Retirement Plans (and Planning)

No matter how far away one’s golden (but really gray, probably) years are, or seem to be, it’s not too soon to at least think and chat about it all. Especially when for so many of us, life in general has become so much less stable and predictable.

Inspired by (from the failed-bank thread) –

Thanks, @blackeye!


Typically one can use “timed funds” if they have some idea of their retirement time.

These are funds usually called “Retirement20##”. They start off with large cap stocks and then slowly transition to more stable slow growing bond funds as the maturity date comes nearer.


By the time I retire, I am hoping to own two apartments that I can rent out to supplement my pension. There are plenty of property management companies in Japan that do everything for you for a nominal fee. I will then take my severance pay and use it and my savings to buy something a bit cheaper farther away from a big city (where I can still go into the city if I want because I will have oodles of time).


I first read that as “timid funds” and thought, Oooh they have those? Great! :grimacing:


I’ve been a landlord for condos for about 20 years. Before the Trump Tax Screwjob of 2017 it was a great tax shelter

It is cash/liquidity intensive.

You need to be able to float several months where tenants potentially stiff you. You need to have money for broken appliances/services. If you hold on long enough, money to do minor renovation.

Vetting the tenants is the most important part.


I’ve had so many blundering missteps on BB (but sincerely intended, honest!) that it I am happy to have contributed something positive. Take it away!


Oops, didn’t notice this while replying:

All the reasons you mentioned are why I never did this. Had a few relatives who rented out places in the past, and their horror stories were enough to make Pacific Heights seem like a fun family film!

My main goal was to avoid speculation. IMO, that’s akin to gambling, and I was never about to gamble with my hard-earned savings. I keep in mind some advice given to me a long time ago, and that is to imagine the market like a mountain climber holding a yo-yo. The momentary ups and downs of the yo-yo aren’t something to worry about, as long as the climber ascends over the decades. If there’s an avalanche and the climber doesn’t get back up, that’s another story. However, that has yet to happen - because the climber survived previous bank crises, the Great Recession of 2008, corrections, etc…


That’s the great thing about property management companies. They handle all of that and just take a 5-10% cut.


For me it’s a 401k with a super boring mix of mutual funds and Treasury bills. And I’m one of the very rare, lucky folks who works for a company that still offers a pension, although I don’t expect that the pension will be especially big and I’m not necessarily counting on it being there.


Good advice here. Diversification is always the key, as is understanding one’s risk profile at a given moment in one’s life. For those lucky enough to have money to invest for the long-term*, I usually recommend Vanguard or Fidelity funds listed in one of your links. No guarantees, but they’re low-fee and have a lot of clout in the market and a broad product selection from the “timid” to the aggressive. After 20 years and the magic of compounding interest, your Alpine climber should reach a respectable altitude.

And time and effort intensive. Some people are into that but it’s not for me. I have real estate but they’re small REIT-like investment vehicles where the risk is pooled and the managers take a nice fee for themselves. Still, for me it beats having to deal with tenants and contractors and trades while still getting some of the benefits of having money in real property.

[* in these discussions it’s important to remember that a lot of Americans have been put in the position of having no retirement savings, and many others basically see their primary homes as their one and only investment.]


I’m using the same person my dad used for decades. I trust her. She works for Raymond James, she has her own office with a group of young people that can help with basic stuff but all the big decisions go through her.

I don’t look at any statements or the stock market, I have a general idea of what I I’m worth and my investment person has my authority to sell or move things around as she sees fit.

Unfortunately through all this covid nonsense I’ve had to peel off a bunch of money to pay bills but I’m still on track to retire in about 5 years.

This bank thing doesn’t scare me too much but I do know things are still pretty volatile.

I just bury my head in the sand and hope for the best. My financial person keeps telling me to sit tight it will be alright.

A very rich, as in multi millions, friend also tells me it will be alright.


Yup. My financial advisor told me the market may go down, but it always goes up again.

I don’t know about other credit unions, but as a member of my credit union I have access to complimentary financial reviews and retirement planning. I love my advisor there. She earns a salary (I hope it’s a good one!) and bonuses. There’s no sales pressure to buy any (or any particular) financial products, because credit unions exist for the benefit of the members.


If one is fortunate enough to have an investment portfolio, this is a good practise that reducs anxiety. Taking a peek once a quarter is more than enough for most people.


Agreed. It is important to debunk the myth that most retirees are rich people with big pensions, too. There’s a top 10-20% of earners at every age/stage among workers, and the press is paid to focus on them and ignore the other 80%. After all, the pursuit of that dream is a big source of revenue for them.

Instead, I try to encourage young people by pointing out that there are a lot more average workers who retired without ever having a million dollars in savings. There’s no need for them to beat themselves up trying to reach that goal to fatten someone else’s pockets at the expense of their health, wealth*, and peace of mind.

The article below is another reality check. It covers how many are surviving on Social Security alone, as well as the inequity in that program for women (but not POC):

How are they surviving and thriving despite not having millions in the bank? Some get roommates like The Golden Girls, take in boarders, or find cheaper housing by downsizing. Others pursue alternatives like in Nomadland. There seem to be increasing numbers of young and older people escaping the problem of rising rents through van life. For some, that provides room in the budget for savings. For others, it minimizes the rising costs of living enough to maintain independence that they could not manage otherwise:

Cheap RV Living (features people living in cars, SUVs, and other vehicles):

Van Life on Social Security:

*wealth in terms of time, relationships, personal development/goals, etc., not money earned by time and effort spent to fulfill the goals of others


This is why we have to protect Social Security and Medicare (and their minimum collection ages) from the conservative predators who’d take the country back to the pre-New Deal era. Even not surviving on SSI alone, that monthly payment can make the difference between paying for a necessity and going without.


For those that enjoy it and do it by choice, good for them. But man, I’d really hate to be in the position of living out of a vehicle if I had mobility issues, declining eyesight, or any number of other physical issues that are a normal part of aging. For vehicle-dwellers if your eyesight gets bad enough that you can’t pass the DMV test that’s no longer just an inconvenience. It means you have to find a whole new way to live.


My generation was raised being told that social security is bad because it steals your money and will never be paid back because by the time we are old the next generations won’t be able to fund it. Almost all people my age or younger 100% believe this even the ones who think of themselves as more progressive. I feel like it’s a losing battle myself even because there are a lot of people my age or younger now and if they all believe that and act accordingly… then it becomes true.


There are lots of people with mobility issues who live in vans and create videos about modifications to make vehicles more accessible. I’ve been surprised at the variety of tech solutions available now, but maybe that’s due to manufacturers acknowledging their target market. :woman_shrugging:t4: Still there are others who decided to transition to tiny homes or find ways to park their vehicles permanently (like “mobile” homes). I find it interesting to see how many women in their 70s are just beginning their nomad journeys, or people that age or older enjoying that lifestyle. As a person who started having mobility issues in my 40s, they inspire me by proving that it’s possible.


Yeah, been there and done that. Go with an REIT, or at least have some fun & excitement and just set all that money ablaze.


For us, retirement is not so much the finances, it’s the health insurance. Wife and I are both cancer survivors and cannot be without insurance, and I can’t trust the ACA to survive. So, we are left with employer-linked insurance. Additionally, my wife is 6 years younger than I am, so looking at ~71 or so. Not really ideal, I would like to retire earlier, but do have the option to drop to part-time (for us, that means working 3 days/wk instead of 4, so not dramatic, but would be nice.) Sigh…