July 14, 2016

Retirement Planning With Extra Cash

retirement finances

This is a post that asks you to dream a little and share your thoughts with us. There are no bad choices, so don't hesitate to add your comment. 

Pretend that you have just inherited $3,000 with only one stipulation: you must spend the money on yourself. Giving the money to charity, putting it into a college fund for your grandchild, or paying down a credit card bill are all great uses for this extra cash. Fixing a balky air conditioner might be a necessity. But, for today and for for this post, don't think that way. Focus on you, what makes you happy, what you would add to your home, your life. 

Maybe you have been looking at a fancy new digital camera or long lens. There is a room in your home that would look so much better with fresh carpets or a wood floor. A couple of new power saws for your woodworking hobby would be perfect. How about a custom bookcase in the living room for all those books you have stacked in various corners around the house? That kitchen oven never holds the right temperature and has a broken stovetop burner. 

Dream and share. $3,000 isn't enough to take a cruise around the world, buy that 1965 Mustang you've had your eye on for years, or redo your master bath. But, it is enough to fulfill a wish, put a smile on your face, and make a corner of your world a happier place.

It is just a dream...I will not be awarding someone $3,000! But, I thought it would be fun to share what we would do with money that we must spend on our happiness, no matter how unrealistic the dream.

Ready, set....share!


55 comments:

  1. I would buy a new grill and fire pit to enjoy the summer.

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    1. I have a pork tenderloin kabob recipe that goes on the grill this weekend! Good choice.

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  2. Deb and I haven't taken a cruise since she got sick on the last one in 1987. I think she is ready to do it again (we plan on it anyhow in 2018 on her 65th) so we could take an early one to see how she fares.

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    1. From the east coast you would have some tremendous choices. Just bring along lots of Germ-X.

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  3. I would spend a few days in NYC going to the theatre and symphony while also enjoying the concerts in the park.

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    1. Great choices. It has been too many years since I have visited the Big Apple for the Broadway shows and concerts.

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  4. I would go salmon fishing on a river in northern British Columbia.

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    1. Wow, that is a great choice. I know Betty would join you if it involved learning to fly fish.

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  5. Door County Wisconsin right on the waters edge please.

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  6. This sounds so superficial...jewelry! I have a few very nice pieces that I really enjoy wearing. I wouldn't mind adding one or two additional special pieces to add to my collection. I don't "save" my good jewelry for special times; I wear it often. Although not when I'm working in the yard!

    Would love to know what you would pick Bob! And Betty!

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    1. The whole point is to encourage superficial desires that live in our dreams!

      Good point: I will ask Betty for her ideas and decide on mine and post a comment.

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  7. I would spend 2/3 of it on a new bathroom, and the rest for play money. We blew through this house with improvements and the main bath hasn't been done yet so I think it's time!
    b

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    1. Practical, but understandable! I would imagine your play money wouldn't be spent at a Trump casino in Atlantic City, right?

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  8. Ok, here is our contribution:

    Betty loves going to antique stores and malls and outdoor flea markets, as much to get ideas as to buy something So, she'd spend hers replacing the knick-knacks and decorative pieces we have had forever. She would be in 7th heaven.

    I would hire a personal cook for as long as the $3,000 lasted. He, or she, would cook healthier dinners to help us lose the weight that isn't budging, and develop new eating habits. The cook would insist on us participating in the slow eating movement, so dinner becomes an event, not just a time to refuel.

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    1. Bob, just remember that Oprah has a private chef and look where it got her. :-) The idea does sound nice though.

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  9. I love this exercise! I read it an hour ago and contemplated it while I showered and got ready for the day. I came to the conclusion that I'm truly blessed. I couldn't come up with one thing I wanted or needed for myself at this point in my life. I have a great hobby room,plenty of retirement- appropriate clothes, a "new to me" car,and several exciting trips planned over the next year. Now, had the rules stipulated that the money be spent on someone else, I could have compiled a long list that would have brought joy to others and joy to me, the giver. It also helped me decide that I'm going to leave small inheritances to young family members who might really need it, rather than just have everything go to our adult daughters who will hopefully be like me and have everything they need by the time I die. There was definitely a time in my life when $3000 would have been a lifesaver!

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    1. When I lost my job in the early 80's i had just moved to a new city, had two daughters under the age of 3 and no way to support the family. It all worked out, but the $3,000 at that point would be have been a tremendous help!

      I love your response. You are truly satisfied with your status in life.

      How about a dinner out once a week for a year with a friend or family member, and you pick up the tab?

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  10. I'm like Glenda...my mother passed away this past February and on July 1st I received a check for nearly $3,000. Since I had the federal and state taxes deducted it was a bit less. My sister asked what I was going to do to treat myself, knowing that I could have retired on July 1st and have decided to stay until age 70 if my health allows. I thought about it and decided that I didn't want for anything either and put it into savings. The scary part for me regarding retirement is that Social Security is supposed to cut our benefits when I am in my 85th year by appproximately 25% and if I put that $3,000 that I will get each year from my mother's annuity, it might be needed then to make up the difference that deduction will create. I just can't imagine all of us 80 somethings trying to get employment to cover that 25% reduction which with inflation will mean more than $500 in my case.

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    1. I don't see a scenario where Congress permits Social Security benefits to be cut. of course, they will wait until the last second to deal with the problem, but the political cost of allowing a substantial cut is too great.

      That said, I do expect the amount of SS that is taxable to increase, so the net effect could be an overall lowering of income. That is a politically safer way to provide extra funds while still being able to claim benefits aren't being cut. In your case, setting aside the extra cash is a good safety net.

