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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?"

He who dies with the most toys wins
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?

...continue reading "What Does (s)he Who Dies with the Most Toys Actually Win?"

Map with Push Pins

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?

...continue reading "Best Places to Retire Lists – Fact, Fiction, or Fantasy?"

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Man at overlook

I have been retired for nine months now.  In some ways, it seems as though the time has flown by.  In other ways, it seems like my life has been like this for a long time and work is now a distant memory.

When greeted by friends, I’m often asked, “So how’s retirement?”  My stock answer is “Great!”  And overall, it really is.

I’ve long been amused by this definition of the word “affirmation:” An affirmation is when you lie to yourself repeatedly until you actually believe the statement to be true.  Therefore, whenever I answer an inquiry about how my retirement is going, when I answer “great!” I am reaffirming to myself that it actually is.

In fact, during retirement I’ve had happy, blissful days and I’ve had depressing, frustrating days – much the same as when you’re living any other phase of your life.

Here are seven things I have learned about being retired and about transitioning from work to retirement, followed by three key takeaways for you.

...continue reading "7 Things I’ve Learned During the First 9 Months of Retirement"

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"

Two guys jumping

2014-02-01 Charles Darwin

I’ve now been retired for one month.  I’m still getting accustomed to my new routine.  To some extent, I’ve allowed myself to be unstructured and undisciplined for the sake of decompressing and enjoying my new-found freedom.

On the one hand, I know that I’m not getting as much done as I should, considering the list of things I have committed myself to and have been looking forward to doing once I retired.

On the other hand, I need to remember that one of the greatest joys of retirement is you have more freedom with your time and it’s okay to be unproductive some of the time, and just enjoy life.  The “shoulds” shouldn’t matter as much.

On numerous occasions when I have seen my friends over the past month, they have asked, “How’s retirement?”  My standard answer is, “Great!”  And I mean it!  I’m not riding a wave of post-work euphoria.  My days are remarkably down-to-earth, but I’m enjoying them.

At various points in my conversations with others about retiring, I’ve talked to some people who are unsure what retirement will be like, and they’re uncertain about whether or not they will really enjoy not working.  It’s safe to say that many people aren’t entirely sure what to expect.

So the other day, I sat down and wrote a list of all the things that I am enjoying about being retired.  And to be fair, there are a few things that are not so great, and I’ll share those too.

...continue reading "25 Great Things About Being Retired"

IMG_1093

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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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"