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 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 of 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 a year and a half ago. Much to my surprise, I love 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 won’t 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.
This blog attempts to ‘pay it forward’ for all the excellent advice I have received over the years. If my words touch only one person and help them, I will achieve 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 had 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 of 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 living 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 wreaks havoc on your health.
“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
“— Charles Dudley Warner
Second, Stress’s best ally is Debt. Once we paid off the mortgage, we never borrowed another dime. It 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 want to recommend my post: Walking Your Way to A Smaller You. I have lost 30 pounds by taking advantage of that free time. I walk at least an hour each day, and I feel pretty good.
Did your retirement preparation work? What would you have done differently? Is there something you would tell someone 1, 2, or 5 years out?