Tag Archives: Retirement Challenges

What can Retirees Do if a Retired Lifestyle Makes Them Miserable

Things to do Before You RetireWhat can retirees do if a retired lifestyle makes them miserable? Plan your retirement in just the same way you planned your career. Think ahead and try different things that may make life more interesting? There may even be many false starts, but at least you are trying something and learning from your mistakes. Exactly what you used to do on the job! This critical step appears to be what many pre-retired people and newly retired people seem to forget. Get going and do something, anything that has some interest for you. We will disscuss a step by step process that retirees can adapt to their own situation. But the important thing is for the person to get started.

What can Retirees Do if a Retired Lifestyle Makes Them Miserable

The following is our step by step approach:

Make a list of those things that you could do to improve your life. It could even include going back to work, volunteering, travel etc.

For each item on your list, describe how you would achieve or complete it. This could include steps such as updating your resume to looking for organizations that need help.

Create a satisfaction index from one to ten and describe in your own words what you are looking for that would increase your level of satisfaction. e.g. more social interaction, more challenge, giving back etc

Apply these criteria to each item on your list and rank then from one to ten.

Discuss your plans with a partner or your spouse or a friend. Ask for their input and what they think about each one as it applies to yourself.

Take the time to investigate each item on the list based on your ranking factors. Then decide which one or perhaps even several that you will pursue. There may be some false starts. Some may not turn out the way you thought they would. That is ok you are learning more about yourself and what will make you happy instead of being miserable in retirement.

For more information about finding a new meaning in life and changing careers, click here.

Laid off – over 50 no pension no retirement savings – what now?

over 50 no pension no retirement savingsI cannot imagine a worse nightmare. Being laid off and over 50 no pension no retirement savings! There are not many viable alternatives for someone in this situation. Obviously, the first thing they need to do is find another job. Aside from finding another job, they need to also really think about what they will do later in life. How will they afford to live? Where will they live and how will they pay for groceries etc? There are so many questions, but the bottom line is life will be difficult unless they find a solution to their problems.

Over 50  no pension no retirement savings

The following is a list of steps that can be considered to minimize the impact during retirement. Even by taking these actions and working hard at them, life will still be difficult. Here are the ideas we have for someone in this situation:

  • Become an extreme saver
  • Embrace forced savings
  • Plan to work well into your 60’s or even 70’s
  • Develop plans to move in with family
  • Minimize your costs in every area of your life
  • Take advantage of all government programs
  • Invest your savings carefully – diversely, high-quality blue chips
  • Avoid getting rich quick schemes
  • Work with an investment/savings advisor
  • Investigate your payout

If you were laid off every consumer should verify that they are receiving their full entitlement. What about locked-in pension money? Separation bonuses and other benefits should be considered. It may be worthwhile to talk to a lawyer who specializes in these situations. They can quickly advise you regarding your entitlements from your previous employer. Did they pay you enough when they laid you off?

Many people are amazed when they find out that they were not paid enough. This could be a windfall that needs to be invested carefully and saved for your retirement life.



Nightmare Retirement

Nightmare RetirementWe all have to retire sometime. Some people retire based on their own timing. While others are forced out due to a variety of reasons. The bottom line, whatever the reasons are, get over it. Focus on the future and what you are going to do. A nightmare retirement is one that you do not have enough money to live comfortably in the manner you had planned. It is also a surprise! If you already know you do not have enough money you should have already been taking action. But those of us that retired and find out that we will not have enough money, need to wake up. Forget the past and focus on the future!

Take stock of your Nightmare Retirement Situation

Regardless of what time of your life you realize that you are facing a nightmare retirement scenario, now is the time to get control of your situation. List all of your assets, list your income and your expenses. Assess each to determine what income can be increased through increased savings or even going back to work. Asses what expenses you can reduce or eliminate and take action immediately to reduce your cash flow out. This is important and must be taken immediately otherwise your lifestyle will suffer more than you would like.

Build a Plan and Implement the Plan

Once you have assessed the situation, develop your plan and take action. If it means selling the house, downsizing, getting rid of a second car, etc, do it. Get a job if you can. Focus on reducing expenses. All of these steps are needed to ensure that you have cash for food, housing and clothing for you and your family. The earlier that you can take stock of your situation and do something about it, the better off you will be. Older boomers may even have to move in with family in order to pool resources and share expenses. Sometimes drastic action is required and although it is not what you thought your retirement would be or planned, it may be necessary.

