I’ve come back from our trip to Santa Fe with renewed vision and focus on planning and saving for retirement. Santa Fe turned out to be a place where we could really see ourselves spending time in retirement. Our commitment to being debt-free comes first, so the only thing standing between us and a retirement of our choosing is having the savings we need.
‘You can’t take a loan for your retirement’ – Mr. Saver
Mr. Saver is eligible for retirement in his mid-50s, approximately 15 short years from now. This will occur just after our daughter would finish college. We are saving as though he will retire in his 50s so that when the time comes that option is available to us. I find myself running through a mental to-do list of items to put my attention on so that we are prepared:
- Remain debt free. Interest on home, cars, and credit cards is money that isn’t available for savings. “Rather to go to bed hungry than to rise in debt” – Ben Franklin.
- Budget money to maintain the things we already own, like home and cars, so that they last.
- Roth IRA – we should have a goal to fully fund both of our Roth IRAs every year from here on out. For more on this, see my prior post.
- It’s all about the weekly meal-plan… keep planning meals at home based on sales and what pantry items are available. Maximize veggies and beans, which are cheap and nourishing.
- Weekly budget meetings so that we are on the same page about where money should be allocated based on what expenses are coming up. It’s July, so now is the time to think about saving for holiday expenses, and so on.
- Practice contentment. We do not have the fanciest clothes, cars or house, but right now I value doing what we can to become financially independent so my husband can be in charge of when he retires. Contentment helps keep me out of the mall!
It’s a lot of moving parts to keep an eye on! What the trip to Santa Fe did for me, among other things, is enhance my vision of what we could create in our future. Having a vision of what you want is one of the most important steps to take when you have a goal that requires sacrifice. You can read more on creating a vision in my post “Imagining The Future.”
Do you have a vision for the future that is beginning to take shape?
Sounds like a good plan. Far too many today aren’t even saving and the benefits that the current generation has will not be there for our generation. They are what I call the spoiled generation. Continuing to pay for it will be on the backs of us and our kids. We all better realize that we need to save way more than they ever did to maintain a decent modest lifestyle.
Thanks for your comment, Elaine. Sometimes I do struggle with the balance between saving and spending… shouldI spend more? Save more? You are right that ultimately we have to plan to support ourselves and any other funds would be an added perk
Strange how very few people look even a couple of years ahead ~ well I’ve been there myself, live fast and all that. There is a cracking book ‘Thrift’, written by Samuel Smiles, published in London in 1892. Well worth glancing at from time to time. In the UK it’s a free ebook from Amazon.
Thank you Jack! It is a free e-book in the US as well! Sending it to the Kindle right now and I can’t wait to dig in.
Agreed! Having a vision is so important. And isn’t amazing how much we can save just by planning our meals? I used to waste so much money on take out/eating out/excessive grocery shopping. Thankfully, I’ve kicked that bad habit. Good luck staying on track. Sounds as though you’ve got a wonderful vision! Santa Fe is beautiful. 🙂