Valerie Smith, 60, Retired
Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University
You may ask why in the world is she squealing about retirement?!?! She’s only 35! If we are going to maintain our wealth the first thing we need to learn is how to save. We think we will be youthful forever and have that steady paycheck until we get old and grey. We just buy, buy, buy and never think about the future. Or we say, I’ll save $100 a month and think we will be fine. Ummm, no! Before you know it you will be 35, 45, 55 and start wondering where has the time and money gone?
Take a look at your savings account. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Okay, now take your current savings….well I’ll be generous for this example. Let’s say you have $10,000.00 in savings and you save the same amount each year for 30 more years. That’s $300,000. You only have $300,000.00 on hand and no steady paycheck. You retire and live 20 more years. You have $15,000.00 to live on per year. Can you live off of that? I’m sure many do, but a large percent of us would not be able to maintain our current lifestyle. Probably not even close to it. What if you live more than those 20 years? Sure you can get another job, maybe. But then can you even enjoy what they like to call the golden years? If you’re not careful, before you know it, you are back to doing what you have to do, not what you want to do.
To get more insight on preparing for retired life, I spoke to recently retired administrative assistant, Valerie Smith. She is a 60 year old retiree that has worked for the same employer for 30 years. She explained how thankful she was to have an employer that offered a decent retirement plan similar to a 401K. She took advantage of her employers retirement plan by having a certain percentage of her paycheck automatically deposited into her retirement account. Her employer would then match the funds that she deposited. That’s free money ladies! In addition to her employer retirement plan and joint savings accounts she shares with her husband, she kept her own personal savings account. Valerie mentioned to me that she was glad to have a husband who has the ability to make money and know what to do with it. She praised him for making intelligent decisions regarding investing and saving. Valerie believes that if you are going to be married, you need someone that can help with finances not hinder. Valerie knew the importance of setting a savings goal in order to afford the lifestyle she wanted when she retired. Because of the sacrifices she made early on in life she is still sitting pretty during her golden years;collecting her coins, traveling, and loving on her grandchildren. And that’s exactly what she wanted to do.
BIRTHDAY BONUS (Valerie turned 60 today!)
Valerie’s Girly Squeal saving but still shopping secrets and tips:
If available, use direct deposit to make deposits into your savings/retirement accounts. If you don’t see the money, you don’t miss it. Valerie owns one credit card for reservations and emergencies. Credit cards are not for daily shopping.
And her all time favorite, hoard your birthday, holiday and miscellaneous gift money. It keeps you from going into your household money when you want to shop. “I can shop without ever worrying about dipping into my bill money”.
By the way, Valerie Smith is my mommy, the girly squeal originator. I need a moment to publicly love on her and thank her for helping make me financially responsible. Thanks mommy for teaching me how to start from the back of the store because that’s where the clearance racks were. Thanks for teaching me that pricey labels aren’t important, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Thanks for letting me help you clip coupons on Sunday afternoon after church and comparing prices to get things almost free. Thank you for showing me that paying tithes and giving offerings wasn’t just something you do, but there was a purpose for it. I know I wasn’t a perfect steward over my money all the time and I still make mistakes, but the more I watch you the more I want to do better. You are the best mommy any girly could ever hope for. I’m glad you let me be an individual and not a cookie cutter little girl. You put me in ruffles but let me climb trees. I especially thank you (and daddy) for teaching me the importance of being able to stand on my own two feet. And to be kind and gentle yet strong and stern. You told me once that your prayer for me was that one day I would be able to take care of myself. Well what do you think?
Love you and Happy Birthday. *Girly Squeal Salute*
If any of you girly squealers want further information or need help finding information on retirement/ saving opportunities you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t know the answer to your financial question, I am committed to helping you find it. The Wealthy Women Alliance has your back.
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