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Will You Have Regrets in Retirement?

Will You Have Regrets in Retirement?

Retirement is a time of reflection. It can also be a time of regret. Once you are retired, the reality sets in, and some decisions may prove to be ill-advised. The best thing about regret is that you can take your knocks, learn from the miscalculation and move on.

Here's how to avoid retirement regrets.

What you might be sorry about

"The most common regret we hear from retirees is that they didn't save enough to maintain their lifestyle in retirement," says Charles Weinrich, private financial advisor with SunTrust Investment Services.

If retirees could do a do-over, they would start saving sooner and be serious about it, says Melody Juge, founder and managing director of Life Income Management. "They wish they had been more thrifty when they were younger. They regret not having enough to do all the things they want to do for fun with family, or enough for family or charity," she says.

Juge has heard people lament how they didn't make a detailed plan for where they would live and how they would live.

At the other end of the spectrum, "We hear from widows and widowers who wish they had spent more of their money while their spouses were still alive – to take that dream vacation and make more memories. These individuals often lament opportunities they missed because they were always worried about saving for the future. Some of them realize now that they could have enjoyed more of their income along the way," says Weinrich.

Investing misadventures

Another area that tops the regret list is investing. "They realize they took on too much risk, or took too little risk," says Joshua Brockwell, investment communications director for Azzad Asset Management.

Some folks are bemoaning the losses they incurred in the last two bear markets, says Ken Moraif, senior advisor at Money Matters, a wealth management firm. "They regret not being more proactively involved in the decision making regarding their investments."

This regret was caused by not having a well defined "sell" strategy in place to protect themselves from a large decline in the market. "It is my belief that an exit strategy is the only way to have any chance of avoiding big losses in the next bear market," says Moriaf.

Secondly, there was misplaced trust. "Someone told them to stay in to 'buy and hold' and they felt they didn't know better and needed to just follow what they were told, much to their dismay," says Moraif.

It is a major challenge to determine an appropriate portfolio composition that will provide adequate income for current expenditures and growth to provide income in the future. "Not being able to determine one's future income needs makes this even more difficult," says Bob Stammers, director of investor education at the CFA Institute. "The reliance on equities and other growth focused investments can lead to paper losses and portfolio value swings that are very stressful for people living off their assets," he says.

Avoid regrets

The sooner you learn to say no the better off you will be. "Many individuals pay for their children's college education in full, and in some cases, even use their own retirement funds to pay for these education expenses. It's important to remember not to jeopardize your own retirement," says Angie Stephenson, partner, senior family wealth guardian at ParenteBeard Wealth Management. Instead, she says to find alternative paths. "Encourage children to attend a community college and then transfer to a state school, close to home. Consider a middle-of-the-rad approach to share in some of the educational costs."

Many regrets can be avoided by building a comprehensive financial plan with a certified financial planner, putting it into action and updating it regularly, says Weinrich. A financial plan can accurately analyze one's ability to successfully retire, including accounting for taxes, inflation, long-term care and increases in medical expenses, says Weinrich.

A retiree could see 10 bear markets during their retirement

"A plan can also help people know when they can relax and enjoy what they've worked so hard to save," he adds.

Older retirees may not have known where to go for information, but for those retiring today, the world is a different place than 20-30 years ago, says Juge. "It's not difficult to learn what you need to know. But the rules that will get you to your goals are not sexy and they require confidence," says Juge.

She outlines some of her rules that can set you up for retirement. "Always pay yourself first, save 10% of your take home pay (that is after 401k and all other deductions) and place it in savings. Do not buy on credit, ever. If you don't have the cash then you can't afford it."

Furthermore, she says if there are two incomes in the household, use only one and save the other. She says ideally, pay off your house in 5-10 years.

Do the math. Going forward it is incumbent on retirees to have a well defined "sell" strategy, says Moraif. "We have averaged a bear market approximately every three years since 1929. The average drop in the market during those bear years was 37%. A retiree could see 10 bear markets during their retirement. If they are taking money out while their investments are losing money, they could very easily run out. The math and history is stacked against you. Why not prepare and plan for the inevitable?"

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QED   |     |   Comment #2
"Will you have regrets in retirement?"

