April 27, 2021

Starting My Day With Meditation

For the past few months, I have started each day with a 10 minute period of meditation. I know...kinda New Age, isn't it, Bob? Do you wear a tie-dyed shirt? Well, no to both, and I don't chant a mantra, pinch the ends of my fingers together, or raise my palms toward heaven, although those are completely acceptable ways to help one focus.  For me, I sit comfortably on a sofa and use a very 21st-century app on my phone to give me both encouragement and a timer.

Why you may ask, do I feel the need to meditate? Is it Covid overload? Am I feeling out of sorts? Maybe a little of both, but it is more a desire to increase my appreciation of what I do have and to spend less time worrying about the past or obsessing over the future.

My app version has no spiritual overtones. Rather,  each day it is a brief time to quiet my mind and focus on something like my breathing. If thoughts intrude, like they do, then I am to acknowledge them, and then let them go while returning to a concentration on the breathing.

In the last few moments, I shift my focus to everything around me: sounds from inside and outside the house, creaks of a house waking up, feelings or sensations in my body...anything that is happening right now, in the moment. After ten minutes, I open my eyes and resume my day.

What does this short break do for me? There is a sense of calm and being in control of my thoughts and environment. While I will do plenty of worrying and stressing during the day, meditation allows me to start with a fresh slate.

During the day, if I find myself in a thought loop of past or future that isn't productive, I can stop, breathe for a few minutes with my eyes closed, and gain control again. What is happening in the present comes back into the forefront. 

Until I read a few books and articles on the benefits of this practice I didn't understand its potential impact. From a source as well-respected as the Mayo Clinic comes this summary:

  1. Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations.
  2. Building skills to manage your stress.
  3. Increasing self-awareness.
  4. Focusing on the present.
  5. Reducing negative emotions.
  6. Increasing imagination and creativity.
  7. Increasing patience and tolerance.

Honestly, I am not expecting ten minutes every morning will do all this for me. I am a pretty stable, optimistic person who doesn't spend much time agonizing about the past or stressing over a future I can't predict, much less control. But, I do not grab as much as I could from each day of living. Too much is on automatic pilot; too many sensations and appreciations are left on the table.

After just nine or ten weeks of my new morning routine, I can sense a difference, at least some of the time. I actually hear all the different bird songs in the backyard. The music on as a background during the day may suddenly jump to the foreground; I am really listening to the notes and melody. Sensations, like feeling a little hungry, thirsty, or needing to get up from a chair, are stronger I don't ignore them but focus on the need to react or dismiss them.

Beginning my day with this ten-minute focus has become a habit that I expect to continue. 

April 23, 2021

Seven Reasons Your Retirement May Not Satisfy You


Satisfying Retirement isn't a reality for everyone who is ready to retire, or close enough to dream about it. I am a firm believer in the endless opportunities for personal growth and passion fulfillment of this stage of life. But, I have openly admitted I struggled during the first few years.

Without rehashing everything that can cause problems, here is a list of seven things that can cause an unsatisfying retirement, at least for a period of time:

1. Not ready..-still enjoying work. Not everyone wants to retire when society seems to tell us it is time. For many, it isn't even about wanting to add to retirement savings. it is still about personal satisfaction and challenges. As long as what you do to earn money satisfies you and is in harmony with the rest of your life, it isn't time for full retirement. 
2. No replacement for the place of work in your life. This is the opposite of the situation above. Retirement sounds great and you are ready, but you have nothing to come home to. You have never developed interests or passions away from the office or job site. Without something to stimulate you in this way, retirement will only cause frustration. Too many folks go back to work not because they miss it, but because there is no structure or stimulation during the day.

3. Unrealistic expectations. If you believe no more work means no more responsibilities or complications you will be disappointed. If your savings are more appropriate for long weekends in the nearest state park but you think you are entitled to a world cruise, there are heavy seas ahead. If you think the mundane stuff of everyday life will disappear, that is not how it works. If you think being home full-time with a significant other will solve all problems, don't count on it. 24/7 with one other person puts any relationship to the test.

4. Fear and Worry. The opposite concern is to worry about every penny you spend or to live in fear that your planning was not sufficient. Financial pitfalls don't stop just because you don't work, but to focus on them will make for an unhappy existence. Dreading the loss of physical wellbeing or independence? Those are natural concerns, but you can't let them dominate your outlook. Live now to your fullest abilities. 

5. Poor time management. When folks retire, many over-commitment themselves to projects, goals, volunteer work, and travel plans. Others suddenly realize the day is still 24 hours long and you are responsible for filling it. Either approach usually results in an unsatisfying experience. Learning how to balance "me" time, "us" time, and "other's" time demands is a skill you will develop.

6. Entered unprepared financially and emotionally. Just because the calendar says you are retirement age, doesn't mean you can. As this blog has pointed out time and time again, there is a real requirement that you enter this new phase of your life well prepared. Unless you are forced to retire quickly and unexpectedly, use the near future to be as prepared as you can be...realizing that most of your plans and ideas will need to be adjusted as your new life unfolds.

7. Looking at others' lives. Retirement is an individual adventure. How mine has unfolded will not be like yours. While I hope my experiences can help you make the best decisions, eventually your life will assume a direction that is right for you. 
Just like it is counterproductive to envy someone's bigger home or newer car, trying to match a retirement lifestyle you read about in a magazine or hear about from a friend will not make you happy.

Every one of these seven pitfalls can be overcome if that is your goal. Each simply takes some effort, a fresh perspective, and an honest appraisal of your situation, needs, and desires. 

But, I can't stress enough that you must be committed to retirement for it to satisfy you. And, you must be willing to endure lots of mid-course corrections on this most unique of all journeys.

April 19, 2021

Medicare Basics Explained


For the last several years, a unique ID number has been used instead of your SSN.

Turning 65 is a milestone in anyone's life. Studies indicate that you have a statistically good chance of living another 18-21 years. Of course, your mileage may vary. Still, it is nice to know your odds look pretty good for having a long time to enjoy living.

65 is also when most of us grab the brass ring of health care: Medicare. The sense of relief in receiving that red, white, and blue card is immense. Not only are you less likely to be put in the poor house by a disease or illness, the lack of all the paperwork, forms, and pre-approvals feels like a two-ton weight has been lifted from your shoulder.

If so, then why do I continue to receive so many questions about Medicare? Why are people so confused? Well, to put it simply, the government has made things rather more complicated than need be. The program may be a godsend to many of us, but you have to make some important decisions before you begin. Then, every fall, you are asked if you want to change your mind about anything. Plus, the reality is, there are serious gaps in what Medicare will and will not cover, requiring you to make more decisions that often involve balancing risk against cost.  "

Disclaimer: Just about seven years ago, I made my decisions. Today, I remain comfortable with what I picked: traditional Medicare with a supplemental policy and drug coverage. Of course, that doesn't mean you should follow my lead unless that is what is best for you and your spouse (if married)

I'll do my best to summarize what you need to know. I will be covering Medicare, not Medicaid, which is an entirely different program. As with most federal programs and health insurance coverage, there are enough exemptions and differences to fill 20 posts. I will only attempt to explain the usual, most common situations.

Starting at the beginning, Medicare is a federal program that pays for certain health-related expenses for people 65 and older. While many costs are covered, an individual enrolled in Medicare is responsible for certain deducible and copays. Some services are not covered at all, and others for only a limited period of time.

There are four parts of Medicare:

Part A is hospital insurance. Copays, deductibles, or coinsurance will determine what you pay. Usually, there is no premium for Part A.

Part B is medical insurance that helps pay for doctor visits, outpatient care, health care, and equipment. There is a monthly premium for Part B.

Part C is better known as Medicare Advantage. This is coverage provided by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. All plans must provide A and B coverage, just like Medicare.  Services not covered by traditional Medicare are often included. Roughly 40% of all Medicare-eligible Americans now use an Advantage plan. Some plans have a zero monthly cost but look closely at what you may be doing without. 

Part D is prescription drug coverage. This is also run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.

Most folks get Part A and Part B automatically. If you receive benefits from Social Security, you will automatically get Part A & B coverage starting the first day of the month you turn 65.  If you aren't yet receiving Social Security (because you are still working or waiting until your full retirement age of 67 (or 70 for extra income), you must sign up 3 months before your 65th birthday to get Medicare coverage.

If you must sign up (as noted above), there is something called the Initial Enrollment Period, which is the period from 3 months before until 3 months after your 65th birthday. If you miss this window, your benefits will be delayed.

If you decide to wait until after the Initial Enrollment Period, there is a general Enrollment Period during the first three months of each year. However, if you use this option, realize your part B premiums will be higher.

Every fall, for roughly 45 days, you can change to or from Medicare and Medicare Advantage, pick a different supplemental or Part D drug coverage plan.

If you are covered by a group health plan at your place of employment and then want to start Medicare, there is another time period, called the Special Enrollment Period, that generally allows you to avoid the higher premiums for a late signup.

With me so far?

Other Factors to Consider

Medicare does not pay 100% of most services. Several free screening tests for those on Medicare, like colonoscopies and mammograms, are covered under the ACA or Obamacare if you prefer. But, most doctor visits, tests, drugs, and equipment are going to cost you money...usually, something approaching 20%. That's where Medigap coverage enters the picture. This is a policy, sold by a private insurance company, that acts as secondary coverage to Medicare and pays most or all of what is left over after Medicare pays what it will.

Just like the rest of Medicare, there is a specific enrollment period for Medigap coverage. You can buy any policy offered for sale in your state, regardless of your health status. The amount of supplemental coverage, the monthly cost, and any deductibles are different for each policy offered. You decide how much supplemental help you want and can afford.

Speaking of costs, Part A Medicare coverage costs you nothing since you already paid into the Medicare fund while you were working. Part B coverage does carry a monthly cost. For 2021 most pay $148.50 per month. There is also a $203 yearly deductible. Part D prescription coverage costs vary depending on the plan you select and the level of drug coverage. 

What is Covered?

There is no simple answer to that question. Medicare publishes a 130-page booklet that still suggests calling them for specifics. But, in general, here is what you can expect:

Part A pays part or all inpatient hospital care, inpatient care at a skilled nursing facility, hospice care services, and home health care services. As you might guess, there are all sorts of qualifications and exclusions for this list, but this is the primary purpose of Part A coverage.

Part B helps cover medically necessary services like doctor visits, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and several preventive services and screenings.

Part C is the designation of Medicare-approved private insurance companies that has various coverage options and costs. You still have Part A and Part B coverage, but the specifics are likely to be different from original Medicare. Generally, coverage is more complete, but the monthly costs vary widely.

