Fixed Retirement Income

16 Aug

As we planned for retirement my husband and I had many budget discussions. We were both concerned about being able to cover the monthly expenses with my income cut to a third. Not having a mortgage addressed a major portion of that. His expenses have always been low so it has been up to me to cut other expenses to make it work.  We have retirement savings for the big ticket items.

Like many remodeling projects we have had our share of cost overruns. We have had cost overruns on remodel projects in other houses but I never thought much about it. I have now come to really appreciate what “fixed retirement income” means. There is not a lot of free cash in that monthly budget. We can live comfortably and do the things we want to do and having an extra hundred or two is not an issue. Raising an extra $1000, however, takes 4 months or more. I’ve always known that monthly paychecks are much harder to budget than bimonthly or weekly. If you blow a paycheck, it is a long time until the next one. Our checks are deposited on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Like this month, that can be a long way into the month. Paying the utility bills on time takes budgeting. Paying out $500 each time the electrician comes involves serous planning. Luckily we are nearing the end of the project. Our expenses for materials and supplies should be within the monthly budget.

Last year I taught online so we had additional income each month. It doesn’t look like I’ll be continuing with that for this coming year. If I decide that we need additional income I have three choices: 1) get a regular job 2) finish the novel and become instantly rich, or 3) hit the saving account. Since I’ve done all of my writing to date on emails and this blog, option # 2 doesn’t look like a good plan. The savings have been hit for the remodeling project already but the second part of that fixed retirement income is that the savings is only shrinking not growing. It wasn’t huge in the beginning. Watching it drop could become depressing after all of the years of hard work to get it there. So that leaves option number 1. I might have begun to practice my “Good Morning K Mart shopper’s” voice if they hadn’t closed all of the stores in the area. So maybe in a year or two I’ll join the ranks of the other senior citizens,”Welcome to WalMart!”


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