Sunday Guest Post: Retirement Hours

retirement hours

I’m thrilled to contribute a second guest post for one of my favorite blogs, bloggers, and friends. Thank you, Donna, for asking me to participate. You have such a loyal following and I always enjoy the lively discussions that posts on your site generate.

During our trip up to Northern California over the Christmas holidays, I spotted this sign hanging on a locked fence in front of a shop:

retirement hours
 
At first I thought it was merely amusing, but then I realized that I could wear a similar sign around my neck now that I’m retired. Since I no longer keep ‘business hours,’ my retirement schedule is almost as… ummm… flexible.

Retirement Hours

Most mornings start at about 7:00 or 7:30, occasionally as early as 6:30. But sometimes I am able to sleep in and find myself getting up as late as 8:00.
Not being a slave to my alarm is a luxury. Although I would love to be one of those lucky people who sleeps through the night and wakes up early refreshed and raring to go, I’m not. I had hoped that when I retired, I would no longer lay awake up in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, my monkey mind has switched from dwelling on work-related issues to thinking about things like blog posts.
 
By 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon, I like to slow down and relax. But sometimes something fun will keep me out and about until 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening.
Even if I’ve relaxed most of the day I still need to switch gears for evening relaxation (yes, there is a difference). If I go out, I try to avoid rush hour – on the road or at the grocery store – so I like to be home by 4:00 or so. But, give me a good reason to venture out in the evening (happy hour with friends or book club come to mind) and I will brave the traffic.
 
Some days or afternoons I’m not around at all (or maybe I just decide not to answer my phone).
This will be our little secret… voicemail is my best friend. I really dislike talking on the phone under most circumstances, but if I’m busy – doing just about anything – fuhgeddaboudit. Leave me a message (or, better yet, text!) and I will call back when I’m ready… or not. It’s not you, it’s me… really.
 
If I’m somewhere else, I’m probably traveling.
This is my favorite place to be. Whether we are out exploring local areas of interest, taking a long road trip, or flying off to visit other states or countries, we love having an adventure. Retirement has given us the ability to change our plans at a moment’s notice and stay away as long as we wish. I love coming home but, before too long, I’ve already started to plan our next trip.

Retirement is not all fun and games, we actually have some projects to complete, schedules to adhere to and, on occasion, we even have to make and keep appointments. But, overall, we relish the flexibility we have at this time of our lives. Living in retirement is satisfying and fulfilling… and you can’t beat the hours.

Janis
Retirementally Challenged

retirement hours
 

From Retirement Reflections: I have been a long time fan of Retirementally Challenged and am grateful that Janis has agreed to Guest Host here again. Her posts are always insightful, inspiring and highly relatable. If you haven’t yet checked out her site, I highly encourage you to drop everything that you are doing (yes, even reading this blog) and check it out now! Up next week, we welcome back Dee from Grammy’s Grid. Dee is another inspirational blogger who you won’t want to miss. I look forward to seeing you then.

Returning Home

returning home

For fourteen years my husband and I lived and worked in Beijing, China. It was an incredible experience that enriched our lives in ways too numerous to mention. Being part of a large international school (me) and a global law firm (Richard), we were able to meet and form deep friendships with remarkable people from around the world. While many of these people have remained in Beijing, many have since returned to their original homes or have taken on other international postings. A significant number have relocated to other parts of Asia.

When leaving Beijing, Richard and I joked that these friends would quickly begin to say “Donna and Richard who?” For me, it wasn’t a joke. It was a fear.

Richard and I are currently planning a trip to Singapore to visit our youngest son who lives and works there. We have added a small side trip to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Although our time will be too short to stop in Beijing, this trip is remarkably feeling like ‘returning home’.

A large cluster of our Beijing friends now live in Singapore. A couple more live in Phnom Penh. The warmth and generosity that Richard and I have received when these friends learned that we would soon be visiting has been overwhelming. One friend, who currently lives in Vietnam, has arranged to fly to Singapore for the weekend so that we can spend time together.