Part D covers some of your prescription drug costs. If you don't need many drugs now, it still may be wise to take this coverage because of late enrollment penalties. Part D is provided by private insurance companies and varies widely in costs and coverage. There are usually copays and deductibles involved. Some drugs require prior authorization. 

Importantly, these items are not covered by Medicare (not a complete list):
  • Routine Dental care
  • Dentures
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Hearing Aids
  • Exams for fitting hearing aids
  • Long term care (past a limited period each year)

If you'd like more detailed information or see if specific services are covered,  this government website should be your first stop.

The official government handbook Medicare and You is also a must-have resource.

OK, now the fun part. What have I missed or overlooked that you want to pass along? Why did you choose an Advantage plan instead of traditional  Medicare? Are you happy, or do you ever consider switching back? How has Medicare treated you so far?

Personally, Betty and  I have paid for our own health insurance for over 40 years. We made a very deliberate decision to avoid private insurance companies as much as possible. Hence our choice of traditional Medicare, along with supplemental and drug coverage.

April 15, 2021

Toward The End of My Life I'd Like To Look Back and Say...

Our mortality is never the best topic to keep a party going, impress someone new, or say to a mortgage broker when you're hoping for a thirty-year loan. Religions talk about how to live one's life on earth or to prepare for eternity. But, that messy stage between here and there: not a crowd-pleaser.

Then, why am I bringing it up? Because I am retired, therefore fearless, and ran out of pleasant blog topics this week? No, though each of those reasons would work. I want to make it the focus of this post because I believe it is essential to consider how we will finish the race while still having time to make course adjustments. I'll give you examples of what I mean:

1) I'd like to look back and say I loved often and well. Not in the sense that I had a string of love affairs or relationships (!). Rather, I lived in a way that fulfilled my very human need to be deeply cared for while giving as good as I got. I have concluded that too many people view love as something in limited supply, so they parcel it out to only a few people, Or it is only given when there is an equal or greater flow of love coming back. 

Love given only with an expectation of reciprocation is not really love. This powerful force for good is meant to be spread freely. The "love your enemy" admonition did not continue with, "if he loves you back."  Love, used as a weapon, tool of power, or to get what you want, is coercion or deception. 

2) I'd like to look back and say I didn't always settle for the easy or the quick. While only a children's tale, the Tortoise and the Hare is based on how the world really works. Sure, some hit on an idea or invention and become insanely rich and powerful almost overnight. But, they are the exception, not the rule. 

Most of us build a life with steady steps forward, back a bit, maybe sideways for a time, then forward again before repeating the process. We may not have a specific goal or finish line in mind. But, we have been around the block enough to know shortcuts often leave us lost. Not putting in the time and effort on most anything usually does not end well. Whether a relationship, a financial plan, a career approach, finding a passion or meaning in life, there is work to be done. 

3) I'd like to look back and say I am leaving a positive memory with those left behindOne way to guarantee a smile on my mom or dad's face was to state, quite honestly, that I had no bad memories of my youth. There was nothing they or I had done that left me with a "what if" or "why did you do that" feeling. I don't believe this was a case of selective memory. I just had nothing to build a memoir around that had disasters or rough patches to recount. 

I would very much like my family to say much the same as they remember me. Of course, being separate individuals, we all interpret events in our own way, using our own filters and experiences. Certainly, something thing (or things) I did might not be all smiles and hugs. But, I am doing my best to hold those recollections to a minimum.

4) I'd like to look back and say I don't have very many regrets. Sure, there are times in both my private and personal life that I screwed up. I have occasional dreams of going back and choosing a different response or reaction to something that bothers me. Of course, that's a little unfair: what I have learned in almost 72 years on this earth should mean I would adjust my approach if I knew then what I understand now. 

Even so, I believe I have the opportunity with every decision made every day to choose wisely, to do something that doesn't compromise my principles or cause harm to anyone else. Being true to myself was a common phrase my parents and uncle shared with me often. They understood the biggest fake in the room is the person who takes a position, presents a facade, or makes a choice that is strictly transactional: only for the moment. They knew that ultimately, that falseness would have a cost, one of regrets.

5) I'd like to look back and say my spiritual journey evolved over the years, bringing me closer to the ultimate answers. Not having the answers, certainly. But understanding enough to keep asking questions and working out reasonable answers in my own mind. Even though I have no idea what really happens after death, readings, discussions, and thinking about life's ultimate issues leave me more comfortable with both the possible and the uncertainties. 

A life in balance: is that the ultimate answer?

April 11, 2021

So, You're Retired: What Do You Do All Day?

First published almost eleven years ago, this post has been viewed over 73,000 times. Even so, most current Satisfying Retirement readers probably haven't seen it. So, with that type of appeal, it seems like an interesting experiment to rerun it.  I have left the description of my routine and all the comments unchanged, though I did use a basic grammar and spellchecker to clean things up a bit. I do notice the names of a few fine folks who are still with me after a decade of posts. To you hardy souls, thank you!

Have fun reading how people report spending their days. Then, add your own thoughts about what keeps you engaged and active.  This will be a timely reminder about how retirement is a time when many of us wonder how we ever had time to work! 

"What do you do?" is usually the first question asked in a social gathering. People seem fascinated by how others earn their living. When you're working, the answer is easy. When you are retired, just saying "I'm retired" isn't good enough. Then comes the inevitable, "So what do you do all day during your satisfying retirement?"

Actually, that follow-up question gets to the heart of the retirement dilemma for many. What do you do to fill your day? I'm hoping the answer isn't watching 6 hours of TV and taking naps. But, what exactly do we do to make the best use of our time, energy, and talents?

I am going to present a brief overview of my day. Then, I'm turning this post over to you. Whether it stays short and centered on me or becomes long and interesting will depend on the number of comments generated. I think all of us are every bit as interested in what someone else does in retirement as we were when we were employed.

"So, what do you do all day?" I begin with breakfast and then a quick read of two newspapers. I used to spend a full hour reading the papers but realized mornings are my peak productive time. Now, I scan the papers and try to be at the computer no later than 7:00 AM.

From then until lunchtime, I write, work on this blog, read other blogs, deal with e-mail, maintain my Twitter presence, and run any essential errands.

After lunch is a 30-minute nap. That short break helps me maintain my energy for the rest of the afternoon. After the nap, three or four days a week, I go to the gym. Like a nap, this is important to me. It helps me maintain my weight, gives me more energy, and helps keep my knees, hips, and back from causing me problems. Maintaining my health is worth this time and money investment.

Then, back to the computer to answer e-mails and more writing.  I try to quit by 4:00 PM.  Guitar practice, a glass of wine, and it is time for an early dinner by 5:15 PM. My evenings usually include a movie,  fiction reading, a little more computer work, and off to bed by 10:00 PM.

Weekends are mainly reserved for family time and something special with my wife. I work as a mentor to recently released prisoners, so some time each weekend is given over to that. I try to complete most of my chores during the week. Saturday & Sunday are kept as open as possible.

That's it. Any day can fill up with activities like yard work, paying bills, or going on a picnic lunch when the weather is nice, but the key parts are as I have listed them. Not very exciting, is it? 

Now, your turn. Other readers and I want to know how you spend your day. Don't feel the need to be as complete as I have been. Maybe you want to highlight a few things you do that are most important to you. Maybe you do something I have not mentioned that is crucial to you.

Whatever the case, please take a few minutes to leave some feedback on your daily routine. The question, "So, what do you do all day?" is universal. I can't wait to read your answer to find out how you are building a satisfying retirement.



  1. It doesn't sound boring to me at all! Sounds balanced but fulfilling. I find an afternoon nap a fantastic mind and energy booster. It seems to reset all my neurotransmitters!

  2. Another nap lover. Great! Thanks, Sandra.

  3. Well, I am not "retired" as I have a full-time job - just no one pays me for it. I have the honor of being a mom :)

    So I look forward (in about 20 years...) to when I get to choose the flow of my day rather than it choosing me!

    I start the day around 6:30, or 7am depending on when my 3-month-old daughter gets up, then breakfast for the older two, get them (and me) dressed, then either some school time for the kids (I am doing preschool at home this year) or off to an activity for the kids or a book club for me depending on the day. Home for lunch followed by nap/quiet time. Then finish school for the kids. After that some TV time for them and computer time for me! Finish that up with getting dinner prepped before I feed my 3 months old at 4pm. Make dinner, so we are eating at 5pm. Then family plays time!! This is the best time of the day - when my husband and I can talk, play with the kids, and share with him all the great things we got to do! Then he takes them up for bath and bed while I try to get a 30-minute workout in before my youngest is ready to eat. After playing with her for a while, I put her down for a short nap while I do some chores, get my husband's lunch ready for the next day while he does his schoolwork, and get clothes and snacks ready for the next day. Then end my day feeding my daughter at around 10 or 10:30pm.

    I am ready for retirement :)

    It is actually great, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I don't think I could keep it up forever, but trying to enjoy the wonderful crazy life that I have right now!

    1. Stop! One day you will look back on this time as the most satisfying time of your life. Actually, having computer time and being able to get in a workout is lucky. Enjoy!

  4. I can't add much to that, except my schedule is looking a little lame compared to yours! I remember the days of young kid-raising, and it is every bit as hectic as you noted, But I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

    The great news is my life right now is every bit as full and interesting, just without the 2 AM feedings !

  5. Nice schedule, Bob. Somewhat similar here with the morning focusing on the blog and internet. I tend to go from 6-10:00 and then a workout of some kind. Afternoon similar with some time dedicated to getting out of the house whether to walk the neighborhood or go to the store or whatever. One thing that you do that I agree with 100% is set aside the weekend as time for you and your wife and other interests. It is easy to drift back to the computer and your "retired career," but keeping that limited to Mon-Friday is the way to go. Enjoy!

  6. I love reading these because it helps remind me that it won't be like this forever as sometimes it can feel.
    I think every schedule has its hecticness and rewards; they just look different!

  7. Trying to keep weekends free is the toughest battle. It just seems that no matter how early I start weekend chores, there are still things that chew up chunks of Saturday and Sunday. It is a constant battle.

    One thing my wife and I do is go to a movie on weekdays. The ticket prices are cheaper, and it is less crowded. We count that as part of our weekend time together. When the weather turns cooler, we like to have a picnic lunch at a local park. Again, weekdays are not as busy.

    So, for us, maybe the answer is actually a redefinition of weekends. When you are retired, all the days tend to seem the same anyway! Just as long as we have "together time," which days that occur on isn't as critical.

