June 19, 2014

An Anniversary and Some Important Changes

Four years ago this month I began writing Satisfying Retirement. It has been one of the most rewarding periods of my life. I had no idea when I hit the publish button for the first time in June, 2010 what lay ahead.

I have been able to write about a subject I have come to know pretty well. I have been able to help others on this amazing journey. I have written two books, both of which continue to sell several copies a month. I have made friends who have enriched my life and will continue to do so. 


Writing this blog has helped me strengthen my marriage and my faith. It has allowed me to scratch my writing itch in a way that has been both fun and satisfying. I have been privileged to be allowed into your home or office, on your laptop, tablet, or cell phone to share my thoughts and learn from yours. Regular readers have become a family that I deeply appreciate and respect.


My best estimate is I have written just shy of 500,000 words in these past four years, or a little less than contained in the novel War and Peace. Well over 1.2 million page views indicate someone is actually reading that output. I haven't counted but I imagine I have covered well over a hundred different subjects or approaches to those issues and concerns that all of us retirees, and soon to be retirees, face.

Betty and I leave early next month on an RV trip that is planned to last until mid September. We are excited to see all the fabulous sights down the road, and meet all the fascinating people with whom we will cross paths. We are also interested in our reaction to being gone from home for that long. Will we like extended RV trips? Or, are we better suited to several shorter trips that don't take us on a 4,500 mile journey? By the time we return we'll have an answer.


Because we want to focus on the journey and each other, I have decided to stop blogging for now, at least in terms of regular postings. Being on a fixed schedule, with the "requirement" to produce fresh posts every few days would detract from our ability to really get all the enjoyment and insight from this trip that we can. The post I ran two weeks ago about the Cycles of Life caused me to do some serious thinking about this blog at this season of my life, while the post of last week on the American Dream further stirred the pot. I guess I see this break as a type of needed mental sabbatical to reassess what I am doing and writing about.


What I am likely to do is write an occasional post, with Betty's pictures, after we have had a particularly memorable segment of the trip or learned something new that you might enjoy. I have no idea how often that will occur, but I would imagine a few times a month seems likely.


The blog will remain right here so all past posts will be available. If you have signed up for e-mail notification, when I have a new post you will be notified. Or, you can just click over every once in awhile to see if there is something you might enjoy.


Also, at this time I am ending the updating of the Satisfying Retirement Facebook Page and my involvement with Twitter. They have been used for promotion of this blog, but without regular updates they no longer serve a purpose. I do plan on staying involved with Google+ and  my personal Facebook page for the time being, but on a more infrequent basis until our return. Pinterest interests me and may become a new outlet for our photos.


I invite you to come back a few times this summer to see where we've been and leave a comment or two. But, if you move on I fully understand. There are plenty of excellent retirement-oriented blogs that post frequently. 
 

My  return to blogging this fall is still an open question. I am feeling the need for some substantial changes in my life and I don't have any idea what that will look like. It may involve restarting this blog, tackling a completely different subject, or leaving the blogging world behind. I seriously have no idea.


But, what will never change is my appreciation for your support, love, and participation for the past four years. It has meant the world to me. Thank you. Have a great summer and enjoy the greatest time of your life: a satisfying retirement.


Thanks for everything!


91 comments:

  1. So happy for you and Betty! This will be a wonderful time for both of you. This is a well deserved break from the responsibility of producing a blog posting every few days. If you choose to stop blogging entirely, I will miss your posts; however you have done more than your share to help and inspire all of us!

    Your blog was one of the first that I found, when I was considering retirement a couple years ago. It served as a guidepost and provided a wealth of information on the many topics that interest us retirees. The lively discussions and thoughtful comments from readers added to the depth of the discussion.

    So, thanks for everything, and happy trails to you and Betty!

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    1. Thank you, Carole. Even as late as last night I thought about not putting this post up. Am I really able to walk away from dear friends and fellow travelers on this journey?

      But, Betty and I need this "us" time with minimal distractions and responsibilities to think about the next phase of our life. One week from today is our 38th anniversary so the timing as we begin our 39th year together seems appropriate. It will be interesting to see where we go.

