Showing posts from August, 2016

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What One Thing Would You Change In Your Life?

I know, you have several things you'd like to change. One thing isn't nearly enough. Altering your life can be a constant process. Even so, by picking one thing you will be forced to prioritize what is really important to you at this moment. 

This is a tough question. I had to give it a lot of thought. Physical conditioning, missed experiences, strengthening my important relationships, working harder to build up this blog, still worrying too much about money, choosing easy over hard....I have plenty to pick from. 

Of course, the choice really has to be within the realm of reality. No matter how much I might enjoy it, I will never be a professional baseball player or pro golfer. I cannot break the world record for high jumps. I am not going to the Olympics (except as a spectator). That 50 foot cabin cruiser is never going to sail with me at the helm. 

Since I think we are all interested in each other's answers, I am going to keep my part of this post very short. This is a bit …

Forge A New Path

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences" – Eleanor Roosevelt
Daryl and Mary are a couple that spend their winters in the Phoenix area. Betty and I have lunch with them a few times each season and enjoy their company. We swap RV stories and have a good time together. The last time we shared a meal, Daryl suggested I write a post using the title you see above. The idea has been on a back burner for several months, so I am past due in following up on his idea. After running across Eleanor Roosevelt's quote, I decided now is the time.
Regular readers know I am preparing to leave on a 2 month RV trip in a few days. We will be heading east to see family and add at least seven or eight states to our RV map. There will be an additional benefit: we will miss September, the last month of 100 degree Phoenix weather. When we return it should be in the 70's and perfect for the next…

Ageism in the Work Place: A Problem ?

The interest in having a happy retirement is pretty much universal. While the bulk of my readership comes from America, Australia supplies a healthy percentage of Satisfying Retirement readers. Maybe that is why I was contacted not long ago by a fellow from that country who wanted to share some interesting survey results with me.

David Schneider pointed me to the results of an ageism research project that shows real and pervasive discrimination against Baby Boomers trying to reenter the work place. While I have no comparable study for the U.S. or other countries, I assume there is a similar problem in any developed country.

A few of the results of the study include these sobering findings:

* More than one in three people over-50 (35%) have no choice but to apply for new work or embark upon a career change later in life – half of them because they need the money. So, factoring in what we know about Western culture and its tendency to marginalise those who are no longer in the rosy-cheeked…

Seven Reasons I Love RV Travel

A Satisfying Retirement is built on a solid foundation of financial, relational, and emotional support. Without enough income, family or friends, and ways to use free time productively, what could be the best time of your life may fall short.

I will add one more element that is often overlooked: vacations. Does that seem odd? After all, isn't retirement one, long, vacation? Well, no, it is not. The responsibilities and hassles of everyday life don't stop when your paycheck does. The need to shake things up a bit, get a fresh perspective, and collect new experiences is just as important after you leave the full time employment world. 

My wife and I enjoy RV travel. While we are on the road only a few months each year, there is a satisfaction and stimulation from motorhome travel that is hard to match. If you are considering the RV lifestyle, let's see if these seven reasons convince you to take the plunge:

1. The freedom of traveling with your home is addictive. Unpack once, b…

5 Things That Successful Retirees Do Well

I have never met a retiree who is trying to "fail" at having a satisfying retirement. By fail, I mean spending time worrying instead of enjoying, stagnating instead of experiencing, and second-guessing major decisions. We expect retirement to be the payoff for years of working, commuting, saving, and delayed gratification. Does it always work that way? For too many of us the answer is, "No." 

I believe there are five definite traits and decisions that separate the truly "successful" retirees from the rest of us. While things would run more smoothly if we exhibited these attributes well before the end of our full time working life,   the good news is that any of us can improve the quality of our retirement journey by adopting them now.

1) See retirement as a beginning not an ending.For many of us, what we do for a living defines us. Our job or career controls how we think of and describe ourselves. "What do you do" is the first question virtually a…

An Open Letter To My Grandkids

My Darling Grandchildren,
Much of what I want to tell you in this letter won't make much sense to you yet. You are still young enough that everything is made safe and right by your mom and dad, brother or sisters. You have two sets of grandparents who live nearby, see you often, and love you very much. You have an aunt who would give her life for you. An uncle and your cousins are frequent visitors. God loves you and has your future well in hand.
Things that happen in your world all make sense. You have food to eat when you are hungry and a bed to sleep in when you are tired. You have favorite toys and lots of books. A swimming pool keeps you and your family cool in the summer. Your days are free of danger and fear. You are very lucky and blessed to have this time in your life. Many other little boys and girls around the world do not have what you do. They are not bad or less deserving but have a much tougher time growing up to be happy and healthy.
As you grow, things will start to …

Retirement and Hawaii-Bound

How many of us dream of packing up our belongings and moving to Hawaii? The lure of endless sunshine, warm temperatures, seeing the ocean every day, and living close to nature are powerful pulls.

How many of us actually make that change? Blogger Laura and husband Brett are one couple that left rainy and chilly Portland for the perpetual summer of Kauai. After a few years of diligent research, serious downsizing, and a willingness to make major lifestyle adjustments, they made their dream a reality.

