Retirement on the Horizon?

Dick and I were discussing retirement a couple of days ago and how we are so thoroughly enjoying this part of our lives and how very lucky we feel every day to be at this point.

Then we started remembering the many, many involved, sometimes stressful steps that brought us here. I do understand retirement can be a frightening prospect to some, so maybe that’s a point that needs to be explored.

Just what makes the thought of retirement so downright spooky to so many? I think it’s just the challenge of facing an unknown.

After all, for years and years, we’ve had set schedules – someone telling us what to do with at least 8 hours of our days, sometimes many hours more than that, and even if you’ve been in a high position, you’ve had a board of directors suggesting to you what to do, where to go, how to do it.

But now, your every waking hour will be managed by yourself. That’s good and bad. You are going to be your own boss from now on – well, maybe part-time with the partner, of course.  If you have developed different interests, maybe golf, maybe woodworking as Dick, maybe bridge like me, maybe building models, or working on your family genealogy, writing that book that’s been popping in and out of your mind for years, at least now you’ll have time to pursue some of those interests.

And, hopefully you’ll have more than just one interest. Playing cards 5 days a week, all day long, is going to wear pretty thin, pretty quickly. And when you get a bit older, golf will be more of an audience sport rather than a participation sport, more than likely, though for years after retirement age, it can still be enjoyed.

Don’t forget, volunteering can be a wonderfully fulfilling hobby and a wonderful way to meet a whole new group of people. And most organizations will greet you with open arms if you spend just a portion of your retirement volunteering and helping other people.

So, set a little bit of a challenge up for yourself:

Start to plan just what you’re going to fill your time with in those retirement years. Don’t let this possibly most wonderful time of your life just drift away, sitting around being bored – that’s not what retirement is supposed to be about as far as we’re concerned.

USED before computerAt this point in Dick’s and my life, we live checking the calendar, seeing what’s coming up next, and if there appears to be a gap anyplace, we try to fix it, before it becomes anything near a problem.  Do remember though, don’t fill every moment with business – a day with absolutely nothing but relaxing and puttering around is also to be treasured.  Try to keep a good balance, and that spooky unknown will turn into a happy, fun-filled retirement, I’m willing to bet!

I just heard this one, and I think it’s worth adhering to:  Be the kind of retiree that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says “Oh crap, look out!  They’re up and going again.”


Retirement on the Horizon Article by Barbie.

Addition Feb 3, 2013 – the amount you need to move to Mexico has changed – see –

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10 Responses to Retirement on the Horizon?

  1. Barbara

    May 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Barbie,
    After all those years reading your mail I need to tell you that I truly enjoy them, I fell like I really know you. Going the third year into retirement I was never as busy then now.
    Opportunity came to finally go to college and get a AAS degree in Culinary Art and Food/ Hospitality Management. I know it is not going to help me at my age, most important for me was to improve the English language in writing .
    Escaping as a teenager from East-Germany there was no money to continue my education. Having learned Russian in school this sure did not help me I started from point zero immegrating. Make a long story short, my goal was helping my two girls and now four grand kids to get a college education. My girls made it, two grand kids finish, the grandson just started last year.Oldest grand dauther is teaching English in Japan, second one is going to continue to get her master and doctor in international finances. Coming to this country on borrowed money ( I payed it all back), who had this kind of money to fly across the ocean in my age? I kind of feel good regarless all the bridges I had to cross and disappointment on the way.
    Two more semster and I’m finish in December, planning on a new project already.
    I’m checking into first getting my teeth fix, being a war child the last of eigth kids, there was not much left for me. But mom gave me a lot, her love and strengt in her life at this time raising eigth kids without a husband after the war, she never ask took any care package or got any support. My mom is my insperation through out my life.
    Reading all your e-mail over the years I truly feel that I know you but you but you don’t know me. I hope that I did not bore you with my writing.
    I love Mexico but my second husband would never travel there, he just listening to all the bad news. Life changed all over the world, I don’t care where you travel today.

    Have a great summer,

  2. Eddie Flores

    May 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you very much for your Blog. I enjoy reading and re-reading it each time you send it out. My wife and I are in the final stages of building a home in Mexico on the beach about 42 km east of Progreso. Next month we will spend about 10 more days there to begin putting our personal touches to the house. It is so wonderful watching the sunsets over the water and waking up the sound of the sea. I am hoping that at the end of the year or the beginning of next we will be able to spend extended times at our home. I learn quite a bit from your Blog. Keep up the great job. Thank you again.

  3. Nelson

    May 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I was very scared about retiring. Spent many sleepless night trying to figure where I will go from here. It was scary not knowing what to do and what will happen. Initially it was hard but as time passed I started to enjoy the peace and tranquility that comes along with it. I discovered many things about myself which I didn’t know. Its been a roller-coaster ride, with its ups and downs, but over all its fun.

  4. Barbie


    May 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    That’s wonderful :) I wish all my readers the same happiness! Barbie

  5. Barbie


    May 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Barbara! Bored?? Not at all! Thanks so much for sharing! You have so much to be proud about! Good for you! Sometimes, when we think of things we have gotten through, we amaze ourselves! And, your young years, coming from East Germany, that’s amazing to me!! We have so many strong people of wonderful character in America. Congratulations on your Degrees! What makes us happy is worth the work. You take care. Love to all your family. Barbie

  6. James

    June 1, 2012 at 2:00 am

    I am a man of discipline and and habit. I do the same thing everyday at the same time. Now that retirement is on the cards, I don’t know what I will do. Sometimes so afraid and sometimes feel like it will be another big adventure. Hope I learn new tricks and survive. I have started planing about what to do next and have come up with some great ideas. Life is looking promising.

  7. Barbie


    June 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Hi James, Do read all my articles – you’ll find ideas to cope, and whatmore, probably really look forward to and enjoy your retirement – for most of us, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Dick and I no idea how his 16 hour work days fit into our schedule!!! Barbie

  8. David

    June 2, 2012 at 6:12 am

    My days of retirement are not peaceful, in fact I am hating it. I used to earn a lot. My salary was high, so now that I am not getting as much as before I am feeling the pinch. I cannot follow my original lifestyle which is making me a little sad. But I guess it had to happen someday. Now I take care about what I am spending on and try saving money where ever possible.

  9. James

    June 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    You know retirement is a very scary thing. You don’t know what to do next or what will happen next. Just not knowing what will happen next, the fear of unknown, is enough to give you the spooks. I too suffered from that same fear. But what I found is, if you have someone you love by your side then everything becomes very easy.

  10. Paul

    June 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I love your blogs. It is very interesting. Not many people care about retired people and what they go through, so this is a refreshing change. I know how hard life becomes after you have retired. But you can survive it with a little optimism. It is not easy but you can manage one day at a time. Some planing and smart investments is all you need to lead a comfortable life even after retirement.

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