February 27, 2013

Where Do I Go From Here?


Blogging is an interesting endeavor. For some it is a job. There is the need to generate income on a regular basis, rank near the top during a Google search for your topic or niche, be very active in social media, and constantly educate yourself on the latest trends in the field. These are professional bloggers.

For others blogging is a hobby, a creative outlet. If only a few people ever read and comment on what is written that is OK because the goal is personal expression and satisfaction. If others come along for the ride, great. If they don't it isn't a big deal.

Then there are those who dedicate a fair amount of time to researching, writing, and promoting their site. They write for personal reasons but also work to build traffic and maybe generate a little income, enough to cover some expenses. They have enough ego involved to want to generate increasing levels of traffic and recognition. They don't get as deeply into keyword research, link building, and many of the tricks that professionals use but more so than someone who blogs just for purely personal reasons. Let's call them semi-professional bloggers.

This last group is the one I believe I belong to. My writing is an important creative outlet for me. I spend at least three hours a day, sometimes more, doing something blog-related. My writing for other web sites, book sales, Amazon Affiliate checks, and an occasional ad on the blog itself generate some money each year. It is enough to cover expenses, pay for a new computer and printer ink, but is not a significant source of satisfying retirement income. That is OK because I am not willing to turn blogging into a job.

I just passed a significant milestone a few days ago, at least for me: over 500,000 total views. Having half a million clicks is small change for the professional bloggers but I think is good for a semi-pro in a rather narrow niche. 

Which brings me, at last, to the point of this post. I have been writing about building and living a satisfying retirement for almost three years. I think I have covered virtually every topic and concern several times over. Unlike the majority of retirement-oriented bloggers I don't spend time dealing with in-depth financial issues. Too many others cover that subject much better than I could. Also, I believe a successful retirement requires much more than just financial issues. I attempt to cover all parts of what makes this stage of life happy and fulfilling.

So, here's my question to you: where do I go from here? Good friend and fellow blogger, Barbara Torris, recently decided to stop writing exclusively about retirement. She has been in this niche a lot longer than me and began to feel the same way: What else is there to say that doesn't bore me and my readers?

I have no plans to abandon the satisfying retirement niche that I have worked hard to establish. Since retirement is a time of constant change and evolution I can continue to find things to write about.

But, I'd also like to expand my topic selection a bit. Obviously, with the new RV and the number of trips Betty and I have planned for the next several years I will have all sorts of opportunities to write about those adventures. Betty's photographs and our adjustments with Bailey, our dog, adapting to weeks on the road will give me all sorts of ideas. Too much emphasis on that, however, will take me out of the retirement niche and into the RV universe. If a reader isn't interested in RV travel then a little goes a long way.

Over the past year or so some of my writing has been a bit more personal. The response to those posts is usually good. One problem is I had a happy childhood in a two-parent household with no major traumas or events and a very happy 36 year marriage so I don't have a lot of angst to expose.

I have touched on my spirituality and its role in my happy retirement. But, a little of that can go a long way, too. Much like the RV posts, my spiritual development is really only interesting to some people. Others will be driven away.

So, I would appreciate you putting on your thinking caps and giving me some ideas on topics and subjects you think I might be able to write about and you'd like to read. Importantly, they don't have to be restricted to retirement.

Would you find movie reviews interesting, where to find streaming movies on the Internet, maybe more book reviews? How about a discussion of home maintenance or financial record keeping?  Any issues concerning marriages or grandkids?

How about something that interests or concerns you that has nothing to do with retirement directly, but is more related to having a satisfying life? Maybe lists of great blogs in other subjects?

OK...fire away. What can I write about that would keep you coming back and keep me blogging away?

81 comments:

  1. Hello, Bob!

    Advertising works through repetition. Same applies to getting your message across regarding the how-to of living a satisfying retirement. So covering the same topic again is not a bad thing IF you can give it a new spin or angle.

    I would suggest that you start writing ANECDOTALLY about your experiences and then connecting them as a real-life lesson to one of your satisfying retirement tenets, approaches, etc.

    If I'm not expressing myself clearly, go take a look at mrmoneymustache.com's blog. A great many of his posts start off with a this-happened-to-me-yesterday ditty and then quickly expand into a valuable and amusing lesson on the basic principle and goal of his blog.

    Maybe you could do the same.

    Cheers,

    Alex in Virginia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea, Alex. I do this on occasion but if I were more attuned to my everyday experiences some events may fit. I'll have to sharpen my focus.

      Your point about repetition is certainly true. While working in radio, we'd beat our positioning message into the listeners' heads over and over. I just don't want to become stale.

      I appreciate your comments.

      Delete
    2. I think this is an excellent idea, Bob. You have the expertise but you are, after all, a retired person. Tell the story and apply the concept.

      Delete
    3. It won't be as moving as Art's story about Viet Nam but I'll give it a go!

