Much has been written lately about retirement plans, and how people are just not saving enough.
Well, Hubby and I had a great plan back in the late ’60s. Or, it would have been a great plan if the economy had been cooperative.
Thank goodness we went to plan B sometime along the way and we are not living out of a grocery cart.
We had modest plans, and we started saving 50 years ago as we raised our four kids. We calculated that with our plan, we would have $10,000 a year in retirement.
We figured that would be plenty to live on.
If at this point you are laughing right out of your chair, let me point out some things.
We had a nice little three-bedroom brick house that cost us $13,500.
Our new VW Bus cost less than $2,000. (I remember writing a check 10 years ago for $2,000 just to hold a car before purchasing it. Times have changed.)
I could feed the family for $25 a week, take the kids to the doctor for $5 per visit. The utilities ran about $40 a month. Gas for the car was about 35 cents a gallon.
Interest on savings was high – about 10 to 15 percent at the time. These days, some banks charge you to hold your money if you have less than $1,000 in your account.
Before retiring to South Carolina, we sold our house in New Jersey for more than $400,000. Yes, we had added on and made many other improvements over the years. Still, if you had told me 30 years before that we would live in a $400,000 home, I would have told you that you were crazy.
We joke about our 1960s retirement plan. It wasn’t part of the plan that I would ever work, but I did have a few jobs over the years. My pension and Social Security alone cover the original plan – and Hubby’s contributions from his full-time career are gravy.
So what is my point? Regardless how well one plans, it is very hard to estimate how things will be in 50 years. If the cost of living continues to increase as it has, it will be very hard to keep up.
So, regardless of your income, do the best you can in the saving department. It is better to have more than you think you will need.
In years to come, just think how pleased your family will be that you have sufficient funds to take care of yourself, so they won’t have to.
Margaret Griffin has lived in Sun City Hilton Head for 17 years.