For me it's a tough question with a two part answer.  I've no regrets so far, and I retired at a young age.  Still, it's early.  While I've been fine across these last (almost) thirty years of retirement, with current American leadership it's clear the roughest years lie ahead.  I hope I make it through.  I hope everyone does.
Ally   |     |   Comment #3
My husband was retired on disability for 18 years before he passed. I had to retire 6 years ago from the 2 jobs to care for my husband. I would not have changed one thing. I now babysit without pay for my grandchildren ( so much fun), go to free concerts in the summer, take lots of long walks, audit classes at the 3 colleges in town, volunteer, Drive to Michigan City and take the  train trip to Chicago for $4.50 to just look at the sites, a beautiful, clean, and friendly city. We walked 9 miles last Tuesday, downtown, saw the theatre district, went to Wrigglyville, Millinium park. Only went into the Apple Store downtown. The architecture is amazing in Chicago.  I love retirement. I was not ready to retire but love it.  Like my husband said when we were dating--I was a cheap date. I loved dancing to records, $1 movies, bonfires and roasting hot dogs, hiking, listening to music, discussions, watching sunsets on Lake Michigan, playing cards (especially bridge), 7 for $1 hamburgs and I still love these things. The hamburgs are not healthy so it is a salad or a yugurt with fruit and granola or fruit bowl. :) 
paoli2   |     |   Comment #4
Retirement??  Do wives and mothers ever get to retire?  Hubby is retired and hates it because he loved his work but I still handle all the finances, medical, taxes and dealing with all insurance companies for the family.  Must be nice to wake up and not have to "go to work" even if it is in your own apartment.  We did everything most retirees do (traveling etc.) before he was retired and glad we did.  I bemoan the fact that we lost our paid up home in a hurricane and are back to paying apartment rent but life goes on.
scottj   |     |   Comment #5
Retired 4 years ago at 48 and no regrets at all. Sure rate enviroment has thrown a little wrentch into the mix and that has had me  make a little change.....stocks.... I'm still over 80% cash  but decided last year to put my maturing IRA CDs into the market, bought BAC (up over 100%) and INTC (up around 30%). Those 2 gains have more than made up for my lower CD returns, also whats great is since it's in my IRA I can still look poor enough to get $635 in monthly subsidies for my healthcare in 2014
lou   |     |   Comment #6
Scott, the interest from the CDs or the 80% cash you have is below the Obamacare income threshold? If it is, are you dipping into your principal for living expenses?
paoli2   |     |   Comment #7
Scott:  I'm confused about these so called subsidies.  I know you are too young for Medicare but I thought the subsidies were for people who were of a lower income than you seem to be in.  How do you manage to get a subsidy??   One thing I did hear over the news is that Obama has things so messed up with Obamacare that he isn't really checking if people "need" the subsidies.  All one has to do is say they do.  I cannot imagine running a country like this.  I guess you found the "loophole" in this and are using it since they say the prices for the policies can be expensive. 
Shorebreak   |     |   Comment #9
Paoli2 posted: "One thing I did hear over the news is that Obama has things so messed up with Obamacare that he isn't really checking if people "need" the subsidies. "

"He", if you mean President Obama, doesn't personally check this. What "news" told you this?
scottj   |     |   Comment #10
To get subsidies I must stay under 400% times poverty level, that is $78,120 for my family of 3. Between 300%-400%  is the lowest level of subsidies but will still work out at about $635 a month for me. Everything I have is paid off so my living expense is not bad. Only time I have touched principal is when a buying a new toy like a car. At 52 I'm not that concerned about my principal coming down slightly, figure when we see 4% CDs again I will be ahead even with less principal. Also nice that in 10 years I can start collecting SS, from using their site it says as of now looking at a little over $1,700 a month in todays dollars  
paoli2   |     |   Comment #12
I would rather get my info from someone I respect than a "fact" sheet that can be one-sided.  We cancelled our membership to AARP because experience has taught us that we can't believe everything they spew as "fact" .  I was surprised that what you sent was their fact sheet.  Do "you" believe everything AARP writes as "fact"?  I would be very surprised if you did without checking it out in other reports which I will do.  Thank you for sharing anyway.
lou   |     |   Comment #13
I do not qualify for any subsidies, but even if I did, I would not take them. In Ca., all the plans on the exchange have severely restricted networks of doctors and hospitals. I always tell people that health insurance does not necessarily equate with health care. What good is subsidized health insurance if I can't see the doctors I like, or if I get very sick, I can't go to the best hospitals in the state.

