How to survive retirement

Ok, so you crossed off the days on the calendar, had the party, celebrated and NOW you are retired. Its time to sleep in and enjoy checking items off your bucket list.

You’ve cleaned closets, garages and drawers.

You’ve packed your bags and sailed the seas, visited beaches and climbed mountains.

You’ve weeded and planted, hoed and harvested.

You’ve sliced, hooked and sandbagged.

You’ve visited family, reconnected with friends and made new acquaintances.

You’ve casted, caught and released.

You’ve cruised, snoozed and boozed.

And …

Now you’ve got 25+ years to go!

Having a strategy on how to spend your next 25 years is pretty important and often overlooked. Yes, you love to golf but to do so everyday for the rest of your life? Perhaps? Or maybe not too realistic.

Doing the same thing day after day, not only becomes more like a job (with no pay or benefits) but it’s like taking every vacation back to visit the folks in Syracuse. Year after year. A thousand places to visit and year after year … back home to Syracuse. It will get old really fast.

But, as a newly retired person you have a blank slate. Unless you start to add things to your canvas, others will do it for you. Look around right now and figure out who you want to spend your time with, what organizations you want to get involved with and investigate places where you want to visit.

As you create this list, as you research your topics, as you reach out and learn more – explain to others what you are doing and why. This is your first step in making new friends. The information you are seeking already exists … you just need to ask the question.

Creating your very own ‘Fun Stuff’ list will benefit you even on down days (yes, sorry to say, you will have down days) and keep you active, interesting and engaging. Finding the things that make you feel grounded will vary from person to person but they are the essence of our being. I know I’m sounding overly dramatic but just take a minute and think about it.

ACTION ITEM: Make a list of the things that make you smile. The list below is unique to me. What will be on your list? (My list spell out RETIRE!)

Read
Exercise
Travel
Invest in yourself!
Routine
Education


Read!

Of course I’d list this one first – it’s my GO-TO hobby. I love visiting book stores, libraries, attending speaker series, and author presentations.   I get a new look at the world through books. I have my own set of favorite authors and whether I read a book, listen on a cd or download to my smart phone, the act of ingesting someone’s words is a true gift.

Downtown Chicago Library with glass ceiling!

One huge aspect of reading for me is visiting libraries. Libraries are unique and have their own personality.  Some libraries are nondescript, bland, boring and easily forgotten. Other libraries are landmark buildings with glass ceilings and stand tall and proud. I just read one great blog post from The Library Lady Travels about a series of churches in Canada that were converted into libraries as a way to save the historical building and house books. I really want to visit those buildings! For all the libraries in between, they have their own sweet character that usually invites me to return. 

Long shelves of library books

Exercise!

Without exercise and a healthy body there really is no happy retirement, right? Without exercise there will be no walking, hiking, tennis, or golfing. A regular exercise routine is something to be scheduled and on the calendar. This routine can offer so much besides a happy body.

Reports and studies show that walking is the perfect exercise. I love walking but not running. I stopped running the day I realized I could walk faster than my ‘run.’ The secret to an exercise routine is that you do it, love it and embrace it. I was never going to embrace running but walking … oh yeah!

What is it that you love to do? When you are creating your list, remember to factor in strength training. As we age, our muscles lose mass. In other words, they are slowly dying. They need to be challenged, engaged and tested. Strength training is not specific to a gym either. You can get stronger without lifting weights.

Happily After Retirement while cross country skiing, in Fort Collins, CO
Gotta love what you do!

It might take you a whole 5 minutes searching to find youtube.com videos of strength training without equipment routines. Once you find a few, bookmark them and try them all. Lunges, squats, push-ups, planks and resistance bands will cause you to sweat, stretch beyond your limits and be open for new opportunities. Pick bits and pieces from routines and create your own plan. Once you figure out what exercise you love, put it on your calendar!

Do not believe the studies that tell you “Only 20 minutes of walking a day is needed.” Phooey. Move it or lose it is my motto!

Travel!

I believe that travel is a huge factor in my retirement happiness. The freedom to make plans that are months away or spur-of-the-moment make a big difference in my mental well-being. Before, I used to dream about building up vacation days so I could get out of town. I had to pass on those dream flights that popped at Wednesday at 2 am and would promise to whisk you to an amazing destination if you were packed and ready to board within 24 hours. Those flights are what blockbuster movies are all about.

Thatch house in Ireland
Thatch house in Ireland

So, here I am with time and a vehicle and all it will take is for me to schedule something on my calendar as a way to make it happen. Take a trip to Sedona on Tuesday. OK. Visit hot springs next month.  Take a Napa Valley Wine Tour in September? Booked and on the calendar.

Invest in yourself!