  8. The days vary, but I start with morning coffee, then 45 minutes of stretching exercises—breakfast next, and then some housework. Grocery shopping may happen. In summer, it's gardening, mowing lawns, and hedge cutting for one-day f the week, usually early morning before it's too hot. In winter, it may be shovelling the driveway after a snowfall. I may decide to bake some bread or do some early cooking for dinner.
    After lunch, it's reading time for about an hour, a trip to the library, or getting together with friends. As well, hobbies such as working on refinishing a piece of furniture can fill the time. ( I've lots of projects).
    By 5, it's time to figure out what's for dinner, and after supper, it's TV and more reading.
    Weekends are visits with friends or theatre outings with hubby.

    September 29, 2010 6:01 AM

  9. Starting with stretching exercises is something I have thought a lot about but just can't quite get motivated enough to do it. I know I should, though. I'm sure you feel much better after starting your day that way.

    I'm glad to see you are another "weekend protector." That is very important.

    Your day looks full and satisfying.

    1. I've been retired for just over 5 years. For the first 4, it was really like a dream come true. I spent a lot, well too much time, editing music and videos on my computer. It's long been a hobby for me. Then a prolonged illness brought on depression which has lasted for over 12 months, but I'm nearly over it.

      The trouble is I'm finding it hard now to get back into some sort of routine. I often sit around wondering what to do, but lately, I've got back to working on my pc.

    2. Hope you're doing better by now - I do a lot of sitting around myself. When I do finally set myself a routine: get up at a certain, go to the gym right away before I have time to think myself out of it, shop on the way home, have lunch and then either call a friend or text, email one or two, clean up the house a little, I feel a lot better. Not great, but better, and I think I'm getting back to the way I want to feel.

  10. Bob, I don't know that our routine is unique in any way, but I do want to participate to show my support for your good work on the blog .....We are recent empty-nesters, so we are having new adventures and exploring this new stage. I still have a full-time job; my wife does not work outside our home but is busy ... keeping up with the kids from a distance, volunteering, caring for her mother, book club, Bible study, etc. My routine is morning Mass and a modest workout, followed by work downtown, then home to walk the dog, mess around on a project, and have a "date" of some sort (which can be anything from going out to dinner to returning books to the library .... our idea is to have something planned so we don't just sit around and wonder what to do in the evening). I'm lucky that I can set my own work hours and thus usually take an afternoon off every week to either golf or participate in volunteer activities; and we seem to have reasons to take a short trip every two or three months, which is fun (except for flight hassles). I'm thinking about trying to swing a 30-day sabbatical next year or reduce hours to see what that would be like .... we are dialoguing about creating our future and how it may be if I cut back my "work" .....

  11. The importance of doing something together can't be overstated. Even returning books to the library is a nice idea for something simple but pleasurable. Having something planned is important. I have found it much too easy to have an open afternoon or evening simply slip away without taking advantage of the opportunity to do something together.

    A 30-day sabbatical would be an excellent dry run for more time off. It would allow you to see what it is like to be home all day and give your wife the same opportunity ! One of the hardest adjustments for some couples is being together 24/7. Based on what you have written, I'd guess you and your spouse have a strong relationship that would only strengthen with more time together.

    Your schedule sounds quite enjoyable. Thanks for sharing. I like the library idea.

  12. My day starts between 2 and 5 am; whenever I wake up: I hit the computer. My most productive time is before 6 am when the kids start getting up. Then it's the Dad thing for 3 hours. By 9am I am usually back at work or studying for school. When Ryan goes down for a nap at 12:30, I usually do too. 2pm: more school/work. 6pm: kids are home, dinner, etc. 9pm: kids are in bed, I read or otherwise wind down. If I am lucky, I'm out by 9:30. TV? What's that? I haven't really been a TV watcher since my Mom threw it out the window (well, actually out the back door into our newly dug basement: SMASH!) when I was 9. I bless her every day for teaching me then that life did not end when the TV was off. No, I am not retired yet, but I love my naps.

  13. Your Mom threw the TV away when you were a youngster? What a great story! She was a lady ahead of her time. And, it paid off for you.

    You have amazing energy. To wake up when you do and go full bore except for an afternoon nap is quite a feat juggling school, computer work, kids, and everything else you listed. I'll make a note never to e-mail after 9:30 PM.

    Thanks for leaving your comment, Terrel. Good luck with your job search and blog efforts.

  14. Hi Bob! You have a pretty full day. I often ask myself how I spent my day because sometimes it feels like the day escaped me. :)

    My day starts at 5 am with meditation, spiritual reading, yoga, and exercise. I then work from 10 to 2 pm. After I pick up my daughter from school, I do some computer work until 6 pm. Then it's making dinner, eating with the family, and enjoying the evening together.

    Loving blessings!

    1. Thank you for sharing. This shows me that I can be balanced and productive without going full bore, ALL day. It sounds like you manage to get things done without being stressed about getting everything done? That's my problem,as a housewife. There's ALWAYS more work to do, my work is NEVER done, and then life throws with. things at me that I need to deal with. I'm having trouble keeping to a "schedule" and making a routine. I am married 26 years, am retired, and an empty nester.

  15. I just remarked to my wife that today got away from me. A software issue took almost two hours to resolve. Those events can knock a big hole in your plans.

    Several comments like yours note that people are up as early as 5 AM. Terrel apparently gets up even earlier. I wish I could get up that early. I have tried, but it just doesn't work for me.

    So, you hold down a part-time job and produce a first-rate blog all while managing family life. Congrats to you. Just remember to take those walks on the beach every once in a while.

  16. Nap?? you have time for a nap?? Seriously, I am one of those people who really cannot nap well. In my case, I am usually up well past midnight and up at nine, not at all a morning person. My routine varies so much from day to the day-this morning. I got up, did the morning computer thing, and head breakfast, went and quilted, stopped for lunch, and quilted until three. Then my son and I worked on the errand business we are starting together. Dinner was on the grill, then I read and watched mindless drivel. I generally divide my days up, with three of the weekdays being productive and two being less so. I refuse to do most entertainment or shopping on the weekends, so my movies and such are done on an off day. Admittedly I am a low energy type gal-no one ever, even at twenty-one, accused me of being a type a. I became more of what I was!

  17. Like you, I will never go to a Home Depot or Wal-Mart on the weekend. They are much too crowded and hectic. One of the joys of making your own schedule is to do those types of errands when others are at work.

    I read your blog, so I'm not sure I agree with you being low energy, especially if you are starting biz with your son, too. It sounds to me more like you know yourself and uses your energy to move forward in a way that suits Barb.

    By the way, a new post going up in a few hours will include a link and a description of your blog. I hope you get some traffic!

  18. Ok, day starts at 5:30- 5:40 a.m.

    Get coffee, jump on the computer and start checking my email. Visit blogs I subscribe to and a few new ones...

    Post in some of my blogs- I have several...

    I MIGHT sneak breakfast in somewhere around 9 a.m., or if I'm too "into it" online, grab a piece of fruit and toast. Maybe a walk with the dogs squeezed in somewhere if the weather is good.

    Take a break around noon to do any housework/shopping/running the roads...

    In the afternoon and evening, I get online when I can (around kids and grandchild) and do some learning- articles, webinars, teleconferences...

    Maybe another blog post.

    I try to be showered and in bed by 10 p.m. for a little "me time" in front of the boob tube, watching pointless comedy's, which give me a good laugh and help me unwind.

  19. That is quite a day. and another person starting early each day. I can totally relate to your "if I'm too into it online" situation. I'll have a set time limit for surfing around the web and shoot right past it because I've found something too interesting to stop reading.

    Note to readers: Click on Carolee's name above to go to her "Working at Home" blog. It looks very interesting. Carolee, I'd love to look at your other blogs, too. Feel free to leave another comment with more links. We are all in this together.

  20. My wife and I have relocated to a new community. After about 9 or 10 weeks now, I've managed to stay busily humming along, but the big move accounted for a lot of that. Recently I've been refinishing a couple of pieces of used furniture my wife and I bought for the apartment. Because we sold quite a bit of our large furniture when we sold the house, we've needed a couple of things that better suit apartment size spaces. We love consignment stores for nice, used furniture.

  21. Hey, Don. Good to hear from you again. I've always wanted to try either woodworking or refinishing furniture. I know myself well enough to know I don't have the patience for either. I envy you being able to do that "hands-on" type of work.

    My wife and I go to consignment or antique stores every so often. I love to find something that used to be used for one purpose but think of a way to use it for something else. I call these trips "creativity dates."

  22. I'm starting my day early, generally around 0430. I arrive at the coffee shop by 0500 and read the paper and solve the world's problems with a few friends. Then it's off to the aquatic center for weight lifting and walking in the pool. Depending upon the day, I have several weekly volunteer jobs that vary in length of time spent. Since we own a duplex apartment, I seldom ever want things to fix as the list is nearly endless! I spend about 30 minutes each day blogging and staying connected. As time and weather permits, I may take a hike, garden, or go for a bike ride.

  23. Your blog says since retiring, you are a "professional" volunteer and a forester who is no longer lost in the forest...that is a great description of what your retired life is like so far.

    Your day sounds busy and full of purpose. I doubt you ever get bored. You are one of several people who left comments on this post who gets up quite early. I've never been able to do that, but I wish I could.

    Welcome, Steve. I'll be checking out your blog on a regular basis.

  24. Sounds like the retirement lifestyle is like a full-time job for some!

    As much as the prospect of having free time sounds glamorous, I am always trying to keep the big picture perspective that life is a precious gift and that all stages of life should be enjoyed to their fullest.

    Even the ones that include the 2 am feedings.

  25. Hi nephew,

    You are absolutely right...don't rush through any phase of your life, even feeding Evan at 2 AM. I wish I had spent more time savoring all the years of my life, but work got in the way.

    He is a wise man who makes time for himself and new experiences every day.

  26. I find the days just fly by because I am doing what I want to do, not what someone else is demanding of me. After 21 years in an inner-city high school, the pressures are off, and no one is saying, "Mrs. Zody, Mrs. Zody..." I love it.

    I, too, am an early person, up around 6, reading newspapers while breakfasting, running the sprinklers, and starting laundry. By 8, I am either in the yard working, or I'm getting ready to leave to run errands. I like to be back by noon for lunch. Afternoons are for watching a soap opera (which, after all those years I worked and couldn't watch, is now being cancelled). I read, work on projects, and cook in the afternoons. Occasionally I lie down for 15 minutes to power nap. Since I no longer work as hard as I did at teaching, my energy levels are higher, and the naps are very intermittent.

    By 6, though, I am done. I hate to have evening meetings or other engagements as I really enjoy being at home in those twilight hours, reading and catching up with correspondence, and spending time with my husband. He tapes tv shows we enjoy, and we will spend an hour or so watching a couple of them. They are much shorter when you can fast forward through the ads. I'm in bed at 9.

