The Financial Advisor

Earlier this week we went to see a financial adviser….


I hate anything that has to do with money.   I don’t care about money…I don’t care how much, how little…all of it I don’t care about at all.

I want enough money for us to live…nothing fancy.  I want to be able to sew, eat, sleep, go out to eat twice a month and afford a bottle of cheap wine.  Other than that, I don’t care if I wait 10 weeks to get my hair cut and trim the bangs myself.  I don’t care if my clothes come from thrift stores….I don’t care if we don’t decorate fancy or have high end appliances.  We never buy appliances just to upgrade.  In fact, our washer and dryer don’t match because when the washer died, I couldn’t convince Hubby to get rid of our 12 year old dryer too.  Ours are actually shot before we replace them.  I like this life and am perfectly happy with it.  Honestly, I hate money…it’s just a necessary evil.

I also hate sales people…well at least most of them…this guy was actually okay.  But on whole,  I don’t trust them.  Everything they say, I am busy second guessing.

So needless to say, going to a financial adviser is worse than going to the dentist for me.  Yet it was me that suggested it.

Hubby is 51..I am 47.  We aren’t getting younger and looking at retirement is important whether I want to or not.  I don’t want any lavish things in retirement but I do want to shop at the thrift stores, get my hair cut every 10 weeks, sew, eat and sleep…so that means even to afford that, we need to look at our retirement.

Things that are improbable, unpredictable and guestimations, just frustrate me.  Is Hubby going to die in two years..then what?  Are we both going to live to be 100…then what?  Am I going to die in a car accident tomorrow…then what?  then what?  then what?  then what?

Well Hubby and I have never cared about money so that was bad.  I was a stay at home mom so that was bad (financially speaking-limited social security if there is that and no retirement account from a job).  Hubby’s work didn’t start a retirement account until about 10 years ago so that was bad.  Then the money we do have is in CDs also bad….bad, bad, bad.  We only be 1% return on those yet the cost of living rises 3% annually.  How was I living so happily when everything was actually bad??  Oh, that’s right, I don’t care about money…

Well according to the financial adviser we need over a million dollars to retire and live like we are today….GREAT!?!?!?  I would hate to see what all those people who are living lavishly in fancy homes, with fancy cars, who have fancy wardrobes and vacation regularly need.  I just want my plain, simple life and I need over a million dollars.

The good news is that the kids are almost gone and their expenses outside of a little college help here and there, are almost over.  Hubby and I will both happily work as long as we can because we love our jobs.  We don’t live extravagantly or have a desire to live that way.  We also have a good chunk of savings in place, just not a million dollars…that’s the plus side.

In all the “what if” circumstances, I don’t fair well.  Hubby however does.  If something would happen to him, I would have to move and buy a house.  That really throws a wrench into everything because then not only do I need money to retire, I have to dip into that money to buy a house.  We have less life insurance on me…he’d still make income off my website…  For me, it wouldn’t be good.  Do-able but very scrimpy.

I don’t write about this to air our personal finances.  I write to let all of you who are sticking your head in the sand like we were, that it might be a good idea to talk to a financial adviser so you can think about all the unlikely and improbable so that you are safe and prepared.

In the end, I came to two conclusions.  I need to focus more on putting my energy towards work that maximizes my income earning potential.  I have about four part time jobs and although that’s fun, I need to probably eliminate one just so I can be more focused and maximizes the other three.  It is also time for me to start caring a little more about money whether I want to or not.

21 thoughts on “The Financial Advisor”

  1. I feel about money like you do. Thanks for sharing as it is a reminder to check and see if we are still on track.

  2. Don’t feel alone. A lot of people out here in rural/small town America are in the same boat, mostly because we’ve never had work that paid well enough to accumulate that million $ and still take care of our families. Women are often the ones on the short end of the stick because they mostly concentrated on raising their families & taking care of their homes, with maybe part-time jobs. Besides working at the local bar or grocery store doesn’t pay all that well. And, you DON’T need a million dollars or more to retire. I figure once I’m old enough for the money to be gone my brain and quality of life will be gone too, so whoever is in charge can do with me what they will. Under Obamacare, I don’t think they’re going to want a bunch of old people around anyway.

  3. Jo, this is a great reminder for folks who have not done any planning. Where I worked, they had a pre-retirement seminar that you could attend once you reached 50. My feedback was they should do a mini version for folks age 40. People need to start putting money away early. And yes, my financial planner said I needed a million dollars, too. (That must be a magic number.) Well, I don’t have a million. I retired anyway. I, like you, have enough to be comfortable. I just need to cut back a little on my support of my local quilt stores.

  4. Hi Jo:

    Many city ladies are in the same boat. First, start a bank account for yourself. And when possible, get a credit card in your name. Keep money in your account and pay your card off each month…no matter the payment. If the unthinkable happens, (lost of your husband), you are able to show establish credit and money to the bank and loan people. Also, you can get a job. Many employers check credit scores before hiring. Good post.

  5. Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey? – great financial expert – very wise and a Christian too! – please google him and add his information to your “stash” of knowledge.

  6. Hi,
    It stinks that once a women has married HER credit goes away unless SHE has her own bank accounts or credit cards and loans in her name only. Be sure to share this with your daughters!
    I have worked my whole life and had a good paying full time job and didn’t qualify for a $1,200.00 loan to purchase my sewing machine. I had to drag my husband in to make the purchase for me! I was so mad!!!!!!! I now have credit cards in my name only so I can get and keep my own credit if anything happens to my husband I would have been screwed with no credit.

