Retired Momma

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September 14, 2020


DO YOU FEEL LIKE GIVING UP?

Yesterday, I had a good heart to heart talk with my son after he failed to finish a task, which I asked him to do. It was a simple household chore but because I also had to talk to him about the unfinished website I asked him to work on a month ago, I thought this was a chance for a teaching moment.


It’s a good thing he received it positively and promised to do better next time. 


It's a blessing to have children who appreciate and welcome loving corrections from their parents.  😊


Anyway, here’s a sneak peek of what I told him:


In the future, assuming that you will work in an office, you will have a boss who will ask you to do certain things. This boss will give you a task but he will not necessarily tell you how to do it.

 

It is very likely that while you are at it, you will hit a wall and would not know what to do.  Will you stop and turn around to tell him that you were not able to finish the task because of this obstacle or will you try everything in your powers to figure out how to go past this wall?


I know you have dreams, goals in life.  These goals will drive your actions and decisions. And when an obstacle comes, remember to keep going. It is very easy to quit when it becomes difficult and inconvenient but if you let that happen, you also allow your dreams to die.


End of story.


How about you?  Do you also have a goal that is not being fulfilled just because you faced an obstacle and decided not to push through with it?


Did you start a business but because it was difficult you just stopped and gave up?


Did you start an online store but stopped because it was difficult to market?


Did you start a retirement fund but stopped because you didn’t know where to invest?


Friend, there will always be obstacles. Fight the enemies that are making you weak…fear, laziness, doubt. Everything that’s making you give up is your enemy.  Fight it, but this time, not just with will power but with prayer and God’s grace.


Next time you feel like giving up, remember this:


2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”


God bless you!


August 29, 2020


DOWNGRADE LIFESTYLE WITHOUT FEELING LIKE YOU LOST SO MUCH

As I always say, if you want to retire early, there are some things you need to do now. One of them is to plan and prepare for it as early as you can.


IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN, YOU'VE GOT TO WORK FOR IT.


Sometimes, you have to give up something in order to get something, right?


You want to retire early? Then work harder, save more now, and plan for a downgraded lifestyle. Accept it. You will have to give up something. i.e. nights out with friends, extravagant dinner dates, high-end gadgets, unnecessary memberships, etc.


What are you willing to give up so that you can save up for early retirement? This is a decision you have to make now.


Here are some tips on how to downgrade without feeling like you lost so much:


FIND AN EQUALLY ENJOYABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR THE THINGS YOU NEED TO DROP

Do you go to the gym for the treadmill? Why not find a beautiful place where you can jog. You can go to different places or take different routes to enjoy the view. How about your home cable? Do you really need to subscribe to that plan or can you live with a cheaper plan? Instead of going out to watch a movie, why not watch at home? Using a good but cheap sound system would do the trick. 😊


THIS MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR EVERYBODY BUT IF YOU CAN, CONSIDER LIVING IN A SMALLER HOUSE (especially if the kids have their own houses already).

If you do not want to transfer, can you rent out a room in your house? Rent out space in your garage? Rent out an extra storage room?


CHANGE WASTEFUL HABITS, WHICH WILL HAVE VERY LITTLE IMPACT TO YOUR COMFORT

Most people are not aware that appliances (TVs, water heater) that are left on standby still generate electricity. Our provider says you can save as much as 25% of an appliance’s usage if unplugged when it’s not in use. Unplug those not in use before sleeping at night. Make it also a habit to switch off the lights, TV, or aircon whenever you have to leave the room for some time.


DISPOSE OF ITEMS THAT ARE NOT REALLY NECESSARY

How many cars do you have? Do you have a swimming pool? Do you have a piano that hasn’t been used for decades? Do you really need all of these? If you can live on your needs (less of the wants), you will discover how much you can save on maintenance costs. Plus, you can gain more living space too. 😊


This pandemic we are in now is actually a good practice for a downgraded lifestyle. It’s like making us feel how it is to live simply.


Now we are forced to avoid eating out but we continue to enjoy home-made meals at home.