    Because I have two volunteer projects that are very intense, work-wise, I seem to always have work to be doing each day, and often, by 6 pm, I realized the day has gone, and there are still things to do. But, I have the next day. Oh, and we can run away any time we want to see our granddaughter, have lunch with friends, or sightseeing in our nearby communities and mountains.

  27. Hi DK,

    What a full day you have. My mom taught for over 30 years and, after 3 decades, had the same reaction. She was glad when kids, administrators, and parents stopped calling her name!

    Isn't it amazing how our days fill up? I've got one reader who comments on a regular basis which is up by 5 AM and still has stuff undone by the end of his day.

    Thanks for your comment. I really enjoy learning how others spend their time.

    BTW, I love the picture of the old woman in the wicker chair on your blog post. What character is shown in her face and pose?

  28. Bob, I had never noticed this blog post before. I think it is so interesting that people will ask this question...especially people that have not yet retired. Since I write two blogs, both related to what a retired person is thinking and finds interesting, you can probably find a tiny bit of my life every day.

    Thankfully, I really don't have much of a routine other than starting every day with a cup of coffee clutched in my hand. The rest we make up as we go along. I suppose that is why I love retirement so much.

    Be well,



  29. B,

    My schedule is flexible for part of the week and set for several commitments that do happen on a regular schedule. My life is probably more structured than I'd like it to be. One of the lessons we hopefully learned from our stay on Maui is the importance of time that is not under someone else's control.

  30. Just caught this and am happy to share what I do now that I'm happily retired.

    In spite of being retired, my body clock continues to wake me between 4:00 and 5:00 AM. Instead of fighting it, I just go with it and get up and read till my spouse gets up around 5:30 AM. We then sip coffee and talk together for about an hour (we've been doing this for almost 10 years now, ever since we stopped having to get our daughters up and out the door to school), then we both depart for our separate workouts. My spouse heads to the gym, and I either head out the door for a run or a hike or to the garage to ride the Lifecycle bicycle we keep there.

    Back around 8:00 AM for showers, and then either upstairs to my office (we have his & hers) to check my email, read the various blogs I follow, work on one of my own blogs, manage my calendar (something that is an ongoing and important effort in retirement), or out the door to a nearby university where I'm enrolled in a lifelong learning program for $230 a year, parking pass included(!). I'm pursuing Spanish and a whole host of other classes, including a world event discussion class, history lectures, cooking demonstrations, and photography and music theory.

    Usually back in the house around 3:00 PM to do a few chores and start dinner. I also spend time each afternoon practicing the piano and my Spanish, as well as staying on top of the novels assigned in the four-book clubs I belong to.

    Evenings rotate between tennis, book clubs, piano lessons, and taking ballroom dancing lessons.

    I have a whole host of other once-a-week or once-a-month activities sprinkled throughout my calendar.

    Our weekends are still maintained as weekends, meaning we play from Friday evening until Sunday evening.

    Once my spouse retires in May, we will be on the road or traveling approximately 1/3 of the year. That means internet research will consume an increasingly large amount of my time.

    1. I recently retired as well. I really appreciate your reply. I like the lifelong learning program that you mentioned. I will look into that. I think that it is important to keep the brain in tune for sure by taking classes and doing puzzles, etc. Staying active is important too!

      Keep up the good work!

      I have had to make an adjustment because I have worked all my life but adjust, I will. I also think that a schedule is essential as well. Of course, this one will be on your terms.

      Thank you all for your thoughts.

      Much appreciated.

      Have a great day, and keep those comments coming. :D

  31. Tamara,

    That may be one of the most ambitious schedules I've seen. I would love to be able to get up that early, but even 6 AM for a once-a-week early Bible study throws me for a bit of a loop on that day. Maybe if I get up a little earlier each week, I can get myself back to 5:30!

    The university setup sounds fabulous. While we have several universities and colleges nearby, none offer anything like that for such a cost. Are the classes for credit or strictly enrichment?

    I love your evening schedule...no TV, which I know because I've been reading your posts on your blog.

    I wonder how you'll adjust to traveling so much. Do you worry you might get a little antsy without all the activities, clubs, classes, and dancing classes?

    Thanks for finding this post and adding a fresh look at a very busy retired person's schedule!

  32. Bob, the flip side of getting up so early is that I turn into a zombie by 8:00 PM . . . it's maddening, really.

    Re: Energy - If you met my father, you'd understand. He's not just still going strong at age 75. He's positively racing!

    Re: Travel and boredom - no, absolutely not. The majority of our travel will center around the state and national parks where we can be physically active. We primarily hike when we travel, usually 6-10 miles a day, then shower, enjoy some cheese and wine, dinner, campfire, a little reading, and good long sleep. It's a pretty darn nice way to spend a day, and I never tire of it.

    Re: Lifelong learning. Well, you are in luck! It appears there is an Osher Lifelong Learning program very near you at ASU: http://lifelonglearning.asu.edu/.

    The classes are not for credit; you are surrounded by similar like-minded folk, no attendance is taken. It is purely learning for the joy of it.

  33. Tamara,

    Thanks so much for responding to my questions. Ok, I feel a little better about sleeping until 6:30. I sometimes make it all the way to 10:30PM.

    Maybe you should interview your dad or run through his schedule on your blog. It would be quite interesting to see what a super-active 75-year-old does.

    Travel that is as active and outdoors-oriented as yours sounds like it will fit you well. My wife and I enjoy visiting National Parks, too, but a 10-mile hike is a bit much for us.

    Wow...thanks so much for the info on the lifelong learning program at ASU. Their main campus is only 30 minutes from our home. I am going to check that out right now. Bless you!

  34. Bob--I just came upon your blog--It a pleasure to read your posts and the comments of others on what they are doing to create a satisfying retirement. I'm really interested in separating out those activities that are pleasurable-- as important as that is- from what engages our passion and imagination--what gives us purpose. Have you thought much about how we spend our time vs. what has lasting meaning?

    1. That could be an interesting and important distinction. I would hope that for many, the two are the same: our passion gives us pleasure. But, I know what you are driving at. What do we do that has lasting value.

      I did write a while ago about what we'd like our legacy would be. I intend to update and run that post again, probably sometime in March.

      I just looked at your blog, which seems to delve into this question in more depth. I notice you haven't posted anything new for a few months. Are you still active with the site? It looks interesting.

  35. This is interesting to read. I've been working at home for a few years now, but my husband was kind of forced into retirement last august. It has been quite an adjustment being together 24/7, believe me. We've worked it out for the most part now, but I still yearn for more alone time.

    I do my best with no set schedule. I'm usually up until 11pm-midnight, and I get up when I wake. It could be 6am or 10am. My husband has always been more of a morning person.

    My concern for his retirement is that he won't find something that he truly loves and take time to do it. His dad (who's still alive at 93 and physically fine) has been retired for 33 years, and I swear to you, he's a slug. The man does absolutely nothing but reading and watches TV most days. If my husband doesn't find something worthwhile to do soon, we're going to have some issues.

    I write, have a blog, paint, many creative pursuits that keep me busy. I feel it's important to find your passion. I know he worked for 35yrs. corporately then another 7 as exec. director of a special services district in the city. He's intelligent with a lot to offer but seems to be relishing doing nothing in particular. I hope it's temporary!

    Glad Sonia put us together, Bob. I've subscribed!

  36. And, I just added you to my blogroll, Barbara! I like your writing and approach. Readers: click on Barbara's red name above to check out her blog.

    That transition is tough, esp. for men who find most of their self-identity from working. It took me a few years to find hobbies and a volunteer pursuit that has become very important to me (prison ministry).

    Here are a few posts from the past you might want to read:

    *Adjusting to being together full time: http://bit.ly/zJvot5
    *Relationship Maintenance; Time for a Tune-up? http://bit.ly/qHRfbq
    *Start with a Blank Canvas: http://bit.ly/k3x735

  37. There is nothing now to get up for - many of our men here agree with this one only yesterday said we shall all soon be dead anyhow!! Wondering the shops for items not needed, eating out of boredom - as many women friends now tell me, it is awful - most in their mid-70s and early 80s. Many cannot now afford to do much either, trouble running their cars to some tell.
    I admit I have been free bummin around for over 20 years and have run out of ideas to fill the days! (68 old) Marion from Liss Hants, England.

    1. I'm not sure if you are completely serious with this comment. But, if so, I'm sorry you are having such an unfulfilled time in your retirement. Spend some time reading the older posts on this blog, and maybe you'll find some ideas to help you and your friends look forward to more than death.

  38. Hi,
    I just found this blog and find the responses interesting and hopeful. My partner took early retirement about 8 years ago. I've been unemployed for the past 2 years. In those 2 years, he has spent the majority of his time sleeping, drinking beer, and following me around the house talking nearly nonstop. I've tried to get him to find hobbies or interests outside of the home, but he's not biting. He thinks it's funny that he is driving me crazy with his lifestyle. I have interests outside of the home that helps me remain connected to the outside world and may help in getting me employed again. I've tried talking to him about wasting his life with so much beer and sleeping (he's only 61!) when there is so much living he could be doing instead. It's frustrating watching him live this way!

  39. Welcome! I glad you found the blog and hope you'll be a regular visitor and commenter.

    I can only imagine how frustrated you must be. I have written quite a bit about this problem when (usually) the male retires and has no idea how to fill his time. If you start going through the topic headings under Archives on the right sidebar, you may find some help. Read posts on creativity and relationships to see if anything clicks. Try directing him toward things to read or try that might light his fire. What did he do for relaxation while he was still working?

    Bottom line: you are not responsible for entertaining him or keeping him company 24/7. You aren't his mother. You have a life that you want to lead. Retirement can be one of the most fulfilling times of your life...don't let a person who won't develop his own steal yours from you. That's the harsh truth.

    1. OMG, I just found this blog, and reading your sounds like I wrote it. Seriously, I am having the same issues.My husband retired 2 years ago. He does nothing, and he's happy with that.he is 68; I did get him to walk a mile 3 times a week. I just Retired 1 month ago. I turned 65 yesterday.please am searching for a part-time job already. Can't imagine doing nothing being too highly motivated. Need to find my much in retirement.

    2. Unknown,

      Focus on "me" time to keep yourself satisfied and motivated until hubby figures it out. Do what makes you happy. It isn't your job to fix his problem if it comes at the expense of you.

