I love the name of this blog , A Mile at a Time. Originally it referred to our travels which are slow and rambling. We’ve time to look, observe and ask questions. No more rushing to be back at work in two weeks. We’re retired!
Turns out the same idea applies to life off the road. We have much more time to explore new skills and new ideas. Sometimes there are detours along the way and that’s ok.
We have time and we can use it or waste it as we wish.
RETIREMENT IS A GOOD TIME TO LEARN NEW THINGS
In the past 1-1/2 years I have learned two blogging platforms (Blogger and WordPress) and written 92 posts. I’ve studied how to use my camera phone to more advantage and have researched birds, tortoises, turtles and rocks. I’ve observed natural phenomena in eight states and in my own backyard. I’ve also decided to tackle Search Engine Optimization and Algorithms to see if there are more people out there that want to read what I want to write.
There isn’t enough time in the day to learn about everything I’m curious about. It helps that Keith knows a lot about a lot of things that I don’t know. (His narration of our tour of the Antietem Battlefield was amazing. We didn’t even miss the museum that was closed due to Covid.)
I suppose I know a few things too. It’s like having two hard drives on hand. Each with different files for storage.
STAYING HEALTHY TAKES A BIG CHUNK OF TIME
Walking, exercising, and channeling good health takes a lot of time. I average 9,000 to 12,000 steps a day which translates into 4 to 5 miles. According to The New York Times this is excessive. Current thinking is 7,000 steps is all you need to do to get the health benefits of walking. It just doesn’t seem like enough for me.
I also do gentle yoga videos for 30 minutes three times a week.
I’d like to learn more about functional exercise. This exercise focuses on strengthening the body in preparation for everyday tasks. It includes exercises that use multiple muscle groups and pays particular attention to the core muscles deep in the upper and lower stomach. Bye bye to trying to get six pack abs under my Spanx. Hello a supported spine and back.
TRAVEL TIME IS PRECIOUS. SO IS TIME WITH FAMILY.
Travel has become a big part of our retirement life. Last year we spent 3-1/2 months going to North Dakota, South Dakota and Arkansas (and states in between.) This year we saw a lot of north Florida and south Georgia. We have another 3-1/2 month trip to Utah, Arizona and New Mexico planned for late summer /fall 2022.
Just as important is time dedicated to family. Whether it’s grandchildren or aging parents, many of us in the early years of retirement have to set aside a lot of time and energy for family.
Honestly it sometimes feels like an obligation. But many of our parents are living to well over 90. Based on my small sample of friends and family a lot of time is also being spent helping adult children with childcare.
My hat particularly goes off to retirees who are full-time caregivers for parents or grandchildren. You deserve more than kudos. You deserve a presidential letter of thanks.
THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RETIREMENT IS FINANCIAL
All of us retirees are trying to figure out the best way to live without a paycheck.
I was a PR person not a financial planner. I would not presume to advise someone on what to do if they have or don’t have an IRA.
What I would go out on a limb on is the need to face up to your financial situation as early as possible so that you have time to do something about it.
Finances are easy to procrastinate on. They are painful, time consuming and often associated with bad news. And there is no time to dilly dally. Figure out where you are financially, talk to people who know something, research your options and develop a plan for moving forward.
Right now we are heading into a trifecta of bad news for retirees: Inflation, rising interest rates, and a turbulent stock market. It is enough to make even the strongest stomach turn inside out.
My dramamine in this situation is having a plan that is flexible and doable in any but the most catastrophic situation. If it is truly catastrophic (example: the Ukraine) everyone is in the same boat and we have no choice but think on our feet and do the best we can.
In the meantime, I have my little plan written on the back of a napkin. I’m testing it with people who know things. And crossing my fingers that I won’t need it.
Sometimes I wonder why I am so busy and I am not even working. Where is my time going?
Now I know what retirement is about for me: Learning new things; Paying attention to family; and Watching finances carefully and with an eye on the future.
Oh. And doing Wordle. Somehow I am squeezing that in too.
If you are retired, what do you spend time on? What have you learned since you retired? Are you a planner or are you more “come what may”? How is that going for you? Do you think 10,000 steps a day is nuts? Do you think Wordle has gotten harder since The New York Times bought it?