Thursday, April 13, 2017

How to Retire the Cheapskate Way (Book Review)

How to Retire the Cheapskate Way by Jeff Yeager had some practical and new information (to me) about preparing for retirement. This book had a lot of ideas about ways to earn and save money that are not in the typical financial books which I appreciated.

Some of the key things I want to remember and do:

- Maintain appropriate insurances to protect yourself and your assets. (Note: This was just done with our home insurance to include the horses and equipment.)

- Take care of your stuff. Investing time and money to maintain the possessions you already own - from your house and car, to your wardrobe and the kids' bicycles - is one of the best investments you can make.

- In 2009, Jeff did a survey of 300+ self-proclaimed cheapskates and found that they were spending only about 65% of what they earned. A majority of the two-income families said they were living on just one of their two salaries. The other salary was saved for their retirement, kids' college funds, and unexpected emergencies.

- Consistently live below your means throughout your working years is one of the most important keys to retiring better, earlier, and happier.

- Until you are entirely debt-free, including your home mortgage, you are not ready to retire the cheapskate way.

- Some no-risk/low-risk opportunities to become self-employed:
      => Professional organizer
      => Artist
      => Private tutor
      => Pet care services
      => Private tour guide
      => Calligrapher

- Do your own yardwork, make your own gifts, and clean your own home.

- Do one-way travel (drive cars on a one-way trip). You usually get gas money in exchange for doing the driving. Auto Driveaway is one company. There's also many locally-based companies at Move Cars.

- To go on a cruise inexpensively, there are repositioning cruises where ships need to move to different ports and, rather than move empty ships, will offer dirt-cheap fares. Typically these are in spring or fall.  See . Since it's a one-way cruise, you need to find a way back home.

- There's also freighter cruising. I took a look at the website and was impressed with the variety of places that can be traveled to - within the U.S. and throughout the world.

- Use AARP membership card at businesses to save money.

- Make sure to have these items in place: durable power of attorney, advance directives (including living wills and heart care/medical powers of attorney), and letter of instructions (informal document I write myself and can change at any time).

- Letter of instructions should include: funeral wishes, financial logistics (summarize all bank accounts and other investments, contact information for financial planners, attorneys, insurance agents, etc.). Also explain where all important papers are kept: will, deeds, birth certificate, insurance policies, Social Security statements, income tax returns, etc.

- Keep a copy of documents in a home safe (that can withstand a fire) since safety deposit boxes are often sealed when a person dies.

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