Friday, February 5, 2010

This weekend I'm putting together a retirement budget. We're meeting with our financial planner on Monday night, and she's sent us a form to fill out, so doing both this weekend will be convenient.

I've watched the stock market go down this week. My Bag Lady is sitting quietly in the corner of my mind. I remember the last time this happened I was full of terror, thinking I'd have to work forever and even then I'd be homeless. This time, I see it as part of a cycle. It's my responsibility to diversify so enough assets are outside that cycle. Which I have.

I talked to an old friend tonight. Apparently my Bag Lady visited her this week because she's never been a worrier about money, and now she is. Her husband's 70th birthday is coming up, and the Social Security conversation will be happening. She's drawing a state pension - as will I - and there's a provision in the Social Security calculation that looks at the amount of state pension and reduces the Social Security entitlement by some percentage. She doesn't know how much that will be, but all of a sudden she feels uncertain. What will happen if her husband dies?

I reminded her that he's a financial rock star and that he has undoubtedly provided for her. We commiserated, though, about the idea of being financially dependent on another person, career women that we've been. It's uncomfortable.

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