Words can never express the relief and gratitude when your deepest fears are proven wrong.

While this planned trip does not take place quite yet, I will definitely keep you posted (pun intended). And yes, I will include many photos!

returning home

Keeping the Cookie Jar Full During Early Retirement

Early Retirement
Early Retirement
Source:www.giftbasketdropshipping.com/members/Gourmet_Cookies.html

As we’ve been taught to do, I mostly ignored the money I was setting aside for retirement while I was working. In theory, I claimed to understand the mechanics of what was happening with it every two weeks. But in reality, it made about as much sense to me as supply-side economics. And just like I am now with the new tax plan here in the U.S., I was surely unsure how it would all eventually trickle down to me. I understood that it was my money, but I literally had no idea how or when I would get my grimy hands on it.

Which is why a recent Sunday Guest Post here on Donna’s blog caught my attention. Written by Lynn from Encore Voyage, she tells her story of retiring from a long career in teaching, followed by an unplanned termination of her husband’s job. It sounds like it was a scary situation for them, at least in the short term. Everyone wants to make sure they’ve dotted all their I’s and crossed all those T’s prior to taking the retirement plunge. To paraphrase Art Linkletter, retirement planning isn’t for the faint of heart.

One passage in Lynn’s post  spoke to me directly (emphasis mine):

“We were not old enough to officially ‘retire,’ and we hadn’t been taking specific steps to do so. While we had spent a lifetime saving for retirement, and we knew we would be okay financially, we were unprepared for about a zillion changes that happen when you suddenly become retired.”

I can relate to that completely because my own ‘retirement’ was surprisingly quick and somewhat haphazard. In hindsight, I now characterize that period as controlled confusion.

I took early retirement four months shy of my 56th birthday. I had just been through a rather quick medical odyssey, the results of which were both inconclusive but thankfully positive. At the same time, my employer dangled an early retirement and buyout offer to eligible staff. Although I had been eligible for similar offers in prior years, this time around the timing seemed right to take it. There were other horizons to explore.

I had done very little in the way of retirement planning. But like Lynn and her husband, I too had been diligently saving. My goal each year was to sock away a higher percentage of my salary into my 401(k) plan than the previous year. A divorce four years earlier forced me to partition a percentage of it for my ex-wife. My response to that was to increase contributions to make-up for the loss. By the time I made the early retirement decision, I had managed to recover and even add to what the court-ordered decree had removed. In fairness, a post-recession bull market helped my efforts tremendously.

A little over three years later, this retirement experiment has blossomed into a very satisfying next phase for us. Thanks to my wife Gorgeous’ full-time business, my part-time job, and a small pension that I receive from my former employer, we settled into a Florida condo which we purchased earlier this year.

My money in the 401(k) plan continues to sit on autopilot. I log in every week to check on its performance. Once a year, during the month of January, I review and re-balance everything so that all funds are back to their pre-determined allocations. Distributions from it are still a few years away from starting.

Gorgeous had no savings prior to our getting married, and she’s now on a mission late in life to build her own retirement fund. It’s really never too late to start.

The most important part for us is that we have figured out a way forward without dipping into the cookie jar.

My thanks to Donna for this opportunity to appear on her blog again.

Marty
Snakes in the Grass

early retirement
Marty and Gorgeous

From Retirement Reflections: Have you noticed that there are numerous ‘essentials’ of retirement that I never seem to write about on this blog? That is one reason that I am so grateful to all Guests Hosts for generously sharing their experience, passions and expertise. Thank you to Marty for being the first on this blog to directly tackle the fundamental subject of retirement savings. To read more of Marty’s thoughts on pensions, social security, 401(k)s, alimony, politics, current events, music, and…life’s comical ironies head over to his blog at Snakes in the Grass. Adding her expertise to another area that I typically neglect in my writing is Linda from Boots, Shoes and Fashion. Please join us next week when Linda, who is usually acting as ‘interviewer’ on her website, switches seats and shares a bit of her own story with us. I hope that you will join us then!