      Delete
  2. Hi Bob,

    I find the best informational and how to articles include anecdotes and stories from the life of the blogger (e.g. this is what worked or didn't work for me), so I would encourage you to continue writing about the things you are actively going through or doing. But you point about not getting too bogged down in a niche is important (unless you want to narrowly define your readership).

    I personally like discussions around home maintenance - Just last month I discovered that my hot water tank has a think called an Anode Rod that corrodes on purpose to protect the tank - but it needs to be replaced - who knew? And I was supposed to test the pressure relief valve every year (10 years later I finally did a test).

    All the best,

    ...Tim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are supposed to release the pressure valve every year? I can do that!

      Home maintenance is an area rich with possibilities. We all live somewhere and that somewhere has issues, even if a condo that someone else does the major stuff.

      I just learned that the anode rod in my RV's hot water heater should be checked. I don't even know where the hot water heater is.

      Thanks for the support for things from my life that relate. You are reflecting the same thought as Alex did just above.

      Delete
    2. re: Pressure relief valve - FYI, when I popped mine open, it would not reseal perfectly due to corrosion and calcium that had built up. It had a drip, drip, drip that would not stop so I had to drain the tank again and replace it ($15).

      Delete
    3. I just released mine. A little water ran out the relief pipe, otherwise all is fine. It is sealed up without a problem.

      Delete
  3. Bob,
    Fifty-three days (school days, that is) and counting. As I get closer to the last day, I find myself coming back to your blog and searching it for any advice, insight, etc. you have given over the years for new retirees. What I'm saying, I guess,is that you've done some pretty great work; whatever you decide to write on is fine with me. I'm not of much help yet on new topics, but as time goes on, I'm sure many other situations will come up with my new life that your blog can help with.
    Keep it up!
    Jeff in OK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep on point and keep on keeping on...right? I have no intention of veering off into a whole new area. I'm glad you find solid information here. I promise you always will.

      Thanks for reading.

      Delete
    2. I agree. I like reading your blog. We're newly retired last October and still feels very new to us. There will be a continual group of new readers every month as we finally reach this livelong goal status of retired.

      Delete
  4. For myself I would enjoy home maintence info you have learned along the way or that readers have shared with you.I would love if you always(say once per month) include something about retirement and finances.Especially if you could include some "how people did it" from all walks of life all incomes because those of us with deferred pensions,401K or 403b had different options than those with work that did not provide any retirement savings and yet some how people did manage to save.I love those stories my in-laws were those people my grandparents and I am sure I could learn from others the "little tricks" or saving money magic that different generations and clever people have come up with.Would thoroughly enjoy RV stories again with a teaching/sharing info flavor.And for spice maybe an occasion story how you navigated a life problem could be in marriage,raising children,relationships with grand kids,adult parents.Travel is always fun to read about especially if you share special places to eat or a sight to see that should not be missed.Just keep writing please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow...a good list of ideas and possibilities. I'll think about each and see what is possible.

      I'll keep writing no matter what. I have to. It is a creative need.

      Delete
  5. Bob,

    I love your blog even though we are not retired yet. As you know, people and travel interest me. I would love it if you researched and/or interviewed couples, or even single men and women, who have found an alternative solution to not having enough money to live in a certain place. Where did they move to, another state? another country? and what are the pros and cons to where they are living now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are good suggestions, Sonia. My next book actually interviews folks like that but a full post or two might be attractive.

      I did interview you at one point but maybe another look at how your life is different after your return from Belize could be worthwhile. I don't think you are empty-nesters yet, but I'm sure you and Duke have gone through many changes since your return several years ago.

      Thanks, and stay gutsy.

      Delete
  6. I enjoy all the topics you mention that you could add more of: I'd love to hear some anecdotes and personal stories about your prison ministry-I am always looking for a story related to that but it isn't a topic you touch on often. How the heck did you get involved in that? How challenging is it? What is a day at the prison like? WHat's an honest expectation of what happens when a man or woman is released from prison??All this is fascinating to those of us with no experience in this area. What exactly do you do with prisoners?

    That is a unique position you have, and I have never heard of it before you shared..I'd like to know more. Do they have similar women's programs??

    Spirituality in general is a very timely topic,I don't believe it would turn readers off at all.

    What does Betty do, volunteer-wise (if she wants to share..??)

    Personal stories/anecdotes about everything you face day to day and month to month, year to year: Trials and tribulations and joys of bringing a new puppy into the household! Home repairs we can learn, maybe youtubes to link to on how-to, YES YES! I really enjoy hearing about all that!

    I'd enjoy seeing pictures and hearing more about your RV adventures FOR SURE! We don't RV but your blog has helped us consider TRYING it out over a weekend or a week,sometime..I would LOVE to see more on your RV adventures!

    Because your life is filled with many different activities and experiences, I would not get turned off by posts on all these topics.. RV ing, pets, movie reviews and book reviews, and all the personal anecdotes everyone else is referring to.

    Your blog is a unique voice and it's pleasant to get to know you and Betty through these stories..so please keep sharing! My husband and I are also encouraged on our OWN slippery slope into retirement.. you give us courage!!

