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Another pension income reality: I’m an income snob

Starting over at 57

Author: Mary Calhoun/Monday, July 14, 2014/Categories: Workforce

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around my new money reality. Yes, it’s a relief to know that I can actually afford to retire now and be able to comfortably live and financially sustain my lifestyle. I will earn/generate more income in retirement than my current net take home pay. So what’s the problem? 
 
Income social status! 
 
It’s not easy to mentally accept and emotionally claim that I have surpassed and outgrown my original “income social status” goal. For the last 20 years I have been aggressively positioning my retirement portfolio. I signed up for and attended courses offered by my organization and other programs that taught what I was desperate to learn: how to be financially secure. Well, as time and my retirement portfolio have proven, I am an exceptional student.
 
The best ever advice or observation I have learned yet is the principles of a quote from American entertainer, Sophie Tucker, about girls and money:
 
“From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents,
From 18 to 35 she needs good looks,
From 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and
From 55 on she needs cash."
 
 
I keep this quote in a jeweled frame on my desk as a constant reminder and motivator. The frame reminds me that I can still enjoy my life while investing in the security of my financial future. There is nothing more civilized, dignified and comforting than knowing you can handle your business. 
 
However, being able to handle my financial business also meant crowing (albeit indirectly) about my income earning status. After being in the workforce for over 40 years, I have earned every penny of my middle/upper middle class income and socio-economic status. I don’t want to give that up! I hadn’t realized that my professional income earning identity was also tied to my social standing in society. This new awareness is yet another bruise to my already battered woman-of-independent-means ego. But if I want to survive and thrive from this experience, I must give up my “pride of income” mindset and move on.  
 
My name is Mary, and I’m in recovery from being an Income Snob.
 
Not sure what you'll need financially to retire? Here are some tools to help you calculate that.
 

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Mary Calhoun
Mary Calhoun

Mary Calhoun

Pacific Region OASIS member Mary L. Calhoun has worked in the public sector for over 35 years. She's a former staff writer for a Los Angeles City Councilmember and a technical writer who has published annual reports, media portfolios, training and instructional manuals, policy and more. Other posts by Mary Calhoun
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