Monday, January 20, 2014

18 Years

Here is a good reason to put off retirement as long as possible.  "The average retirement lasts 18 years," according to these statistics.  None of us are average but our statistics make these averages.

That means if a person can put off retirement to age 67, they may live to be 85 like mom and dad did.  To most farmers I know, this doesn't mean too much because most of the ones I know don't talk about retirement until circumstances are such they have to consider it.  I like the planning we've already done and we keep modifying our plans each year as circumstances change.

Seeing what my brother in law has went through the last month has made me think.  It's made us both think as LuAnn has worked hard to get his affairs in order whether he lives 2 years or 20 years.  He works for a school district like I did in my public service years and the best thing we have is our health insurance and benefits.  The Affordable Health Care Act is changing those benefits and the unknown is a little scary.

The farm has kept me fairly busy since I retired in 2002.  We have been able to earn more than if I would have taught another 4 years and maxed out my pension.  It's given us time to travel around the world and that is something LuAnn and have enjoyed very much.

What we do with our estate is another thing.  We've decided we want to stay on the farm as long as humanly possible but we want to travel to warm climates in the winter.  My arthritis is pretty much nil in warm climates and that changes both our attitudes in a positive way.

We will be learning how to pass on our estate more this year.  We have a good base plan but now we have information on how to add to it and make our wishes come true.  We will also lessen the burden on our children when we get ill and pass on.

Nothing substitues for good health so that's our primary goal.  We try to eat right and get enough exercise.  We keep our faith strong and try not to worry or get anxious.  I've been there and it's no way to live.  That's the best benefit I've learned these past 8 years as I learn I can't physically do what I did before then.  Sleeping well and enjoying some peace of mind can't be measured in dollars or numbers of years.

I might ask you, how are your plans going?  I assume most of my readers have good plans, even better than mine.

It's something to think about on this cold winter's day.

Ed Winkle

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