When Can I Retire-Suze Orman Answers

Someone wrote to Suze Orman and asked the question many baby boomers are asking. “When Can I Retire?” I was listening to her show on TV while at the computer and decided to go to one her sites. This was a question that she answered for a baby boomer. Read it and I may post more of her answers for you to review.

When Can I Retire?

My wife (53) and I (49) have been married for 20 years and live in the San Francisco Bay area. We live simply, have no children, have no debt, own our home (3,000 sq. ft. in a nice area), are in good health, have a long-term care policy, and have $1.2 million in cash equivalents and tax deferred investments. At age 65 I will be eligible for Social Security and approximately $43 thousand a year in pension benefits. At age 56 my wife will qualify for $43 thousand a year in inflation-adjustable pension benefits.We have listened to your specials on KQED and have benefited from your wisdom. Lately we ask ourselves, “When can we realistically retire?” Do you have any advice?

Whether or not you’re ready to retire depends on the answers to two questions. One is emotional; the other is financial. The emotional question is, Do you know how you want to spend your time after you stop defining yourself by your career and start identifying yourself by who you are? Thinking this through is more difficult than most people imagine. Please give it a lot of thought.

Now to the financial part. Since the average life expectancy of a person in good health extends in to the late 80’s, many of us will spend more years in retirement than we spent working. For you, right now, retirement might mean a period of 30 to 35 years or longer. So the following question has to be asked and answered: How long will your retirement income last? Will it last for 35 years-or for 45 or 50 years if you’re one of the growing number of people who live into their 100s? Twenty-five years from now, will you and your wife still be able to live on a combined $86,000 in pension income, plus Social Security and the conservatively estimated interest income that can be taken from your investments? I say that this interest income must be “conservatively estimated” because I want you to calculate your future income based on interest from very safe investments, and also to be sure that you project a level of interest that it’s realistic to believe you can obtain. In this environment, I would not project above 6 percent a year. Please also be sure that you won’t have to invade your principal.

About your tax-deferred accounts: Take into consideration that, if and when you start withdrawing money from those accounts, you must first pay taxes on that money. After taxes, how much will really be left to generate income for you and your wife? Also, take into consideration what would happen if one of you were to die. Would one pension stop or be reduced? Finally, please remember to calculate that the one who remains will also be losing one social security check.

So this is how to figure out whether and when to retire. Calculate your true living expenses today and what you project into the future. Remember to add in expenses that you may not be incurring now, such as medications, additional help around the house, etc., and take into consideration future inflation of at least three percent a year. Next calculate your income and expenses if one of you should die. Bottom line: If the surviving spouse or life partner has more than enough money to meet the bills today and 30 years or more into the future, happy retirement, my friend! If not, keep a working and saving.

3 Things You Are Thankful For This Thanksgiving

A call back for a second mammo today made me reflect on those things I am thankful this Thanksgiving. I am thankful that second test does not show Cancer. I am also thankful for my Mom and Hubby. In additon, I am thankful that I even had health insurance to persue the testing and resulting testing in six months. Of course I could go on and on. There is so much to give thanks for in the midst of the crazy and insane daily activities.

Sure I have a couple of funerals to attend, other challenges and friends and family in pain. Yet, as I read the Psalms it just puts a new spin on things. I almost cried when I read Psalms 73 and got the assurance of God’s ever present support and comfort. I also am reminded of the need not to be a “player hater” of folks who just seem to get over in life , get very rich in resources, seldom sick, but really evil in their actions towards others.

Since many of you may be peeking at blogs this Thanksgiving I thought it would be good to share 3 things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving. I find it is a good reminder when you are in the dumps. Take a few minutes to share them.

Twitter Talk on Blogging for Boomers

There has been a lot of Twitter posts on Blogging For Boomers. It is probably because one of the authors,  Blogging Betty Boomer is learning and posting what she learns. That is a good way to document your observations, and new ideas. It is a good thing for Baby Boomers who are constantly learning and working on different projects. It becomes a virtual filing system.

Something to think about…

Memo to Older Employees: Do not Fear!

Get ready for another cutting edge article by an inspirational baby boomer expert,James O. Armstrong. 