Unfortunately for me, my premiums went up by over $5,000 a year because I was of those people who had a policy that was cancelled due to Obamacare. So I would love to have a subsidy but not if the insurance su*ks.
paoli2   |     |   Comment #14
#11:  BTW, I always try to read info that thoughtful people send to educate me.  Everything I read on the AARP fact sheets are the same info I have been "hearing" from others I listen to on TV etc.  It seems these are the basic facts that most have become acquainted with and which I already knew.  I was most interested in how the subsidies worked and Scottj was kind enough to post them and how they work.  It is possible to get more understandable "facts" from those who are using the system and that is what I was looking for.  Thank you Scottj for sharing the info.

scottj   |     |   Comment #15
It is fact that the subsidies eligibility portion of the healthcare act is broken. I know from talking to a customer care agent here in MA that not one single person has received their eligibility determination  notice. As of now saw on news income will not be verified yet and insurance companies/exchanges  will be able to give the subsidies and things will be adjusted at end of 2014 tax year.....well if things get fixed by then. Whole thing is a disaster and has made Obama look like an idiot, funny that I can't stand that guy but everything in my life has gotten better since he was elected. 5 years ago before he was elected I told people if he got elected a war on small business owners would be started so to avoid it I would call it quits and sit on the beach with a beer in my hand laughing at the messes he would get us in.  
paoli2   |     |   Comment #16
Scottj:  I have to agree with you but I am not laughing.  I am very concerned about what the future holds for our country.  I heard on the news Obama was putting the health insurance companies on the "honor" system basically.  He will pay them before he knows exactly how much the subsidies were and leave it up to the companies to send back any overpayments.  This is begging people and companies to be dishonest and we, the taxpayers are going to end up paying for all these mistakes and misjudgements. But Obama does have those who will defend him no matter how ridiculous his actions are for our country. Have a good evening.
Shorebreak   |     |   Comment #17
Some people sure like to lay the blame for their own poor retirement planning decisions, including providing for healthcare, at the feet of some politician or other entity. How about looking in the mirror and asking yourself what you did wrong or didn't anticipate when you were younger? Yes, I know that plans can go awry due to things that occur beyond our control, but that's life. Thus the point of this..."Once you are retired, the reality sets in, and some decisions may prove to be ill-advised. The best thing about regret is that you can take your knocks, learn from the miscalculation and move on."
Ally   |     |   Comment #18
The IRS budget was not increased for the income verification. So anyone who says they are due a subsidy will get it at the end of the year or by getting a lower premium now and if the are not due a subsidy their refund or bill will be sent in 2014 or there is a possibility their insurance premium will be increased. A family of 4 can get a subsidy up to a little over $94,000. You can go to Kaiser.org and get the average subsidy for your state. Not sure if they have for a particular type of plan by not the individual plan. Some states are more than others. Like Tn is $1000 cheaper for a 45 year old for the same plan than it is in Michigan. It has to do with the health of the residents in each state and that is how the insurance companies rates the states. IRS will do as they do for seniors who make too much in retirement and some have to pay higher premiums. 
paoli2   |     |   Comment #19
#17   Who are the "some people" you are referring to in your post for their poor retirement planning since there are more than one of us giving our opinions in this thread?  I certainly don't think you are referring to me because I am fully in control of my financial and healthcare plans.  Must be one of the others whose plans have gone awry.  Maybe they weren't on DA long enough to learn better ways.

Ally, where are you getting your information from?  I know that some states are more expensive for insurance than others but if this other stuff is on Kaiser.org. I need to find it and make sure others find out about it.  I would hate to think programs I watch are giving out misinformation.   What Kaiser.org seems to state is quite different from what is coming over the news I heard just yesterday.  What you are posting is nothing like what I heard.  I will check it out on Kaiser.org.  Thanks.
paoli2   |     |   Comment #20
Ally, if you have time, can you tell me where I can find the info you are stating in your above post about ACA on Kaiser.org?.  I have the page bookmarked but they have so much on it and I can't find the subsidy info and how it works.  I want to show it to DP since he heard the same info I heard about Obama letting the insurance companies repay the government later etc.  It sounded quite ridiculous even for Obama to allow.  Thanks.
Ally   |     |   Comment #21
This is the old link I have for the healthcare subsidy calculator from Kaiser.org. They have a wealth of information on individual states and their health, income, number on food stamps, etc. Some are for each county in the state. 

