As I've stated many times in this blog, I am retired from federal service. I retired on November 13 (Friday the 13th, in fact) 2003. I retired with trepidation. My marriage was on the rocks and I wasn't sure it would survive my retirement. As it turns out, I was right. Be that as it may, I was able to plan effectively for my retirement. But, not everyone does that. A case in point was an old friend (who I had not seen in years) I came across this past Saturday at the local park.
I like to take my four-year old beagle, Ralph, walking on Saturday mornings. It just so happens I met a former co-worker of mine (who I consider a friend) at the park. He was selling peanuts. Yes, he was selling peanuts. Of course, we exchanged pleasantries and talked about old times. But, I had to ask, why are you here early on a Saturday morning selling peanuts? He looked downward and said, "Because I have to do something to make ends meet." Long story short, this is one of those people who did not take retirement planning seriously. Sure, he has a pension from the federal government. He squandered his meager 401K equivalent (in just 2 years). But, he can't make it on that pension alone. He's not eligible for Social Security for another five years since he is now 57 years old. He said his daughter helps him out. But, he admitted he is living hand to mouth now. Yeah, I bought a couple of bags of peanuts from him. I felt bad for him. He was one of those "live for the moment" type people.
If you are one of those types that "live for the moment," may I suggest you take this brief retirement questionnaire? It's only five questions. It's one of those 1-10 things where you feel most correctly describes your feelings on a particular question. Yes, it's a home page of a retirement planner (Ameriprise). That's all beside the point. You need to prepare for your retirement NOW.