Challenges in Retirement

Challenges in RetirementThere are lots of challenges in retirement. Many people retire without enough money, health issues, and family issues to deal with. Still, many people can have a great retirement if they properly planned and saved enough money. Unfortunately, many Retirees are broke due to poor savings while they were working. Sometimes there are uncontrollable events in their lives, and they need to provide support to their families.

Challenges in Retirement – Stress in Retirement

Not having enough money to live comfortably in retirement causes a great deal of stress during what should be the best years of their lives. Without sufficient funds to live on, wondering where food is going to come from or how you will pay for it, and going to secondhand stores it can be very difficult for many seniors. North America is not exactly a senior-friendly continent as compared to other locations such as Europe. We do not seem to value our seniors in the same manner that they do in Europe and as a result, many are struggling with a great deal of stress in their lives.

Loneliness in Retirement

Not having sufficient money during retirement with family often many miles away it can get quite lonely in retirement. Unless they live in a neighborhood where people have lived all their lives, they have friends to socialize with many seniors find themselves unable to get out to be with friends and socialize.

Ignoring Health Issues

Lack of money also means that they tend to ignore health issues. If there is insufficient insurance to pay for health coverage many health-related issues will be ignored until it becomes an emergency. Older age seniors develop life-threatening issues just because they do not have sufficient funds to pay for health costs.

Worry about Health costs

There is a constant worry about how they’re going to pay for health-related costs. Even a visit to the doctor or the dentist may add additional stress and aggravate an already existing health condition. Insufficient savings or insufficient health coverage can lead to stress-related health issues. Ignoring health issues can also cause more serious issues to develop.

More Retirees are Working

As a result of all of the above, we are seeing more and more retirees going back to work. They may choose to work at part-time jobs that pay minimum wage but at least they are getting out and making some money to put food on the table. This income along with meager savings that they may have and in a few cases provides healthcare coverage allows them to live a better life.

Still Getting Frisky

Another interesting fact is that many seniors are still getting frisky with the opposite sex even though they may be getting up in years. Recent articles in the news have referred to seniors partying and dancing and leaving for extracurricular activities. This is great news and will keep everybody healthy.

Moving in With the Kids

In some cases when one spouse passes away, the other spouse will move in with the kids. If there is insufficient room in the home, this can lead to lots of stress for everybody. In some cases, your mom or dad will integrate well with your family until health-related issues crop up.

Traveling is a Dream

And for many seniors traveling is actually a dream that they dream about while they were still working but sadly are unable to fulfill that dream once they retire due to insufficient funds. They have enough to live on, in some cases comfortably but not the extra money that they need to travel and see the world the way they anticipated. This is a sad reality that sinks in a few years after they retire.

Targets for Scammers

Many seniors are also targets for scammers. It’s an unfortunate aspect of our society. With lots of sales pressure placed on seniors, they often will separate them from their money leaving them in an even worse situation than they were before. This is a terrible reality.

With all of these challenges and retirement, it is still possible to enjoy retirement and make the most of your life regardless of the situation.

Alternative Retirement Solution to a Pension Cut

Alternative Retirement SolutionMany people are dealing with reduced or eliminated pensions. Some are finding Alternative Retirement Solution that allows them to travel and live inexpensively in another country.

We saw this post a few weeks ago and thought that it might be of interest to our readers, who are planning to travel to Mexico for vacation or are looking to stretch their dollars further – Retiree’s Solution to a  Pension Cut

Alternative Retirement Solution

This was sent to me by email about Alternative Retirement Solution and I think it is a great idea for many people.

Alternative Retirement Solution Move to Another Country

One person investigated the cost of living, medical coverage, and lifestyle advantages and has recently bought a house in Ensenada which is only about 70 miles south of San Diego, California.

There is a sizable Canadian and American ex-pat population in and around Ensenada, San Felipe, La Paz, and a reportedly largely Canadian community in Todos Santos, all on the Baja peninsula. He and his wife were able to get retirement visas for Mexico based on his Nortel pension. As residents of Mexico, they are also eligible for free medical care, which in major centers can be very good.

He still has to pay the Canadian non-resident’s tax on his Nortel pension but this tax depends on the total dollar value of your income and can be very little or even zero on small pensions. Mexico, on the other hand, charges no income taxes on foreign income. Land taxes are very low compared to Canada and the USA. In his case, these are less than $100 CD. Utility bills as well are low, providing your use is moderate (i.e. the electrical charges are 3 tier system and the bottom 2 tiers are very reasonable). He finds it easy to stay in the lowest tiers and pays less than $10 CD per month.