paoli2   |     |   Comment #22
Wow!  I did the subsidy calculator that Shorebreak put on and unless I did something wrong, I was right! Obama is making taxpayers pay for his policies.  People can get a Silver Plan policy for less than Medicare!  It showed with my figures it would only cost the person $51.00 and the subsidy would pay over $2,000.00 for what the policy really cost!  He's determined to get his policies sold by getting the rest of us to pay for them.  You can't get Medicare for $50.00 a month!  What a crock to pull on the American taxpayers.  I don't mind helping my fellowman but he takes it to extremes.  That's all I will say on this for now.  I was better off before seeing SB's calculator.  I don't have time to write my senators tomorrow but soon as I can, I will.  How fast can one man bankrupt a nation??
Ally   |     |   Comment #23
 A senior will pay 3 times what a younger person pays. This calculator is an average only and not what a person will pay. 
Ally   |     |   Comment #24
Medicare pay 80%, silver pays 70%. 
RickNP   |     |   Comment #25
Consumers Union offers unbiased advice, although some of it is only available to subscribers. Here's a link to some useful information, including their interactive tool.  


paoli2   |     |   Comment #27
Ok, you like links this must be what the news was referring to:


So, if any of you know anything about what this site is, I'd appreciate knowing so I can know what is going on with the news I get and whether I can believe it or not.  It's exactly what was said yesterday by a panel I watch at night.  If they lied, I need to know.  Thanks.
RickNP   |     |   Comment #29
Paoli:  Thank you SO MUCH for posting the link above. If that is the type of source you use for your "news," you are either so far Right politically or so ignorant of the bias you are reading that there is no reason to converse further with you. I will not do so. And, for others here, I am a moderate Republican.
lou   |     |   Comment #30
Shorebreak, I am not sure I understood your post. Is it my fault that my insurance plan was cancelled and the new ACA-compliant plan my insurance company would like to transfer me to is not only $5,000 more but also does not have any of my favorite doctors or hospitals in its network? BTW, I am pretty healthy so I am not purchasing insurance now because I need it. Rather, I buy it to protect me from catastrophic events where I may need specialize care. If I can't get that care because of a deficient insurance policy, I don't see how that helps anyone.

What does this have to do with any retirement planning. I don't know where you live but you need to take a hard look at some of these plans on the Covered California exchange before you assign blame. I am not going to get into a protracted debate about Obamacare, but everytime I have to hear the rationalizations of the defenders, I think of this Groucho Marx quote: "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes."
scottj   |     |   Comment #31
To be ready for ACA I switched to buying from MA exchange last summer, since we had it due to Romney care. I found a policy that was better than what I had and cost is $1,577 a month, one had was $1,680. Starting Oct 1st our MA exchange changed to bring it inline with ACA and I have to buy new coverage through it by March 31, I was shocked when I started shopping new plans, they were a decent amount cheaper. I'm going with same carrier but policy will now be only $1,096 a month, only difference is I will now have a $500 deductible and had zero before. This is a Platinum level, you do not need to buy Silver, just that the subsidies they give me will be based from cost of second lowest Silver plan, for me it means they will pay a little over $400 a month 
health1au   |     |   Comment #32
I'd like to add: it's possible with the subsidies to 1) be retired WELL before you're eligible for Medicare/ss and have a seven-figure net worth and STILL be eligible for subsidies! Ask me how I know. 

It's based on INCOME and not net worth. If you have a pile of cash or investments that don't actually pay out dividends or interest income, and you don't work (because you're retired after all, with a pile of cash -- why work!?) then you are eligible. 


THAT'S how broken Obamacare is. 


In my case, I am retired, 47, net worth over one million, no debt whatsoever, drive a Mercedes, and I can get subsidies for Obamacare. 



Worried? You should be. 
paoli2   |     |   Comment #33
RickNP:  NO!  That is NOT the source I use for my news.  If it was, I would not have asked others on here about it.   I happened to find it looking for where the panel could have gotten their info from.  Evidently they read that and used it for a segment which I am now very upset with them about.  YOU have a nerve judging me on such a link.  I am from a family of devout "Moderate Republicans" and if "you" represent them, I need to change parties.  As for bias, you think you are not bias.  Everyone in politics is bias towards what they believe.  That is why we have conservatives, moderates, and people like yourself.  Please do me a favor and ignore my posts as I will yours.  I am at least willing to learn from others and ask for helpful information so that I won't become programmed to believe what others want me to believe.  I have a feeling you are so immersed in what you believe that no one could make you understand anyone else's beliefs or opinions. 

