Retirement dreams?


Medical is the big X factor isn’t it? It has gotten so expensive even if you’re healthy. One of the big failures of our system in the US isn’t that it doesn’t reward innovation or hard work (although that seems like something that might change) but that living smartly may not be enough in the event of unexpected disaster. A late stage health issue can compromise a lifelong effort to build a retirement plan. Having to rely on assisted living or a nursing home can obliterate savings.


That sucks. It’s also the same thing all over the world. Our currencies are worth shit and so I think I am resigned to the fact that I will have to work till I die to be able to support the family and college fees.


I will have to look into that. I did see that you can stay up to 90 days in Italy without any kind of special visa. We don’t want to relocate permanently but I guess they wouldn’t know that if we told them we wanted to stay for a year.

We will not be wealthy in the sense that I would consider wealthy, but we will have a steady income and we will have savings. Other than possible healthcare needs, we shouldn’t be a drag on their system.


I am 62 and work in a family firm that is about to close. My father started the company in 1971 and my brothers and I all worked here for most our lives. But since about 2007 the good years have been few, my younger brother left the company when an opportunity came up and my older brother (66) is thinking retirement. Work has now become a matter of waiting until we lock the doors.

We had some good years and I should be fine once I fully retire, between SS and my IRA. But I am still a few years from wanting those to kick in.

Last spring I worked a second job. It is something that I can probably do 5-6 months year until I retire, so that is now my plan.


Yes, as an American you can visit any EU country for up to 90 days as a tourist. After that, you need a residence visa. Most countries have a list of the kinds of resident visas they offer (student, employment, refugee, etc) and a list of the requirements for each. Italy sells residence visas to people for €500k, which they would not do if one could easily get one outside of the set of narrowly defined standard ones. Many EU countries will give you one if you make a minimum investment which varies by country, from as low as €250k to as much as €500k. Be careful when you research because the rules are different for EU members than they are for everyone else. Good luck!


I’m 65, but not planning on retirement at least until I’m 70. Fortunately, it has nothing to do with money. From a financial point of view, I can retire anytime I want without that worry. It’s simply that I love my job and can’t think of anything that would fill the time that I’d like more. Can’t travel 365 and wouldn’t want to try. However, we do plan on taking more trips (my company provides me plenty of paid time off) to places that we couldn’t afford when we were younger. Yeah, I’m lucky.


That is how I feel. If I can find a job that I don’t mind doing until I am 70 then fine. I will do it for something to do as much as the money. I know my wife is already thinking she is done at 65 but as someone who hasn’t spent more than a 4 day weekend at home in the last 35 years I am pretty sure I would go crazy without something to do.

We do plan on traveling, upgrading our travel trailer and taking some 3-4 week trips.


I just turned 50 last week, so have been thinking about this for a little while now. My son is grown up, and with no other children, I have some time to work and build up a little extra nest egg now. We were very late purchasing our first house due to having a child while I was still in college working part time and trying to finish my degree, so the first 10-15 years were about just barely getting by.

We just refinanced to a 15 year mortgage 1.5 years ago, and cut like 18 months off it, so 13.5 years from now is my target. We also have a few parent student loans that were 15 year term and will be done by then, although they aren’t large enough to make me wait if I get impatient.

So, it really depends on our situation at the time and what the medical insurance landscape looks like here in the U.S. in 10-15 years on whether I will try to retire. I do like what I do for a living even though there are the normal growing pains of a company as it changes through the years, so I could see myself working longer if my health is good. Depending on how much we want to live on, though, I may be able to leave by 62 when my modest pension kicks in (maybe 1/3 of my projected Social Security), so that will help, assuming it is there. By 65, I should be in very decent shape for the way my wife and I live, but a lot of that depends on where Soc. Sec. will be by then and where our medical insurance is. I started putting a fair amount in my 401k since I was 26, so that will be fairly healthy by my early 60s barring any extreme market adjustments.

I would like to move back to the Keweenaw Peninsula in Upper Michigan to retire, but we will most likely stay where we are in our current house in mid-Michigan after it is paid off, for as long as we have the health to maintain it. I don’t think I will be able to talk my wife into moving back up to all of the snow again although I miss the laid back lifestyle up there, and the people.

EDIT: As far as what to do when I retire, I am sure I won’t have a problem there. I just need to get there! Just give me a reliable car, decent bars/restaurants nearby, and decent internet and I will be good.


I am certainly not interested in picking a fight over this, but in my case I would certainly disagree and suggest folks look into this. A financial advisor can help you plan, and figure out if your hope is to retire at this age with this much money, how do we get there? We also opened 529 accounts for both of my kids that we are contributing a little bit each month to (hopefully) be ready for college fees when the time comes. Maybe a lot of you can work out all this on your own, but it can definitely be helpful to have a professional along with you on the ride.


I’m with divedivedive. Our financial adviser is a prime reason that, financially speaking, I can retire any time I want.


