YOU SHARE YOUR CONCERNS AND ADVICE ABOUT THE NEW RULES OF RETIREMENT
(MONEY Magazine) – MONEY readers had a mixed response to October's cover story, "How to Quit Young and Enjoy the Rest of Your Life." Most of you who sent us mail were intrigued by the independence that 49-year-old Harvey Citerman (pictured here) and the others we wrote about are thriving on in retirement. Many thanked us for reporting the new rules of retirement and for outlining strategies that can ensure a secure future. But some of you were uneasy about your ability to implement one of the strategies--planning a new career that will bring you satisfaction and adequately supplement your retirement savings when you leave your current line of work. We are publishing letters from two readers who have their own ideas about what to pursue--and avoid--in a second career.
YOU SAY THAT LIFE IS MORE FULFILLING FOR Harvey Citerman since he retired from a corporate job and started his own business. But, at 48, after 19 years of running my own business, I am ready to explore temp employment or even a job with corporate America again. Being in business for oneself can have advantages. It can also be the wrong place to risk a nest egg at a point in life where it will be hard to replace. Neither is it usually the best place for a relaxed lifestyle. Being your own boss, whether you're a one-person office or have several employees, means you're the first to come in, the last to leave and often the only one to take work home. You're the least able to stay home when sick and the least able to get a vacation. The government impales you with new and more onerous regulations each year. If new retirees can find a no-risk or low-risk investment opportunity and make adequate income working hours suitable to a happy new lifestyle, more power to them. But many will waste part or all of their nest egg only to find they have just exchanged their place of servitude for less money. STEVEN R. ARIENS Georgetown, Ind.
AS A CHILD, I WATCHED MY FATHER WORK 100-hour weeks running his own business. I think I'll keep my corporate job. CHUCK ASHLEY Baltimore
THE BEST ROUTE TO FINANCIAL GOALS
NOVEMBER'S "FIVE SHORTCUTS TO YOUR Top Financial Goals" shows five families how to get what they want in the future by solving problems they're facing now. MONEY readers can benefit, though, by carefully considering the roots of most of their problems: a need for instant gratification. One of my favorite financial sayings is this: "There is no dignity so impressive and no independence quite so important as living within one's means." DONALD BRADLEY Plainfield, N.H.
"FIVE SHORTCUTS TO YOUR TOP FINANcial Goals" dramatically underscores the economic squalor that oppresses the working class in our society. The heart-rending tale of the financial problems confronting the Diazes ("If we saw something we wanted, we'd buy it"), the Clarks ($8,000 annual vacation bill) and the Lohmans (dual $50,000 jobs, lavish honeymoon in Italy, a $144,000 "starter house") brought a tear to my eye. BRET ZVACEK Potsdam, N.Y.
THANKS FOR A TERRIFIC STOCK TIP
IN 1990, WHEN I WAS JUST GETTING started investing, MONEY recommended a stock that I bought at about $18 a share. I plunked down about $4,600 for 250 shares of Cabletron stock, which is trading at $76 a share as I write this. When you factor in the stock split along the way, my $4,600 investment has grown to $51,000. Count me in as a lifelong subscriber. MICHAEL T. SHISHIDO Honolulu
ANOTHER WAY TO SLASH COLLEGE BILLS
HERE'S A TIP FROM MY OWN EXPERIences to supplement October's "Cut College Costs in Half--or More." While attending the University of California at Berkeley, I cut my fraternity house monthly room and board bill by 64% (from $250 to $90) by "slinging hash" at one of the sororities on campus. I worked about 12 hours a week setting up, serving and cleaning up after meals. In addition to receiving three meals a day, I was paid $25 a month (decent beer money in 1981). And by not eating at the frat house, I was charged only for room and dues, not meals. BARRY WESTERWICK Norfolk
A SAFE PLACE FOR KIDS
SEPTEMBER'S "THE BEST PLACES TO LIVE Today" quotes me as saying the following about Gainesville: "There's clean air, lots of space for us--and it's safer than Taiwan." I did not mean to imply that, from a standpoint of crime, it is safer. What I meant was that Gainesville is safer for rearing children because there are better facilities: grassy areas, courtyards with gates, and carpets in every apartment. Children can run freely with little risk of serious injury. CHIE-CHIEN TSENG Gainesville, Fla.
The table of 75 top mutual funds in the 1996 edition of MONEY Guide: Best College Buys contained an error in the short-term bond fund category. The data listed for the Smith Barney fund is actually data for the Smith Breeden fund.