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About Dave Hughes

My name is Dave Hughes. My goal is to help you envision, plan for, and ultimately enjoy the best retirement possible.

Beach in Languedoc-Roussillon

Beach in Languedoc-Roussillon

Most “places to retire” web sites and articles include France at or near the top of their lists.

It’s easy to see why: the scenery is beautiful, the country is rich in culture and full of things to see and do, and the cuisine and wine are among the best in the world. Although the country is geographically diverse, most areas of the country enjoy a very pleasant climate throughout most of the year.

...continue reading "Fabulous Places to Retire: France"

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Balanced Rocks and Sailboat

Do you sometimes find yourself imagining how you’ll fill your days once you no longer have to work?

During those times when you seem so busy there never seems to be time to do what you want, do you say to yourself, “When I retire, I’ll have lots of time to do this!”

On the other hand, maybe you’re more concerned about what you’re going to do with all that free time. You might even fear that you’ll have nothing to do and be bored.

To be sure, some downtime is good for you. Having some relaxation in each day is healthy, and you’ve earned it!

But it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’ll spend hours every day doing that one thing you really love and don’t have enough time for now. For example, if you’re an avid golfer you might think to yourself, “When I’m retired, I can play golf every day!” Same thing with anything else – hiking, painting, sewing… you name it.

I used to fantasize that retirement would be total leisure – I would just be able to do whatever fun thing I felt like that day, with hardly a care in the world.

I have a huge collection of jazz and Brazilian records, CDs, and videos that I’ve accumulated throughout my adult life. I now have far more music than I could ever listen to in a year. (Downsizing my collection is one thing I’ll get around to “one of these days,” but that will probably be my hardest thing to downsize.)

I used to think that I would spend all day with music playing in the house, enjoying my vast collection. Of course, my husband Jeff, who isn’t nearly as much of a jazz aficionado as I am, wouldn’t care so much for that. But the obvious reality is that spending all day, every day, listening to music would get old quickly.

The best way to ensure that your retirement years are happy, healthy, and fulfilling is to achieve a balance in your activities.  

...continue reading "4 Essential Ingredients of a Balanced Life"

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Conversation at table with devices and handbag

Hopefully, you have at least a general idea of how you hope your life will unfold in the years to come.  You probably have some ideas (whether vague or specific) about where you’d really like to live, where you hope to travel, when you hope to retire, and an assortment of dreams and “bucket list” items you’d like to do someday.

Have you shared these dreams, desires, and goals with your spouse?  

How closely do they align with those of your spouse?

Do you know what his or her dreams, desires, and goals are well enough to describe them accurately?

You might be surprised how many couples haven’t had these conversations, or how many are operating under incorrect assumptions.  It’s easy to envision your ideal future, with your spouse by your side, without actually getting your spouse’s input and buy-in.

It’s easy to assume that your spouse envisions the same future that you do.

...continue reading "8 Conversations Every Couple Needs to Have"

Back in January, 1980, when I started my first job out of college, I was pretty naïve. I had no idea how to advance my career, navigate office politics, or even dress well. I can laugh now at how clueless I was back then and marvel that somehow things worked out and I enjoyed a reasonably successful career in spite of it.

But I made one decision that turned out to be one of the smartest things I have done in my life. It set me on the course to be where I am today.

After years of struggling to get by as a college student, living as cheaply as possible with just a few extra bucks here and there, now suddenly I found myself with a regular paycheck coming in!

...continue reading "The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Future"

[Editor's Note: An updated version of this article appears here.]

You are probably aware that the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) is now reaching the ages of 50-68, which means that we’re entering an era in which a lot of people are and will be retiring. According to Serena Worthington of the nonprofit Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), there are currently between 1.75 million and 4 million gays and lesbians over age 65. By 2030 that number is expected to nearly double.

Given these statistics, it seems reasonable to assume that there could be a boom in the need for LGBT retirement community options. Over the past ten years, many projects have started, but most never made it out of the planning stages. The recession and real estate bust that occurred in the late 2000s scuttled some projects. But the question still remains: how big is the need for LGBT-focused retirement communities, now and in the future?

