Priorities For My Baby Boomer Retirement

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed. My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation. Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

retirement list

In my earlier years, I dreamed about the day that I would retire.  I would sit on my front porch with that special person and munch on grapes, while reminiscing about the good things in life.  We would travel to places such as Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii and enjoy all the sights.  Our children would bring our grandchildren to visit during the holiday season.  Retirement life as a baby boomer would be filled with rest, relaxation, laughter, peace and serenity.  The days of having to do would be gone.  There would be no more sixteen hour shifts to work, no alarm clocks to set, and no rushing on week ends to get the lawn mowed before a work week would begin.  Our children would enjoy visiting us.  The grandchildren would play in the backyard.  Jake, the dog, would lay lazily underneath the Elm tree.  Jake would always be ready to play catch with us with his favorite ball.  At night we would retire to our bed, pat each other on the bottom, give a hug, and fall off into a peaceful contented sleep.  Our boomer life would be about not doing after all the years of hard work that we both had done to finally get to this place.

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed.  My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation.  Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

  • I will not worry about tomorrow.  Worry keeps me from enjoying the things in life that can be enjoyed for free such as a sunrise, a sunset, music, art, a cloud formation, the sound of rain, the beauty of a snowfall, the taste of a freshly baked cinnamon roll, the softness of a babies hand, or the sent of a lilac that has just bloomed.
  • The television will not be my top priority each night for entertainment.  I will not waste countless hours watching soap opera’s and sitcoms about other peoples lives.  Instead, I will be utilizing my time to make my life one of purpose that is encouraging to others that may follow me.
  • Since there is no special someone in my life today, I will not spend hours trying to change that person or any other person to my way of thinking.  Trying to control another is not in my plan today because it is a time sapper and a selfish way to live.  Each person has earned his own right to think and be just as I have earned mine.
  • Even though it is important to look our best, I will not spend hours in front of the mirror trying to make sure every hair is in place to please another human being.  Instead, I will enjoy the feel of a fresh shower, place a smile on my face, and be grateful for the person that I have become.  My days of people pleasing are over.  Yes, I am over it!
  • Shopping will not be an obsession in order to compete with the Jones next door.  I will not shop until I drop, spending money on a credit card for things that will only bring a moment of pleasure and sore feet.  Instead, I will appreciate what I have and reassess my needs.
  • I will not compare my life to that of others and feel regret.  Instead, I will live in the moment and keep a positive attitude toward the future.
  • I will not plan my meals around greasy french fries, hamburgers, salty hot dogs, and mounts of unhealthy foods that will leave me feeling guilty right after my feast.  Instead, I will love myself enough to eat a more balanced nutritional meal.  I might break those rules on occasions though just because, I can. 🙂

There you have it, a not do boomer retirement list!  It might seem a little silly to many but as I review it, I can see where it will bring about a lot more valuable ways to spend my time and enjoy the time that I do have.  Who knows, maybe someone will enjoy doing the not doing with me. Then we can still take those trips without arguments and time busters.  🙂

As usual, I will end this by saying, “Enjoy the journey!”  It is in your hands what you will not do so I hope that you share your not do with us.

Originally posted 2012-01-21 23:00:44.

Boomers At Retirement Age

Working Boomers asks are you living or staying…at retirement age. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!

When I was young, just like some of you, I did not give much thought to retirement.  Being a divorcee and raising two children was my main priority at the time.  I was fortunate to always have a job.  Again, I did what my parents taught me which was: work hard and that is what matters.  Like them though the jobs only allowed for the basic needs of housing, food, clothing, transportation,medical needs and an and occasional vacation.  Saving for retirement did not fit into the plan.  I can remember thinking, just as they did, social security will be enough and that time is a long way off.

That time is now here.  My parents and most of my family have passed on.  The children are raising their families.  Friends have passed.  Social security and Medicare are not stable.  Twenty-five cent candy bars now cost $1.50 or more.  With that said, there is no need to say more because I know that boomers every where know about the economy and etc.  The point that I would like to make is the difference in living and staying.