    And don't shy away from ALL the topics you mention-- with your creativity I can't see where you would ever bore us with repetition.. I could handle at least one story a week about the RV, about your volunteering, and just about how your day/week went!

    I'd enjoy hearing from Betty more too!!!!!!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would also love to read more about your volunteer work Bob. Thanks for all the posts on retirement. As a retiree still struggling with my new found time on my hands, I have found your blog very helpful!

      Delete
    2. Well, you have certainly have given me a lot to chew on.

      Actually I leave tomorrow afternoon to drive to the northern part of the state to pick up a fellow who is being released after 5 years in prison. I'll bring him back to his new home and be his mentor for the next several months. That could be a source for several posts.

      All your other ideas are excellent, too. I'll look at all the comments and see if a certain pattern of interests arise.

      Delete
  7. Everyone loves their pets as you do Bailey. How about some investigative reporting on topics related to dogs, puppy mills, vets, breeders, scams and home remedies for common pet issues, etc...? I think you'd get lots of anecdotal stories and responses from your readers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an excellent idea. A lot of retired folks get a pet but it isn't as easy as it was when we were growing up. There is more to consider and steps to take to get a good pet.

      Nice idea. I've got a post about Bailey in about a week or so. She'll have been with us 1 year at that point...hard to believe.

      Delete
  8. Hi Bob,

    I love your blog and look forward to the new areas and issues you explore and share here.

    As to possible ideas to consider:

    1) Now that you're into the RV lifestyle, why not plan a trip up to Canada( our summers are great, and it's another option to the Arizona summer furnace.) Perhaps you'd find some interesting comparisons between our 2 countries.

    2) And more seriously- as we retirees are all getting older, and seeing how our parents pass on( some in terrible conditions at the end), any thoughts or experiences you may want to share about taking charge of our own "final exit"?

    All the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even though it isn't near Edmonton, Betty and I are discussing a trip to New England and then to Quebec and Montreal next Summer. That won't be an RV vacation but Betty has never seen Quebec City and it has been several decades for me.

      I hear nice things about Edmonton and Alberta so a trip up north is certainly on our radar at some point.

      Taking charge of our own "final exit" could be an interesting angle on a tough situation. We often deal with our parents' decline, but preparing for our own is important.

      Delete
  9. Some time ago you sent out a somewhat similar call for ideas and topics. Have they run dry? Some ideas off the top of my bean (hoping that I haven't touched too much on the "been there, done that" territory:
    Specific ways that retired folk structure their day (a daily Plan to even consciously do nothing is helpful); ways and techniques to establish/reestablish/maintain social networks; developing/maintaining memory skills (IMHO memory isn't lost, just too often unexercised), more stuff on (rationally?) getting out of one's comfort zone; relatedly, what "carpe diem" especially means to us as we age; re-evaluting/re-energizing our marriage; taking advantage of nearby educational opportunities; dealing with media hype and distortion that tends to frighten/depress us; "best" books in certain categories (hist fiction, e,g,); "great things" that your readers have established...........

    You might also choose to go a bit more controversial, but I don't think you - or most of your readers - prefer that. Whatever, please keep up the fine blogging. It is obviously much appreciate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the call for topic ideas a year or more ago gave me ideas that I have dealt with several times...hence the shout out for other things that may not be directly tied to retirement or that I haven't driven into the ground!

      Every topic you list is important and all need my constant attention. But, you have presented some of them from a slightly different perspective that intrigues me. I see several good ideas I can pursue.

      One post might be why I can't seem to stay motivated to keep up with the guitar. I enjoy playing songs for my own pleasure but I am not practicing enough to move forward, and I don't know why!

      Delete
  10. I've never commented before but I come to your blog regularly to look for financial insight. My husband is about 2 years away from retirement and the idea of living on social security and a pension is a little scary. I especially enjoyed the post on medical insurance in retirement. I love lita's idea of "how people did it" stories from all walks of life. I guess you would have to solicite those and publish them, but I think they would be interesting. I, also, am looking forward to your stories about the adventures in the RV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My next book will have an excellent look at how both retirees and those who are close but still working are living their life or making plans. I hope to have that ready sometime in the next few months. I think you will enjoy it.

      I will get my first Social Security check in June..a milestone! I'm taking it two years before my full retirement age for reasons both my wife and I agree are valid. But that is a subject that use more exploring.

      Also, renting versus owning. This is one area that Betty and I disagree and might be worth readers' input.

      Thanks, Glenda.