  40. And I still get bored at 65 years old. Belong to 9 clubs. Here are some.Vintage car club where I help assemble the magazine and go for coffee once a month ,maybe 3 club runs a year.Petrolheads coffee once a week and run once a month with lunch out. Cycling social group once a week and lunch out.Motor-home club with rallies once a month 3 days.Surf-casting (waste of time but nice on the beach). The lunching group once a month. has 1 1/2 acres of the garden. There's always work there—golf when I feel like it.General socialising and meals out often.Ukulele group once a month .But still, I get bored when there's downtime like now.(my wife says I'm the odd one ? ). That's why I'm here to see what others an up to.
    regards Lyn

    1. Hi Lyn,

      You obviously have a very high energy level...good for you. There is no need to slow down, which is what the new batch of recent retirees are learning.

      I like that your various activities are so varied, and several are quite physical. I need more of that type of interest, but when it is 105 degrees day after day after day, it is hard to leave the AC.

  41. I just stumbled across your blog, Bob, and it has given me some great ideas. I officially retired yesterday from teaching kids with special needs. After reading your blog, I won't feel guilty about having an occasional doze (as we refer to a nap in the UK)


    1. Hi, Bill. I'm glad you found the blog. As a brand new retiree, welcome to what has proven for me to be one of the best times of my life.

      I LOVE naps and like the name, doze, even better. It is a holiday today in the States (Labor Day), so I am planning on a few extra dozes!

  42. I finally opened the door from a big corporation and walked out into my new adventure last week. I had planned to retire 4 years ago, but after reading blogs like yours realized that I had better do some planning and mental adjustment. So I talked the company into letting me do part-time 6 months a year, which I spent practicing retirement with my wife. We expanded on existing activities and started new ones... My list now includes Geocaching, Hiking, backpacking, trail building, Motorcycle trips, bicycle riding, woodworking, golf, Men's club, Church website, garden (help my wife)... :-)

    1. Practicing retirement is a very smart idea. In fact, I plan on writing about easing into retirement later this month. It is a major life adjustment that takes getting used to...by you and your spouse.

      With that list of activities, you certainly won't get bored. Keep us up to date on how you are doing.

    2. I know for my wife and me, the practice was great! I learned very fast to tread lightly in her domain.. :)
      Two others also retired the same day I did, and it kinda made me feel a little sad because they seemed to be dreading the end of the week, and I was getting excited... Really, people can practice what they will do for retirement using vacation days if they don't have a part-time option.

  43. I love this blog .I moved to Germany this year with my husband when he took retirement .I've been a "housewife "come part-time jewellery making teacher for the past 20 years, so I didn't know how I would feel having company around all day .It fun we are finding out so much about starting a new life in a new place that we don'thave time to sit still .I have just started a blog about our life here to let folk know there is life beyond work .Susan blackforestlife.info

    1. Great story, Susan. A fresh start in a new place can be a real kick start for a relationship and a retirement. AS you note, there is so much to learn and experience that boredom isn't a problem!

      I'm on my way to check out your new blog.

      I hope you stop back often.

  44. Hi Bob,

    I retired two years ago at age 55. Although I don't really need to work, I have been working contract jobs ever since. I also started a very small business venture to keep me busy in between contracts. My husband is semi-retired as well and has a home-based business that keeps him occupied to some extent. Personally, I think 55 is too young to retire, and I have struggled with my new identity. I am trying new things like pilates and will keep working at retirement until I get it right for me. I have considered blogging too! Thanks for the insights that you have offered into retirement!

    1. You are very welcome, Kathy. I retired at 52, not by choice, but my business was failing, and my marriage was strained because of it, so I pulled the plug. Best decision I ever made.

      It took me a few years to find my rhythm and what combination of business and slothfulness worked best for me.

    2. I, too, have been forced to retire earlier than expected at age 57 from corporate work spending 14 hours a day. I thought that retirement would be so exciting, but this is only my second month, and the house is almost all clean and organized, so what do I do all this time that I have on my hands. Thank you for all your ideas. I will ask my sister how to blog, so I can participate. Deborah

  45. Just discovered your blog/website, and I'm impressed. I retired a year ago, and I'm still trying to discover my "purpose." That quest is proving to be a lot harder and more frustrating than I had ever thought. Your positive comments encourage me to keep searching. Thanks.

    1. Welcome, Eileen!

      Please make yourself at home and enjoy. The good news is almost all retirees search for a passion or purpose for a few years until getting their rhythm. You will be just fine.

    2. Thanks for your reassurance. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  46. Your routine is great! I'm still working on a schedule for my time. Your productivity is an admiral. :) I'm aspiring to be more productive. The ideas on your blog are very encouraging. :)

  47. I enjoyed reading the posts on your blog-I was retired for 2 yrs, then slipped back into part-time/full-time work for 2 years and have been retired again.Have been home this time for 6 months. Feels right this time, and I am enjoying being home. I am having a little trouble with the voice in my head that keeps wanting 'an organized schedule' to life. I think it is just a leftover from 35 years of work that needed to be scheduled. I get up by 6am, have coffee and take care of the cats and dog, watch the morning news/entertainment shows until 8am, then the tv is off until night time. I like to sew, read, check out the coffee shop for socializing or have lunch with girlfriends. In good weather, I am outside in the plants or dirt. I try to be sure and do nothing but relax part of each day and am grateful I had the chance to stop working.

    1. A "false start" into retirement is very common. Re-retiring allows you to really appreciate the freedom that comes from having control of your time.

      I can certainly relate to the organizing voice in your head...after almost 12 years, mine is louder than I'd like at times.

  48. Hi Bob! I'm writing to you on behalf of my 64-year-old dad. He has been retired now for a few years and is bored more than ever! A little depressed, I suspect as well. He is not happy at his present address but is unable to move as my mom has a couple more years to go. He does not have a strong social group either. He is in a very large slump! Anything you could suggest for my negative nelly dad?? It's a tough situation.

    1. It is a tough situation that takes a lot of work on your dad's part to solve. You can't do it. He has to want to break the cycle.

      Moving is rarely a solution. Problems tend to follow along, so the fact that he has to stay where he is for a few more years may be an excuse on his part to support his mood.

      There are a few things I can point out that may resonate for him:

      Virtually every retired person goes through a period of one to three years to figure out how to adjust to not being the "guy who works." Men, in particular, have a rough time because often, our whole identity is wrapped up in our job. Most of our friends are somehow connected to work, too. To have all that taken away is difficult. I gather your mom is gone during the day, so he is alone at home.

      He must get out of the house and start to interact with others. Even if all that that means is going to a coffee shop a few times a week until the regulars recognize him, greet him, and start to engage him in conversation, that is better than stewing at home.

      If your dad is spiritual or religious, a men's Bible study or a men's group would be a great way to meet other men.

      Have him think back to the hobbies or interests he once enjoyed but dropped for whatever reason. He now has the time to restart something that once turned him on.

      Spend an hour or so each day planning something special for when his wife comes home: fresh flowers on the dining room table, renting a movie they both enjoy and plan an evening together with popcorn, find part of a book or magazine he thinks she'd find interesting an read it to her...the idea is to get him to focus on her return and make it special.

      Is he any good at home maintenance or fix-up stuff? Every house has small, delayed projects he could tackle.

      The key is to give him a purpose and goals to replace what he left behind at work.

      Let me know if any of this makes sense for him.

    2. Bob, thank you for this and for your blog. My dad is in a similar situation. He retired 3 years ago and has become pretty depressed, and his lifelong anxiety issues have really flared up. My mom is younger and still works. It is sad to see my dad squander his retirement and think that he is always going to be miserable when he now has free time to do things he didn't have time for when he was working. My mom, myself, and his other children have tried to encourage him in so many ways, but he is still stuck in a rut. Thanks for some additional ideas and for sharing your retirement experiences.

  49. I retired at 58, 2 years ago.I get up at 8-9am (or whenever I feel ready)and have breakfast. If my husband is at home, we walk into the town for coffee in the morning and have a good chat, talk about our holiday plans or other schemes. If he is away, I walk in on my own and spend half an hour sipping coffee with a good book and with my iPod plugged into my ears. As I am in 2 choirs, I have a lot of music to learn. Whilst in town, most days I do a little shopping at the supermarket or other shops. Home for lunch sometime between 12 and 2. In the afternoon: piano practice, and, depending on the weather, I might do gardening or just relax in the garden with a book, or watch TV, or even nap. I love the idea of afternoon tea, but unfortunately, the extras are fattening. Still, we usually break the afternoon up with tea, maybe an apple or piece of toast. By 6pm, dinner is in full swing with a race to sit down and watch the 6 o clock news. I am at choir on 2 evenings a week. My daughter usually comes round one evening. I might do more piano. Otherwise, it's TV until 9pm snack followed by the bed at 10 or later if I get interested in the TV or computer. Days do vary because I have 2 daughters living locally and 2 grandchildren too. For example, today, I got a call to take my daughter's dog out as she was out all day. I cycled around there and walked the dog for 45 minutes. I take the grandchildren out on Saturday mornings to the library and sometimes lunch. On Monday, I had them both for about 5 hours (it's school holidays), and we built a castle in the living room and played games. I started brushing up my Spanish but have lost interest for now. I am a member of the gym, but I don't use it at all at the moment - good intentions! I've also had a go at learning to play the harmonica recently - to be continued. I just like stabbing out at different things. It's easy to get info on anything with the internet and the library, and Amazon. I do get bored sometimes, but I do enjoy having the use of my time myself. I used to get more bored when I was at work, and most of it seemed pointless to me, so I am happy to be retired. We did Bridge classes while we were on a cruise this year but not proficient enough yet to launch into playing with others. I love dancing, but my husband hates it so no, go there! That's me, for now.

  50. I like your sensible, direct approach...try things and stop if not satisfied...time for tea and family, sleep late, nap....you have a very pleasant life.

    Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  51. I can honestly say I have never given two consecutive minutes of thought to what my retired life will look like.

  52. Decided to retire early at 55, after losing my business in a fire, along with all my toys. Between grandkids, renos, golf, yard work, etc., I don't know how I would find the time to work again if I get bored. I am planning to relocate and replace my fishing boat and am going to have to try and find some time to fish. I am really enjoying retirement, but I did have to learn to give my wife some space.

  53. I love these blogs because even though the original discussion may have started long ago, you can still join in much later. And of course, these topics are always relevant, so it is interesting to read comments regardless of the time frame. I was fortunate to be able to retire early and have been retired for 7 years now! Although I wouldn't call my downtime boring, it can occasionally be a challenge to get the right balance of activity. I am a single lady, so I guess I have even more 'freedom' of choice right now. I must admit that sometimes this can also be challenging. Have friends who are retired and who work but having a partner to share with would be nice.

