April 7, 2011

Let's Try an Experiment

The response to Monday's post, I'm Still Confused, was strong and clear. You are interested in reading about personal experiences, problems and successes. You enjoy my suggestions on building a Satisfying Retirement. While an occasional financially-oriented post or one that is more informational than personal is OK, that isn't your primary reason for visiting.

Message received.

Based on that I'd like to try an experiment. It will either fall flat, like one of my omelets, or become a regular part of this blog. As the comments left after each post prove time and time again you have tremendous insight and perspectives to share. You think of things that have not crossed my mind. You have ideas that would make tremendously interesting posts.

So, here is what I would like to try. I am asking for your help and openness. Every so often I would like to post a story about your retirement highs and lows. Each time I would like to feature a few readers who are willing to submit brief stories about their retirement or relationship issues, financial struggles, great ideas to raise extra money, creative breakthroughs, frustrations and fears, travel stories, questions they are struggling with...anything that helps all of us on this journey.

Everyone has something to add to this dialog. Everyone has an experience, concern, or opinion that could benefit others. I would like Satisfying Retirement to be thought of as an open forum for the airing of  different perspectives and insights. I already encourage that by posting comments that disagree with my opinion, or raise important concerns. I would like to take that one step further and see this blog as a community of folks with the same basic concerns, willing to share and learn from each other.

If you would prefer to submit something anonymously that would be perfectly fine. Who you are isn't the key. What you have learned or what your questions are is important. Don't worry about how well you write or whether you can clearly express what you want to say. I'll be your private editor to put a little polish on anything, if required.

Length?  A single sentence may be all you need to make a point or ask a question you'd like feedback on. Maybe your experience is best conveyed in a few paragraphs. The length is not important. In all likelihood I would add a comment or observation after each shared experience.

So, the next step is simple: e-mail me at Satisfying Retirement with anything that will add to our group learning experience. If you prefer, simply leave a comment at the end of this post and I'll incorporate it into the article.

When I have enough I'll put together a post. If you never see this idea referred to again you will know that the interest wasn't there. And, if that happens, that outcome is absolutely fine. I want this blog to reflect what you'd like to read about. If it is all me, all the time, then so be it.

I am looking forward to the outcome of this experiment! Let's see what happens together. I'll go check my e-mail now!


  1. I think that is a fantastic idea. I would love to hear how people deal with all types of issues that come up. I do have a blog but I am a bit hesitant to write about retirement on it since it is about my art and jewelry making. I did blog about it a bit this week since I was laid off and had to open up but in general I would be more willing to post here then over there.

  2. Good morning Roberta,

    Thanks for the support for the idea. Judging by my mailbox so far this morning, it looks as though it may work.

    Please feel free to share any of your retirement questions and concerns here. I have visited your blog (which is quite good) and found your post about the end of your graphic designer career extremely moving and well written. I am sorry for your situation and hope I can offer you both support and helpful suggestions.

    I'd encourage you to take a moment to e-mail me your primary questions or concerns, or how you felt when you got the news. I know that would be a tremendous addition to this experiment.

    If you don't have a copy of Building A Satisfying Retirement I'd be very happy to send you one by return e-mail.

    Thanks for sharing your situation. We are here for you.

  3. Wonderful Bob. I'm in, as you know. At first I thought you were starting a FORUM and how would Blogger handle that? Then I thought perhaps Wordpress has a Forum plugin. Need to check that out. Sonia.

  4. Hi Sonia,

    I think Wordpress does have a forum plug-in. Forums can be an excellent tool for a blogger after developing a big enough readership to generate good comments and responses. My understanding is it does take a fair amount of time to moderate an active forum.

    No, I'm not going to try to add a forum. Assuming this post generates enough usable responses both in this comments section and by e-mail, I will put together a follow up post based on those questions, comments and experiences.

    From that, ideas for additional posts will probably arise. Plus, I'll bring back the request for readers' experiences on a regular basis. In a sense that makes it a forum, but under carefully controlled exposure and conditions.

    After all it is an "experiment."

    A request for you: when you have a moment please e-mail me a concern or question or some part of the retirement path you and/or your husband are following. Your experiences have been so wide-ranging that you have a lot to offer. Let me know if you want it used anonymously and I will do so.

  5. Thanks Bob, I shall e-mail you. Sonia

  6. Hi Bob --

    I'm looking forward to seeing/hearing how this experiment works out. I don't feel that I have a great to contribute, as I'm not yet retired. My husband and I are inching toward it; he's down to four days/week, and I'm down to three. The big glitch, from my perspective, is health insurance... He's already on Medicare, but I'm several years away from that. Otherwise, financially, I think we could make retirement work (in a frugal sort of way). But for me to buy an individual policy in New York would cost over $600/month, and that just feels prohibitive. Even though I'm pretty healthy, I'm uneasy about going without insurance. If you or anyone had any suggestions, I would welcome them.

  7. Good Morning, Pauline,

    You have raised an issue that is very important to a lot of folks: health care. Besides the obscene rates ($600 a month just for you?) what is really scary is the uncertainty of what is to come. With the extreme positions being staked out in Washington I'm not sure how any of us are supposed to plan or budget for health care.

    In any case, thanks for adding your comment. It is beginning to look as though I will be able to be together more than one follow up post with a separate topic for each.

  8. I am on countdown now to retirement May 31. As it gets closer, all the emotions are being pushed to the side by practical issues. If I can't buy my work computer, I have to buy a new one and transfer everything. I use my work email as my personal (nonblog) email. I have to transfer to a new email account. I have to buy my own healthcare, and I can't get one of my kids insured. I have to clean out my office. I have to figure out how to do some things for myself that assistants do for me now (I know--I'm spoiled). And so on. Oh, yes, and I have to keep working until May 31! I know it will all get sorted out, but right now I feel a tad overwhelmed.

  9. Hi Galen,

    You have summarized in a nutshell a lot of the fears and hassles that precede retirement. Knowing you through your blog and comments you graciously leave here, I have no doubt you will handle everything. This is an important topic that we will explore further in the follow up post.

    I am working on a new e-book, Countdown to Retirement, that will address these and other concerns folks have as they approach their last day of work.

  10. Let me know when you figure this out. I get hits from post I have written 12 month ago! Bloggers call those posts "evergreen". I read your blog because you have a way of putting words together.

    Good luck!


  11. Hi b,

    I've had a few of those posts that suddenly get views well after they have fallen off my radar.

    Thanks for the compliment. I keep plugging away.