Do you remember your high school sweetheart? I remember…..all of them. Young “love” is exciting, but how often does it turn into true love that lasts into retirement? I found my true love, Shauna, in college. This year we’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary. When did you meet your true love?
In this week’s journey to retirement story, we hear from true high school sweethearts, John and Patti.
- Your story matters. It’s great to hear couples have conversations based on the stories you share on this podcast.
- Retirement is more about having flexibility in what you do than simply not working.
- Fixing things yourself can save a lot of money and keep you engaged.
- Not knowing when retirement is possible and what it could look like are central issues people struggle with.
- You and your retirement goals will evolve over time. It’s important you have a nimble process to help you make good retirement decisions along the way.
John and Patti
- Patti is in her early 50s and has worked for the same company for 28 years.
- John works in the technical field.
- They’ve dated since age 17 (how sweet is that??).
- Two grown daughters.
- Gearing up for retirement.
What Does Retirement mean to you?
- Patti: Retirement means doing a lot more things, doing the things I want to do. I don’t think I could not do something. It’s flexibility at an age when you can still enjoy it.
- John: I’m kind of a do it your-selfer. There’s really a lot of money to be saved by fixing things yourself. Retirement for me is going to be doing the things I want to do, on my terms. That in a nutshell is what I’m hoping for. I’ve got a laundry list of things I want to do.
What are you most excited about?
- John: Right now I commute an hour each way. I’ll have 2 hours of my day back just like that. There are some things I’ll probably be doing in my 70s that I could never think I would do.
- Patti: Moving to a warmer climate in the winter. Maybe downsizing our main home.
What are you most worried about?
John: Do I have enough money? Am I going to run out of money? That kind of thing. I have a lot of things I’m planning on doing. Am I going to be able to do them? Is my health going to be okay?
Patti: The worry for me would be managing the money properly so we have enough. We always worry about the health care costs. I think that will be a major cost that’s hard to predict.
How do you think your doing?
Based on the calculators we’ve run, I guess, we’re not panicking. We’re doing the best we can. If it means working longer, that’s what we’ll do. If it means retiring earlier, that’s what we’ll do.
Do You Use a Financial Planner?
- We do a lot ourselves.
- What I’m looking for is someone to help me with a plan to move forward, give us recommendations and Patti and I execute them.
- A lot of the places say we need to transfer all our money to this financial institution in order for them to manage it.
What is the worst financial decision you’ve ever made?
John: Before we got married…I read a book on penny stocks and I proved that book wrong.
What are some of the things you have to deal with personally when your managing your finances?
John: I think the biggest thing is…it’s (financial planning) not exciting. You can see it’s important but it’s not urgent so it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Patti: The budget part. John wants to stick to it more than I do. He wants it all documented whereas I know more of what I spent and what I didn’t.
What is the one resource that has had the most impact on your lives?
Patti: My parents. I think being brought up in a modest home and working at a young age…has made me into a conscientious spending adult.
How do you want to be remembered?
Patti: I’d like to be remembered for helping others and being a core part of the family.
John: For the positive experiences we’ve had together.