Laura is a regular reader of Satisfying Retirement. I asked her to share her story. She graciously agreed and has provided me with a wealth of information. Her own blog, The Occasional Nomads, provides a fascinating glimpse into all aspects of living over 2,600 miles from the mainland.

With her permission I am going to take parts of her past posts and e-mails to me and reproduce them here. I will add some of my own comments to her narrative. Some of what she has to share is what I expected: …

10 Tips for Pet Owners to Save Money & Prepare For Emergencies

This is a guest post from Kendal Perez that first ran four years ago. The information remains relevant and helpful as our retirement planning must include our beloved pets. Please add fresh comments to the end of the post if this helps you.

According to a recent article in USA Today, Americans spent over $50 billion on their pets last year, up from $10.1 billion just four years earlier. That's a lot of money for Max or Fluffy, but still nothing compared to the unconditional love they shell out for you every day.

As the proud owner of two Labrador-Australian Shepard mixes, I'm no stranger to the rising cost of pet care. In addition to frequent exercise and annual check-ups, my husband and I save hundreds of dollars on pet care by adopting the following savvy strategies.

1. Create an Emergency Fund

There are at least nine reasons for an emergency fund, according to Kiplinger, including the ability to offset a costly vet bill should your beloved animal need expensive treatment. When…

Satisfying Retirement: Thank You For Your Help!!

The support, ideas, and cautions have been heard loud and clear. After the post last week, you have stepped up with your thoughts on what you like and what you aren't fond of from Satisfying Retirement, what I should add, and what changes I should make to the blog.

Obviously, I am very happy with the strong support that shines through the comments. It appears that the reasons I started the blog continue to be attractive and fulfilled.

I appreciate the cautions about the appeal of certain topics. Betty is tickled with your interest in more of her thoughts and photos. As her projects permit, she is anxious to be a more active partner on these pages. 

In summary, my response to your feedback:

1. I have absolutely no plans to discontinue Satisfying Retirement. The focus will remain on retirement in all its phases. Since there are 10,000 new retirees every single day in just the United States, and tens of thousands more around the world, the pool of new readers should be constantly refresh…

Who Inspired You To Have An Exceptionally Satisfying Retirement?

When you think of inspirational people, the list is probably pretty long. It might include your parents or grandparents. A brother or sister is certainly a possibility. How about a favorite teacher or pastor? Folks like Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Will Rogers, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, or Abe Lincoln may make your list. 

Inspiration is one of the most important forces that keeps us moving forward through life. An inspirational person is one who possesses certain qualities and traits we appreciate. 

They may include humility, honesty, courage, selflessness, a vision of what life can be, often a projection of happiness or contentment, and certain principles that are not compromised.

With this post, I'd like you to give this question some thought and then share the names of some of the people who make your list (and why, if appropriate). This "honor roll" of inspiration is likely to be different for each of us. The p…

Retirement Travel: 2 Month RV Trip Coming Up

In just a few weeks Betty, Bailey, and I will embark on a two month, 5,000 mile satisfying retirement journey trip back east to see family in Kansas and Tennessee. Along the way we will explore areas not yet experienced during an RV trip, as well as stop by places we have visited before and liked enough to see again. At least eight new state map decals will be added to the U.S. map on the side of our rolling home.

When we return in late October, the temperatures at home will finally be more reasonable. The winter lawn will have been started and it will be time to replant all the pots for a fall and winter time of color. The outdoor dining room will again be usable for most of our lunches and dinners. Football season will be well underway, meaning family Sunday gatherings at our house for TV and meals.

While this doesn't include all our planned stops, this should give you a general idea of our upcoming adventure.

We will head east from home through New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma befo…

Satisfying Retirement Needs Your Help

As I look ahead to the future of Satisfying Retirement for the rest of this year and beyond, I wonder what steps I should take next. Six years is a long time for a blog to exist. But, readership and comments tell me there remains an interest in what is on these pages.

What I don't want to happen is that Satisfying Retirement becomes boring, uninteresting, or stale. With a staff of one (and occasional input from my wife), it is important I am constantly open to new ideas that don't just come from me.

What to write about, products or services that I could offer that would fill a need, changes in the look of the blog...all the building blocks of a blog that is growing and not just marking time. These are the types of questions that keep me reading books and web sites to help me stay fresh.

Of course, the best source of information is you, the reader. You know what you want when you click over to this blog. You know what you like and maybe some things you don't like. So, the most…

How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?


It would nice if I could give you the exact amount of money you need to retire. Achieve that figure and walk away from your job. Stop worrying about the stock market, what the Fed is doing, or who says what in Washington. Hit your number and go.

If you type the search phrase, How Much Money Do I Need To Retire, into Google, you will get something in excess of 43 million links to that question or a close variant. Isn't that amazing? A question that is very personable still has 43,000,000 places you can consult.

That dollar figure above is probably incorrect for you. The amount of money you need to retire is based on these five factors:

What your goals are for your retirement
Do you want to spend the first several years traveling the world, visiting your adult kids and grandchildren, remodeling your home, or splurging on the RV you have always dreamed about before settling down? Or, are you really looking forward to staying close to home, being with family and friends, spending…