Quarantine, Retirement Journey, Spending Freeze

Retirement Preparation Update

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We have just completed six months of 2020.  Can you believe it?  It has been the longest six months of any year I can remember.

Anyway, it’s time to check in with our retirement preparation.  Our ultimate goal is to retire in exactly 43 months.  (I haven’t figured out the days, hours, or minutes yet, but I will soon 😉 )

When the pandemic started and the stock market crashed, I thought we would have to extend our retirement plan out two extra years.   When the market bounced back, we successfully rebalanced all of our accounts, and have a much less volatile portfolio.  We won’t have significant gains, but we also won’t have significant losses.

The biggest eye-opener was our lack of sufficient cash. We had 6 months’ worth, but it didn’t feel nearly enough with our age as factors.   We have implemented a new savings plan and are now socking away nearly 40% of my husband’s income (even with a 10% pay cut).  This has been relatively painless since we are not going anywhere or doing anything.

I imagine once the world opens up again, we’ll have the travel bug and want to start going places.  We have a Disney cruise planned for May 2021, a trip we planned with our entire family 1 1/2 years ago.  If, however, masks are still required, this trip will be postponed until all’s well with the world.  I have that trip money already set aside.  My grandchildren may be teenagers by the time we go, but we are going nonetheless. 😉

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As far as other trips, we may postpone until retirement so that we have enough cash to feel comfortable when we do say goodbye to a paycheck.

As far as the budget, the only wild card has been food.  The grocery stores have been hiking up prices and I’m trying to stay fairly close to what I’ve allotted.  The only way I can do that is to shop solely at Aldi.  But even Aldi has raised their prices.

All in all, we are on track to retire in early 2024.  How are you doing with your budgets?

4 thoughts on “Retirement Preparation Update”

  1. I find my budget has gone to hell during COVID. I’m not spending any money on anything other than food but that seems to be a ridiculous amount of money. I really thought I would see increased savings but nope. Have spent more at the liquor store – outside social time with the neighbours often. And the dog- grooming, food, toys treats and more lol.

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  2. My waistline has not been doing well. Perhaps I’m buying too much food? lol. Absolutely spend that money at the liquor store… Ben (our golden) was expensive this past month. He’s 13 and his vet visit, and subsequent pills cost us over $700. BUT, he is worth every penny.

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  3. Our grocery and alcohol budget has been shot to sh*t since March. All in all, it balances out because our restaurant budget has been only about 25% of what it usually is. We’ve been spending less personal $ too – – I’m working from home (still) so no lunches out for me and being home allows me to have lunch ready for hubby to come home to so his spending is greatly reduced too. I suppose all-in-all it balances out. We’re focusing on finishing our emergency fund in July plus a weekend at our friends lake cabin…finally, a change of scenery!

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  4. I’m a bit jealous of the lake cabin…our only plan to change the scenery is visiting my parents in NY, that is if the ‘power to be’ allows our state to visit. Strange times, indeed.

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