Sundays at Six Guest Post Series – Finding Your Mojo After a Holiday

Finding your Mojo

Hello from sunny Australia! I’m Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond. I’m delighted to be writing again for Donna’s Sunday Guest Post Series. We have met some fabulous people here, haven’t we? A huge thank you to Donna for introducing everyone. I’m honoured to be returning. I wrote my first post for this series back in July where I discussed Retiring from Work, not Life – The Art of Positive Aging.

Now that I’m back, I’d like to share my tips on finding your ‘mojo’ after a long holiday. Recently, as part of my sixtieth birthday celebrations, my husband and I took a five-week holiday, exploring Spain and Italy. We flew to London, which is a twenty-six-hour flight from Australia, spent a few days there, then flew to Portugal for our Spanish Adventure. We followed this with a seven-night cruise before visiting my husband’s cousins in Italy. Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. It was a fantastic experience for both of us and a great way to cap off my sixtieth birthday.

Finding your MojoWe returned home with wonderful memories. For the first time, we came home TIRED after our holiday. It took a long while for us to get over jet lag. After sampling the delicious food and sangria, I felt bloated and uncomfortable. I felt out of sorts and didn’t have the motivation to get back into exercise or blogging. I’m a person who likes to be active and living life, but I didn’t feel like running with my Saturday Sisters or doing anything strenuous at all. That had to stop! So what did I do to recapture my mojo and zest for living?

Take Time to Recover

I allowed myself to recover and not feel guilty about it. In the past, I would have jumped straight back into life and pushed myself. I realised that I didn’t need to do that because I am retired so had no immediate commitments waiting for me. I gave myself permission to rest and recover not only my body but also my mind. It also gave me time to reflect on our holiday and enjoy the recent memories.

Make a Plan

What is the point of visiting fabulous places and restricting yourself? I knew that I wanted to enjoy the food of Spain and Italy and of course the sangria. However, coming home and feeling uncomfortable I knew I had to get my healthy lifestyle back. For this, I needed a plan! I set out a strategy for resuming my regular exercise and eating well-balanced meals. Rather than rushing straight back into my normal exercise routine, I started with gentle yoga and stretching, and downloaded an app, ‘My Daily Workout’. I hadn’t exercised for five weeks, so I needed to listen to my body and ease back into my workouts.

Catch Up with Family and Friends

Finding your MojoI regularly mind my grandson each week and after five weeks away, I had missed him so much. It was great to start that weekly commitment again and also catch up with my family and running friends, my Saturday Sisters. Getting back to connecting is a great way to lift your spirits and help you feel motivated again.

After one month, I was feeling back to my fit, fabulous, healthier and happier self with wonderful holiday memories. I was ready to take on the Festive Season! Life is certainly not dull in our household…but that is a story for another time.

How do you find your mojo? I’d love for you to leave me your comments.

Sue
Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond


From Retirement Reflections:
Thank you, Sue. I’m sure that many of us found this post to be very timely. I certainly did. I like your advice to permit ourselves to take time to recover and then get back to our routines slowly but steadily. As our holiday company left this past week, yours is a strategy that I will borrow to transition back into my regular activities…and my regular meals! Up next week is Anabel from The Glasgow Gallivanter. Anabel will be talking to us about ‘Hidden Histories.’ Please join us next Sunday to see what she has to reveal!

Seize Life

Seize life

On a warm summer’s evening last June, Richard and I gathered at a nearby beachfront enjoying drinks and appetizers with others who had recently moved to Vancouver Island. The air vibrated with everyone’s excitement with their new (or relatively new) surroundings. As most of us had finally reached retirement, the air was also filled with hope and optimism for all of the possibilities that lie ahead.

As I moved about in my usual chatty style, Richard settled into one spot getting into deep conversation with another newcomer. Both men had a passion for CNN, both loved to rant about the antics of a certain President, and both were looking forward to their long-planned adventures that would come with retirement.

