Retirees, Those Soon To Be and the Hobby

Mark Boyce posted:

Tom and C. W.,

thank you for the links to the online tools.  I have gone to tha SSA Web site and made online accounts for my wife and myself to print out the annual forms they used to send in the mail, but I don't remember looking at these links.

It almost seems like they try to bury some of this information so that people wait until their full retirement age...even after knowing it is there somewhere I trouble finding it again, thank goodness for "bookmarking" things. 

Tom 

MNCW posted:
Mark Boyce posted:

Tom and C. W.,

thank you for the links to the online tools.  I have gone to tha SSA Web site and made online accounts for my wife and myself to print out the annual forms they used to send in the mail, but I don't remember looking at these links.

It almost seems like they try to bury some of this information so that people wait until their full retirement age...even after knowing it is there somewhere I trouble finding it again, thank goodness for "bookmarking" things. 

Tom 

It does seem that way.  Just like tax deductions and veterans benefits.  We learned of a benefit for only veterans who served during war time and their spouses which could pay about half the monthly charge for personal care and nursing care.  We have a financial expert who only does veterans benefits.  The lawyer who works with him told us you would think all Dad would need is to submit his discharge papers, some ID, marriage license, and documents from the personal care home, and they would get the benefit.  No, we need to put most of what little money they have in a trust and submit almost every financial document known to man!  LOL

There is a book, now outdated, but may still have some useful info by PBS's Paul Solman et. al. about some of the hidden benefits of SS called Get What's Yours.

Unfortunately, after Paul did a segment about some of these benefits SS closed a few of the "loopholes". Its cheap enough so may still be worth checking out.

 

Pete

 

 

 

Good point though, I was getting a bit worried...maybe those (lucky folks) who have retired can talk more about what type of changes they have seen after retiring.

In other words, is there: 

  • More time for working on the layout?
  • What type of layout do you have? (no judgments whatsoever by me, mine is currently an oval on my workbench, see below)
  • More time for joining clubs?
  • More time for operating/collecting/train shows/flea market/garage sale hunting?
  • More time for walking on rail trails for exercise? 
  • More time to read railroad books, timetables, etc.

 

From those soon to retire, maybe they can talk about what they hope to accomplish along those lines.

Or any variations...try to work in a train every now and then! 

Tom 

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My layout was a godsend after I quit working because it kept me busy.  Lots of time for fun things but little money and an old car that sucked up my $$. My wife had a nice car but when she died I gave it to my son where I am living now. He wrecked-so I was told.  Plan but be flexible because health issues can destroy any plans -quickly. And savings too.  I kept my layout simple so I could pack most of it and leave the bench work behind, which I did. If I got a chance to build a new one would do it the same way. This isn't to say that I don't appreciate nice scenery, buildings and track work.

jim pastorius posted:

My layout was a godsend after I quit working because it kept me busy.  Lots of time for fun things but little money...

Jim, I would be fine with that part of what you said. I hope to not be buying much in retirement as I think i have accumulated enough at this point. Just to have time to unpack some things would be a pleasant improvement. 

Tom 

I kept buying, especially bargains at shows or my antique store friend. I could do trades with him or a lay away with nothing down. Part of my retirement therapy was cleaning, fixing and getting an engine or car working right. Still like to do that.   Just fixed my busted GG1 and 1615 switcher  and painted some cars. Limited here though.  Sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do. About a year ago at a Pgh TCA show I spent $180 on a big box of Standard gauge freight and passenger cars. The plan was to keep the best-sell the rest. Right-have fixed them all up and kept them.  Fun

MNCW posted:
jim pastorius posted:

My layout was a godsend after I quit working because it kept me busy.  Lots of time for fun things but little money...

Jim, I would be fine with that part of what you said. I hope to not be buying much in retirement as I think i have accumulated enough at this point. Just to have time to unpack some things would be a pleasant improvement. 

Tom 

I'm not planning to buy much in retirement either.  I may sell to buy something I want or trade.

Tom,

We lived in Howell, NJ for 31 years and in Freehold, NJ for 4 years before that. I am the Jersey boy and the wife is from Brooklyn, N.Y. If I had it my way, I would have left NJ to go south where it is cheaper for homes, property insurance, car insurance, etc. But my kids are here. 

Have plenty to do in the new house and with my train club, www. Ocsmr.com. See our thread under the announcements section on this forum. Very interesting to read through.

Ted Bertiger Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders Lakewood, N.J. www.ocsmr.com

Perhaps we are trying to be helpful to each other?

Every non-train forum (about 6) I belong to has a "everything else" section.

If the embedded discussion on Social Security benefits was in an "everything else" section, I bet a lot of people would miss it. I know that embedded comments on SS in other threads have given me pause to think about what is best for my family. So I appreciate them.

The discussion is about retirement and the hobby. For most of us, Social Security benefits are part of retirement. 
There is no hard feelings or ill will in the comments. What's the harm?

