Countdown to Retirement: What’s in your mailbox?
Since I hit the age of 55 I started getting retirement material in the mail in the form of postcards, letters, and invitations to retirement seminars, which really bothered me considering the length of time till I reached 66. Granted it was maybe once in a while but still it made me feel a little uneasy that time marches on and I was getting older.
The crash of 2008
So I thought I would be a little proactive and changed my 401K investment structure to be a little more aggressive and increased a couple of percents in payroll deductions to help fill the gap after the crash in 2008.
My 401K took a hit just like everyone else. I was hoping to gain back some of what I had lost with the time I had left before retirement. So the occasional financial retirement pieces of mail that I was receiving did have a value.
My Current Mail
So fast forward to now and this is the mail I just received in the last 2 weeks. Don’t get me wrong some of the offers were worth taking a second look at for example AARP. I did join and I do admit that most of the newsletters I have received from them I have at least looked over or have read the articles.
They cover health, financial, travel, and some technology advice (which I found fascinating) but all in all not a bad job in the range of subjects.
In the last couple of years, I have received at least once a month an invitation to secure my seat at a sponsored dinner or a seminar which I have been putting off going down this road for 5 reasons.
- Didn’t have time
- Didn’t think it was for me
- Made me feel old
- Thought it was a scam
- Just thought I could ignore
Well the approach of acting like an ostrich was indeed helping me pretend this mail was not for me, but at age 64 I had to pull my head out of the sand and take a long hard look at my situation.
I remember telling my dad that I could not wait to retire, and his comment was “It isn’t all it’s cracked up to be” but my dad is not a planner he is more of a spur of the moment kind of guy. But I am hoping I have looked at my parents and in-laws for do’s and don’ts when moving into this next phase of my life, but I needed more information, so I signed up for a seminar for 2 hours of cramming as much information at me as I can take and hoping not too much just bounced off.
Gee where do I start at describing this seminar, it was held at a local library’s meeting room. It really was a nice setup with bottled water, coffee, tea, and cookies (they certainly were not as good as my cookies) but still nice. I got there a little early to scope out the presenters and the attendees, wondering if I would run into someone I knew. They had a welcome table with pleasant women handing out the folder with all the paperwork to take with you when it was over.
After taking my seat I looked around and at first felt a little out of place, I don’t think till that moment I realized that my mind had finally caught up with the age of my body. I really believe that is why I had put off till the last minute any connections of the mail in my mailbox to this moment in time. I still saw my life through 30-year-old eyes not the reality of a 64-year-old.
I sat and listened to the different segments of financial, medical, and legacy issues that I need to think about and left the seminar feeling that I needed to dig my heels in and get more information especially concerning medical insurance. I was not quite sure about Medicare and the options, including the thing everyone seems to fear and can’t seem to understand what “The Donut Hole” is and how it can tear your monthly finances apart. Fear started to run through my veins, I am thinking am I going to survive retirement?
Appointment with Retirement Specialist
So, I emailed my work insurance broker and made an appointment with one of their retirement specialists to get more information about Medicare. This is something that is unique to every individual. Your personal circumstance determines the best option for you and I highly recommend seeking out someone to explain all the options. I would never try to advise anyone on what would work for them so if you are getting close to 65 and even if you are still working seek advice.
Next month…..OMG what is “The Donut Hole”?