I suppose what I mean is, do not hire a financial advisor and pay him 2% of your capital every year to pick stocks and funds for you. Similarly, do not buy mutual funds that have 2% administrative fees - as many of them do. 2% is half of what you should expect to make over the long term, and you can make that by just buying index funds.

If you can pay someone a one-time fee for advice and planning, fine, though honestly I don’t know how you’d pick one.


In my case, the advisor was a recommendation from my accountant, and he also advised us on an attorney to help my wife and I draw up wills. My god, I have people now. But I do agree that you want to keep an eye on fees, those can really eat into your proceeds if you aren’t careful.


I agree, and in our case, it’s also been a long-time relationship, with sometimes little advice that is still important, like, when I changed jobs, calling me constantly and badgering me to sign up for the 401(k) plan, “Hey Dummy, that match is free money, what’s the matter with you!?”


So we could do 90 days in Italy, 90 days in Portugal, etc.? We could probably swing that with all the Air BNB stuff out there now. Or do you think that 180 consecutive days in EU countries would violate visa requirements?

That’s a non-starter. We don’t want to buy and we don’t have that kind of money to toss around.

I’m a bit worried that Trump and his supporters will make Americans pariahs in the eyes of Europeans. I was in Rome back in March and I was thinking about renting a bike for a day to see how much fun it would be to dodge the crazy Italian drivers, and the woman in the bike rental place practically hissed at me over Trump.


I generally agree with this. Advisors are like any other professional, you can find good ones and bad ones. Most of the advisors I deal with don’t actually charge the client. They are either paid for by the employer to give some advice and maybe sell additional services. The other not-paid kinds you have to be careful of are the ones that put you into funds with fees or loads, that’s how they make a commission. Or worse, into some kind of variable life insurance…i know because I got suckered. Those things will eat up a lot in fees and I would only recommend them to savvy investors with a ton of money to spare (there are some potential tax benefits).


Agreed. Vanguard index funds when in doubt.

I myself keep most everything in index stocks still because I don’t need to take it out anytime soon and can wait for the markets to bounce back for years if necessary. That will change as I get older, maybe.


Seconded! An S&P 500 index and a bond index is pretty much all I use any more. Well, and a few holdovers that I never bothered selling from my less enlightened investment days. I just sell those off whenever I need to rebalance and eventually they’ll be gone.


We have several low-fee index funds (some are S&P, I think some are more like the Russell 3000) plus a couple of low-fee international funds.

But I do not understand the actual behavior and role of bond funds. The old-school rule is to hedge stocks with bonds because bonds tend to rise in price when stocks fall. But a bond fund is a mutual fund and rises and falls based more on how many folks are buying vs selling at any given point in time. Or am I wrong about that?


I was and still am of the same mind. My wife and I have science/math/professional degrees. I’ve always said that our children would not go to a leafy private New England college and get a degree in music history.

So now my older daughter is in her 3rd year at a leafy private New England college (Smith College) with a major in music and logic. Shows how much control I have around here :).

My consolation is that…she’s really good. I know all parents say that, but I stand by it. She understands the deal on career outlooks. She’s not looking to be a solo performer but rather a manager, a conductor, an arranger of classical and choral music. We will still need people like that in a post-Trump world, right ??

She’s making contacts in the field with the top names in that admittedly niche universe at Ivy League universities and top organizations that even I have heard of, and I know nothing of this world. Her college hired her as the music department’s concert organizer. She’s done this type of thing since she was 12 years old. I look at some written material she’s done to plan a concert, and it looks like Greek to me. She won my heart when I had to buy her graph paper for her to do it. I have to hope that we’ll be the exception to the 300k education that lands one a job at Starbucks.

Daughter #2 is looking at a career in speech pathology. That’s a focused area with a good future. Much more focused that I ever was at 18. But a similar price tag. It will be time to take out private loans next year, unfortunately.

Ah, back to topic…Retirement Dreams ? LoL.


I’m 46 with a 4 year old, 17 year old, and a 19 year old. The 19 year old doesn’t want to go to college, which I am super fine with. I’m splitting college with the ex for the 17 year old and after paying child support for 17 years and I’m going to hold firm at $1,000 /mo. If she can’t get a four year Art degree for $100k, that’s her problem.

Currently putting $250/mo into a 529 plan for the 4 year old, need to bump that to $500/mo soon and hopefully $1000/mo by the time he’s 10.

I somehow live in a million dollar house in the SF East Bay area that would be a $300k house everywhere else in the US. We have $300k in equity. Goal is to pay off the house by the time I’m 65, with my wife and I each having $1m in our 401ks. Then move to Az or Florida and buy a house outright. My wife is five years younger than me, so she may work for 1-2 years after I retire.

Once I retire I’m going to play video games, work out (heh), and go to art school. Community level stuff.

But yeah, college is probably going to fuck up all those plans.