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Bob Wells
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Bob is retired from a career in law enforcement including more than 20 years as an instructor of Investigative Interviewing. He is a Dividend Growth investor using dividend yield from low beta stocks for income and preservation of capital. Bob has self managed his portfolio since early in 2011.... More
  • What's Your Retirement Life Plan? 5 comments
    May 19, 2013 2:30 PM

    What's Your Retirement Life Plan?

    You worked hard. You raised your family. You contributed to your 401Ks. You watched your debt or better yet you're debt free. The time has arrived. You're retired. No longer will you devote 40 to 50 hours per week to working and your commute.

    It's a great time. There's no mortgage to pay. College expenses are over. Weddings are paid for. It's time for your investments to provide a little discretionary income.

    Now that you have arrived at that moment, what is your plan? How does your vision of retirement match with that of your spouse? You might be surprised. We were.

    Our retirement began with a move to Chattanooga an area closer to where two of our three children were residing. Note I said were as one has since moved to Colorado. Oh well.

    I started out working part-time as a training consultant. As the economy got weaker so did opportunities as a trainer, since the first cuts are often to training. Oh well.

    For my wife and I the transition into retirement meant taking control of our investments and becoming self directed investors. It meant developing a portfolio business plan that would define investment objectives and provide clear directions on both the buying and selling of our individual holdings. Our plan is available here.

    Next we updated our will and estate plan. We took steps to help insure that we each had the skills to function independent should such a need later arise. For me it means becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. For my wife it meant learning the ends and outs of internet banking and bill paying. I wrote more on the subject in this article.

    Recent, friends who are also retired talked about a process they underwent with their then financial planner to create a retirement life plan. They have since left the planner while their retirement life plan remains in place.

    Retirement Life Plan, sounds like a great idea! Having a business plan for our investments has paid off. Clearly we needed just such a plan. After all what good is growing your investments if their not helping support what's really important.

    We embarked on a new journey, each of us better defining our personal vision of retirement. After a few internet searches we found numerous resources to assist. We fully explored broad areas like health, family/relationships and leisure and travel. Next we identified the amount of discretionary income available to financially support our final plan objectives.

    We each performed the exercise independently; ultimately arriving at our top ten ranked retirement life style objectives and how we believed our discretionary retirement income could best support those objectives. My wife and I each spent hours of soul searching finally arriving at our top ten objectives.

    Next we each presented our lists orally elaborating on each item beginning with the 10th ranked item moving one by one to the item we felt to be the most important.

    During our presentations we found of agreement and areas where we disagreed particularly as to how a particular objective was ranked in importance.

    Next we took each other's list and ranked them from one to ten, this time from our perspective. With each step we grew closer to our shared vision of retirement and how our portfolio could best support that vision.

    We have defined our 2013 Life Plan Priorities and are in our second month of implementing our objectives. Like our portfolio business plan we plan to review our progress on a quarterly basis, making adjustments to our goals and corresponding budget when required.

    Seeking Alpha is about so much more than just growing investments; it's also about growing the lives they ultimately help to support. Now it's your turn to share your experiences in seeking and obtaining the best retirement life possible.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Comments (5)
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  • Eddie Herring
    , contributor
    Comments (2123) | Send Message


    Good question. This reminded me of a book I had and made me pull it off my shelf and look at again. It's called LifePlanning by Robb E.Dalton. It's more of a workbook with questions and feel in the blanks kind of stuff to get to the kinds of answers that people don't necessarily think about. Covers areas like health, wealth, recreation, career, geography, etc. Not necessarily a retirement planning book but more oriented towards overall life. Somewhat dated too since it's a 1987 copyright. I had actually forgotten about it and your article reminded me of it.


    My wife and I tend to plan our retirement years in small pieces. What I mean by that is that our children are grown, my youngest son is moving out next month and we'll be empty nesters. I'm already retired, my wife still works part time, and so we pretty much do a lot of short term planning. But if we want to take off to the mountains for a few days we can do that pretty quickly for the most part. My property joins my Mother's though and I try to take care of both her property and mine, along with assisting her when she needs it. Keeps me busy in the summer months with yard work etc.


    One of the things that I tend to think we put off until sometimes too late is planning for our ultimate passing. I know when my Dad passed away in 2006 from cancer he and Mom had already prepared years before their funeral arrangements, and it made dealing with that moment in time so much easier. He had already selected the casket/vault, bought and paid for the cemetery location, paid for the arrangements, and even had selected the music he wanted. Knowing ahead of time what our loved ones wanted makes it so much easier in dealing with the sorrow that comes with it, in my opinion. My wife and I have bought our burial plots but haven't made the other arrangements yet so we still have to do that. Sorry if this is being too morbid.


    Anyway, I enjoyed your blog and think you raise some very good points.


    19 May 2013, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • RoseNose
    , contributor
    Comments (9630) | Send Message
    This is a reminder I spend a lot of time at this computer and at picking and researching stocks, I should do the same by updating our will and making a trust. My mom passed most recently and having a trust made it all very easy. Pre planning the funeral was nice as to her wishes , prayer cards music , flowers etc. & she did it with us at the age of 88. She died at age 92. Be sure and let the kids know if you pre plan anything and WHERE you keep the papers. We almost got fleeced at the memorial park where everything was supposed to be prepaid, until I could find the papers (contracts), they were NOT in their computer, or so they said. So beware of pre paying and let the executor know everything. MHO. Rose
    19 May 2013, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • R.Fitz
    , contributor
    Comments (956) | Send Message
    I secured custody of (at that time) a 3 year old, now he's 13, going on 21. And just like out MLP's -- he's a "fit" into our retirement --- however flight privileges sure do help. I've began RMD's, but, still feel the urge to continually putting our market-income towards new purchases --- adding to present holding. Used much of your advise/thoughts --- added SDRL, trying to find a reason to add CQP. Always looking forward to your next article.
    Living off RMD's, pensions, Social Security, rentals -- it works
    19 May 2013, 08:47 PM Reply Like
  • Pinot44
    , contributor
    Comments (327) | Send Message
    For me retirement meant selling everything I owned and moving to Thailand. I live well on $3000 a month in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's not for everyone but it's easier than you think.
    20 May 2013, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • R.Fitz
    , contributor
    Comments (956) | Send Message
    Did you really do this?
    21 May 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
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