August 9, 2016

Who Inspired You To Have An Exceptionally Satisfying Retirement?

I can do anything
When you think of inspirational people, the list is probably pretty long. It might include your parents or grandparents. A brother or sister is certainly a possibility. How about a favorite teacher or pastor? Folks like Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Will Rogers, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, or Abe Lincoln may make your list. 

Inspiration is one of the most important forces that keeps us moving forward through life. An inspirational person is one who possesses certain qualities and traits we appreciate. 

They may include humility, honesty, courage, selflessness, a vision of what life can be, often a projection of happiness or contentment, and certain principles that are not compromised.

With this post, I'd like you to give this question some thought and then share the names of some of the people who make your list (and why, if appropriate). This "honor roll" of inspiration is likely to be different for each of us. The people who influence us changes over time, but the essence of what puts them on the list remains constant.

The purpose of this exercise is to focus on some positive influences that continue to play an important role in your life. By thinking about inspiration you may be reminded of a powerful, even life-changing influence that someone had on your life, and probably still affects you. You may be motivated to thank someone for what their inspiration has meant to you. At the very least, this exercise will put a smile on your face and a warm glow of in your soul.

I promise to add my inspirational people to the comment section. but, for now, I'll not "influence" any of your choices with my thoughts. 

Looking for some "inspiration" to inspire you?  I have read and like this book: Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Inspirational Stories.

So, who inspired you to have an exceptionally satisfying retirement?


28 comments:

  1. I've been inspired in life by people of celebrity but more profoundly, by people in my circle. I was inspired by a counselor named Charlotte Agnemark. She helped me find myself and led me from a life of codependency to an independent life, standing on my own two feet in my own light. Instead of letting life happen to me, I started to take control, which reminds me of a saying that I live by - Do life so life doesn't do me. I could write a book about what I learned from that woman. Her teaching and guidance has contributed to my satisfying life in a big way. I also credit Oprah with one thing in particular - when someone asks, "Who do you think you are?" your challenge is to stand tall and say who you are. Firstly, I am a child of this universe, happily ensconced on earth, in love with nature and life. There's more to me, of course, but that says a lot. And then there's Loretta Lynn, when asked what she's doing at this stage of life, her reply was, "Just trying to matter." And then there's my friend, Sandra, who is living with progressively debilitating MS, who never gives up and just keeps keeping on with a smile on her face and a never-quit attitude. You are right, Bob, I want to get on my knees and give thanks to these women.

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    1. I absolutely love your response because it shows thought and serious consideration. You have been blessed to have these folks intersect with your life just when you needed their words, wisdom, and support. I would guess that Charlotte and Sandra feel every bit as good about having you in their lives.

      First class comment, Mona.

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  2. I've had a few people who inspired me in school, at work, and in life. But as far as retirement goes, I must admit I use my parents as a model. I'm not doing what they did -- which was retire to Florida -- but I use their approach to life as my touchstone, the base from which I then go off and do my own thing. But, you know, I'm also inspired by our former presidents. They leave office; but they continue to work, to volunteer, to contribute in some capacity and live life to the fullest. Maybe I'll even jump out of an airplane as George Bush Sr., did at age 90.

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    1. Jumping out of a plane...with a parachute, I trust! Yes, that was quite a feat. Up until the last year or two Bush Sr. has been amazingly healthy looking.

      Jimmy Carter is a good example, too. His presidency was not a resounding success. But what he has done since puts him in the ranks of very successful and inspirational folks.

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  3. Four people come to mind First, Joe Dominguez and his book Your Money or Your Life. I still give it as a gift to graduates and newlyweds as a model for thinking about money.
    Secondly Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning which taught me that I can choose how I react to every experience.
    I had a teacher in 6th grade who explained the definition of "unique" to me and told me I was unique which inspired me to value that uniqueness.
    And lastly, my parents--my mother for giving me a love of reading and my father who became blind in midlife for showing me to not let adversity defeat me.