Why was it so necessary to announce in your post that you are a "Moderate Republican"?  Are you that biased against people who are anything else?  I don't judge people by their political affiliations but I have a feeling you sure do!   You might have a problem avoiding my posts, tho.  I tend to post a lot!
scottj   |     |   Comment #34
Not just Obamacare that is broken, he broke the whole country. I drive a $180k Audi R8 and will get subsidies, heck I thought of playing games with my money so it shows no income. Get me some foodstamps, welfare and other handouts. Before he was elected I paid $100's of thousand in taxes a year, now pretty much nothing. He has made it not worth working anymore and I know others who did same thing as me
lou   |     |   Comment #35
Scott, health insurance was much cheaper in Ca than Ma before Obamacare. I know because I have seen the niumbers at the ehealthinsurance website. I would bet you that someone could buy a comparable policy in Ca in the past for at least a third less than what you paid in Ma. So in your state it may have brought down the cost but certainly not in Ca.

Do the plans in Ma have narrow networks?
scottj   |     |   Comment #36
I was very surprised to see the lower costs, not sure why it happened? did they want to become more competative to get new members? Some plans have narrow networks and they are even cheaper. The one I changed to is concidered to be part of the broadest network and neither me, my wife of daughter had to change our doctors we were using when plan was through Bluecross/Blueshield. Believe me the last thing I want to gamble on is my healthcare. I researched this new policy beforehand and saw it was taken by every major hospital in Boston. The exchange makes it very easy to compare costs of plans and out of pocket maxs they show for each one can assure you of no surprises   
Roush   |     |   Comment #37
Another thread becoming argumentative and hostile because of the same 'you know who' troublemaker. This seems to happen over and over and over again.
RickNP   |     |   Comment #41
scottj, Hope I can  chime in. Despite the fact that I drive a lowly Hyundai, my net worth is roughly in the low 7 figures. At age 65 and with employer-provided retiree healthcare, I have not paid close attention to the ACA debate, but did help one younger relative successfully enroll through the national web site last month with a result similar to yours. What puzzles me is your statement that prior to this administration, you  "paid $100's of thousand in taxes a year, now pretty much nothing..."  A fact like this would gain a lot of traction in the mid-term elections if it is generally true and was more widely known. Could you point me towards sources so I could help publicize it?
RickNP   |     |   Comment #42
scottj: In rereading your previous posts, I think I've answered my own question. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Your point appears to be that with all taxes and onerous regulations imposed by the Obama administration, you opted to retire early rather than continue with your self-employment. Thus, your tax burden dropped as you stated. If so, point taken, understood, and congratulations!
scottj   |     |   Comment #43
Rick pretty much that. I owned a manufacturing company and made a good living. When Obama was running I saw the writing on the wall that he would start a class war and business owners would be made to look like villains. Then soon after he was elected we were going through a tough time during the 2008 recession,  to help get us through that period we applied for some of that low rate Fed guaranteed  stimulus  money. We were denied by the banks that we were told to go to for it. Most know now that plan was a disaster and banks never lent out most of the Fed money they got, they kept it in the Fed reserve making interest on it. Could have managed without but I got pretty ****ed off and that was final straw and shut my doors putting around 50 people out of work. Even got a nice bonus, found out since I also took a regular paycheck I was eligible for unemployment. Got the full 99 weeks for a total of about $65k. And yes I had many years where I paid a couple hundred thousand in W2 Fed tax. That new 3.8% tax on high earners  on unearned income to help fund Obamacare really made my decision to stop working the right one for me and some other business owners I know 
RickNP   |     |   Comment #44
Thanks, Scott, for the "gory" details. I'd pieced together the rough outline, as I said, from your earlier comments. I can't imagine your reaction every time you hear the words "job creation" come out of his mouth. I know what mine are. At the risk of turning this thread too far towards politics, (and also infuriating someone I have promised to permanently ignore,) I do want to explain why I felt the need to label my political leanings. Your experience is but a small piece of government creating a massive mountain of crippling debt for our country, a problem the GOP should be most capable of tackling. However, other social-type issues have derailed the traditional message of the party, and there is a vocal faction encouraraging it to become more conservative on non-fiscal matters than I am comfortable embracing.
QED   |     |   Comment #45
To me interesting post from scottj because of parallels between his situation and my own many years ago.  I retired prior to the Reagan tax reforms of 1986 because it made no sense for me to continue working, given the tax load.  I was a highly placed manager within a division of a Fortune 500 company.  The work was demanding, incredibly time consuming, and extremely stressful.  Way too much of my marginal income, at time of retirement, was going straight to the government, both Federal and state.  It made no sense to me, so much stress and so little benefit.  I'm convinced the escape move I made back then saved my life.  I mean that sincerely.