C.W. Burfle

I plan to retire next year, so I am finishing up the scenery on my new layout, and will have pretty much stopped buying the trains themselves as I have far more than I ever run or display.  After that, I will continue to add details and tinker, but I expect to severely curtail my train buying habits (famous last words).  I also hope to make some trips to visit some railroad museums and attend York more often!  

I agree with CW, for most of us SS is part of what makes pursuing our train hobby possible in retirement.  I, too, did most of the major purchasing (postwar Lionel) before I retired a year and a half ago. But now, with the extra time, being able to build a layout and attend train shows is just another reason to max out your SS benefits!

Prior to retiring I cobbled together a 9x11 U shaped temporary layout from a 3x11 shelf and a 6x6 L shaped desk. Using 027 and some 042 curves I came up with enough main line and passing sidings to keep 3 trains out to run.  This works for testing repaired engines and accessories.  So far this has turned in to the retirement layout but that was due to some older parent needs and planned retirement trips. Like the old retirement joke, there's so much going on I don't know how I had time to work!

John

I happened to stumble upon this from Money magazine and thought I should share it. Maybe it can help someone several years off from retiring. 

https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBAcSqK?m=en-us&ocid=Money

One feature that I tried was the Cost of Living Calculator which can give someone who is thinking about relocating in retirement an idea as far as what areas of the country may be more affordable. Although it did not have my exact city where I currently live, I thought it was interesting. 

Tom 

Based on personal experience, I would NOT, under any circumstances, recommend a Reverse Mortgage. All these experts say "save", easier said than done. Your kid's education and life's little surprises  get in the way. Older people think they are busier because they are moving slower-which is a good thing.

MNCW posted:

...maybe those (lucky folks) who have retired can talk more about what type of changes they have seen after retiring.

In other words, is there: 

  • More time for working on the layout?

Of course.  Plenty of time for both my hobbies (trains and shooting).  I have gotten projects done that I planned for years, but never had the time to carry through.  Since I don't have a "proper" layout (see below), most of my work is on the locomotives and rolling stock themselves.

  • What type of layout do you have? (no judgments whatsoever by me, mine is currently an oval on my workbench...)

I don't have the space for a permanent benchwork layout, so I have had to lay track on our (tiled) basement floor.  There are two: one (the largest one) is FasTrack, for the 3rs equipment and the other is Marx 034, for tinplate.  Obviously it's not ideal, but I'm grateful that I have as much as I do.

  • More time for joining clubs?

I'm not a "joiner," and have no interest in belonging to a club.

  • More time for operating/collecting/train shows/flea market/garage sale hunting?

Most of the train shows (not that there are that many in my area) and flea markets are on weekends anyway.

  • More time for walking on rail trails for exercise? 

I get my exercise from twice-weekly workouts at the gym, and from biking (weather permitting).

  • More time to read railroad books, timetables, etc.

I never lacked for time to read books.  As for reading timetables...well, I can only say that I don't find them too interesting.

 I retired in 2010; my wife two or three years earlier.  I highly recommend it to all who can do so.

 

 

C W Burfle posted:

Perhaps we are trying to be helpful to each other?

Every non-train forum (about 6) I belong to has a "everything else" section.

If the embedded discussion on Social Security benefits was in an "everything else" section, I bet a lot of people would miss it. I know that embedded comments on SS in other threads have given me pause to think about what is best for my family. So I appreciate them.

The discussion is about retirement and the hobby. For most of us, Social Security benefits are part of retirement. 
There is no hard feelings or ill will in the comments. What's the harm?

Besides, while folks in their 40's or 50's may not actively think much about retirement and Social Security, it does have a habit of sneaking up on you...

Indiana Jones Boulder

Mine's a little over 5 months away and while I think I'm pretty well prepared, I'm looking at it both with anticipation and concern.

Rusty

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Rusty,

  I hope you'll keep coming back and posting. I think others (and myself) would find it interesting...if you are willing. I mentioned that book, How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free. It has a lot of common sense stuff in it and you may find it helpful. A good amount of it has to do with adjusting your mindset from all work and minimal free time to no work and following hobbies, interests, exercising more or whatever and not just being a couch potato (as I type this from my couch). 

Tom 

Balshis posted:
MNCW posted:

...maybe those (lucky folks) who have retired can talk more about what type of changes they have seen after retiring.

In other words, is there: 

  • More time for working on the layout?

Of course.  Plenty of time for both my hobbies (trains and shooting).  I have gotten projects done that I planned for years, but never had the time to carry through.  Since I don't have a "proper" layout (see below), most of my work is on the locomotives and rolling stock themselves.

  • What type of layout do you have? (no judgments whatsoever by me, mine is currently an oval on my workbench...)

