What Do Retirement Bloggers Look Like?

I’ve been striving to keep myself busy. Daily yoga, lots of time with friends and family, and my on-line blogging course have been key activities. I initially felt like an anomaly in my course, as all other participants were younger, and most were focused on design. Despite being totally out of my comfort zone, I have persevered.

One of the most enlightening aspects of this course so far was a homework assignment that we were asked to do with an on-line partner. I was fortunate to work with a young designer named Miranda. I immediately loved her blog. It was fresh, playful and on topics (design and interior decorating) of which I know embarrassingly little. As part of our homework, we were asked to list five things that we liked about the other person’s blog and five areas where we would recommend modification. For her first comment, Miranda suggested a change from my black blog background. Where I had found it ‘neutral’ (and thus less likely to clash with my feature photos), she was concerned it could appear oppressive. As you can see, Miranda won on that point. It is now pine green.

Her next comment threw me a bit off-balance and was totally illuminating. “I donโ€™t believe that your title is good enough for your blog.” she began. “I imagined a little old lady, pottering about when I saw the title… but look at you!! Funky…love the denim jacket–not sure I know any granny who wears one!”

I totally had not expected that. I have never been one to avoid using the title ‘retired’ when asked what I do. Shamelessly, I have often shouted it out quite gleefully from the streets. I caught my breath. Do people really imagine “little old ladies (or gents) pottering about” when they hear the word ‘retired?’ And although I love being a grandmother, was I now considered a “granny?” Yikes!! My immediate fear was that I would need to rush into my closet, get rid of my denim jackets and don violet and lace!

In the comment section of a previous post, a few of us had a dialogue about ‘not your father’s (or grandfather’s) retirement,’ and how many current retirement bloggers are documenting new territory that has no steadfast map. After I first announced my retirement, I began to follow many of these bloggers. I appreciated the myriad of snapshots that they provided on what retirement can look like today. I gained a great deal from following them at that time, and continue to learn from them still. I have also learned significantly from partnering with Miranda, especially in terms of reaching out to readers. Although I easily let go of my ‘oppressive’ black background, I will need to reflect further on my blog’s title. That one is not as easy to rethink.

What do retirement bloggers look like today? Here is a small compilation of just a few of the retirement bloggers whom I regularly follow.screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-7-08-43-pmYou can check out their blogs, and the blogs of others, at my sidebar. You may just be surprised by what you find!

For our next homework assignment, we have been asked to create a mood board (on Instagram!) that visually captures what our blogs represent. Once again, this is totally out of my comfort zone… but it is very consistent with my current thinking. Watch for it here shortly!

41 Replies to “What Do Retirement Bloggers Look Like?”

  1. I never believe that retirement has a particular face. A face thatโ€™s equated to the tired, the old and the unhappy. Todayโ€™s retired folks come in many shades, sizes and features. They are in so many productive things, things that they might not have time to do before they retire. They are folks that are still continuing to strive to better themselves, albeit minus the clock and enjoying themselves to the hilt. I might be wrong in my assumption for I might be seeing only one end of the retirement spectrum but let me be for now.

    I enjoy reading your blog and I canโ€™t wait to read your next. Kudos to you and your adventures, Donna.

    1. These are sage words, Sharon. I believe that retirement is becoming more and more varied. With life expectancies increasing, retirees often have more time to explore, experiment and reinvent.
      Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. I am so glad that you are following along.

  2. hmmm – a course on social media … you mean we aren’t supposed to just wing it from day to day? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    That’s pretty well how I’ve approached this retirement thing. I don’t have a coherent plan and maybe that’s because my husband and I aren’t on the same page right now.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on one of the greatest benefits of retirement, but until Husband chooses to catch up with me, I guess I’ll just to continue winging it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do like the idea of going back to school, but this consulting job I took is keeping me a lot busier than I expected. Oh well, maybe next year ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks, Joanne. Winging it is definitely part of the adventure. And those like you who ‘wing it and write’ provide great inspiration for others.
      I hope that your consulting job is going well.

  3. That’s a tough one. Your title reflects your target audience. Twenty-somethings may not be drawn to it but do you care? Any search for retirement will come up with your blog and that’s who you want to capture. Today’s retirement is not like that of our parents but the name is the same. I named my blog when I was too green to “get it” but am reluctant to change it. I may shorten it. Some bloggers I follow have changed their titles and as long as the link works, I’m still connected. Be sure to post a picture if you move to purple and lace.

    1. Thanks, Kate. I love the title of your blog. It is true to what you write and is non-confining. As my goal is to ‘reflect upon retirement’ I will not likely make a name change soon…but I am always open to suggestions.
      Funny about the ‘purple and lace pic.’ Totally made me laugh!