This past Saturday, just over six months after that gathering, Richard and I met with many of those same people also on a nearby beachfront. We were there to say goodbye to the man whom Richard had conversed with so easily just months before. This past autumn, that man so strong and vital and so ready to live his dreams was diagnosed with cancer. He died three months after his diagnosis.

As Richard and I stood on the beachfront, listening to warm stories shared about our friend, and toasting him with scotch (our friend’s favourite drink), we hugged each other tightly.

It is so easy to take our lives for granted – even when we know better. It is so easy to forget that life is fleeting. It is so easy to shield ourselves in denial.

Life and love are our most precious gifts. Call a sibling. Write a note to a friend. Tell your Mom that you love her. Hold your family and friends close. Apologize to someone whom you’ve hurt (it doesn’t matter who started it). Seize life now. Do not expect tomorrow to be a guarantee.

Our friend did not want a funeral. Instead, he wanted us all to celebrate life. That advice is now my New Year’s Pledge.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

Sunday Guest Post Series: ‘Twas a White Canadian Christmas

Wagemadness

Hello! I’m Jess from Wagemadness. I’m also Donna’s daughter-in-law.

I’d like to thank Donna for having me guest post on her blog. I have been following it since her very first post!

I am nowhere near retirement, but hope that you will be able to relate to my post in one way or another. I am here to write a bit about our recent family Christmas holiday. It included four generations–eleven adults, two kids, one (large) dog, tons of food and heaps of snow in a beautiful Canadian log chalet up on Mt. Washington, British Columbia.

Christmas 2015

We’ve spent many family Christmases together and they’ve all been so much fun. Now this holiday has taken on a whole new meaning because of the wee ones! We have a thirteen-month-old daughter who is crawling around and becoming her own little diva. She has an older cousin who is two and a half. For our daughter’s first Christmas, she was only one-month-old. I was so consumed in my new mommyhood that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. What did we do last Christmas again? The memory is clouded in sleep deprivation, raging hormones and cluster feeds. However, we were surrounded by family who came over and cooked Christmas dinner at our house so we didn’t have to take the baby anywhere and we were forever grateful for that.

This Christmas, things are much different as the kids are more independent and aware of what’s going on. That gives family time, holiday time, and Christmastime a whole new dimension. It’s true; kids make Christmas better. Santa is real again! Cookies and carrots were put out for Santa and his reindeer. Those are memories that I cherish from when I was a little girl. I hope these little ones will too. Just watching their excitement when opening their gifts under the tree was heartwarming.

We were able to get out into the snow, hike and snowshoe around the mountain, hit up the local pub, check out the tubing slopes and take in the freshness of winter. Where we live in BC, we don’t get much snow, and rarely a white Christmas, so this was very special. Our little one has never seen snow before either, so being able to throw her in the Ergo carrier on my back in her brand new snowsuit from Grandma and Grandpa (thanks for that again…such a lifesaver!) was super exciting! I would plop her down in the snowbank and she didn’t know what to do with it all except smile and point. My little nephew loved the deep snow as well, what kid doesn’t!? One of the aunties and uncles brought their beautiful malamute, Nala, up to the mountain and she was in heaven. She took a nap out on the deck, it was snowing, but she didn’t mind. She was covered in snow and was…happy as a ‘husky in winter’ – okay, that was cheesy!

WagemadnessOur chalet was perfect for us. It was large enough to give everyone their own space.I loved the Haida-carved log posts and the million-dollar mountain view. It was a bit of a climb from the parking lot to the cabin but we were able to hire a snowcat with a freight toboggan to haul up all of our luggage  (babies have a lot of stuff!)

WagemadnessEach couple was responsible for a meal or two and some snacks. It can be hard to provision properly for eleven adults and two kids. With teamwork we managed it nicely. On Christmas Day, Donna (Grandma) and her mom (Great Grandma) prepared an amazing turkey dinner that I am still salivating over. It was delicious! Probably my favourite meal of all time is turkey dinner with all the fixings. Can we just have this meal every day, please!?

