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Let's see...about the timing on when you retire. My late husband was two years away from full retirement at 58 when he died unexpectedly. We had bought/refurbished an old farmhouse on some land, and had several Quarter horses. Planned to breed and board horses. We'd only lived at that place for two years, just settling in, when he died.

Good thing we kept our house in the city! I sold the farm, and moved back to the smaller house. We had been debt-free since age 35, and I'm 66 now. Still debt-free. I chose his SS since it was higher and also have his (lower pay-out) pension. I do fine, save almost all the SS check. So always take into consideration timing -- and that goes for SS as well.

Whatever income I make from my books is just icing on the cake, and certainly I don't let myself become pressured to write like a demon, or get frustrated with fast releases. Fortunately I can do that and be satisfied with  my life now.

Oh, we didn't have kids -- by choice. That allowed us to live very comfortably and do better financially than we ever could have otherwise. No regrets either. Partly because of that I am not too concerned about my books after I die, though I do have a will and details on copyright issues. But if those disappear, so be it. Writing has been, for me, a labor of love -- its own reward.

I read a lot of comments about social security not being there for some of you younger folks. Allow me to point out that IF you are active and aware politically here in the USA, YOUR vote will determine whether you demand your payout or simply sit back and let it be denied. Stay engaged, people.
 

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LilyBLily said:
Or an elevator, in the home you love and where you want to stay. An elevator is costly, but less so than the well-documented cognitive decline that comes with a move late in life. That's something many people don't know about. Old age is something too many of us do not think about concretely.
The auto-chairs for stairs are much cheaper than an elevator. My dad finally put one in his cellar. His workshop and laundry room were there and he needed it. Since he couldn't walk, he used to sort of slide down the stairs and then crawl back up. He had electric scooters upstairs and downstairs so he could get around. I was so relieved when he put the chair in because the stairs in those old houses are almost as steep as ladders.

It's good to live in a senior friendly house. I kept my mother's portable ramp but haven't needed it yet. I also kept her transfer bench for the tub and I do use that. But, the day may come when a move is forced, like to assisted living. One of the things I'm doing to prepare for that is clearing out my house and only keeping what is essential to me. That's been difficult.
 

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Agree with the issues about house level. We bought a very big house, but one that has complete living space on the ground floor, plus laundry room (which is important!) When we remodeled the master bath, we put in a big walk-in shower with a tiled bench. The second floor is all guest rooms, and if nobody's living up there (or you can't do stairs), you close it off. Likewise, you don't have to go down the steps to the basement, if you can't. (You just can't get to the wine, which is sad.) The daughter of the builder lived there from 1907, when it was built, until her death in the 1970s, when she was somewhere around 90.

However, the other side of the coin is that seniors who DO live in houses with stairs do better, health-wise. AND brain-wise! They are sharper, statistically, because they have built-in exercise, and fitness is hugely important to both physical and mental health in aging. You can live to 100, but if you live like my mom, mostly lying in bed for 25 years or more (I wish I were joking), it's not much of a life.
 

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I got a letter today from the public sector pension fund, into which I paid when I worked as a substitute teacher at a public school for a few months. Apparently, I am entitled to a pension of a whopping 92 cents per month, which means I can buy three cheap rolls or two cans of tomato. Probably less considering inflation.

Though considering I didn't expect to get anything at all, since I only worked there for a few months (the minimum threshold for the regular state pension is five years), even 92 cents are nice.
 

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My Dog's Servant said:
One thing I'll add....I sold my last house some time ago and swore I'd never own another--taxes, upkeep, yard care, maintenance....I figured it would just all be too much. Two years ago I moved to Pennsylvania and rented a one bedroom, 900 square foot apartment that I really love...but....the property company is NOT lovable. Rents have gone up 2-3 times the rate of inflation every year, and promise to keep going up in every year to come. Maintenance and upkeep on the complex has gone down as the owners milk every penny from this property in order to fund another new complex they're developing. I really like apartment living and I like my neighbors, but....I'm beginning to reconsider that house-owning decision.
I was in a similar boat with my old apartment when it sold to a new management company and started hiking rents. Fortunately, I was able to get a condo for not too much more in monthly payments. It has the advantages of apartment living, where I don't have to do the outdoor maintenance and can enjoy shared facilities - and the equity that goes with making mortgage payments.
 