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  2. Well, you and Betty have a wonderful time! By the time you get back, we'll have finished our downsizing and move from SW PA to the Pocono Mountains nearer our families into a more affordable home. We are still in the midst of the "purge" of downsizing and have learned some lessons already! For instance, it has become MUCH easier to decide what to take and what to toss once we found the house into which we will move, not to mention finally finding the motivation! I'm sure we will learn more along the way just as you will learn a lot from your pending adventure. Enjoy!

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    1. Betty is from Pittsburgh, as were my grandparents, so I can relate to where you live. As a child my family vacationed in the Pocono Mountains so I can picture where you are moving! Both pretty places.

      Life is all about learning and change. As someone once said, the unexamined life is not a life worth living.

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  3. Bob, have a wonderful trip! I will be checking in to see if you have left a new post and/or pictures from time to time. If you decide to discontinue the blog upon your return, I sure understand and support your decision to follow your heart. However, I sure want to thank you for all the great insight you have shared in your blog posts. Your comment section also has provided an invaluable forum for us all to share our thoughts and grow from what others have shared. I certainly wish you all the very best. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thank you, Linda. You and the rest of the blog's "regulars" are really a trusted and and needed part of my life. Wouldn't it be great if we could all get together some day and have a big "family" reunion to share stories and learn from each other?

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  4. I understand your need to take a break. You imposed a twice a week posting structure on yourself. It's that organized mind of yours, I'm sure. But, what I've learned from my much less organized posting schedule is, the people who enjoy your blog, and connect in the comments, will read it whenever it shows up. I've been posting less lately, due to the moving 'chaos', and my readers are all understanding. It's comforting to know. Your readers are very loyal, and they will understand, too. Now, whenever I see your link in my mailbox, I'll be happy to read what is new in your journey.
    Blogging has changed our lives, it's in our blood now. You'll get back to it when the time is right. Enjoy the trip!!
    xob

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    1. Blogging being in the blood is quite true. It will feel odd to not look at a calendar and think about a new post. If I were to guess, I would expect me to restart regular postings upon our return. But, on what subject? Have I exhausted the retirement subject? Do I still have enough to share on this subject?

      Those are the questions I will be asking myself.

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  5. Hi Bob, I made a comment back when you moved from 3 posts a week to 2 that you were moving from “not working” to actually being retired. I could see in your writing what a difference the RV has made to your life and now I’d say you are making the step into full retirement.

    You will be fully setting your own schedule, doing what you enjoy most, spending time with your wife and loved ones. I think that’s the very definition of retirement. You have spent your years “not working” exploring what retirement means to you and by blogging about your search you have helped countless others. I plan to retire next year (at age 62) and your blog has been among the most helpful as I was doing my own exploring trying to answer my own questions. What is retirement? What does it mean to not have a job to go to every day? What does it really take to have a Satisfying Retirement?

    Bob, I appreciate all the time and effort you have put into your blog over the last 4 years. You have reached out to the wider world, not for pay or recognition, just to allow others to follow you as you searched for your own version of retirement. I will miss your regular posts but I think you have found what you were looking for. Enjoy your trip and enjoy your satisfying retirement - you deserve it. And thank you for your contribution to my own upcoming retirement journey.

    - David

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    1. David, it is comments like yours that give me a true feeling of both contribution and understanding from my readers. I spent the bulk of my radio career in consulting. I must say, the 'consulting" I do with this blog is so much more satisfying.

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us over the past four years we certainly have enjoyed and appreciated your posts and your dedication. Have a safe and enjoyable journey. We will be looking forward to hearing from you again.

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    1. How many years ago was it you and I shared coffee at the 101 and FLW Blvd? Thanks for being with me for the past 4 years.

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  7. Say it isn't so......Naw ENJOY yourselves! You will be missed.Best Wishes to you and Betty for a wonderful time and I will peek in to see if anything comes in new.

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    1. After just inviting you to "come along" on this trip I am sorry to have to leave you at home in Upstate New York! There will be new posts, I just don't know when. Be sure to leave a comment so I know you are still out there.

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  8. Please don't leave blogging on a regular basis - it means a great deal to many of us.

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    1. Thank you. As Barbara noted above, it is probably too much in my blood to quit forever.

