March 29, 2018

Where Does this Retirement Blog Go From Here?


In a few months Satisfying Retirement will have been a blog for 8 years. That is over 1,100 posts, almost a million words, and closing in on 3 million views. 

I am pretty sure I have addressed every retirement question, most dozens of times. There is always a fresh look at an old topic, a suggestion from a reader, a realization that I am ignoring one segment of folks, like singles, or a change in tax laws that prompts a post. Overall, I hope topics don't get too stale. Occasionally I will dip my toe in the waters of politics or religion, or something more personal than normal. If I don't overdo those subjects, everything continues smoothly. 

There seems to be a natural turnover of readership. Some brave souls have been with me since June, 2010. On average, though,  I see fresh commenters while others seem to drop away every 2 or 3 years. That is quite natural. Once someone feels they have a good handle on retirement and its complexities, it is time to move on. New subjects and different bloggers beckon.

In order to stay relevant to those new this blog I do have to keep my focus on the subjects that dominate retirement worries: money, relationships, where to live, making the best use of time, volunteering and giving back. Let's not forget caregiving, grandkids, spirituality, mortality, vacations, and travel.

Who I'd like to address with this post are those who started visiting this blog not all that long ago, and those who have been with me for awhile. You are here, so the subject of retirement living is important to you. I wonder if there are certain topics that I miss, things you really would like me to write about.

Likewise, there are certain subjects you are pretty tired of. When you see a post on .....this...subject, you are likely to skim it or wait a few days for my next offering.

So, I am looking for feedback from:

.... Newer readers, and, 

.... Longer time readers

If you would leave a comment that would be very helpful. Identify yourself as a newer, or longer time reader, and tell me which topics you want to read about more, and which subjects you would rather I take a bit of a break from discussing.

Even though I have to keep circling back to some of the basic topics for brand new readers, it would be ever so helpful to get your input on where I should go for year nine of Satisfying Retirement.

84 comments:

  1. New reader, preparing for my upcoming retirement!

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    1. I'm glad you found our blog family! Get ready for a tremendous journey.

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  2. Bob, you nearly scared the life out of me! I was so happy to have recently found your blog and when I saw this post I thought you were going to announce that you were retiring it! Thank goodness you’re just looking for feedback!

    I would hesitate to offer suggestions for future topics as I haven’t yet read through your archives to know what you’ve covered and what you haven’t. (Although, based upon the number of years you’ve been writing, I can’t imagine there’s much you haven’t covered!) But I can tell you that the posts I enjoy the most are the ones where you set the stage and then ask your readers about their personal experiences (for example, “Do You Remember Your First Paying Job”). This type of post reflects both your perspective and the perspective of your readers and I find it intriguing to read about everyone’s points of view. Also, I subscribe to Money magazine’s “Retire with Money” newsletter and a new feature was recently added to it: Readers can submit questions about finances in retirement to the newsletter and the author publishes selected questions and asks other readers to respond to them. Again, it’s the variety of personal stories and experiences that draws my attention and it’s similar in that way to your posts that I mentioned above.

    Aside from those comments, all I can say is, “Good job and carry on!” The time and effort you devote to this topic is very much appreciated!

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    1. The posts that ask for personal feedback generally do well with readers. Like you, I enjoy and learn from what others have to say. Often, a comment will lead me down a path for another post.

      No, I'm not going anywhere. If I ever get a little tired of the topic, I will just reduce the number of fresh posts rather than slip quietly into the night!

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  3. Long time poster and not yet retired...but soon.
    I'd like to see more posts about distribution options. When to take S.S., 401k and IRA sequencing. How to delay or should I delay S.S. I'd like to get tips from your single readers if possible as well.

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    1. I have a post about being single and retiring that will be available starting this Sunday! It is a good example of the type of post that Mary likes: ones that asks for feedback on personal experiences. Since I have been married for almost 42 years, my insight into the pros and cons of single life is strictly academic.

      Even though I am not a financial blogger per se, important subjects like Social Security timing are part of my regular mix. I will make a note to revisit that subject soon.