    Anyway, I had to say that when I get the 'question'...."What do you do?", my response, with a smile, is "Whatever I want"... After the surprised reaction I explain I am retired. I have found this actually 'wakes' people up to realize that maybe we aren't entirely defined by our careers, be it corporate, labor, service, entrepreneurial, or raising the family. Excuse me if I forgot a category. I also find it leads to some interesting conversations. Some cultures tend to 'work to live rather than 'live to work.' It is nice to discuss that and how that is different, as well as the view on retirement.

    So as not to give the wrong impression, I do continue to work on the right balance but have been able to enjoy travel, more time visiting family, reading, golf, yard work, writing, and the pleasure of watching some 'day time' sporting events I never could catch when I worked. I volunteer in the wintertime doing taxes. I tried many types of volunteering, and this is the one that stuck so far. Satisfying with a limited commitment. I take continuing learning courses now and again as well as visit museums, lunch/dinner/theater with friends, hike, and swim every morning during the week. So that can sound like a lot, but there is still plenty of time.

    I do remember feeling quite 'guilty' at first not having structure and having the free time. But after you contemplate the 'work to live philosophy, this can help change your outlook. I do feel there are people who love what they do for work, and this is great. They may want to keep at it much longer. The important thing is to feel happy and good about what you are doing. Not every minute but overall. As with many things when we view others, sometimes 'the grass only looks greener. What works for one person is not necessarily going to work for the next.

    So I still look for more balance at times and think about trying new things, but I have never had the urge to go back to work in the corporate setting. I love the flexibility; I have way too much for that. I appreciate reading these blogs and other articles, sites. It is always good to see what others are saying, and to this day, we are lucky that technology allows us to do that.

    So I hope these thoughts might help some others. One thing that has been said here, though, is absolutely true. You have to make things happen for yourself if you want to feel differently or have new experiences. Change is hard, regardless of what it is, so it is ok to take one day at a time and adjust, but you also have to put in some effort along the way. Happy Retirement! Thanks for the blog.

    1. Thank you for three things, Elle: finding this older post and making it current again with your comment, adding your insights gained over seven years of retirement, and taking the time to give all of us an in-depth reaction to what you have gone through.

      I was certainly a "live to work" guy for all of my career years. It took me a few years to find my stride, but my satisfying retirement started when I followed the "work to live" mindset. The last seven or eight years of my retirement have been better than I could have imagined.

      I am not living the way I thought I would be, but retirement is all about adjustments and change. My life today is completely fulfilling and happy.

  54. If you are truly retired, does it really matter what time it is or even what day it is. The day I retired, many things were said. One young man said, you truly retired when you wake up and don't know what day it is. I found that to be partly true. Real retirement is when you don't know and don't care.

  55. I've been laid-off/retired now for over 2 years. I've thrown myself into fixing up 2 houses and often feel I never have enough time. However, I HAVE to exercise first thing in the morn. Typically get up at 5:30, eat, check email, read the paper, and I'm either on the bike, treadmill, or weight machine by about 7. Done by 8:30. I can't live without lists of "projects" without hard timeframes. Really just reminders. Paint the room, pay the bills, call people, etc. My day usually ends around 4 when my wife and I hit the hot tub for 30-40 minutes, have dinner, and usually back to the computer to do research on things that interests me at night. So far, retirement is fulfilling. All my best

  56. Well, I tell you, for one who has been retired for 1 week, I do not love it. I retired and came to S to help my parents (90 and 98), but I am feeling lonely, sad, unfulfilled. Pity party. Can't seem to get a handle on what to do. I have no friends, and this is an unknown location for me. Sleeping late when I was working was never a problem. Now I'm awake at 0500 like I had to force myself with an alarm clock in my working days. I've always worked. I have 1 hobby. I'd like to travel but am restricted right now with my family situation. Any suggestions? I have no children or grandchildren, and my husband is perfectly comfortable with being retired. Is it just the newness?

    1. Take a deep breath and take it slow. After 1 week, you are still a serious newbie. For most of us, it takes anywhere from a few months to a few years to fully adapt to retirement and figure out how to make the most of this phase of life.

      There are hundreds of posts on this blog that will help you get a handle on time management, how to discover and develop passions and interests, develop a balance between your family responsibilities and what makes you happy. Trust me, this can be the most liberating and fulfilling phase of your life, but it doesn't come without time and work on your part.

      One of the unfortunate things you had to do was retire and move to a place that isn't home. That is a double whammy that will give anyone problems. You will adjust and adapt, but not in one week!

      Please, drop me a personal e-mail (satisfyingretirement@gmail.com) if you'd like to get into some more details and ask for some specific suggestions.

  57. I just came across this blog and find it very interesting.
    I have been retired going on six years. One interesting thing I found myself doing was getting certified to teach English as a foreign language. I then went to Ecuador and spent six months teaching. While there, I got encouragement from a new friend to write a book about how I had used martial arts as a metaphor in doing leadership development, which I did for about 25 years. I recently published it under the title "Leadership Lessons from the Martial Arts. I say all of this at the risk of sounding immodest.
    Having said the above, I am now in a period of feeling really bored. What I am thinking about doing is creating a concept I have been thinking about. I will call it The Retiree Corp. It will be for the purpose of helping people like myself who think they still have some things to contribute to our society and are seeking others to help
    develop ideas and provide support.
    Marty in St.Paul

    1. You are following an excellent path in your quest for a fulfilling and satisfying retirement, Marty. You took something you knew well (leadership) and found a way to extend it in a different way with your teaching English in Ecuador and writing a book that tied together two passions of yours.

      Boredom is a good sign. It shows you are not content to rest on past achievements. You have so much more to give, and you sound like the type of person who will keep stretching until you find your next passion. The Retiree Corp maybe it - that is an excellent idea.

      Please stay in touch and let me know how that develops. Drop me an e-mail if you'd like to communicate in private (satisfyingretirement@gmail.com)

  58. I retired on August 5th, 2013, and I am currently travelling all over Florida on my Ranger Tug. Currently, I am docked in the Florida Keys at Tavernier and will be here for a few months. My day begins with coffee on the back of my boat, where I watch the sunrise and all the birds and fish coming to life, extremely relaxing. Early mornings are reserved for cleaning the boat as it gets hot later in the day. Spend a few hours on some freelancing I'm doing. I also started up pottery classes which is a 12-mile bike ride from my boat, so I get plenty of exercises, clocking about 125 miles plus per week. Since I live on my boat, I had sold my truck, so all transportation is by bicycle. Usually, end up the day with a BBQ and movie with popcorn. read for about two hours and then retire. I can't seem to fit anything else in at this stage. I kayak and flyfish on the weekends, but it's getting harder and harder to remember what day it is, let alone what date it is.

    1. I like your day. It sounds nicely connected to nature and natural rhythms. Of course, I am somewhat biased since the Florida Keys are one of my favorite locations in the whole country. It is really hard to be stressed while watching the waves, wildlife, and sunsets.

      Your movement to bicycle-only transportation is one I would love to emulate, but it isn't possible where we live. I can't even get cut back to just one car yet, though I can see that in the not too distant future.

  59. Very interesting! I'm planning on retiring this fall, and over the winter break at the university where I work, I took some time to practice retirement. I had no problem waking up around 7, walk the dog 40-50 minutes after breakfast. She was then tired, so she left me alone :). I then paint in watercolors for a few hours, lunch, nap, back at drawing or painting. Catch the news, sit on the patio for wine and dinner w/ retired husband. Weekends slightly different to include art shows or some other activity. Oh, and bike ride too. Oh, and RV too. So I'm really looking forward to my additional art endeavors, which also include teaching art.

    1. "Practicing" retirement is an excellent idea. Rather quickly, you discover how your day can be so fun and full when the normal obligations of the working world are gone.

  60. Bob, I was wondering how you got into being a mentor for recently released prisoners. At the moment, I work in prison as a substance abuse counselor, and at first, I thought I wanted to work more on the criminal justice side of prisoners, but now I'm leaning more towards the social work side. I would love to know more about what you do and how you got into it!

  61. I began by writing letters to a prisoner whose mother attended our church. That leads me to want to become more involved, so I started to interact with that fellow upon his release.

    The next step was becoming involved with a Phoenix-based organization that ministers to men and women both inside and outside prison. The mentoring work begins with an assignment to an inmate who has at least one year to go on his sentence. I write and visit him. When he is released, I pick him up and drive him to the ministry housing, where he commits to at least a 6-month program. During that time, I talk on the phone with the fellow at least three times a week, see him weekly, and help him integrate back into society.

    It is difficult and, at times frustrating, but ultimately very rewarding.

  62. I, too, just stumbled into this blog. I will be a fairly young retiree, and it will be hard to downshift from my crazy busy job.
    For anonymous Jan 19th, I can relate. Last year, my mother was seriously injured in a fall. She was also very ill from pneumonia she caught at the hospital. I pretty much had to move in with
    her and take time off work.
    I got through it with a yoga class a few times a week. It got me away for an hour or so by myself.
    This was much later as mom was better. I also walked on the beach with her dog. Exercise is really the key to my well-being. It does not have to be the gym..just something to get moving.
    Her neighbors were very nice, letting me know about the neighborhood, etc. I found out how well-liked she was, and it was heartwarming to know they were looking out for her.
    At my age, it is hard to make new friends, and I was not living there all the time. I was lonely, too.
    I missed my husband, my cats, and my house very much.
    Can you have a dog? that would get you out and meeting people...I met many nice people through mom's little nasty diva dog :).
    I have been babysitting ( I prefer to call it taking care of ) my youngest grandkids and running the oldest around with his sports. I am blessed that mom is better, but she doesn't drive anymore.
    It is hard to find the time to take her on her errands. It's slow going, and I am tired. I really had to check myself to not be impatient, just be grateful we still have her.
    I really really hate driving in her city also. Very hectic, parking a nightmare even with the placard.

    Now I will have to balance my time carefully. I have become more protective of a couple times. I did have to voice to my family that I needed a break, that I loved them, wanted to help, etc., but I needed to take care of myself, my husband, and my home too.
    One son-in-law said, in all seriousness, "when you retire, you can live with us" Really. Sleep in the garage with the brooms and mops! umm, no, thank you.
    Most cities have senior programs. They could be a help for you to find a bit of time away to find your place in the community.
    My mother really needs to find something constructive to do with her time besides shopping around town-(it really drives me nuts), and I worry about her spending.
    But, she does not want to do "senior staff." I think art would be great, she is very talented.
    She was a teacher. She could help kids with homework. She is a wonderful writer and could be a godsend to older students.
    I plan on learning to really play the piano or guitar, sewing, couponing, and getting my house cleaned out and re-arranged.
    After having to be on-task, always doing something every waking minute, as you probably are now, when I stopped, I really stopped. It was very hard to get motivated to get caught up on everything that had piled up on me. I am just now starting to do that, but also trying to balance with creative projects so that I am not a total drudge. That is very hard to keep up for any amount of time.

    take care

  63. My answer to the frequent and inevitable question is, You're asking the wrong question! It's not what I do, but what I no longer have to do.

