Naked With Cash is the year-long series on Consumerism Commentary where seven readers’ households share their financial progress on a monthly basis. I’ve partnered with financial planners who will offer some guidance along the way. Read this introduction to learn more about the series. This month, the participants and experts will be discussing retirement as part of their analyses.
SteveDH is retired, and he and his wife have two grown kids. By the time he retired in 2008, he had reached his retirement asset goal of $500,000. His goal now is to ensure his savings last as long as he does. Read his bio to learn more about SteveDH. SteveDH is on Team Roger, with Certified Financial Planner Roger Wohlner.
This is Retirement Month at Naked With Cash, so each participant has been encouraged to share details about their coverage, and the experts will provide their perspectives on the topic.
Keep reading to see his net worth report, updated for May 2013. To catch up with SteveDH’s progress, you can also read last month’s report or other prior reports from the Naked With Cash home page. Following the current month’s analysis from SteveDH, Roger Wohlner will offer his own thoughts and guidance from his planning perspective.
Roger Wohlner, CFP appears courtesy of The Chicago Financial Planner.
Analysis from SteveDH
This was a May that I’d just as soon forget. Both the stock market and the weather spooked us as we neared the end of the month. The market dived significantly and we had a tornado touchdown within about a mile of us destroying several homes.
Thankfully, the tornado sirens and weather updates sent everyone scrambling for their basements and safe rooms so our community didn’t have anything other than property damage and minor injuries. My wife and I picked up some tree limb debris and endured several hours without power but managed to get everything done and still make our grandson’s graduation party the next day.
May’s cash flow was also tighter than normal. We had anticipated higher than normal out-of-pocket medical expenses for annual dental care, however, the bill was slightly larger than budgeted — but
manageable. On the balance sheet we did move about $6,200 from the Income & Expense accounts to Long-Term savings. Unfortunately, the last 7 market days in May took a bite out of our investments.
Value decreases amounted to a little over $8,500 in just those seven days alone, dropping May performance to a negative $5,500. This year’s investment performance dropped from a high of $17,300 to around $8,800. Although you hate to see value evaporate like that, our net earnings for 2013 remain positive, and that’s what we focus on.
June will see us off on another cruise, although not until the very end of month. A road trip after the cruise should allow us to see the southeastern coast going north from Charleston to Norfolk. After that it’s westward to get back home. We are hoping the market trends of the last couple of weeks will moderate and maybe turn positive — but we’re not optimistic about June.
I am also not optimistic about getting June’s updates in on-time. I’ll have to wait until about mid-July since, if I do them early, I won’t have the quarterly dividends and such that will show up after we’ve headed to Charleston. Fear not, Luke, I’ll “git-r-done” as soon as we return.
Luke asked me talk about anything I might have done differently with our retirement planning. Other than getting out of the market in March of 2007 and then back in around April of 2009, no, there’s not a lot of regrets along our march to retirement.
Looking back we could have saved more but only by giving up many of the things that we enjoyed so much while working. We always took at least one and sometimes two or three vacation trips a year. When we ask ourselves what we could have saved by not traveling (particularly with the kids) we revert to the mental health and family bonds value of those times, and that trumps the dollars.
I collected pensions and benefits; so far those support our retirement lifestyle. In our first five full years we haven’t spent any savings. We realize inflation may finally catch up and withdrawals may be made and spent but we’re fairly confident in our ability to manage it. I might have said this before but; Worrying about the future is a waste of imagination and worrying about the past is a waste of time.
Feedback from Roger Wohlner, CFP
Sorry to hear about the bad weather, but glad to hear that everyone is safe.
While the markets are choppy I wouldn’t worry about the short-term hits that you may be taking in the near term. As I have mentioned in the past I would be cognizant of the duration on your bond investments as this area of the market is and likely will continue to undergo some turbulence with the Fed, interest rates, etc.
As far as your retirement planning from what I see you are on the right track. There is a danger from both being too cautious and taking too much risk with your investments. In my opinion most retirees face a bigger risk from the return of inflation in terms of running out of money versus the risk of loss from their investments.
I hope that you are enjoying your cruise and related activities.