Welcome to this week's "Lifestyles of the Happily Retired" podcast! In this series, I chat with people who are reinventing themselves and living happy, fulfilling, and interesting lives during retirement.

Elizabeth Boatman-roundThis week's guest is Elizabeth Boatman

After retiring from her career as a banker, Elizabeth rediscovered an old hobby - photography. Now, she takes day trips from her home in suburban Los Angeles to discover interesting places and beautiful sights that most people are completely unaware of. She has launched a blog, NeighborhoodTravels.com, to share her photography and document her discoveries.

Sadly, Elizabeth's husband passed away about a year before she retired, so her retirement is different from the one she had envisioned for many years. Elizabeth shares her story about reinventing herself and adjusting to her new life, and offers some excellent advice for everyone who finds herself/himself newly single in retirement.

Click here to listen!  (20:00)

...continue reading "“Lifestyles of the Happily Retired” Podcast: Elizabeth Boatman"

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Do you want to fill your retirement years with the adventure that comes from discovering and experiencing new places?

Are you looking for a place to live where your retirement savings will stretch further?

Or maybe you are formulating an escape plan in the event your least favorite candidate makes it into the White House.

Whatever the reason, if you are considering retiring to another country, or even if you are just intrigued with the possibility, here are ten places you may wish to consider.

...continue reading "Ten Great International Retirement Destinations"


Malaga skyline

Are you facing the prospect of a retirement in which the defining characteristic is financial struggle?

Are you concerned that you haven’t saved enough for retirement?

The internet is awash with stories and articles about how you can live comfortably overseas for just $1500-2000 a month – which is within range of most couples’ Social Security checks.

These figures are said to include rent for a two-bedroom furnished apartment, meals (including some meals eaten out), and utilities, including internet service. The people who write these articles claim that you don’t have to pinch pennies to achieve these results, nor do you have to live in squalor.

Can this be true? Such claims always prompt the skeptical me to think, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

...continue reading "Can You Really Save Money by Retiring Overseas? Should You?"

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Money wallet

Are you concerned about having enough money to enjoy a satisfying retirement?

At a more basic level, are you worried about having enough money to survive during retirement?

If so, you are not alone. Having enough money is the single biggest concern of most retirees.

When new people subscribe to Retire Fabulously!, I ask what their most pressing concern is.  “Having enough money” is, by far, the number one concern.

While Retire Fabulously! is not a financial planning website, and I am not a financial planning professional, in this article I will offer a wide range of suggestions for enjoying your Renaissance years with limited financial resources.

...continue reading "34 Tips for Enjoying Life on a Limited Income"

What Should I Do

Are you uncertain about what retirement holds for you?

Are you worried that your days will be dull, boring, and empty?

Some people continue to work because they truly enjoy their jobs. Some people continue to work because they haven’t saved enough money to retire. But you would be surprised at how many people continue to work simply because they have no idea what they would do if they didn’t.

Does this describe you – or people you know?

Last month, near the end of the 2015 holiday season, my husband and I attended a cocktail party. Most of the other attendees were in our general age range – 50s and 60s. Most of them were people I was meeting for the first time.

One of the first questions that always comes up when you meet new people is, “What do you do?”

That question can be awkward for retired people, especially for those who are recently retired and still adjusting to not having their career label or job title available as a quick and easy answer to that question. Simply saying, “I’m retired” doesn’t provide a very good path forward for the conversation, and may lead the other person to grasp for something else, like the weather or how a local sports team is doing. (Yawn.)

I have an answer I usually give that offers my new acquaintance several options for continuing the conversation.

...continue reading "“What Will I Do After I Retire?”"

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"

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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"

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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"

How Can You Decide If It's the Right Time to Retire

Years ago, knowing when to retire was easy.  Back then, you probably would have taken it for granted that you would retire when you turned 65.  Or, if you worked for the same employer your entire career (which was much more common in decades past) you would retire when you had worked enough years to qualify for a full pension.

Today it’s different.  The decision of when to retire is no longer clear-cut.

It’s much less likely that you’ll stay at the same employer long enough to qualify for a meaningful pension.  Many companies don’t even offer pensions any more, offering only tax-sheltered savings plans (such as a 401(K)) instead.  And the window in which you can begin to collect Social Security has widened to age 62 to 70.

In fact, the average age at which American workers retire is now 62.  Americans also retire an average of three years earlier than they had planned.  This may be come about due to health issues or needing to care for a loved one with health issues, being laid off and unable to find a new job, or being offered an attractive early retirement package.

You may find yourself facing the decision of whether or not to retire sooner than you expect.  How can you decide if it’s the right time to retire?

It’s a complicated decision, and there are many factors to consider.  This article will help you navigate some of these issues and answer some of the many questions you are facing.

...continue reading "How Can You Decide If It’s the Right Time to Retire?"

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Wheres the best place to retire

Do you ever daydream about where you’d most like to live after you retire?

When you visit beautiful places on vacation, do you ever think, “Wow… It sure would be great to retire here!”?

Do you ever think that surely there must be some place out there that’s just right for you?

It’s fun to think about where you want to retire!  After all, once you no longer have your job tying you to a particular area, there’s no reason not to move to a place that’s more to your liking if you want to.  Perhaps you want to move someplace warmer, someplace where the cost of living is lower or someplace closer to the water.

But once you start to think more seriously about where you want to live, it becomes more complicated and perplexing than fun.   There are so many factors to consider:  cost of living, weather, taxes, how close you want to be to your friends and family, whether an area has the amenities you desire…  It can get overwhelming fast!

With so many factors to consider, which ones are truly important? 

...continue reading "Where’s the Best Place to Retire?"