It’s now the beginning of February and I have to admit it has been hard to get into a routine for 2014. The big adjustment is what do I wear every day? I put on the same clothes. When I was working sometimes I wore the same outfits back to back, but I was always with new people and they never knew. Exercise clothes go on first to make sure I go to the gym, but sometimes I just stay in these all day. I wash my hair now every other day (color stays longer) and yes I do take a shower. Socks are another thing, as my socks were terrible…and I wear socks every day and I wear the same ones 2-3 days. Some of my girlfriends wear all their diamonds every day, makes them feel better, but this might not be me. The point is: I don’t need to spend any money on clothes. I have plenty! I will throw out or give away anything that does not fit perfectly and isn’t stylish.
Live like a European. My clothes could last a lifetime.
Newsflash: Fashion industry looses because I am not buying!

Secondly another reason I have been in a funk is there is no new money of MINE coming in. Freaking out! I know I have to get the finances together and doing that. But not working is psychological and its all about the money. I want it now! The financial guys (my advisors) academically have done the math and say to wait until age 70 to take social security. The difference is 3 years and $300 per month. But I cannot stand it! I don’t want to use old money. I want cash flow.

I signed up.

Here is how it works: Age 67 (my age now) starting January 2014 (the first check will be issued end of February) at $2,856.70 per month. I have one year to decide if I want to change my mind and wait to age 70 and if I do that I have to pay back all the money including interest and taxes. Medicare is $335.00 a month and they take that off so the net check is $2,521.00. I have to pay tax on that money at some point. (At age 70 1/2 one has to start taking money out of IRA’s) Medicare is calculated by earnings two years prior which includes payroll, capital gains, sale of property, etc. It will be reduced later, but not in the near future. Plus a secondary medical plan needed and I’m added to Morry’s plan and that is not free. So as soon as I get my money from the gov I will be happier.
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Beginning Baby Boomers are me…born 1946. Let’s look at the trajectory for 5 years of this age group and what we will be buying (those born in the big population burst after the war 1946-1950). Those folks 62 now will be going through the same exercise in 5 years that I am going through now in terms of how are we going to spend our money…because
1. We are buying only a few clothes. ala J. Crew’s clothes are going to get cheaper as profits fell 20%.
2. We are not ready yet (thinking about it though) to sell our homes and giving away our things as we just don’t need them. Purge, not buy!
3. We will spend our money for experiences that matter to us. Travel with friends and family. Experience the world.
4. We will focus on continual learning taking classes, investing in our knowledge of technology equipment and expertise.
5. Many of this age group will continue working free lance in their field or part time in other interests so there will be money earned.
6. We will be spending on health and wellness- health clubs are getting fancier, trainers, classes, buying organic and buying healthy food.

My financial advisors say their clients spend money the first 5 years after their careers end on travel, plane tickets, hotels, restaurants, tours.
We see the trends for our age group. Travel companies are changing from biking to hiking to cooking gourmet foods and vineyard excursions. Hotels are revising their assortment of products and focusing on low and medium priced rooms with amenities and high end venues. Restaurants are changing from fancy heavy food to bistro fare and celebrities are chefs. These are the industries where more service jobs are going to be.
Will we move to different cities or stay in the city we live in now?
The Huffington Post listed 10 best cities to retire in for 2014: Colorado Springs Co, Raleigh NC, Pittsburgh Pa, Lexington Ky, St Petersburg Fl, Boise Id, Spokane Wa, Norfolk Va, Salt Lake City Ut, Portland Maine, Ft Lauderdale Fl.

The Wall Street Journal identified the 5 wealthiest cities and why: San Jose Metro, Washington DC Metro, Bridgeport Ct Metro, San Francisco, and Boston.

And the fastest growing state for millionaires was North Dakota because of energy. New pickup truck sales guaranteed. Many states were listed as improved and Maryland remained top of the list for the third time as having the most percentage of millionaires.

So many choices for everyone, but I am not moving…yet. It will be good news for the housing market for downsized home and apartment inventory, and upsizing purchases for younger families…if there are people that can afford the houses we are selling? Big question!

WOMEN IN THE NEWS: Who is exactly my age? Susan Sarandon, Diane Sawyer, Diane Keaton, Diane Von Furstenberg, Andrea Mitchell.Helen Mirren won the Hasty Pudding Award at Harvard this week. Impressive group, I feel like a slacker.

What’s the answer? Many choices for me and this specific targeted group to do things we really want to do. And when we all run out of money we will all live together and take care of each other. How fun is that? That’s my motto…what’s yours?