Yes. You did come to the right blog today. No poop or sleep posts. Today I want to talk about something we don’t really want to talk about…planning for retirement. I just saw you shudder…it’s ok. It isn’t thrilling but ya know, it is a necessity. Working mom or not, it is still looming down the road. With my generation still tunneling out from student loans( 20,000 is the average), it is hard to think about saving MORE money but you really have to.
“On average, each of us spends 83,000 hours working – and less than 10 hours planning for retirement. ” – Harvard Human Resources
Yes. I am 30 but as I stated in my post about saving for college, my money isn’t just for lattes and iPads. We are constantly watching our money for the future. Seeing my mom and inlaws in retirement, I have to say…if you plan right, it looks freakin sweet. Lucky for me, my company has awesome planning resources and programs. I honestly haven’t had to think much about it. We had our accounts looked at by a financial adviser friend and we seem pretty well established.
That being said, a few months back I was approached by My Retirement Education Center, a company here in the Triangle, to review a retirement seminar. A 1 hour lunch and learn event to hear about retirement planning. After much maternity leave, I took them up on the offer and headed out to their facility for some learning. I have to say that financial matters are not my forte. I can program, make a mean lasagna, race trains like a kick ass mom but when it comes to investing and such? I am dumb. I have money in mutual funds, 401Ks, Roth IRAs but all because someone else did it for me. I really have no clue how that magic works. I find myself googling silly simple terms and still not knowing what it means. I am an Econ failure. So going into the seminar, I was a little nervous. Would they talk over my head? Would they found out how dumb I really am? I am glad to say, my secret was safe. The owner, Steve, greeted me on arrival and made me very comfortable. The session I went to ended up being with 1 other blogging mom (who knew?) and we seemed to have similar setups. Both working moms with littles and money to invest (no outstanding debt). Steve presented us a great presentation, with lunch!, about all the basics of retirement. How 401K plans work. How to take advantage of the best packages depending on how long you have until retirement. Who you need on your “team” as a young professional trying to navigate the financial game. I even snuck in some “dumb” questions and he was happy to answer and relieve my nerves. I have to say I learned a good bit and if I still don’t know, I know which person to ask (Steve!).
One thing I learned that made total sense was social security was created with the idea that a person would live an average of 2 years past retirement. People live WAY beyond that now. So when planning your retirement, it is important to figure out when you plan to retire. Are you a early retiree or older? This will guide you in everything you decide now. Do you plan to travel? Do you plan to have an encore career? It is hard to envision right now for some of us but it helps to have an idea. Oh and I probably will never see Social Security anyway. You’re welcome, old people.
The other big thing I learned was you need a team of pros to help you get the most of your money. You should consider at least a 3 member team of an attorney, CPA and an investment professional. You can’t expect yourself to do it all. You can’t know everything. Find people to help you. And Steve’s group can help! One of the greatest things about My Retirement Education Center is it’s mission to provide retirement expertise without a sales pitch. They are there to help you understand…not make money off of you. They aren’t taking a percentage of your investment. They genuinely want to help people understand money better. They have done the sales game for years and have decided this is better. Teaching. And that, is something I can admire.
So please take a few minutes to check out their website even if you don’t live in the Triangle area. It gets you thinking about it. His blog is also a great compilation of quick tips and articles on saving that apply to us all. If you are in the area, consider a quick lunch seminar to learn more about your future. They offer a variety of classes. They also do larger groups on site at companies and groups upon request. They even do a weekend getaway at Grove Park Inn to get you away from the hustle and bustle of life to have a little fun and focus on learning.
Thanks again to Steve and the folks at My Retirement Education Center. The class was great and I am so happy there are people out there genuinely trying to help dumb people like me 🙂
Disclaimer: I was given a free lunch and learn session by My Retirement Education Center for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I truly believe in their services.