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    1. I am loving the comment so far. I am getting inspired just reading about who makes the list, and why. My 12th grade High School Creative Writing teacher was largely responsible for my love of writing and use of words. He was a prickly Englishman who pushed and inspired.

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  4. We "semi" retired at age 45. We made that choice because we were inspired by a couple we met who had done the same thing. They showed us how to travel inexpensively. We sold our house, bought a motorhome, and took two years to explore North America by RV. Now, (nine years later) although we don't have many assets, we work for only five months of the year and travel for seven. We will likely continue like this until we are 60 or so when we will travel permanently. But if we hadn't met that couple, we would likely still be stuck in the rat race, although we would have a lot more assets. We certainly made the right choice for us and we wouldn't go back to a "normal" lifestyle.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. Certainly that couple had a huge impact on the life you and Ruth are now living. I find it fascinating that you have been following this lifestyle for so long and are not tired of it...in fact, you will step it up a notch in a few more years. I read stories about RVers who try the full time (or mostly full time) path, only to grow tired of the limitations and lack of roots, so they go back to brick and mortar homes. You are following a different path.

      Thanks for sharing your inspiration, and for the link to your blog. I just brushed up on my knowledge of 12 volt batteries!

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  5. My husband was the primary financial support in our family and I had the opportunity to reinvent myself with every move. I was born an artist so anything creative was easy. I worked in sales a lot, including radio. Working for a rock station in Pittsburgh was a very fun experience. And, I have to say, all the moves and job changes were my college education. As an artist and writer I will never retire. It is my calling and purpose. My high school English teacher was an inspiration for writing. I turned in an assignment once and she asked me to stay after class. I wasn't sure what it was about. She told me I had a very vivid imagination and she was stunned by my story. I told her it was a true story and I thought she would faint. She encouraged me to keep writing. That story is now part of my memoir, 'coming soon'. In the same school my art teacher was very supportive of my work and encouraged me to submit a painting for an art show. I did and it sold. I tried to buy it back from my classmates mom and she declined. I knew I would never do anything that well again. I was wrong. So, yes, I've had inspiring mentors throughout my life and I'll never forget them.

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    1. It is important for all of us to recognize the role that teachers have in shaping our lives. Many of us would agree that public school teachers are underpaid and under-respected for the outsized influence they can have on a young person. Your two examples prove the point.

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  6. I'm thinking there are two aspects to your question - an exceptional retirement financially speaking, and the same with regard to the non-financial side, so that is how I'll respond.

    Financially - My husband was my inspiration for sure. He was determined to retire early, and never wavered from his stance throughout his career and our marriage, which then spilled over into every financial decision we made. Along the way I likewise discovered 'Your Money or Your Life,' which is what finally got me on the same wavelength as my husband. The understanding of what LBYM (living below your means) would do for us over the long term, financially speaking, was probably the most profound change I ever went through.

    On the non-financial side, my inspiration for living an exceptionally satisfying retirement would be my father and my oldest daughter. My father has expended maximum energy throughout his life, and at 80 is still going strong. I grew up watching him run marathons, bike centuries, backpack for days on end, RV, snow ski, water ski and motorcycle ride every spare moment he could find, and that legacy has left an indelible mark on how to craft our retirement. Our oldest daughter is cut from the same bolt of cloth as my father, and she continually encourages us (me!) to keep reaching outside of my comfort zone, and to not settle just because it's easier. I attribute the amazing highs our retirement choices and experiences continue to deliver to these two incredible individuals.

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    1. The power of family. While I haven't met your oldest daughter, you have shared stories before with me of her focus and dedication to always go for it. Likewise, your dad is an amazing man who must inspire (or amaze) everyone who knows him. The pictures i have seen do not look like that of an 80 year old man.

      Mike...well no surprise there. Whenever we spend time with you two we will always comment later that he has a tremendous grin and boundless energy all the time. I don't think I have ever seen him in a down mood. If he applied that type of energy and attitude to the financial side of his life, it is no wonder you have the amazing travel life you do.

      See you in Palm Springs!

