|This is ON THE LIST|
It's been awhile since I was in my 20's, but I don't think there is or was anything equivalent to this that has to do with planning your career or planning the rest of your life while you are still young. Not that many people want to get in on that act. And maybe not that many young people are interested either.
The Planning for Retirement Industry has themes to it. The greatest one is all about money. That's natural, I guess, because, as you know, in the US of A, it's pretty much all on each individual to fund this enterprise. Social security in conjunction with the services of a really good personal social worker on-call probably can keep a roof over the heads of most the really super unfortunate folks. That's something. But I (and anyone like you who might be reading this) probably don't aspire to live in a tiny room in subsidized senior housing and eating off of SNAP benefits in conjunction with the local food pantries.
But there is a really huge message in the Planning for Retirement Industry and that is:
YOU PROBABLY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY SET ASIDE TO BE ABLE TO RETIRE.
And, of course, if you don't have enough money, then what's the sense of planning? None whatsoever. Best go find that talented, dedicated social worker. But I am here to tell you that this message is ubiquitous and REALLY SCARY. I get frightened a lot about this, even though I am pretty sure, on an intellectual level, that this message does not apply to me. But the emotional message has gotten under my skin and just won't go away. I have to make efforts to ignore it.
Because of the first message, the next message is all about:
HOW TO GET AND KEEP A JOB IN THIS ECONOMY WHEN YOU ARE OVER SIXTY (or maybe even 50).
Secondary stories to this theme are all about seniors who are happy and satisfied with working until 3 days before they die of whatever. Or seniors who delayed beginning retirement until they were maybe 75 or so. Or seniors who did retire and then went back to work because they were feeling bored or unproductive.
So once you get over all those messages about NOT RETIRING MAYBE EVER, the next theme is all about:
HOW TO INVEST THE MONEY YOU DO HAVE SO YOU CAN MAKE MORE OF IT.
Me, I just ignore all of this because I made my decision a long time ago to just let the good people at TIAA-CREF handle all that. So far they have not failed me, & I see no reason not to keep with them. Plus I really love going to my appointments with Randy, my guy at TIAA. He always makes me feel better about life, and we spend a lot of time laughing together. And he has real good advice. Enough about that.
Then finally there are the two parallel messages:
SPEND YOUR MONEY HERE or BE FRUGAL AND SAVE ALL YOU CAN.
These themes are really these two messages in disguise:
LIVE FOR THE MOMENT, YOU MIGHT DIE TOMORROW or
YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE UNTIL YOU ARE A HUNDRED, AND IF YOU'RE NOT CAREFUL YOU WILL END UP IN THAT SMELLY, CRUMMY NURSING HOME WITH BAD FOOD AND NO ONE WHO CARES ABOUT YOU.
Which to believe? I have no idea. Wasn't there someone famous who said something like, "I'm really bad about predictions, especially about the future." If someone didn't say that, someone should have. Twenty five years ago, did I see where I would be living now and what I would be doing? No way.
and you will live in harmony
Randy assures me over and over again that I DO have enough money to retire and live the same way I have been living for years now. His advice is NOT to take up heroin or gambling or both. I think I can do that.
I WILL stop working for pay, but I will keep the option open if, in the future, I change my mind for some reason. Who knows, maybe I will get to feeling bored and unproductive? I'm just not going to set about PLANNING for that possibility.
I plan to be reasonably frugal, but I also plan to spend money on experiences that will give me pleasure and memories. That won't be an around the world cruise on a luxury liner for a couple of years. That will be that trip to Moab followed by another to Yosemite and then maybe the California and Oregon wine country. Vancouver ... I really want to go see Vancouver. You get the idea.
The end of the school year is coming fast. Not that I am counting or anything, but I now have three more in person class sessions for my clinical students + a final project presentation day for my MS students. A few meetings. A bit of planning for the summer session which will be all on-line. Then I really will be into THE LAST YEAR.
I am doing my best to enjoy the days now (which I really do) and anticipating with GLEE what will happen in 2016. I'm on the road to the next part of my life for real.
|I would kind of like to go here.|
It would not be horribly expensive,
but I don't know.
Maybe, we'll see.