Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.

this is home

We invited our next-door neighbors over for dinner last night, and it turns out we get along really well. Thank God. I could actually envision Nate and I being friends with them, which is a refreshing change from some of the weirdos we've lived next to in the past. They're a young couple with girls close in age to Some Boy and Sidekick. Some Boy naturally acted like a goofball (little flirt!), and the neighbors just laughed along with us when he inexplicably decided to start removing his clothes. I will never understand some children and their incessant need to be naked. This stress response nearly tops how he responded when he met Elmo for the first time.

insecticide notice

Anyway, the neighbors and Nate and I talked about everything from pets to jobs and the latest hot topic out here: tree spraying. We've all gotten this weird notice saying that the government is going to come around and spray our citrus trees. I guess it's due to detection of some harmful bug that's wiping fruit trees out in the area. But, being the hippie that I am, I have to say I'd kind of rather ditch the fruit trees altogether than have people tromping around spraying chemicals near my kids. I figured I was the only touchy isolationist out here but it turns out, our neighbors feel exactly the same way! Seriously, guys. My kind of people.

Somewhere between the after-dinner coffee chat and the leftover carrot cake I pulled out for breakfast this morning, it finally hit me that this place? This is home. As far as I can foresee, this is our forever home. It feels right and complete. We're near family and maybe-future-friends, we have space to roam and good schools and I could see us retiring and living out our days in a couple of rockers on the front porch.

I've mentioned in a previous post about women and money that I'm working with Genworth Financial on a campaign all about financial planning. I have the freedom to choose what aspects of our finances I tackle, from savings calculators to life insurance, money management and more. But one thing I really hadn't put much thought into was retirement. Suddenly I can see it all laid out, every step like a flash-back in reverse. This is our life, and it's time to start planning for it.

I'm taking those first steps into the future, and they're nowhere near as difficult as I thought they'd be.

Can you picture your future? Have you started planning for retirement?