I've heard said that one should always have 6 months of cash at the ready. I now must assume this means in a mattress, because it certainly can't be retirement income if you are of an age where withdrawing it means paying taxes AND early withdrawal penalties.
I wish I were more math and money savvy. I wish I had paid more attention instead of letting The Husband deal with finances until he couldn't anymore. If I had been any of the above, I would not have allowed him to use cash out of his investments to build an addition for his mom onto our old house. That decimated the account and was something we couldn't get back out of the house when we sold it.
But water under the bridge. There's a bit of money left, but I don't want to touch it because, not yet 59 ½ means paying a penalty. Until then I would like to try to live on my social security. The problem is, 2 ½ months after The Husband died, there still IS no social security. The employees at the Social Security office for the most part sound pleasant enough on the phone. I'm thinking that's just attempt to prevent the person on the other end from become enraged and yelling into their earpieces. They are as incompetent as those employed at the DMV. And really, they just don't care. They don't care whether you are completely broke, if you're out of food, if you can't afford your meds. They don't care. They're working at whatever pace they work, and your sad story isn't going to make a bit of difference.
So back to that six months of income that you need stored away. I wish I'd done that, though realistically, there's no way I could have managed it while still raising kids. Any monies squirreled away would eventually have to be dug back out for something or other. The last of my personal 401k was cashed in to pay off my deceased son's college loan. Oy, that was painful.
So, if you're a girlfriend reading this, statistically speaking, you are going to live longer than your husband. If he is the breadwinner, try to figure out your finances before the bureaucratic sh*t storm hits, because there are tough days ahead before it's all straightened out. It will all get straightened out, right?