Jobs Can Be Cool


It’s our intention to create earnings in retirement for a couple of reasons: to keep busy and to preserve our savings. A job just won’t be the answer for me long-term. As we all know, jobs can be very inflexible. That’s not to say I won’t be employed in some way. There are interesting opportunities out there for short-term, temporary employment in wonderful places.

I’m not sure when I came across Cool Works. It was many years ago when I still had a child at home and  I couldn’t take advantage of any of the offerings. I forgot about the site for quite a long time and I couldn’t even remember the name of it. A few searches brought it up and I’m so glad it still exists.

If you are looking for something seasonal then this is the place. They list job openings at National and State parks, resorts, and other interesting places. They include a category titled “Older and Bolder,” which lists opportunities for retirees. These aren’t career jobs. Usually, they consist of front desk, waitstaff, store help and the like, but who cares what you’re doing when you can look out the window at Mt. Rainier or the Grand Canyon?



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:!what-it-is

A nice worksheet to help you sort things out:

A few tips from the Dummies series:

Using Excel:

Hold on for the Ride


I saw Easy Rider when I was 16. Of course, you were supposed to be 17 to see it without an adult but, oh well. I got in any way.

It was a great movie then. It spoke to teenagers. It tried to showcase the alternate lifestyle that Hollywood thought we all aspired to achieve.

The movie was on television recently and I watched it again. Have I changed that much? It was lame, at best. The dialog was bad. The acting was bad. The plot was too predictable. My how our tastes change with age; all the things we thought were cool aren’t really cool at all.

You can’t go home again. Nothing is the same and never will be. Somehow we think that while our life has moved on, some things will be the same.

Have you ever reconnected with an old friend? Thanks to Classmates and Facebook, I have found people from high school and even a few from junior high. In all cases, once you get past the “what have you been doing for 40 years,” there isn’t much to say. Life went on, and I wasn’t in theirs for decades. The memories of our time together, if they still exist, are fuzzy. They didn’t stand still waiting for me to return.

So now, I think that life should be all about new things. There are more years behind us than ahead, so why waste any of it? New experiences, new skills, new friends, that’s where I’m going.

New things have to include the possibility of living on less money and that means changing things we do everyday. I’ve already begun to do things differently but, as the day of complete retirement approaches, I need to step up my game. Retirement looms. It’s ominous. It’s not for sissies.

Complete retirement means the day my husband finally bids adieu to his job. Not only does his paycheck stop but we face the demise of the benefits, too. Don’t get me started on the state of health insurance now. It’s one of the biggest hurdles to retiring before 65. But, that’s a discussion for another post.

I’ve lived frugally for decades. I started out of necessity when I was young and money was scarce. It became habit and I continued throughout life but I never truly embraced all I could do to save money. It’s easier to pick a product off the shelf but it’s better to make your own.

It’s unlikely that anyone can jump into total frugality all at once. It takes some experimentation to find the solutions that will work for you. Not all will. Experiment freely. You won’t be out much money or time.

Ease into frugality. Don’t try to change everything at once. Pick one area to work on and find solutions that work for you.

Cooking from scratch
DIY cleaning products
DIY health and beauty products
DIY garden care
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without

Not all efforts will work for you. Just because a cleaning solution gets rid of grime doesn’t mean that it will be the best answer for you. If the ingredients are hard to find or include something that is irritating, that’s not going to be your answer. Find something else. I’ll show you the things that work for me but a quick Internet search will find dozens more answers.

This is fun. This is cool. Try it. It’ll be a great ride.

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