Many years ago at a conference, I was listening to a speaker who explained the difference in living and staying.  At the time the speech was very humorous but made a lot of sense.   I will never forget what he said.  I still apply it to my life today.  He asked the audience this question.  Have you ever known a person, we will call him George that you see every few years only?  You ask the person when you meet, “where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Well, I had some rough times so I am staying with my Mom over on the East side.”  Then five or ten years pass and you meet George.  Again you ask, “where are you living now?’  George replies, ” I married Martha. I have a good job. I have money in the bank.  We are staying up town in the big house.  Times are good!”  Several years later George pops into your life and once again you ask, “Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Martha left me. I lost my job. My family is gone. I am staying with a guy I met yesterday over on Fifty Second Street.”  Years go by.  One day you meet George again and ask, “How are you?  Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Man, I finally learned after all this years about the word living.”  My family is gone, Mom passed away.  My health is good. I live in a small house on Maryland Avenue.  I have some great friends.  We play cards a few times a week and help the homeless.  My daughter, that I left years ago, lives in Virginia.  I am going to become a grandparent.  I have been invited to visit them next month.  I planted vegetables in my small garden.  My tomatoes are huge.  On Fridays, I volunteer at the Senior center.   Life is good!  Today I live, I don’t stay.  I finally learned how to live.  Life is not about what I have, who I am with or how much money is in the bank.  Life is not about staying with a friend or in the the big house.  Life is about living and accepting what is good just for today. I learned that life changes on the outside but it is up to me to change on the inside in order to live.  Thank you for asking and caring for all these years.  You know, I never asked you before but, where are you living?”

So I will ask you as  I have asked myself, “Where are you living at retirement age?”  We boomers are in the last stage of our lives.  Let’s live.  Are you living or staying?  No matter where we are, single, married, rich or poor, we still have the choice to live today.  George learned in time.  Have you?

A facebook friend just posted a quote/photo that I feel would sum this story up.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!/John Kelly

More posts about Boomers Retirement Affordable Retirement Communities

Originally posted 2012-04-08 20:49:14.

In Retirement Schedule Can Save Money

See how timing your meals, trips, trips, and activates to your own schedule does pay off in deals and savings and sometimes gives you a better experiences than when you were in the busy time crunched work years.

Since retiring a few years ago, I have found that having a freer more flexible schedule when I do things results in savings. There has always been a relationship between time and money, it just changes in retirement. Here are some specific examples:

1. My wife and I love to do our eating out at lunch, where you can enjoy pretty much the same dishes that you pay higher prices for at dinner. We save money and actually enjoy the meal better since it is less crowded when we go. Yes there are also the early bird specials.

2. I have been visiting our Active Adult Center aka Senior Activities Centers and participate in many activities that cost me no money at all. I am a member of the walking club and the book club both which are free. The center has fresh fruit, great free coffee, newspapers and wired computers. There are small fees for classes in dance, yoga and many other things. Compared to an expensive health club, this is a deal and I like the people better too.

3. Since retiring we like to take trips in the shoulder season especially right after school starts. The shoulder season has less crowds and better travel deals and rates. Sometimes we take short trips at lower rates during mid week, not during the higher priced and crowded weekends.

4. We have learned to enjoy the national and state parks and these offer senior discounts. Museums and other attractions locally are fun to visit and save you a lot of money on travel and accommodations. See my post: Retirement Activities in Your Own City

So timing your meals, trips, trips, and activates to your own schedule does pay off in savings and sometimes gives you a better experiences than when you were in the busy time crunched work years.

More Discounts and Deals for Boomers and Seniors

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:04:03.

Don’t Let Life Keep You Down

Even in the most difficult times, there are things that we can do to keep life from keeping us down. This is but a few of those things, in addition to writing, that helps me.

Folks, this has been one of those weeks.  I am sure that you have had them too.  It is after midnight. Sleep will not come.  I need to write.  As I have said before, writing is healthy.  It is time to stand up and continue on.  Life is to be lived.  It is short.  Even in the most difficult times, there are things that we can do to keep life from keeping us down.  This is but a few of those things, in addition to writing, that helps me.

