When I Retire…

This is a repost from something I wrote in 2009.

Skepticism runs deep in my psyche along with a mistrust of the often touted ‘expert opinion’. I also dig my heels in when I feel I am being sold something with scare tactics-as in do this OR ELSE.

I put money aside every paycheck into my 401K, I save into our emergency fund (and now house fund) money market account, I put extra toward the principle of our mortgage.  But I have a tip about this hot new investment that I plan to give a whirl-MYSELF!

Last year’s financial crisis was something of a revelation for me. Watching my carefully gathered funds just vanish made me feel helpless, just totally powerless. It was soon after that I reduced my 401K deduction drastically. Instead of putting money in a precarious house of cards, I wanted to invest in my own house-my own homestead-my own ‘retirement’. Yes, my taxable income is higher, but I feel it is a small price to pay for honoring that inner-voice.

I have made the decision to look at retirement in a whole different light. For many, retirement is the tantalizing carrot dangling just out of reach, waiting as a reward for 40 years of unrewarding work. ‘When I retire I will be able to enjoy my life.’ ‘When I retire I can really get into my hobbies.’ I don’t have any intention of waiting.

My investment in our future is starting now, while I am still healthy and strong. My husband and I can still break ground, install fencing, and start an orchard; if I wait until 65 that will not happen. I do not plan to retire to The Village in Florida, or play a lot of golf, or go on cruises when I am old. I foresee myself working part-time until I am physically unable (I do love my career when I can find balance!). I see myself helping to raise my (great?) grandchildren.

Compound interest is a wonderful thing and don’t get me wrong-I will continue to save and invest. But I am going to ‘diversify my portfolio’ just a little!

Twenty years down the road-worst case scenario: my 401K retirement nest egg may dry up and blow away, the FDIC may not be able to keep up with banking collapses, food and fuel prices may skyrocket. But with acreage owned, goats in the shed and potatoes in the clamp, I can feed myself. With a wood plot and a passive solar design I can stay warm. With solar panels I can pump water. You get the idea. I may not be saving for the future but I sure as hell am investing in my future.


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