View Full Version : View of Retirement at (age)107

Fashion Yaa
19th January 2011, 04:35 AM
View of Retirement at 107
by Jennie L. Phipps
Monday, January 17, 2011

Eight years ago, at age 99, Leonard McCracken failed the eye test for renewing his driver's license. He put his Lincoln Continental up for sale and got $1,600. "I sold it in three days -- I got a good price. I love to haggle," he says.

McCracken, who lives in Florida, has been living in retirement since about 1969, when he left a position as a salesman with a now-defunct steel company in Ohio. Since then, he's been living on savings, Social Security and a lifetime annuity that he purchased before he retired. He has never had a pension. At 107, after living in retirement for 41 years, he's still paying the bills and getting by on his own resources.

"Dad never made more than $10,000 a year in his life," says his son Bob, a 73-year-old retired GE aircraft engineer.

How does a guy with modest income manage such a retirement planning feat? McCracken points to a half-dozen basic principles that have gotten him through life and continue to serve him well.


In his whole life, McCracken says, he has only owned two new cars. The rest of the time he bought used. He still shops at the thrift store. And he remembers vividly the time that his wife was holding a garage sale and left him in charge. When she returned, he had sold the living room sofa for $100. "I had a very understanding, frugal wife (Dorothy, who died in 2002 at 95 after 75 years of marriage). We gave up a lot of things that other people were buying in order to break even."

Leonard McCracken

Real Estate Investments

McCracken bought and sold 35 houses in his life, including five that he built himself. His son, Bob McCracken, says his parents "always invested in a nice house and that has helped my dad. He is living off the equity in the last home he and my mother owned."

The elder McCracken agreed that buying and selling real estate was a smart move for him. "We didn't make a lot of money in every case," he says. "But we made something and that helped."

What is his advice for current owners of real estate? "It's bad now, but it will come back," he says. "And people who buy now, they'll make a lot of money," he says.

Use Debt Well

During the Great Depression, McCracken worked for a bank. He watched people lose their shirts and learned from it. Throughout his life, he borrowed when he had to, but he borrowed as little as possible, he says, and he paid it back as quickly as he could.

Work Even When Jobs Are Hard to Find

McCracken was unemployed about 45 years ago after his previous employer went bankrupt. He had to take a job driving a truck that paid $5 per day. It was a low point in his life, but between that and a commission sales job that he took at night, he and his family muddled through until he got back on his feet.

Save and Invest Conservatively

All of McCracken's money is in CDs and bonds. He's always avoided the stock market, even when people who purported to know more than he advised him differently. "When the economy tanked, he made a lot of us look real silly," Bob McCracken says.

Stay Healthy

McCracken has hung onto his health and his wits and has had no major medical bills at all throughout his entire life. It has only been in the last year that he's needed a little assistance. And even then, he doesn't need much, his son says.
Copyrighted, Bankrate.com. All rights reserved.

19th January 2011, 12:37 PM
Just read about this...quite interesting and a good life ofcourse.

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
19th January 2011, 12:57 PM
Hmm. What to say. People are making 6 figures and over per year and yet,not satisfied,debt ridden and diseased. Way to go Mr. McC advice well noted. It's all about cutting our coats according to our size and living within our means.

Fashion Yaa
19th January 2011, 04:05 PM
Yep exactly, I mean for him to have made no more than 10,000 dollars a year and live through the Great Depression lets me know, its all about SAVINGS and homeownership. Im not sure what annuities are but i will look into it.

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
19th January 2011, 04:13 PM
Annuities-he's talking about the income from some capital investments he made from which he is paid in a series of regular payments.eg his pension,CDs etc.

Real sound advice ! Darn i feel so guilty for some ish i bought. Absolutely not worth it :(

21st January 2011, 09:39 AM
These are priceless life lessons we should all take cue from.

9th February 2011, 04:12 AM
The route to retirement security is the definitely the right retirement plan. Retirement planning (http://www.expertretirementplanning.com/) has become among the most important of a person's financial considerations, for several reasons. First, life expectancy has drastically increased. Where workers once had to survive for 5 to 10 years on retirement income, today's citizens can reasonably expect to live for 15 to 19 years after retirement. And because of lengthened life expectancy for men and women, the age at which Social Security can be collected has gradually been raised, meaning Americans will need to work longer before any benefits can be collected.

11th February 2011, 06:48 AM
That's Excellent, Unbelievable,
The Man has great stamina and nice energetic person. Very Impress from his life style.
Much Interesting person.