credit cards that both pay me to use them! One pays me a cash rebate of 1% of what I charge on the card (even though I pay it off each month). The other is a graduated amount, up to 2% of what I charge. Both pay cash, none of that “points for gifts” nonsense. Folks, a couple of hundred bucks a year from a credit card company is not much but is much better than me sending them interest fees. Next, if you have a pension from a job you are quitting don’t cash it out! Let it ride until you retire and let it be part of your income. Next, put money into any tax deferred retirement fund you have at work. Put it in until it hurts. Mind you, if you are going to run up a credit card balance doing this; back the amount down to your means. Third, if you are maxed out on your plan at work, save and invest as much as possible in other ways. Certificates of deposit are OK, same for Roth IRAs. Better rewards (at greater risk) can come from stock mutual funds.
Final thought for today. A temptation most will have, including me, will be to take a big chunk of savings and buy a boat, an outlandish luxury car, or a vacation home. Savings, like a pension, is a like a job that pays you whether or not you get out of bed. If the savings shrink, the paychecks get smaller or can disappear entirely. Never spend the principal.
Thanks for visiting,
James A. Zachary Jr.