Of course, downgrading doesn’t mean not enjoying it anymore. We still plan to eat out – just not as often. We will continue to do things that are important to us but on a lesser scale and frequency. It’s doable, right?


Of course, downgrading doesn’t mean not enjoying it anymore. We still plan to eat out – just not as often. We will continue to do things that are important to us but on a lesser scale and frequency.


We may not be living a glamorous life, but it’s a life we are most happy with.


Looking back, I would still do the things I did. If there’s one thing I would like to do differently, it’s to invest even more in property because it’s a passive income that could sustain us without requiring so much time and energy to manage.


There you go, friends. I hope you learned something here.


God bless you!


August 24, 2020

TIME IS OF THE ESSENSE.  THE PERKS OF EARLY RETIREMENT.


DO YOU WANT TO WORK UNTIL YOU DROP?

When you are too old and retired, you have the TIME and MONEY, but you do not have the STRENGTH. 

If you want TO HAVE ALL THREE (time, money and strength), there are important things you need to do NOW.


I am 100% sure that everybody who is working hard and stressed at work would like to retire early.  But I am also 100% sure you will agree that retiring early is not for everybody. We are all different.  We have different needs and we are in different situations.  The right age for me may not be the right age for you. 


It also depends on how well you have prepared for it.


Retiring early has its pros and cons, so be careful in taking the plunge unless you have seriously thought and prayed about it.


Some of the perks of early retirement:

  • Improved health (less stress, more time to exercise, more time to prepare healthy food)
  • Freedom to travel (no need to ask permission to take a long vacation leave, which is sometimes impossible due to responsibilities in the office)
  • Experience spiritual growth (you have more time to devote for prayer and scripture study)
  • Can do active service in community (more involvement)
  • More time to do the things you love (arts and crafts, cooking, reading, camping, etc)
  • More time for family (make-up for lost time)
  • Can settle for a part-time/less stressful job (that is, if you saved and invested well for retirement)
  • Can start a new business (hard to do if you do not have time and focus)
  • Opportunity to learn new things (enroll in an online course)

Understandably, there are also disadvantages of retiring early:

  • Lose a regular income (main source of sustenance)
  • Lose benefits from company (healthcare, travel)
  • Pay for social security until you reach legal retirement age (you company pays for this)
  • Get bored (if you are not able to plan your activities properly)
  • Your savings has to last longer (self-explanatory 😊)

If you plan to retire early and want to experience the benefits stated above, then you have to plan strategically. 


Many people leave their jobs without:

  • properly estimating how much they need in retirement
  • preparing emotionally for the changes
  • getting clarity on their purpose or reason

It is very important that you have clarity on why you want to retire early.


If you are considering retirement, there are at least 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO CHECK BEFORE MAKING THIS LIFE-CHANGING DECISION.


If you have not done yet, click this link to DOWNLOAD the FREE CHECKLIST now. 


This checklist will help determine your readiness for retirement.


Life is good.  I pray that you will live it to the fullest.  God bless you.


Your companion,

Roma

The Retired Momma


 

Aug 14, 2020


YAHOO!  

126 followers na FB page ko.  Ang babaw ba?  HAHAHA   😊


I hope to see a comma after the 1st digit soon.  But whether there is a comma or not, I still feel like a WINNER.


Ganun talaga!  We all start small.  What’s important is we don’t give up.  And I am far from giving up. 


Nag-uumpisa pa nga lang ako eh.  😊


When I started in this journey, I never thought it would be this challenging. 


My primary goal in writing an e-book was to help people prepare for retirement.  


I know some people who would like to retire but could not because they do not feel ready.  When I asked them if they are actively preparing for it, they said no.  So sad because they are well employed and could easily save money if they wanted to.


I am sure a lot of people out there is in the same situation.  I felt like if I share with them the mindsets I had when I was preparing for my retirement, I might be able to help.


Also, I want them to experience the joy of having more time to do the things they love to do.


Friends, I am not saying you should RETIRE NOW.  I am just saying, PREPARE NOW so that you can retire early.  You do not have to wait until you are 60 years old. 


Retirement is a time of discovery.  It’s only now I realized that I also love writing.  