  64. Well, I retired two years ago, and I would spend my days reading up on the stock market, learning Italian for a long-promised trip with my wife, and trying not to wake up at 5am. At first, it was an easy transition. It was good not to have to do anything if that's how the mood struck me. Well, the market and I never did get along, shoulder replacement surgery took me away from my beloved 2-hour gym routine, and I was suddenly lost. So when the license for Sansabelt became available, I grabbed it. I'm working harder than I ever have, and my hope is that maybe next time I leave the grind, I'll have a better plan, one that will start with that three-week automobile tour up the Italian coast that still beckons. Congrats to all who make that smooth transition. I hope to get there eventually.

    1. Retirement is a nonstop transition and adjustment. You will make your dreams come true...they just might not be the dreams you started with!

  65. I enjoy reading all that is written here. He he he. I retired 2 years ago at 56. Think writing, praying, helping the societies are good for any retirees. Btw, take care of ur health, dear. Tq. Dr sazali from Malaysia.

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. I was doing well after my heart scare a few months ago. I agree with your three "legs" of a retirement stool: writing, praying, helping others.

  66. Thanks for your useful post. I was searching google when I got bored to know how others are engaging themselves after retirement. Your post suggests a lot of things. In my case, I retired 6 years back. First few months, I had depression and started going to a small job. But at that time, a tragedy struck my family - I lost my first son (a brilliant well educated, handsome boy) in a car accident due to a mistake done by his friend who drove the car. So I had to live my retired life with depression for few years. Now, as you said, I have revived my drawing hobby and spending time on that. Even then, at times, I feel sick (basically, I am a weak fellow) and get the frustration. Again I fight that , bounce back and keep engaging myself and saying no to depression. Planning to do some social work and derive some satisfaction.

    1. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. That is a blow that takes a very strong person to handle. Some periods of depression after such an event would be entirely normal and expected.

      I did look at a few of your blogs. You are quite a talented artist! Keep drawing, my friend.

    2. Thanks for visiting my blogs and complimenting my artworks.

  67. Hello from California! I have enjoyed reading through all of these posts! My husband retired 14 months ago, and now I have just retired to join him so we would have more time to travel and do what we want! We just returned from a trip back East to see the beautiful fall colors - amazing! Now we are home, and we add to a "To-Do List" we keep on the kitchen counter - As we think of things, we add to the list. As we complete the items, we erase them off the list (We use one of those small whiteboards). This keeps us engaged during the day. We sometimes watch old shows in the evening. We just converted from cable to antenna only with a TiVo box, so we don't have to watch commercials! - This is saving us a lot of money and is very enjoyable!!. We don't watch any TV during the day but rather exercise, listen to beautiful music via Pandora, read, do various chores, try new recipes, explore the Internet, ride bikes, walk, garden, organize, etc. We plan various outings like wine tasting, trips to the beach or mountains. We schedule lots of visits with friends and our daughters (at our home or theirs, or at various coffee shops around town). We have Wii bowling tournaments! We see a movie at the theater once a week (midweek on a senior day) when there is something worth watching. I love antique and consignment shopping (my husband will go with me but doesn't enjoy this as much as I do). We love to take photos! We recently bought a truck and a 21ft. travel trailer (outfitted for dry camping (solar panels & generator, etc.) to save money!!) Now we can also travel all around the United States when the weather permits, but you have to follow the weather! We are also planning on a Mediterranean cruise in June and will see Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, Crete, and Greece! Am unbelievably excited about this! My husband is 67, and I'm 56. We are from Ohio and Texas respectively, but we met in the Middle East in Iran just before the Hostage Crisis. We have spent the last 30 years in Northern California. He was an airline mechanic, and I was an Executive Assistant. Through careful planning and budgeting, we have finally arrived at our Chapter 2! Wishing you all good health and happiness!

    1. What a great schedule you two have. You are doing a tremendous job of managing your time and expectations. I love your approach.

      One firm rule we do have: no TV during the day. It is too easy to fall into the trap of losing hours at a time during the part of the day when being active and busy is a much better use of our time.

  68. hello, bob: when I first found your blog, I was extremely relieved to know of persons who have experience being retired and offering a sounding board for other retirees:

    I felt sorry for myself and wondered for a few years - after I retired, is this all there is in life --- where was my purpose and passion for life ---- it appeared that I had become a non-person to myself ---- and my thoughts and feeling were becoming desperate --- all my life I gave and worked hard and never had time to squander time --- and therefore - retirement appeared to be a time of wastefulness --- and sadness - however after finding your blog and reading other retirees' helpful hints --- it would now appear I have a program which will assist me in helping me to get the most out of retirement.

    thank you and your readers so much for your assistance ---- Canada

    1. I am so pleased you have found the blog and are finding the feedback of others to be helpful! Retirement is a phase of life that offers freedom and openness that you probably haven't experienced for years. There are downtimes, just like the rest of life. But, the exciting reality is you have the ability to change how you live and use the time available in a way that satisfies you.

  69. My first submission to a retirement blog - 62 YO male. It's been 10 months since voluntarily leaving my 30 yr. banking career. I simply had my fill of a fair stress gotta-do-it-now job, so no regrets at this time, but as we say, never say never. Am I fully retired ? - don't know yet. Having not to get up in the early AM is nice.
    As a relative newbie, interesting to read some very candid and varied scenarios. Some personal thoughts:
    I live in a semi-rural area, so just popping into town to grab a coffee, see a movie, meeting friends for lunch, other quick to-dos,
    etc., is problematic.
    Now that weather is going downhill, outdoor activities on our acreage property along with cycling and kayaking are quite
    limited, however looking forward to ski day trips.
    Almost all of my contemporaries still work, so again getting together during the week does not happen. I've also noticed just
    a touch (or more ?) of jealousy over not working while they are. I have also noticed that 'work friends,' of who there have
    many over the years, both short and long term, subsequently drift off without the commonality of work, leaving me to do the
    My wife, who works part-time, is a card-carrying Homebody, so although I like traveling, she does not come except for the
    occasional family gigs.
    Bottom line so far: Some boredom, may be seasonal, beginning to set in, with an obvious learning/activity curve ahead of
    me. Hope this is reasonably lucid.

    1. Not only is it lucid, but it is also right on track for a typical early retirement experience. Time management, blending the lifestyles of a retired and not-yet-retired spouse, and seeing work-based relationships start to drift apart are completely expected markers of this stage of life.

      After the first blush of leaving a career, boredom is one of the most important issues you will have to deal with. Too many people go back to some form of work, not because they want to but because they can't figure out how to fill their days with meaningful activities. Finding a passion and activities you enjoy are crucial, especially in your part of the country, if winters curtail things you enjoy.

      Relax and enjoy the ride. You will hit your stride. It took me nearly two years!

  70. Hi Bob
    I have been happily retired for a year or so now. Since I am a woman and my husband is currently working, I spend a lot of time on household chores. When I worked outside of the home, these chores were done quickly and efficiently. Now they take far too long to accomplish. However, I do manage to fit in some cycling, computer work, bagpipe practice, reading, visiting family (plane trip), and following my favourite sports. I never seem to have enough time in the day for the things I enjoy. In a few week's time, my husband will be retiring, and, quite frankly, I am apprehensive about having someone else to consider in my daily routine, such as it is. He has very few interests, and I am expecting him to get bored and want me to keep him entertained...rather like I had to do for the children when they were small, lol. I think it will be a big adjustment for both of us, now that I am used to my independence. He has started to join me on a short cycle a few mornings a week before work, so that is one habit we can continue into the future....and we will no doubt do some travelling too.

    1. It will be a big adjustment when hubby is a home full time, especially if he doesn't have solid interests and plans to keep him occupied. My advice is to remind yourself that he will struggle for a period of time before finding his stride. That is normal. Early, and often, when he attempts to "reorganize" your systems, remind him you have been doing this for umpteen years. Try to refocus him on things he has shown some interest in. Ask him to help in specific ways that you pick and control.

      As the two of you reestablish a routine together, you will discover the real joys of retirement: the time and freedom to simply live as you choose.

      Good luck!

  71. I retired about a year and a half ago after spending 35yrs being a registered nurse, and I always joked that I couldn't wait to retire and do all those things that I always never had time to do. However, it's not been quite as easy as anticipated, I was a nurse for so long that I felt defined by what I did, and once I stopped doing that, I felt I wasn't me anymore, as has been mentioned in previous posts, I felt I HD no purpose, I still don't, but I'm at a loss as to know how to fill my days, I also feel that because my job was so full-on and both mentally and physically exhausting that I'm now very wasteful with my time, I'm annoyed with myself for being so inactive and quite frankly boring, I feel guilty for reading a book because I feel I should be doing something much more productive , I'm feeling quite lost, but I shall get there...eventually.

    1. May I suggest you take advance of the free telephone service designed for someone in exactly your situation? A compassionate listener will help you work through your feelings and disappointments. See the posts dated March 12 and March 30th.

      From those who have tried this approach, every one of them has been very happy with the process and what they have learned about themselves and finding a way to move forward.

  72. well, I recently retired in December, and I definitely need to get a routine. I am spending too much time watching tv and sleeping,but I love to do gardening reading exercises. I guess I am feeling lost with all this free time after 40 years of working. I enjoy this blog and will work harder at getting some focus

    1. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are still well within the period when most folks, especially after working for so long, need time to just allow the body and mind to readjust and find your balance. You have interests to pursue - they will serve you well as your natural need to be productive and engaged in things begins to become more forceful.

  73. How long does it take to adjust to retirement? I retired about 2 years ago. Was a high-level state gov't manager. Unfortunately, I retired from something, not to something. After a year, I got a new full-time job. But now I am not the boss, but one of the minions. Bored at this job, but know I will be bored if I leave--not a hobby guy. Suggestions??

    1. If there is any kind of "normal" time for adjusting to retirement, it is 1-2 years. Since you retired from something without a passion or interest that you were looking forward to, things are taking longer. To retire, unretire, and retire again is quite common, by the way.

      I'd suggest you stay at your present job and use your free time to explore options for eventual retirement. What did you enjoy doing when you were younger? Does your spouse or a good friend do something that you'd be willing to try? Volunteering is a natural use of time and talent for someone looking for a fulfilling activity. Are there certain skills and experience from your state manager job that you could translate into a business, like consulting?

