Well golly, we had a couple of bad retirement surprises this week. One was that a father of some of the kid’s high school classmates passed away at a young age, only 66. The other, less bad, was finding out that a relative would need surgery at a much younger age that we thought.
If you’ve followed No Surprises Retirement for a while, you know that we focus on avoiding bad retirement surprises. No one can avoid every bad surprise (but you should be trying!), so remember to enjoy some carp time. Carp time would be fishing for those who enjoy it, but others can carpe diem (seize the day) and enjoy their favorite activities.
There is a balance
One could completely abandon planning and work and instead seize enjoyment until the money runs out, then live like a pauper. On the other hand, one could work like a dog, scrimp and save, plan, buy annuities, wait until FRA or 70 ½ for Social Security and then not live to enjoy it. There is a happy median of enjoying what you have while judiciously planning for the future.
Savor what you have
Those of us who are not retired usually have to go to work. Since it’s a requirement, what are you doing to savor and enjoy it? Without going all Zen on you, I can tell you that in my job, I look for the good parts to savor in several areas:
-colleagues – their banter, their admirable traits which include technical skill and adaptability, their quirks which can be irritating and endearing at the same time
-customers – their ability to collaborate, their humor, their gratitude when we deliver for them
-routine – the gift of routine which provides a sense of stability
-change – the excitement of something new, like a new project (admittedly, not all changes have been fun over the past thirty some odd years…)
-coffee – our cafeteria makes a perfect Starbucks Pike Place and I REALLY savor that with half and half daily.
If you’re already retired, you likely have established some routine that meets your needs and, hopefully, provides opportunity for savoring.
I’d like to hear from you in the comments or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org on what you do to ‘carp time’ (or carpe diem) in your usual life.
A reader wrote in!
A couple of weeks ago a reader wrote in and shared Barry Ritholz’ ‘Retirement Pyramid 2.0’. Thanks, reader, for sharing. Barry’s pyramid focuses a little differently than mine, more toward financial behaviors, but it is excellent and I recommend that you click on the link and review it. Barry and his team usually give very sound advice – I follow a number of them on the Twitter.
Funtirement is my daughter’s name for when I take a Friday off for my own three-day weekend. This week, the three days of Funtirement found us waking up about the same time as a work day, enjoying lunch at a British pub style restaurant, and cleaning up some paper work at home. We also got our license plates updated, watched two episodes of Live PD, and had a pizza from the pizza place in the old neighborhood. I read the latest issue of The Economist, economically sourced from my local library, an article on Faroe Islands food in The New Yorker, also from the library, and a retirement study from Aegon. (The Faroe article used the words ‘rank’ and ‘fermented lamb tallow’ in relation to the food – not going there
soon ever.) Finally, we enjoyed a Father’s Day ice cream sundae gathering at my daughter and son-in-law’s house. All the kids and wonderful grandchildren were there.
Next week’s Funtirement will be scientific! I’ll be headed over to the clinic for some routine maintenance. For those of you old enough to remember, it will be a replay of Fantastic Voyage…
Actions you can take include:
-Pause, reflect, and see what you can find to savor in life.
And if you have not seen the “Why you should read this blog…WIIFY” post, it’s here.
Questions, comments, or suggestions for retirement surprise areas you want to know more about?
-Leave a comment
-Use ‘Contact’, above, to send an email.