It feels good to express my thoughts and know that many people benefit from the things that I share.


This is why I thought of writing an e-book.  Writing it was easy but the other things that come with it, like creating a website, connecting with subscribers, learning FB Ads, is quite challenging.


But you know, there is a certain joy in being able to surmount all these challenges and seeing the fruit of your hard work.


It took me more than a month to build my website but after seeing the outcome, I can’t explain the feeling. Para akong naka-graduate sa isang college course. HAHAHA. 


Ang sarap ng feeling pag na-reach mo yung goal mo.  Lahat ng pagod, puyat, sakit ng ulo na dinaanan mo, makakalimutan mo lahat.


Para ka lang din nagbuntis at nanganak.  Di ba, kahit anong hirap dinanas mo sa paglilihi, once nandyan na si baby, bale wala na yung 9 months na hirap at sakripisyo.


I am sure you have goals in life.  Goals for yourself, your family, career, spirituality, whatever it is. 


Expect to go through some tough times before you reach your goal, but BE PERSISTENT AND KEEP THE END IN MIND.


What is your most significant goal in life now?


IS RETIRING EARLY ONE OF YOUR GOALS?  I am 99% sure it is.


What do you think will keep you from doing it?


I can almost predict that it will be the uncertainty of your finances.  You may have a strong faith that God will provide for you, but still you would want to feel that you were responsible enough to do your part in saving for it.


That was how I felt before I retired.


NOW, LET ME SHARE WITH YOU SOME TIPS ON HOW TO REACH YOUR GOALS.

There are many ways but I would like to share some of the valuable mindsets I follow.

  • Break down your plans into small achievable goals.  This way, you are able to make small wins, which will help you focus on pushing forward to your bigger dreams. Example: Instead of saying, I will save P5 million in 10 years, why not target to save P500,000 this year. If you are able to achieve it, then next year, it will be easier for you to set a higher target.
  • Get help and support from people who are close to you.  Let them know about your goals and make yourself accountable to them.  Example: Let your husband and children know that you are trying to save this amount of money.  And for you to do that, you would need to cut down on movie nights, eating out, gym membership, etc.  It would be easier to meet your goals if you have their support.
  • Be clear WHY you are doing it and be passionate about it.  It should feel like almost everything you do is a step towards achieving your goal.  Example: If your reason for retiring early is to have MORE TIME for family and God, then you know that you will have to make some sacrifices to make it happen soon.  Are you willing to downgrade your lifestyle in order to save more now? Do you need to let go of your other dreams such as travelling every year?
  • Be ready to get out of your comfort zone.  When you are in your comfort zone, you don’t want anything to change.  But how will you grow?  How will you expand?  Don’t be afraid of doing something new. Remind yourself how it feels to complete something after pushing yourself a bit.  Example:  Enroll in a short course and do it during weekends even if it means losing your weekend afternoon nap.  These extra skills could help you start a small business, which would then be a source of income after retirement.

That’s just a few but I hope I was able to inspire you to be persistent in reaching your goals no matter how hard it would be.


Joshua 1:9 

“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”


God bless you!

July 18, 2020


"WHEN YOU CAN'T CONTROL WHAT'S HAPPENING, CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CONTROL THE WAY YOU RESPOND TO WHAT'S HAPPENING. THAT'S WHERE YOUR POWER IS"  - unknown

Two weeks ago, I went to the city hall to apply for a permit.  After submitting all the requirements, I was told to wait for the text message informing me if I could come back already.  


Earlier this week, I received a message asking me to come back not later than July 20 as the document is already available.


So yesterday, I went back to the city hall. Unfortunately, the queue was very long. I asked the person in-charge if I still had to line up since I was just claiming a document.  He said that I still had to and so I obediently complied. 


True enough, it took me more than 2 hours waiting under their improvised tent, with lots of people around. Though with considerable distance, I might say.  


I just prayed quietly for protection from getting infected with COVID.