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  11. I would use the money to go to Reno, NV where my oldest son and his wife live and spend a month in February away from the very cold snowy winter I live in. No worries about affording the airplane ticket or money to spend...just enjoying time with my son and his beautiful warm winter weather.

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  12. I'd fly to NYC, buy two tickets to "Hamilton" and have dessert at the Palm.

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    1. Based on how popular Hamilton is, the $3,000 just might cover your trip!

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  13. Thanks for the question Bob. I would hire a running/exercise trainer and a nutritionist. So much of my life right now revolves around exercise and being healthy I think this would be a good investment for me.

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    1. Sort of like my idea of a personal cook to prepare healthier meals. If there was any money left over, I like your idea of a personal trainer who comes to my home and forces me to do what I know I should be doing anyway.

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  14. I have a friend going through chemo, and I'd use the money toward airfare upgrades from the East Coast to England so we can take another trip together once she's done with this treatment. She won't do it for herself, and I can't afford to do the whole fare for both of us, but if I told her I'd won the funds for this purpose, I might get away with sharing it with her.

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    1. What a blessing that would be for both of you.

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  15. this is fun... either a personal chef or a drum set. I have never even tried to play drums, but I have to pull myself away from the window of the music store on my neighborhood walk. It just looks like pure fun!

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    1. I hope you don't have a nearby neighbor! Drums...great idea and the first musical instrument suggested so far.

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  16. Take a first class trip on a river boat

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    1. Like one down the Mississippi? I'm there.

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  17. This would cover a fall trip to Japan to meet our new granddaughter when she arrives!

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    1. What a perfect use of that windfall.

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  18. What an interesting question. At first, like some others, I couldn't think of anything I'd like to have that I don't already have. On reflection, though, I can think of two possibilities. One would be a vacation. I used to mostly do camping vacations, but sleeping in a tent is no longer as enticing as it once was. But I still prefer to cook my own meals when traveling. I could plan a vacation where I stayed in cabins with cooking facilities. My second possibility is making a start on remodeling my painfully retro bathroom. -Jean

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    1. Both are good ideas. I gave up on tent camping quite a long time ago. It was just too uncomfortable and I always felt too exposed. The RV has solved those problems.

      I gather retro in this case is not a good thing.

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    2. Imagine green faux-marble Formica (fashionable in the early 1970s) on all the walls :-(

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  19. Do you really want a 1965 Ford Mustang? We bought a brand new one when they came out. We were still in graduate school and it was a splurge, but so worth it! My husband did not like the idea of the drum set but said he will get me some bongo drums even though I didn't inherit any money.

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    1. Bongos instead of a full drum set...nice compromise. No, I don't want a '65 Mustang. I wouldn't mind having a fully restored 240Z, my first car in college!

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  20. I would pay for the cruise I have booked for next year.

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  21. I would rent a suite of rooms at The Fontainebleau Hotel located on the beach in Miami for myself and three of my girlfriends. We would disco the nights away, dine on the finest Cuban cuisine on South Beach. We'd all get daily 2 hour massages by the most tanned, toned gents as possible and have as many mai tai drinks (with crushed mint, of course) as we desired, brought to us on a silver platter. During the day we would be stretched out on a chaise lounge nestled comfortably on the white sandy beaches of Miami, under a canopy as our cabana boys brought us passion fruits, sliced pineapple and whole grilled red snapper.
    We'd stay there till the money ran out. Then hitch a ride back to reality.
    Oh, that just felt so good!

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    1. And it sounds wonderful. Glad to see you really got into the spirit of splurging on yourself.

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  22. I'd take a cross country road trip, or as far as $3,000 would go. Always wanted to do that. I've seen much of it, but some places I'd like to (re)visit: Niagara Falls, Great Smoky Mountains, New Orleans, Florida Keys, ...
    Either that, or build a pavilion in our backyard. The wife has been talking about that for some time.

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    1. Tough choice. Believing in experiences over things, I'd go with the road trip. Even so, I have built Ramadas in backyards before and loved them.

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  23. Bob, thanks again for this blog's question. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's reply.

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  24. The only thing I could think of after giving this thought since this post went up, is to use it to fly first class on our next overseas trip. Waking up fresh in _______ (fill in the blank) would be heaven. :-)

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    1. Absolutely. Flying while crammed into coach for just a few hours is unpleasant; flying that way to Europe or Asia is a nightmare.

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  25. What a fun question! I would probably use it to re-landscape the front of the house. We have torn out the old stuff; now we just need to get in some new stuff. And with that much money, I could even hire someone to help with the heavy work! It would look good for years, and even increase the valu of our house. Yup - landscaping it is.

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    1. $3,000 is plenty to make a real improvement in a home's landscaping. I tend to forget the curb appeal and front of the house, but our new home could use some work out there, too.

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  26. We'd do the same thing we've done for 54 years whenever a financial windfall appeared--talk if over together, list pros and cons of various alternatives, and then do what beautiful wife Sandy wants! Net result usually has been two happy people.

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  27. I'm glad I stumbled upon this blog post. As long as I've been married, we've saved aggressively and given aggressively. Those two financial muscles work well. Now we need to start exercising the third financial muscle of spending. We've decided to purchase a used RV and the $3,000 windfall would be perfect for upgraded batteries, solar panels, and a solar charge controller as this expense is not in the budget for the first year.

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    1. We bought a used RV 5 years ago and are very glad we did. The $3,000 would be nice for RV modifications.

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