Vernelle

Are you single?

Have you considered what may happen if your spouse passes away before you?

One of the greatest fears that most of us harbor is the fear of dying alone or spending your final years lonely, bored, and confined in a retirement home.

With proper planning, it doesn’t have to be this way.

As with adult life in general, most information you read about planning for and living during your retirement is heavily couple-centric. Single retirees have a few unique concerns that often aren’t comprehended or addressed by websites, books, senior living communities, and other information sources.

If you’re married (or otherwise partnered), don’t click away!

Consider that, unless you and your spouse pass away at the same time, one of you will experience being single at some point. Later in this article, I will suggest several things you can consider now that will make life easier for the surviving spouse when that time comes.

...continue reading "How to Survive and Thrive as a Single Person in Retirement"

7

Do you have rooms in your home that look like this?

If you’re like most of us, at some point you will face the prospect of downsizing.

Perhaps you want to move to a smaller house. Perhaps you want to move overseas or wander the country in an RV. Perhaps you just don’t want to leave a lifetime of stuff behind for your survivors to deal with.

In my case, I reached a point several years ago when I looked at all the stuff that fills our closets, our attic, and our garage, and I wondered, “Where did this crap all come from?”

It seems that we spend the first half of our adult lives accumulating things (bigger homes, nicer cars, better furniture, more clothes, grown-up “toys”), and then we spend the rest of our life getting rid of it.

Although I’ve toyed with the idea of going through all my stored items and eliminating much of it, up to this point my good intentions haven’t led to much action. Throughout 2015, I’ve sold some CDs on Amazon, but that’s about it.

For some people, discarding obsolete possessions seems to come easily. Usually, it takes a tangible event like an upcoming move to a smaller home to provide the sense of urgency required to downsize possessions.

Jeff and I have decided that we’re going to remain in our current house for at least five to ten more years, but we’re ready to start downsizing our possessions now. We’re serious this time. But we will only be successful if we really want to do it and stick to our goals.

...continue reading "How to Conquer the Challenge of Downsizing"

Man with White Dog

As 2015 draws to a close and I look forward to 2016, I’m planning to make some fairly significant changes in my life.

Many of these changes aren’t typical “new year’s resolution” changes, like resolving to lose 20 pounds or become better organized. They are more oriented towards shifting various aspects of my life to better align with how I envision my renaissance, or my ultimate retirement lifestyle.

You probably have, or will, go through similar lifestyle adjustments at some point, either as an intentional effort or as a response to changing circumstances or priorities.

Creating a satisfying retirement lifestyle that fulfills your needs and desires involves not just the activities you add into your life, it also involves letting go of things that no longer serve you well.

In my last article, I wrote about letting go of responsibilities and obligations that no longer benefit you. Next week, I will write about letting go of possessions you no longer need. In this article, I am going to write about letting go of some people, while enriching your connection with others.

Letting go of people?

That may sound cold-hearted and rash, but I’m not talking about severing ties and cutting off communication entirely. (Although in the case of a few toxic people, that might be a good idea.) I’m talking about adjusting your focus and priorities. Allow me to explain.

...continue reading "How Social Media Could Make Us Lonelier Seniors – and What You Can Do"

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In many of the other articles on this website, I write a lot about all the possibilities for what you can do with your life once you no longer have to work (or at least, work full-time).

You can spend more time doing things you’re passionate about, such as writing, playing music, creating art, or volunteering.

You can travel more, without being limited to a finite number of vacation days a year.

You can allow more time for physical activities, such as hiking, biking, or playing golf.

You can spend more time for taking courses, reading, or enjoying cultural events.

I often suggest that you should strive for a balance of physical activities, mental stimulation, socialization, and fulfillment.

All of these are things you can add into your life.

After almost two years of being retired, I often seem to be busier than I was while I was working. (I’m usually not, but it seems that way.) I still don’t have enough time to do all the things I envisioned doing.

While my life is rich with fun, rewarding activities, most of which I enjoy, part of me also wishes my life was simpler. Not boring – just simpler. I still find that some of my time is either being wasted or is being taken up with things that don’t really bring me joy. Finding ways to eliminate the “noise” and the needless complications should make for a much more satisfying life.

I am starting to realize that the key to living a happy, fulfilling retirement is not just about what you add into your life, it’s also about what you let go of.

What are you willing to let go of?
What are you willing to let go of?

...continue reading "To Enjoy a Happy Retirement, What Are You Willing to Let Go Of?"

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Hand writing on pad

“Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?”

You’ve probably heard this question many times during job interviews throughout your career – especially from interviewers who weren’t very skillful at conducting job interviews.

One of the biggest problems with this question is that you have no way of knowing what opportunities may be available in five or ten years.  At the rate technology is advancing, opportunities will exist in ten years that you have no way of envisioning today.

Still, it was better to have a career plan and remain adaptable and open to new possibilities than to have no plan at all and drift aimlessly through your work years.

You had a career plan.  Now, you need a retirement plan!

The question of where you see yourself in five or ten years becomes more relevant when you’re considering how you’re going to live your life after you retire.

...continue reading "Four Questions You Need to Answer to Enjoy a Rewarding Retirement"

Live Mic logoI'm thrilled to return to "Live Mic with Mark McNease" for another fun podcast.

This week Mark (editor and publisher of lgbtSr.org) and I discuss one of my recent columns that Mark found particularly resonant as he approaches his own renaissance: To Achieve Your Ideal Retirement, Are You Willing to Change?

We also talk about my upcoming plans for RetireFabulously.com, including launching my own podcast and my first book!  (Spoiler alert:  I mention how you can get it for free!)

Listen to podcast

Enjoy and share!

To Achieve Your Ideal Retirement

It’s easy to imagine an ideal retirement lifestyle, filled with stress-free days in which you are engaging in all those self-fulfilling pursuits you’ve always dreamed of but never had time for.  You probably have a nice list of things you would like to do and places you want to go after you retire.  Maybe you have an actual “bucket list.”

But how many of those things on your list will you actually do?

Chances are, not very many.

Why?

Because many of those items on your list require you to do something differently than you have been accustomed to for most of your life.  They may require you to change your habits or change the way you live.  Some of them require a lot of planning.  Some require you to leave your comfort zone.

The truth is, you are a creature of habit.  A lot of those habits have been engrained in you for most of your life.

What will it take to get you started on the path towards the ideal retirement you envision?

...continue reading "To Achieve Your Ideal Retirement, Are You Willing to Change?"

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An Amazing Simple Secret

Would you like to slow down your rate of physical decline by as much as 62%?

Want to be able to reduce or delay the risk of cognitive decline?

The answer is not some new miracle drug.  I’m not even talking about exercising regularly and eating responsibility – although those habits are certainly important and you should do them too.

We all dream of a retirement in which we enjoy a free and easy life for many years.  We envision a retirement in which we’ll be active, see and do fun things, and enjoy it all with good friends and family.  We acknowledge that we’ll get older and slow down a little, but life will still be good.

But for a surprising number of seniors, their life is not that way at all.

What I’m going to share with you today is a quality decision you can make for yourself that will dramatically improve the quality of your life.  It’s a simple behavior change.

...continue reading "An Amazingly Simple Secret to Greater Happiness, Health and Longevity"

Buffet

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?

...continue reading "Retirement is Like a Buffet. Will You Stuff Yourself or Starve?"

Live Mic logoI'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!