Our kitchen remodeling project is behind schedule, but they finish up today, so everything should be good to go for Thanksgiving. We have missed cooking so much and can’t wait to crank it up again.
Of course, we’re going to have a nicer kitchen, but being miserable for close to five weeks motivated us to get serious about having fun. We are out of practice.
Dale and I don’t have a big urge to travel, especially long trips by air, and COVID did nothing to change our minds. Still, we’re feeling confident we can scoot around California with moderate risk. There are so many beautiful places to see here, and we’ve done a whole lot of nothing for two years.
As it is with kitchens and travel, everything costs money. I’ll start collecting Social Security in December, and that should help fund some adventures. Additionally, we’re starting to talk about monthly withdrawals from what used to be my 401K but is now an IRA.
Although I was good at building a solid 401K, I’m less skilled when I think about draining it. I have found it difficult to make the mental switch from saving to spending. However, I may be ready. Not too many people in my family die of old age, so I’d like to enjoy what’s there.
We talked with Bob, our financial planner, and he encouraged us to get started … operating under the theory you can’t take it with you. Bob suggested we go with 4-5 percent. Ideally, your returns match or outpace withdrawals, so you don’t touch your principal. But with this market, who knows?
As a childless couple, we do want to spend our principal … just not all at once. I like the idea of “die broke.” However, I would like to avoid being alive and broke. But if that’s how it goes down, hell, yes, I would take it.
My car is 11 years old and in good shape, but I see a new one on the horizon. So, it will be good to start socking away cash for that purchase. I’m hoping my car goes another couple of years so I can see how the electric market shakes out. I’d like to go electric or plug-in hybrid. Any recommendations?
The biggest hurdle is getting over a bad case of COVID caution. Breakthrough infections notwithstanding, we’re both fully vaccinated and boosted and will most likely be just fine. We can’t live in fear forever.
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.