   

While in the queue, I would hear a lot of people grumbling how the city hall’s systems and processes suck.  I do agree with them but I just kept it to myself, not wanting to fan the flame anymore.  It was already hot enough being under the sun for 2 hours. HAHAHA


When I finally reached the counter, I was handed a paper and was instructed to pay the cashier PhP100, photocopy the receipt then come back to her.  


Hmmm ok… thank God the line at the cashier was not that long.  The walk to the photo copier was quite the distance and it was scorching hot, but okay, I don’t have a choice.


When I returned and submitted the receipts, she again handed me another paper and told me to wait for their text message so I could come back for the permit when it's already signed. 


WHATTTT?  I waited and lined up for 2 hours just to pay PhP100? Wouldn’t it have been better if you already had the permit signed then asked me to come when it was ready?  Do you mean I still have to come back and line up for 2 hours again?” 


“Mam, ganun po talaga. Pasensya na po.  (Mam, that’s how it is, I am sorry)”, was her only reply.


I had to stop for a moment and think.  I CAN FEEL THE INCREDIBLE HULK WITHIN ME TRYING TO GET OUT.  :-)


After a brief moment, I said with a sad face, “OKAY…”, then left. 


Sometimes, it’s better to just walk away.


On my way to the parking lot, walking under the sun and with a mild headache already starting, I could feel my eyebrows joint together and hot steam going out of my nose. 


Upon entering the car, I kept still for a few minutes.  As soon as I felt relaxed, I just found myself saying, “thank you Lord” then headed home.


Looking back, I was glad that I didn’t let “Mrs. Incredible Hulk” out.  I could have given that woman the best lecture of her life but also lose my self-respect in the process.

 

I still intend to send a friendly reminder to the city hall just to let them know that there is still room for improvement.  They have to know, right?


So, what are my top take-aways here?  It was an affirmation that when we control anger:

  • We also prevent an even more unfavorable situation.
  • We get a sense of confidence that we can handle our emotions well the next time.
  • We can easily move past the bad and heavy feeling and continue with our lives.

Thank you Lord for being with me and for giving me the power to be in control of my emotions.  

  

Friends, what happened to me here can also happen in your workplace.  Just remember, you also have that power.


As I have said in the beginning of this post, WHEN YOU CAN'T CONTROL WHAT'S HAPPENING, CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CONTROL THE WAY YOU RESPOND TO WHAT'S HAPPENING. THAT'S WHERE YOUR POWER IS"  - unknown


If I can do it, you can too.


God bless!



July 16, 2020


OH NO! I LOST HALF OF THE WORK I’VE DONE.


“Pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you.” -  St. Augustine


About a month ago, I had this inspiring thought about a topic for my e-book and so I immediately started working on it.  I was so inspired that I was able to finish it within a single day, even if there were a lot of things I had to do in between.


When I was done, I thought of splitting it into two parts so that it would be shorter and easier to read.  Normally, I would save it in another filename before I do the editing. 


For some reason, that day, I did it the other way around.  I edited the document then deleted the second half, with the intention of saving it with a different filename.


In my excitement, after editing and deleting the second half of the article, I saved it without changing the filename.  And then I realized, the second part of my document was GONE!


OH NO! My head felt like it was going to EXPLODE!  That was such a good article and I didn’t even know if I could write it again.  I PANICKED and tried everything I know in order to undo the mistake.


But no matter how I tried, I could not retrieve the document.  I WANTED TO CRY.


I asked my kids for help on what to do (I admit they know more of the technical stuff sometimes) but none of their suggestions were working.


I was about to give up and accept that half of my work was gone, but then I REMEMBERED TO STOP AND PRAY.


After praying, I went back to my kids.  They tried to figure out what happened, pressed on a few keys then…SURPRISE!!! The second half of the document suddenly appeared.


I could not explain how that happened but one thing is for sure, GOD HONORED MY PRAYER.


I could have tried and tried everything in my own power as if everything depended on me. Sometimes, it will work, sometimes it won't.


Who knows, maybe my data was just there all this time and I just needed to press the correct key.  


So what's my take away? I think God reminded me of some important mindsets in this situation:

  • Try your best in everything that you do but do not forget to PRAY for guidance.
  • Trust that God hears our prayers and will answer it in His time.

