"When you retire, make sure you have enough savings to last you 8 to 12 years." That's what the personnel department told me when I was working in the automotive industry in the 1970s. Back then, that was the normal length of retirement.
Well, I've been retired for 30 years now. With advances in the medical fields, we're all living longer these days. And all I can say is, I'm glad I was smart with my money.
One of the smart things I did was to create charitable gift annuities (CGAs) with AARP Foundation that pay me income during my retirement. I created my first one shortly after I retired, and I've created new ones regularly ever since. The rates are very attractive and I get a payment every month for a little extra spending money.
I always tell other people to consider CGAs, because it's really a win-win situation. You feel good knowing that your gift is helping seniors who are struggling, and not just sitting in a bank. Plus you're getting a little extra money in your own bank account each month to keep doing what you love.
I love to ice skate, play softball, and go golfing — anything I can do to stay active. Sports have been part of my life since I was a kid — and always will be. I also enjoy going to car shows all around the country. I like supporting AARP and the AARP Foundation because they are working to ensure that older Americans like me have the chance to keep pursuing our passions.
I turned 83 years old in March and I'm pleased to be living a very full life. The income from my AARP Foundation annuities really helps. Plus, knowing my gift helps others who are not as fortunate gives me great satisfaction.