It is never too early to start planning for retirement. You need a map with a least the compass points and one destination. Use the compass as the starting point to decide what it’s going to take to get from your old life to the rest of your life. What do you want to do when you retire, in both the short- and long-term.  You can’t sit at home and become a couch potato—you might as well continue working.

Not that you have to plot a fixed course, sometimes the unknown back roads are worth the detour. Just as important, you need to calculate whether you will be able to afford to live after retirement. For some, it could mean staying put and finding a part-time job or developing portable skills. For others, it could mean volunteering or gardening or starting a business. Yet for others, it could mean retiring to an island in the South Seas. But even then, you still have to get there.

I am luckier that some. I will have a federal pension (under the new system) and social security. I have also saved and invested in a 401(k) plan. But, I have a mortgage and live in a high cost area—and I want to travel. My retirement income sources can’t come anywhere near matching my current earnings so I want to develop skills I can market on a freelance basis.

My long-term goal is to combine my interests in writing, photography, art, and travel into a secondary source of income. My near term goal is to teach myself WordPress and develop some skills in web design. This blog is the first building block in my strategy.

Resources on retirement planning are available, both in print and virtual formats. Check out the links to programs and information to help you map your retirement options. A link to an entity, resource or product does not imply an endorsement.

Click on the Connect and Plan categories for related links and posts.


I found your blog by chance through the one word photo. I’m retiring in 5 years, and I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately. I’m already planning, too! I’m looking forward to having more time for my family and my hobbies, especially reading, writing, and spending time with my grandchildren. Looking forward to reading your posts!


Hello, Marie. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I can see you are at the cusp of something very very exciting. I’m a few years behind you and honestly,your blog has given me pause. I have not really given the prospect of retiring much thought, yet. Now that you have framed yours this way in your blog, I should think about these matters, and doing it early is better than having these things just flop on our laps, huh! I hear you with regards travel and adventure. We need to go to these places while we’re still able to enjoy them. I’ll be reading up on what you’re up to, for sure. Maybe I’ll even live vicariously through your stories!


Mary-Ann, thanks for the thoughts. A couple of years ago, when I first seriously thought about retirement, one of my sisters asked me what I was going to do with the rest of my life if I retired. And I took that question seriously because I know myself pretty well. I want to make sure I live the second phase of my life, not just drift through it. In August, I am taking myself to Namibia to celebrate my retirement and turning the big 60. I can’t wait.

BTW, I enjoyed your posts on Jimmy Carter. Would that all politicians would dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others.



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