Retirement The Next Chapter

Retirement the next chapter

Retirement the Next Chapter
I am sitting at our outdoor table in the backyard on the deck, under an umbrella as today promises to be a scorcher.

To my left is my full sun veggie garden with 15 tomato plants, peppers, zucchini and some kind of unidentified squash that must have snuck into the zucchini, that is spreading like wildfire.  Odd because i grew it all from seed? A mystery time will no doubt solve. It is a glorious early summer day -So far I have:

1) watered the upper and lower gardens
2) took a walk for a little over an hour
3) helped a fellow Microsoft Office Programmer who reached out to me with an Excel challenge
4) walked the old pooch a couple times
5) read a few pages and watched some video blogs

In case you have not guessed I entered retirement the next chapter a little less than year and half ago.  Much to my surprise I am loving retirement. Why the surprise? because I am or I was always an antsy guy that could not sit still.  All that has changed once I accepted I do not need to work.  Ok you are thinking “I wont have any problem not working”- perhaps, but if you fail to plan, you might be surprised.

A successful happy retirement requires both financial and mental preparations.  I will tell you how I started down this road and what has worked for me.  Hopefully when you tell your story of Retirement the Next Chapter it will be both fulfilling and a happy one. Remember like all good things you will have to work at it. 

This blog is an attempt to ‘pay it forward’ for all the really good advice I have received over the years.  If my words touch only one person and help them then I will have achieved my goal.  There are a million financial Bloggers out there, some good, some wonderful and some well, they lack original thought and content.  If you are interested in the thoughts of someone who has done all those things the Financial Bloggers suggest before there was a FIRE Movement, coupled with both an MBA in Finance, MS in tax and 30 years Banking experience then I am your man.

My philosophy is pretty simple with two key principles:
First, I would rather have less stuff, drive a simple reliable car and have a smaller house than live with financial stress.   I grew up in a family that did not have an extra dime – that stress is a killer- it steals your focus, robs you of tranquility, can damage an otherwise amiable personality and reek havoc on your health..

“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
— Charles Dudley Warner  

Second, Stress’ best ally is Debt.  Once our home mortgage was paid off early we never borrowed another dime.  Seems like debt has been recognized as a scourge by notable  people for a long time.

“Never spend your money before you have it.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Rather go to bed supperless, than rise in debt.” — Benjamin Franklin

 “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?” — Adam Smith

You can look forward to posts on healthcare, Saving for retirement, Budgeting and a host of other financial and smart living subjects.  

I would like to reccomend my post: Walking Your Way to A Smaller You.  I have lost 30 pounds by talking advantage of that free time I have.  I walk at least an hour each day and I am feeling pretty good..

I look forward to your comments, suggestions and readership.  Should you choose to subscribe and or contribute ideas, or document your own Journey, you are most welcome.  Remember the rules, keep it civil, positive and feel free to criticize ideas, concepts, stands and actions but not individuals.

Did your retirement preparation work?  What would you have done differently? Is there something you would tell someone 1, 2 or 5 years out?

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