Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Retirement: WWII Generation Doing OK

My parents' generation seems to be doing OK financially in retirement. Mostly widows in their 80s and 90s now, their expenditures are pretty modest: no house payments (mortgage long ago paid off), drive maybe 3000 miles a year, if at all, property taxes $1500 a year or so. Of course, they have to pay for electricity, telephone and heat like everyone else, and a gardener to do the yard, but it doesn't add up to that much - nor do they eat all that much! They don't travel often, and then it's just to visit the grandkids. Medicare covers the doctor bills.

Social security more than covers their expenses, and they have investment income as well. The question I get most often is: where should I invest my money - it's piling up in the checking account. Of course, the sage advice is to put it in something super secure, because you're not going to earn it back if you lose it at your age. But they like to take a flyer in the stock market - better odds than gambling, that's for sure, and it's interesting tracking the stock prices day to day. Seems like the biggest risk is having to move to a nursing home, esp. in case of Alzheimer's. Some have insurance for that, as Medicare doesn't cover it.

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