Since Mr. Ralph retired, we continued to live as if he were still employed. Honestly I am grateful I threw caution to the wind not knowing he had such a short time to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Several friends advised me to be kind to myself and make this first year all about pampering ME. Extreme self care. I've always put my husband and my daughter (and now my grandson) first. This putting myself first took a little getting used to but now I've got it mastered!
The bad news is it's time to get on a plan so that the money lasts as long as I do. I'm too young to collect Social Security but hopefully in May (age 62) I can begin to collect (although get a lower amount) based on my own earnings. That will help. At 66 I can collect his Social Security which is more than triple my early withdrawal amount.
I've also been helping to support my daughter and her son which will need to taper down to nothing by the end of February. (It will be much harder for me to stick to this plan, I'm sure.) She then has an inheritance from her paternal grandparents that will last her til the end of 2014 when baby #2 is old enough for her to go back to work.
Today I spent a few hours reviewing expenses and where I can trim. Yep! I found several things I can live without. I reduced my cell plan. It's time to curb the widow spending. I'm thinking this is doable!