I spent the day today at the first day of a day and a half seminar on "pre-retirement planning." I can't really believe I'm saying this, but it's true.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a ways from retiring. Further today than I had hoped, but not as far as some. I'm looking at a 10-15 year time frame. The one I'm targeting of course is the 6 year, but unless my great aunt Millie helps me out, I think the 10-15 year is more realistic. If health care continues to go up, I may work until I'm 84, then retire for a year, and start working again at 86. I get so torqued up by the health care industry, which I realize is driven by the high malpractice insurance, which is driven by our messed up legal system, that it all makes me want to scream, so I'll try not to go there. (I think I just did go there).
If we didn't face a $2000.00+/mo health care cost, most of us could retire at a reasonable age. Instead we are forced to work until we can get on Medicare at 65, or preferably longer, in the name of getting more Social Security. If the Canadians and countries in Europe can figure out affordable National Health Care systems, why can't the greatest country in the world? One word. Greed. (I think I've gone there again, sorry.)
The seminar was really a mind drain. Flooded with facts and figures about pensions, 457 (deferred comps), life insurance, estate planning and even the emotional aspects of retiring. I always laughed at the "emotional aspects" when I saw it on the agenda, thinking the only emotion I would associate with retirement was unbridled joy. But to be honest, they raised some significant things to consider. How your relationship with your spouse might change resonated with me the loudest, for some reason. I don't think I'll have a problem keeping busy or occupied when I'm retired, but I do think as a couple we'll be challenged with keeping our marriage fresh and secure. Like the guy said you can only look at the four walls and your spouse for so long before you both need more. I think we'll be fine, but it means I need to think about more than the unbridled joy.
Tomorrow covers Social Security and 457 Investing during volatile markets. It's a half day and I intend to spend the afternoon practicing for retirement by fishing. I figure it's extra credit.