admin

Home/admin

About admin

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far admin has created 3 blog entries.

John Goddard’s Blog – May 11, 2016

I’ve been retired for a bit more than a year now. I’m stunned to write this. Where did the time go? Time moves at the same pace, of course, but it seems to be zipping by faster now than in earlier stages of my life. I think becoming more sensitive to time goes along with nearing 70 and appreciating how precious each day has become. So, what have I done with my time since I moved out of my office at Goddard Financial Planning (Blue Canoe) at the end of February in 2015?

First, there’s the time I devoted to my “loves.” I love the freedom that retirement has provided. Each day is all mine! I love having lunch with my wife Sandy. After 47 years, we still have an awful lot to communicate and share. I love walking a few miles with our dog Lucy every day. Being outside is a tonic. I love hour-long phone calls with my children and grandchildren. I have time for real conversations and not just the usual family updates. I love the chance to learn about things like photography and fishing that up to now I had a lot more interest in than I had time to practice.

Along with these everyday pleasures I dedicated a lot of time to two major endeavors. The first was the New Bethlehem Project (NBP). Organized by volunteers within Holy Family Parish in Kirkland, NBP committed to becoming a driving force for the development of an Eastside day center and a 12-month emergency shelter for families dealing with homelessness. Beyond a winter shelter open from October to April, there were no resources for families on the Eastside living in their cars or on the streets. NBP spent a year analyzing the problem, studying other shelters and day centers, and winning the support of key players like Catholic Community Services and the City of Kirkland. A critical step was establishing a partnership with Salt House, a Lutheran congregation, also in Kirkland, that agreed to convert the basement of their church into the day center. NBP raised $500,000 to modify the space and pay for its operating expenses. Families that are homeless on the Eastside will therefore soon have a place to rest, eat, shower, store some belongings, and get professional help. By the end of the year, NBP should also be able to extend the availability of the night-time emergency shelter to a year-round resource for these families as well.

My other big undertaking has been relocating to Colorado Springs, CO. Sandy and I lived in Seattle for 25 years and expected to remain there after I retired. Sure, I would like more sun but winter vacations to sunny spots could help with that. So why did we move? In Kirkland we lived a few minutes from Kris, the oldest of our four children and Mike, her husband, and their four children. Our lives intertwined with theirs seamlessly. We treasured them and all the activities we shared. Imagine the look on our faces when Kris and Mike told us they were moving to Colorado Springs last fall! They decided to move for better weather, less traffic and a lower cost of living. We faced a dilemma: stay in Seattle or move somewhere else. We decided living close to one of our kids’ families was our top priority. Okay, but where? We have one in London, another in Minneapolis, a third in San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California, and now Kris and Mike in Colorado Springs. Our initial thought was to move to the Central Coast. Beautiful area with a perfect climate. But, we discovered, a cost-of-living that might make even Seattle blush. The decision eventually brought the financial planner out in me and it did not take too many calculations to conclude that a move to Colorado Springs would not only keep us near our family but would also be far better for our retirement plan. So, we now reside at 6,000 feet with Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes Peak keeping an eye on us. We miss Seattle, of course, but we view the change as a new adventure and are eagerly exploring all the beauty of a different but equally amazing part of the country.

Sandy and I continue to follow our financial plan. I just turned 69 and have another year to go to start collecting my Social Security retirement benefits. Our investments are primarily in low-cost index funds organized into a portfolio that has a target stock allocation of 50%. I rebalance it annually but make no other changes. Sound familiar? The case for market-tracking index funds becomes stronger each year. A recent example is Warren Buffet’s comments on the foolishness of paying investment advisors to manage assets with the expectation that they will be able to beat the market. Evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.

What’s coming up? Lot of visitors. We’re looking forward to most of our family coming to see us and spending some time meandering among the mountains. More photography. More fishing. More hiking. More work on homelessness. More gardening. And more writing.

