Retirement and Christmas

Retirement and Christmas sound like apples and oranges.  Actually they are related.  Let me try to make the point today.

Christmas shopping:

Before Christmas, many people have to do some gift shopping.  Shopping requires time, energy, and patience.

For those who are still working, when do they do the shopping?  Probably the evenings after work, or weekends.  It could become more rushing and stressful when getting close to Christmas.

For retirees, the story is a little bit different.  The biggest asset they have is time.  They can shop anytime they want to, and pace themselves.  They may not have the sweet paychecks, but have time to do a good planning, and use the limited money in a more efficient way.

Days off:

How many vacation days do you usually take around Christmas?

For those lucky ones, they might be able to take the whole week off between Christmas and New Year.  Some companies have the year-end shutdown, and force employees to take the vacations.

But many employees are not that lucky.  Some are off only on Christmas, and have to go back to work on Dec 26.  Some are still working on Christmas, like some convenience stores or Chinese restaurants.

The one year and half when I was a personal banker at a branch, I had to work on Dec 26.  One-day holiday doesn’t look like a holiday.  Too short, and too much house work.  It was hard to enjoy it.

No matter how many days you are off, it’s always tough to go back to work, isn’t it?

What about retirees?  To them, every day is a holiday …

Time to plan for the retirement:

It sounds like a spoiler.  Christmas should be a fun time.  Who in the world would think about retirement planning on Christmas?

But one week later, that will be New Year.  One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to spend less, and save more.  In this way, people can retire some day if they want to.

The article by CBS, ““I blame myself”: Retirement remains out of reach for millions of Americans”, talked about a guy who is 80 years old.  He is still working as a part-time greeter 5 days a week in a WalMart in Oklahoma.  Not because he likes to work, but because he needs the income.

There is nothing wrong about working at WalMart.  The key is that, this guy wished he would be fishing or hunting instead of working every day.  After all, how many years are left for an 80-year-old person to live in a healthy way?  Probably not that long.

In order to make work optional (work for fun, purpose, or anything but money), people have to start today, and plan for the future.  Don’t wait anymore.  Holiday is a good time for a family to sit down, and figure out where they are financially, where they are going to the next year, and when they can retire.

Once the plan is all set, the next key step is to execute it.  Yeah, that’s the heavy lifting part, and could be boring sometimes.  Nobody can do it for us except ourselves.

Do you like a more relaxing Christmas someday?  Plan it today, so you can retire early.

Dear readers, how many days are you going to be off from work around Christmas?  What’s your plan for Christmas?

I won’t be home this Christmas.  The only Christmas sign here is the music streamed from the internet from central Ohio.  But there should be some New Year celebration shows on the TV, and I plan to watch it.  I’ll be home watching the Super bowl for sure.

Thank you for your support during 2018.  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Happy Holidays to you too Helen! My wife and I are pretty lucky with time off. The university we work for closes down the last 2 weeks of the year. It didn’t used to be like that in my past career. I would use the quiet time in the office the last 2 weeks of the year to catch up on work and plan for the new year. I do not miss that at all! Tom

    • Retire Early Helen says:

      Hi Tom, Happy Holidays! I don’t miss my previous work life either. For most of the years, I was able to take some days off between Christmas and New Year, but it had to be scheduled and approved. The first work day after New Year was always the hardest part. Glad it’s over.

      That’s cool you folks are off for the last 2 weeks of the year. Enjoy the time off!

  2. GYM says:

    I’m one of those folks working throughout Christmas (except I get Dec 25 and 26 off) and it is stressful about buying things for Christmas. My list is not very long thankfully. Have a Merry Christmas Helen!!

    • Retire Early Helen says:

      Hi GYM, thank you. Merry Christmas! Hopefully you won’t be too busy at work at the end of the year. That’s good your shopping list is not very long. Sometimes there are good deals when getting close to Christmas. When I was working as a banker at the grocery store, it was fun watching people rushing for shopping at the last minute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *