About ten years before we retired, I read an article in the New York Times that encouraged future retirees to put away about 20% of their salaries at least ten years before retirement, if they wished to live a life style like the one they now lived at and during retirement. I shared that bit information with my husband to think about. Now, I think about things. My spouse had the uncanny ability to hear an idea and to intuit its validity. In spite of the fact that I had a pension plan and that the college that he worked for automatically deducted 5% of his salary toward a pension while matching it with another 5%, the very next day, my husband went to the personnel office to determine the amount that he could shift from his salary into this pension fund. Amazingly, the amount was 20%. He made the shift that day.
For a few months, things were tight. My spouse never tried to calculate the amount that we could actually spare for an addition to his pension. Nevertheless, his intuition served us well. We managed. When we retired, we were able to live a very comfortable life-style.
Even now, two years after my husband’s death, I look forward to remaining in my mortgage-free house, paying my taxes and other expenses while traveling, eating out and contributing to select causes. Two years ago, that might have changed.
The recession of 2009 hit my IRA, as it did everyone else’s. Fortunately, for my life style continues the same. Many of my friends and neighbors cannot say the same. We are reminded daily that while the US economy is beginning to grow again, the growth is very slow. Worse, the elections of 2010 put the control of the House in the hands of several conservatives elected by the rise of a group of ultra conservatives referred to as “The Tea Party”. As a result, the bickering and stalling techniques used by the conservatives in the House has caused the lowering of the lending status of the US.
I had begun to despair of the intelligence of the American people. My favorite expression became, “Thomas Jefferson would turn over in his grave.” However, the latest polls actually blame the Tea Party Conservatives for the lessening of the US status in the world of economics. Economically, America will never be what she once was. It is my hope that the growing economies of China, India and Brazil will help to lift the world to a better standard of living. They have, of course, the largest populations in the world. Global companies are pouring money into their companies with an eye on the huge potential markets.
My sister is visiting Brazil. I have been to China and plan to visit India in a few months. We like to breathe in the energy!