      Delete
  11. Hi Bob,
    This is not meant as an ego boost, just the truth. Your blog offers something far more necessary for a satisfying retirement than financial advice, life advice. There is way too much financial advice out there and much of it with strings attached or at least a pitch. Your blog speaks to the unspoken, what we all go through as we approach, enter and begin to enjoy retirement. NO ONE IS ADDRESSING THIS, but thankfully you are.
    Someone else mentioned your early posts. I would agree, go back to the start of your blog, review what you wrote in light of your further experience and perspective in hindsight and then refine, polish and republish from your perspective now. I don’t think you even need to say if is something you write about before. As a radio guy you know that repetition is key in advertising, and I would say in learning as well.
    OK now here is the challenge to you. I think you need to do MORE than a blog. Yup. The Amazon book is a great start, but you need to be out there on the speaking circuit. The RV would fit right in with this travel Smart, resourceful guy that you are I am sure you can find out how to get hooked up with one of the better speakers bureau companies. Now this assumes you are a good speaker, but I kind of bet you are. Another thought, again addressed to the radio guy, is radio. The content of your blog is perfect for a series of two minute radio spots that stations can purchase for a minimal amount, that also will lead people to your blog and your book. Don’t sell the book short.
    I say all this because your insights are so valuable and you express them well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some out of the box ideas for me, Ellen. That's what I am looking for.

      I have given some though to speaking, especially locally at retirement centers but haven't pushed it. If I did that, and Phoenix is prime territory, then I could look at taking it on the road. My radio background does make me comfortable in public speaking situations so it would just be a case of a good Power Point presentation and a willing audience.

      Going back two years and refining posts is something I do occasionally but not often enough. There are several that could be re-worked with new thoughts, insights, and experiences. Great idea.

      I deeply appreciate your comments, especially on the blog's focus. I don't want to lose that while I look to spread my wings a bit.

      The next book will be an interesting read for many. And, I am reworking a travel book I wrote several years ago that was never made available to the public but has potential.

      Thanks for the encouragement and kick in the backside about the speaking possibilities.

      Delete
  12. Bob: Your postings have been most helpful to me as I've just passed my first year of retirement. I've been reading for less than a year, so none of it seems repetitive to me.
    You've touched on 'downsizing, then downsizing again' - I'd like to hear more about that. These days a lot of us are going to have to do it.
    I see you've got plenty of comments and ideas already for this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have received some great ideas and support so far.

      Downsizing is a subject close to my heart. I have several dozen books on simplicity and downsizing that I should dig out and look for ideas to write about.

      Frankly, one of the things I like about the RV is we have just under 240 square feet to live in. That makes simplicity a requirement!

      Delete
  13. Bob, some blogs just come to an end. One of my favorite blogs is still Early Retirement Extreme. Though he rarely posts, I like going through his old stuff.

    I would be in the first catagory you mentioned about bloggers and though I use to post sometimes three times per day, now I average about once per month. It's just the way it goes. I'm happy that my blog is still active and that there's something that strikes my fancy at least once per month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I toy with the idea of cutting back to twice a week instead of three times but I worry about a fall off in views. It seems the majority of those who comment on a new post do so in the first day of the posting. If so, would that person sort of drift away if he or she knew there would be nothing new for 3 or 4 days?

      I'm pretty sure during our April-long RV trip through New Mexico and the hill country of Texas I'll cut back to twice week. Maybe I'll use that as a test.

      Delete
  14. Bob, my first post on your blog. Thanks in advance for all that you do; your blog is the first thing I go to when I turn on my computer.
    To me, I have developed a relationship with you, though we have never met or corresponded. I know a bit about your family and travels, your many good traits, and appreciate what you share. I would bet that the TITLE brought us here; you, Bob Lowry, is what keeps us here.
    More diverse topics are fine. Your spirituality is great. Tales about a "boring day in the life of a retire guy..." a fun read. Your style and answers to comments are thoughtful. Thanks, and I look forward to more of the same!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alan. I do have boring days..that wouldn't be a problem to write about!

      I'm glad you feel connected just through the writing. That is the goal. I began blogging almost three years ago in a more "informational" mode but decided that people wanted to learn more about the person and not just the facts. That is what I've tried to do for the last few years.

      What has really been fun over the past 8 months is actually meeting some of the people who I've interacted with through this blog: Galen Pearl, Barbara and Earl Torris, and Linda and Art Myers have become good friends. I'm finally going to get to meet the energizer couple: Tamara and Mike during our time in Portland next August.

      I hope with the RV trips announced ahead of time, anyone on our route of travel will meet us, share a coffee or burger, and as they say in Hawaii, talk story.

      Your profile picture looks the way we should all look...relaxed and in the woods enjoying himself.

      Delete
  15. Hi Bob, as someone who is not yet retired, I've enjoyed the majority of your posts. Some of them do not relate to my situation as a single perso, but I've still enjoyed them. So I'm going to list the topics I would like to see discussed in no particular order...drum roll.

    1. RV trips/adventures to places way off the beaten path. Perhaps include an example budget.
    2. Interviews with RVers and/or retirees including what motivated them to start RVing and whether they're full timers.
    3. More posts from the perspective of someone who is single (maybe guest posts).
    4. Posts from people who have taken a different approach to life. For example, liviing abroad, Peace Corp volunteers, living on the cheap.
    5. More posts from Betty. I really enjoyed her interview.