  1. If you receive a message by text or face book that is upsetting, try to accept the fact that texting is the way things are done in this modern day and time. It is a way to communicate.  If it upsets you then let that person know.  If you don’t need email or text then you might want to consider taking it off your telephone and computer. Learn from written messages.   We must remember that there are real people using computers and telephones.  We do not know how their life is going.  They may be  suffering from an illness, or going through a difficult time.    Be appropriate when communicating.
  2. Do not expect others to think like you do.  Do not expect others to deal with death or any grief situation like you do.  Everyone has their own way of working through things in their own time.
  3. Try not to take your anxiety out on someone that is close to you, as you go through your grief process.  They are grieving too, but they are NOT YOU.   Share your feelings but respect the feelings of others too.
  4. When you get to the anger part of grief, do not give up. Feel it!  If it is necessary to drop a tear or two, then do it.  Try to keep your mind focused on the moment.  Stay centered.  Be real!  Share with people that understand and care.  Do what you need to do.  Just don’t allow anger to become YOU.
  5. Use slogans such as, “Easy Does It, First Things First, and Keep It Simple, This Too Shall Pass.  Try to get in touch with the spiritual part of yourself.
  6. Take time to breathe.  Do not go back to unhealthy habits or behaviors.  Remember, this only sabotages getting through the grief.  It hurts you and sometimes those closest to you.
  7. Kick something. Smack a pillow.  Tear up a telephone book.  Get rid of that negative energy.  There is enough hurt right at the moment.   Be gentle with yourself.
  8. Cry if you must.  Those are your tears.  You can let them drop.  If you are a man and feel it will hurt your image, then go some where alone.  Let them flow.  Crying is natural.  Let those tears wash away the pain, then wipe your face off, get up, and face the world.  You can do it!  After all you are a boomer, remember!
  9. Show compassion.  Be real.  Do not deny your feelings.  Console others.  Listen.  Rest. Do what you need to do to deal.  It is your life.  You have that right.  Exercise your rights as a boomer with wisdom in a constructive,understanding and loving way.
  10. Grief is a natural part of life that must be done in order to carry on.  Be who you are.  Put your best foot forward.  You are experiencing life.  You will probably remember happy times, sad times and  laughter.   That is what LOVE  is all about and this is life.  Live it!  Share your feelings and thoughts because much later in your life, you may find yourself at an age, or in a situation where you are unable to communicate.

I just wrote some of my thoughts and feelings down. I have shared them with you.  It helps to write.  I want to thank those that have encouraged me to write again as I put on my big girl pants and continue on in this thing called life.  By sharing, I hope that you always know that there is someone out there that cares.  You are not alone.  Put on your big girl or guy pants and take a boomer walk with me.  Peace, love and light!

Senior Centers offer lots of support – see SeniorCenterDirectory.com

Originally posted 2012-02-10 15:26:36.

Planning for a Successful Retirement

Most of us know how important it is to stay flexible with our retirement planning due to life situations. Things can happen that will set us on a different

successful retirementMost of us know how important it is to stay flexible with our retirement planning due to life situations.  Things can happen that will set us on a different course.  Many of these have happened to me.  In order to not get discouraged, it is important to stay as flexible as possible.  Acceptance is the key.  Just know that it is okay to take a different road if necessary or even just because you want to do it.

Tips for a Successful Retirement

Here are some things that may require flexibility as you go into your retirement journey.