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  9. Bob, ENJOY. I so admire your ability to take stock and do what is satisfying to you. Your blog was recommended at a retirement workshop that I attended prior to my retirement 15 months ago. I anticipate the communion with you and the readers and the challenge to my retirement thinking and action, not unlike what used to occur with colleagues in the work setting. With regards to your RV trip - the Rapid City SD area offers so much and is an area I would gladly return to. My great grandparents had homesteaded in the Philip, SD area before coming to Alberta. There are so many sights to see in our own homelands. Take care.

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    1. We plan on spending almost a week in the Badlands/Rapid City/Custer area, and then on to Devil's Tower in Wyoming for a "Close Encounter of the RV kind!"

      Thanks, Mona. Have a great and safe summer.

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  10. Bye Bob. I shall miss you. Blogging over these past 5 to 6 years has been a great way for us to deal with our changing economy, government and world. Many bloggers now have decided to stop, cease or blog less. Perhaps it is because we have all found our new way in this new world and are more settled, happy etc? In any event, good luck to you and thank you for everything. Many lives have been touched (and changed) thanks to your writing. God bless.

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    1. Touching and changing lives are a few of the reasons why blogging is more than just a solitary pursuit. The comments and support from readers makes me feel the struggles to write something meaningful every couple of days has been worthwhile to others.

      Retirement is meant to be so much more than just pleasing yourself. It is time for giving back, too. Blogging has been one way for me to do that.

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  11. Bob, while I will personally regret not seeing your postings, I understand completely your need to step back. Please enjoy the summer and your trip. And no matter what choice you make after the trip, we will wish you nothing but the best. Travel safe, my friend, and enjoy every moment of your travels.

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    1. And you and Deb stay safe on your motorcycles this summer!

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  12. To everything there is a season...Have a wonderful summer and keep in touch via Facebook. I'll look forward to Betty's photos along with an occasional "travel post." Regards, Suzanne

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    1. To everything there is a season - turn, turn, turn. Where will this turn take me? Only God knows. Thanks, Suzanne.

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  13. I must agree with ddavidson5647, you are now making the transition to full retirement. I have been an avid reader of your blog for the past year and have learned so much from the blog and from your books.
    My retirement will begin in one year at age 62 ending a then 44 year career in the steel industry. Your blog will be missed but I thank you for all your help. Good luck in all your future ventures...

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    1. The next year will seem to fly and crawl by...all at the same time, as you move to retirement. Be ready for the ride, Tom.

      Thanks so much for your well wishes.

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  14. Bob, I found your blog about a year and a half ago, been hooked ever since. My wife and I are still working and are about a year away from retirement. I have enjoyed topics and writing immensely. You and Betty are going to do what Kathy and I have been discussing (extended travel). I look forward to your updates, but most of all enjoy yourselves. All the best, Keith.

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    1. Thanks, Keith. This will be a journey of discovery for us. Will we like extended RV travel? How much will I miss blogging? Have I exhausted the topic of retirement? We will all find out together.

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  15. I would like to see you back to bring your ideas to mind as I approach my own retirement in just a few years. Selfish? Yes, I will admit it. If you don't want to be the creative one as much, I would also welcome your posting links to other sites in which you find insights towards a satisfying retirement. Have a great summer

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    1. Your wish isn't selfish, in fact it is exactly what would draw me back: feeling I still have things to share and people to share with.

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  16. I agree that you are probably stepping more fully into retirement. Life and lifestyle plans are taking over and this is a good thing. I will also look for the occasional post and pictures.

    I have not traveled much in the past year but still have found that retirement life just gets in the way of blogging. I keep saying that I am back and will write a couple of times every week and just never get there. This will be a wonderful tiem for you.

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    1. Your life is rather full, Barb. One of your latest posts details all the various things you do to raise a little extra spending money and feed your creativity. I'm surprised you find time to blog at all.

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  17. God Speed my friend. Enjoy your time and enjoy your wife. Don't worry about us - we will find other things to keep us busy.

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    1. Thanks, Rake. Yes, I am not too worried about you guys and how you will fill your time!

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  18. Enjoy the road. Enjoy retirement. Reconnect. Renew.
    I will miss your words. Looking forward to getting an email that you have (occasionally) returned.
    If you are in Kansas, give us a call!

