Monday 112: Looking At Retirement Numbers

Monday, 15 May 2017

This weekend I took an online class that is required to set up an appointment with a representative from my retirement program, a public employees retirement system (PERS).  The course is actually very worthwhile as it opened my eyes to all the wonderful things available to me through it:  different levels of retirement pay, depending on how I choose to disburse it; health care which includes medical, dental, vision; long-term care.  There are other things, too, which make me so grateful I am a member of this group – something which I did not appreciate until recently.  On top of it, I have been paying social security ever since I began working at 17, and can expect to collect a tidy sum there.  The question is whether or not I will be affected by the WEP (Windfall Eliminations Provision) or not.  I will be making a visit to a local Social Security office to start learning about this as well as Medicare sign-up.

Getting ready ahead of time is really important to me, not just for retirement economics, but overall.  Sadly, I haven’t done well in the financial department, though it is getting better.  With retirement two years out, I figure my time to learn about what I can hope for on the financial scene is now, not later.  I really admire all the younger bloggers who have their acts together.  Planning for my retirement means getting my financial house in order by June 30, 2019, my estimated date of the last of 182 Mondays!

Car expenses were awful this month – but cheaper than buying another car!  Mr. 182’s car is an Acura RSX S Type, from 2003.  It’s in good shape, but like with any car, it needs maintenance and repair.  While the oil is changed regularly, things can happen.  What happened was the air conditioner went out.  In cooler months, this is okay to not need, but in hot summer months, it is another story.  Fortunately, we have a good mechanic who is into economical repairs, and does things piecemeal, checks, and continues.  We had hoped it would have been a $400 repair, but after that, it came to the point of having to pull out the dashboard to get to other parts of the system.  The evaporator was corroded – common, it turns out – in this car and model.  So, the final cost was $1680.30 – but we had the cash, thanks to saving every month!  And, we can still save $1000.00 this month, so we will replace most of what we spent.

Planning ahead saves money.  It makes some people really happy to do this, while others are more for living in the moment.  Whatever you are, some self-discipline and self-denial are necessary.  Having a “pay myself first” attitude builds wealth.  Not buying things when you cannot afford them works, too – unless you are quick to pull out the credit card, which has been our past habit.

Everything in life changes.  Planning ahead helps lighten financial shocks, such as extensive car repairs.  Saving money is akin to saving yourself in many ways.

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