Early this morning, before the show, I knew I wouldn't have time to walk in the afternoon so I went to the Las Vegas Strip and did a nine mile walk (yep, nine miles!). Sadly, there are A LOT of panhandlers on the Strip, even worse is that a lot of these people, many homeless, others probably barely getting by on Social Security, are elderly. There is a world of difference between the poor elderly in our city and the well to do elderly at Sun City.
The folks at Sun City were well dressed, have fancy cars (I was walking through the parking lot and in one row there was a BMW, Lexus, Lexus, Land Rover, Mercedes, BMW, BWM, etc), they have their hair done, have good looking teeth, appear to be in good health, talk about their latest vacations, and 300 of them today paid $50 per person for this show (which was actually very good and was a fundraiser for the Philippines typhoon victims). The little city itself is full of beautiful houses that start at a half million dollars and go up from there, plus there is a gorgeous golf course and lots of lots of water features.
The poor elderly that you will see on the Strip have poor dental care, they are dirty and unkempt, they are outside in the freezing cold and the roasting summer heat, and spending $50 on a whim is out of the question.
Granted there are lots of retirees in between--not destitute poor and not fabulously rich--which we currently are. We get by fine but we don't have a lot of extra money and certainly never spend frivolously and while we are quite happy, I feel like we need a better plan to provide more money for us in our later years. What I would/should spend more time focusing on is:
- Investing. We have no investments and I don't understand much about investing but with information and the means to invest (e Trade, etc) so easily accessible, I really should put some effort into doing this.
- Pension. Hubby has a pension but I do not. Fewer and fewer jobs offer cushy pensions (or any pension at all) and even if I started now with a job with a good pension plan, I would be working until I was 80 to get it fully funded.
- Social Security. Hubby gets Social Security but I am nearly 20 years off from collecting mine (if the fund will even be there in twenty years is iffy at best).
- Other retirement accounts. Neither of us have IRAs, 401k's, or other kinds of retirement accounts (which, if I was paying the least amount of attention decades ago, I should have started...I didn't think I would get old this fast!).
- Savings. We have some money in savings but the paltry interest on these accounts certainly isn't anything to rave about.
- Passive income (besides investing). I NEED to get busy writing books. I am still getting royalties from a book I wrote a couple years ago and if I had dozens of books in print, royalties would be a nice source of monthly passive income.
- Rental property. We owned rental houses before and (IMHO) it was a giant pain. If I was good at property management this would probably be a viable source of income for us but I'm not.
What we do have is a house that will probably be paid off in record time, very few needs, and the ability to live frugally. However I am going to make an effort to do other things that will have the possibility of increasing our assets/income in the future. We may not end up in Sun City, but I want us both to live comfortably (with lots more splurge money) in our later years.