The approach of taxing productive people (I had a Vice Presidency locked in when I left) so heavily is bad for America.  It's not the approach that built this country and made it what it used to be.  When I retired I had the well-being of a couple thousand people resting on my judgement.  It's a responsibility I took very seriously, and I never let those people down.  But meanwhile, the government was attempting to suck me dry.  It simply made no sense to continue such folly.  Exactly how stupid did the politicians think I was!!
Roush   |     |   Comment #46
Before I retired, I had a CPA firm and witnessed first hand several successful clients who sold their businesses, or simply closed the doors or quit their jobs, for several reasons but primarily for the reasons specifically mentioned above in this thread. Later, when the tax rates were reduced and business conditions became more favorable again, a few of those who had previously quit their business or jobs actually went back to work and once again became quite successful and productive. In retrospect, it all seems so simple...simply create a favorable tax structure and business envvironment, stand back and watch the smart folks grow the economy and create the jobs. Otherwise, we are bound to end up with more of the same that we have now. God bless the USA.  
scottj   |     |   Comment #47
I'm strong believer in the Laffer Curve, I was doing well and could live with  the tax burden it carried....well at least to a point. Then they pushed it to far and I went from paying what I felt was already more than my fair share to almost nothing. This 3.8% tax on unearned income would have been horrible to me if I was still working, cannot  imagine the insult of having to pay 3.8% extra on my bank interest while the Fed is keeping us from hardly even making any. Between that and Fed and State taxes would have been paying over 50% in taxes. Now it's more about what I can keep than what I can make
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #49
Laffer's theory, for want of a better scatological term, is total bull****.  It relies upon a pair of premises that appeal to the mated desires of wingnut mathematicians and millionaires everywhere.  On the one hand, lower taxes, no matter the consequences for the rest of us, have always warmed the ****les of the Scrooges who don't want to pay this country for the benefits of the civilization that allowed them to accrue their wealth in the first place.  On the other hand, wingnut mathematicians like simple, and Laffer is nothing if not a simpleton.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #48
The one thing about retirement that hacks me off is that the federal reserve has destroyed prudent savers and non speculating seniors.   It's a shame they have transferred the wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich and bailed out the speculating bankers ( I call them banksters).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #51
Hello, Great Comments  and Happy Holidays.
As a business owner and a couple of years shy of 50, I envy those that said "see you later" on getting the crap taxed out of us. Our net worth is mid 7 figures and in two more years I am hanging it up. 3.8 % extra tax on interest income. Cause I have worked my butt off to have something!. Atlas Shrug. My company employs almost 50 people with a payroll around 1.5 Million. Can only take it for so long. Good to read about those who have retired early, sometimes I think I may be the only one who is ready to not be part of the class warfare anymore. Whose gonna pay for the food stamps? It really is almost not worth it to work anymore.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #52
When you work at what you love it is not work. You look forward to going to work. My thing was numbers and people, my husband dream was building and helping people. He loved to go on a car trip and say "I helped build that." My children work at what they love.  One loved numbers and making them work for enjoyment and he ended up writing music and having a recording company. He said music is all numbers and making them balance. The other loved biology and detective work and making things work and he is a doctor. They, like their parents, work long hours and 7 days a week but none of us looked at work as work and were excited to go to work and see what could be accomplished that day. It seems that so many people work for money. I can see why they are so unhappy. When you work 7 days a week you pay lots of taxes. Taxes are just a consequence for being successful. It is like have a big heat bill because you have a big house. I just don't understand why taxes would even factor in as an equation of whether you work or not. I feel sorry for those that work for money. We had a magnet on our refrigerator and I still have it on my file by my computer. It says "To realize a dream you have to have a dream to realize." Think about it. Money is not the answer. Happiness and contentment  is the answer. We all need education, a warm home, food, and health and transportation to fulfill that dream. At the dinner table every night as the children grew up we talked about what happened in school or work that day, was there a problem we saw and if we thought of a way we could help solve it or how we were able to help someone that day. We could talk about what we did to make someone's world better that day. We also could talk about something we read on the front page of the newspaper and why we thought it was so important. We went around the table and sometimes we went around the table more than once. To quit work because of taxes is not something I can comprehend. To work for money and resent paying taxes is why you are not fulfilled. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #53
Easy  to understand your thinking.  Especially when you had a very financially secure and comfortable lifestyle.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #58
Agreed. Especially regarding her choice of words that "Taxes are a consequence" and "I feel sorry for those that work for money" (how condescending). These comments gave me CLEAR insight to the real thoughts of the person behind those comments..

