Lessons Learned from my Uncle Andy

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I am blessed to have in my life my wonderful Uncle Andy who shares many stories and words of wisdom.  During a recent visit, Uncle Andy said to me ‘I have had 3 surprises in retirement’.  I found his revelations very interesting and want to share them with you.

As a little back round, Uncle Andy is 91 and fortunately in excellent health and also mentally sharp as a tack.  He has a degree in physics and masters in electrical engineering and retired over 20 years ago. Here are his surprises.

You need more money than you think.  He said to me, “you know, we all read about how low inflation has been but the inflation numbers don’t include food and they don’t include a lot of other things.    Have you called a plumber or electrician lately?  Have you had anything remodeled?  The costs of supplies and services have sky rocketed and they are all a part of life.  They are necessary expenses.  The increasing costs of services is something I hadn’t thought of.”

How long will you live.  “When I was figuring out how long my money needed to last I figured that until the age of 85 was probably a good number.  And here I am at 91 and still going strong.  Fortunately, I saved and invested well so I’m not worried but I am surprised that I’m still here. You really never know how long you will live.  But, it is clear – the longer you live the more money you will need.”

How to Invest.   “When I was getting ready to retire I figured I could rely on getting about 5% on fixed income like CDs.  But now you are lucky to get 1%.  In order to keep up with the costs of everything you have to have more money in stock mutual funds/stocks and a variety of bonds.”

Thank you Uncle Andy for your words of wisdom.