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Friday, October 30, 2009

When I Retire...

Skepticism runs deep in my psyche along with a mistrust of the often touted ‘expert opinion’. I also dig my heels in when I feel I am being sold something with scare tactics-as in do this OR ELSE.

I put money aside every paycheck into my 401K, I save into our emergency fund (and now house fund) money market account, I put extra toward the principle of our mortgage (which translates as ‘death-grip’ BTW). But I have a tip about this hot new investment that I plan to give a whirl-MYSELF!

Last year’s financial crisis was something of a revelation for me. Watching my carefully gathered funds just vanish made me feel helpless, just totally powerless. It was soon after that I reduced my 401K deduction drastically. Instead of putting money in a precarious house of cards, I wanted to invest in my own house-my own homestead-my own ‘retirement’. Yes, my taxable income is higher, but I feel it is a small price to pay for honoring that inner-voice.

I have made the decision to look at retirement in a whole different light. For many, retirement is the tantalizing carrot dangling just out of reach, waiting as a reward for 40 years of unrewarding work. 'When I retire I will be able to enjoy my life.' 'When I retire I can really get into my hobbies.' I don’t have any intention of waiting.

My investment in our future is starting now, while I am still healthy and strong. My husband and I can still break ground, install fencing, and start an orchard; if I wait until 65 that will not happen. I do not plan to retire to The Village in Florida, or play a lot of golf, or go on cruises when I am old. I foresee myself working part-time until I am physically unable (I do love my career when I can find balance!). I see myself helping to raise my (great?) grandchildren.

Compound interest is a wonderful thing and don’t get me wrong-I will continue to save and invest. But I am going to ‘diversify my portfolio’ just a little!

Twenty years down the road-worst case scenario: my 401K retirement nest egg may dry up and blow away, the FDIC may not be able to keep up with banking collapses, food and fuel prices may skyrocket. But with acreage owned, goats in the shed and potatoes in the clamp, I can feed myself. With a wood plot and a passive solar design I can stay warm. With solar panels I can pump water. You get the idea. I may not be saving for the future but I sure as hell am investing in my future.


Anonymous said...

I agree that there are lots of different kinds of investments, and often people don't look beyond the traditional 401K etc. type (sadly). Yes, its a lot of up front money, but there is a different kind of security - not to mention the mental peace that it can give and the pleasure you have in your home.

Ruralrose said...

Hear, hear sista!!!! Fear of the unknown is always prevalent, preparing for the future, and the children of the future is bravery. At the beginning when all the choices are yours it is easy to make mistakes, it is natural to "try on different dresses" until you get a perfect fit. But once those initial choices are made, you join the secret society of nature and she calls the shots, shows you opportunities and mistakes and the path of least resistance for the most gain. You will feel that relief you are longing for, and your children will bloom in the natural peace and abundance that is their birthright. Smile!

fullfreezer said...

Very well said. We had been looking for our acreage for a while but when things started going bad last year, we picked up the pace on the search. Our own investment in our future.

Sue said...

Great post-and very well said.
Hubby retired very young...we don't have a whole lot. But , we own our home, and we grow a lot, and come hell or high water, we at least have a roof over our head and food to eat. Congrats on having the foresight to see what is really important.

Country Girl said...

I agree. Just like with anything, don't put your eggs in one basket. I have the same thoughts and plan!

Kate said...

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. The "real" in real estate means something. It's here, in front of me, something I can touch and trust. Unlike some numbers on a computer screen or printed on a bank statement. Those numbers may or may not mean anything when I need them. The apple tree, the hens, the asparagus bed - those things I *know* I can rely on. I prefer to invest in things with unquestionable long term value.