The Secret To Retirement Happiness (Part 2)

Keep It Simple, Stupid – KISS. That is the best advice I can give for one’s retirement. The more complex your retirement plan the harder it will be to keep to it. Thus, the beauty of the 2-Bucket Retirement Plan.

It works just like this.

You need $50k a year in income. You get $30k from Social Security. You need to make up the extra $20k from portfolio distributions.

In bucket 1, you then keep 3 years worth of that $20k into a safe account, checking and laddered CDs.

In bucket 2, you invest in a diversified equity portfolio. Every year, when the market gives you gains, you take those gains and put them into the first bucket. If the market is down and your portfolio has lost ground, you leave it be.

Literally that simple.

Notice though in bucket 2 there are NO bonds. The reason is that your income, Social Security, pensions etc. should be viewed as your bond portfolio. So, given you have the bulk of your income coming from bonds there is no reason to add MORE bonds. You already have that covered.

You do need to check each year in this plan. It is NOT a set it and forget it plan. But, of course, NO retirement plan should be a set it and forget it. That’d be crazy.

If you start the year with $100k in bucket 2 and by year end it’s worth $120k. Take that $20k out and move it to the first bucket. Simple as can be.

The Secret to happiness in retirement is…

Well, if you’ve been following my channel at all you ‘ll know what it is.

The secret to retirement happiness is not having a mortgage. And in this video I’ll reference a Washington Post article which serves to confirm this assertion once again.

Now, the Washington Post article doesn’t come out and explicitly state that not having a mortgage is the secret to happiness. In fact, they cite many factors to determine who is actually happy and why.

Some of the factors are quite interesting actually: Strong sense of community, homogeneous population who have been in the community over 5 years, attend church, lesser community, population being less dense.

But what struck me was that in happy communities 13% fewer households spent over 30% of their income on their housing. Hmmm wonder what that implies?

You got it! Cheaper cost of living in rural communities means lower mortgages which means more likely to be paid off come retirement which means less percentage of income goes to housing costs.

Just confirming even more what I said in this video:

So, if you want to be happy in retirement do these things:
1. pay off your mortgage
2. live in a smaller town with people like you who don’t move often
3. lessen your commute
4, go to church
5. get to know your neighbors

Crazy right???

I mean who would ever think people would be happier if they have more elbow room, with great neighbors who are like them, with less debt worries?

Now, think about what this could mean for the future, if and it’s a big IF I grant you…If we could get battery storage capacity out of the 19th century technology.

Think if your neighborhood could generate its own electricity, a micro-grid of sorts, to be used solely in your community. Want to talk about a strong sense of community and neighborliness. Hard to imagine anything better than each neighbor taking part in the local electricity production and consumption.

Of course, electricity isn’t enough to power your home. Still going to need natural gas, which I doubt will ever be run on a micro-grid level.

However, bringing electricity to the local level would be a huge benefit for communities across the US.

I’d argue it would even increase a sense of community and happiness.

But remains to be seen if micro-grid electricity production can be done. I’m pessimistic but hope I am wrong.

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