Sample of Monthly Utility Costs in Mexico

  • Utility Pesos CDN_$
  • Electricity 120 10
  • Tap Water 60 5
  • Propane 300 25
  • Telephone_plus_Internet 420 35
  • Total 900 75

The cost of living in Mexico lets him achieve a comfortable standard of living for much less cost than if he had stayed in Canada. Expats that have lived in Ensenada for some time tell Wayne that a family of two can get by on as little as $600 Canadian per month plus whatever you pay in rent or mortgage, although $1000 per month provides a more comfortable living. Rent and house prices are much lower as well.

However, to qualify for a retirement visa (FM3) you have to demonstrate that you have a per person reliable income equal to or greater than 200 times the Mexican minimum wage or about $1000 CD monthly. There is a reduction for spouses and a reduction in owning your home in Mexico. Showing bank statements with regular deposits was enough for him and his wife to qualify for FM3 visas.

You can check here http://www.inm.gob.mx/index.php/page/pagina_principal/en.html for the requirements (and to practice your Spanish). There are businesses and individuals that help you with the paperwork, but the Snyders chose to do this for themselves. The Mexican officials are very cooperative and helpful. And you get more practice with your Spanish this way. Some ex-pats choose to stay with just a tourist visa which is available for just $10 at any port of entry.

Supplement Pension Income

There are ways to supplement your pension and still enjoy retirement. He knows ex-pats that work in the USA but lives in Mexico. Some manage businesses through the internet. Others work periodically in the USA then return to Mexico. He knows an electrician that schedules all his work in California for 1 week every 2 months this provides for his family. Another travels to Wisconsin twice a year and works for a month each time and this gives him enough for himself and his wife.

In the major cities and in tourist areas Spanish isn’t essential but learning it will add to your ease of living and enjoyment.

Owning Property in Mexico

Yes, you can own property in Mexico. If the property is 100 KM from the border and 50 KM from the coast foreigners can own the property outright. If the property is near the coast then the Mexican government has legalized a method for foreigners to own land. This is through a “Fidecomiso” or Bank Trust. This costs $500 US a year. In the past, some foreigners lost their property in Mexico. This was due to a land ownership issue. They bought from someone who didn’t have a clear title. But this pensioner’s experience is that now the title is thoroughly investigated and title insurance is available. The Real Estate and escrow companies they used were very helpful and competent.

Moving to Mexico

Moving your personal effects to Mexico can be either relatively easy and expensive or difficult and economical. There are movers that are authorized to move personal possessions into Mexico but they were prohibitively expensive. They couldn’t find a rental truck that they could drive across the US, Mexico border. So, that meant putting everything in the storage on the US side and using a trailer (again you can’t rent one and take it across the border) to move in many smaller loads.

Mexico allows a one-time duty-free move after you have your FM3, but the form costs $130 US and this was more than the duty on small loads. The first $75 per person is duty-free and 16% on the value of the property above that. But they are very lenient and often charged little or no duty. You do need a detailed list of your cargo in Spanish with the value. Google translate usually worked well. With the trailer they sometimes want you to cross at a commercial border crossing such as Otay Mesa instead of a tourist crossing like Tijuana. Moving their possessions themselves was the most difficult aspect of the move for the Snyders, but it saved a lot of money.

Crime in Mexico

In the media, there are many reports about crime in Mexico however crime varies from area to area.  All the locals that he spoke with a report that it is relatively safe. In fact, they felt that it was safe enough that his wife lived there alone for 6 months prior to her husband joining her. They feel safer in Ensenada than where he just finished working in the USA. There is a military base in Ensenada and there are military checkpoints on the highway. These are much, much less invasive than airport security checks. Ensenada’s police force is also very visible thus keeping crime lower.

Alternative Retirement Solution – Other Ensenada attractions:

The weather is wonderful! The ocean and the coast are beautiful! Ensenada is one of Mexico’s most prominent educational centers. There are many universities. People from all over Central America come to Ensenada for higher education. And the famous Baja 1000 race starts in Ensenada.

So take heart, at least one pensioner has been able to turn adversity into an adventure.  While this won’t work for everyone, it is nice to know that you do have options.

There are many web pages with helpful resources about living in Ensenada and other parts of Mexico. Many are commercial sites, so we don’t want to promote these here. You can search the internet for “living in Ensenada” and pick the information you find most helpful. There may be an Alternative Retirement Solution in your future.

If you have a story that you would like to share on how you have reorganized your life to accommodate the coming Nortel pension cut, please let us know by leaving a comment.