Tag Archives: Retirement Income

Plan for a Better Retirement

I love the entire weekend, but my favorite day of the week is Saturday.  It always has been that way for me.  Sunday is ok, but Sunday is not as good as Saturday.  What makes Saturday exciting for me is that I am off from work, but I am also off the following day.  Monday is still two days away.  That will change after I reach retirement.

When I think about retirement, I see it as a never-ending Saturday.  Retirement is the stage of life when you finally get to live life on your own terms.  There is no longer a boss who you must satisfy.  There are no more clients who you need to please.  You are probably thinking “sign me up”.

I see retirement as a white-board.  Before you reach retirement, it is a good idea to have some plans written down as to how you are planning on spending your time after you no longer have to head off to work to earn a living.  The nice thing about retirement being a white-board is that the markers that you use to write your plan can easily be erased and the plans can be changed.

Retirement is not a short-term endeavor.  If a person retires at the traditional age of 65, it can easily last 25 years or more.  For early-retirees, it can be more than 40 years.  In both cases, there are many factors to consider.


Spending will be different in retirement.  Some financial writers say that retirement spending is much less than when a person is working.  Sure, there is no longer the expenses for the daily commute, buying and maintaining work clothes, and eating lunch out every day.  Your spending will now be more on hobbies, interests, and travel if you chose to do so.  Just as you monitor your spending when you were working, you still need to have a budget in retirement.  Personal Capital is a great free tool to track spending while working and when retired.


Income fuels spending.  You need to have a solid grasp of where your income is coming from when the paychecks from work end.  How much are you planning on withdrawing from your portfolio every year?  When will you collect Social Security?  Do you have a pension?  Are you planning on working part-time?  Have a solid understanding of how much income is coming in.  It is still a best practice to spend less than you earn.

Time Management

When you are working, you have to develop time management skills.  Daily tasks need to be finished.  Are you always being pulled away for meetings about special projects?

Time management is also important for managing all your responsibilities at home.  The kids need to be taken to practice.  The house needs to be maintained.  The list can go on and on.

In retirement, time management is still important.  You are retired, and your life is yours to live as you see fit.  Don’t waste your time sitting home and watching tv.  Plan for daily exercise, thought-stimulating activities,  and finding ways to stay fulfilled.

When you are working, you might feel overwhelmed because there is not enough time.  Retirement is the opposite, but it can be equally overwhelming.  You don’t want to find yourself overwhelmed out of boredom.

You have worked your whole life to reach retirement.  Don’t waste it.  Plan on getting out and start living.  Retirement is the time to do what you always wanted to do but did not have the time in the past because work and family obligations were in the way.


Be social.  Unless you worked remotely, you probably had coworkers.  Being around other people is healthy and prevents loneliness.

If you have friends, retirement is the time when you get to spend more time with them and to further develop the relationship.  Pick up your phone and call or text them.  Take ownership of the relationship if you value it.  Don’t become a stranger.

The same is true for family.  Retirement is the time to grow closer to your spouse or partner.  You worked hard to have all this time together.  Embrace it.  Focus on making the relationship better every day.  Now that you have the time, put more effort into what you can bring to the relationship.

There is no excuse for loneliness.  There are many not-for-profit organizations that need volunteers.  The options to meet people and to make friends is endless.

Since you are reading this blog, you are most likely interested in personal finance.  Join the Financial Independence community.  There is Rockstar finance, the Bogleheads, ChooseFI, and many more.  These people chat on online forums and social media.  They also have meet-ups in almost every city.  I have made many friends online as well as at various meet-ups.


You have worked long and hard to reach retirement.  This chapter of your life is about how you are going to take advantage of the rest of your life.  Time is a precious gift.  It is up to you to make the most of it.

Retirement is different.  Retirement is a unique dimension of living.  This is the time in life when most people truly first experience freedom.  There are no more deadlines or commitments.

For some people retirement is scary.  They are no longer gilded slaves.  It is their first experience with truly overseeing their life and time.  There is nothing to be afraid of if you do your due diligence.  By putting it down on paper, the fear is reduced.  After you write it down, you have a set of directions to follow and amend as you see fit.

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Making Retirement Less Complicated

The following is a sponsored post provided by Blueprint Income.

Planning for retirement is challenging. It’s the most complicated time in our lives, financially. When you’re young, all you really need to do is save. But, eventually saving won’t be enough. You have to start figuring out how you’ll actually survive in retirement. And it’s not the same as surviving today for 3 big reasons, which I’ll go through below. Then I’ll tell you about a company I recently discovered that is trying to make retirement less complicated.

Reason 1: You won’t have a steady source of income.

While we’re working, the financial calculus is pretty simple: spend less than you make. Many of us have steady sources of income that dictate our spending ability. We know that each month we’ll get $X dollars, and we spend some amount less than $X so that we don’t go into debt and we save.

But in retirement, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who have a pension, you won’t have a steady source of income. We do have Social Security, which helps a lot, but it only covers 40% of the average retiree’s spending. So the remaining 60% of our spending we’ll have to cover through interest, withdraws from our savings accounts, or finding some other way to generate income. Most of our options out there aren’t as stable as our salaries, so we might not have the security of steady income.

Reason 2: You don’t know how long retirement will last.

There’s a reason why you can’t get a great answer to the question of how much you need to save for retirement. There are so many variables that impact that number, including what happens in the stock/bond markets and how long you live. You might have a retirement that lasts 10 years, or perhaps it’ll last 30 years. A 30-year retirement is wildly more expensive than a 10-year retirement. So which do you prepare for?

This also isn’t as much of a challenge if you have a pension, because a pension provides income no matter how long you live. But if you’re heading into retirement with a finite amount of assets, you need to figure out how much to spend monthly so that you don’t run out, no matter how long you live.

Reason 3: You might not have the same cognitive ability to deal with your finances.

Sometimes we procrastinate — it’s normal! And, often it’s not a huge deal; we’re able to catch up. But only because we’ll have the same level of intelligence and reasoning to get us back on track. Unfortunately, we can’t count on this in retirement. Some of us will start to lose our cognitive abilities. And, if we’ve set our future selves up with the responsibility of making complicated financial decisions (like the one outlined in reason 2), we might not do well.

Again, if we had pensions with paychecks coming in the door every month, then this wouldn’t be as much of a problem. But since most of us will be managing a market portfolio to an unknown end date, there will be no autopilot.

The Blueprint Income Solution

I was recently introduced to Blueprint Income, who are trying to do something about this. They’ve recognized the challenges listed above and created a new type of retirement plan to deal with it. It’s called the Personal Pension. Using annuities (insurance products that provide guaranteed income in retirement), they’re able to help you design your own pension-like plan if you don’t have one from your employer.

You contribute to it on an ongoing basis, alongside your 401(k). But, instead of that money going to buy stocks and bonds, it turns into steady retirement income that continues for as long as you’re alive, and even if the stock market crashes.

The annuity market is known for being complicated, hard to navigate, and expensive, so they’re dealing with that as well. Their platform only includes the simplest, fully-guaranteed, low-cost annuities, not the more complicated variable and indexed annuities that have a bad rap. And, their plans start at $5,000 with the ability to contribute flexibly over time if desired, much lower than the rest of the market.

Learn more about Blueprint Income and the Personal Pension here.

All of this isn’t to say that retirement is necessarily going to be hard or complicated for you. In fact, it has the potential to be exactly the opposite. But, creating a financially secure retirement for yourself — where you don’t have to stress about money — takes hard work and planning ahead. I hope the resources on this site and companies like Blueprint Income help make it easier for all of you.

The following post might contain affiliate links.

Please be sure to read the Disclaimer page.