This tip relates back to all the things you said you wanted to do. Learn to dance, play guitar, weave, sing, golf, cook, or whatever you promised you would do when you retire. Perhaps you are wanting to write a book, start a podcast, climb a mountain, learn a language or build a house.  Investing in yourself includes giving away your time too. Finding a cause that resonates with your core values will be the way to start.  Want to work with children, build houses, visit the sick, distribute food, hoe gardens, collect trash? There are organizations waiting for you to call. Most often, in order to invest in yourself it takes a bit of planning.

Weld County Fiddle Fest 2012
Time to take fiddle lessons?

ACTION ITEM: Take a look at your bucket list and circle three things that you have to work hard to achieve. Want to learn to speak Spanish? Check out local community colleges or recreation centers for classes. Or go online and search for “free language app” or perhaps visit your local library.

What are those things that you dreamed about prior to retirement? Pick the top three and create a list of the steps you need to take to achieve them.

Then take one step.

Then tomorrow take another. Simple, easy and most important, you’ve put your dreams in motion. Congratulations!

Routine!

OK, readers, this one is HUGE! I know, I know. For the past 30 years you have been on a schedule and now it’s time to go rogue. Or, maybe not.

clock face
Don”t let time slip away!

Having a routine is powerful in so many ways. A set wake-up time or a scheduled daily exercise program is needed to keep moving forward. Without some sort of routine, days slip by and you’ll often ask yourself “what day is it?” At first it’s funny, then it is just frustrating. Those mindless days turn into years then into decades. Own your life again. Start now.

A routine holds you accountable to yourself. Knowing you are expected to be at the gym at 7 am gets you up and out the door. Perhaps 7am is your journaling time? Then put something on the calendar and stick with it. Not only will you find other like- minded individuals who show up when you do, you might find out you have lots in common.

Education!

Once you figure out what it is you want to learn, get online and find out more. Want to spend time learning college level material? Go to iTunes University. You will be amazed what is offered. Or go to your internet browser and search for Open Educational Resources (OER). These are free and open sources materials with a focus on getting college level material into the hands of students without the high price tag. 
Another place to continue online learning is via Youtube University, Coursera and TED talks, Tedx and TEDEd

iTunes u link
ITunes U is a great resource


Some communities offer classes through Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. This foundation supports a national lifelong learning network for seasoned adults and operates on 124 campuses across the nation. 

Download a podcast app and listen to almost any topic that interests you. (Go back to your bucket list for inspiration.) Find the search icon and type in your subject. You will be amazed at the variety and selection of speakers you can subscribe and listen to on a regular basis.

This is the time in your life to really stretch your imagination and do something amazing. Want to learn astronomy? Astrology? Astrophysics? Then check online courses, podcasts, books, community colleges, local universities and start asking HOW to make it happen. Just remember to get it on your calendar.

And, just for the record – I want you to kick back and be lazy. I think you earned it and nobody should take that away from you. Let the sun shine on your face, smell the flowers, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy that ice cold beverage.  And then … make a plan. (smile)

+++++++

Resources:

What are your Go-To resources? Send me a link and I’ll be sure to check them out.

Retired: Renting rooms to traveling nurses

Retired and want to rent a room in your house to a traveling nurse? Keep reading…

Furnished Finders – furnishedfinders.com 

Recently I found a website called Furnished Finders. The website states “Furnished Finder is a short-term housing provider for travel nurses and other business travelers who need furnished housing. We boast a 92 day average stay, and are major data providers for corporate housing coordinators and medical staffing companies across the US.
Property owners list their available short-term apartments on Furnished Finder, as healthcare travelers command a consistent appetite for traditional corporate housing and alternative housing types alike.”

nurseThe cool thing about this site is you pay an upfront fee of $99 and then you become one of their listings. You fill out your information, price and list the medical centers, hospitals, etc near you. Then, once you publish your information, you have guests contact you. They will have a stay that is about 90 days long but if you have an extra room and want a guest, it might be the way to go.

The best thing of all is – no Airbnb fees. You decide on the price and contact the potential guest before accepting the reservation.

You have WAY less competition than other places (Airbnb.com, VRBO.com) and more immediate interaction.

You will also have an income that is between you and your guest. Only you and your guest.

Check it out. You might like it.


Resources:

Retired: Living rent-free as a property caretaker!

Caretaker Gazette gives you a new location to loveHave you ever considered becoming the caretaker of a property? The Caretaker Gazette is a newsletter filled with a huge list of  amazing properties across the globe. There are properties in NY City lofts, ranches in Nevada, farms in New Zealand and castles in Italy. How about working as a caretaker at a beach house in Maui, serve as a Park Host couple in the Ozarks, work as part of a team on an island farm in Maine or perhaps on a semi-private island in the South Pacific? Oh my!

Feel the need to reach out and try something new?
You might want to check this out.

In addition to finding places for you to work, you can post an advertisement with specifics about you and where you might want to go. What do you have to offer a landlord who just might want to leave for a few months? Being retired and having the freedom to relocate is pretty darn cool. I look at the newsletter and keep hoping to find my perfect fit. Even an imperfect fit might be pretty nice!