    That should give you plenty of material for at least the next few months. Recently, I've been following the blog of RVSue and her Canine Crew(blog roll), and I've enjoyed the posts quite a bit. Don't know that I could actually live that life, but it's an option except I have a cat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent list of ideas, Gail. Yes, there is plenty to work with. I especially like the idea of interviewing single folks. That is something I can't really comment on but it is important. I will definitely explore that avenue.

      When Betty and I were in Ajo a few weeks ago, RVSue was just over the hill from us. I think she is still there. It is a small world.

      Delete
  16. I plan on Fulltime Rving in a few years so all the fulltime rving posts are great for me. I follow .. Wheeling it blog & RV Sue and her Canine Crew blogs

    All the stuff Gail liked but
    1. married retired people in a RV fulltime

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you like RV posts I think I'll be able to keep you happy. We have 3 months of trips planned through the end of the year.

      Delete
  17. It would seem like you would always attract a new audience that is nearing retirement or newly retired so the info so what's stale to you is fresh for others. Did that make sense? -)

    Having the dream of being a rain bird from Washington state to a sunnier winter climate was usually the topic that would draw me in, with living well on a reduced budget a close second.

    I will find the RV travels interesting even if we don't RV. Oftentimes I come to your blog to discover other blogs to enjoy, too, that I might not have found on my own. I am not a techie so I enjoy the occasional post on how to use a new gadget to its full extent. I am currently a bit frustrated with my new Kindle Paperwhite although I love the size, ease of holding it compared to a book, the adjustable font size and its lighting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good ideas here, Denise. I see several good post ideas. And, yes, I do need to remember that there is a readership turnover that means lots of topics are fresh to them.

      Delete
  18. Just an aside, Bob. On RJ's blog I can comment from the iPad but I have to dig out the laptop to comment here for some reason. And, on his site, it remembers me somehow. OTOH, your site is easier to comment on than ones that require me to figure out a visually "warped" word--lol--before I can leave a comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RJ uses Wood press that allows for the memory of previous comments, something Blogger doesn't. I know you can comment from an Android phone but Apple probably has no interest in making it easy to interact with a Google product.

      I hate those hard to see numbers and strange words. I understand why some bloggers use it but I have no plans to do so. I'd rather invest the time in approving all comments before they get posted. I'm at over 50 spam-type comments a day but I'm getting pretty efficient at deleting them.

      Delete
  19. Hi, Bob, haven't commented in awhile, but I still read your blog. I think you bring a different and refreshing new perspective to the 'retirement' table, as others have commented! I agree with Gail that some postings by and/or about single retirees would be interesting, since I'm just starting out on that journey as a single woman. I'd also be interested in your RV perspective - how to finance the purchase and travel expenses, how to decide where to go, how long to be there and how long to be away from home if you don't do it full time, and how RV life can serve as a metaphor for retirement living. Your prison ministry - how you got into it, how it fits into your life today in retirement, why you do it. I'd definitely be interested in your reasons for taking Social Security early, because I'll be facing that decision in a couple of years myself.

    If you are ever in the Dallas area, I'd love to meet you and Betty and share some time and stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, That's about a month's worth of ideas! Great stuff, Cari. I certainly agree that some articles focused on single issues would be welcome. I may ask you to be part of my "single" panel.

      Thanks for the invite. At some point Big D will on the agenda.

      Delete
  20. Bob, I know you are an avid reader...we share that love for the printed word. My first question for a new acquaintance is "What are you reading?" Did I ask you that when we first talked in person? If not, I am asking now. What books are you reading now, what books have you loved better than any other, what is on your bookshelf? I was just wondering.

    b+

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You did not ask me! But, that is a good question. I read a lot of mysteries. Right now I'm devouring 4 books by Betty Webb. She focuses on Scottsdale and Arizona issues. It's always fun to read about places that are close to home.

      More mystery writers I've spent time with over the past six months include Jeffrey Deaver, all of Stuart Woods books, T. Jefferson Parker, Robert Crais, and a ton of J.A. Jance.

      I am reading Wayne Gruden's Systematic Theology and Keith Richard's autobiography (those two really belong in separate sentences!), as well as a book on couples developing a deeper marriage.

      Oh, and two books about RV travel.

      I think that covers it.

      Delete
  21. I got nothing to add to all these great ideas, except that while I'm not an RV'er I still do enjoy your travel posts ... I'm always looking for ideas about where to visit, or even if I know I'll never go I usually enjoy the place vicariously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Travel posts focused on where to go and what to see - I can do that! Thanks, Tom.

      Delete
  22. My wife and I will be retired in April this year. I thought about your question, and why I read your blog -- although I've only read a few. Two things come up:

    1) Financial. I read one academic blog and one practical blog on living in retirement using your investments. I haven't found much else -- so that topic seems to be worthwhile ground if discussed from a practical viewpoint. Do you worry when the market is down? How do you budget given your expectations for income from your investments? Etc.

    2) Social. I will be playing golf more but there's got to be more ways to develop social networks. I know the volunteer and non-profit things are out there, but I've never liked doing that for any length of time. Anything else? I have no hobbies. I don't think I'm a hobby-person.

