Hey, baby boomers, welcome to the recently-retired club. Now that you’re all turning 65, how about some advice. I’m an ex-Navy guy who returned from his wars, got a good job, started a family and is now enjoying his well-earned and well-thought-out retirement. However, there were a few bumps along the way that could help you in your plans.
I had done everything right, I thought. I had a good company pension, some investment income and had started receiving social security. What I didn’t anticipate was the cost of sending my youngest child to college that same year. I had budgeted my finances well, but didn’t account for my daughter choosing a super-expensive Ivy League university.
She earned a partial scholarship, but I was told I needed to cough up a hefty $40,000 a year for four years in tuition, housing, books and other costs. Our helpful student got a part-time job, so I only needed $25,000 a year, which would just about cut my retirement income in half.
How did I budget this unexpected expense? What I did was what any baby boomer should consider doing when retirement income isn’t enough to live comfortably. I decided to get a job. After sending out resumes for several weeks, I got an appointment for a job interview.
I got the job, and if there is a secret how I earned it, I believe it was my portfolio. As manager of a major insurance company’s advertising department for 25 years, I had written considerable copy and designed many national ads and sales promotion campaigns. When I retired, I chose the best examples for my portfolio, just to have around the house and for bragging to visitors. I never thought I’d need it to get a post-retirement job. The portfolio must have impressed my future employers, who were executives of a big city community center. I wasn’t just hired, I was appointed public relations manager.
What did I need for my daughter’s tuition? Answer: $25,000 a year. What was the salary at my new job? It was $25,000 a year, just enough to pay the college expenses. Actually, it was good to be back in harness again, and I stayed on the job after her graduation four years later. Then I stayed on as an unpaid volunteer at the center for another five years.
Let’s sum up. If your baby boomer birthday marks you for retirement any time soon, you should have been planning for it for many years, set up a savings account, made sensible investments, earned retirement income, educated your kids and accomplished everything else to prepare for the day you enter your golden years.