August 4, 2016

Satisfying Retirement Needs Your Help

retirement planning, retirement blog

As I look ahead to the future of Satisfying Retirement for the rest of this year and beyond, I wonder what steps I should take next. Six years is a long time for a blog to exist. But, readership and comments tell me there remains an interest in what is on these pages.

What I don't want to happen is that Satisfying Retirement becomes boring, uninteresting, or stale. With a staff of one (and occasional input from my wife), it is important I am constantly open to new ideas that don't just come from me.

What to write about, products or services that I could offer that would fill a need, changes in the look of the blog...all the building blocks of a blog that is growing and not just marking time. These are the types of questions that keep me reading books and web sites to help me stay fresh.

Of course, the best source of information is you, the reader. You know what you want when you click over to this blog. You know what you like and maybe some things you don't like. So, the most logical step for me is to ask for your feedback.

Here are a few questions that I would appreciate your answering. Best would be to leave your answers in the comment sections so others see what everyone thinks. If there something you'd like to share with me a bit more privately, then by all means send me an email. I am open to new ideas or approaches, so please be open with your thoughts and feedback. 

 Answer any or all of these questions. Your input is deeply appreciated:



1) Have you ever recommended this blog to a friend, family member or coworker?

2) What is your favorite thing about this blog?

3) What is your least favorite thing about satisfying retirement blog?

4) Are you ever upset or unhappy about anything you see or read on this blog?

5) If you owned this blog what changes would you make?


I am anxious to read your responses and make the improvements that you recommend.

A sincere thanks,

Bob

34 comments:

  1. Bob

    Re 2) What is your favorite thing about this blog? My favorite thing is the posts where you tell of your experiences and what you learned from them. Any wise person wants to hear what others have learned along their journey. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. 2) Consistent information presented in a non chaotic way.
    3) Politics. I can get it everywhere else. Unless it specifically impacts your economics, I am just happy to think that you are neutral. You do show your leanings in your side blogs, so there is lots there if someone wants to find it.
    5) You lack the female perspective. How about interviewing your wife, or even your daughters, one a quarter. What concerns them, what enhances their lives? What changes do they see, year to year, in retirement.
    Your set up is fine. This reminds me more of a newspaper article instead of a diary. I like that. Change is for the presenter, not the reader.

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  3. What great questions! Congratulations on SIX years! That is really an accomplishment. Yes, I have recommended your blog because I like the way you write; your blog is recommended on my brand new blog's website. My favorite thing is you pick interesting topics about which to write, and you communicate well. Your writing is clear and easy to read. I also like hearing the male perspective; so many retirement blogs are written by women (which I also like). I don't have any negative reactions to impart, perhaps because I haven't been a follower that long?? In terms of future directions . . . do you ever use guest posts? I would be glad to write a post or 2 to appear on your blog, and many others may be also. This gives us newer bloggers more exposure and relieves you of some of the writing pressure. Of course, you do have to round up guest writers and communicate with them, but that's a different kind of work from writing posts and could be kinda of fun. Plus it gives you a bit of a break and brings variety to your blog.

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  4. Keep on keepin' on! As a recent retiree, I'm in that transition period as I try to discover what to do the rest of my life. Your blog's reassurance that I am not alone is of great value to me and I look forward to reading every post. Thank you for the help you offer to us all.

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  5. Thoughtful request and comments reflect well on the quality of your blog. I appreciate reading about problems, fears and doubts and how you worked through them. Also, how your journey is different from your expectations, positive and negative. Humor is appreciated. I'm not interested in what I can find elsewhere, such as financial advice.

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  6. Hi Bob,
    (1) Yes, I have recommended your blog to others in person, in emails, and in my own blog (www.thingscouldbeworse.org/blog).
    (2) My favorite thing is reading about your experiences and what you learned from them. You write clearly and use evidence appropriately.
    I hope you continue to write the blog. It was upsetting to me when you quit for a while in 2015.
    Best of luck in revising your approach, if you decide to do so.

    Rin

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  7. I, too, have recommended your blog to others, Bob. I believe the favorite thing about your blog is those stories that elicit a large response from readers, since it obviously hit a sweet spot. Many of those tend to be financial, but then again, that is always of great interest to me. The least favorite? When it veers in a particular political direction, which seems to be a common refrain among the early responses.

    I am not sure I would change a lot with your blog, Bob, since it is a welcome change from many of the drab and boring ones out there (e.g. how to live on a $1/day, or live my super duper, totally exciting life, not yours!) I'm not sure you will find a lot of criticism, if you want to call it that, of your format for the simple reason that it tends to be different and refreshing.

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  8. As a huge fan of your blog, I think your readers would like to see you now and again.
    Why not record a few short messages with your webcam and post them to your blog?

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  9. 1) Have you ever recommended this blog to a friend, family member or coworker? no, but I'm a new reader.

    2) What is your favorite thing about this blog? lots of personal stories, wisdom born of experience, moderate with no attitude about things. Summarize by saying sane and mature.

    3) What is your least favorite thing about satisfying retirement blog? I keep forgetting to read regularly.

    4) Are you ever upset or unhappy about anything you see or read on this blog? no

    5) If you owned this blog what changes would you make? Maybe a few pictures? But I'm into quilts, art, architecture, etc., so I like visuals.

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  10. I've recommended your blog to many people. I think you may be seeing some turnover based on the number of people who started reading your blog in the beginning but have since retired. Our plans have been implemented and we're on our journey. That doesn't mean comparing notes isn't a good thing, just that the nuts and bolts of retirement are now in place.
    We've shared your journey with your dad and gone through it with my father-in-law. We've downsized and found our (I hope) forever home. Budgets change and lifestyles change. So maybe instead of the technical side of retirement lifestyle could be more interesting. I agree with having Betty participate, too. A woman's perspective is a different take on our retirement lives, I think.
    Our generation has put a completely different face on retirement. Many of us have nowhere near the funds our parents had because a lot of that changed for many in corporate America during our later years in the work force.
    My favorite thing about your blog is the civility you command in your discourse. As you know, I suck at that, but that's why I look to you for calmness and sanity. ;)
    Keep on keepin' on, my friend!
    b

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  11. Oh, one more thing...I found you through Sonia Marsh and look what her life changes have been over the past several years! wow.

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  12. I retired a year ago. I'm still exploring retirement. I've been following your blog for several years. You have been helpful to me. Your blog provides food for thought.
    Rick NH

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  13. Amen to everything in the 1st 9 comments. While I do love that your blogs are more frequent, take a several week break. Travel, breathe, think, read, look around. Stay away from politics, have Betty write her thoughts when you are on " break". When you go in your RV tell us your travel path. Take a grandchild on an RV adventure -- then tell us your thoughts! Be safe, be well.

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  14. I have enjoyed your blog for the past six years. I found it at the perfect time- just wben I returned. It was a big help to me and I have recommended it to new retirees.
    The thing I like the best is when you discuss your personal experiences and take us on your journey. Especially when you are talking about making changes in your life. I always feel that I am learning from you. And I like when you give us a little travelogue of your trips.
    There is nothing that really upsets me - maybe some of the comments - but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
    I think that I would like to hear from Betty sometime- if she feels like doing it.
    Mostly, I'm just grateful that you decided to continue writing the blog. Just continue doing whatever makes you happy.

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  15. 1) no, not many of my friends or family read blogs regularly
    2) down to earth, thoughtful writing
    3) I'd like to see more in depth on a topic; maybe a series?
    4) None I can recall
    5) More interactive with readers by doing questions like this!

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  16. Thanks Bob for submitting all these questions and especially for all the comments you have. All us bloggers can learn from their answers. I envy you having an active and dedicated audience. I have been blogging for 8 years now and have yet to find the dedicated readers that you have. Sadly I noticed that you took my blog off your bloglist. I noticed a significant drop in readership but that is how life goes I guess. Keep on blogging my friend... and I wish you the best...

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    Replies
    1. Your blog came off by oversight. At one point last week I lost all the blogs on that list. I put back what was top of mind, but unfortunately, forgot yours! It should be back by the time you read this.

      Delete
  17. I have recommended your blog. There are others I should recommend it to. Been keeping the good stuff to myself.

    I enjoy your blogs and the comments from others that go into what people do in their daily life, like the blogs they read and how they rid their lives of stuff.

    My least favorite part are the political comments, not yours, which are very few, but by your readers. I don't see this as a political blog. If I did I would go somewhere else.

    Have not found anything here the has upset me.

    As always some of the comments contain some great ideas of things you may want to try. Maybe ask people more about what they do with their time, how they stay active and if they've tried any thing new to them.

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  18. I love your blog, Bob, and have recommended it to friends. My favorite thing is that you blog on a wide variety of topics and I enjoy coming back several times a day to read the comments of your readers. I especially enjoy the posts about your travels with Betty. You've covered so many topics through the years and I think you should just continue writing about what excites and interests you. I like the idea of a few guest posts, too.

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  19. Hi Bob, What I like most about your blog is your style. You present a personal and intimate perspective on a variety of issues without implying authority in any way. Your writing skills and the length of your posts make them comfortable to read and the layout is pleasing. Of course, I would love to see more of Betty's photos but I understand they don't always fit the subject. I like that you respond to your readers comments quickly, and in a positive and encouraging way. It makes us feel valued and keeps us coming back. Staying neutral regarding politics is a plus and therefore does not invite controversy among readers. Although, I do believe your readers are intelligent enough to have a reasonable discussion/debate of important issues without resulting to insults.

    One subject that I would suggest has to do with Grandparents (retired) who find themselves assisting adult children and grandchildren through financial and/or emotional difficulties; sometimes long term. I have two friends who have custody of their grandchildren. One has embraced it as a "second chance", while the other struggles with the disruption to her recent retirement. In both cases, they were the only option for the children. So, it makes me wonder just how many situations like this there are out there, and how people cope with their circumstances.

    Congratulations on having a successful presence in this arena for the past six years.

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  20. What an excellent start...thank you! Keep adding comments and responses to my questions. I will have a post soon that addresses everything you have suggested and pointed out.

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  21. I agree with everything that's been said above! I've also recommended your blog to others, and understand from my own blogging experience the desire to adapt and keep things fresh and interesting

    If I could ask for one thing it's that occasionally you include about more stories about "unconventional" retirement situations, such as retiring but still raising children or grandchildren, or being retired with a low income (i.e. working class families who couldn't save much for retirement, or who lost savings due to situations like Enron); unusual or creative retired housing (shared housing stories, or like the woman who lives year-round on a cruise ship). There are positive stories out there of retirees with "different" retirements, but living satisfying and inspirational lives. Their stories might not be the same as most, but they still can teach many of us a great deal.

    If you have written about this topic, I apologize and hope you'll point me to those posts.

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  22. Well, you know that I am one of your biggest fans! I think that one of your biggest strengths is that you respond to every commenter. And sometimes there are comments between readers as well. You are so respectful, and almost all of the commenters are as well. That is one of the things I love most about your blog.

    I have one suggestion to consider. you obviously have a huge following. And, it represents a lot of different viewpoints and walks of life. It might be interesting to once a month have a guest blog post. I think it would be a lot of fun. We already feel like we know each other, and maybe this would help us all to know each other a little better. You could ask for volunteers with a topic selected by the guest writer, based on their interest and area of expertise. Might be fun! And, give you a bit of a break once in a while.

    I give you a lot of credit for your consistent postings. I'm learning how difficult it is to stay motivated to come up with fresh content!

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  23. I look forward to reading your blog every week and don't mind if some topics are repeated since you include fresh views. I found the blog only three years ago as I began my retirement so found the advice/ideas very useful. I truly hope will not give up your blog any time soon.

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  24. I started reading your blog about two years ago. I am looking to retire in 2 years. I enjoy your topics and learn a lot from your readers comments. I am a single, 61 year old female, middle class with no close family. Worked since 12 years old and ready for some time to enjoy life more and kick back and and not have the stress from a very demanding job. Scared to death that I am not financially ready since now you hear that you need > than 1 million to retire. Which will never happen. But ready for the challenge and taking the leap at 63 1/2 if I make it that long. I feel that I have a place to come and learn from your blog and readers. I hope you continue your writing. Would be nice to hear from someone in similar situation. Older female and single. I live in Cape May also!

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  25. Yes, I've recommended your blog to others. I especially like your steady, reasonable, commonsense retirement advice. It's always reliable and helpful. What would I like that's different? I dunno. Maybe you could surprise us once in a while, give us something a little offbeat or even controversial (but not political; we get too much of that already from every corner of the internet and the media). But like someone else said, you won't go wrong just keepin' on keepin' on.

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  26. Yes, have recommended your blog many times! Well written and informative, in fact I like your blog because then I don't have to write one, ha. All most every subject I can relate to, guitar, RVing, etc. Keep up the good work, take some time off if needed, you will come back with new ideas and a renewed vigor. I look forward to reading your words.

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  27. As a pet lover, I enjoyed hearing your stories about Bailey...

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  28. 1) Have you ever recommended this blog to a friend, family member or coworker? Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes

    2) What is your favorite thing about this blog?
    Daily life concerns and questions are not usually about the big issues which are always well documented and written about. I wonder if the choices I make for my daily life right now are working. Such as volunteering which I did a lot of for 10 years but now have tapered off. Reading about your thoughts and struggles really help me evaluate today. Making the choice to move closer to your family and your writing about your decision process brings reality to issues I look at.

    As far as religion, politics, exercise, food, travel, friendships,animals or whatever, it is your blog. Write what you want, I always read it when it comes to my email.

    3) What is your least favorite thing about satisfying retirement blog? When you threatened to stop writing forever

    4) Are you ever upset or unhappy about anything you see or read on this blog? There are topics which interest me more than others, but like a friend, you take the whole package or abandon the relationship. There is another blog I read and the writer and I have diametrically opposed political views but I like the other topics he writes about. And it is probably good to read a rant with a different point of view from a different part of the country.

    5) If you owned this blog what changes would you make?
    I am not a fan of guest writers so I would not do that.
    Maybe talk with some people who are further along in age and share your observations of some of their good choices and age related issues.
    Visit some of your retired regulars and share what life is like around them.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the well written blog.

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  29. Bob,
    Your blog was the catalyst for my retiring at 59, and it continues to buoy me along as my wife and I continue in this new phase of life. You seem like an old friend, maybe a neighbor that I chat with on the driveway, always there with a smile and a good word. The only thing I would recommend is that you don't quit!
    Jeff in OK

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  30. I just found your blog and I am totally excited about it! I am a 59 y/o woman and consider myself semi-retired. I work part time for a nonprofit (was in corporate for 30 years) as my transition to full retirement. Just started reading your past posts and so far there is a lot of inspiration. The posts I have read help me to feel inspired to move forward toward my goals and give me food for thought.

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  31. Yes, I've shared your blog with others. Like others, I appreciate your even tone in these crazy times. There are enough people ranting about politics to fill the ocean. And even when you comment on something that touches the political, you are great at moderating the comments so they don't go off the rails.

    I really enjoy your travels and pictures, appreciate the financial discussions, and have kept reading because it made me feel like I could retire without living in panic. Nothing here has upset me that I can recall.

    If you keep writing, I'll keep reading. (Don't hesitate to take a break once in a while, though. Just let us know what you're doing. We'll wait!) And I'm not a big fan of guest bloggers FWIW.
    --Hope

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  32. I enjoy your blog very much. I found your blog about three years ago, by Internet search if I remember correctly. I was looking for others thoughts on "how to be retired" since I had just retired. My husband had retired two years before me, and had it down pat. We made the decision to have one person retire first, and since he is a few years older, it was him. It turned out to be a good decision. It is a big adjustment for one person, and I think too major a transition to do together. Maybe it works for some.

    Anyway, I've been a faithful reader since then. I like most reading about your retirement experiences, what you do to keep interested, involved and educated. I like that you stress there's no "right" way to be retired. I'm not interested in articles about politics or finances. I've seen others comment that Betty should blog with you, but only if she wants to and finds fulfillment in it. It sounds like she's pretty busy in her own right. And I am definitely not interested in guest bloggers - if I was interested, I would read theirs. I enjoy the mention of your family, but also that you don't gush over your grandchildren - (like many do) although I'm sure they're quite wonderful. All in all, I'd just say keep doing what you're doing - if you still get satisfaction out of it. Anything you hear about interesting volunteer work, educational opportunities for retirees, or hobbies that fulfill is good for me. Thanks for your good work and helping me with my satisfying retirement.

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