The most ironic comment said by this person (who seems to pity those who resent excessive taxation and by saying so is supporting the current regime's agenda) is her husband "loved to go on a car trip and say "I helped build that". The agenda she is actually supporting (or is just ignorantly blind to) would most definitely say otherwise. http://www.varight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/YouDidnt.jpg

To be well off and fulfilled is to be able to give to those causes that are important to you. Not to have it confiscated and redistributed with no say in the matter. 
Ally   |     |   Comment #54
To #53 Yes I do live comfortably. My lifestyle is paid for by living 100% on Social Security.  I buy on sales only along with coupons. I use on line blogs. I bought an $1850 26 cubic foot refrigerator 2 years ago, blue box recommended by Consumer Reports for $650 with tax and delivered. I bought a 32 inch Westinghouse flat screen for $128 2 years ago from Target. I use cash back credit cards and reward checking accounts. I budget $15 a week for groceries. I fill up the gas tank by using on line programs showing where the cheapest gas is in my area. I combine shopping trips with appointments one day a week and that is when I top off the gas tank if gas prices are low. I put less then 8,000 miles a year on my car and take trips to the lake for beautiful sunsets, my yearly slumber party in another state, took a trip to Chicago, to Fort Wayne, and another trip to Indiana this year. 
We all need to thank Ken who has added to our knowledge by showing  us  reward checking accounts and places to earn money with our IRA's.  Next  year I start my RMD's and will be giving that to others who are less fortunate. I few days ago I  made 12 meals of soup from the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving.  I don't eat out much but go to lunch 4 times a year with childhood friends when we celebrate our birthdays. I do my own shoveling of the driveway which this week has been twice a day and I also do my own mowing. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #55
Good for you.  I do almost the same the same, enjoying my retirement, living on my savings, which I accumulated over the years by working all the overtime that I could get, plus working on Holidays.  And am now collecting almost the max. S.S.  No regrets here.  Done without many luxuries along the way.  Now I can afford to sit back, splurge a little, and relax during my retirement.
paoli2   |     |   Comment #56
Next  year I start my RMD's and will be  giving that to others who are less fortunate."
Are you accepting names now or is it too early?  How do we get on your list? :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #59
Paoli2...and hope that Qualified Charitable Distributions come back in 2014 (for RMDs)...it is a great method to donate and not increase one's adj gross income.  FYI, I took enough from IRAs until 70 1/2 so that I was below a higher tax bracket AND have cash available now...for emergencies, i.e. live on SS with no debt. 

Good thread, thanks in large part to participants like you!  Happy Holidays to all!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #60
Retired at 65 to care for my husband full time. He had been put on 100% disability 13 years earlier and we had another 5 years before he passed.  I discovered it doesn't take a lot of money to be content and happy with your life. Income from SS is enough for me since he passed. We lived on his disability and used my salary for my IRA and his spousal IRA and my 401K and then saved the rest. 
Ally   |     |   Comment #61
Should have said I retired from part time work at 65. Collected SS at 62 and went part-time because my husband needed more care and because Part D would not cover some of his medications. During this time Part D would change the formulary after the first of the year when you had already signed up for it. 
We had to pay back 5-7 months  to SS but it helped to pay for some of the prescription medicines  that just one of them was $700 a month. Now they say that prescription has proved ineffective and they are going after the drug manufacturer for sending in false information on their testing. So goes life. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #62
I never plan on "retiring" in the traditional American sense of the expression...........although some people who know me claim that my life as it stands can pretty much be considered a retirement anyway. Not being a native born American, & having lived in Europe & Asia for extended periods, I have always been amused at how much time, effort & consternation many Americans spend on "retirement planning". It is without a doubt a category in which Americans leads the world, by a handsome margin. Another category where Americans clearly lead is in deodorant usage...................though I make no claims that the two are related. :)