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E me at:
katy @ ngenius.com

Tricking Ourselves

Any automatic savings for Boomers beats none


Do you have automatic savings and/or retirement plans set up with your employer?

Although we are self-employed, I can vouch for the fact that any automatic savings plan you can put into place will work wonders for your future.

So, as Vice-President and possibly even Chief Financial Officer (hmmm…I might have to check the corporation’s bylaws on that one!) of our company, I’ve taken it upon myself to automate tons of stuff. I’ve done this on the personal side of our finances, as well.

Since our health insurance is a high-deductible policy, we’ve opened Health Savings Accounts, into which we automatically deposit the maximum allowed by law each month. There is talk of Medicare being completely broke in 11 years, you know—-corresponding with the exact year Doug would like to retire. Something tells us it’s a very good idea to have a hunk of money set aside to cover our future medical expenses.

Right now, I think we’ve accumulated enough for one of us to break a bone. And it would have to be a non-complicated break, at that. No surgery required. Just a pink or green cast for six weeks and enough money left over to buy a Sharpie marker for autographs. Can’t pay for physical therapy after the cast comes off, either. But if we keep socking away money—-and we will, because it’s automatic—-maybe by next year, we can pay for a printout of recommended exercises.

Our other automatic savings are adding up online, in accounts divided into funds for emergencies, car replacement, and travel.

This travel fund is hugely important to us. We’ve been to Ireland and Scotland twice, and boy, do we want to go back again. So, even though we contribute a nice amount every month automatically, I’ve thought of a way to trick ourselves into beefing it up even more.

Both of our mothers are in assisted living facilities. They both require lots of supplies, which their kids end up purchasing. But guess what we forget to do? Ask them to reimburse us. Sometimes we’re out hundreds of dollars at a time. But, see, The Moms are good for it. We somehow don’t feel right in getting our money back—-and we should.

So Doug and I have made a deal. If we complete a transaction with our mothers, no matter how large or small, by getting reimbursed, that money is transferred directly into the travel fund. Sure, we could be more responsible and put it into retirement, but we really don’t want to be people who waited too long to travel, especially since it’s one of our passions.

I bought my mother $80 worth of Depends the other day, and immediately wrote myself a check for reimbursement. Our travel fund now looks that much better.

Makes me wish I’d bought her a boatload of groceries, or maybe a new car.

Posted by Katy on 06/30/08
in FamilyOur ParentsPersonal FinanceSavings
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Are You a Late Boomer?

If looming retirement is catching you off-guard between an aging parent and a revolving-door kid, you might be. If you've delayed travel only to discover they've changed the names of all the countries, you are. And if you're a member of the Baby Boomer Generation who's ready to give back but you've forgotten where you put it, stay tuned. From healthcare to personal finance, from career changes to volunteerism, it's time to boom where you are planted.