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  4. As you know, I'm a long time reader. In fact, you started your blog just a few months before I started mine; and I think of you as a kind of mentor, since to a large extent Satisfying Retirement has inspired my own efforts. I realize that the money issues are important to most people. But I have now pretty much settled mine (since as I documented in my blog, I signed up for Medicare, started taking SS, and downsized to a smaller house in a less expensive location), so I am interested in more lifestyle posts, like what to do in retirement, how to find meaning in retirement, how to find and keep friends, how to maintain close ties with children and grandchildren (now that, finally, I have one!).

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    1. I am more comfortable with the type of topics you suggest than heavy financial thoughts. They are excellent fodder for reader input. Finding meaning, dealing with kids and grandkids are evergreen subjects. We can always learn something new from others' experiences.

      Thanks, Tom, for your long term loyalty. If anyone is reading this and hasn't tried Tom's blog, you will find it on the right sidebar: Sightings Over Sixty.

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  5. Been following you about two or so years , so you may have covered these topics before. But ..making new friends as we age, those that now live alone adjustment, death with dignity and assistance discussions and issues for single or widowed retirees.
    I enjoy your blog very much

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Look for the post about being retired and single starting this Sunday, April 1st. I welcome your thoughts and input on singlehood.

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  6. Bob,
    I always read your posts even though I don’t always comment. I appreciate your balance of topics and your treatment of sensitive issues. As my wife and I continue in our retirement, you continue to provide relevant posts and new (to me, anyway) insights. Keep it up! Jeff

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    1. Thanks, Jeff. One of my major challenges is to keep things relevant without having to dip into the toxic stew of politics and Washington. So much of those subjects have spilled over into our daily lives, sometimes it is tough!

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  7. I am a newer reader, of several months. I have not read all the archives. I would like an updated list of maybe small towns/states that are economical to retire to, but close to good medical facilities in bigger cities. I enjoyed a post in another blog about rv'ers who made their domicile Florida, to take advantage of the better coverage healthcare available in that state. That was helpful. I am concerned about which states tax state pensions and social security, and who does not. I am approximately four years from retirement...probably. Perhaps any posts on alzheimer breakthroughs, if there are any...lol. I have weighed retiring overseas, but decided against it because, I did not want to have to return to the U.S every so often, I have been told I could not collect social security while living overseas (I am not sure if that is correct), the paperwork seemed to be complicated, and I hate complicated. Other folks might like posts on living overseas.

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    1. HI, totally wrong...I live in Switzerland and I know you can collect your SS payments overseas. They will even deposit your SS payment in your foreign bank. You can't have Medicare overseas however, so if you go abroad and money is a concern, look for a country with good HC that's cheap, like Thailand, for example, or a few c. American countries. Good luck.

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    2. Thanks, Lynn, for your clarification on SS overseas. You are correct: collecting Social Security is not a problem if you are outside the U.S.

      To Anonymous, some good topics. I have covered most of them but it has been awhile, so updates and a fresh look are needed. I will get going on several topics you mentioned.

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    3. Lynn Denton...thanks on the clarification on SS. Good idea to look for a county with good cheap health care since it is Medicare you cannot collect...oops...lol!

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    4. In the past, personal finance magazines "Money" and "Kiplinger" have run articles on (1) the best places to retire based on a number of different factors and (2) which states tax the most/least. You might find current information on their web sites or in back issues at your local library.

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  8. I agree with Tom’s reply. I also enjoy the posts that show a little more of what you and Betty do for vacations,trips,etc. I enjoy Betty’s photography. More posts on how to enjoy our time in retirement vs. the money aspects. Although new readers are on that page. I enjoy it when you inject your personality and experiences into the posts vs just facts or discussion.

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    1. Thanks, Madeline. I am working on one right now about our oddly neurotic dog, and something on our just completed trip to southern California, complete with Betty's (and my) photos.

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  9. Long-time reader here. I first started following your posts when I was still working and living in WA. Since my husband and I retired four years ago and moved back to Canada ive Ben a regular reader but infrequent commenter. I’m wondering if most of your readers are in the US or if you have a good number, like me, from Canada or other countries. Perhaps a fresh look at some topics from a general non-regional perspective?

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    1. About 12% of the blog's readers are from Canada and 5% from the UK. We all learn something when I write about a particular situation in the States and someone from Canada or other country gives us a glimpse into that situation. Health care costs is a great example.

