CARLIE KOLLATH: Retirement bliss closer for some

June was a hot month for retirement parties in Tupelo. Elizabeth Turner, the assistant director at the Lee County Library, retired after 27 years working at the home for all things book-related. She’s going to spend her time traveling, starting with a trip to Las Vegas.
Frankie Blackmon was celebrated for his 50-plus years in the automotive business. He has given two of his auto dealerships to his children. He plans to spend his retirement traveling and spending time with his family.
Brenda Shumpert, the owner of Bishop’s Flowers and Gifts for 27 years, retired and has turned over the responsibilities of daily operations, but she still owns the business. She plans to spend her time working out, reading every book at the library and spending time with her grandchildren at Chuck E. Cheese.
Linda Johnson, executive director of the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, retired after 28 years in the hospitality industry. Neal McCoy is the new executive director. Johnson plans to fill her days with gardening, reading, exercising and lunches with her family and friends.
It makes me happy to see these people who have worked so hard for so long get time to enjoy their lives. They’ve put in the years of long hours and of helping other people and now they get to spend time focusing on their other joys and passions in life.
I wish them all the best. One day I hope to join them in happy retirement bliss.
But unless I win the lottery, that day won’t come for quite a few years. Until then, all I can do is save and plan.
According to a new survey from Ipsos, only one in five adults 25 and older is actively building savings and investments. Of the people surveyed, 60 percent of the adults were just trying to meet basic financial needs and savings goals.
The report figures those not yet retired will need more than $935,000 to cover basic monthly expenses during the course of their projected retirement.
It’s a lot bigger number than I – or current retirees – want to see.
Many retirees are re-entering the work force to supplement their savings or portfolios that have taken a hit during the recession. Research from the AARP shows people are delaying their retirement, namely because of the need for money.
In another study, from the Pew Research Center, four in 10 adults said they have tapped savings and retirement accounts to make ends meet.
The good news, according to the Washington Post, is that more than six in 10 respondents to the Pew study say they expect their personal financial situation to improve in the next year.
Let’s hope that happens, for the sake of all of our future retirement bliss.

Contact business reporter Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal