Tally the Score

20121223-140332.jpgIt’s very close now. Three years, perhaps less.

We plan to have three sources of income when I retire: the IRA we’ve been building for several decades, an old style retirement fund from an employer many years ago, and Social Security.

We would survive, just barely, on one of those three. With two, we’d be secure and comfortable but doing little else. And with all three, I’d be working toward Master Class in Bullseye and taking music composition at the Community College. That would be nice.

But nothing is certain.

Social Security is uncertain. While the politicans promise it won’t go away for us boomers, there’s serious talk of raising the ages and there must also be talk of decreasing the benefits.

That company retirement fund periodically sends a statement of how they’re doing but it’s not a steller performer, much like our IRA funds these past couple of years. The retirement fund isn’t making the really bad noises like they might go bankrupt, but that has happened to other such funds with not much warning. It could happen.

Finally, our IRA has recovered and slightly improved on where it was before the crash in 2008 but the stalemate in congress over the national debt has brought out the likelihood of a renewed recession in 2013. We’ve moved a good portion of that savings into very conservative funds but we’re still “out there” with some others that’ve been doing well for the past couple of years.

Is it greedy to just want to have enough?

When my Dad retired he was a couple of years younger than I am now. He was a very successful surgeon and we estimate his net worth was a couple of million dollars. Not quite three decades later when he died, his new wife got everything but that’s another story.

During those retirement years he did very little. He wrote an embarassing book, helped his kids and grandkids very little and, only after re-marrying after being a loner for quite some time, did she help him spend some goodly portions of his savings – mostly on his new family.

As a result, our lives have been ours to live. We have each done as we saw fit. We have been free to make our own mistakes and enjoy our occasional successes. And all of us have done OK. None of us are rich, but none of us are poor. We’re healthy, living in nice places and near kids and grandkids.

We stay busy.

Personally, I’d like to have the time and be able to afford reaching Master Class. That’ll take a lot of bullets and many trips to the range but I think it’s possible.

And hear some music performed that I’ve composed.

Travel and see the world?

No thanks, I’ve already done that.

One out of three would be tolerable. Two would be nice but all three?

As Forrest Gump’s mother said, “Who knows what tomorrow may bring!”

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