      An interesting post might be a US-Canada comparison on a few topics important to us all. I will make a note. Thanks, Linda.

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  10. Hi Bob! Congratulations on nearly eight years of blogging! I am a year behind you on that and appreciate all the time and effort it requires. As for topics, I've been following you for a couple of years but I am always amazed at how a different twist or new perspective on the "same old topic" is always relevant. Things change, people change and there is always something new coming along. I think it is your unique personality and style that makes your blog so interesting to so many people (it does to me!) and I love reading your perspective. I too don't always comment but I enjoy seeing what has captured your interest and where you go with it. Thanks again for your ongoing gift to us all. ~Kathy

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    1. You are very welcome. I am glad you started interacting with me so i could find and read your work.

      I have some friends who tell me I appear rather serious and straightforward on the blog, but in person I am a funny, somewhat sarcastic, partly out-of-control guy! I don't think of myself in that way, but maybe I am. I'm not sure how to translate that side of my personality into blog topics. Maybe they are suggesting I start a side career as a standup comedian. No.

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  11. I started blogging in Feb. 2010. Seems like yesterday, sometimes. I think I found your blog through Sonia Marsh when she was blogging, back then. Now she's working for an African Safari company. So much has happened in eight years it boggles my mind. I may not comment as frequently as I used to but, I read your blog every time you post. I would hate to see you stop blogging.
    b

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    1. Sonia is a great example of someone who has really found her stride and passion during retirement. I have tremendous respect for how she has rebuilt her life and become the gutsy woman she writes about.

      You and I, Barbara, share a lot of career path connections, political leanings, and writing styles. If ever within shouting distance of Cape May, Betty and I would jump at the chance to spend time with you and Dave.

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    2. You know you are welcome anytime! We would love to have you guys visit!
      b

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  12. Longer time reader, Bob, including your e-books. I always enjoy topics around finances, both to give advice at times and to gain knowledge from others. The points around raising a question from a reader now and then would be interesting, both to see the variety of questions as well as the responses from others. That could also take some of the pressure off you to come up with topics all of the time, and let you concentrate on those things you find most interesting when you do write original material. Regardless, I'll be reading as long as you want to continue.

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    1. I admit that sometimes I struggle to find something to write about that I feel qualified to tackle, is something that fits the blog's mission, and I think will generate readership and reaction.

      After nearly 8 years I still have an imperfect understanding of how it works. I will write a post that I think is important and should move the needle, but turns into a dub. Another post that I assume is almost a throwaway, has more views and comments than normal.

      Maybe that is one of the reason I keep at it: I don't understand all the motivations involved in both writing and reading so I keep plugging away hoping for understanding!

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  13. Long time reader and enjoy all you write. Someone else mentioned posts from a single person's point of view and this would be interesting to me as well. Thanks for changing to a larger font with a white background. Now I don't have to find my glasses to read your posts!

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    1. I like the new look too.

      Like the recent posts from Laura and Barbara about how they rebounded from financial struggles. single person narratives do seem popular. I will think through some other directions. Thanks, Susan.

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  14. Hi Bob. Been following your blog for about two years and read every post although I don’t always comment. I enjoy and learn from almost all your posts and from the Comments readers leave. Such a wealth of information from their experiences (and yours). I remind you that there are three groups that your Blog touches: those yet to retire, those just retired, and those who have retired for a while. I most enjoy those posts that are directed to those folks with the fear of the unknown about retirement. Whether it is money, or what to do all day, or where to live, or keeping healthy, or exploring new adventures (such as RVing), etc. it is all useful and welcome. As you have said it can take years to realize that things will work out and I think some readers may need that bit of “hand holding” from you and the Commenters who have succeeded. So posts addressing the transition and first year are important. On a related note: I just celebrated my one year retirement anniversary and in spite of the worry it has worked out. Still a work in progress but a happy one. Thank you for a great Blog. It is value added in my life.

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    1. I tend to agree with you, Jeff. The lead up and first part of retirement are the ones that are most important to master. One of the primary reasons I started this blog was that when I retired in 2001 there were few resources for those topics. Being the savvy marketer I am (!) I started this to fill that void. Now, many others are providing excellent guidance.

      The three subgroups you have identified are always part of my planning: trying to balance subject matter between the three.

