Are You Ready for those Golden Years?

  “They Giveth and They taketh Away”

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During a quarterly executive staff meeting in October 2012 , we were informed by , the new Director of Operations at CP Railway that there would some staffing changes.  However; these changes would not affect anyone at this location.  “We are the dispatch center moving America’s freight throughout the United States and Canada. You all are doing an exemplary job.”  Well, guess what?  On Dec 10, 2012,  just 60 days after the announcement of no layoffs at the Dispatch Center, I was called to Human resources, given a letter to sign and escorted out the door.  I went from a $90K a year salary to $0 within minutes. I was four years shy of eligibility for full railroad retirement payout.   But thank God I had started a Mary Kay business in 2007 and invested in my 401K and stocks since I was in my 20’s. Sounds like basically a happy ending.  Yes, actually I was pleased that I would be given a reprieve from the 24/7 life style.   Thirty years of  working nights,  weekends and holidays grew tiresome.   But I never saw it coming.  There was more to do and my plan to “step away” gracefully and on my own deadline was taken away.

          ” Thank you for doing a good job , maybe we’ll let you keep  your job!”

I was reminded that my foresight or lack of foresight for the future not only affects me but my family.  My youngest sister and her family were living with me.   She cried when I shared the news.   It broke my heart to see the sadness in her eyes.

Protecting your future can take on different meanings for each individual.  It can mean  having a million dollars in your savings/401K , traveling the world , finishing your college degree or learning to play the guitar.  Whatever is on your bucket list matters. The truth is – goals to fulfil your life’s  hopes and dreams take vision , preparation and money. The  process is lifelong and making some smart choices -can put you in the driver seat.

Vision- The 5 Do’s!

  • set money aside for a rainy day
  • invest in your 401K , take advantage of matched percentage and start now
  • purchase properties other than your home
  • start a small home based business. Great tax write-off’s
  • secure solid health insurance


Preparation – The 5 Do not’s !

  • Depend on Social Security – the laws are inconsistent and the payments are not enough
  • Put off annual physicals – prevention will add to a healthier body and bank account
  • Dip into your 401K unless it’s for an investment or emergency- the penalties for withdrawal prior to age 59 1/2 years of age are astronomical and taxable.
  • apologize when you have to say “no” to the relative who always borrows but never pays back
  • stop dreaming, learning and loving life. HAPPY PEOPLE LIVE LONGER



These  opinions are my observations, life , experiences and a culmination of some of my good and not so great choices.  You pick what works best for you.

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