Retirement. If you are wondering whether or not retirement is a good life, take a look at this beautiful picture sent by one of my readers. It is a view out the window of his retirement home in Montana.
I have never regretted my change from teaching. Jeny has not regretted stopping consulting. I do not think my friend regrets his retirement.
Our Model. Jeny and I were helped by having excellent role models for retirement. My dad was a successful agricultural banker with a national reputation. At age 62 he was asked to move from being a regional president to become the system-wide president. The promotion would have meant moving from Wichita to Denver, Colorado. My parents loved Colorado, but my parents also worked together on decisions—one of the keys to the length and success of their marriage.
He took the proposed promotion home to discuss it with my mother. Her thoughts were succinct “We were dirt-floor, out-house poor during the Great Depression. We were apart for four years during World War II. We lived meagerly on the GI bill during college. When you graduated, the job market was flooded with veterans. We were glad to have a low paying entry level position. We began to have money when you became the bank president.”
Aside. They did not start making money until yours truly graduated from high school and left home for college.
Mom went on to say “We continued to live like the depression was returning tomorrow. When are we going to finally enjoy life?” He announced his retirement from the bank the next morning. They enjoyed travel, family, and friends until he died 18 years later.
Jeny and I retired at 62 and are in our 18th year since the changes. It has been a good time with hopefully more to come.
Nice to be Asked. As an old man, I was honored this week when a recent college graduate took the time to stop by for a visit. He is set to start a new job in a new town with a soon to be wife. I was even more deeply honored when he asked me for advice. He asked me in addition to keeping his faith, what practical advice would I have for him?
We had a delightful chat and it gave me a good chance to reflect back over my life..
Money was one matter we discussed. I shared that we had less stress than many other people our age because we properly managed our finances. I told him my dad’s mantra: “Always spend less than you make.” That lifestyle meant we always had money for emergencies and we accumulated resources.
The accumulation of money and other resources was not because of greed but rather having the resources made it possible to help others. I firmly believe — to those whom much is given, much is expected.
I also shared the importance to me of knowing the difference between needs and wants. Seeing to our needs and the needs of our family was the first priority. After the needs were met, any wants were paid for in cash. Early in our marriage, we went in debt for a car and a house but now we pay cash for those items. That means no money goes to a lender and more money goes in our pockets for helping others.
I suggested one key for a successful marriage was developing ways to communicate through the tough moments. We work together on issues, particularly faith issues. I gave him an excellent brief book that has helped many people with relationships: “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews.
We talked about many other things. He brought an old man joy.
Football Hall of Famer Loses Millions. Shortly after the young man left our home, I noticed something on the internet about money. Terrell Owens is a Hall of Fame football player who made millions. He lost his fortune. The article is about lessons he learned from the experience. The lessons are good lessons. I never imagined I would recommend an article written about Terrell Owens, but I found the article to be quite good.
I expect most of my readers are good with money. However, if you have someone who may not listen to you, he or she might learn from another person’s mistakes. Again, I do not think many of you need financial advice, but the article is a very good resource to use with others.
First Responders are heroes again.
Alabama has been around a long time.
Maybe I should set a goal.
Odds and Ends.
In a response to my last blog, one reader made the excellent point, there are no accidental discharges of guns only negligent discharges.
Another reader appreciated the emphasis on personal responsibility and gave another example of how we blame something other than ourselves.
I read another Shaq story. He was on a late-night show. The host asks guests to choose between two things. The host asked Shaq, if he was flying would he prefer window or aisle?
Shaq’s response – private!
Brilliant answer for a big man.