Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Living Richly In Retirement-the Book?

When I first realized that I had spent all my money and would have to rethink and re plan my frugal retirement, I began researching retirement and fixed income finances.  I found few truly helpful resources.  Most of the traditional retirement literature actually focused on pre-retirement financial planning and investment.  While those books certainly have their place, most of them were written ahead of the current market. More importantly, they did not address the situation for those of us already in retirement who were struggling to live on pensions, social security and much less money than we had hoped.

 I also read or re-read almost all of the "thrifty" books, from the Tightwad Gazette onward.  While many of these books had good tips, they were speaking primarily to young families with children. Again, much of the advice was not useful to empty nesters living on a couple thousand a month.  Some of the suggestions simply were unworkable for a retirement lifestyle, in terms of time, money or physical strength. Even the best of us do-it-yourself folks are not likely to buy a nineteenth century farm house and redo it from scratch, or "dumpster dive" (I say this as the original thrift scavenger).

Somewhere "out there", loads of retirees, empty nesters and baby boomers are living on small incomes. Some could use tips and ideas, and some need to hear that there are others out there in the same boat, doing okay.  I also think that there is a group of people preparing to retire having less than they think they need. These people need to know that if you don't have a million saved, you can still be okay. Most of us won't need to eat cat food or move to Costa Rica (although that doesn't sound like a bad idea).

These observations lead me to two things:  First, I'll continue this blog, widening the sphere a bit. The truth is, that everything I do, from travel to quilting to home improvements is affected by my income. I can write about my life and also be sharing how to live richly in retirement.  Second, a book is in the works.  Where it will be published I do not know. I don't know that anyone will buy if it reaches publication.  All I can do is start writing, and see where it leads me. Some of what I write will be original, some will be from this blog, and some content will be shared information from others in the same boat.  The book, like life in general, will be a work in progress for awhile!

Meanwhile I'll continue to blog about the ups, downs and challenges of my fixed income retirement.


  1. Barb, this is a much needed concept and you are 1000% correct that little is out there for those of us already in retirement with limited funds. I love your blog and all your good suggestions. Please know that your efforts are appreciated.

  2. I'm glad to hear that you will be continuing status pro with your blog. It is a nice feeling knowing that there are others out there that we can relate to. I agree with Julie. . .your efforts are appreciated.

    Lori S.

  3. I know I looked all over for something for my sister. She had been pretty independent when her husband died- at 52. There is nothing out there. I found lots on grief but not on how to live after.

    You offer lots of ideas for me as well...but I can see a target audience....

  4. I've been writing a blog on the non-financial ups and downs of women in retirement. Unpredictability everywhere it seems. I'd be happy to add you to my blog roll; maybe you'd like to do the same. Great reading ... Thanks for this.

    Sylvia. At www.forthefirstime.ca.

  5. I'll be following your progress as I head towards retirement in 2.5 years time. I plan to do it on much LESS than the average person. Successfully, I hope:)

  6. good for you...write that book...this has been one of my favorite blogs...i too retired/unemployed on about the same monies...we are as i tell everyone "living happy ever after"....for as long as we can...sure i do little jobs here and there but almost 60 and hung drywall for a living and few want a old drywall hanger....but best of all its good to see we are not alone...small pension and doing fine.....my wife was and is a stay at home worker/five childern and now 12 grand and i mean grand littleones....Ronaldj


Living With One Car in Retirement-Or Any Time

From 1987 until 1996, my husband and I were a one car family-with one and then two children. In 1997, we inherited a second car. Which ...