    Maybe I'll write a blog: "I retired, then . . . " I can't wait to read what comes next but don't hold your breadth.

    I think some more discussion on these from someone who is actually retired would be interesting.

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great first name.

      Financial and social concerns are two linchpins of retirement happiness. I will add them to my list of areas that need to be revisited often.

      Your qualification of finance from a practical viewpoint fits my comfort zone. Just never ask me to describe a derivative.

      Delete
    2. And, the good news about our first name is that you can spell it forward or backwards! Try telling that to a clerk in the store after they have just worked so hard on giving you change when the computer wasn't working.

      Delete
  23. Have you ever thought of changing from a blog model to a combination blog and discussion forum. That way your audience can carry on discussions on a range of retirement topics in addition to responding to your blog. You can then see what is of interest and pick topics based upon active discussions, in addition to those that you would normally select.

    A few topics you might consider for future blogs:

    1. RV experiences (trips, things you might do differently, expenses, good places to visit, etc.)
    2. Other Travel
    3. Retirement surprises - what have you encountered that you did not expect.
    4. The changing world - what changes in laws, programs, etc are enough that you notice them or have to change what you are doing.
    5. Life style decisions - (where to live, rent vs buy, retirement community or not, are there decision that you would change if you could)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did think of adding a discussion forum at one point. But, after two blogging friends in the retirement field tried it and got virtually no response I dropped the idea. I would certainly be open to it if the consensus is it would work. Posts like this generate a tremendous influx of new ideas that can keep me going for months.

      All five of your topic areas work well as subjects for this blog. #4 is particularly intriguing. I'll have to kick that one around for awhile.

      Delete
  24. Bob, any of your traveling blogs appear to be of great interest to others, and varying topics on the financial front will always get a ready audience as well. On the tried and true retirement front, you could look at some topics that are getting more popular, and some that are early in their infancy. For example:

    1. Retiring overseas - the good and the bad in general, and the same with various countries.
    2. Dual citizenship - what it entails, the pros and cons, etc
    3. Renouncing ones citizenship - will only about 3000 people per year are doing it right now, it will increase as the years go by, since it is the only way for Americans to escape taxes no matter where they live in the world.

    I did not say things like #3 would not be controversial; just wanted to give some food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Retiring overseas or in places like Mexico or Central America are not mainstream choices, but are growing in attraction and worth my doing some research.

      Full time RV living is also growing for people who don't want to leave the states but like to travel or find they can live much more inexpensively than in any other housing arrangement.

      Delete
  25. How about interviewing people who have taken "medical" vacations to India or other countries for major surgery?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an interesting idea. I'd have to find someone willing to talk about their experiences but it would be a fascinating story.

      Delete
  26. I think the idea of doing some movie reviews and/or book reviews would be interesting. Since you all like movies and you like to read, that kind of falls into your view – and some of us who read your blog might be able to furnish you with recommendations of both of these.

    Also, home repair of simple things might be good – I find myself using the internet to figure out :how to: fairly often.

    You can also talk about computer issues – new things coming out and how seniors might use them. Also how they might find the answers to problems that come up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 good suggestions, Pat. I'm sure you see more new movies than I do, so please drop me a line when one of your Friday afternoon flicks catches your eye. The last ones I continue to remember fondly were "The Life of Pi" for its breaktaking visuals, and Lincoln for its overall excellence.

      Books, home repairs, and computer issues are all good. I have a friend who is making the leap to Windows 8 with touch screen. That is a major change for most of us. He isn't terribly computer literate so I'm anxious to see what his experiences will be. That could be an excellent post.

      Delete
  27. Wow, so many ideas.Bob,I know you'll be blogging for us for a long time! It looks like most of us want to hear MORE about your RV adventures! New mexico and texas??I missed hearing about that??!! Yes! Tell us what trips you've got planned, where you're going, what's involved with preparing to leave for a month or more, etc..

    Overseas retirement is a topic I like to read about though I don't think we could manage that..but who knows??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Madeline, this post has produced enough great ideas to keep me going for quite awhile. I'll wait a few more days and then start making a list of all the ideas. I'll probably produce a follow up post that summarizes what everyone would like to read about.

      Delete
  28. You had half a million views on one post? Sorry...I'm trying to imagine that.

    Anyway...I started my blog 3 years ago as a way to work out my feelings about turning 60. Writing helps me in many ways. I gave very little thought to who would read my words, if anyone. It started out about my life, childhood warts and all. But being an opinionated older woman with an 'I don't really give a $*#& whether you like me or not attitude, I began to share my opinions about world events. Then I started roughing out my grandmother's life story for all to judge. Now I'm throwing in fiction pieces which I intend to turn into a book.

    The point is, if I didn't mix it up I would have given up on the blog long ago. I need to make it interesting for me to write. You'd be surprised at how people react to some of it, but it makes me want to do more, write more, stay involved in life more. I've had over 30,000 views on my post on home schooling and many of the comments are longer than the post! It's a love/hate topic. I get that. But...they wouldn't comment if they didn't feel passionate. That's exciting to me.

