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57 and waiting patiently...
Old 12-04-2007, 08:53 PM   #1
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57 and waiting patiently...

Hi, I'm Mother Superior, and in my mid fifties. My husband retired from teaching 4 years ago and is now working as a chemist. He hopes to retire in 2 years, but since the health insurance is with my job, I said I would keep working!
Love my job, it's almost stress free...

We have 3 kids in our 20's,one daughter married and out of the nest, the youngest is graduating from college in December, and hopes to become a teacher. She was going to go to grad school, but was 50 points short on the gre, so she is going to explore other options.

My son still lives at home due to illness, but has gotten some work on-line,
I took in my disabled sister who is age 60 a couple of years ago. The apartment she was living in turned condo, and she moved from Chicago to Colorado. It is somewhat stressful caring for her because of her child like qualities. (I've become a surrogate mom!).
I've decided that my son and daughter should move out and rent an apartment, and I'm looking into Assisted living for my sister. She has an IRA of $200,000, and Social security disability of 1100, (she worked in a sheltered position for 25 years before being laid off). Tried to work after the "file clerk" job went away, but ended up being robbed by the clients she did housework for.

This will give us time to fix up our 1976 house. It has a 1986 kitchen, bathrooms are outdated too. 4 bedrooms and a den, and 2 bedrooms in basement, way too big. I don't know how long we will stay here. Have a mortgage of $62,000 balance with 6 years to go.

I stepped up our savings in 1994 when my parents died, and finally the balance of our retirement savings is growing so it looks like we will have a comfortable retirement....
Have been lurking for a couple of years, and have learned a lot.
Hello, and thanks!
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board. Glad you decided to join us in writing!
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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Welcome to the board !
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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Great to meet you... It's good to hear that your retirement looks like a bright one.
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:48 PM   #5
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Hello and welcome to the board

Sounds like you have your financial situation well in hand. We look forward to your contributions.
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:36 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forums, Mother Superior. Sounds like you have a full plate, but have a clear picture of what you want and how to get there.
Retired in 2001 at age 49.
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thanks for the welcome
Old 12-05-2007, 10:51 PM   #7
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thanks for the welcome

Yes, I do have a full plate. I was reading how caregivers often die before the people they are taking care of. Sort of reminded me to take care of myself. I have a tendency not to realize I'm burning out until the last minute.. Depression is not only being sad and overwhelmed, it's lack of joy, and an inability to find joy.
That kind of runs in my family. I was so exhausted I took a cruise in October with my best friend. 7 days of fun!

Now the effects are wearing off. Also, my husband has diabetes, which he has controlled well by diet, and the first drug they put you on. He's anxious to retire, but worries too much about money. We always have lived below our means, so I know we can manage.

Because our days are full I have not had a lot of time to plan exactly what I am going to do with our savings.

We like to travel, I like to read. Would like to renew old friendships...
I've read several of the books mentioned here, especially "Your money or your life".

The big thing keeping us from er is health insurance. Although we can get it under PERA if I leave my job, it is expensive.

Once the youngest is out of college, we are going to prepay our mortgage by about $100 a month. Haven't maxed out the Roth for this year yet, am trying to scrounge up the money. I maxed my 457, which takes a big chunk of my pay.
Still need to sit down and figure out our asset allocation in the retirement funds. I know it is too conservative, about 50-50, but I haven't reviewed it for awhile.
I work in a library as a cataloger and got the DVD today of Dancing with the Stars John Hurley and Charlotte.... I took a line dancing class on the cruise, and it was quite the scene... Rocking boat, tons of left feet, forgetting which was left or right. Maybe I'll check out that video.
Oh, and I tend to ramble....
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:10 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard 4-More-Years. It certainly does sound like you have more than your fair share on your plate. This may sound a bit harsh, but the problem is that you will continue to have as much or more if you let other people dump their problems on you. As you pointed out, your priority should be to take care of yourself first and then help other people (kind of like the airline instruction to put your oxygen mask on first, etc...) Your younger daughter sounds like she needs to get a bit more organized and take herself off your plate, assuming you're providing any type of financial or non-financial type of support (other than being a loving mother). I understand about your son and sister, but again, there are resources available to take the burden off you.

In terms of your husband's concerns about money, is it really a good idea to spend as much as you're planning to fix up your house? My father always taught me that if something serves your purposes, there is no real reason to upgrade it or spend money on a problem that doesn't exist. If you're looking to do renovations in order to improve its chances of selling in a few years, you may want to see what type of DIY work can be done or if there are inexpensive alternatives to wholesale renovations. You may find that the new owners will want to tear down all of your renovations, making the money you spent as good as if it had been flushed.
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
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fixing up house
Old 12-06-2007, 08:05 PM   #9
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fixing up house

Thank you Jay, et al...Yes, we keep going back and forth on home improvements. My husband is a great diy guy, but a kitchen would require too much work. I know we'd make some of our money back, but I don't think it's worth the wear and tear on our nerves.

So, we have a priority list. The first thing is siding, so he won't have to paint anymore. He did purchase a spray painter used, and it has been a God send for painting. The next thing that needs to be fixed is a sliding glass door to the patio. I'm thinking a door that looks like French doors, but slides. We had mudjacking done last May, because the slab in our family room sank, and the walls cracked. Put in new carpet, spackled and painted walls, fixed cracked fireplace box. Now a crack has reappeared, thin, but horizontal, which I hear is bad news.

We will probably have to paint 5 rooms, remove wallpaper in 2 bathrooms and paint, and maybe some vinyl floors.
Working full time doesn't leave a lot of time for these repairs.

I do think our house would be great for a family with lots of kids. And you are right, people are picky about kitchens, so that is low on the list...

In the meantime, I have started looking into assisted living places. My sister is 60, and using some on-line calculators, she probably has enough to last for 17 years at the realy nice place. Then I will have to look in to the subsidized place (if I am still here!).

Time goes so fast, and I know I am probably getting ahead of myself on trying to figure out what to do with our house 5 to 10 years from now...

Would like a ranch, with small yard, but those are hard to find. The new ones are more expensive, and I don't want another mortgage..
Thanks for your thoughts,
I've learned that it's hard to be objective about some decisions, and it's good to get input. And my doctor told me about the oxygen mask several years ago... I just need to turn it up full blast!
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:15 PM   #10
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Nice to make your acquaintance. I can so relate re. care-giving duties. In my case it is two elderly parents and two brothers with disabilities who live with my parents. DH and I live three blocks away and there are, thank fully, other siblings close by and we are all doing our share. Many hands make light work. Do take time out for your self, that is key. DH and I travel and make time for ourselves to get, ahem, up close and personal frequently. We also use any and all supports that are available to us there is no need to be a hero the more balanced you are the better it is for the people who depend you you.
A todos los amantes del mundo. No importa el color de su piel, la pasion es universal.

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Old 12-13-2007, 10:07 PM   #11
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Thanks. Taking care of myself this week was quite a challenge. I got on jury duty and ended up on a criminal trial Tuesday. Today we found the defendant guilty of all 4 counts, including attempted murder in the first degree. I have been on a jury before, and knew what to expect, but i'm exhausted tonight!

I get some help from my husband (tolerance!), and a son takes my sister for medical or dental appointments if I can't get off work.

My youngest daughter is graduating from college Saturday so there's a happy occasion. And although sometimes I find myself not wanting to go anywhere, I make myself do something fun. It sounds odd, forcing myself to have fun, but like somebody said, laughter is the best medicine....
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