  7. Here’s something to make you feel better: my husband and I DID save $ (sometimes up to 20% of our income) for the last 20 years and in 2008 it all went poof! It is almost as if we had never saved a penny all of those years! (And there were a lot of LEAN years when that money would have meant the world to us!) Anyway, I have gone back to college and am making sure to get a degree in something with a lot of job opportunities and good earning potential: IT. And, by the way, the average couple will need WAY more than a million dollars—that was the same number they told us over 2 decades ago! (Sorry!)
    Please keep quilting so we can get through the pain of needing money together!

  8. I hate it too but lucky for me, Dh doesn’t, so we are doing alright. Well except we were going to take money out of out house for the down payment on house. That was in September, 2011. Thank goodness for credit card cash and MIL!

  9. FYI…a housewife doesn’t get social security without having 40 credits…check it out on their website. I finally qualified after working a number of years at a part time job….just need to make about $4000 a year and pay into the system. Yes, one million is the magic number. We started saving when we were younger and should be millionaires by now…but the markets crashed, the economy stinks, mutual fund managers come and go as does ones money..we have decided we could’ve stuck our bucks in CDs and been in the same place. my advice…balanced approach…keep some liquid in the bank, a bit in mutual funds, a bit in a guaranteed annuity and don’t let the planner push you where you don’t want to go. Most of all, pay yourself first and save something. And ugh….we have to go see our guy next week…bleck

  10. Well before I became a SAHM, I was the person on the other side of the table. I have a degree in finance and worked as the principal/branch manager of an independent financial planning firm. It can be hard to give the advice you received but I took it very seriously. There are so many things that can happen that you plan for and even more that come unexpectedly. Good for you for starting the process…there is so much to be said for having an accurate picture of where you are and where you want to get to so that way can you can decide which path to get there. Good luck!

  11. Jo, you did it right. Rearing children should come first. I am sad that America is so backwards! I am 52 and hubz 56, and we are not ready wtih the 1 mill for a fairly meager retirement either, but we will get there or do with less. I would not trade my years with the 3 boys for anything, and homeschooled too, so I am really a square peg in the America of today. Can you just imagine the folks who carved out dugouts while the built a shelter and a farm. What sturdy people. I live so fancy ( even though I don’t go for the 10 week cut, I just cut my bangs and the back myself) i still laugh if someone says they love my haircut! now I just keep quiet that i cut it myself. Did I mention that Larry Burkett (deseased now) and Amy Dyczynyn are my heros! Blessings from southern cal, where there are a few frugal homemakers still living, lol

  12. My first husband died when he was 55. He took care of everything. I didn’t know who the house insurance was with. I just had to wait until the bill came. I thought I was going to be a homeless person for a while. A wife needs to know what the bills are and have some idea of what she would do to survive. I also found out someone was using my social security number. It took a year to get that straightened out. I got a full time job. I was use to a sewing machine not a typewriter. I sat down at the typewriter. Turned it on a reached with my foot for the foot petal like at my sewing machine. I was embarrassed and looked around to see if anyone noticed.

  13. Pat C in Washingon

    I am retiring in July this year at age 63 1/2. I have always contributed 20% of my pay to my deferred comp plan and worked all my life, but without my late husband’s retirement and Social Security survivor’s benefits I wouldn’t be able to retire a couple years early. But I’m just burned out and it won’t do me much good to work any longer. I’ve had the nicest chats with the folks at Social Security and even they said so. I will have to be on COBRA for about 18 months until Medicare kicks in but I have my budget all worked out. It’s kind of scary and exciting all at the same time. I started reading Dave Ramsey’s books and following his advice a long time ago – highly recommend him.

  14. Skootch over and let me get up on that box with you. Alas, when Daddy passed away 3 yrs ago, I was dumped into that world. In order to help my Mom, I took over the financial and accounting advisory positions for them. It has made me more aware of readying for retirement and I have two words: Dave Ramsey.

  15. Ditto! I retired this past March, and the income I’m getting from my retirement, is equal to what I was putting away in Deferred comp… but like someone said, it all went POOF in 2008! I was able to recoop some of that, and hopefully have moved it to more protected funds. 1% is better than stuffing that $$$ in the mattress and letting the mice eat it! (hopefully you don’t have mice in your mattress though!) Maybe your kids will get rich nad you can live w them and continue your blog! Who knows.
    I thought I would be ok w the $$ I’m getting from retirement and so far, I have not had to dip into my deferred comp. Mayb have to this yr, maybe not. It’s like an IRA, it’s there if I need it.

  16. I guess I’ve been really lucky my whole life. I had parents that taught me about being careful with money. About half our clothes came from thrift stores, they saved up the money before buying big purchase items and paid themselves first (putting money in a savings account).
    When IRA’s were first started, I tried to put the limit in every year. Sometimes that happened, others years it didn’t, but at least I had some money put away. I took a big hit in 2001. A couple of years later, my financial planner advised moving some money into an annuity, which I did. That saved me when 2008 hit. I don’t have near a million dollars saved, maybe 20% of that, but it’s enough for me to live my life style. It’s a good thing that my biggest vice all those years was buying fabric – because my stash will last a lifetime or two.
    Thanks for sharing. More people need to start planning ahead.

  17. Good for you for facing this situation head on! I am 37 and my company matches our 401k up to 7%…which just changed from 5%. I upped my contributions, but you would not believe the young people I work with (20 somethings) who do not think it’s important to contribute the max. I would rather budget now and save for later then get down the road and not have anything. Thanks for being so vulnerable to share!

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