Community members,

I’d like to introduce you to smaneck, who has been selected as the featured member. As part of the feature, smaneck has answered some questions so you can get to know her better.

I look forward to featuring and learning more about others in the future!

Where are you from?  susanphoto_v2.jpg

I was born in California but I have been living and teaching in Mississippi for the last thirteen years.


What is your profession?

I am an Associate Professor in History.


At what age do you plan to retire? 

I plan to retire when I’m 62 or 63, maybe earlier. Depends on my mother’s health and how my investments go.


Are you confident that you will be financially secure and ready to retire at this age? 

I’m pretty sure.


What are you currently doing to prepare for retirement?  

I was always contributing to my retirement, but before 2008 it had more to do with sheltering my earnings than anything else. After the 2008 crash, I started getting worried. Not so worried that I would do something stupid like withdraw my money from the market. My mother was a financial advisor and I knew full well that you don’t lose money until you withdraw it; however, seeing the value of my portfolio drop by more than half was rather scary. Here I was in my 50s with a portfolio worth only about $100k. Suddenly retirement seemed a long ways off. Fortunately I had the opportunity to do a significant amount of consulting work over the next two years and I dumped every extra dime I could into TIAA-CREF while the market was low. Now I’m doing quite well, and investing in real estate here in Mississippi, as well as mutual funds.


Do you plan to relocate upon retirement or stay in the same location? Why?

My elderly mother lives in Lake Tahoe and I intend to retire there for at least a few years. But because of my real estate holdings in Mississippi, I will likely need to commute back and forth for at least a few years. Also, retiring in California on a retirement income from monies made in Mississippi is no easy feat!


What do you most look forward to in retirement? What do you plan to do with your time? 

My primary goal is to be with my mother in her final years. I will also be very active in my religious community, the Baha’I Faith.


What fears/worries do you have regarding retirement?

Another collapse like the last one? And not being able to get a mortgage I can afford for property in California.


What advice would you like to get from someone who is currently enjoying a happy, active and healthy retirement?

Because I’m considering moving overseas after my mother dies, I would like to find out how it worked for others.


How long have you been a member of the MyRetirement community?

Since 2010.


What aspects of the community do you enjoy most and what would you like to see done differently or added to the community? 

I do like sharing ideas about the finances of retirement.