Common Sense

Beating the Retirement Blues

Are you scared about retirement? Then I'd like to tell you about my friend Joe.

A few years ago, he was scared about retirement too. He wasn't saving enough. But if Joe wasn't saving a lot, there was one other thing Joe wasn't doing either: spending a lot.

I'm not saying Joe was cheap. Let's say, he's "not" extravagant.

He never made a ton of money, never drove fancy cars, didn't live in a fancy house. But his house was paid off and so were those clunkers he drove.

Yet he somehow managed to put two kids through college — nothing fancy, but he did it.

That was Joe.

Nothing fancy. Nothing fancy about his lifestyle or his vacations.

Joe's idea of a good time was a barbecue and maybe a weekend down by the Jersey Shore, where he had a pal and a roof and a blast.

Not bad for a guy who didn't save much.

But looking at Joe's lifestyle now, he didn't need to save much, because he doesn't spend much, doesn't need much, doesn't have to show off much.

Joe will be all right. Because retirement isn't just about how much you keep, but how much you plan to spend.

Joe doesn't plan to spend much. He ain't sitting pretty. But he's still sitting pretty happy.

That's Joe. A man for whom retirement was thrust upon him. But not with a hint of the debts and extravagance the rest of us thrust upon ourselves.

Joe's OK. Are we?

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