  4. Hi Donna,
    The title of your blog never brought images of a little old lady to mind. Maybe Miranda had pre-conceived ideas of what a retiree should look like and she was simply shocked that you represented one of the faces of today’s retiree. As Sharon says, retirement doesn’t have a particular face. I love the title of your blog – it’s what brought me here and I enjoy having the opportunity of sharing your honest and thought-provoking reflections on retirement and on life in general. Thank you for that!

  5. Love the new look on your site, Donna. I have to agree with Marilyn above that there’s really nothing inherently “wrong” with your title. It’s how you present the content and the mood of your writing. From the first time I read your posts, I knew I wasn’t reading the words of some doughty retiree. You are NOT that. ๐Ÿ™‚ – Marty

    1. Thanks, Marty – I appreciate your feedback and kind words. I went onto your site to try to steal a photo of you but couldn’t find one. I definitely had wanted to include you in my “retired bloggers collage”! Donna

  6. I think your blog name is fine as it is. Our retired blogger community is varied, unique and special, and I love it when we come together to encourage and inspire each other as we move along our individual paths.

  7. I was talking with a group creating an on-line retirement coaching business and they determined after extensive RESEARCH that if the word retirement is not in their name, people will not link into them. It’s still the right word, and eventually the world will realize this is the 21st century retirement – not purple and lace and dotty old women drinking tea. Not that I don’t enjoy a nice cup of tea while reading and journaling! And actually purple is a lovely color to wear. Sigh. But still not dotty, that I am sure!

    Thanks so much for including me in your picks – it was lovely to see!

  8. I liked your colour scheme Donna as it was before! The lime green lurks at the side like a beacon, the previous one was more restful and tranquil! You don’t mention your comments on Miranda’s site.

    Anyway, you are reaching different markets, so you would be silly *not* to actually reach and tap into yours! I don’t know anyone who now thinks of retirees as old lace and talcum powder. Us baby-boomers have put paid to that!

    1. Thanks, Helen – I greatly respect your opinion. You make an important point about different markets, and a new era.
      PS – Is the soft mint better?

  9. Interesting! I agree with many of the posters who are basically saying “know your market”. And do what feels right for you.

    I spotted my face there! Thanks. I used to have a parallel blog called Adventures of a Retired Librarian (which I’ve now, ahem, retired) in which I documented my post-work activities and I think the Retired word was essential to conveying what it was about.

    1. Thanks, Anabel. I am immensely grateful to be a part of such a strong community of like-minded bloggers. I appreciate being able to turn to this community with questions and ponderings. Thank you for reinforcing the importance of trusting your gut and staying true to your inner core.

  10. Donna, I have a new header photo on my blog, as part of an attempt to make the blog look more approachable. To clear up any possible confusion, the lady responding to my invasion of her personal space with stony indifference is NOT The Current Mrs Feeney.
    PS: Don’t change the name of your blog; tell Miranda to change her mindset.

    1. Hi, Spencer. I just had a look at the new design for your blog. It looks great! Thank you for adding to the strong voice not to change my blog’s title. I have gotten the message loud and clear. I am greatly inspired by the strength of our blogging community.

  11. Donna, Add another retirement blogger to the list of those that love the name and also send congratulations on the new look. I think you nailed it! I have been a member of the retirement blogging community for over a year now and continued to be impressed by the talent and creativity of the group. Please know that I will return here often and would be honored if you would pay a visit to Easin’ Along when you have the time.

    1. Hi, Joe – Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I have had a good look around your blog today and am happy to follow along on your adventures as well. Let’s keep in touch!

      1. I would love that. I tried to do a search for your Facebook page but couldn’t get there. Would you send the link to my email address? I am impressed with your work and would love to “chat”. Thanks for visiting Easin’ Along.

        1. Hi, Joe – Unfortunately I do not have a Facebook page for my blog yet. I used Instagram for the first time this week, and I just learned about Blog Link Ups. Seriously, I need to burst into this century! My email address is beside my comments below.

          1. Wee, I never spotted your email address, but I’m sure it’s here somewhere and I’m just having a senior moment. Now that I’m a follower, maybe we’ll have a chance to chat down the road. Many thanks for placing Easin’ Along in your list of bookmarks, and best wishes for continued success and a reflective retirement.

          2. Hi, Joe – That may have been my senior’s moment. I thought that my email address was visible on my blog….but it may be just visible to me.
            I have just sent you an email. Feel free to write, or ask questions, anytime.

  12. A blogging course (off line!?), how exciting! You are stepping out of your comfort zone and I’m sure it feels good. I like the new background of your blog; great tip from Miranda. I think that, while we hate to be put in certain categories, we cannot avoid being filed as such by the outside world and their conception. When I think about granny, I have a very different image in my head than when I think about “retired”. Maybe it is because I am older now as well. Granny means grey hair. Retired means having all the time (and money :-)) you want to do what you please. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to be retired, at this age… As for the title, how about putting the word “early” in front of it or changing the word “reflections” for “adventures” or something similar. Just to be clear, I don’t think of old, idling people when I read the title of your blog.