      I deeply appreciate your final sentence, Jeff.

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  15. I've been lurking since 2013 and sometimes comment. I retired early because I was no longer willing to keep going back for less pay in a high stress IT job. Didn't save enough money and hope I won't be eating cat food with my cats (but if it's good enough for them...). Doing my best to contribute to my community and stay physically active and hoping for the best regarding my future. I enjoy your posts and other people's comments. In general, I've found that if I trust in God and the universe to provide for my needs, it happens as long as I continue to contribute as I can.

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    1. Your attitude and awareness that many things are ultimately out of our control will keep you in a good place. As for cat food, well, hopefully not. I know I would never eat what my dog does, regardless of how adorable she is.

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  16. Hi Bob, we've talked before.. Lynn in Montreux here. I think I've been reading about a year or so. I love your blog, love your values and wisdom and passion. Thanks for all you do for so many and please keep it up! Might give people more info about retiring abroad, as I noted one reader thought you couldn't get your social security abroad, whereas you can't have Medicare abroad, but then in some countries, health care is excellent and really cheap and your health care would certainly be cheaper and better even without Medicare, take France, for example, and esp Thailand.

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    1. Retiring and living abroad seems like an excellent topic to pursue. I would find the comments from those who have done so to be fascinating. Look for a series soon. Great idea, Lynn.

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  17. I am a “newish” reader of your blog-about 3 Years now. Everything you stated in today’s post was correct. I read thoroughly 90% of your posts, and I often re-read them and/or send them to my wife. The rest I elide through and go to your side column and read them as well.
    I particularly enjoy your past postings with a new update.

    I miss your RV travels. We would never choose this mode of travel but I loved reading yours. Mostly, to us at least, my wife sees traveling as a vacation from home life. When we travel doing dishes, planning meals, keeping the place clean and tidy is NOT her idea of vacation. Staying in hotels, traveling the “Blue Highways”, staying off the Interstates, and eating at local restaurants is our preferred method.

    Anyhow, please continue your postings. Love to read them. And they are always current and concise. And continue stay away from religion and politics.

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    1. You are a regular commenter, Jack, and I appreciate your thoughts. Betty has read a few of the "We miss your RV" posts and has dropped subtle hints about getting back into that life. We'll see.

      Politics and religion, except for the role of spirituality during retirement, are usually not even on my radar.

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  18. Hi Bob, I've been here over a year but I don't always post. I always enjoy your blog - thank you for being here! My husband and I are not travelers so how about some posts on various fun things to do where you live. Kind of like "staycation" ideas. Thanks!

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    1. Excellent! Some general ideas should work regardless of where home is.

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  19. Quite new reader - technically not retired yet. Like many others, I am interested in hearing about singles' experiences ...but I read everything with interest. Thanks for a great blog!

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    1. I may need to appoint a "singles" representative to help me explore this subject more fully. I am really looking forward to the feedback on the post that will be here starting April 1st.

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  20. I'm a new reader of your blog, but have been retired for several years. I was happy to find your blog because so many of the retirement articles I find on the web are for people who are planning retirement, not people who are already retired. Although I read all your new posts, I know I will never make time to go back and read the old ones, so don't worry about repeating yourself on my account!

    Most of your posts have interested me. But I would like to see posts about how to connect with grandchildren (including possible ways of sharing financial knowledge with them when they aren't really interested), how to choose a retirement community (including CCRCs) - what to look for and what have people found they like and dislike about the one they have chosen. Also care giving - how to transition from having a life partner to having someone that you need to care for that has mild cognitive impairment.

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    1. Those are all posts that need to be written. Thank you, MQ. I will tackle each one of your suggestions in the weeks to come.

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  21. Hi, Bob. I am a relative newcomer (months not years) to the blog, but a grizzled veteran of retirement….I took early retirement in mid-2000. After nearly 18 years in retirement, I’m less concerned with the questions of “How will I fill my time in retirement?” or “How much money do you need?”, though I think those questions will still be paramount to people who are approaching retirement. Because my wife and I do not have children or close family, and what family that we do have is located a great distance from us, the topics that interest me are:

    What are the key considerations in choosing a final retirement environment? And here I don’t mean just location, although that certainly is part of the question. I also mean the type of living arrangement: individual home, active senior community, senior living facility, Continuing Care Retirement Community, other?

    How should couples without children or close family prepare for old age?

    How should “Solo Agers”, singles without children or close family, prepare?

    What services are available to aging seniors for Healthcare Management and Life Management?
    It is pretty easy to find someone who will help an aging person with Wealth Management, banks, brokerage houses and trust services will all manage your finances and pay your bills, for a fee. But what services are available for Healthcare Management and Life Management, particularly for those without family? As a person ages and realizes that in the future they may lose some mobility and some cognitive function, who can they engage in advance to become their healthcare advocate to manage doctor’s appointments, hospitalizations, prescription medications, make determinations on living arrangements/level of care and who can they find to make periodic in-home welfare checks, provide shopping or meal services, coordinate all of the cleaning, maintenance and upkeep involved in maintaining a home while they still live at home?

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    1. Rick, than you for so many specific and important suggestions. I will deal with each because they are important. Plus, I will learn the answers for myself and my wife!

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  22. Long time reader....almost from the beginning of blog. Tom Sightings said pretty much exactly what I was thinking so I won't repeat. Hope to follow for lots more years.

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    1. Thanks, Judy. I will keep on the path I have cleared and see where it takes us.

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  23. Bob,
    As a steady reader and rare commentator who is about to retire (July), I see this blog as the story of your journey in (of?) retirement. You are kind enough to share that journey with the rest of us. Just go where it takes you and please keep sharing.

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    1. Will do, John. Keep us informed as your retirement begins this summer.

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  24. As a new member of the group and a future retiree in possibly 1-2 years, I would love to see articles, comments and opinions on.... " do I have enough money saved".
    Comments from existing retirees,objective portfolio discussions and common areas of potential retirement failures are what I am most interested in learning.
    Keep up the great work!!
    Frank

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    1. Some good post topics, Frank. Thanks. Retirement failures are sometimes not pleasant to think about, but they do happen. Addressing why they happen is important.

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  25. Long time reader of your blog. What interests me are thoughts around enhancing happiness in retirement. The book you recommended some months ago by Dr Bash addresses such emotional needs. I enjoyed the read.

    Deepening self understanding, broadening self awareness , seeking purpose, fulfillment & focus through individual activities. Taking risks, seeking new challenges and such are all emotional growth subjects that interest me and I expect many others. Travelogues , personal journals of what I did on my latest vacation, best places to live, etc not so much. Basically most retirees are simply seeking happiness in this privileged stage of life and obviously it is a very personal journey but ideas shared by others can be helpful . Just my thoughts.

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    1. You are in good company: reading about others and their journey are my favorite posts, too. Even after 17+ years, I learn something new almost everytime I read about how others are coping. You have given me some great possibilities.

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  26. A satisfying retirement, a satisfying life - isn't that what we all strive for? Your blog was listed at a session on preparing for retirement; I've been reading it for ~5 yrs now. I appreciate all of the lifestyle/life management topics. I'm of the belief that retirement is one more stage of life that needs to be managed. We need to spend as much time managing our spiritual/personal growth, relationships, health as we do managing our finances in order to have a satisfying life. I enjoy reading the perspective of others. The posts and comments are thought provoking. It's usually how I start my day.

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    1. Well, I'm glad you find the posts a good way to start the day. That means a lot to me, Mona.

      If there is one message I hope I have conveyed after all the words I have written, it is just what you have said: retirement is a stage of life with all the good and bad that comes from being a human being. But, unlike other times of our lives, the freedom to structure your life is unique to that time we call retirement.

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  27. TO THE GREATEST READERS IN THE WORLD (!)...what great ideas and direction you have provided. There are so many fabulous suggestions in these comments I can see a busy couple of months doing the research, thinking, and writing to follow up on your ideas.

    Your feedback is so helpful. I have filled 2 pages of a legal pad so far. Add more! Keep it coming!

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  28. Found your blog in 2010. Perfect timing-just when I retired. I appreciate your blog so much. It was and continues to be a big help to me. I am interested in many of the things that Rick mentioned. Since I am on my own I am concerned about choosing a good place to live for when I'm older. Thank you for this wonderful blog. Hope you will continue it.

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    1. You have been with me a long time! Thanks, Donna.

      I will definitely have much more on singles and retirement issues. Over half of all women over 65 are unmarried, either by divorce, widowhood, or never being married. That is a big segment of the population that I need to pay more attention to.

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  29. First off thank you, I really appreciate your blog and the time you invest in it. I started reading it about 3 years ago. I stopped working 12 months ago, so last summer read through most of the archives. I'm impressed with range of topics that you write about and really can't think of any additional suggestions for areas to explore. Another aspect which is great are the comments, always interesting to see other perspectives and experiences.

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    1. Thanks, Dan. One of my favorite things about this blog is the consistency of excellent comments. I rarely have to delete or edit something, and I always look forward to what everyone has to say.

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  30. I have been reading your blog for a year and I live in New Zealand. I am single, have one grown up child, no other family and will not have any grandchildren. However I do have good health and great friends and I enjoy the sense of connection that reading the comments gives. I truly appreciate the time you devote to this blog Bob and the quality of the writing.

    I would like to see a post about the ways creativity is expressed. What have retirees taken up in retirement? How is it fulfilling a need and enhancing their life?

    I would also be interested in posts around managing our mortality. Atul Gawande's book "Being Mortal" is deeply thought provoking and raises issues with great sensitivity around how to have a good life - all the way to the very end. Medical professionals, trained to save lives and offer solutions, feel they have failed when death happens. And yet we all must go .......

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    1. Two excellent suggestions, Jackie. I have made a note to write posts about the topics of creativity and mortality. I will see if I can find a copy of "Being Mortal." It sounds like the kind of book I would enjoy.

      My creative writing teacher would appreciate your comment on the quality of writing. He was quite firm in his belief that writing and writing well are two different topics.

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    2. Being Mortal is a great book...is or was a best seller

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  31. Hi Bob, I'm not sure how long I've been reading your blog -- certainly at least a couple of years pre-RV which seems like a long time ago. I still drop in from time to time, read back posts and comment occasionally. The blog is probably most valuable to those approaching retirement, it really is a big decision whether to pull the plug on what has been a lifetime of employment. You'd think it'd be simple to kick back and take it easy but old habits die hard plus there's the "how will I survive" financial considerations too. Still, your blog is interesting enough to keep me coming back 3 years into my retirement (what was I worried about?)so you must be doing something right.

    - David

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    1. Thanks, David. Trying to stay relevant to the before and after retirement reader is the real challenge. I try to strike a balance, but it is like keeping a few plates in the air at the same time!

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  32. Hi Bob, Have been reading your blog from the beginning. It is personal and gentle. As a long time reader,I would love to hear how you worked through the time with your father after your mother passed and how that effected your future plans. It would be helpful to me to hear what might have been (or might be) future plans for that elderly stage of life. I often hear the $250,000 goal as a necessity for that stage, what do you think? What have you experienced? It may be a bit of a painful topic, but as a generation of 60-70 year olds caring for a generation of 90-100 year olds, I'd love to hear more for someone who has BTDT.

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    1. Yes, good idea. My dad did something none of us expected from him: he survived and thrived in his own way for 5 years after mom died. He was so connected to her we all thought he would join her quickly. Good topic.

      And, yes, something about our medical expenses so far would make sense. Betty doesn't qualify for Medicare until next February. So, we continue to navigate the silly and expensive system we have now for her various problems. When that card comes in the mail next year we will celebrate and our budget will breathe a sigh of relief.

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  33. Hi Bob,

    I am a new reader of your blog, and I have enjoyed your recent posts, but I haven't had time to read many of your older posts. Here are some topics that I am interested in, and a few ideas.

    1. Perhaps you could invite some guest writers to e-mail you posts, then curate their submissions to give you a break occasionally. Perhaps this is a way to expand into areas where you feel you don't have sufficient expertise (which I doubt).

    2. I am semi-retired, managing our investments quite well, and traveling a lot for work and to help my aging father 1,200 miles away. This caregiving experience is giving me a lot of food for thought about my expectations for family members to care for my husband and me when we need help later in life. While I appreciate my father's desire to be independent and live in a private home, and while I appreciate his desire to leave as much wealth to his children, his unwillingness to spend any money on local caregiving really frustrates me. Dad lives with a friend who is also quite advanced in years, and they continually tell me, "we are getting along." What I see is, "muddling along" and risks of falls, car accidents (because the 89-year-old does all the driving), medication mix-ups, and lower nutrition.

