Retirement Coming Up?

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

Interested in becoming a Pulaski Extension Extension Homemaker? You are invited to a "Homemaker fest" Tuesday Afternoon, October 8, at 5:00 o'clock in the basement of the Extension Office. Join in with other homemakers and find out about the fun and self-satisfaction that comes from being a homemaker. You will be making friends for a life time. No registration is required. Just show up from 5:00 to 6:30.

Pulaski County Extension Homemakers will be decorating a store front at the Somerset Mall in honor of Extension Homemaker Week. All handmade crafts, drawings, painting, quilts, baskets, etc., that homemakers would like to share should be at the Mall by 10:00 o'clock Monday Morning, October 7. The empty front near Penny's Department Store will be decorated.

If you haven't purchased your tickets to the Pulaski County Extension Homemaker's Holiday Luncheon, you need to check with the Extension Office. Only a limited number of tickets are being sold to the luncheon that will be held at the Langdon Street Baptist Church Activity Center. The luncheon will be held on Friday, November 15, starting at 12:00 noon, and the cost is $20.00 Some of the foods you will enjoy will include Chorizo and Mozzarella Crostini, Kentucky Hot Brown, Sweet Potato Appetizers, Carmel Delights, plus another 18 more delicious food items.

In addition to the all the food you will enjoy, you will also receive a gift for coming, a recipe booklet with all the food items you will be sampling, plus lots of door prizes. Additional recipe booklets can be purchase for $3 each.

The Pulaski County Extension Homemakers bazaar will be held on Saturday, November 23 at the Somerset Mall. The hours will be 10:00 to 6:00. Rent a table at the Extension Office for $10 to homemaker members and $25 to others.

Some of you may be thinking about retiring at the end of the year. You may be retiring because of age, health concerns, loss of job, and some may have other issues so they are planning to retire at the end of 2019. After years of hard work, dedication and saving, you may be ready to turn in those keys and plan another year of your life. Retirement may be in sight and you are happy about it.

As you prepare to retire, you need to remember basic financial principles to make your retirement funds last as long as possible. New retirees may be tempted to go on exotic vacations or spoil their children and grandchildren with purchases, but lavish spending can cause a person's retirement savings to quickly dwindle.

You should continue budgeting your retirement income much like you did when you had a full-time job. Start planning your monthly budget a few years before retirement begins. Know your anticipated monthly retirement income. Track your monthly expenses to get a good idea of the amount you spend each month on necessities like groceries, utilities and car and home insurance. Remember to include the unique budget items that come along with retirement. For example, your health insurance plan may change or have different coverage levels or copay amounts in retirement. Familiarize yourself with your plan and make sure you include your anticipated monthly out-of-pocket medical expenses in your budget. Set aside money each month for an emergency fund to cover any unexpected expenses. Include additional income in your budget for entertainment like eating out, movies, leisure activities and trips because, after all, retirement is about doing what you have always wanted to do.

If you find you are having trouble making ends meet, getting a part-time job is a common way for people to make their retirement nest egg last longer. In addition to supplementing your income, a part-time job can also provide you with social interaction and a daily routine. If you do get a part-time job, make sure your income does not exceed the Social Security earnings limit if you are between age 62 and your full retirement age and receiving Social Security benefits. In 2019, the limit is $17,640. For every $2 you earn over this limit, you lose $1 in Social Security benefits and may be hit with additional income tax penalties.

Another way to stretch your retirement savings is to downsize your home, and your lots size. Moving to a smaller home can save not only on your mortgage payment but can cut down on your utility bills, maintenance up keep, lawn care, and insurance costs as well. Consider moving to a neighborhood where housing costs are lower and outside lawn care is taken care of, especially if you no longer need to worry about school district or work commute time.

Many people plan on traveling in retirement. The good news is you can do it on a fixed budget. Now that you have more schedule flexibility, consider going during your destination's off-peak times. Often, hotels, airlines and other hospitality and tourism businesses will offer discounts for vacationing during a less busy time of the year.

Whether traveling or staying close to home, be sure to take advantage of all the senior discounts you can. These can help you stretch your monthly income. When eating out, be sure to use your senior discount.

You can receive more information about family financial management at the Pulaski County Extension office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

This is the time of the year that you will be seeing lots of sweet potatoes and apples that are available at the Farmers Market and at the grocery Store. You know the Plate It Up recommends that you fill half of your plate with fruit and vegetables. This recipe contains both.

Baked Apples and Sweet Potatoes

5 medium sweet potatoes

4 medium apples

½ cup butter, divided

½ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup hot water

2 tablespoons honey

Yield: 6, 1 cup servings for 300 calories, or 12 one-half cups with 150 calories.

Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish with a small amount of butter. Combine brown sugar and salt together in a small bowl.

Boil the sweet potatoes in 2 inches of water until almost tender. Allow the potatoes to cool, peel and slice. Peel, core and slice your choice of apples. Layer the potatoes on the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of the apple slices. Sprinkle half of the sugar and salt mixture and ¼ cup of tiny pieces of butter over the apple layer. Repeat a second layer of potatoes and apples, and sprinkle the last of the sugar and salt mixture and butter over this layer. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg. Mix the hot water and honey together. Pour over the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.

Enjoy this delicious fall casserole.

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