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As you get older, doesn’t it seem as though time passes faster and faster? That’s the perception most of us have, although intellectually we know that time passes at exactly the same speed.

But perception counts for a lot. And based on that perception, twenty years of retirement will seem to pass much more quickly than the first twenty years of your life or any twenty-year period of your working career.

Why does time seem to pass at an ever-accelerating rate?

...continue reading "How to Slow Down Time and Maximize Your Retirement"

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During the course of your working career, many factors such as technology and globalization have changed the work environment in countless ways. Many societal changes have impacted your personal life as well. It should come as no surprise that many of these same factors have also changed the retirement landscape. Some changes are positive, some are unwelcome and some are simply different. But viewed as a whole, your retirement will be significantly different from your parents’ and your grandparents’ retirement.

Here are six trends that are reshaping retirement.

...continue reading "6 Trends That Are Changing Retirement in America"

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Sun City, Arizona is the second-oldest planned retirement community in the United States.
Sun City, Arizona is the second-oldest planned retirement community in the United States.

When you think about what type of community you plan to live after you retire, what comes to mind?

Are you giving serious consideration to living in an age-restricted 55+ active adult community?

Chances are, the younger you are today, the less likely you are to choose such a community after you retire.

As I write this, I am 59 and my husband is 57. We have no desire to move to one of these communities.

Occasionally, I bring this question up in conversations with friends who are our age or perhaps slightly older. No one we know is planning to live in one, either.

Speaking for myself, here are four reasons why I am opting to live out my retirement years in the community-at-large, not an age-restricted enclave.
...continue reading "4 Reasons Why I Won’t Be Moving to a 55+ Active Adult Community"

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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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What are you willing to let go of?
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.

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

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An Important Lesson Boomers Can Learn from Millennials-text

Much has been written about the “Millennial” generation – those born between the early 1980s and 2000 (definitions vary), who are between the ages of 15 and 35 today.  They may be the most researched and reported on generation to date.

I identify with many of the Millennials’ values.  Sometimes I feel like I was born thirty years too early, but then I remind myself that I would have missed out on experiencing first-hand the great music that came out in the 1970s.  (I’m serious about that.  But the fashions?  Not so much.)

One of the most often cited characteristics of the Millennials is that they value experiences over things.  

I think they are absolutely right.  Looking back on my life, I see that I have prioritized the acquisition of things over opportunities to experience what the world has to offer.

...continue reading "An Important Lesson Boomers Can Learn From Millennials"

12 Retirement Myths Busted-Stencil

People have a lot of misperceptions about retirement.  I’ve heard a lot of them over the years, and I’ve become especially aware of them since I started reading and researching extensively in order to produce content for this web site.

Where do these misperceptions come from?  Generally, misperceptions thrive wherever there is a lack of knowledge or awareness.  And many people rarely think about their retirement during their working years.

The average 50-year-old in the United States has saved $43,797 for retirement.  36% of Americans have saved nothing for retirement at all.

Whenever I think about this sobering statistic, it leaves me sad and perplexed.  Why are we, as a nation, so underprepared?  I am convinced that this situation exists because these misperceptions exist.

Financial preparedness aside, I have observed that many people either view their retirement with dread or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, with an overly simplistic and rosy outlook.

Let’s take a look at twelve retirement myths, and then consider the reality that undermines each of them.

...continue reading "12 Retirement Myths – Busted!"

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?"

How will you be remembered

Do you ever wonder how you’ll be remembered after you die?

At your memorial service and for years to come, what will others remember most about your life?

What do you want people to remember about you and your life?

Of course, you’ll be gone, so it may not matter that much to you.  But if you’re like most of us, you hope that you made some difference on this earth with your life.

Most of us will not make a major, life-changing difference like discovering a cure for cancer or ending world hunger or negotiating the political break-through that leads to world peace.  But you will inevitably have an impact on many of the lives you touch.  And many of those people will want to remember you.  And while the best memories will live on in their hearts, it’s nice to leave some tangible mementos as well.

...continue reading "How Will You Be Remembered?"