Financial Commandments for Retiring in Comfort

Updated: July 10, 2021

Planning your retirement starts with having a vision of where you are now, where you want to be, and what you want to achieve when you retire.

Your plans may evolve and change as you mature, together with the circumstances that you may encounter along the way.

Nevertheless, retiring in comfort is undoubtedly everyone’s ultimate goal.

So, here’s a list of financial commandments to live by to attain that life regardless if it’s 10, 20, or 40 years from now.


1. Know what you have.

Assess your status before planning on retirement. Know if your company has a retirement plan and find out how it works, as well as how it would benefit you. It is always better to know what you have and what you can expect to receive as it will help you plan out everything.

2. Make sure you have no debts.

Credit cards can rankle your finances and costs. Do yourself a favor and pay off your debts before retiring to save you from all the hassle and toxicity that come with it.

3. Allocate emergency money.

It is better to be ready and prepared should an emergency or accident that would require money occurs. To be safe, save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

4. Save.

Since it takes several years to save, begin saving what you can as soon as possible. Save consistently through the years and help yourself resist the temptation to use your retirement fund to buy properties.

5. Set goals and have a financial plan.

Do not make a hasty decision in retiring. Instead, set goals that you should meet and follow them no matter what. Be updated about the economy, the market, and the laws that could affect your savings and act proactively about it.

6. Invest your money.

Investing is the most realistic way to achieve long-term financial security, but always be wise in choosing where to invest your money. It is advisable to divide your investments among different companies in different industries for greater return on your end.

7. Thou shall not retire early.

If you can still do the work you’re doing with your age today, try to maximize the period which you’re allowed to work to save more money. If you do not have sufficient savings to keep you afloat yet, you will likely drown from unexpected expenses at some point.

While these are just a few of the several money tips that will help you achieve an enjoyable and fruitful retirement, bearing these in mind will lead you to bring about that retirement life you have always dreamed of.

This article is written by Carol Soriano. She’s a consultant for, the very first online pawnshop in the Philippines. A writer at heart and a social media enthusiast, she finds personal finance, investment and money matters interesting topics to write about.

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  1. Fitz, apologizes in advance for what I know will be a lengthy diatribe. I feel like writing today and yes, I plan to share a lot about what I/we (beautiful bride) do in semi-retirement as an EX-pat here in the Philippines.

    WELL, great timing, this article arrived in my E-mail on my birthday and the day I turned 66, which is full retirement age to collect 100% of your government Social Security in the US. Naturally, I went down the list and was smiling as I said out loud, “YES,” “CHECK,” YEP, did that and so on. I did customize the plan a little to fit my personal circumstance and there is one point I will do differently in the future.

    Point#3, Emergency fund will be increased exponentially due to our covid-19/provincial lock-down experience. I can honestly say this time was a surreal experience. We actually did great as vendors set up close to our subdivision with wonderful selections of fresh seafood, meats and all manner of everyday products. Our in-house storage room provided the hard to find items that often go “out of stock” for long periods after a flood or other disaster. Some folks would even deliver to your home for FREE with a certain minimum order size or a delivery charge for a small order. As long as you had cash, you were golden!

    What did pose a problem was my US based credit cards were shut off and declined at stores where we always shop and ATMs. There was some silly explanation from store clerks that said, “the government shut them off so foreigners will not hoard cash.” Maybe so but this well intentioned act drastically reduced our ability to help extended family such as one brother-in-law who is a hard-working government employee but had ZERO paycheck through much of this emergency, many friends and projects we support. In the future, we will hold a lot more cash in multiple local banks in case one runs out of cash at their ATM locations and we will have much more currency “under the mattress.” Much as I dislike un-invested, idle cash lying around earning nothing, it see as more of a necessity these days.

    Points #5, #6 and #7 While I tell those who ask that I “am semi-retired,” in truth I take my trading very seriously and consider that to be my “work” these days. Here is exactly what I personally did: I claimed my widowers SS at 60 years of age. Normally, you have to wait to at least 62 Y/O as the earliest you may begin to collect SS in the USA but the rules are slightly different for a widow/widower. Now, I knew full well going in that I will be receiving only 70% of what I would have gotten had I waited until full retirement age of 66 Y/O or later to collect.