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    1. My key word is probably "refresh" and deciding where to go next. Everything could return to the way it has been, but I'd be angry at myself it I don't take the time to explore all my options.

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  19. Thank you so much for your thoughtful posts. I found you in 2010 and this blog was a big help to me. I have been sensing that you were moving in a different direction. I hope you blog once in awhile.
    Good luck on the journey. God bless you and your family.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I sense God is urging me to explore all my paths and use whatever talents he has given me to the best of my ability. No pressure - just figure out how to match His request!!!

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  20. Sincerely hoping that you will find it in your plan to continue blogging when you return from this great adventure. Some of your posts have been catalysts for much needed discussion between my husband and me......think of yourself as the "accidental arbitrator" :) Have a safe trip....and make sure to stop at the Norwegian stave church in Rapid City.....beautiful setting, interesting history complete with early settlers cabin recreated on church grounds and of course the beautiful chapel. Godspeed. Helen

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    1. Accidental Arbitrator...I like that.

      I have added the church in Rapid City to my list. I just looked at the pictures...fascinating,

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  21. Bob, Have enjoyed your blog for a long time. It is the first one that I have ever followed and the only one that I have followed "faithfully". I feel that you are a friend and that all of your commenters make up our little community. I will miss that, but I wish you well. Please do fill us in on your adventures once in awhile. Good luck to you and Betty.

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    1. Betty and I were talking this morning about how fun it would be someday to put together a trip around the country to visit our blogging family...maybe pick some cities or towns and invite those who read the blog to drive to a central location for a real meet and greet. That would be really a treat.

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  22. Best wishes to you and wife. Thanks for all you have shared and the benefits we've received with your help. Safe travels. Enjoy the RV lifestyle.

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    1. Thanks, Randy. If I were I betting man, I would think we will enjoy a few trips a year of the 2-3 month length, several long weekend trips closer to home, and lots of time in Scottsdale with family in friends. .....the best of both worlds.

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  23. OF COURSE I will miss the regular blogs..as you know, you have been a touchstone for Ken and I during that last year before we "did it" --the ups and downs were a lot easier with the information and support you gave us. But I disagree with the folks who say you are just getting into full rltirement.I feel you are now LIVING THE SATISFYING LIFE.. fully alive, on the edge of changes and growth and adventure with Betty, and "retirement" is something you have mostly tackled by now!! So--I know this next bunch of months will bring incredible insights, and challenges, and you and Betty will continue on the path to a SATISFYING SPIRITUAL LIFE. A little bit of discontent is the sand in the oyster,Bob-- You have family, friends, health, time, finances in order, and now--the world is YOUR oyster,Bob!! GODSPEED on your journeys..I'll always be reading whenever you post a goodie from your RV times or otherwise!!!

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    1. Your support and openness to discussion as you and Ken have moved through this journey have been a real joy for me. Speaking of new adventures, I wonder how you will react to your first full winter in the mountains!

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  24. Bob,

    I thank you so much for what you have done with the blog. I have been reading it from nearly the start of your endeavor and have learned much. It has helped me enormously in charting my course to a "satisfying retirement." And thanks to Betty for putting up with what was undoubtedly many hours watching you sit in front of the computer, writing and managing the blog. I always considered her an integral part of the blog and your inspiration.

    I think you are too much of a thinker, creative spirit and communicator to leave it behind. I think we will see you again--perhaps in a new blog or a new adventure. I hope so.

    Best to you and Betty and Happy Trails!



    I think that is f

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    1. I will be surprised if I don't come back to fulltime blogging after the trip, but it is important to give myself permission to leave it behind as a completed phase of life if that is what happens.

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  25. I can't add much to what has already been said. BUT, I want to thank you for giving me the courage to retire a year ago. It's been the best thing that has happened to my wife and me in many years. I know I only echo what others have said- Have a wonderful trip! And please check in once in a while.

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    1. Knowing that this blog has been a positive influence for you is very gratifying. Thanks, Jeff, and I am happy retirement has been such a positive experience for you and your wife.

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  26. Bob, first a big virtual hug for the conflicting feelings I'm sure you are having right now. Your words have helped so many folk, and that is a lasting legacy regardless of what you ultimately decide to do long term.

