Then he looked at me expectantly. I am almost 74 years old so seeing the future me means something entirely different. I am living my future. The outcome was determined many, many years ago. I am the answer to the how the future will look, not the question.
|Our future now...grandchildren, visits with family,|
travel, an occasional golf game, long walks,
our garden, friends and a snowbird lifestyle.
I suppose the two things that I thought about when I was younger was money and health if I indeed thought about anything. I was never the primary breadwinner although I did work most of my life. I am a retired teacher. I always saw my role as keeping things under control so we could live on what we had not what we wanted to have. As for my health, I have always been active both mentally and physically so what is, is.
I don't think I am the best example for independent women of today. But I knew women that made some very smart financial choices that left them well fixed in retirement. The thing that always impressed me about those women was their determination to finish what they had begun. They found careers and worked very hard to advance and learn within those parameters. Women my age did not change jobs if they were smart and had a good position. The grass did not appear to be greener to them. Those women retired and could be self-supporting if they needed to be.
Of those women, one stands out in my mind. She was a home economics teacher turned counselor. She earned a Master's Degree when her children were young. Her home was beautiful even though she did not spend very much to make it that way. She was all about creating and doing it herself. Her husband was a wonderful partner. She probably visited the second hand stores and looked for deals. She covered her family room floor with carpet samples and found uses for wallpaper sample books. We are very lucky now because information on DIY is everywhere we look. Doing what she did would be much easier now.
They sold that home making a big profit and built a new one in town after she and her husband retired. I am sure it is as beautiful as her country home. Like me, she is now living the future.
If I were to give advice to a young woman today that is not married and the primary breadwinner, I would tell her that living on what she will retire on and saving the remainder is the answer to providing for their future. The phrase that so many use, "I cannot retire to the lifestyle I am living now," is very telling. The future depends on living in the lifestyle you will always be living. It is all about self-control and seeking help from a professional for working out the details.
One resource I found for retirement planning is this tool from Personal Capital. It's a retirement planner that's 100% free to use for anyone in the U.S, and it really helps you see how much you're saving and when you're planning to retire.
I am very grateful for the way things turned out for us. Would we have done things differently? I don't know. We live a very full life on what we accumulated. Now we are reaping the rewards.
So, how do you see your future?
Note: I received no payment for this article.