Beware of unsolicited offers to buy your home ‘cash, as is’

By Connie Thompson

Komo News

“If you own a home in a popular community, buyers could be about to make you a cash offer- even if you have no plans to sell. The offers may sound good, but there can be a major downside. Demand for homes is so high- some buyers don’t wait for houses to go on the market. If your home fits what they’re looking for- you get what’s know as a cold call offer by card or letter.

Jim LaCour has been getting offers from strangers who want to buy his view home in Seattle.

“Initially I thought that’s probably a good idea,” said LaCour. “You know, someone is interested in our home and wanted to pay cash for it. I didn’t think about the fact that someone might not give you what it’s worth.”

Certified Financial Planner Nancy Dienes urges caution. She says unsolicited cash offers are typically far below market value.

“When they offer you these cash offers, they’re generally at a discount,” said Dienes, Principal at Blue Canoe Financial Planning. “Some of the information I’ve read indicates that a cash offer is going to be somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of what the fair market value would be.”

Remember, a lot of these solicitations are from investors looking to turn a profit. Don’t make their gain be at your expense. Before you say yes, do your “home” work. Compare online value estimates for your address. Have a real estate office do a value analysis. Or consider paying for an independent appraisal.”

Read Full Story on KomoNews.com

John Goddard’s first retirement report.

Here’s my first official report on retirement: it’s great. I talked about retirement every day for years with planning clients who needed help in figuring out how to become financially prepared themselves. I knew I was ready to follow my own advice when the desire to shift into a slower gear, to find time to nurture whatever creative impulses I might have, became insistent. I was pretty confident about our finances because, of course, we had a detailed plan. For example, I recently filed and suspended my Social Security retirement benefit so that my wife Sandy could begin to receive her spousal benefit when she turned 66.

I stopped going to the office in late February and, after a short celebratory trip to San Diego that Sandy put together, I started waking up in the morning with no job to do for the first time since I delivered The Cleveland Plain Dealer as a boy. I knew there could be some surprises – not having a real job after 50 years is a big change — but I didn’t expect the transition to be difficult. And it hasn’t been. My luck continued: I had great jobs and never bemoaned one day of going to work; and, so far, I have not regretted a single day of retirement, either.

I decided to enter this new stage slowly, to let the time that I used to spend at work gradually fill up rather than scheduling myself to the hilt right away just so that I could stay busy. I returned to my natural circadian body clock of staying up late and getting up late. Despite being a “morning person” since college graduation, this change took about a day to feel right! I’ve spent some time helping a group in our church improve the lot of homeless families by developing a plan to create a year-round emergency shelter and a day center on the Eastside. Sandy and I travelled, savoring the freedom of road trips – no airport security lines, no middle seats, no rigid schedule, lots of gorgeous scenery and picnics in mountains and next to rivers — to places in the west that we’d always wanted to visit but never had the time: the Palouse, the Lake Quinault and Sol Duc regions of Olympic National Park, and most of the national and state parks in Utah. We also spent a glorious week meandering along the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys. I’ve had much more time to spend with my family and friends. I especially appreciate all the time now available to just hang out, talking with Sandy and with my daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren who live nearby. Time zips by when I’m taking, organizing and editing photographs; when I make entries in a journal or write essays about some of my experiences; when I’m in the dirt enhancing our garden. Eliminating wheat and most processed foods while walking 2 ½ to 3 miles a day helped me lose about 30 pounds and provided some relief for my beleaguered knees.

You’re probably asking, “Are there any negatives, John? This sounds too perfect.” Fair question. Days with nothing scheduled still make me jumpy. Some old, life-long questions creep up. What do I have to show for the time that passed? Was I being productive? How will I know if I made a difference? Will anyone care what I did? I realize that these are not the really important issues now but they still pop into my head at times anyway. Apparently for me, at least, it’s still too soon for these former yardsticks to fade completely into irrelevance. I’m still working on it. I’ll let you know how I’m progressing.