Thinking About Finances

While I’m living my Tapas Life and loving it, it doesn’t necessarily result in much income.  Sure, my Life Coaching Tapa may bring in something like $6K/year.  My little startup could turn into real money.  Or not.  My board work could turn into some income after a couple years.  Or not.  Sometimes the time I invest in investing pays off.  Sometimes the results are more akin to a kennel…  Eventually, I’ll have some Social Security income (even though the media would have us all believe none of us will ever get our SocSec payments, I’m guessing guys my age (60) won’t be significantly impacted by the trimming that will eventually be needed), but when I push the numbers on that, it looks like waiting ’til I’m 67 makes excellent sense.  Unless I figure I’m going to live ’til I’m 86 or older, in which case waiting until I’m 70 makes more sense.  But that’s all 7-10 years from now.

I didn’t assemble my Tapas Life with making money in mind.  I saved well while I was the worker-bee and my very talented and hard-working wife earns well now that I’m not.  So I have the luxury of not having to include an income goal in my particular Tapas Life.  Hey, at least I cut back my wine purchase dollars by about 90% from prior years, since I figure we’ve got enough in the cellar to last us until we’re dead and gone.

When I think about my wife someday leaving the workforce, I get very focused on our investments and, in particular, our self-directed IRA investments.  The simple fact will one day be that if those investments do decently, we will be living very nicely.  And if they don’t,  we’ll either have to dig into savings or cut back our lifestyle or both.  It’s a little scary to think about that, especially with us both out of the workforce.  To be sure, we could probably earn a few dibs here and there (especially my wife), but we might both be living the Tapas Life by then, and that would at a minimum be disruptive.  First world problem, I suppose.

At our age, the usual advice is to start moving some of our savings into less risky investments.  These days, that means “investments with no income,” unless you count a fraction of a percent up to a few percent as appreciable income when compared to the inflation rate.  How does one make that work?  Not sure.  In today’s world it’s a quandary.  On the other hand, I think that that advice for people 60-ish was based on the notion of life ending at 78, rather than 88, so perhaps sticking with somewhat higher risk/reward investments for another decade isn’t such a bad idea.  At least I hope it’s not!

These are my musings on finance at present.  Perhaps the useful takeaway for readers of this blog is simply that financial planning for one’s post-long-career life is a complex matter, continues changing as the world changes, and because of its impact on your later years merits your attention greatly.

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