    You've built enough respect here to write whatever you feel like writing about. Whether it's Bailey or world events. Let go...have some fun...I'll still be here reading because you're good at this. Write whatever moves you. Otherwise you will certainly lose the desire to continue and we all lose from that.
    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is 500,000 view for the blog since I began! If I had 1/2 million per post I'd be on the Today Show and turning down advertisers left and right. I've never come close to 30,000 view on one post. That is fabulous.

      As you note, passion for my writing and passion from the readers are crucial to a blog's longevity. I still feel it but do want to "let go" a bit.

      My post tomorrow is a mini rant about the Post Office's problems caused by a do-nothing Congress. Let's see how that plays out.

      Thanks for your thoughts. You are one of the real successes in the blogging world and your comments means a lot to me.

      Delete
  29. Ok, I'm kind of late to the discussion but here are my two thoughts on the subject.

    First of all, I think your new adventures RV-ing will give you all sorts of AHA's! about retirement, happiness, and life. So you'll find new ways to write about old things, or new observations to launch from.

    Second--I would love to hear more about how adding a canine member to the family is working out in retirement. I really miss having a dog in my life, but there are so many things holding me back. I would love to read more about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bailey has been with the family one year as of next week. I will have an "anniversary" post. She has made a tremendous addition to the family.

      Yes, the RV trips should open up lots of topics and thoughts not directly related to the actual trip. There is only so much you can write about dumping your waste tank or being sure the refrigerator is level without driving everyone to drink.

      BTW, your last few posts about finances have been excellent. I rarely leave a comment because I am not really qualified to add anything to the discussion, but I do read them all.

      Since that isn't my focus I encourage anyone who wants a real, down-to-earth look at financial concerns in retirement to click on Syd's name link above

      Delete
  30. Hi Bob. Obviously your readers love you here and they will follow just about anything you do.

    My only suggestion might be to personalize your blog a little more. That is tell stories about your life and how you see things in the world. But I don't mean things like "I got up this morning and had coffee......" That is just too boring.

    Maybe instead of "Satisfying Retirement" you turn it into "My Satisfying Retirement". I don't know if you ever got around to reading John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charlie" but that sort of perspective on life seems to fit your writing style quite well. I would love to see more of that from you.

    I have a fairly thick skin and can handle some of the more controversial things in life like religion and politics but I wouldn't recommend that for you. You are too much of a pussy cat (ha).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very nice, RJ. Thank you. I have read "Travels with Charley" several times and count it as one of my favorites. I'll dig it out and see if something leaps out at me. Good idea.

      I have a post about sex in retirement scheduled in a week or so. Is that controversial enough? But, overall, I deal with enough spam posting attempts. Add in hate mail and I'd reach a tipping point. You can have it!

      Delete
    2. The hipsters don't call it sex anymore; it is now "pelvic issues". Sex is too boring and Victorian a topic :)

      Maybe add a new category to your blog called "Travels with Bailey". That has a nice ring to it. I would love to see your insight on people in the various regions of our great country. Yvonne and I are always trying to find that "most interesting" place to take a vacation. We have been all over the country but I am sure there is much we have missed that you could tell us about Steinbeck style.

      From the number of comments here you are probably like me and have spend most of the morning blogging. It's past noon here in the Midwest so I hear a nap on the couch with my dog Beulah calling.
      Yep, "Travels with Bailey" sounds like a good meld for you.

      Talk to you later my friend.....

      Delete
    3. Pelvic issues? Oh come on!

      Travels with Bailey...an occasional on-going series...I like it.

      One area I haven't covered is dealing with retirement with a disability of some kind. You've been quite public about your deafness and how it has made things more difficult for you. I wonder if you'd consent to an interview? Your answers could be quite helpful to others, both those who have a hearing loss and for those who want to know how best to interact with such a person.

      Delete
    4. Sure, I would be glad to contribute to your blog. But as I say I am just a guy who is deaf; I am not a deaf guy. My deafness doesn't identify me as it does some. That being said, I could tell you some stories about traveling, both for business and pleasure, with a hearing loss and how many hotels and such just don't have a clue. But I do celebrate those who can and do go out of their way to accommodate the deaf. The Hampton Inns are great in this area. Never been disappointed with them.

      Delete
    5. That second sentence (I am just a guy who is deaf, not a deaf guy) is exactly why I think your perspective and insight would be so valuable.

      I'll put together some questions in the next week or two and email them to you. There will be plenty of space to answer all the questions I didn't know to ask.

      Thanks, RJ.

      Delete
  31. I read your blog for information about retirement. I am not yet retired but I am interested in learning about your experience. I would also like to hear about your wife's experience in retirement. I want insight for those of us coming into retirement (not so much about the dog or RVing)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on the responses so far there is a lot of interest in RVing and travel. While my intention is to blog about our trips and post lots of Betty's photos, I will be looking for a different slant during those trips. What am I seeing and learning about different areas of the country or from the people we meet? What fresh insights am I gaining into my own retirement based on that travel?