    1. Thanks, Liesbet. I greatly appreciate your point of view and your suggestions. My blogging course was on-line (www.bloggingyourway.com).

  13. Donna, I originally viewed this on my phone and missed the part where you shouted out some retired bloggers (including me!–thank you!). Glad I kept this post! Retirement Boomer-style is indeed a different face; leave it boomers to find workaholism within retirement, LOL! I agree with many, your blog’s title doesn’t scream Little Old Lady (LOL, get it?). However, over three years, I have changed my blog’s name twice to truly reflect what I write about. We retired bloggers expect that…we are always reinventing something ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and I love the green!

    1. Hi, Terri. Your blog definitely deserves the shout out. I agree that “Retirement Boomer-Style” is a totally different face (and pace)! Thanks for your kind words, and for the retweeting. I greatly appreciate it.

  14. Hi Donna, I found your blog after visiting Hugh’s bog party. I am being made redundant (age 55) in 3 weeks time after a career of teaching in a correctional centre for the past 20+ years. It’s been a hard time but I am starting to feel a bit positive about the changes and I look forward to reading and interacting with other like minded bloggers in the coming months. I love blogging and meeting new friends.

    1. Hi, Debbie – Thank you so much for dropping by. I just looked at your blog and immediately saw that we have tons in common (especially many of the bloggers that we follow). I retired (at age 56.5) from a long career in education. I loved my career but am also really enjoying retirement. I am finding that the opportunities are endless. Hopefully you will find that as well. I look forward to staying in touch and in following your adventures further.

  15. You’re taking a blog course! Wow, one more fun thing to do when I retire…. Mine certainly needs an overhaul. It was never really meant to be, so not designed with any forethought.

    1. Hi, Jude – My blogging course ended today (it was supposed to end this past Monday but the teacher needed to postpone lessons along the way for various reasons). Although I actually found the course to be quite frustrating and geared to a different type of audience (long story) — I did my best to gather all of the takeaways that I could. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  16. So Donna, I feel like you are talking to me! I took an unexpected but very welcome early retirement in 2015 (at 54) and was suddenly confronted by my age. Yep, hit me like a ton of bricks. I also started a blog last year but have been tentative and sporadic. Over-thinking and trying too hard perhaps, need to change this in 2017. I stumbled upon your blog on BlogShareLearn. I am looking forward to reading more!

    1. Hi, Marian – Thanks for connecting with me. I just checked out your blog and it looks like we have many things in common. I love that you focus your blog on “day-to-day experiences of aging gracefully with a community of like-minded women”. I look forward to following your blog and keeping in touch.

  17. Late to the party – but I’m adding my opinion anyway. I seldom meet a comment form that doesn’t beckon.

    I would NOT vote for changing your blog-title – after all Boomers are the largest demographic population, most are retiring or already retired, and that IS what you write about. I doubt that young readers are likely to be a huge part of the community that gathers here anyway. (Remember, the Boomer generation one didn’t “trust anyone over 30”) ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you are still noodling, could you add a tagline in your header that let’s people know immediately that you are NOT talking about rocker-retirement on some creaky old porch in the country? Or a caption to your header photo that makes it clear that this is not your daughter? -lol-

    Here’s a tip I’ll pass along you might consider: I’m not sure what’s possible on a self-hosted blog, but the engagement went up a bit on my WordPress dot com blog after several years, almost immediately after I added the ability for folks to respond to comments without taking the time to write anything (the thumbs up count).

    It went up again when, a year or so later, I also added the ability to “like” comments (the kind that notifies the person who commented in a manner similar to the way responses to their comments often work).

    A few people warned that it would end up like FaceBook ( that people would skip around liking but never reading the comments or commenting themselves), but that hasn’t been my experience.

    People like the chance to ring in, and when they think they don’t have the time to write something in response, some have told me they don’t read the comments at all – which means they never reach the comment box. I have also gotten visitors who told me they jumped over from my “like” on a comment from another blog.

    I don’t get a great many thumbs or likes on those comments, but increasingly more people have been taking the time to ring in – even on reposts from 2011/12 when the engagement was practically non-existent.

    NOT that increasing readership is the central reason folks like us blog – but it does seem to increase community engagement (which IS, at least for me).

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    1. Hi, Madeleine – Thank you once again for the very helpful and thoughtful tips. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share them with me. I had tried to use a comment feature that would allow simpler input, and increased engagement for readers, but ironically the CAPTCHA feature presented readers from commenting at all. In the meantime, I use CommentLuv which at least can be helpful to other bloggers. I will continue to experiment with different commenting options. Your generous advice is greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge