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Money Matters

Sundar Mohan Rao

Mohan retired after a four-decade career as a research and development engineer. He lives in Tampa in a 55-plus community. His interests include investing, digital painting, reading, writing and gardening.

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Money Matters

Sundar Mohan Rao  |  Feb 23, 2024

DURING THE PANDEMIC, I started devoting more time to retirement planning. But I had more questions than answers. I called a friend who was a financial planner.
“Retirement planning is confusing,” I told him. “I have a lot of questions.”
He laughed and said, “The answer is money. What’s the question?”
While his answer was humorous, it reflected what most retirees already know: Money is crucial for a good retirement. While it isn’t the only thing you need for a happy retirement,

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Still Above Ground

Sundar Mohan Rao  |  Feb 9, 2024

I WAS WORRIED ABOUT what we’d be giving up when, a few years ago, we moved to a 55-plus community in Atlanta. We downsized from a large home to a small apartment, plus all our neighbors were considerably older. It was obvious we had to adjust and start enjoying our unfamiliar environment or we’d end up miserable.
My wife and I made a conscious decision to slow down, and make every effort to get to know other residents and their life stories.

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Comparison Culture

Sundar Mohan Rao  |  Jan 26, 2024

WHEN I VISITED INDIA after working in the U.S. for a decade, it struck me that people seemed happy, despite harsh living conditions.
How could that be? “People compare themselves with others,” my brother said to me. “That’s human nature. If they’re better off than their immediate community, they’re happy. It doesn’t matter how bad their situation may be compared to more prosperous countries.”
That made sense. I was making the mistake of applying U.S.

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Need or Want?

Sundar Mohan Rao  |  Jan 11, 2024

DECADES AGO, WHEN I was trying to save consistently for retirement, I found that my impulse purchases were standing in my way. Like many, I wanted feel-good stuff or the latest gadget, and I was willing to spend money to get it.
Once, I saw an expensive jacket in a store and badly wanted it. I was about to buy it when reality struck. I said to myself, “Let me think it over for a day.

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More Than Money

Sundar Mohan Rao  |  Jan 3, 2024

I WAS FASCINATED with retirement planning during the final decade of my career. I read many financial books and focused on saving diligently. Yet, after retiring several months ago following a 39-year career as a research and development engineer, I had a rude awakening.
You can plan all you want, but then comes an unexpected situation that derails everything. As boxer Mike Tyson famously said, “Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time.”
In the brief time I’ve been retired,

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