How is your retirement plan coming along? Do you have enough money set aside to help cover expenses when your retire? Below are different resources offering advice on creating a retirement plan,  determining the best path to follow, planning for social security, and more. 

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  • A little road trip and new art
    by Retirement Confidential on September 25, 2023 at 1:27 am

    Unlike many retirees, Dale and I don’t like to travel all that much, but I’m pleased to report our overnighter to Sonoma was great. It’s an easy drive – just under two hours – and the weather was spectacular. You hardly have to pack anything for such a short trip, and there’s no stress. The toughest part was leaving the kitty, but Riley is good by himself for one night (although I’m pretty sure he doesn’t think so). While we’ve been in and out of Sonoma before, this was our first time staying overnight. We stopped on the way at the Gundlach Bundschu winery for a tasting. I never liked the idea of wine tasting as a hobby until I realized it’s a great way to buy wine. No surprises. We try to keep a hearty stash in the wine rack and seldom buy wine from the market. I do love California! The wine was quite good, but we only liked two of the six we tried. We bought two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and two bottles of a Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec blend. The venue is quite lovely, and although we didn’t eat, we saw some tempting charcuterie plates. The good news is there are more than 400 wineries in Sonoma County, so I don’t think we’ll run out of options. We stayed at the El Dorado Hotel on the square in downtown Sonoma. We got there a little early and just walked all around town. There are some nice stores, and it was fun to wander about. We checked in around 4 p.m. and sat out on our balcony people-watching. There are tons of restaurants, but I wanted to try The Girl and The Fig, which is highly regarded – and directly across the street from the hotel. The only reservation available was 5:30 p.m., which Dale views as the early bird special, but the place was packed. Dale had steak tartare as an appetizer and duck confit for his entrée. I was lucky enough to get a bite of his steak tartare, which was fabulous. The duck confit was good, but he said he wouldn’t get it again. I tasted it and agreed. I chose the Bistro Plats du Jour. That would include three courses with wine pairings. The appetizer was crispy chicken livers with an arugula salad. The chicken livers were a bit overcooked, but they were good. The star of the show was my entrée … trout meuniere. The fish was fresh and tender, the skin was shatteringly crisp and the sauce was sublime. The plate included wilted kale, which was excellent, and fingerling potatoes, which I didn’t care for. However, that trout may be some of the best fish I have ever eaten. We shared my dessert, which was a pear-hazelnut cake with yummy vanilla anglaise and a cherry reduction. Pretty damned good. That’s the first time we’ve been out since June, and before that, who knows? We’re almost always disappointed when we dine out, but this time, we were mostly thrilled. A few small things could be improved upon. All in all, we’d go back but skip the duck confit. And we’d definitely go back to Sonoma. There was sort of a laid back vibe we liked a lot. We’ve been looking for a place that would be sort of our go-to escape when we feel the need, and Sonoma is definitely a contender. There’s a lot to do in the area, and downtown would be a nice homebase. I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise since I’ve often described us as reluctant travelers, but our habit on the day of departure – even a one-nighter – is to get up and go. We were headed home by 7:30 a.m. with just a cup of coffee to get us out the door. No lollygagging for us. I said in my outside voice that maybe we should try to change, you know, be better tourists, hang around, see more, do more. However, we quickly agreed that was crazy talk. Let’s just accept who we are and do what we want. Wow, there’s a novel concept. For some reason, I didn’t work on my art much this summer. Maybe because it’s hot out in the garage? My sister is a quilter, and she said she doesn’t seem to get much done in the summer, either. But I’m back in the saddle and present for your viewing pleasure, Number 39. This one is kind of weird. I’m continuing to push myself in trying to capture realistic images, as opposed to doodles. I’m not shamed to admit I sometimes trace and transfer images! On this piece, I was inspired by science fiction and monster movies. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I love the monster on the left. It’s quite the imperfect piece. I keep telling myself, so what? It was just scrap wood. It seems to me that for most of us life is a study in imperfection, but isn’t it interesting how we keep wrestling with it? If anything, creating art has helped me tame my perfectionist nature.

  • Will Your Estate Plan Be Followed?
    by Forbes » Retirement on September 24, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    Courts and trustees don't like plans that can't adapt to changing circumstances.

  • Scared To Spend: Overcoming The Retirement Cycle Of Fear
    by Forbes » Retirement on September 24, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    A dirty little secret about retirement is that transitioning into this phase of life can be one of the most stressful things we ever do. But it doesn't have to be.

  • Whose Example Did You Follow?
    by Retire In Style Blog Too on September 24, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Harret Elen Torris age 89.  In this time children may find it hard to worship a hero...I really have no idea how that works for children anymore. Actually even in my days as a child I did not even think about such a thing. I wanted to be like the people that were popular. Did their "look" or attitude or even academic ability matter? I think so. Those people were the ones I wanted to be like.  But an example remains important even at my age. So, I have been channeling my mother-in-law lately. In a strange kind of way, this woman that I really never knew guided me. She didn't do it by talking. She simply did things and I watched. She died at the age of 90 in 1990. Up until she had to go to a nursing home a little while before she passed away, she smoked a pack of Camels a day. That I didn't and don't admire. But that little woman was strong as a horse. She was barely 5' tall but she had very large hands, long arms and big feet.  She picked cotton as a young woman and was married 3 times. Her home as a child was in Oklahoma. I am assuming she married at a very young age but I don't really know that for sure. She bore 4 children, two by a previous married and two by my husbands father. She had very little education but she read each and every day. Zane Grey was her favorite. She loved crossword puzzles. She wrote letters to family in Oklahoma and Texas. And she kept track of what was done for her and to her.  There was never a telephone in their home. If you wanted to talk to her, you went to her house.  She never gave me a name that I could call her. My sister-in-law called her Mrs. Torris but I just didn't call her by that name. I was Mrs. Torris too. Another sister-in-law called her mom. I didn't call her that because she was not my mother. It was a very strange relationship. We were both stubborn. She didn't like me very much for many years because I took her baby son away. But, in the end, I was the one she looked to for help. I was glad for that. She was methodical, patient and tenacious. She planted a giant garden and fed everyone that would have her produce...she wouldn't pick it for people but if they were able to come and get it, they were welcome to take what they needed. No weeds grew in her garden and a flock of bantam hens kept bugs at bay. Even today I can picture her leaning on a hoe. When she baked, the batter bowl would be scraped so clean you would swear the dog had licked what was left in there. But no, she did that with a spoon methodically and slowly.  The batter bowl has inspired me many times during my life...patience to complete a tedious tasks is my goal as I work. So, it has been very obvious to me that she was one of the people whose example I followed. There are so many parents and grandparents were truly awesome I think but their examples led to success in studies and business. But my mother-in-law...she was the daily bread on our table...she taught me the value of patience. That is very important.  So, the question would be: "Whose example did you follow?" b+ Tweet to @barbblogtwits