    For myself, letting go of my blog was initially difficult, but once the initial feelings of sadness passed, I felt growing elation at being free of it's inevitable chains. I found myself still wanting to document our travels, however, so I created a private blog viewable only to family and close friends. In between trips it lies dormant, so there is no pressure whatsoever to produce fresh posts.

    I treasure our blossoming friendship, possible only because of this blog, and I wish you and Betty the happiest of non stop RV discoveries during your upcoming trip. I can't think of any better way to really get immersed in this amazing country of ours.

    So not goodbye, but rather, until we meet again.

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    1. ...which should be in Palm Springs in January (if not sooner)!

      There have been a handful of blogger virtual friends who have become in-person friends. You and Mike are part of that very important group to Betty and me. I would have never guessed that blogging could result in real friendships. I always thought of blogging as an impersonal, solitary pursuit. But, as these comments prove, nothing could be farther from the truth.

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  27. Me, too, Bob. You're welcome in Seattle or Tucson!

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    1. Our best very to you and Art. We will see you again.

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  28. Bob,

    Thanks so much for all of the years you have let the rest of us listen and comment while you "thought out loud" about what it means to be retired. I don't think I've been with you quite since the start, but certainly for several years, and your blog has been one of my favorites. I wish you and Betty a grand adventure as you set out together on this extended trip. Last year my husband and I took six-month leaves from our jobs and hit the road with our travel trailer for a five-month trip -- it was just fabulous! When you get to Mount Rushmore, I recommend seeing their twilight "lighting ceremony" -- especially if either of you was a veteran, it is incredibly moving. And now I will be retiring myself, one week from today., and I know that your blog has been a huge help in thinking through all of the questions en route to that decision. Thanks for everything! Safe travels, and happy trails to you!

    Pauline in Ithaca

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    1. I appreciate the kind words and well wishes, Pauline. Boy, a 5 month trip..that is impressive. Makes our 75 days seem too short!

      Best of luck to you as you retire in a week. I hope you find it to be every bit as stimulating and fulfilling as I have.

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  29. As you probably know, I'm a big fan of the blog-whenever-you-feel-like-it approach. I am frequently shocked to look and see how long it's been since I've posted to my blog! Have a great summer and of course, we'll all be here when you get back if you decide you're not really ready to let go of the blog.

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    1. As one of the very first supporters for my efforts, you hold a special place in my heart. Someday our paths will cross so I can give you a big hug (or a coffee if you aren't a hugger!).

      Based on the comments my decision has generated, I am sure I will occasionally post during the trip and likely return to blogging in the fall. But, for now..........

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    2. That warms my heart to read. And yes I like hugs, coffee, and wine by the way--just saying. I look forward to being in the same city at the same time as you one day soon!

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  30. Hey, Iowa grandpa here, finally made the big decision to retire at the end of this year. I was following you on your RV experience to see how it went. We have all three kids and grandkids on the east coast so thought the RV thing might be an option. Then last Oct my wife had a double masctomy and just last month our daughter in NC had a malignant mass removed from her kidney, been a crazy 9 months! Everyone is fine no chemo or radiation, God is good. You'll go right by our exit on I-80 in the near future. (Exit 60) I could show you the F chord on the guitar, ha. Thanks for your blog, and keep us posted, once-in-awhile, on how the RV trip is progressing!!
    Dave, the Iowa Grandpa

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    1. Look for updates along the road as we travel, Dave. I still struggle with the F chord...my old fingers just don't want to do their job.

      Best of luck with your retirement. After the past year of family health issues I'd say you earned it.

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  31. Best wishes on your trip! I am one week away from beginning my "satisfying retirement" and looking forward to the upcoming journey. I found your site about 6 months ago and have learned much from your insight, and those from the many contributors and other blogger sites. At this time I have no immediate plans but know my new path will be an adventure - I'm certainly keeping an open (and inquisitive) mind and positive attitude. However, an early test will be to get my '66' Corvair running and not leak too much oil! Ahh, the challenges we create! :).

    PS - If you have interest in old west history, visit Deadwood, SD since you'll be nearby. Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane reside in the cemetery (also where Wild Bill exhaled his last breath). Have a safe journey. Jim E in CA

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    1. Deadwood looks to be not too far north of Rapid City. I'll make a note and see how things go. Thanks for the tip, Jim.

