Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Rant: Not Big on Small Talk...

At 66, I'm still working. I'm not asking for a medal, but here's my typical schedule: On the 2 days a week I drive in, I'm usually on the road by 6:30 at the latest. I'm not a morning person, so that often means I've been up since 5 or 5:30. Those days, if I'm home by 7 PM, that's early. Often, even when I've come in early, I work late to  avoid traffic. When I do that, I usually don't get home until around 9:00. When I work from home, I try to be online by 7:30 at the latest, and on those days I sign off at 5:00. But when I'm done with work, whether I've driven to FW or spent the day in my house, there are things I must do outside my house, including, among other things, trimming the hedges (monthly), mowing, edging, and weed whacking the lawn, front and back (weekly); bringing in my mail (daily); and watering my potted plants, front and back (daily). So when I'm outside my house doing any of those things in the zillion degree Texas summer heat, I'm not outside to socialize.
All I'm doing is dodging mosquitoes and trying to finish up so I can get back inside, where I can kick off my shoes and make myself some dinner and enjoy the coolness of the air conditioning. I don't want to be mean or rude but I'm not out there to socialize. Really, I'm not.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Oh, the places you'll GO!

49 years ago today, on June 1, 1967, I graduated from high school. That doesn't sound like much, I know, but in a family of 7 kids, where only 2 of us completed high school, and I was the only daughter to do so, it was a Big Deal. I left home the next day, and moved to Chicago, to make my way in the world. Eventually I earned a B.S., summa cum laude, (yeah, I'm proud of that) and an M.S., and I ended up with a corporate job with a 401K, good benefits, and a decent salary. And yet now, as I contemplate retirement this coming fall, I realize that in terms of finances I'm not much more educated than I was at 17. In terms of daily living, I can manage. Since I was 17, I've known that I must pay my bills on time, and spend less than I earn, and save as much as possible, etc., etc., but when it comes to managing a portfolio, or even knowing whom to hire to do that, I'm clueless. We aren't born with this information in our heads (or at least I wasn't) so how on earth are we supposed to acquire this knowledge? Are there courses out there that everyone else has taken, but I haven't? I think I'm going to hire someone to help me navigate the shoals of Social Security but I'm wondering how others approaching retirement feel.