While I have been delivering most of the stuff I own to the dump and Goodwill, I have also been thinking about my recent travels and dance classes – alone and particularly with Susan. This has reminded me of a simple principle of sustained happiness: experiences rate higher than things. This is not an idea that I made up. There is lots of science to support it. Although I am not yet retired, I suspect that the “experiences over things” equation applies as well to retirement life.
Although I have been slow posting in recent months (now being remedied), I have continued to track my net worth as I move ever closer to retirement. (I say “ever closer” despite not having selected a retirement target date.) I have also made some recent changes in my investments with others planned in the coming weeks. The objectives for these changes are to a (a) increase certainty of income in future years and (b) simplify. I will write more about these changes next week.
I have been writing about my continuing downsizing efforts. It’s all come down to this: My house is being listed on MLS today and is officially on the market. My Realtor put a “coming soon” sign in the front yard last weekend. Following that, and before it was listed today, she showed the house five times to different buyers. One seemed very interested but no offer so now the house is open to all lookers. I just received my first text message requesting a showing this afternoon. (Scheduling is automated now.)
Recently I saw the movie “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” I was anxious to see this movie because it was a sequel to one of my all time favorites, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. All baby boomers should put this on their movie watch lists. I continue to identify with the concerns, feelings and joys experienced by the characters in the movie.
A lot has happened since my last post. I have so much to write about but for now, a summary. [Read more…]
I haven’t posted here since early October, when I wrote about my very rewarding trip to Italy. The effects of that trip continue to ripple through my life in a variety of ways, all of them good. I honestly don’t know where to begin in explaining them and I certainly can’t cover all of it in a single post. I am determined to become more regular in my writing here. I enjoy it so there is no reason for me to go silent for such a long period.
Did I tell you I have been attending dance classes? Yep, that’s one of the new things in my life triggered by my trip.
On October 3 I returned to the U.S. from my trip to Italy – my first vacation as a single baby boomer traveling with people that I did not know.
I am still smiling inside. The trip was better than I could have imagined. I am still missing Italy and the people I traveled with. Going to work has become somewhat more difficult.
Where do I begin trying to explain this? [Read more…]
Tomorrow I leave for Italy. I will be gone for 18 days. The first 15 days are vacation. The final three days are visits with business contacts and clients in Florence, Milan, and Zurich. This trip is a new adventure for me in several different ways. I am excited and nervous at the same time.
I recently wrote about my intention to move some of my retirement nest egg into a defined maturity bond fund. I thought this initial investment would be inside by 401k plan. Instead, I used cash that had been sitting in my taxable retirement investment account after I sold my gold ETF holdings earlier this year.
This weekend I had nothing planned with friends or family. Going to the lake was not an option because the AC there is awaiting repairs. Thus, I had to come up with some activities to fill my day so that I would not end up a couch potato in front of the TV. It was sort of like another small test run of being retired as a single guy. So, late Friday afternoon I decided to go people watching. As a retiree I will have plenty of opportunities to do that, won’t I?
Regular readers know that I have been managing my retirement investments with an increasingly risk-averse attitude, particularly as applied to my equity allocations. On the other hand, I think I need to be more strategic in managing my fixed-income investments. My concern arises from the anticipated increase in interest rates that will probably kick-in sometime next year. After some study, I am considering moving some of my retirement nest egg into one or more defined maturity bond funds or ETFs. If you have never heard of these, join the club. I knew nothing about them until last month.