      Boy, a 1966 Corvair...there is a classic. I've always wished I was a "car" guy, but I skin my knuckles just tightening a screw on the RV.

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  32. Bob - Although I have not commented much on your blog posts, I have been an avid reader for at least the last couple of years, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading yours (and your readers') thoughts. I will start my "final" retirement on July 1st, transitioning to a part-time work schedule of 4 1/2 days off and 2 1/2 days on. I say "final" because I initially retired from a 31 year career with a major telecommunications company in July 2001. I followed that career with an 8 year career with a private education provider and a 4 years stint as a social media marketing expert. I will continue to do some of the social media work in my part-time job. Your blog has functioned as a real eye-opener for me, and given me the idea of this not being a stage of life to sit on the front porch but rather a time to explore new horizons. As the above work history dramatically illustrates, I am definitely NOT an "early retiree". At least initially, I think a little bit of schedule will be good for me and allow me to ease into this exciting new stage. Thanks for your many blogs and have a wonderful RV voyage.

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    1. You have been quite busy after "retirement!" Actually, you fit what is becoming the new normal for many...retire from something only to try something new. It is good for the pocketbook, but more importantly, good for the brain and your attitude.

      Thanks for your good wishes. We are more than ready for this adventure.

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  33. Bob, I'm selfishly sad you won't be posting on a regular basis! I only "discovered" your blog about six weeks ago and officially retired May 30 - just completed my 3rd week! Since then, I haven't missed a post, and have found each one thought provoking. I will now concentrate on catching up with your last four years of posts and, I have no doubt, learn a lot along the way. Looking at your proposed travel route, it looks as though you may pass through Iowa City. If so, do wave as you drive by! All the best. Cathy

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    1. Cathy, I think we are passing through IC on our way through a place we used to live, Cedar Rapids, and continuing on to a state park on the Mississippi River north of Dubuque.

      Yes, please take advantage of all the old posts. There are close to 600...that should keep you busy all summer.

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  34. I'm sorry I missed this yesterday. Have a safe and interesting summer trip, post some of the fascinating things you come across, meet some new people, and have a wonderful time. I'll check in now and again to see how you're faring. Thank you for the blog so far, with the hope--but not the expectation--that it may continue when you're home. Happy Trails!

    That Other Jean

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    1. TOJ, Thanks for your wishes. We have plans to get as involved as possible with the people and places as we pass through: picking up trash in local parks, donating books to libraries, attending local church services, and shopping and eating where the locals do.

      Assuming the blogging desire returns, those activities should give me plenty of topics!

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  35. Bob, I shall be disappointed if you choose not to blog anymore as you have been like a life preserver to me. Due to a forced retirement situation, I floundered quite a bit until I found your down-to-earth advice along with other resources. Retirement is now a joy for me. I appreciate that you have shared your spiritual gifts with your readers and look forward to hearing from you again "down the road". Safe travels.

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    1. Letting me know that this blog has been helpful to you is very kind and encouraging. Thank you.

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  36. May the road rise up to meet you, as they say, and the wind be always at your back. Have a great trip!

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    1. After our very windy trip across West Texas last year, i will be quite happy if the wind is at our back....and not our side!

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  37. I remember August of 2010 when I was freshly retired and had uprooted from Georgia to Massachusetts. With time on my hands I found your blog and we connected. It is hard to believe that 4 years have passed. Your blog has been on my regular reading list since then and I've found several other blogs through yours. Thank you for all of the information and for your caring presence online. I can't help but think about your "to blog or not to blog" decision as almost the same as many of your readers who struggle with the "to retire or not to retire" decision. Regular blogging must be similar in many ways to working. And the decision to stop blogging must be similar to retiring. For many it is bittersweet--allowing for new opportunities but also leaving behind good experiences and acquaintances. We all enjoy reading your blog and staying in touch. If you continue writing we will continue reading. But if it is the time to "retire" to a new chapter of retired life, then go for it. (Sound like a familiar refrain?)

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    1. I remember our great exchanges as you attempted to find the right place to live and the best decision for you and your wife and son. There were a few "false" starts and a few moves but the last time we exchanged e-mails I sensed you were happy with your choices and things were going well. I few honored to be part of that process.

