merry unbirthday

A Very Merry Unbirthday, To You. And Me.

Growing up, my brothers and I were never into Disney.  It was basically all sports, all the time.  When we weren’t outside playing, we were inside watching (with the occasional channel switch to reruns of Three’s Company or What’s Happening.)

All of that has changed since having kids of my own.  Our TV is glued to Disney+, and our house is often a very loud chorus of Disney show tunes.

Recently, an old favorite resurfaced:  “A Very Merry Unbirthday to You! (yes, you)” from Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland”.  Hal was part of the CTG cast a few years ago, and for whatever reason it popped into his head.

In the movie, an “unbirthday” can really be any day other than one’s actual birthday, but to me it has always meant a “mid-year” birthday.  My date of birth is January 24, so my “unbirthday” is July 24.

While listening to Hal sing and imagining him back on stage (fingers crossed that is happening soon), it dawned on me:  Walt Disney was a genius of many things, and maybe one was retirement planning.

59 ½ is a big age for retirement savers.  Once reaching 59 ½, participants in qualified retirement accounts (401k, IRAs, etc.) may withdrawal funds penalty-free.

Benjamin Button style, I “turned” 11 on July 24, and will be 10 on my next unbirthday (one fewer candle to blow out!).  After all of these years, 59 ½ isn’t so far away.  Your unbirthday is huge in retirement planning.  I want you to keep your eye on yours, plan for it and celebrate it (then and now).

I don’t know how much will be in my accounts when my big “unbirthday” comes around, but I do know that I’ll be glad to have whatever is there.  In the interim, I’m going to save as much as I can, for as long as I can, and have those dollars work as hard as they can.  

I encourage you to do the same.  And if you do?  You’ll be able to throw yourself one big unbirthday party.

All cake.  No Candles.

Jay Kenerly, ChFC, AIF