Companies are beginning to make adjustments for older workers.  This is strictly a supply and demand issue.  In the United States, for example, we have approximately 78 million baby boomers, who are now in their early 40s to 62 years old; but, there are dramatically fewer Generation Xers coming up behind us.   

So, here is the issue:  How do we as a society encourage older men and women to stay in the workforce longer?  The way a company needs to operate is to show more flexibility.   

In this way, even someone after age 65, who is beginning to receive Social Security benefits, might choose to work two or three days each week, as a supplement to his Social Security benefits and/or his pension or 401(k) income. 

The shortage of workers in many categories 

There are many opportunities for my fellow baby boomers in our society.  For example, the United States is looking at an 800,000 shortage of registered nurses in the coming years.  Together with LPNs, this shortage will exceed a million nurses just in the United States.  Of course, as baby boomers begin to retire, they will increasingly require more medical care.   

There’s also a shortage of government workers.  Plus, our society doesn’t have enough engineers or scientists.  In addition, there’s a shortage of truck drivers, warehouse workers and certain types of manufacturing employees.  Further, we don’t have enough technology workers in our society either.   

Of course, many of these jobs require more education and/or training.  Overall, we also need to be flexible in terms of the jobs we’re willing to consider and do.  We also need to understand that a retail job pays 30% less than the national average.  On the other hand, men and women need to know that manufacturing jobs and especially advanced manufacturing pays 30% more than the national average.  So if you consider manufacturing dirty, for example, you need to rework your thinking because these are great jobs that pay well and provide excellent fringe benefits.   

Our economy is basically sound 

While these are challenging times, oftentimes the national media overstates the challenges we actually face.  For example, some members of the national press corps have been anticipating a recession in the U.S. and Canada for the last seven years, which has not yet materialized.   

Our economy in recent years in the U.S. has been a good one.  In fact, the economy in the first and second quarter of 2008 has actually grown vs. contracting.  Therefore, the classic definition of a recession, which equals two consecutive quarters of negative growth, has not materialized.   

But, most men and women watching the major television networks or reading big city daily newspapers think exactly the opposite.  These media outlets like to sensationalize a story on the negative side of the ledger, where they tend to focus on large companies which have laid off 2,000 or 3,000 people at a time.  Of course, the real story relates to the hundreds of thousands of companies, which are constantly adding jobs every day to their payrolls at the rate of two or three men/women as the need presents itself.   

That’s the real story in the economy, which comes from small and midsize companies adding jobs.  It’s not the giant companies that might have had a downsizing or reorganization effort recently.  Our society in the United States needs to get beyond this kindergarten level of economic coverage, which we so often receive from the major TV networks and the big city daily newspapers.   

Also, nearly 70% of the economy in the U.S. comes from consumer purchases.  We as consumers buy things because we’re confident.  On the other hand, when we’re not as optimistic, we don’t buy things.  Even regarding the subprime crisis in the United States, our nation is in the process of righting that excess.   

People say to me, “What caused the subprime crisis in the United States?”  What caused it was people that got into homes and condominiums that shouldn’t have gotten into them.  That’s what caused it.  You simply can’t have people moving into homes with no down payments and/or no credit checks.  Now, since we’re beginning to bottom out in residential housing in many markets in the United States, this is a great time to buy a house or a condominium.   

At this moment, the United States is not yet in a recession.  We have experienced a devaluation of housing in many markets because this sector in our economy has been overheated.  But this fact is just a part of the normal up and down cycle that takes place, whether it’s the stock market, housing or the financial community as a whole.   

The NowWhatJobs.net website has resources for you 

On our website, we believe that accurate information begins to take the place of our fears.  NowWhatJobs.net <a href=”http://www.nowwhatjobs.net“>http://www.nowwhatjobs.net</a> targets men and women, who are baby boomers and working seniors.  But, my website is especially designed to speak hope to my generation of fellow baby boomers and younger seniors, who are still actively engaged in the workforce.  In fact, your best days may be yet to come.   

Specifically, what I really wanted to share with our website visitors and readers was the professional insider information of a labor shortage in the U.S. and Canada and especially a skills shortage in both countries going forward vs. a labor surplus.   

