In January, Consumerism Commentary will begin the Naked With Cash event and series. Several Consumerism Commentary readers will share their financial reports and analyses at the beginning of each month, with insight from financial planners and other experts. To introduce each of the participants to readers, I asked them to share where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going, and to describe their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Meet Naked With Cash participant SteveDH, the only participant in retirement. Here is his introduction.
I entered the Air Force at 18 after high school in North Miami with $25 in my pocket and $1,934 in the bank. During the 20 years I served in the military I got married, begot (neat word) two kids, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from Park University, and lived in Mississippi, Thailand, Nevada, Germany, New Mexico, Florida, Korea, Idaho, and Virginia, finally settling in Missouri.
The settling in Missouri was in 1985 when I retired from the Air Force and went to work for a well-established company. I worked another 22 years and retired at the end of 2007 at 60 years old. My retirement asset target was $500,000 and I achieved that by the time I retired, but the strength of my retirement finances lie in pension income rather than asset consumption.
Presently retired, my wife and I enjoy traveling in the form of road trips and cruises. Our kids are grown, have their own homes and have become quite successful. From a financial standpoint I’ve tried very hard to simplify both the recording and reporting aspects of our finances. I use Quicken and Excel but I still budget and focus on cash flow. In the short-term future my wife and I want to continue our travels, volunteer when we can lend a hand, and stay close to all of our family. Long-term we will attempt to maintain our health, accomplish whatever our tired old bodies will allow and try to ensure our resources will last as long as we do.
My investment strategy as discussed between me and my CFP is “conservative income.” When we get cranked up it’s preserve assets, reduce risk exposure, preserve assets, don’t blow it, preserve
assets, hang-in there and preserve assets! My first year of retirement was 2008 -– think about that!
My Investment allocation target is 50% bonds, 30% cash and 20% equities, and that’s what we maintain. For the last three years I’ve been converting traditional IRA assets to Woth IRA assets in order to avoid increased taxes when I have to take distributions. It’s the old “Pay me now or pay me more later” Fram commercials applied to tax brackets and RMD.
In the first five years of retirement the only dollars that exited our retirement accounts went to Obama in order to pay the taxes on the dollars we converted from my traditional to my Roth IRA.
All credit cards bills are paid in full monthly and we have no debt.
These are my major financial rules:
- Live below your means.
- Manage your big S. (Be careful how you say that. The S is Spending.)
- Simplify your life and your finances. Keep it simple, senior!
- The income statement rules!
Thanks for your continued reading, SteveDH! I look forward to seeing you participate in Naked With Cash.
Updated December 27, 2012 and originally published December 23, 2012.