Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's a Family Affair

 An oldie but goodie from our family beach trip back in 2008. Since this photo was taken we have added one Son-in-Law and three grands. I HAVE to make sure and get a new photo this year of the gang!!!
 Ty Boy has grown up so fast. Hard to believe this was just 5 short years ago :(
 Missy Prissy Karsyn and big brother Tyler.
And Kara the Wild girl having some Papaw time. Oh how they love this man of ours.

What the heck has family got to do with retirement? In our family a lot. Hubby and I have been blessed over the years with a job he LOVES and steady pay increases that have afforded us the extras some families can not afford.

One of the extras is a family beach trip each year for a week. I am all about being frugal, saving money, and doing the extras on a tight budget but still vacations cost $$. Hubby and I foot the bill for the beach house, we all take a turn in the kitchen for a day cooking 3 meals for the rest, this helps a TON on the cost!! We do spring for one seafood meal at our favorite joint during the week, maybe a walk to the ice cream parlor in the evening but other than that there is no spending. I save a little each month during the year in our vacation/Christmas account to cover the cost of the beach house rental. Come retirement time this would be a real strain on our fixed income sooooo. Starting next year the big kiddo's will be kicking in their part. Each family will need to make a $375.00 deposit into the vacation/Christmas account before the first of June. They can pay in monthly installments or a lump sum, whatever works for their families budget. This is VERY doable for everyone. Where in the world are you going to find a full weeks beach vacation for $375.00 all meals included except the one day a week your in charge of feeding the whole gang.

Another extra we do is a family vacation to a cabin in the mountains each fall. Again we spring for the cabin then everyone takes turns in the kitchen. The kiddo's are on their own as far as entertainment goes but for the most part we all just hang out and enjoy some football. We are all HUGE football fans "Roll Tide" I make the reservations and pay the rent on Christmas Eve each year when the cabins are at 1/2 price. If each family were to pay their part it would run $275.00 this go round. Starting next year the big kids will be kicking in whenever is best for their families budget.

Twice a year we pay for the grands group studio photo, our DD's bring along extra clothes to have individuals made of them. I try hard to stick with my $150.00 budget leaving the balance for the DD's to pay but sometimes (most) I just pick up the tab. I need to STOP doing this!! I have told the Mommies they HAVE to help me do better. I know they will.

These are just a few ways we do extra things for the big and little kiddo's. They NEVER expect that we should foot the bills and we know they appreciate it. That being said they too would much rather have Papaw at home than have us pay for things that are really not needed.

So... this is why we think retirement is a family affair. Living on a fixed income will be a change for all of us. It's something we all are willing to do. By communicating and preparing for the change now we hope the transition will be a bit easier on everyone. The real challenge will be for Papaw and I, we stink at holding back when it comes to spending on these big and little kids.

Thinking about these sort of changes at retirement might seem silly to some but for us it will be a lifestyle change. Hubby and I are trying to hold each other accountable now when we pick up the tab on big or little things. We remind each other purchases like this might not be possible in a few short years. Maybe with more accountability to each other and practice we can break our bad but oh so fun habits!!

BTW, THANK you all so much for the ideas you are sharing regarding retirement!!! I am keeping notes on everything!! The poor financial adviser's head will be spinning trying to explain so many of your ideas and tips!!


  1. Debby- What a great, newsy post. Retirement really IS a family affair, isn't it? I don't think those things are silly at all! xo Diaan

  2. Yes where are you ever going to have an inclusive week's vacation for $375.00 for a family is right. Good planning as always on your part, Debby. x

  3. It's so hard to make the break from being a parent (and paying for everything) and having the kids kick in their share. I agree that as adults with families of their own they should split the cost of the beach house. I LOVE that you get a big place and that everyone comes. It's going to be even better when everyone kicks in their share! :)! I with you on this one 100%!