Thank you Lord for you never fail to amaze me.  Thank you for this “heart-attack” moment, which reminded me that all I needed to do was to “ask and you shall receive”.


So there friends, when faced with a “heart-attack moment”, whether at work or in any other situation….PRAY. 


God bless you!



July 8, 2020

ARE YOU UNHAPPY AT WORK?


YOUR WORK is going to fill a large part of your life, and the ONLY WAY to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is GREAT WORK.  And the only way to do great work is to LOVE WHAT YOU DO.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.  ---- Steve Jobs


As a new graduate, you were happy to land on a job that many dream of. You were given trainings to develop your skills, pay is good and you develop friendship with officemates.  Then, as time went on, you begin to dread Mondays and excited about Fridays. Hmmm, what happened?  


Suddenly, you feel like this job is not making you happy anymore.


Many of us experience this at some point in our life.  Something might have triggered it.


It could be a misunderstanding with an officemate or boss, salary doesn’t seem to be enough, you do not see any growth path, or maybe your new assignment has become so demanding and stressful that it gives you less time for family and church.


Sometimes, the feeling could be temporary and easily wiped away by a heart to heart talk, a raise in salary or a renewed vision of a career path.


Unfortunately, for some, the feeling is permanent. It’s as if no talk or promise of a raise would make them feel happy.   


If that’s the case, then you really have to pray about it and find out why, so you can make a decision and start a purposeful action to improve your circumstance.   


If you believe that you really have to leave, then you should:

  • Start a job search but don’t quit yet.  It’s easier to get another job when you still have a job.  Besides, you do not know how long it will take you to find another job.
  • Keep your plans to yourself (and to your spouse only).  You wouldn’t want your boss to know you are leaving yet.
  • If you have subordinates, start training them already.  It will make your exit easier and your boss grateful.
  • Start saving.  Since you will be starting again, you have to be prepared for whatever happens in your next job.
  • Do self-discovery.  Reflect on what you want to do and what makes you happy.  What are you passionate about?  You do not want to move to another job and then find out, it’s not what you want to do.  Do you want another job or do you want to start a business?
  • Pray and discern for God’s will for you.

Once you have found a new job, tender your resignation and give them ample time to plan on how to transition.  Offer to provide assistance and do not burn bridges.


So there friends, I hope this article helped you.


Life is good.  I pray that you will live it to the fullest.  God bless you.




BLOG

July 4, 2020


Yesterday, I messaged Fr. Dave Concepcion this question.

“#dipobafrdave - Father, is it a sin to save money in preparation for my retirement?  Does it mean I do not trust God to provide for me?”

Why did I ask this?  Well, when I was younger and thinking about retirement, I somehow had this guilty feeling of saving money for the future.  I was asking myself, am I not trusting God enough to provide for my future?


But now that I am retired, I appreciate the fact that I was able to prepare well for this new phase in my life. 


When I finally made the decision to retire, I was holding on to God’s promise that He loves me and will take care of me.  It was a mixture of emotions, both excitement and anxiety.


Excited because I no longer see myself going through the 2 hour (each way) traffic every day, no more presentations and reports to rush, but at the same time anxious of the future I am not sure of. 


Now that I am retired, I am really thankful that I made that decision because now, I am free to do the things I have been wanting to do.  I have more time for spiritual nourishment and a chance to start a much less stressful work.


If you are contemplating on retirement, I suggest you really spend time praying about it. 


If God says it’s not yet time, then OBEY.  Continue to do your work well but at the same time prepare for your retirement.  When I say prepare, I mean financially, mentally and physically.


There is a time for everything.  Maybe, now it’s still work for you.  But for sure, time will come when you will have to retire, so start preparing now.


Going back to my message to Father Dave.  Here is his simple reply:

“Simple financial management principle 10-20-70.

10% goes to your tithe

20% goes to your savings

70% goes to your expenses

Those who failed to save has the most difficult time in this pandemic”


So there friends.  If you still have not started saving for your retirement.  You better START NOW.


Life is great!  I pray you live it to the fullest. God bless you!