      A passion or activity that motivates you during retirement doesn't have to be "productive," like a job. You only please yourself. If that means fishing, camping, reading, volunteering, and taking long walks, then that is all fine.

      The trick is to keep trying things until something clicks. In the meantime, keep working or explore the opportunities of being self-employed.

  74. Thanks for the feedback. However, while I know it's an ego/self-esteem thing, my current job that I un-retired to is not challenging and quite frankly boring. While at work, I spend most of my time just surfing the net. I have less free time after work now than I did in my "real job." I retired from a position where I made difficult decisions every day, had a management
    team, and was known and respected for my leadership and accomplishments. My current job is not fulfilling at all. It's tough being a minion. Are you aware of any retiree who enjoyed retirement just doing nothing significant, but did have an exercise routine, took care of the lawn, had a pet, etc.? I did look into volunteering, but again, not a good fit for me.

    1. If the definition of not significant is just a series of chores, then no, that isn't the prescription for a satisfying retirement.

      Can you do something with your leadership and accomplishments from your former job? If consulting isn't for you, how about writing a book or doing a series of podcasts on the subject? Working as an advisor to others who are trying to launch a new business or fix a sick one through the volunteer Senior Corps may be something for you to look into.

      If your job is providing nothing to feed you, then you probably need to leave. You sound unhappy with the situation, and that will drain you quicker than anything.

  75. I retired, and my wife accepted a position in a new city where we know no one. I was an educator for forty years, coaching both basketball and theater. I have attempted to volunteer at schools, organizations, etc., to no avail because, like most places, it's "who you know, not what you know." My wife is not a "friend maker," which was my role in the dyad. Thus, our social life has ground to a halt. Retirement has been a disaster. I read two or three newspapers a day, devouring several novels, and watch foreign films. I am a people person who enjoys performing and conversation. I started a blog but found the time writing didn't compensate for the lack of human contact. I can find lots of things to do at night, concerts, theater, dining, nightlife, etc. It's that void after breakfast that kills me. My knees are shot, so I can no longer play ball or even golf. I go to the gym for 2 or 3 hours a day, but that also is "lone" activity. Hiking clubs proved to be both taxings on my knees and taxing on my soul since most of the folks available during the day seemed ancient compared to me and actually referred to me as the youngster. I am 66 years old. Does anyone have suggestions? Thanks much.

    1. I'm afraid I don't have a ready answer to your situation. I am surprised to learn that to volunteer in your new area, you need to know people. In most areas, any volunteer is greeted with open arms. I just started working as a greeter at a local art center that presents plays to hundreds of school kids each week. I give them a safety speech, tell them where to stand, and help them off the bus. After just 3 weeks, I have been told they very much want to be back in the fall. It has been easy, fun, and puts me in touch with the other volunteers.

      Have you looked for book clubs or discussion groups that meet during the day? Are there any local theater groups (adult or for kids) that need help with set building, publicity/marketing, or even ushering during the shows?

      Could you be a drama tutor to help young people with vocal projection, basic stage movement skills, memorization, etc.?

      YOu have a lot to bring to the table. Keep searching.

    2. Hi Bob, There was really nothing for me in retirement. Most of the groups you suggested were filled with folks who seemed ancient. I am still a fairly funky, irreverent guy who is happiest in a cocktail lounge or having an expresso in a Parisian cafe. Somehow, Someway, I was hired as a middle school teacher at 67 years old. Later, the principal admitted she didn't look carefully at my resume and assumed I was in my late forties or early fifties. Fortunately, I am still considered the wild and goofy teacher, and the kids enjoy me as much as ever.

      Retirement is for those folks who are joiners, have hobbies, and enjoy activities like gardening, fishing, golf, etc. I had always enjoyed an urbane lifestyle and felt left out of the mainstream when I retired. My colleagues are primarily in their twenties, and while there are social and intellectual differences, I still enjoy going out and having a few cocktails with them. My guess is I will retire again when my wife hangs it up. She is ten years younger than me, so she has a way to go. Then, health permitting, we will retire to some town in Europe and act like eccentric Americans, enjoying good wine, great food, and philosophical discussions in a language we don't understand. That way, there can be no arguments or altercations. Ignorance is bliss.

    3. It sounds like you have found the answers for now. Knowing what makes you happy and content is the key. If retirement isn't right for you, then don't. If living an urbane lifestyle here or in Europe makes you happy, the only reasons not to go for it would be budgetary issues or a reluctant spouse.

      Best of luck. As Jimmy Buffett says, the world needs more fruitcakes!

  76. I am a mom to three teenagers. I retired from a professional singing career 11 years ago and found that I was very busy at first with three young children. Now my life has slowed down quite a bit. I have one in college, one who's a junior, and one in eighth grade. My days are generally pretty slow and easy, there are lots of laundries to be done, but I try to do that on Sundays and Mondays and finish up for sure by Tuesday. Then there are groceries to be gotten. My children eat quite a bit, and I have one who is training for a football career, so he eats quite a bit, and we have specialized food for almost everyone in our family because of allergies. So grocery shopping and cooking is a lot of my job. On Monday mornings, I go with a big long list and usually spend between six and $700. After that, I come home and unload all the groceries. I figure that is a good workout for that day. Then on Tuesdays, I usually try to finish up all the folding of the laundry and put it at the bottom of the stairs for my children to put away. On Wednesdays, I have Bible study from 830 to 1130 in which I enjoy getting to see some of my friends. Thursdays and Fridays are generally pretty open as I don't have a ton of housework, so I've really started to bake. I've made macaroons, I've made sourdough bread, I have made cherry loaf chocolate bread, I have made cakes and decorated them. I'm looking into seeing if I can get into a cake decorating or piping class. The problem is most of them are in the evening, and I need something during the day when my children are at school. Every day I take my daughter to school at 7:30 AM, and then I go pick up my daughter and leave the house at 2:45, then two nights a week, I take her to volleyball and bring her home, alternating with my son or my husband. Every day I make a big dinner as we really try not to eat out much due to the allergies and the amount of specialized food that we need. After dinner is finished and cleaned up, then I usually want to just watch TV and chill out, so I have certain shows that I enjoy, and it is just a good mind mental break for me. Especially as the children have so much more time in their rooms and not with me in the evenings. I do have certain shows that we all try to do together as a family. It is hard to find things that you have in common with your teenager as being in public with them is generally embarrassing for them. So trying to find things at home to do at the end of the day when everyone is tired is a challenge. I always wondered what other people who are retired did even though I retired at a much younger age than most people, and the busiest parts of my life for 15 years were when my children were smaller, which is generally the reverse for most women, so I find that most of my friends have gone to work now and now I'm at home. I'm a very creative person and am usually jumping from one creative project to another, whether it's decorating my home, which I have completed every single room and re-done several, or designing our outdoor pool patio area, or painting oil paintings of which I've done 60 to 70, or now it's baking, but generally I always have some kind of projects going on creatively because that is how I feel like I can breathe.

  77. Anyway, sorry to ramble on, this is my life, and I always wonder what other people are doing with their days, especially when I have some downtime. I really don't want to fill it up with a bunch of obligations, but I do like to have things that I feel productive and useful doing. I have thought about seeing if I could work in a bakery on Fridays just during the day when my children are at school just to get a little of my creativity out and maybe have something that I get paid for. The problem is I just want to be sure I'm here for my children whenever they are home because it is very important to me that I get to have eye contact and conversation with them each day. I have found that over the years, my husband's interests and mine have kind of gotten away from each other, which is fine, I do love my husband very much, but his activities include horse racing and gambling and things that I'm just not interested in at all. I do try to go with him once or twice during the horse racing season. But my interests include much more creative things, being outside, relaxing, bicycle riding, painting, things like that, and he doesn't really enjoy those. So that is a bit of a challenge, we really do want to find some things that we really do like to do together, especially because we see the years when the children are gone coming very soon. I do not want to drift away from each other. Most of our activity now is going to our children's sporting events which we do really love. So maybe professional football games and sporting events later when the kids are gone might be a fun thing to do too. We do love to travel. However, it does get expensive. Oh, and I forgot every day I try to be home before 2 o'clock so I can lay down and rest for 45 minutes sometimes, I just look at Facebook, sometimes I read, sometimes I sleep. But this time, every day gives me a mental break to restart and be ready for when I pick up my daughter and my husband and son come home later. I will get on kicks where I do a lot of exercises, and then I just get sick of it, and I don't do too much. There isn't a whole lot of the same to my life because I get bored with things after a while. I do like to take walks as we live on a golf course and the trails are pretty. I have a mini Goldendoodle who absolutely adores me, and she loves to walk with me.

    1. I really do appreciate your taking the time to give us the details of your retired life. It isn't rambling at all. Just you have a lot going on. I venture to guess that your retired life is different from most because you are still so busy with the children.

      The only caution I would inject is the issue of your husband and you growing apart in interests. That can lead to relationship problems just at the time when you two are alone together. You are aware of the pitfalls, which is an important part of working toward a solution.

      Actually, you sound like my wife. She is the creative one in the family and always knee-deep in projects. We are often busy, but separately. One of the reasons we started RVing 5 years ago was to put us together in a confined space for a period of time, sharing experiences and learning the art of compromise.

    2. Thank you for replying! And yes, my husband and I are always looking for and thinking of things we both enjoy. I think RVing might be great once the kids are gone. I appreciate your response. 👍🏻👍🏻

  78. It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd certainly
    donate to this superb blog! I suppose, for now, I'll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.

    Talk soon!

  79. We are going to endeavor at this point to educate ourselves.

  80. For me, the whole reason for retiring was not to have a routine... I wake up whenever I wake up... same with going to bed in the evening... However, I have kept some routines... Brushing my teeth /showering seems to be a routine I've stuck with - I'm sure my friends are happy about that. As far as chores and activities... Chores are done when I want to do them., I have a list, but oddly enough, I seem to do things that are not on the list.. so after I complete them, I write them on the list then draw a line through them... lol that always makes me laugh... Activities - I never really had a hobby or activities other than running for a few years. I had some surgery and have since recovered, and I'm slowly getting back into running (actually jogging ), but for now, I am walking, and I'll continue to walk for some time... There doesn't seem to be much difference between running and walking - other than time... and I have plenty of that. I can understand why people love to travel. There are a lot of benefits - knowledge, understanding, emotions, worldliness, etc.. but I've done that all my life, and I am done with it... I prefer to stay home and have home-cooked meals.

    1. Like you, I will make a list just for the satisfaction of crossing something off when I am done. Odd, but satisfying.

      I traveled a lot for business and no longer enjoy flying. It has become a major hassle. Like you, I am very comfortable at home.

  81. Enjoying my life, what is left of it.