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  7. I promised to add my inspirations. For his intellectual curiosity and steady hand, the man I was named after, my Uncle Bob, would be on my list. He was quite content with himself and the life he made as a university administrator. He died much too young of heart problems in 1986.

    My parents would top the list. They modeled what a committed, loving marriage looked like. For 63 years they rarely spent a moment apart. Through a fair number of business problems and financial hard times they raised three sons and never let us worry about the future.

    Historical figures really don't make the grade for me. Yes, the people I listed at the beginning of this post are folks I greatly respect for all sorts of reasons. But, I can't say any one of them was a particularly important inspiration in my life.

    Of course, the center of my world and the person that inspires me to be better today than yesterday is my wife. We are quite opposite in personality and what our passions are, except in the dedication to our marriage. Trust, honor, respect, and knowing that we will never doubt each other is the core value we share.

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  8. My father taught me a person sticks with their mate, no matter what.
    A former boss who really supported my sales efforts and taught me to believe in my efforts.
    My wife who has helped me have faith in spite of my questions and to constantly strive to improve my health.

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    1. Nice choices, Gary. My wife, along with my eldest daughter, are the ones largely responsible for my faith walk (God had something to do with it, too!)

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  9. My father who died at age 55 and never got to experience the fruits of his hard work, has inspired me to enjoy retirement fully. I have now been retired for 14 years and my husband 12 and loving life is our first priority. Barbara (barlarbear@aol.com)

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    1. That is sad, and a reminder we are here and gone in a blink of an eye. Saying we will do something tomorrow is like rolling the dice. Good for you and hubby making the most of your retirement and time together.

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  10. My 4th grade teacher opened up the world to our class. She not only showed us the possibilities of this world but also taught us the problems of our society.

    I had the privilege of knowing a couple who were the mother and father of someone who I dated in High School. They were great role models. They got me through a very painful and difficult time in my life.

    The one person that is leagues above the rest is my husband, Bob. He is my Champion and my Defender. He is the most honest and humorous person I know and the only person who truly understands me. He has seen and suffered through my absolute worst episodes and still comes to me with open arms and heart. I have never known someone so committed to, and focused on a strong and loving marriage. I am in awe of you Sweet husband!

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  11. Sister Theoda taught me to take life and be joyful, in kindergarten.
    Sister Jean taught me true compassion, in eighth grade.
    My dad taught me to be the person I am and enjoy every minute in retirement. He wrote poetry and served the poor the last twenty years of his life.
    But it took Bob to share the story of his mother's philosophy for me to stop the waste of worry and finally use all of those lessons for true third phase of life we call retirement.

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    1. Another strong example of the role teachers play in our life, beginning as early as Kindergarten. Thanks, Janette.

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  12. My dear sweet precious grandfather Harry...I have a picture of him on my desk here at work and some days it can bring me to tears. He always always had a kind smile and was always so glad to see me. We lived on a farm and I would see his truck up in our apple orchard and race to the house, quickly change my clothes and head out so I wouldn't miss him before dark. He never dated anyone but my grandmother, and he was so tender with her...my memories of him tieing her bandana scarf around her chin so her ears would stay warm...she had ringing in her ears for years and him helping her to put rubbers over her shoes. My grandmother didn't really need the help, but she allowed him to show it in those precious ways. When my grandfather passed, I really took it hard...I've been through my parents passing and other grandparents, nothing shook me to the core like losing him. I know I will see him in heaven eventually...what a sweet, kind from the core, tender, precious, hard working, authentic to everyone who ever met him and I don't think there was a person who didn't love and admire him.

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    1. Oh my, what a powerful testament to your grandfather's influence on you and his legacy. I imagine all of us would love to be remembered in exactly the same say. He must have been quite a guy. Your memories are so vivid.

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  17. One person I've found inspiring is Jimmy Carter. He was forced into early retirement before he felt ready when he was defeated for a second term as President, but he managed to turn those lemons into lemonade, finding a way to use his passions and skills to create a second volunteer career more distinguished and influential than either his Navy or political careers.

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