There’s a buffet restaurant a few miles from our home called Pacific Seafood Buffet. Most of the food is Asian, and the primary draw for us is all the sushi we care to eat for one price. Of course, there are a lot of other good dishes there too: tempura vegetables, shrimp, crab cakes, and many things you typically find at Asian buffets. And there’s green tea ice cream for dessert!
The lunch price is very reasonable, so we go every couple of months. (If we went more often, we would be huge.) Overall, I stay away from buffets because they are invitations to overeat. Our visits to Pacific Seafood Buffet are no exception; often, on the drive home, we realize that we have probably eaten too much.
What does this have to do with retirement?
A lot of people, both retirees and those who are still working, enjoy vacationing on cruise ships. I have taken ten cruises that have carried me to Europe (four times), the southern Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Tahiti, South America, and New Zealand/Australia. I have enjoyed them all immensely, especially the last three.
Recently, I saw a meme on Facebook about a woman who eschewed living in a retirement home in favor of living permanently on a cruise ship. When asked by the unidentified author, she claimed that living on the cruise ship was cheaper than living in a nursing home. The author went on to enumerate ten benefits to retirement on a cruise ship.
Of course, this meme had me scurrying to Snopes.com, where I expected to find this urban legend thoroughly exposed and debunked. In fact, some of the claims made in this story are inaccurate or entirely false. But I was surprised to learn that there really are people who live almost full-time on cruise ships for years at a time (and I’m talking about paying customers, not the ship’s crew).
Just think - you could travel the world, meet new people, and never have to cook or clean! Could this be retirement utopia for you?
Could living on a cruise ship really be less expensive than other options?
Do people really do this?
I'm delighted to be Mark McNease's guest on another interview, this time for his new podcast series, "Live Mic with Mark McNease" on lgbtSr.org. Mark and I talk about the transition from work to leisure, and what to expect during the final months of your working career and the first half-year of your renaissance. We also touch upon my new and unexpected career as a wedding officiant.
Give a listen!
You know it’s out there somewhere – the perfect place to retire. A place that's comfortable, classy, rich with amenities, and located in a beautiful area with perfect weather and scenic views.
Could such a place actually exist? Or is there always going to be someplace else where the grass is greener?
Of course, no place is perfect. And what may seem like Retirement Utopia to you might be completely undesirable to someone else.
But I recently visited a place that had so much going for it, I found myself wondering if I had found Retirement Utopia.
If you’re like many people, you probably don’t think much about what your life will be like after you retire.
Maybe you don’t like to think about getting old.
Forming a clearer picture of how you would like to live your life after you reach the point where you no longer need to work will help you make better plans, both financially and otherwise. It will also give you more to look forward to.
The questions in this slideshow will help you sort these things out.
What other questions can you think of? Please share in the comments!
I'm delighted to be Mark McNease's guest on another interview in his "Aged to Perfection" podcast series for his website, lgbtSr.org. This week Mark and I spoke about some of the different lifestyles people create for themselves in retirement. We also touch on identifying what suits you, and the importance of discussing your envisioned retirement with a spouse if you have one.
Give a listen!
You have probably seen a bumper sticker, T-shirt, or coffee mug that exclaims, “He who dies with the most toys wins!” Many people in the U.S. and other first-world nations seem to have bought in to that philosophy to at least some extent.
What does the person who dies with the most toys actually win?
Do you sometimes look at everything you own and wonder how you ever accumulated so much stuff?
If you’re like most of us, you know that someday you’re going to need to downsize. Does the thought of going through all of your possessions and deciding what you will part with excite you about as much as having a root canal?
Think about what your retirement will look like, on a day-to-day basis. Do you think you will be happy?
Are you concerned that once you leave work, you will feel that you’re not contributing anything of value?
Are you worried that retirement will be boring and depressing?
There are four components to a happy retirement: physical activity, mental stimulation, socialization, and fulfillment. The first three are pretty easy to understand, and it’s pretty easy to find activities that satisfy those needs. But the fourth one, fulfillment, is a little less tangible and may seem more elusive.
Fulfillment comes from many sources, internal and external. It means something different for every one of us. It may be hard to define, but we know when we feel it.
What is “fulfillment?”
The internet is consumed with list-mania! It seems that top ten lists (or twelve, or twenty, or…) are the magic formula to attract viewer traffic. Some web sites are comprised of nothing but top ten lists, and some major news web sites publish lists frequently as well.
There are now dozens, if not hundreds, of "Best Places to Retire" lists on the internet.
Can you trust them?
With so many contradictory lists, how are you to make sense of it all?
When you think about what your retirement lifestyle will be like, what comes to mind? What adjectives would you use to describe what you hope your life will be like?
I’ll bet one that’s high on your list is “stress-free.” Like practically everyone else, I’m sure you hope that your retirement years will be more relaxing and less stressful, since you will no longer have to deal with work, your kids will be grown, and you can spend your time doing what you want to do.
Ultimately, it should work out that way, but I’ve got some bad news for you. The transition into retirement might be one of the most stressful times of your life. Let’s look at why.