      Rather than too much about the actual nitty-gritty of RV travel I hope the experiences will give me a new perspective on all sorts of subjects I can share. And, yes, Betty will be encouraged to add her thoughts in addition to her photos.

      Delete
  32. You know I love your blog, so I will read anything you put on it! I found your categories interesting. I'm not sure where I fit in. I suppose I belong somewhere between semi-pro and hobby bloggers.

    As for what you post, perhaps broadening your scope to encompass a satisfying life (not limited to retirement) would give you some greater freedom to explore topics that are interesting to you while still staying somewhat connected to your original theme.

    The first "rule" for me is that it has to be something that has caught my attention, something that is interesting to me. If it meets that "test," then I can usually connect it to my theme of bringing more joy into our lives.

    If you are interested in it, your readers will be, too. Not every post will appeal to every reader. That's fine.

    We all go through these transitions, I think. It's healthy and keeps us and our blogs fresh.

    Looking forward to whatever you write, as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Galen. You are a dear friend to both Betty and me and a blogger who writes with the best of them.

      You have boiled down the issue to the key factor: whatever I write about has to interest me to some degree. Otherwise, it will be quite obvious from my lack of enthusiasm for the subject.

      Guest posts rarely draw well for me for that simple reason: I'm not writing it. At the same time, a well done guest post does allow me to present information from someone better versed in a subject of importance than I am. It also gives me a mini-break from writing so I can think about what's next.

      I allow guest posts probably twice a month at most. They serve a purpose but as Linda Myers told me, because it isn't my writing the appeal isn't as strong. Besides being a very nice compliment, she is correct. This is a personal blog.

      Delete
  33. Hi Bob, I just happened onto this as a new retirement blogger starting to read around and see what the retirement blogging community looks like. I've been writing a garden blog for several years now, and I'm wondering if writing about retirement might be similar to writing about gardening: you keep coming round to the same issues (or flowers :-)) over and over again, but each time it is different. So I agree with other readers who say that it is a good thing to revisit old topics from a slightly new angle. I hope to come back here again and read more. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Jean. I'm glad you found me.

      I imagine writing about any subject has that pattern. I have over 400 posts that can be revisited so I am pleased you and others have given me the OK to re-work older material.

      I looked back at the comments left during the first 12 months of this blog and only three names are still leaving comments. There is a natural turnover of readership that I tend to forget about.

      Delete
  34. Since I just discovered your blog none of the topics are repetitive - unless I keep reading your archives. I think your audience is ever evolving - I am just considering retirement and hence the search for blogs on retirement! I started writing my own blog (creative personal and not for money!) a year ago so any ideas about blogging would also be interesting! Here's hoping a bit of a new spin and knowing you will always have a new market will keep the creative juices flowing - you can count on life to fill your brain and heart with more and more! Writing is in the blood!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome and thanks, Eileen. There is a turnover and a constant influx (I hope!) of new readers, which is something I forget about.

      Blogging and social media topics tend to be attractive but I haven't dealt with them for awhile...a good addition to my list.

      BTW, I just jumped over to your Google+ link: keep those hip bones shaking!

      Delete
  35. I'm late to the comments here, but can see you have already been given lots of good ideas and food for thought.

    My husband retires at the end of June this year; I guess I sort of unofficially retired about 7 years ago in order to spend more time at home with our children. We're going to be in a very unique niche: Retired with children still at home. I don't think there's very many of us out there, at least not blogging about it. Interestingly enough though, it's because we have children that we can afford to retire now (sort of counter-intuitive, but my husband will receive extra benefits for dependents that make it possible). We're also in the process of undertaking a major move to our "dream" retirement location in Hawai'i, so have that going on as well.

    For three years I blogged about getting out of debt, downsizing, etc. never thinking that retirement was even possible. As retirement became more of a reality, at the beginning of this year I realized that our focus has changed, so I changed as well and started a new blog about retiring and relocation rather than about losing debt and downsizing (I'm one of those that blogs as a hobby, for the creative outlet it offers). I was sort of in the same place you seem to be ("what do I write about now?") but feel refreshed and renewed again with the new outlook and focus. The downside is that I'm almost starting over from scratch to build my readership up again.

    Anyway, I enjoy going through your previous posts and have gained much. I'll follow you whatever you decide to write about! Even about RVing, although our daughters have put their collective feet down when we brought up buying an RV ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, you have picked a beautiful place to retire: the island of Kaua'i. I've been to five of the islands, on business, with my spouse, and with our daughters, 14 times. Every time I step off the plane I feel I'm home. But, I'd get island fever and miss my daughters and grand kids too much to ever make that leap full time, even though the people are the friendliest on earth.

      Thanks for the supportive comments. And, you are right: I don't know of many retired folks who still have kids at home. That could be a source for endless posts!

      Let me guess: RVing on Kaua'i is probably not a major pursuit by very many people.

      Delete

Comment moderation is in effect.