• Tag Archives Retirement
  • Life Is a Cabaret

    Spring                                                         Awakening Moon

    When we drove over to our financial consultant this morning, I looked up and saw a crescent Awakening moon tucked in behind three wispy rows of cirrus clouds.  The moon, faint and slightly out of place, added a moment of mystery.

    It was an omen.  Ever had a really pleasant surprise?  I had one, Kate and I had one this morning.  We sat down with Ruth, our consultant, and began going over this and that as we always do.  She got caught up on matters personal and physical like Kate’s back surgery and asked questions about Kate’s impending retirement at the first of next year.  That was why we were there, to make sure about our resources after Kate leaves full time medicine.

    We tossed ideas around and looked at a 2011 budget Kate and I did last week.  It was,  in my view, tight but manageable.   Ruth made a comment about the amount of money we had coming in from social security and pensions and then how much more we needed from money in Kate’s retirement account.  Wait?  What was that?

    We add the money from the retirement account to the social security and the pension?  My mind went blank for a minute as parts of me processed what this meant.  It meant I’d viewed our post-retirement budget from a very restricted perspective.  I had, for reasons I no longer understand, folded the our social security and pension payments into the total from the retirement account rather than adding them all together.  This means our available cash after Kate retires just went up by about 50%!  50% is a big number.  That means our budget goes from being adequate to pretty damned good.

    A pleasant surprise, indeed.

    Afterward, we ate lunch at Spoonriver, Brenda Langston’s place by the Guthrie.  I saw Brenda there and complimented her on her class and the restaurant.  It was a great, healthy and damned expensive lunch.  But, what the hell?  We can afford it.

  • This Day, So Far

    Spring                                       Awakening Moon

    As the awakening moon wanes, its work done, life has begun to take on its growing season rhythms here at 7 oaks.  I’m hunting for weed free straw, leek transplants and onion sets.  Gotta lay down some bulb fertilizer because bulbs need extra help as they blossom.

    It’s been a productive day.  Kate and I finished our budget work for 2011–retirement budget.  It has lots of unfamiliar factors in it:  COBRA for me,  Medicare part B for Kate, shifting to checks from our retirement account, social security.  Some unknowns.  But, we look pretty good right now.

    We had lunch.  Now.  A nap.

  • Only 2 more hours

    Beltane                  Waning Dyan Moon

    Empire Builder, Winona, Minnesota around 8:00 pm

    We just ate dinner with a couple who retired 5 years ago from IBM. They’re headed for Glacier National Park, then onto a cruise up the Northwest Coast to Alaska, thence to Denali. All the retirees we’ve met have said how much they enjoy retirement. Positive news for us with Kate’s impending retirement.

    This trip, a quick one, has only 2 more hours to run. It has however established the train as a means of transportation suited to Kate. We pulled out the beds and napped our way between Chicago and Milwaukee. Before supper Kate lay down, then while we ate we had the cabin steward restore the seats. There is a toilet and a shower in this unit. That would make a longer trip more fun.

    The Mississippi flows just to our east with the ridges of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin lifted up from the river valley. We just passed the Billy Carneal, a barge tug (even though it pushes), with 9 barges in tow (even though they precede rather than follow the tug.) There were waiting on the tainter valves to drain a lock.

    The eastern sky, toward Wisconsin, has a pink blush. This long summer day gives more time to see the river on the ride home. In the winter night has fallen by Winona and the river passes by in the dark.

  • Years of Change

    58  bar falls 30.01 0mph SW dew-point 52  Beltane, cloudy and cool

                      Last Quarter of the Hare Moon

    RJ Devick has his offices at 169 and 394, a tall building, 20 stories, for the burbs.  It has a glass curtain wall and looks like the generic office building.  We go out to see RJ once a year.  At those  meetings we examine our portfolio and its performance–fine–any changes in our financial situation, all positive.  More money in savings.  Kate’s income stayed up rather than decline as we had imagined when she made the shift to managed care.  Kate is within 2 years of retirement.  2 years.

    These are years of change, not so much in the purpose of our lives, as in the external actions related to it.  Kate will stop working at Allina, but will keep her license up and volunteer more.  Her change is my change, of course, as the stay at home spouse.  She will enter the homeworld full time and we will have to adjust to that.  I don’t anticipate any major issues.

    I leave tomorrow morning for Denver and since Kate uses the laptop for her work, I will not be posting for the next week.  Look for a trip summary next Thursday or Friday.