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
=> Private tutor
=> Pet care services
=> Private tour guide
- 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 www.cruisedeals.com . 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.