  1. Housing – You may own your home but decide that a smaller one would be less work.  Then a senior apartment or villa might interest you.  Recently, I looked into some that offered house cleaning services, meals, health care provisions, recreational activities and trips.  If you enjoy the company of those your age then a 55 community might be what you would like.
  2. Travel- Some people decide to travel after many years of raising children or working.  This may not have been something that you were able to do during your earlier years.  Maybe you have found that your finances in retirement may not include cruises or trips to Europe.  Consider touring your own city or a near by state.  There are bus tours that are offered at adult centers.  These groups have fun!
  3. Television has changed.  Some of your favorite programs are no longer there.  Try reading, going to the library, exercising at the senior center, volunteering, or starting a new retirement hobby.
  4. Maybe in your earlier years you had a mate but you now find yourself alone at retirement age.  Friends can be made at church, senior centers, and social media.  You might even want to join a site for dating which is for seniors.
  5. Then there are those of us that have not been so successful with finances due to life circumstances and changes in the economy.  There are part time jobs that you may want to consider to supplement your retirement or social security income.
  6. Maybe you thought that your grown children would always be there for you.  Instead, they may have had to move far away due to job needs.  In that case, look into long term insurance, learn about assisted living, have an immediate emergency plan.  Learn about the resources in your area that are offered through hospitals, churches, senior centers, and many civic centers.
  7. Times are changing.  Post offices are even starting to disappear.  Be receptive to change.  Take a computer class.  Take advantage of learning opportunities at a near by college or library.  Many courses are offered for free.
  8. Transportation- There may have been a time that you drove your vehicle.  Now, for whatever reason, driving is not possible.  Find our about transportation that is in your area.  Some areas have public transportation with discounts for seniors.
  9. Gardening and lawn care-  Plant what you love!  Try some new things that might grow easily.  It might even be time to invest in a riding lawn mower if your yard is large.  Then again, if finances allow, look into hiring some help for those hot summer days.  Also if you live where there is lots of snow, help another by having them shovel your driveway.  They can use the money and you can use the help.  It is okay.  After all we want to stay safe and warm in our golden years.
  10. Diet and exercise-  At one time you may have enjoyed all those high calorie and high cholesterol foods.  I am hear to tell you that weigh is much easier taken off in the early years.  Read all you can about healthy eating, exercising and then do what you can.  You may find you feel better and really enjoy it.  It doesn’t take an expensive gym or exercise equipment.  Walking can reduce stress and is very healthy.
  11. Support system-  Some of us lack a healthy support system of friends or relatives.  Socialization is important as we age during our retirement years.  This is something that I need to work on myself since I am a night shift worker.  Remember, you are not alone.  Keep trying to meet people that understand, are caring, and honest with you.  Reaching out can sometimes be hard but we must do it.  Again, there are many clubs that you can join to meet people.  There are book clubs, fitness clubs, bird watching clubs,nature clubs, travel clubs and many others.  Find your niche and go for it!
  12. Pets-  If you are able to care for a pet and like animals, then get one.  Of course you must be able to care for their health too.  They can make a great companion and supply unconditional love.  There are many shelters with loving pets that may just be waiting for your love.

As you can see from reading, I did not focus on finances for a reason.  Many times in life, we plan and our plans can be taken away in a day, week, month or year.  This happened to me as it has happened to many of you that are boomer age.  I hope that this blog has made you think, not worry.  Our brains need exercise to stay healthy.  I hope that you add many positive comments to this list for all of us to consider. What have you encountered in your retirement planning that has helped when staying flexible as things change to stay the course for a successful retirement?

Originally posted 2012-04-12 11:39:57.

Baby Boomers Can Save by Banking On-Line

online banking
Save with On-Line Banking

Baby Boomers, have you tried on-line banking? You might want to consider it. To feel safe, put a month or so’s worth of money in a separate account in your bank. Make that your on-line account. Try paying your bills for a month and see how you like it. Pay small bills first so that you can become familiar with how it works. It looks like some of the mega banks use the same system. It also looks like some of the mega banks don’t purchase as fully functional parts of banking on-line as some of their competitors. Pay the big bills by check for the first month and evaluate how you like it.

2 things you should see right from the start.

  • The first is that you will be able to pay your bills in much less time than before you banked on-line.
  • The second is you do not have to pay for postage.

If the individual or business you are paying does not have a way to receive electronic payments, then the bank will mail the check to the Pay To party at their expense. I save money and I save time. Has a payment ever arrived late due to no fault of my own. Yes and the bank will get involved in your behalf. Check your terms but my bank will take care of the late fee and any penalty. They will follow up with the Pay To party to make sure your account is credited properly when they are alerted by you that the payment has not arrived as it should have. You can have the bank alert you when it is paying your bill; that is automated in that you set it once by payee and it will always respond to that payee as you indicated. You can set up recurring payments as well. I have not paid individuals and companys by getting electronic bills but I still receive paper bills and pay them through my bank. You can also view your account’s activity for deposits, withdrawals, etc. It is helpful to have some of this information when you rectify your monthly statements.

If paying bills on-line is not for you, just cancel the on-line ability to transact business from this account or try another bank as it may have software more to your liking. You are the customer and things should be done the way you want to do business. If you are not comfortable, go to where you are comfortable. Take small steps, try new things that make sense and that others are using. Ask your friends if they are using on-line banking and how they like it. What do they like? What would they like to change? Which financial institution are they using? Are they using credit unions? Based on what I have read, I would not suggest doing this from a cell phone or a wireless connection. I would only use an ethernet cable connection from your computer to your home modem and only access your on-line banking from home through a favorite so that you do not mistype and go to a website with a similar name that may scam you. If you change passwords, payees or payee’s information for example, the bank automatically emails you and this helps prevent fraud. For more information on good deals, discounts and bargains, you might want to try www.discountdealguide.com

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:05:37.