The Gazette provides its subscribers with thousands of house-sitting and property caretaking jobs each year. They have housesitting jobs in all 50 US States, Canada, Mexico and dozens of other countries.

Caretaker.org (Caretaking and Housesitting Jobs across the globe)

Caretaker Gazette is a unique newsletter containing property caretaking and house-sitting jobs, advice, and information for property caretakers, housesitters, and landowners. Published since 1983, it’s the only publication in the world dedicated to the property caretaking field. Email: caretaker@caretaker.org

GO SEE FOR YOURSELF!

Caretaker Gazette gives you a new location to love

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I –
I took the one less traveled by.” -Robert Frost

Red & Yellow & Pink & Green …

Do you ever just want to get in a vehicle and go someplace else? Someplace with lots of night sky, amazing vistas and beauty? I am in that mood right now. As spring teases, with warm days and tiny green shoots of life popping out of brown landscape, I am ready for more. So ready!

Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue … now I can sing a rainbow too!  Ahh, I long for color in my world again!

Do you ever just want to get in a vehicle and go someplace else? Someplace with lots of night sky, amazing vistas, colorful landscape and beauty? I am in that mood right now. As spring teases, with warm days and tiny green shoots of life popping out of brown landscape, I am ready for more. So ready!Tulip painted on garage in Lafayette, CO

To get more, I have to travel to it for the time being. Shall I go south to the colorful adobe houses and find relief in the art of Santa Fe, New Mexico or do I head to the west and breathe in the red dust from the ancient rocks in Arches National Park, Utah? Or do I bide my time and wait a month and hop on a plane for a destination a bit further away?

If I wait, I can focus on the earth and work to help bring my garden and flowers back to life. Removing the leaves from last year’s trees, collecting piles of pine cones, cutting back old growth and sitting patiently to watch…

Spring is a restless sort of time for me. I think because in Colorado spring is never when we want it. The state gets most of it’s snow in March and April. And often, we get really big storms in May too. No matter how ready I may be for spring if Mother Nature wants to add that last blanket of white on my world, I have to step back and let her have her way.

When I was a kid, I longed for Christmas. The anticipation was part of the charm. I’ve lost that longing for Christmas, but boy oh boy I sure am counting down the days to spring!

I wish you could join me here and we could welcome it together!

 

My Coolest Travel Hack (EVER!)

You can take a bottle of frozen water through security! Yup! It’s true!

Ice bottle travel hackHere is the best travel hack EVER! I use it all the time yet have never seen it on any travel website. When I travel, it seems I am the only one who knows about it. NOW, that will change and you are free to use it as well.

You can take a bottle of frozen water through security! Yup! Put the bottle of ice in the plastic tub with your shoes. Or in one of those small plates that you toss your keys and coins in. The TSA people want to see your bottle of ice.

Why is this possible? I was told (by a TSA Agent) that explosives can’t freeze. Your bottle of ice is cleared for security. Remember, you can NOT take a bottle of water through security, but you can take a bottle of ice. Cool!  You save money and are rewarded with cold water on your trip! Sweet, right?

Be sure to comment and “Like” cause you are gonna LOVE this travel tip!

Travel resources:

Internet Goodie #5 – Travel Tips

Southwest Airlines(Old Color) at LAX
Southwest Airlines image from Wikipedia

There was a time whenever we wanted to take a trip we had to go to a travel agent and let someone else schedule our vacation. However, things have changed and now the entire planning is on our shoulders. That’s not a bad thing because when you do the planning – you own it!

Travel sites like Kayak and Travelocity allow you to book your flight, hotel and transportation from a wide range of choices. As you check these sites and compare prices and schedules, be sure to visit Southwest Air and JetBlue since their flights only show up on their websites.

Want to book a hotel? Go to Hotels Cheap to find some better than great deals. They guarantee the lowest online rate possible so they are worth checking out. Last Minute Travel is a great place to find an amazing deal on luxury hotels.

Before you book a hotel, go to Trip Advisor and read what others have to say about their stay. Many people are happy to record their experiences when they stay at hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and other lodgings. Their advice may help you discover a new destination! Make time to read this site and learn about places to visit, restaurants to enjoy or avoid and other sage advice from recent travelers.

Lonely Planet has something for everyone including a blog, magazine and newsletter. Their forums discuss local issues that can benefit outsiders and tourists. The website is appealing, inviting and informative.

Looking for an affordable airfare in Europe? Check out Flycheapo. This website offers information about 45 low fare carriers but once you track down the information, you’ll have to visit the airline’s site and book your flight. Fare compare is an international airfare website that researches destinations according you’re your spending limit and time-frame. Over 500 airlines are searched to find the information. It’s all about you …

Are you waiting for a flight to arrive? If so, track their progress in the air (Flight Aware) to determine when they’ll arrive.

Wondering about the weather? Check out weather.com and enter the city and select current or weekend weather or plan ahead and go to 5-day or 10-day forecast.

Websites:

Postaday2011

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