    My father relies on me to solve many problems that a local, hired home health companion could solve or prevent more effectively. I often feel truly sandwiched between my work commitments, my home responsibilities, my desire to pursue my creative endeavors, and caregiving. If I make suggestions to Dad to hire help, both my father and his friend say, "too expensive; we can do that ourselves." Well, they can afford hired help for many things they can't do well by themselves any longer.

    I have told my daughter that I will work hard to have the resources to hire help when I need it, or I will move to a retirement community instead of placing such a large burden on her, especially since she is an only child.

    My immediate information need is advice to how to talk to one's parent(s) to get them to realize that they need to hire help so we can all accomplish our goals.

    3. I realize the importance of exercise, staying physically active every day, and watching one's weight as we age. I admit, I have a hard time getting motivated to exercise when I enjoy several sedentary hobbies, and I spend a lot of time at the computer for work. How can I use a personal trainer or life coach, affordably, to help me with some outside motivation to build daily habits that will see me through to 100?

    Thank you for asking for feedback and ideas. This exercise will make your terrific library of knowledge even more valuable to your readers.

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    1. Welcome to our community, Nancy. I occasionally do use guest posts. In fact, a long time reader has offered to give me some perspective on being single and retired, something I am not really competent to write about in much detail. There will be a fresh post on Sunday about this subject, but I need input from those who really know the issue. I am open to guest posts that present fresh information without trying to sell something. So, if anyone is reading this.....

      Your point #2 has been suggested by some of the commenters. In fact, I have already placed such a post on my writing schedule. You have summarized some of the key issues very well. With your permission I'd like to take what you have written above and use it to help frame some of the important problems caregiver when parents or relatives are involved. So, in that sense you would be providing some of the service of a guest post!

      Point #3 is another excellent idea that many of us struggle with. I will take that idea as a post subject, too.

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  34. Hello! I'm a very new reader of your blog, 60 years of age, 10 months into retirement, and did alot of reading and planning pre-retirement. I've only read a few of your posts so far, and they have been quite relevant (and enjoyable) to me. I will definitely be spending time going through your previous posts.

    One topic of interest to me is time management. Now having so much more available time, I feel that I don't always get things accomplished and the days slip by quickly. I've started to plan out my days more which helps, but keeping on track is hard to do. More posts on your blog on this topic would be great!

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    1. Time management is very important to retirees, much more so than those still working really understand. It is much too easy to overschedule one's day, or not accomplish enough so you feel unsatisfied with how you are using your time.

      I have written about this before, but will take a fresh look again soon.

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  35. Bob, I have been an avid reader for about 3 years and a more recent commenter, having retired myself about 6 months ago.

    I have not had a chance to read all of the comments here, nor have I gone back through the archives, so I apologize for any duplication. I would be interested in thoughts about keeping in touch with those left behind at work. I worked with a great group of friends for many years, and I am still in touch with a couple of them, mainly by email and text, but have not met up with them for more than a brief visit since I left. I know they are jealous (they've said so, several times!), but I think genuinely happy for me. I am wondering what yours and others' experiences are in that area.

    I am also interested in ideas about what advice we should be giving to those much younger than we are in terms of retirement planning. I have already begun to talk with my kids who are in their 20's, but am I really giving good advice given the changing landscape of company pensions etc?

    Finally, as a Canadian, I like the idea you floated above regarding a comparison between the U.S. and Canada on retirement-related issues.

    Look forward to many more enjoyable times reading your excellent work!

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    1. I think you have mentioned a topic that I have never addressed: keeping in touch with coworkers who you left behind after retirement. That just went on my to-do list. Great idea.

      The comparison post between retirement in the U.S. and Canada, and even the U.K. and Australia would be fun. It sounds interesting. Look for it.

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  36. Bob, I think you have one of the most thoughtful and helpful blogs going—on any subject. You really make the most of the medium. Not every post is relevant for me, but that's the nature of a "publication" that addresses such a diverse readership. I'd like to hear more from readers who have moved out of the US or Canada, at least part of the year, to discuss the tradeoffs, the costs, the medical care, etc. in various locations. Too many of the expat blogs are either commercially driven or paint a too-rosy picture. They don't have your measured realism. I know that's "outside your wheelhouse," but I'm sure many of your readers have information and opinions.