When I polled readers of this blog in August, 2013, 30% of the respondents said they would seriously consider living in an LGBT retirement community, and 50% said they might consider it if the community was located in the area they were planning to move to anyway.

...continue reading "LGBT Retirement Communities – Unrealized Potential vs. Unclear Demand"

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2014-01-13 Betty Sullivan

Prior to December, I can’t recall that I have ever attended a retirement party held in the workplace. In fact, the only retirement party I can recall was a party for the father of one of my college buddies that took place soon after I graduated, and that one took place in their home.

My employer provides funding for retirement parties. This is probably not the case at many other companies, which may explain why many retirement parties happen privately, on a smaller scale, or not at all.

But in December, not only did I have my own party, but I was asked to serve as Master of Ceremonies for two other retirement parties – both for managers I had worked for. Of course, being the MC pretty much required me to be part of the planning process. So, in a few short weeks, I got a crash course on planning retirement parties.

In this post, I’ll share some of the things I learned and some suggestions for throwing a fun and memorable retirement party, as well as other ways to commemorate the end of a working career.

...continue reading "The Retirement Party"

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This question is usually first and foremost on people’s minds when they contemplate when they can retire and what sort of lifestyle they will be able to enjoy in retirement.  And it’s an important question – but one that’s not simple to answer.  Most important, there are a lot of other questions you need to ask – and answer – before you can answer this one.

First, an important disclaimer:  I am not a financial planner.  The purpose of the website is not to dispense investment advice.  I wholeheartedly recommend that you work with a good financial planner to find the best investment strategy for your circumstances.

Instead, the purpose of this website is to help you with all of the other considerations you need to think about in order to visualize, plan for, and ultimately enjoy a fabulous retirement.  But these topics are inextricably linked with financial concerns, so I will talk about money in these contexts.

The biggest concern I have with the vast majority of books, articles, presentations, and employer benefit plan communications, is that they don’t address these other questions.

If I told you, “In order to have a happy, comfortable life, you need to find a job that pays you $100,000 a year,” how would you respond?

You would probably tell me I’m full of crap, or at least you’d tell me that I’m being naïve and simple.  And you would be correct.  Why?

...continue reading "“How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?”"

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2013-08-02 Laurence Peters

I like the word “retirement.”  I always have, because the more I plan for and anticipate my retirement, the more optimistic about it I get.

Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be a panacea, any more than everyday life during our working years is.  There will be good days, bad days, and average days.  Good things will happen, bad things will happen, and sometimes it will seem like nothing is happening.

More than anything else, I am going to cherish my freedom, which will be there no matter what kind of day I might be having.

But the word “retirement” carries baggage for many people.  For many people, “retirement” screams “has-been.” 

Many people visualize retirement as those sad last few years of life, when your health deteriorates, you have little money, nothing to do, no reason to live, and you ultimately move into an assisted living or nursing home and die.  Most of the people you see are doctors and caregivers, and your primary mode of transportation is a motorized wheelchair.

People of this mindset would rather not think about their retirement at all.

Others have a hard time believing they will ever retire at all, probably because they believe they’ll never be able to save enough money.  To them, retirement is a cruel joke;  it seems like that luxury item in the store window that they will never have.

One of the main reasons I write this blog is to encourage people in either of the latter categories to visualize their retirement in a more optimistic, possibility-filled light.

...continue reading "Is It Time to Retire the Word “Retirement?”"

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From http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/245255. No known copyright restrictions.

2013-07-14 Simone de Beauvoir

I’m convinced that for many people, their retirement years end up being a lot like the preconceived notions of retirement that they held during their working years.

If you look forward to your retirement years as being vibrant, fulfilling, and happy – they will be. 

If you think retirement will be dull, boring, and beset with declining health – it probably will be.

...continue reading "Welcome to Retire Fabulously! How This Website Will Help You Live Happily Ever After"