Figuring out my retirement path is an interesting mental exercise. I had a financial planner look at my situation and we delved deep into the numbers. I pulled out the report to remind me of what we discussed and where I needed to be headed. I am glad I did.
My housing costs may come out higher than he projected. I want to retire sooner rather than later. What might help is to figure out a side hustle that brings in about $500/month. The question becomes the time loss factor of that equation. What I mean is does the value of my loss of free time exceed the money I would earn from such a hustle. I think I value my free time more.
I am looking down the road at another decade of working full time. Is that so bad? I have a feeling the time will move quickly. I am already beginning the third year at this job.
There are a couple of wild cards in the equation that I do not dare calculate. First would be my dad’s passing. I don’t know what he has set up and I won’t ask. It’s his money. However, he still has a very robust retirement fund. He owns a vacation home that will sell very quickly for a hefty number. He has been always been careful with his money, so I suspect there could be something headed my way. I can’t quantify it, so I need to ignore it.
The other wild card is my employment. I can’t quantify or predict this job either. I think the company will change dramatically prior to my retirement. It will be sold or something and with that leadership shift, my job will be examined very closely. Couple that with being an older woman at that time and I could easily be put out to pasture.
How will that factor into my daughter and her family? She has gently expressed an interest in having family nearby as she grows a family. I would love that too but there are so many things to consider that it warrants a post of its own.
All of this makes me sigh and think again about the place I want to buy. It will be at the top of my purchase price budget. Will that be worth it? What about the other neighborhoods that are my runner-ups? They would give me about a 15% savings. Is it worthwhile? I guess I just need to wait until it is time for me to buy something and let things play out at that time. Plus I can always change course if things shift. For example, I could always sell the place and downsize if I lose my job. I could put any inheritance towards the mortgage if I get something.
I must keep in mind what my financial planner said, “we can only plan with what we know.” He is so right. I can run numbers endlessly and still have incorrect assumptions. Some extra time post-pandemic to figure out the area will be a good thing for me. I can spend some time exploring and finding new things to do. Make some friends, enjoy some new activities.
I think I want everything nice and tidy. I want to feel financially safe and secure immediately. That isn’t really going to happen. I am financially safe and secure. My savings continue to accumulate. I went on a rager of a spending spree for my various family trips, but that is over, so I should be coming out the other side of that. Since July is a 3-paycheck month, this will all balance itself out.
I went through an exercise of cutting back my HSA and 401k contributions for a year so I could increase my savings. When I read through my financial plan, I realized that it was a short-sighted plan and I need to stay the course.
Patience. This all circles around to patience. This all goes back to everything will fall into place at the appropriate time, so I just need to give it time and space to do so. Sigh. In the meantime, perhaps I need to buy some more lottery tickets…