This story with retirement ideas comes from my Aunt Lorraine. Some of her experiences may give you useful ideas as you plan for your retirement.
Along with these very important retirement tips there is a social security retirement benefits tip in her story that we all should keep in mind.
I truly enjoy having my own schedule and not having to fit my life into someone else's time frame. I can get up early, or sleep late, as I choose. My daily chores and goings and comings can be done as I choose without having to rush to get them done. There are some times when I miss "working" but then I can fill the time with things I enjoy doing and I don't get bored.
Spending time with my family is one thing I especially enjoy. I have been fortunate to be able to visit and spend time with my children and extended family since I retired. For the last 8 years, my summers have been filled with caring for one of my grandsons that lives near me. He has taught me a lot! He is now old enough that he won't need me to care for him this summer so I will have to find another way to fill my time.
Another of my pastimes is reading. I enjoy reading Christian fiction and have a considerable collection of books that I read, and re-read. I also make frequent trips to the county Library for reading materials.
I have done some genealogy work on my family roots, although it has been a couple of years and I am considering pursuing it again. It can be very time consuming but has been very rewarding for me.
Here is Aunt Lorraine with nieces and nephews, in the 60's.
This is Lorraine and her husband, also years ago.
I took early retirement at age 62 because of some health problems, and was able to retire using my late husband's Social Security retirement benefits. Then I took full retirement using my own benefits at age 65.
After I retired I made extra income by doing day care in my home. I did that for about 3 years and then opted to only care for my grandson after that time.
I was not financially well prepared for retirement. My husband and I had struggled financially for quite some time and had just reached the point of being able to start improving our situation when he died suddenly. His death took away a great part of the household income and I was not able to effectively plan or prepare adequately at that point.
I have urged and encouraged my children to prepare for their retirement now, while they are young enough for it to be accomplished. I have pointed to what I did not do and encouraged them to plan and be better prepared in order to avoid the pitfalls I fell into. I am proud that for the most part they have listened and are working hard to prepare for themselves and their families.
It is unwise for anyone to count on or depend solely on Social Security to provide income during retirement. There is no guarantee that it will be available and it certainly is not adequate for comfortable living in the world today. I am thankful for the income I have but I certainly do want more for my children and for others as well.
I think we all, at some point in our lives, dream about places we would love to go or perhaps a business we might enjoy. For me Ireland has always been the place I have wanted to see. But I have always known I would never go there because I have never wanted to fly!
I am pretty content with my life since retirement. Oh, I would enjoy having lots of money to buy things for my children/family or perhaps take a cross country trip, but I love just being with my family and friends. There is nothing that makes me happier than that.
Lorraine's story provides several retirement ideas to take note of. As discussed on other pages of this site, it is important to plan ahead for retirement. Lorraine is teaching her family how important it is so they will have a better life.
It is also important to have hobbies or other things you enjoy doing when work is no longer your main focus. Lorraine's hobbies are reading and doing genealogy, as well as caring for grandchildren.
One strategy for maximizing retirement income which Lorraine used was to claim against the spouse's record for early retirement, thereby maximizing her own benefit at full retirement age. This is possible even when the spouse is living.