Saving for your old age

When I started teaching, which I think I have mentioned, many times, was my second career, a friend who worked for an insurance company took me to lunch and said, “Someday you will want to quit working, and even though you will have a pension from teaching, you will need more money. Let’s open an annuity for you.”

Trusting Linda, I did just as she recommended, putting money in from each paycheck and just forgetting about it. My friend, younger than me, died a few years ago and my annuity was passed on to another agent. I got reports in the mail on the fund, and I knew the money was there, but I didn’t think much about it nor did I ever meet the new agent. Until today.

A few weeks ago I started thinking about that money and realized that would be a good fund to tap to have our house painted and reroofed. For those of you who have been here for awhile, you know that we did not sell our house when we took off to live in San Francisco for those 15 months of magical living. The housing market had collapsed and we could have gotten very little for the house. We decided to hang on to it, and when we moved out of that one room studio apartment overlooking the bay, we came back to the 1970s house that was paid for in Fresno.

Everything in this little house is pretty much original. We have replaced the dual pack (known as AC/heating), the water heater, a few appliances, the bathroom floors, and the kitchen/family room flooring. Early on we had the house painted, but that’s been close to 30 years ago. It’s time for a new paint job. The roof is the original shake roof. Terry has repaired it here and there and he says it still has a few more years of life on it. I would like an expert opinion. We did have an overhaul of the patio roof a couple of years ago as it had some serious leaks, but it is an add-on, of a completely different kind of material.

Getting back to that financial planner with whom I met this morning. Right after I thought about the money in the annuity, I received a letter from the agent with an invitation to come see her. Perfect timing. Turns out, she is a delightful woman who knew my original agent. We talked and compared notes for a good hour and then did the paper work to pull some money from that annuity to do the painting and roofing.

I came home from that meeting and wrote a post on Facebook  to all of my young friends with advice to start saving now, with an annuity, a 401k, an IRA. With compound interest, that money will just grow and grow, even a little bit of money will increase so that when they retire, or just get older and want to do something, they will have a stockpile of money with which to do it. I am glad that my friend sat me down and said, “Someday you will be 60.”

A few of my former students responded that they have 401ks where they work and that they make maximum contributions. One said that she had friends, though, who were not so fortunate and she wanted the name of my person to pass on to them. I guess I taught them well.


5 responses to “Saving for your old age

  1. very good advice! sorry to hear about your friend’s passing though.

  2. When I started working at my last place of employment, I was almost 40, and they required me to put money into the retirement fund, and they also put in 10% of my salary. In 30 years it was amazing how much we had when I finally retired. It’s made all the difference in a comfortable retirement. I recommend it highly.

  3. Such great advice. When I met my now current husband, he asked me if I had done any planning for my retirement I thought he was nuts. I was only 40 at the time. However, as I thought he was also very prudent, I began to set aside 10 percent of my income each year which my company matched with 5 percent.

    Years later, when I changed jobs, I used that money to travel and make many upgrades and repairs on our house. I also set aside part of the money into a fund associated with my new job with the government, ie.e used some of the funds from the old job to add to my second retirement fund, including repaying Social Security for those years I was a government employee in the 1970s (before government employees were moved to Social Security).

    Years later, I am so happy I took my new husband’s advice and set aside money for my own retirement. With any luck at all, I will never have to work again nor end my days in poverty. Great post today, and I wish everyone took this advice when they were young. Apparently a few of your acquaintance have done so.

  4. Good advice, but doesn’t always work as planned. Over the years, I’d amassed almost $400,000 in my 401K Plan through the company I was with for 20 years. THEN, Enron came along and, because of the avenues the company had invested the money into, mostly Enron, the value of the stock fell until, when I left that company, there was practically nothing left. I’d have been better off putting money in the mattress all those years. But at least, I was able to move on to another job and begin again, while some employees and retirees were totally ruined.

  5. I was lucky in that my husband insisted I put the maximum away into my 401K almost as soon as I went back to work. I wish all young people would do that!

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