    I also second another poster's point about creativity. Not long ago, someone posed the question, "What's your ratio of consuming to creating?" It helped me realize that I spend too much time reading, listening, learning, etc.—all good things, to be sure—but not enough time creating something of my own. (Your blog is definitely your creating!) So I got a little electronic instrument (a Suzuki Q-Chord) and am learning to play some simple songs. First time I've played anything since high school, and it feels great!

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    1. I am working on a retirement abroad post now. There is a lot of good information if one avoids the puffery of some of them. The number of senior expts is growing very rapidly.

      Your point about the blend between consuming to creativity is spot on, as my British friends say. Too often I find something I think I want to do. So, I will load up on books and how-to material. By the time I actually get to doing whatever it is, I have lost some of my steam. Probably, I should have been a college professor instead of a radio announcer! Libraries and books are my refuge. Yes, I will think of how to turn your idea into a post.

      Thanks you for the very nice compliment.

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  37. Hi Bob. Your blog is one of the first ones I discovered when I first turned to blogs about three years ago as a source of information to help me plan my retirement. Since then, I have read every one of your posts (but not the archives). I credit you more than anyone for helping me to realize that there is life after retirement! As you know, I have now been retired for eight months.

    I enjoy all of the topics that you address (although ones that mention specific financial instruments like 401s or health system issues that are particular to the USA are not very relevant to this Canadian reader, although still interesting to learn about). I also love the sense of community that has developed among your readers, and how people write in sharing their own experiences.

    Thanks for everything that you do to provide information and a sense of community for people at every stage of retirement.

    Jude

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    1. You are very welcome. I appreciate your active involvement.

      I will have a post in the near future comparing retirement in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, the countries with the largest share of readers. India isn't far behind, so I hope we get some feedback from readers in that part of the world, too.

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  38. I've been reading and enjoying your posts since the later half of last year. My full time retirement lasted all of 4 months,from November through March 12th. My former boss made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and now I'm semi-retired, as I now work 3 days per week with the freedom to take extended absences whenever my wife and I need to take a road trip:) The past 4 weeks have been quite a whirlwind (you can see I'm a few weeks behind in reading your posts) but I try to stay up to date with your posts because I enjoy the breadth of subjects that you discuss and I learn a lot from others who respond to your posts. With the number of bloggers out there, I don't feel like I'm missing much because your subjects are so varied from just retirement finances. There's nothing wrong with returning to previously covered topics because there are so many fresh responses as your readership keeps turning over. I just don't have time to keep searching the web for new bloggers and yet I don't feel like I can be missing out on anything either. Stay on course!!

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    1. One stop shopping? Thanks, Dave. That is a nice compliment. Frankly, I would become bored rather quickly if all I wrote about was retirement and finances, or retirement and any one aspect. It is good for me, and apparently most readers, that I can spread my writing wings enough to cover all sorts of subjects.

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  39. I'm most interested in the mindset issues. After decades of saving, frugality and living below our means I am less afraid of running out of money and more afraid of not spending enough in retirement just out of force of habit. How do you get yourself to let go of the mindset that you have to sacrifice to reach a goal and fully ingrain the mindset of having reached the goal and damn it start enjoying? That's 40 years of habituated behavior and sacrifice to overcome.

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    1. I don't know the answer to that one, because I have had the same problem. Our trip to Europe next month and the plan to take the whole family to Disney World for a week next year are quite a departure from my frugal mindset. Honestly, it makes me nervous.

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  40. But that's the kind of stuff I love to read Bob. I'd read a thousand posts along the lines of "Here's what I struggle with and here's what I'm trying. Does it resonate with you?" I much prefer those to many blog writers attitudes of "I'm a fountain of wisdom. Behold my pearls of knowledge".

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    1. You and I will get along great, then, Weston. I struggle with several parts of retirement and don't have enough of a personal filter to not write about them. You can be sure there will be a pros and cons post after both the big trips coming up.

      It is a subject I have addressed before, but my own position keeps shifting, so I readdress it.

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