I don't have the space for a permanent benchwork layout, so I have had to lay track on our (tiled) basement floor.  There are two: one (the largest one) is FasTrack, for the 3rs equipment and the other is Marx 034, for tinplate.  Obviously it's not ideal, but I'm grateful that I have as much as I do.

  • More time for joining clubs?

I'm not a "joiner," and have no interest in belonging to a club.

  • More time for operating/collecting/train shows/flea market/garage sale hunting?

Most of the train shows (not that there are that many in my area) and flea markets are on weekends anyway.

  • More time for walking on rail trails for exercise? 

I get my exercise from twice-weekly workouts at the gym, and from biking (weather permitting).

  • More time to read railroad books, timetables, etc.

I never lacked for time to read books.  As for reading timetables...well, I can only say that I don't find them too interesting.

 I retired in 2010; my wife two or three years earlier.  I highly recommend it to all who can do so.

 

 

Balshis, Thanks for all the details. That was all pretty interesting. Sounds like you adjusted well to your retirement including trying to stay healthy. Like everyone else, feel free to post pictures of your trains. 

Tom

MNCW posted:

Balshis, Thanks for all the details. That was all pretty interesting. Sounds like you adjusted well to your retirement including trying to stay healthy. Like everyone else, feel free to post pictures of your trains. 

Tom

Actually, I don't seem to have too many.  Here are a couple of shots of the tinplate layout, taken a couple of months back (I've made some changes since then, including replacing the 027 switches with the 034 switches in the foreground):

These are the Marx trains you're seeing here.  The Lionel tinplate is on shelves at the moment.

I guess I need to take a few shots of the FasTrack layout, too.

--John

This is a great thread, many good pieces of advice for us getting ready to, so to speak, call it a day, and end our working career....Many folks have had jobs for 20, 30, 40, some odd years. My advice is, those who have many many trains, let members of your family know how to sell your collection. Give them good information on folks that purchase collections, Greenberg books on train values, and magazines that offer Collection Liquidations...You can not count on friends to really dispose of ones friends trains...It's a lot of work... I plan on retiring in a few months, and will cut purchasing to a bare minimum. Also, in 2-1/2  years, I plan on selling 80 per-cent on my collection, and also my home. At that time, I will offer members and friends that they can buy my home, and have a fun to run railroad ready to run....Wow...That's for folks retiring in Tennessee.... Happy Railroading.

 

Larry,

Good points.  My wife knows a woman who has a bunch of postwar American Flyer trains that have been in her attic for a number of years.  She gave a list of the car and engine numbers and description to my wife.  That is the only way I figured out they were AF.  She didn't know.  I found two AF fellows in the area who would like to buy, but I need to see them and evaluate their condition first.  Trouble is, we have been so busy helping our 4 elderly relatives, we haven't had time.  That gets to your point.  I don't know her deceased husband's situation or how long since he passed.  The point is, she deserves to get fair value for her husband's trains; but how.  He may have passed before his time and unexpectedly, but he didn't have a plan.  

This experience of being frustrated hoping to help her makes me agree with your point that I shouldn't saddle a friend with the task of disposing of the trains, if I don't end up with a grandchild to give them to.  

Hey, we've been through The Volunteer State many times, but the last was over 20 years ago.  Sounds like a good place to retire!  

Two types of retired folks.  1) Those who planned early on for the day they would retire and not get a paycheck, saved instead of buying a new car every other year, waited to take those expensive vacations and paid off the mortgage instead, and now have financial security (as much as anyone can have these days,) ... and 2)  those who lived for the day and didn't plan ahead.  Now they are screwed financially with no way up and out.  Some of those end up living with their children the rest of their days ...

It's funny, I lost all interest in buying a new car or a lot of other things. First off, it's almost impossible to keep a car clean here. We have our beach Explorer and our "nice" car. The "nice" car is six years old. The Explorer is a year older and was the one we shipped over here. You don't put much mileage on cars  on the islands. Same with clothes . I haven't worn long pants in six years. You do put your good shorts on for weddings and things like that. I think "keeping up with the Jones" is not very important when you get older and that's a good thing. Don

TedW posted:

Retired 15 yrs ago, my wife 10. As comfortable as we ever were. Only thing I worry about is the sinister looks from my kids. They're always saying, "here Dad, drink this!"   

TedW, Good to know there are happy retirees out there. 

By the way, I noticed a Vietnam Service Ribbon in your bio...if you served, thank you for your service! 

Tom 

MNCW posted:
TedW posted:

Retired 15 yrs ago, my wife 10. As comfortable as we ever were. Only thing I worry about is the sinister looks from my kids. They're always saying, "here Dad, drink this!"   

TedW, Good to know there are happy retirees out there. 

By the way, I noticed a Vietnam Service Ribbon in your bio...if you served, thank you for your service! 

Tom 

 

You're Welcome... only way to get the ribbon is to serve I think.   

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