Whether you’re eating all the Christmas goodies, singing Christmas carols, watching the plethora of Christmas movies, playing board games or just relaxing on the sofa from that ever-so-strong tryptophan-effect, doing it with your loved ones during the holidays is soul topping. Sharing these traditions with your kids, watching their joy and reliving Christmas spirit like you’re a child again is the cherry on top of an already stacked sweet memory.

So, I hope you, too, had a Merry Christmas with your friends and family wherever you are. From my family to yours, all the best in 2018! Happy New Year!

lessons learnedJessica
Wagemadness
Instagram

Guest Post Series: Christmas Eve Reflections on My First Year of Retirement

Chirstmas Eve Reflections

Hello again, I’m so happy to be back for Donna’s ‘Sundays at Six’! I’m Debbie from ‘Deb’s World.’ I’ve enjoyed being a guest at Donna’s blog throughout the year. I also had a blast featuring her in my ‘People of Interest’ series. She is a generous soul and someone I now call a friend, despite having never met in person (yet).

Holiday Greetings to you all from the Land Down Under!

For this ‘Sundays at Six’ series, I thought I’d take a reflective look at my summary of how 2017, my first year of retirement, has panned out. I know I wrote enthusiastically back in March about how much I was enjoying myself. Now that I have a full year under my belt, I thought I’d use this opportunity to give you a further update.

This post came about from my ‘Annual Report’ to former colleagues, at our recent Christmas Party/Reunion. We have managed to stay in contact and have had numerous get-togethers during the year, even though we all live different lives now and some live out of town. We are like family.

At our Christmas lunch we were each given five minutes to present our Annual Report – updating everyone on family/pets, highs/lows, and plans for 2018. This was a great way of sharing our news with everyone at the same time. We then did Secret Santa!
It is fitting for me to share that this time last year (December 2016) we were all made redundant from our teaching jobs in the State’s Prison system. It was a hard time. We celebrated our successes of over 20 years of good work and tried to look forward to an uncertain future. I know I was in a bad place at the time, but here I am bright and sparkly 12 months after to share that I’m in a very good place now. It’s here that Donna can insert her wise words – “I told you so!” (From Donna – “It’s true…I did mention this!”)

Summary from my Annual Report:

Christmas Eve Reflections

Highs:
Family:

.Our family increased with the official addition of a new son-in-law following our youngest daughter’s wedding in Fiji. A definite high point of the year!

Travel:

LOTS of it! I calculated that this year I have spent 170 days away from home traveling whether on my own or with my husband. That’s an incredible 24+ weeks of travel!! I’ve even managed to blog about a lot of our travels.
• We spent time in Tasmania, the Flinders Ranges and South Australia, Fiji, Melbourne, Canberra, Murwillumbah, Nowra, Brisbane and New Zealand. (There’s a song I can sing here called “I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been everywhere,” but I’ll refrain for the moment).
• We loved celebrating with our three daughters and their partners all together in Fiji in October! Thoughts on a Destination Wedding from the Mother of the Bride
Running: I managed to run a bit more regularly and did the Mother’s Day Run in Canberra and the Run Melbourne 6km event. I’ve got so much more time now that I’m not working (said no-one ever)!

Blogging:

Having time to spend on my blog and interacting with other amazing people around the world. I’ve used my blog as a way of using my brain, learning new skills, technology and staying up to date. I had business cards made saying I was a Blogger and gave each of my colleagues a card. Losing my identity after being made redundant was something I suffered with a great deal, this was my fun way of being someone again!

Lows:

• The slow decline of my father. He has Parkinson’s Disease and it’s awful seeing him slowly fade away. It has been good being able to visit my mother more often and to see dad in his aged care facility, without worrying about leave forms and time-frames (so that bit’s a high).
• Our daughter’s cat, of a great age, suddenly disappeared and hasn’t returned. We won’t be replacing Luna Aphrodite.
• I’ve missed the daily contact with my colleagues.
• There are not enough hours in the day anymore!

Plans for 2018

More travel to see our daughter who lives in the UK but we know we can’t keep up the pace we set in 2017!

