Much of the infrastructure in this country is decaying or in poor repair. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that nearly 1 in 4 bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete. Highway congestion drains $100 billion from our productivity every year. All of us have regular contact with potholes and roads that are literally unsafe to drive. Some of us deal with power brownouts during heat waves because the electric grids are old or too small to handle the demand.
When the enlarged Panama Canal opens soon only 2 out of fourteen East Coast ports will be able to accept the larger vessels. Meanwhile, Cuba is busy building a giant port to accept these new ships and satisfy a need that U.S. ports can't.
This post isn't about the damage to our present and future living standards due to the failure to maintain and improve basic infrastructure. Rather, the article caused me to think about another infrastructure: ours. The good news is we don't have to wait for Congress to act, or the utilities to expand capacity. We are in charge.
The dictionary definition of infrastructure is: the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. For us that would include our health, our minds, our living environment, and our relationship with others.
I am beginning the process of planning and writing a new book. Building a Satisfying Retirement is almost 5 years old, while Living a Satisfying Retirement will have been on the market for three years next spring. Both continue to sell on Amazon, but a fresh compilation of my thoughts is probably due.
This concept of our internal infrastructure prompted me to think about a focus for a new book. Like a bridge needs a solid foundation or a roadway needs quality ingredients to last, retirement should have certain elements in place. As I reviewed my life over the past decade and a half, as well as several years of posts and comments, I have identified 9 building blocks of a satisfying retirement.
Importantly, these components aren't unique to retirements. Some of them are part of our life from the day we were born. But, for our purposes, I believe they take on increased significance as we age and move through this next stage of life. They are the infrastructure that we depend on for a satisfying journey.
My writing schedule should mean the new book will be finished and available by late winter or early next spring.
So, the next time you drive around a pothole or wonder if the workers will ever finish repairs on that freeway near your home, think about your internal infrastructure and what shape it is in. Then, I hope you will compare your results with what I come up with when the new book hits the market!