What does retirement look like to you?
“Retirement has given me the freedom to enjoy and build upon all I’ve gained in a career focused on language, literature and personal communication. I get up in the morning when I want, sit down on my sun-porch with a cup of coffee to read whatever I want, for as long as I want, and then decide how I want to spend the rest of the day.
“I love teaching, so I still teach here and there. I just started a second round of teaching a literature program for offenders at the Plymouth Massachusetts District Court. And when [I first retired], I went over to the library and said I’d like to volunteer for English teaching to somebody in the community, and I was assigned a family of 11 Vietnamese immigrants, and it’s been a real pleasure.”
How did successful financial planning help you?
“I could retire when I was eligible, at 66, without worrying if I should have waited a few years more. I have a [independent] financial planner to confer with about major financial decisions, and to meet with regularly to discuss how our planning is working, and what we might want to do differently.”
How has it affected your retirement?
“Before working with [my planner], I knew I had enough money to live on, but had no idea what that would look like—how much I could receive from which sources, how much I would draw down my savings, or how to have enough money until the end of my life.
“My husband, Bill, knew more than I about this. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 that I realized I needed to do more than just save money, which we’d been doing pretty well all along.”
How has it affected your ability to help others?
“I started a family literacy program in Lesotho that we donated $30,000 to start. We also have supported two individuals, one in Senegal and one in Lesotho, to help build a house, get their children through school, and stabilize their lives financially.”