Posted by: drdata921 | December 22, 2012

Retirement Exhange

This is a blog that I have wanted to write for some time, but have been procrastinating.  Notwithstanding the desire on the part of some to be spontaneous – just go with the flow, retirement, in my opinion, is not one of those things that you just let happen.

After 30 years in the corporate world, there was little doubt that I wanted to pursue a new direction in my life.  Corporate life has provided an acceptable lifestyle and I have had many accomplishments of which I am proud.  But, corporations are corporations if you know what I mean – enough said!  At some point, you need to cut the cord and get on with your life.  It has also become clear to me that retirement can be a time of great enjoyment and exploration or just a period waiting for death.  I think that most people would prefer the former.  So, my purpose in writing this blog is to focus on the positive.  Personally, I get excited thinking about the possibilities.

IT’ ABOUT MORE THAN THE MONEY

Like most people, my initial concerns were about money.  Nothing worse than living on a park bench or sidewalk heating grate when you are 85.  The 2008 crash did little to assuage my fears.  However, after reading a lot of stuff on the subject and thinking about my own needs, it became clear that there is a lot more to it than just the money.  Also, I came to understand the clear need for proactivity.  As uncertain as things can be in retirement, you can plan for the contingencies.    But, planning is the key!  So, what does that mean:

  1. Due diligence on financial planning:  How would I adjust if things take an unexpected turn (either negative or positive)?  My god, this thing could go on for 30 years or more with all of the uncertainties.  What are the likely financial scenarios for me in retirement in terms of the big three:   Spending, investment returns, and inflation?  How would I adjust to ensure that retirement living remains enjoyable?
  2. Getting a Life:  What do I want my daily life to look like?  Right now, a lot of my time is sucked up by the workday.  What will I do on day #1 of retirement?  Hint:  It can’t be sleep until noon, several hours of TV viewing, and then sitting in a lawn chair on my driveway drinking beer and waving my fist at the neighborhood kids (as much fun as that would be)?  How do I live a fulfilling life after the corporate worklife that has largely defined me for all of these years.
  3. The Job After the Job:  Will I pursue additional part-time professional activities in retirement?  Would being a Walmart greeter offer a simpler way of life?  Should I devote all of my time to volunteer work to give back for all of my blessings?  Should I do a mix of these things?
  4. Choice of a Living Location:  For the past 14 years, We have lived in the St. Louis area because that is where my current job is.  Nothing against St. Louis – it has a lot of nice qualities.  But, it does not have a lot of the things that would make retirement living more pleasant for me.  Where would we find an affordable lifestyle in a location that feels more like home?

THERE IS A LOT TO THINK ABOUT

So, my purpose in writing this blog is to discuss all of the things that I have read and thought about so that others may benefit:  Financial, Psychological, and Lifestyle.  However, beyond this, I would like to get the perspective of others who have gone through these changes and survived, well or not so well.   What can I and others learn from your experiences?

Finally, it’s not beyond the scope of this blog to express opinions about various political and current event related topics that could affect retirement – although my purpose is not to make a political statement.   Just to be clear:  This blog does not advocate for specific political parties or candidates.  I am an independent, (OK, I admit a slight lean towards the left, but I try to be balanced).  I describe my current political affiliation as AARP.  As Tip O’Neal once remarked:  “All politics are local.”  I suspect it gets VERY “local” in retirement.

So, welcome to the blog.  Let’s see where it takes us!

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Responses

  1. Hi Donald – Great start for your blog. Interested in seeing more blog posts over time. Best wishes.


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