Retirement Planning

by Whynot 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • Whynot

    Since waking up I can't help but look at the future in a different way. While I was working I felt it was ridiculous for me to start a 401k because I thought for sure the end would come before I retired. But now, I'm a stay at home mom with very small children and it bothers me that I have done nothing to prepare for the future. I was thinking of getting a Roth IRA since my husband works I can do that. What have uou guys done?

    I still have about 20 years to save up for retirement. One of the things I want to do is go back to work when my youngest starts school and save up that way. I just want to start now.

  • nonjwspouse

    Start now by getting some form of experience or education. A trade or bookkeeping you can do from home, etc. You can begin with reading a LOT. Make some things and sell them on etsy etc., get your feet in the waters so to speak. What did you do when you worked?

    Eventually this will give you confidence and some experience ( along with your previous work) , and help to guide you. Once you begin making money always set aside a percentage to your retirement. Invest it with the higher percentage in low risk the rest in higher risk ( but potentially higher returns).

    The Roth is perfect if your income qualifies.

    When my children were young I was at home with them. However, I did volunteer a lot. You can place volunteer work on your resume. It helps to see you remained active. I picked things that helped me to network, and I learned from the positions.

  • Whynot

    I was a bank teller. I think I really have to take some online courses to keep my brain fresh.

  • scratchme1010

    This is a great topic. Something that I feel sad about (many times) about some ex-JWs is that many refuse to let go and remain in JW "mode", meaning that they still don't take care about the reality of their lives and instead waste their time trying to start crusades against the WT or investing their time and energy in making a point to them.

    I did make a point to them. I was angry for some time, but at some point I realized that I had to let go of whatever crap they come up with and concentrate in building and managing the life I want for myself. That includes financial planning.

    I had no clue on how to do that, and growing up with both my family's poverty mentality (for some reason my parents thought that having money is a bad thing) and the JWs teachings didn't help at all. It was difficult at first since I had this constant nagging feeling of "I'm never going to catch up; it's useless to even attempt to catch up". But then I realize, well, if I never catch up it's better to die trying.

    Time goes fast, life is too short, and next I knew was me having a good path towards retirement. This is what I did:

    1. Let go of the mother fucking Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower and all the useless shit they say, didn't say or changed. It's a total waste of time to continue scrutinizing what they say. I got it the first time, they lie, they are not the truth and what they say doesn't matter, period. I moved the fuck on. Every second that I waste trying to prove them wrong translates into time and energy I'm wasting and missing towards building my own life.
    2. Education and research. I read books, looked for information on the basics on financial planning, such as, getting or never incurring in debt, investments, benefits offered by employers, maintaining a lifestyle within my means. learn, learn, learn.
    3. Changed my attitude about money. Talking about money is not a bad thing. It used to be seen as something distasteful or something you just don't talk about. That's bullshit. Money is to be managed properly and there's no way to do that without learning and talking about it.
    4. Got rid of the stupid poverty mentality and catastrophic thinking about today's reality and the world that the WT promotes. The time is now to take care of myself. Nothing more stupid than thinking that nothing we do or plan today is going to be destroyed soon. Fuck that shit. None of them pay my rent.
    5. Get rid of the black-and-white mentality, the all-or-nothing nonsense that most christian religions promote. Every decision I made, including my financial ones, were impacted by that. No more.
    6. Invested in a future, still do. I said to myself "One day i'm going to be 50, or one day I'm going to be 50 with a college degree". Guess what, I'm now pass 50. I try to use my time wisely.

    The biggest challenge for me was the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to even start. I decided to start with my feelings and attitudes. Once I got rid of the JW mentality, I started feeling less overwhelmed, and I keep my feelings of discomfort over prosperity in check. I embraced the concept of prospering and building wealth, but it was a process.

  • nonjwspouse

    Good point whynot! I always researched as much as I could, and still do. It is an invaluable habit to have.

    Some online YouTube instructionals are free, but a course from a local community college would be great.

    I have done bookkeeping from home. I now work in an office, but have the ability to do some from home. If I work it out, I could eventually do a lot from home. The owner recognizes I work hard, and have good ideas. She gives me leeway. The others in the office finally get I am not there to " answer the phone" with them, and I do not have an 8-5 schedule. I go in on some evenings, or weekends. I do AR/AP and collections, plus I am versed in most of the other work in the office. I am there if someone has to be out and take over their job for the day or so.