      I mentioned to Betty this morning that without blogging I am adrift at the moment, but expect the upcoming RV trip to give me fresh insight, ideas, and possibilities. We will see what transpires.

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  38. Have fun Bob and enjoy your trip. I hope you decide to continue when you return in the fall. Maybe use a different venue. If you don't it will be like losing a dear friend and I seem to be losing too many of those lately.

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    1. What a nice thing to say, RJ. I really hope we get to meet in person some day. I sense a real camaraderie of like souls.

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  39. Hi Bob
    Just wanted to say have a nice trip. Enjoy. I've been following your blog for several months now and have really enjoyed it. In fact I've been reading your earlier postings and I'm just about finished with 2012. Being life time residents of Wisconsin my wife and I are very familiar with the Door County area. We usually spend a few days every year in Fish Creek. Be sure to take in the many wineries and see a play at the Peninsula Players Theater. We both will be turning 61 this year and I'm looking forward to retiring next year at 62. We also will be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary on June 25th. If you add the years we started dating at age 18 its been 42 fantastic years! Anyways I will continue to read your earlier postings and also hope you continue your blog when you return. Have a safe and great trip.
    Kind regards,
    Jerry
    Waupaca, Wi

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    1. I just took a look at the Peninsula Players Theater..wow! What a fabulous facility. That is a definite during the trip. It looks like we will be there to see the Mystery of Irma Vep...sounds fun.

      We almost share an anniversary..our 38th is on June 26th.

      Thanks for your kind thoughts, Jerry. We will have a memorable time.

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  40. I'm not sure if my other comment got lost in computer land or what......maybe I just missed it. Anyhow, as many other folks have said, your blog has been a great "road map" for me, both before I retired (earlier than I'd planned due to unexpected eye issues) and afterwards. It only seems fitting that you get a wonderfully long road trip with a road map of your own!

    I have enjoyed reading your posts & the responses; it's been great to feel that I have made "virtual friends" along with the friends I have here. It was an unexpected bonus to meet you last year & I know you will enjoy checking in with everyone along the way as you check out much of America in RT with your girls.

    Thanks to both you & Betty for sharing yourselves with us.....I'll look forward to whatever you wish to share as you go along & whatever works out for you when you get back. I totally agree with the idea of a road trip WITHOUT a requirement to post on any kind of a schedule at all.

    Know that you are going with my thoughts & prayers. Enjoy the world!

    pam

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    1. Thanks, Pam. The computer must have eaten your first comment, but I am so glad you tried again!

      Yes, meeting you in Paso Robles last year was fun. It is always great to turn a virtual friend into a real one. When we are back in your part of the world we certainly hope to hook up again.

      I sincerely have no idea what this trip will teach us...of course if I did why take it? WE will learn a lot about ourselves and where our life is headed next. I promise an occasional update so you can come along for the ride.



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  41. Congratulations on your four-year anniversary! Thanks for all you have done, and enjoy your trip!

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  42. Thanks, Linda. It has been a great 4 years.

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  43. Enjoy yourself out there on the open road...as much as we have enjoyed reading your posts...safe travels!

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    1. We have every intention of doing so, Maverick!

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  44. Enjoy your travels and be well. Your blog has helped many of us as evidenced by the above comments. I will miss it.

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    1. Just stopped by to see if there are any additional comments. Thanks for your good wishes.

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  45. Bob I think you and Betty should seriously consider planning a trip to all our houses! You could see who would like you to visit, what accomodations are available and meet everyone who reads your blog.AND think what that would give you to write about!!!!! Seriously you and Betty could enjoy yourselves but we could share info on prices in our area,housing,how it is for retirement,what we do to lead a satifying LIFE, share tips tricks and secrets.Then when you guys get home you write about it and Betty could add the pictures.Here on east coast in Rochester, NY we have Wegmans and alot of other amazing things.Wait till you see what you can do for FREE.I bet every area there are some pretty terrific nuiances that "locals" know about.Any way consider pleeeez

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    1. It would probably take us the better part of a year, but would produce enough interesting stories for a book!

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  46. Wow, that certainly is a lot of words over the past four years - you deserve this time away from it all ot reflect and refocus. Enjoy the summer!

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