One of the reasons I started Satisfying Retirement was because of the near universal focus on retirement finances on blogs available on the Internet. Of course I had financial questions, like when to begin Social Security, should I pay off my mortgage as soon as I could, would I benefit from consulting a financial advisor?
But, when I first began to think of closing my company and retiring I was also looking for practical help on all the issues that would affect my life if I stopped working: keeping relationships healthy, dealing with boredom and lots of free time, maintaining my health amidst the crazy world of American health care. Do you still take vacations after retirement? How about hobbies? I was looking for real life feedback from others who had retired and struggled, and from those who flourished and couldn't wait to begin each day.
I couldn't find any. I did find a handful of older books that dealt with all the aspects of retirement living, but nothing online. So, for the first several years I did a lot of on-the-job training. I struggled to find my footing and make the most of my time. I went back to part time work more out of boredom and thinking I needed the extra income (I didn't). Still, the Internet provided very little non-financial encouragement or solid feedback.
As I have recounted before, the opportunity to scratch my writing itch and to service a need that I felt existed prompted me to start blogging in 2010.
As an experiment, last week I spent some time searching Google for the top retirement topics, the top non-financial questions of retirees, and anything that seemed to fulfill the information gap that existed 5 or 10 years ago. Frankly, not a lot has changed. Ask Google about retirement issues and the first half dozen pages (That is dozens of web sites & blogs) are virtually all dealing with money.
Blogs that deal with the full range of topics that retirees, or soon-to-be-retirees, are asking about remain few and far between. There are a few recent additions, sites like Olderhood.com and Senior Forum. And, you will find several blogs I enjoy and read regularly listed on the left sidebar. But, for the most part if I were in the same position, after searching Google, I would come to the same conclusion I did 13 years ago: too many retirement blogs about money and not enough about life.
In one area there is much more information available than when I was looking for help: books. Considering the supposed death of publishing, I am not finding that true in this regard. Sure, most of them are available as e-book downloads as well as paperback and hard cover. But, book publishing about retirement seems to be holding its own.
The reason I am mentioning this is twofold: to encourage any new bloggers to start writing about retirement without the financial focus, and to feel good about my decision to continue this blog after my summer sabbatical.
As an aside, I am beginning work on my third book. Even though Living a Satisfying Retirement continues to chug along, with 6-8 books sold every week, I am feeling to need to tackle the subject again. We'll see what happens.
Thanks for reading and supporting this retirement approach. It took 3 1/2 years to reach 1 million page views. Now, just 11 months later almost 500,000 more have clicked on the blog. That level of readership is very much appreciated.
Life requires a handle on your financial situation, but a satisfying life is about so much more.