Retirement Planning by Nancy Radke #mgtab

Retirement planning involves a lot more than just trying to save money. It involves choosing where to live and how to support yourself. Often it means downsizing or selling your home. It is one of the things I did, selling my large house and building an ADU (additional dwelling unit) onto my daughter’s home. There is a door between the two, so that we both have privacy, but if I need help I can just open the door.

I figured I was building my own retirement home, so considered things like wheelchair access (if it was ever needed) and no stairs. I also have an adjoining room that is for my office. And since I won’t live forever, I designed it so that two people could live in it comfortably.

Retirement can mean many things to people. For some, it is a chance to travel and see places they’ve never been. (The photos above are of some of our other authors, having fun.) For others, it means finding some other form of work, since Social Security increases are actually decreases once they take out the increased health care cost. The longer you live, the less you have to live on.

Ideally, you want to have some sort of income stream that doesn’t depend upon you having to work. I was fortunate that my husband bought some rental duplexes, so I have a steady amount coming in from that, besides my books. People need to find some type of investment to help them. Savings is fine if you have enough to last and the rising cost of living doesn’t eat away what you have, which is what usually happens. Family is even better if they love you, so make sure you love them.

The best thing about family is that they will sacrifice for you, just as you sacrificed for them while raising them. You want to make sure you aren’t a nuisance, or complainer, or are making yourself unwelcome. You want to be loving.

One of my books—Appaloosa Blues—centers around a ranch family in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, where the grandfather uses his heart condition to control the rest of the family members. He loves his granddaughters and doesn’t want them marrying the Trahern men, so naturally, the two girls fall in love with the two Trahern brothers.

Their romances have to stay hidden from the old man, as they figure he will have a heart attack if he finds out about them. Being a loving grandfather, he tries to set one up with another young man, the son of a friend, with disastrous consequences. Also, being wise, he knows something is going on by the joy or sorrow he sees on his granddaughter’s faces.

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My Popsicle is the best! I can prove it! #fathersday

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Shuuu – don’t wake him up!!!

Father’s Day is fast approaching and I have no doubt that those of you fortunate enough to have a loving father still around are planning some kind of a surprise.

Me too!

I’ll be spending a fun day with my dad this year – my dad whose nickname is Popsicle. A title I gave him while I was a cheeky teenager. Whenever I used that endearing, though disrespectful term (and I still do to this day), he always answers back, calling me Dripsicle. Not sure which is worse – LOL!

Using that impertinent expression was in no way indicative of my absolute admiration for him. This man was a huge influence in my life and still is. In the early years, he worked long, backbreaking hours as a garage mechanic, wanting to give his family as much as he possibly could. No matter how hard he worked, the low wage he earned didn’t spread too far. Therefore, we grew up relatively poor but safe and content in the way people are when a happy-go-lucky, loving man is at the helm.

In his later life, after retirement at the age of 63, he decided he needed another vocation. A grade four graduate as a youngster, he went to vocational school with thirty-two / 25 year-olds to learn how to be a short-order cook. As you probably guessed, the younger ones adored him and he was accepted by everyone in the class as a special student. Graduating after 6 months, he went on to work in a local restaurant for another 3 years.

Around this time, he started learning about stain glass and found he had a knack for working in that medium. Next thing we knew, he was creating wonderful showpieces that all of his three children and a few of his grandchildren are lucky enough to be showcasing in our homes. I’m including a photo of a whole Christmas Village he made that today graces my dining-room every year during the season. I treasure it so much; I took a picture of it and used it on the cover of my first short story – Christmas Runaway.

ChristmasRunaway_SMLHe eventually had to stop making the pieces he loved because in his fifties, he’d lost the sight from his left eye, and now his right eye was slowly going blind. Today, he only has a slight bit of peripheral vision remaining.

Recently, for his ninetieth birthday, I bought him a CD player for audio books that everyone warned me I was foolish to buy. “He’ll never be able to use it,” they said. “You’re wasting your money and he’ll just be frustrated. How can he use something like that when he can’t see?”

Oh yeah!

I knew he could work it and of course he does. My new resolution is to get at least a few of my books made into audio format so he can read his Dripsicle’s work. Living in Canada makes that very difficult because we don’t have the opportunity here like the lucky authors in the U.S. But I’ll find a way…

My Popsicle says I take after him.  I guess because I started a new career after retirement, he feels there’s a link. I certainly hope so. There isn’t a better compliment in the whole world than to be just like that wonderful man. By the way… during my last conversation with him, he bragged that during happy hour at the lodge where he and my mom live, he had six dances…. Please God, let me be just like him!!