Sunday, January 18, 2015

Retirement Planning

I haven't talked much about retirement, but I'll tell you now, I think about it a lot.  Not about actually not working.  Although, that will be nice, not have to be any where specific each day.  But I think about if and when I'll be able to retire.  Will I have enough money to retire?  At 60?  70?  Ever?

I spend more time researching and trying to invest my money wisely these days.  But in my earlier working days, I wasn't so interested in 401k or Roth IRAs.  Today, I think about them often.  Am I investing wisely?  Too aggressive?  Not aggressive enough?  Ugh, it's enough to make your head spin.  I do what I can to at least invest up to the company match into my 401k.  we also try to fund our Roth IRAs with what we can each year. 

Then if thinking about retirement constantly weren't enough, I think about if we're too focused on saving for retirement and not enjoying things more today?  What if one of us is in poor health and all that money saved would be for not? 

While I don't think I will stop working altogether, I would like to not work for about a year or so before then so that we can travel a bit.  Can you tell I'm working on the finances today?  lol  I researching mutual funds so we can start putting a few dollars into our Roths.  I side with our broker's own funds.  They have little to no expenses.  I do all the research for our retirement funds and pick what I think will be good performers.  I did pretty well last year, 6.7% ROI last, I'll take it!

We've also been considering a small real estate purchase.  Something for some supplemental income now and after retirement.  Real estate is still somewhat reasonable where we live.  While it's been on the rise, there are still some deals to find.  It's hard to pull the trigger though.  The unknown is always scary.


Friday, January 16, 2015

I'll Take "Pride In My Work" For $100 Alex.

Well, another weekend is upon us.   I'm enjoying my last break of the day while writing this post.  There's nothing big planned for me this weekend.  Just the usual errands and maybe hang out with some friends.

We've really started to see the days at work becoming more "usual".  Things feeling new and all the learning of new systems and processes is turning into the same ol' stuff.  I suppose it's good, but the newness made the days go by quicker.   I know, I'm never happy!   That's not true.  The new position I have and the way the new company operates is way ahead of the way the old company did.  While I'm not overjoyed with working, I don't despise going to work each day. That's worth something.  : )

What's has been interesting to see unfold is the number of employees who transitioned from the old company who have quit.  I must say, not that I knew them all very well, but I think it's better that they left.  They wanted the pay without really working for it.  The new company held them to being productive and accountable.  I guess they couldn't handle the accountability of being an adult.  Guess what?  They're going to have a pretty hard time with most companies they end up with.  Imagine that, being asked to work for your pay.   It floors me the laziness and attitude of some workers today.  I don't care what your job is, have a little pride in your work and some work ethic.  But again, with the new company I really haven't noticed it much.   It's refreshing.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Someone Has A Case Of The Mondays

Ugh, no matter what company you work for, no one can be excited about a Monday.  There's a whole weeks' worth of work ahead of you and the weekend seems so far away.  Hell, it's Sunday and I already feel like I'm in Monday mode!  There's a point during the weekend where you feel you have all the time in the world ahead of you.  Friday night and Saturday the last thing on my mind is work.  But Sunday, especially in the afternoon I start thinking about what my workload is going to be for the week.

I wonder what it will be like to retire and not having to think about prioritizing my Monday.  Or I'll be prioritizing it in a different way.  After I retire, what's going to be the bigger decision on the day?  What will I have for dinner?  Lunch?  I can't imagine going from all crazy non-stop firedrills, to having not really much to prioritize.

Is this why some retirees end up passing on early, from going so fast to a snails pace they just can't handle the change.  There's something wrong with the way we work here.  Maybe it's just the companies I've worked for, maybe not like this everywhere.  But we seem to be so connected, efficient, tools at our fingertips making our work faster and more efficient.  Yet, we're overwhelmed.  Working 50-60 hours a week we are working ourselves to an early grave.  The work we do in a normal day today would have taken days in our father's generation. Yet it's not enough, there's more work handed to you.  And when you're good and show how proficient you can be with your resources, your reward?  More work.  And sure, some say it's a choice. "Find something else to do", some may say.  It's easy to say things like  that when we may not be in that situation.  Understanding is something we should all look for.

This may not be a popular thing to say, but I dare say it's not even about the money.  It's about a true life balance.  Those companies who have the happiest employees are those whose leadership not only talk about life balance, but insist on it. It's not about the money.

Sorry, that entry was all over the place.  I started it with the intention of just talking about how I really don't like Mondays, lol.  It may be the wine and thinking about friends of mine, some all across the spectrum of employment.  From out of work for years and struggling to make ends meet, to life long dedicated employees who have seen jack in return for their loyalty.  No matter how you look at it, it's disgusting to me. 


Friday, January 9, 2015

Management Lesson #241

In my years at the old company I've seen some really good managers and some who quite frankly, I wondered how they tied their shoes in the morning.

So I thought I would bestow some words of wisdom from the trenches.   This one from the "I wouldn't do this" category.  About a month or so towards the end of our time with the old company, the top leader in the building thought it was a good idea to gather a group into a team meeting and hand out an anniversary award placard to one of the lower level leaders.  One month left, and this lower level leader was losing his job.  What does the boss think is a good idea? Let the company express their gratitude of his tenure with a lovely piece of paper recognizing his dedication to the company.  I was literally standing there with my mouth open and speechless. Awesome tact.

A friend who is in the HR field uses that story in her new manager on boarding.  Ugh, it would be funny if it weren't true.  I still feel bad for that guy.  I could tell he was as shocked, but he still mustered a smile.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Piss Poor Planning

One thing that hasn't changed from one company to the next is the number of people who want to make a fire drill of THEIRS be YOURS.   It amazes me how there are too many people in a company, and at all levels, who want to make their issue yours too.

Lesson here people...your responsibilities and lack of planning to do those responsibilities aren't someone else's problem.  Nut up!