So that’s my update. As you can see, I have made the most of my time. I haven’t even mentioned things like our involvement in Rotary Youth Exchange programs, my reading, community involvement, photography or other daily occurrences.
Wishing you all happy and safe holiday season wherever and however you spend it. Looking forward to a new year just as exciting as this year and continuing my blogging connections with you all. Thanks again Donna for having me over.

Debbie
Christmas Eve Reflections

From Retirement Reflections: Thank you to Debbie for joining us again and sharing her very full and positive first year of retirement (told ya so!). Please drop by next week for a very special Guest Post…this time from my Daughter-in-Law, Jess from Wagemadness! Wishing you all a very warm and peaceful Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Sunday Guest Post Series: Living A Car-Free Lifestyle

car-free

Greetings everyone! I’m Natalie from ‘Natalie the Explorer.’ I wrote my first guest post on Donna’s blog at the end of October. That was such an enjoyable Guest-Hosting experience that I wanted to contribute to the extension of Donna’s fantastic Sunday Guest Post Series. So here I am writing my second guest post to share my thoughts on living car-free. I think it’s an atypical lifestyle, especially in North America. Do you agree?

My primary mode of transportation is walking. I maintain a valid driver’s license, and occasionally we rent a car when we go on a road trip somewhere. I had a hand-me-down bicycle at one point, but it was not a good one for regular cycling, so I got rid of it. I plan to research and eventually buy a new bicycle as I also enjoy cycling.

After living car-free for about twenty-five years now (yes, it’s a quarter of a century!), I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to reflect on the Top 5 tremendous benefits that I’ve gained from this lifestyle.

1. Increased Health-Benefits:

I walk thousands of steps daily. My body becomes well conditioned for walking, and I have become a faster walker over time. While walking, my mind is free to wonder or reflect. I can do walking meditation if I want to. I notice the sights, sounds, and smells of my surroundings and appreciate what nature offers to us. This morning, for example, I saw flurries for the first time this season, and they made me smile. I doubt that many drivers where I live would smile at first sight of snow. I have no commuting stress and gain the health benefits of regular walking which Donna had written about in her excellent A Walk In The Woods post.

2. Huge Financial Savings:

I spend about CAD$15 per month on public transit, mainly to visit my relatives who live in the suburbs. Aside from the similarly low cost to renew my driver’s license, I do not have to pay for car insurance, license plate, gas, car maintenance, parking fees, etc. The low transportation cost enables me to save, invest, and reach financial independence sooner than I could if needing to use and maintain a car.

3. Intentional Living:

I’m exempt from the responsibilities, chores, and sometimes headaches associated with car ownership. This includes car bill payments, car cleaning, seasonal maintenance, clearing of the driveway and the car windshield, parking, fender benders…or even road rage from other stressed driver. I’m free to experience the journey, and not just to get from A to B as quickly as possible. At the same time, my ‘trips’ are more intentional. For example, when grocery shopping I buy only what we need and that I’m able to carry home. This eliminates impulse buying and naturally saves cash.

4. Connection with my neighbourhood and local businesses:

I have time to see what’s new in my surroundings and become a regular contributor to the local economy in my neighbourhood. As I walk daily, I recognize the people who arrive or leave the area and vice versa. I recognize the local store employees, managers, or owners and they recognize me as one of their regular customers. It’s like having a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ program and the feelings of safety, comfort, and connectedness are priceless.

5. Fun ‘survival science’…as well as confidence-boosting:

Living in a cold climate with four seasons and walking to get around means I need to be aware of weather-related data such as daily high or low temperatures, wind speed, rain/ snow precipitation, humidity, wind chill factors, UV indexes, as well as sunrise and sunset times for visibility reasons. I need to dress accordingly! I’ve become pretty good at directions, time and distance estimates. This has also served me well when I travel abroad and land in a new city. What I’ve learned in geography, math, and science classes become real and relevant on a daily basis. It’s fascinating 🙂

I feel very fortunate that I live close to a walkable city centre with a well-used public transit system and an increasing number of dedicated bike paths. For trips that require a vehicle, I can access services such as car rentals (a new car every time!), car shares, taxis, or online delivery.