In other words, if we begin to think differently, then our behavior pattern will change.   

I would urge people to check out the website, because there are so many different avenues that men and women can explore.  The website can help people explore options in logistics, manufacturing or healthcare careers.  With over 1,400 posted articles now on my website, men and women can check out information in 30 different categories. 

Finally, on the NowWhatJobs.net website, we have been fortunate to have excellent cooperation from approximately 200 other websites, which run the gamut from fellow baby boomers, active seniors and other interested individuals who have collectively chosen to help us accomplish our mission at our website.  In summary, there has been a mutual rowing of oars in the same direction because all of us are especially trying to help our fellow baby boomers in one way or another.    


James O. Armstrong, President of NowWhatJobs.net, Inc., <a href=”http://www.nowwhatjobs.net“>http://www.nowwhatjobs.net</a>, also serves as the Editor of NowWhatJobs.net.  NowWhatJobs.net is the resource for job and career transitions for workers 40 years old and over, Baby Boomers and Active Seniors.  Read NowWhatJobs.net for skills training, relocation options, job opportunities and much more.  In addition, James is the author of “Now What?  Discovering Your New Life and Career After 50” and the President of James Armstrong & Associates, Inc., a media representation firm based in Suburban Chicago.

Small Business Owner-Did You Know That ThomasNet Has a Blog?

Small business owners, for years, have gleaned manufacturing resources from Thomas Net. I have visited this site often to go directly to a supplier located in a specific geographical area. You can also list your business if you are a supplier, distributer  or manufacturer of a product or service. According to their site they say:

You can also search ThomasNet to find manufacturers, distributors and service providers – from Actuators to Zirconium and everything in between.

I find it fascinating to place a search for an item, i.e, bags and see the world-wide results. You can also search via catelogs. In addition there are several free whitepapers with cutting edge information that can grow your business. There is much more but you need to set aside about 20 minutes to explore the site.

But the news I wanted to share, is the comprehensive and informative blog. Now it may take a while to find the blog because it does not jump out at you with the words blog on the site. It is under the heading Industrial Market Trends.

One of the posts I found to be very relevant for this time in our economy is on the return of bartering.

Overall the entire site is very good. It is concentrated with information so just take your time grab a pencil and read. Also take the time to make comments to some of the posts. It is a powerful baby boomer business resource.

How To Twitter Your Email Newsletter With Aweber-Video

Yes you can broadcast your email newsletter to all your everyone following you on Twitter using Aweber.

Check out this video by John Chow then give Aweber a free test run to try it out. Just think folks who are not subscribed to your email just might subscribe. Also be sure to have a way for them to subscribe in case someone tweets someone else with your newsletter tweet. That makes sense right?


Can You Lose Face on Facebook?

According to the post from Switched YES YOU CAN! This post shares five stories of folks who, unfortunately, had bad experiances with Facebook.

It is wise to pay attention to the lessons from this story. However, don’t run away from social networking. We can embrace it as long as we do it right. Well, at least that’s my opinion. What do you think?

You can read the article here.

Green Peace Calenders Are Great for Gifts to Anyone Who Needs to See it BIG

After searching through all the calenders in the store I finally brought two Greenpeace Wall Calenders for my mom and uncle. Both of them have challenges with their sight. It was a delight to see them actually “see” the dates on the calender.

Now, the calender starts in January. But I hung it up in my uncles house anyway. But my mom decided to wait until December 31, 2008. So if you are looking for an unadvertised large print calender get your copy of Greenpeace. You will also help the efforts to keep our planet green because monies are donated from your purchase.

Facebook-25 Tips

Just finished reading this excellent post on Facebook Tips from a news feed on AOL. Most of the tips relate to social aspects of the site. Duh, it is a social networking platform. But I was most impressed with the fact that you can set up a webpage on Facebook!

They also share the applications that you should or should not download. I am still not excited about posting on folks walls but that’s probably why I never became an Artist. But my husband wrote on the walls a lot when he was young. And yes, he is an Artist.

Ok, enough ramble check out the Facebook Tips.