    I am also the owner's administrative assistant. She come into the office between 0 to 2 or 3 days a week. I am usually there when she is, but she very rarely stays more than a few hours. I keep track of emails and forward important ones to her personal email to be sure she sees them. I keep track of certificates, and memberships. When the advertising agency has needs, I manage them or alert the owner to them. She originally hired me to possible run the store in the future. I was hired as a part timer due to having a young child at home, and she understood that. I understood my job could turn into full time eventually, and when my daughter is old enough, then that will be ok.

    At this point I call the timing shots, and she is ok with that because I do a lot of work for her. I worked at becoming a valuable asset. :-) It's a good place to be.

  • Boredposter
    Putting aside whatever you can in a 401k is always a great thing especially if your (or your husband)'s company does a match. Buying a house is an investment that can pay in the future and now (via taxes). Make sure to pay off any other debts. These are just the basics which you can read up about online or find books about.
  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    Good for you for facing up to something that a lot of people find a bit scary and overwhelming to think about. Sometimes it feels as if the small amount you may have available to invest now, isn't worth bothering with but it's not true.

    Suze Ormon focuses a lot on financial tips for women.

    She even has a podcast that you could listen to in the car or have playing in the background while you do other things.

    If your husband has a company matched investment program at work, be sure and put as much as you can in that because the portion they match, is basically free money.

    I was thinking of getting a Roth IRA since my husband works I can do that. What have uou guys done?

    I have a pension plan at work that I've been paying into for about 32 years. My JW contemporaries said I'd never be able to use it but here I am, ready to take early retirement any time now because I didn't listen to them. It will pay me 65% of my highest wage for the rest of my life when I retire and when I'm gone, it will cover my wife for the rest of her life.

    I also put the most I could into a "deferred compensation" 457(b) program that comes out of my paycheck before taxes. I found that because of the tax offset, you barely notice that it's gone. Once I begin using that money, I'll have to pay taxes on it but it will be at a lower tax rate because I'll be retired.

    Each year when we'd do our taxes, we'd put the most money the IRS would allow us to invest, in an IRA. That way, instead of paying taxes at the end of the year, we'd get a pretty nice refund. For instance, this year, instead of getting a refund of around $200, we put around $11,000 in our IRA and will be getting nearly $2,000 back from the IRS.

    I spent about 25 years doing jobs where the employer paid into Social Security but for the last 11 years I've been working in a job that has a Social Security replacement program. The idea is that if Social Security goes bust, the way they're predicting, this Social Security replacement will be there instead.

    Historically when the stock market has a major downturn,it takes about 3 years for it to recover. I keep 1year of living expenses in a Money Market Account that has a guaranteed return, 2 years of living expenses in a Bond Account which are considered low risk. The rest I have invested in various Mutual funds.

    The idea is that if the stock market takes a dive and I need my money, I'll have 3 years of living expenses to live on, giving it a chance to recover before I begin using my other funds.

    My wife didn't work until our boys went into Jr High and then it was only part time. She is working full time now and has a pension plan that her employer pays into and she has her own IRA's etc.

    I hope you get started investing with whatever minimum amount you are able to spare right now. You'll be glad you did even though it may seem like a pittance at first. Be sure and let the kids know what you're learning and let them see you being financially responsible and unafraid. It will give them a feeling of security and will be a good example to them in terms of being able to handle their own financial stability one day rather than being victims of whatever circumstance that may come their way.

  • Alex Bogdanov
    Alex Bogdanov

    I really cant give any advice as I am still to young (30). Just try to do as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Even if your first steps look little don't worry. Most important things in life take years to arrange. So retirement is definitely one of those things. Even if you can't see the end result. Even if you will think that small steps is a waste of time don't stop and continue to do everything possible to create a good retirement. What now seems small after 10 years can give you a lot of benefits. It took me nearly 10 years to establish the business the way I wanted it. But even 5 years ago I was hesitating and thinking I am wasting time. I wish you all the strength and courage. 👍

  • LongHairGal


    You say you have 20 years until retirement? Get started now!!!!! You can do a lot in 20 years and you’ll need every nickel when you retire....If you are still active in the Witness religion, keep your mouth SHUT about your business and what you are doing!!!

    Back in the day I had a JW do my taxes for a time and they saw I put money aside in an IRA. I got snide remarks about how “I’ll never see that money” (presumably because “this old system will be over”). Well, I’m approaching four years of retirement and the JW who did my taxes passed away years ago.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not going to support you. If I had listened to them and was STILL in the religion, not only would I not be retired but I would be the last person to get help from anybody. That’s the sickest part about it.

    Just start now and do the best you can!

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    It is relatively easy to open a Roth IRA and/or a traditional IRA on your own, if you don’t have anything available at work. I have mine through If your income is above the threshold for deductibility, the Roth is a better choice.

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