Friday, March 13, 2009

Retirement Plans - 2009 will be a year of financial adjustments

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." ~ adapted from a line in a poem by Robert Burns.

Through most of 2008, I was convinced I could ride the bear market out out and wait for the market recover. However, the market performance in the last quarter of 2008 and the first two months of 2009 has been causing me to rethink our plans.

We've already taken the following steps:
  • Reduce spending. Here is the five part series on our specific steps:
    1. Eliminate waste.
    2. Buy below regular price.
    3. Take advantage of free.
    4. Be choiceful on options.
    5. Enjoy what we already have.
  • Increase income. My initial plan was to do a few part time jobs to cover 20% of our expenses. I'm currently generating around 6% of our expenses through two part time jobs. I've applied for three other part time jobs, but it looks like I may not be hired for them.
  • Here are the additional elements that I am considering:
  • Full time employment. I recently come across a job posting in the field from which I retired, although in a different product line. It seems interesting enough to seriously apply for it.
  • Mortgage payoff. Our mortgage accounts for about 25% of our yearly expenses. If the stock market continues to rally, we'll consider selling some of the investments to fund part of the mortgage payoff.
  • Our efforts to reduce spending have been progressing well. It appears we will meet or exceed our goal of cutting costs by 5%. The progress on part time jobs has been much slower. I have put in several applications but have not heard back, leading me to assume I am not being considered. My success rate on part time jobs is 20% at this time, although I am following up on two more leads.

    Finally, I'll be working on applying for a full time job and determining how to reduce our mortgage over the next two months.

    For more on Reaping the Rewards Reflections, check back every Friday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2009 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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