Dad is 66 years old and has been with his employer for nearly 43 years (that, in and of itself, is remarkable). He works 40-60 hours a week, every week. His mornings often start before 4 a.m. and despite his age, he still routinely pulls twelve hour shifts. He works at a barge cleaning plant, and will likely continue working for at least another five, if not ten, years.
Growing up, my Dad taught me a few things about work ethic and retirement. While some of the lessons were spoken, I learned most of them by just watching him.
Dad taught me to…
- do my best, even in the tasks I didn’t like, because anything less was cheating myself
- give an honest hours work for an honest hours wage
- never burn a bridge you may need to cross again later
- give at minimum two weeks notice to an employer if I needed to move on
- plan for retirement and do everything in your power to protect your retirement savings
Unfortunately, that last one I learned at Dad’s expense. Years ago, Dad had a pension plan. Then the company changed hands, and the pension plan got dropped. He started saving in a 401K. Fast forward to the 2008 stock market crash, and Dad’s retirement planning hit the financial doldrums. He lost quite a bit of his 401K. At this point, he can’t afford to retire any time soon. If he does, he and Mom would have exist off of his social security and what meager pension he does get from that long ago plan. I say exist, because you can’t really live off of what they would bring in. So, Dad works.
Hubs is 35 years old, and hopes to retire at 65. Knowing that my Dad will HAVE to work well into his seventies, just to make ends meet, is all the encouragement we need to learn all we can about annuity’s, which can provide guaranteed income for life.
When will you retire? How are you planning for, and protecting, your retirement?
This post was brought to you by J Women’s Network and Genworth. All opinions are my own.