Wow! It’s Retirement

My father once told me that people need to learn how to retire. He said those who retired without a plan for what they would do died sooner. I don’t know how true that is, but I do know that life needs a purpose, even for someone who is retired.

We’ve all spent the years working, raising our families and doing the necessary things in life. Now, it’s time to be a little wild. The definition of wild will vary, but you know what I mean.

Looking online for ideas has been less than satisfying. The search for retirement information is often limited to financial planning. We get it about the finances. Either we have enough or we don’t and the only remedy to a shortfall is more money. That’s what these sites say—save more or earn more. Such insight.

In this day and age of writing for search engines, the sites with the best SEO win so trying any type of search for retirement information leads us frequently to financial planning sites. It seems that the owners of the retirement related sites think that financial planning is our only concern.

I was getting nowhere fast in my search for interesting ideas, so I tried some different search terms to see what happened.rollercoaster

awesome retirement: brought up a couple of sites but quickly reverted to financial planning
retirement find passion: better but still not there; finding your passion is a common theme on lots of sites

There is no shortage of people who want to help you plan your life. I’m not sure when the profession of “life coaching” came into being but it’s certainly prevalent now. A simple search about creating a rewarding life brings up plenty of sites with lots of life coaches willing to help for a fee. It’s a valuable service, but in my case, I think the hunt is going to be rewarding, too.

What I’m really searching for are ideas for a spectacular retirement. We are still able and, for the most part, healthy so an average retirement won’t really fit. There are probably a million and one things we could do. The problem should be choosing rather than finding out about stuff.

What we really want and need is an exciting pursuit that makes people say “Wow!” when they hear what we are doing. It doesn’t take much for a reaction like that, but it does have to be a bit different than what everyone else is doing. That one thing that is a little different is what I’m searching for and what I’m trying to achieve.

Budgeting for Certainty

In a world of uncertainty, one thing is certain: when you retire, your income will change. Even if the expected change is small, it’s good to plan for it. The last thing anyone needs is a surprise.

The thought of creating a budget makes me groan audibly. Could anything be more dull? Well, maybe the old paint drying thing is more dull but I avoid that, too.

Here are a few things to help get through this drudgery:

Help from the US government:
http://www.consumer.gov/articles/1002-making-budget#!what-it-is

A nice worksheet to help you sort things out:
http://www.consumer.gov/content/make-budget-worksheet

A few tips from the Dummies series:
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-create-a-monthly-budget.html

Using Excel:
http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelArticles/how-to-make-a-budget.html