Welcome to 2013. As 2012 drew to a close, my husband and I moved into the retirement house we built, and we're celebrating the new year by unpacking boxes. Believe me, it is even less exciting than it sounds.
Building a brand-new house was a marital challenge. It took more money than we had earmarked and more time than we wanted to spend. And we had to agree on more decisions than even the most happily married couple should have to make all at once.
Along the way, I learned a few things about retirement planning. At the top of the list is the joy of continuing to work. It's simple. When you work, you get a paycheck, and having money flowing in steadily makes everything easier.
My husband is 66 and still working as an accountant; I'm 61 and still writing, editing and otherwise wrangling words. Last year, we saved a whopping 40 percent of our income -- a number that amazes even me. Throughout our lives we've both suffered setbacks -- divorces, joblessness and big college bills for five children -- but thanks to my husband's financial savvy and basic frugality, we're heading toward retirement with enough money for all the basics -- with a little left over to help the kids and still have a little fun.
Once in awhile, I get sick of working. Some days are tedious and the idea of quitting for good sounds appealing. Then I think again. I'm four years away from age 65 and a pension and five years from full Social Security age. Why quit now?
So, I'm decorating my new office in my new house and settling in for another year. And I hope lots of you are doing the same. Here's to more paychecks.