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Dpock said:
I live in the inland northwest where winters can be very snowy but never harsh. Summers are thankfully brief. My yearly utilities cost less than a friend in Atlanta spends just to survive summer. I frankly don't know how people survive the heat and humidity back east.
Ah! But oh how I used to hate the humidity. Now, though, I like it. Weird, I kmow, but it feels like home the older I get. Humidity and heat in a deep Southern evening are like mother's milk. Plus, it keeps your skin wrinkle free. :)
 

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I know this, if sales don't pick up, I'll be needing a go fund me for my retirement years. Let's see... I retired at 65 and I'm 73 now. I better get started on that go fund me right away!
 

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This has been an extremely interesting read. I'm 75 and have been retired since 65. I have had one major health issue where my doctor said it was a miracle I survived. I had four pulmonary emboli at the same time. I also have atrial fibrillation which I've had for several years. The Afib could throw off a clot and give me a stroke but I'm on warfarin and hopefully that will take care of both problems. I also have a thing going with one eye where I get a clot which causes swelling which could result in blindness if not treated but I get injections on that eye when I have the swelling. This may be a life long issue. Apart from those issues I'm pretty healthy. When I write I tend to sit for hours on a sofa with my laptop on a lap table. The sitting for hours is not healthy I know it. I've spent most of the summer outside gardening which is giving me exercise but then no writing has been done. I feel I need to be taking the writing a lot more seriously because I want some extra cash. I would like to travel a bit while I still can and I guess I need to be thinking about long term care (though I'd rather not). I cannot see me in a regular job anymore because the thought horrifies me. If I don't make anything from writing and needed more income I could sell the house and move to a cheaper state, but that doesn't appeal either. I feel quite disturbed by the present political climate and what effect it might have on our social security and/or medical. I'm going on two trips in the next few months and am thinking I need to penny pinch a bit to manage the trips. I am married, but have no control over what my husband might do to earn more. I see inflation eating into present income and figure if I don't die from a stroke I could live to be late 80's or even 100. My grandmother lived to be 100. I don't think I can be more fiscally careful unless I give up coffee that's about my only wild expenditure at the minute. I can't stop reading everyday. I guess I'm going to have to really buckle down and get more organized with the writing. I could grow vegetables. We have 2.67 acres, but that means I can't go anywhere in the summer because I spent all of this summer watering flowers. I think I'd rather write than grow vegetables, but I definitely need to think about vegetables. I'm vegan so if I grew vegetables that would definitely help my food bills. Anyway this forum has really pushed me to think a bit and thanks for that.


When our last dog and cat died We decided not to get anymore. I've had dogs for over 50 years and really miss having a dog, but I refuse to leave a dog or cat with the possibility of being put in a shelter. Instead I'm feeding birds. Yesterday I donated some money to save a meat dog. I'll never know what happened to it but an organization is buying them and shipping them to USA, UK and other countries for adoption. If I were going to get another dog I think I might get one of these meat dogs.
 

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My 5th book comes out Oct 17, and at the ripe old age of 57 I still have 3 years left in my day job. By then I'll have 11 books out, and I'll just keep writing. I'm taking social security as soon as possible and putting it into a Vanguard dividend fund. SS stops when you die. Vanguard dividend funds will continue paying a salary to my heirs long after that.

No banking books for me. My kids will get boatloads of published works that will make them money for the next 70 years.

Writing is a very unhealthy job. A treadmill with a slab of pine to support my laptop is my answer. It takes awhile to get used to, but my typing stinks anyway.

Most of us have the power within to live a long and healthy life if we make it a priority. But ya gotta believe.  ;-)
 
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