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Retiree Boot Camp

by Kay Lynn

A recent New York Times article caught my interest as it related to retirement and personal finance. The article details a retirement boot camp run by two financial advisers in Charlotte, NC. Now, I’ve been through the real thing (yes, I am a Navy veteran) so I wanted to read more about this boot camp.

The boot camp in this article is run by Joy Kenefick and Marcia Tillotson and it includes eight drills over the course of a year. Interestingly, upon completion approximately 80% of the boots decide to extend their working years.

Joy and Marcia are not the only ones comparing a military boot camp to retirement preparation. Paul Farrell mentions some of the same concepts.  Just Google “retirement boot camp” and find many more references. What I find is common is just that…common sense advice that all pre-retirees would be smart to pay heed to.

1. Spending/Expenses. Spend like you’re in retirement now. Cut back on unnecessary expenditures such as dining out, gifts and trips. This doesn’t mean stop spending in these categories, just cut back. This will also help you understand what you really need to spend monthly in retirement.  You can understand the best 401K and IRA withdrawal rate for you.

2. Savings. Since you’ve cut back on spending put that excess in savings plus more. In other words, save until it hurts. Save in your 401K, IRA, and any other accounts you may have for stashed money. Not only does the cut back in discretionary spending more closely simulate what will be available in retirement, it also helps you by building up your accounts you’ll be drawing from when R day comes.

3.  Planning.Several of the drills used by Kenefick and Tillotson reminded me of some of my Financial Peace University lessons.   These include estate planning, giving, and insurance.  Obviously, the choices and needs in these categories will differ depending on age, financial situation and core values.   The important thing to remember is that you need to periodically re-evaluate your plans and adjust especially during times of great change (such as retirement).

A retirement boot camp is a good way to “indoctrinate” yourself into retirement thinking.  Are you ready for camp?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

jr August 26, 2009 at 11:47 am

Wow, I’ve never really heard of a retirement bootcamp, but it makes sense to as you say “indoctrinate” yourself into retirement. It is easier to get prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially for retirement and I guess a bootcamp can break you down and build you up prepared. Here are some more retirement tips to help future retirees get in the proper mindset for retirement.

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Denise@TogetherWeSave August 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm

You have some realy great tips. I must get better about this now.

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Bucksome August 26, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Denise, I have to get better about it too! I’ve cut back a great deal on spending and as soon as I have debt paid off will save like mad!

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