    What this did for me was to create a dependable base I could work from here in the Philippines after my relocation. Not many employment opportunities for a guy my age and an EX-pat here in the Philippines, you really need to bring a retirement check or on-line business with you. One exception is often being asked by call center recruiters if I would like a job? Unfortunately, they can never pay me anywhere near what I earn selling option premium at night from the comfort of my home.

    My SS check, even reduced by 70% for taking it so early, is far more than you actually need to live any reasonable lifestyle. I was then free to work on the projects I desired and when I wanted to. Remodel the CR, no problem, do what I want, when I want. Trip to Hundred Islands in Pangasinan, let’s do it. Around Thursday afternoon we think it may be fun to visit my wife’s friend and fellow academic writer up in the mountains of Baguio for the weekend, we can do that on a moments notice and both still work as we ride in the comfort of an air conditioned bus.

    As we wait for our three Philippine based business ventures to re-open and start working again, we still have a full and satisfying life. Wife is currently doing a one month long course of study about a new on-line only business that would NOT be effected by another attack such as the covid-19 scare we have recently passed through.

    I would like to share the best part of financial security and independence. Some may see my words as those of an arrogant showoff. I am sorry in advance if you feel that way. Please remember that I write anonymously and for all anyone knows, my name may not even be Jack. I could be Jill, or Bob or Fred!!!

    Anyway, here goes. Before I married my second beautiful bride, she had a tradition each year to save up at least one full months pay from her academic writing. During the year, she purchased at least one full bail of children’s clothing for an orphanage she helped. She would spend weeks wrapping clothing gifts for each child and a toy and then put on a spread of food for the kids near Christmas time. She would also purchase bags of burgers, chicken and fries from a fast food store and go along the streets of the area where she lived with her three children to hand out the food to needy people, the homeless and street kids. NEVER would she allow anyone who wanted to take pictures to do so. She insisted they delete any they had taken.That was both to maintain the safety of her kids as well as maintain the anonymous nature of what she was doing.

    I have loved what my wife does so much, I asked her after we were married to allow me to be part of it. It was my plan to spend my birthday (today) at the orphanage. Share some food, bring the clothing we have collected and have some games and fun activities. Unfortunately, the lock-down is still partially on in our province and the orphanage is closed to outsiders. Administration told my wife a few days ago that others wanted to come and do the same but when they were told no visitors allowed at this time, they simply dropped it and disappeared. Care to guess who got hurt? YES, the kids. The orphanage was out of rice. No formula left and the little rice they had was cooked and the water taken off to feed infants.

    Time for action. You know those option premiums I often write about selling at night? I made a transfer a few days ago from my retirement account. Five full sacks of rice and large size boxes of baby formula for 0-6 months as well as the mix for older formula drinkers were delivered by a trusted service we have done business with many times. In addition, 15 fresh & hot rotisserie chickens were ordered and arrived when the admin said it would be a good time. OK, blast me for my arrogance if you wish but I care less. My point is that I did NOT need to be there in person and get a photo-op of good works which appears to be popular here. What I do have, (and photo-op seekers DO NOT have) is 50+ little prayer warriors all holding up my family and the activities we do to earn and in turn support important works.

    We still have kids clothing piling up, still plan to have that picnic/fun day with the kids. We will visit when allowed but in the meantime we will stay informed of more needs that institutions like this may have at this time of crisis. Now, I say to those who call me arrogant, bury your pride and your need for a photo-op and send any kids in any place like I have written about some of that money you stored up on earth. You really can not take it with you. Retirement???NAH, I am as busy as I have ever been and NO plan to stop.

  2. i think number 5 should be number 1. if you only work with what you have then you wont get very far. i guess it doesnt hurt to dream big so that you will work harder and achieve bigger.

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