Day 55 – Long-term Planning:  Keeping the soil nourished

Crop or plant rotation is vital to any garden. Fungus and disease can live in the soil and affect the next year’s harvest. Long-term planning prevents disaster from occurring.

Liming, fertilizing, planting, transplanting, and harvesting are phases of the yearly life-cycle of the garden.

I want my private practice to flourish over the next 15 years.

I am a good long term planner, as you will see in my example below. So, I am taking advantage of this skill now. I looked over the numbers earlier today and divided my semi-retirement into 3 phases: 55-591/2, 591/2 to 65, and 65 plus.

From farthest to nearest: I plan to use my current 403b and profit sharing to fund my retirement from age 65 plus, in addition to social security. Although 67 is my retirement age, I plan to retire at 64 or 65.

I have an annuity and Roth IRA that I will tap into at age 59 1/2. I am planning to receive $1000 monthly starting at age 59 1/2 through age 64.

Phew. And now, I will return to the present and work on my pre 59 1/2 budget. I’ll talk with you later.


Estimating Variable Costs for Retirement

I have paid attention to my spending and am giving my best estimate of my monthly Variable Costs in retirement.

Beauty products/hair/clothes. 200
Gifts. 50
House extras etc. 100
Lunches 40
Gas to and from work. 110
Groceries 400
Cell and home phone will be paid out of business account. My total Variable monthly costs $900

Mortgage $1100.

Total Monthly Costs: $2000 plus cost of vacations.

Sunshine needed. You are the average of the 5 people closest to you. – John Rohn.

Another lunch with Gayle today. We are brown bagging it. Gayle suggested I blog about the importance of hanging out with people on your frequency.

Like minded people believe in your dreams. They will uplift you when you want to give up. Gayle and her husband allotted 500 per month for their vacations. They will pay off their cars and house before they retire next year. And. . . Gayle and her husband are 5 years younger than I am!

My husband I will have a house payment for many years to come. One car will be paid off before I retire. Our second car will be paid within 3 years. Both our cars are on the Consumer Reports best used car list. We plan to have our cars for many years.

Once our second car is paid off, I can put $300 into our vacation fund monthly. Until then, I will use on-call or other “extra income” to fund our vacations. This will motivate me to take an extra shift when “they” ask. This is doable.

Surround your Garden with Positive Thoughts

Yes. I am one of those crazy people who talk to plants. I tell my plants in my garden I love them. I encourage my tomatoes in ripening and my hot pepper plant in sprouting. I tell my eggplant they are beautiful and remind my basil and oregano to keep up the good work.

My friend Gayle and I went out to lunch today (Under 10,00 each). I shared my blog. Gayle also plans to retire in the next year. We decided $200 a month in beauty products, hair cuts, and clothes is a reasonable amount.

Words of wisdom from Gayle: Happy People Live 19% Longer, and Find a Hobby that Supports Itself.

Am I ready to simplify my life? Weeding Out Irritating Variable Costs. 50 Days In

Hmmm. Although I was born in 1962, I always felt I belonged to the previous generation. Saying goodbye to the trappings of society appeals to my inner hippie. I do not spend money on clothes or shoes, but I too splurge.

I have traveled to many countries outside the U.S. I love to experience new cultures and see nature’s marvels. My husband stays at home during my forays. He does not share my passion for traveling. Over the last 30 years, I have travelled with less than 500 dollars saved for each trip. I purchase my ticket 10 months prior to travel, snagging cheap fares or using low frequent flier mileage. To cover any other expenses, I break out my credit card.

Five hundred dollars is not enough to take a decent vacation in 2017. Can I give up my twice a year escape from “reality”?

Doubtful. Find a workable solution.

The other area I tend to spend my money is my home. My husband and I both take pride on our house. We have beautiful Cape Cod on 2.5 mostly wooded acres in southern Virginia. We have talked about downsizing to a tiny home once we no longer collect toys. For now, we will stay. Maintenance and repair spread out over the year usually run several hundred dollars per month.

I know I can not turn off the love of my home (and major investment). Include these costs as fixed costs.

The other thing I absolutely love is quality face care products. Not make up, but lotions and creams. I know the answer to this. Buy quality for items that make a huge difference in my skin. Give myself a budget and don’t go over it. I can do this. Controlled Splurge added to monthly fixed expenses. I can include beauty products, new glasses and clothes (purchased off eBay) in my Controlled Splurge monthly allotment.

Gifts for others: I buy things when I see them. I am good at this. I need to give myself a.limit on spending on gifts. Meditate on this.

And, the most expensive variable cost of all: Eating Out. I don’t know where to begin. This will be an entire post once I come up with a plan.

I will return with a realistic variable cost monthly budget by the end of the week.

Day 49. Harvesting for the future

Once I am eligible for Social Security, Medicare, and my traditional retirement savings things will be set. However, until that time, I need to replace 3,000 dollars monthly after I leave my full-time job.

Funding Sources
1. Counselor at $60 an hour. I’ll get 60% of Richmond clients ($100 charge) and I am reimbursed for EAP $60.00. My private practice will be paying a copay + various reimbursements, probably 70 to 100.00 per session. 15 clients a week is $900 a week. 15 clients each week is $3,600 for one month. Yes, I can do this!

2. Growing our own vegetables will reduce costs in the summer. If we do organic, we can sell to upscale restaurants in addition to eating healthy. Shitaki mushrooms and ginger may also be options. Projected savings $100.00 a month during the summer. Income for speciality crops TBD.

3. Open an on-line store selling vintage toys. Projected income after 6 months: $300.00 per month.

4. Ebooks collaboration with my sister. This income may take several years to generate. Potential unknown. Goal $200 plus per month

Day 45 – Planting New Seeds

I worked hard during the first 45 days. I did not check in on my blog.

During The first 45 days of my transition to semi-retirement consisted of:
1. Getting professional consultation. Met with an EAP counselor about semi-retirement and my husband freaking out. The EAP counselor told me it takes several years before a counseling private practice become sustainable. He pointed out that my husband was right.
2. Applied to an established Psychotherapy clinic in a nearby large city (Richmond) to provide therapy at their agency. They liked me and I will be starting there on Fridays. (I currently work four ten hour days). I can increase my hours in Richmond once I get started. This can become my “paycheck” while my practice is growing.
3. Continued to apply for credentialing for insurances I am using my home as my business address. You must have an address before applying for credentialing. I canvassed the area for office space. I found a small office between my home and Richmond for a very reasonable price. Plan to start renting my new office in 2 months. This will give me a larger pool of potential clients.
4. My sister, the writer, and I agreed to collaborate to publish self-help articles in an e-book format. I am very excited about this! This will potentially be another source of income.
5. My husband and I purchased a domain name for an on-line store.
6. My garden took off and my husband and I love to water and care for our plants. We live on 2.5 acres so there is room for growth in our garden.

I am over 45 days into my transition. I can see my dream taking shape! Giving myself more time has reduced my anxiety. I will press forward.