No lifestyle is perfect. For me, the pros of living car-free outweigh the cons significantly.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Natalie

From Retirement Reflections:I love reading and writing Guests Posts and hosting Guest Bloggers. I have learned so much this way that I otherwise would never have known. It also reinforces that blogging is all about community. Thank you to Natalie for suggesting and kicking off Round Two. I love her provocative post on embracing an ‘atypical lifestyle’. I look forward to reading your comments on this. Up next Sunday will be…me…sharing in more details what I’ve learned from Guest Blogging and Guest Hosting. Please join me then.

Sunday Guest Post Series: An Encore Voyage

Encore

As my mother-in-law used to say, “I could just bust my buttons!”  I am both humbled and delighted to have been asked by Donna to slip on over here and put up a post in her Sunday Guest-Post Series.  I had been absent from the blogging scene for the better part of a year, but returned to my blog because I missed the relationships I had developed with my “blogging buds.”  And, just like friends in real life, the minute I was back on-line, Donna was there – picking up as if no time had passed.  If we were closer, I’d be buying that girl a pumpkin spiced chai tea latte!

Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Lynn from ‘An Encore Voyage.’

And here’s how it all started…

A few years back, I decided to give up my 30-year teaching career.  A difficult decision, yes, but as hubs said, “Honey, you don’t have to have a job that makes you cry.”  Isn’t he an awesome guy?  Yes, I agree! Everything was just dandy until hubs came home to tell me that his position at an engineering firm was being terminated!

What the Heck Just Happened…

We went from a six-digit household income, to zip, nada, zilch – overnight.  I hyperventilated.  We panicked a bit.  We drank wine. We freaked out. We drank a little more wine…

We became “retired” overnight…

I guess that’s what you might call it.  We were not old enough to officially “retire,” and we hadn’t been taking specific steps to do so.  While we had spent a lifetime saving for retirement, and we knew we would be okay financially, we were unprepared for about a zillion changes that happen when you suddenly become retired. We had no time to consider how we would function living together 24/7.  Or how our identities would be impacted.  Or what steps we would take next.

We took some deep breaths and decided we needed an Encore

Neither of us was ready to completely hang it up, and neither of us wanted to start over or repeat what we had already been doing.  And we both wanted to start living with a bit more intention and mindfulness. In other words, we also wanted to have more FUN!  So, we decided to treat this as “an opportunity to reinvent ourselves.”  And reinvent we have – A little bit of career, a little bit of travel, and a whole lot of self-discovery of our values and of how to make our daily lives align with those values.

An Encore Voyage is about our journey

I try to include posts about what we learned by being thrown into retired / work / travel togetherness. (Yep, I am, and always will be a teacher.)  Once a week, I try to create some awesome quote that I’ve stumbled across so that I can keep fresh in my mind those aspects of our Voyage which are important to us. Sometimes I might just ramble on about some random nonsense that happens to occur to me.  And because “soul-enhancing relationships” is one of our core values, I love connecting with fellow bloggers.  If I could meet you, I’d buy you a latte, too!

So, click on over and check us out. We’re sort of flying by the seats of our pants, making it up as we go along, part retirees, part adventurers, part minimalists, always loving the journey and committed to our Encore Voyage. We invite you to voyage with us!

Encore

 

 

 

Lynn An Encore Voyage

From Retirement Reflections: Thank you, Lynn, for joining us here and sharing more about yourself. I am thrilled that you have returned to this corner of the blogosphere.
For those who haven’t yet had the chance  to check out Lynn’s blog, I highly encourage you to do so.
Up next week is a return visit from ‘Natalie the Explorer.’ Natalie will be addressing a topic that was frequently commented upon in her last Guest Post.
If you are a blogger and would like to Guest Host on this site, for a first or second time, please do not hesitate to let me know. I’d love to feature (more of) your writing here.