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Regular Contributor

What would you Change?

Would you change something in your Career, Home/Family, Finance, Friends/Community, Fun/Recreation, Growth/Learning, Health, and Spirituality?If you could change one thing.jpg

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Bronze Conversationalist

This question touches many facets of life, most of which bring up ideas. Because I'm retired, now, I think I'll consider finances.

In the '80s, we had the 401(k) plan introduced to us where I worked. One of my coworkers jumped right on it and signed up as soon as she could. I didn't see the advantage quite the way I should have. Retirement was still a nebulous and distant thought for me. I considered all the deductions from my paycheck and decided I didn't need to have more taken out and crimp my living style just that much more, yet.

My first change for my finances would have been to sign up, immediately, for at least as much as the company would match, just as my coworker did.

While going from job to job after that, I would have rolled over my 401(k) into IRAs or the next employer's 401(k) plan. I would not have cashed out any of it, nor any of the retirement packages I was awarded on termination. Also, I would not have dabbled in trading on the stock market with those funds. I lost some money during the trading, but I gained some valuable experience.

Eventually, I did start using the 401(k) plan the way it should be and did start building a retirement base.

The one final thing I would have changed is that I would have continued to participate in the 401(k) plans through my employers, but I also would have maximized my use of IRAs after putting enough into 401(k) to at least get the employer match.

When I was laid off from my final employer (head count issue in the department, not a personal issue) and decided that I could retire, I did roll over my 401(k) plan directly into an IRA and have done pretty well with it - on paper, at least.

Even with all those things I did wrong, I did enough right that my nest egg might outlive me.

Stay well and enjoy!

Lynn

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Bronze Conversationalist

I would be more assertive earlier in life and tell the guy in high school what I really felt for him. Waiting until we were retired to find out he felt the same for me hasn't done me much good. Oh well, maybe next lifetime we'll get it right. 🙄 😏

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Gold Conversationalist

Great question @kn64205082,  it really makes you reflect on your life!  I would be more confident from an early age and feel that "I am enough."  Christine

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Gold Conversationalist

Great question @kn64205082,  it really makes you reflect on your life!  I would be more confident from an early age and feel that "I am enough."  Christine

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Regular Contributor

Yes! You are Enough!

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Bronze Conversationalist

I would be more assertive earlier in life and tell the guy in high school what I really felt for him. Waiting until we were retired to find out he felt the same for me hasn't done me much good. Oh well, maybe next lifetime we'll get it right. 🙄 😏

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Gold Conversationalist

Oh @DeahWA , That's a heart-breaker. Is he available now? I hear stories all the time about high school crushes  or old girlfriends/boyfriends getting together later in life.  My old neighbor Sandy got married to her old boyfriend two years ago, and they are going strong.  Christine

Bronze Conversationalist

@Rhymesometimes I'm happy to say we are devoted to staying in touch, candidly sharing our feelings, trying to navigate challenges and complexities of where things might go. I don't think marriage is in our future, but it does seem that neither of us want to let go, so who knows? 😏

Gold Conversationalist

@DeahWA  That sounds like a very good start!  Christine

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Bronze Conversationalist

😏And if nothing else, great inspiration for another senior romance novella or two.

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Bronze Conversationalist

This question touches many facets of life, most of which bring up ideas. Because I'm retired, now, I think I'll consider finances.

In the '80s, we had the 401(k) plan introduced to us where I worked. One of my coworkers jumped right on it and signed up as soon as she could. I didn't see the advantage quite the way I should have. Retirement was still a nebulous and distant thought for me. I considered all the deductions from my paycheck and decided I didn't need to have more taken out and crimp my living style just that much more, yet.

My first change for my finances would have been to sign up, immediately, for at least as much as the company would match, just as my coworker did.

While going from job to job after that, I would have rolled over my 401(k) into IRAs or the next employer's 401(k) plan. I would not have cashed out any of it, nor any of the retirement packages I was awarded on termination. Also, I would not have dabbled in trading on the stock market with those funds. I lost some money during the trading, but I gained some valuable experience.

Eventually, I did start using the 401(k) plan the way it should be and did start building a retirement base.

The one final thing I would have changed is that I would have continued to participate in the 401(k) plans through my employers, but I also would have maximized my use of IRAs after putting enough into 401(k) to at least get the employer match.

When I was laid off from my final employer (head count issue in the department, not a personal issue) and decided that I could retire, I did roll over my 401(k) plan directly into an IRA and have done pretty well with it - on paper, at least.

Even with all those things I did wrong, I did enough right that my nest egg might outlive me.

Stay well and enjoy!

Lynn

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Regular Contributor

I can look back (currently retired) and say I wish I had..... I wish I had... but at the time we believe we are making the best decision. Yes?

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Gold Conversationalist

A great cautionary tale @Brightpool! Glad you turned things around.  I told both my daughter's to start a ROTH at 18 when their tax rate was tiny. Also to contribute at least to the companies match, otherwise it's leaving free money on the table.  We need more financial literacy taught from a young age.  Love Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.

Christine

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Thank you Lynn for your insight. It sheds light on how you learned from your actions and moved forward.

Super Contributor

That my kids were still loving 4-6 year olds rather than moody teenagers. Lol!

-Mark

 

The medicine man at www.medicinemanplantco.com
Regular Contributor

Good luck!

Patience and other adult friends experiencing the same help.

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Regular Contributor

Yes, commiserating with others can 'normalize' what you are experiencing. 

 

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