Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Have you simplified your lifestyle?

I'm passing this on for early retireees/or wannabe retirees who might be interested in being an interview subject for this article.


Reporter Looking For Boomers
Request For Interview Subjects
A journalist is looking for sources for an article about baby boomers who have simplified or downscaled their lives. The story is for Satisfaction, a new lifestyle magazine for baby boomers published by the Tribune Company. Previous Satisfaction feature stories have included joining the Peace Corps in middle age and building/remodeling homes to be environmentally sustainable. The magazine is online at satisfactionmag.com.

The reporter writes: "I'm looking for examples of people between the ages of 50 and 65 who haven't retired altogether, but who have made significant changes in their lifestyle to reduce their commitments, responsibilities, activities and/or material possessions. These changes could be colorful and dramatic -- becoming a lighthouse keeper or traveling the country in an RV, for example -- or more ordinary, such as selling a house in the city/suburbs and moving to a smaller home in a rural area. Anyone who's traded what are generally considered the 'normal' demands of work and life for a new place or new endeavor that entails less effort and attachments potentially could qualify. (I'm not, however, looking for people who have taken steps to reduce stress, possessions, time demands, etc. while maintaining existing careers and homes-although it's certainly commendable, and enviable.) While Satisfaction's print distribution currently is limited to the Chicago area, the sources for this story can be from anywhere in the country."

If you or someone you know fits this description and would be willing to be interviewed for this story, you can contact the writer, Kevin McKeough, via e-mail at djflwright@aol.com. Please include a brief synopsis of the changes you've made in your life, your age, and an e-mail address and/or phone number where he can reach you, and put "Simplify Your Life" in the subject heading.

from "SimpleLiving" online
http://www.simpleliving.net/main/custom.asp?recid=1#RR


__________________

__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-17-2006, 05:20 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

I'm trying to figure out if I WANT to simplify my lifestyle.* Frankly,* I really enjoy luxuries like wining and dining, living in an upscale community and being free to come and go as I please. All the luxuries of being an early retiree. On the other hand, I still want to save more, so I limit the spending quite a bit.* For example, I would really like a digital LCD TV, but bought a 24 inch Sony instead. Is that simplifying? LOL!

If anyone wants to comment on this topic, I'd welcome a thread.
__________________

__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-17-2006, 05:23 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

An LCD shouldn't be a budget buster, considering the other items you mentioned.
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-17-2006, 05:52 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,638
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
I'm trying to figure out if I WANT to simplify my lifestyle.
DW and I made our ER plans on the assumption that we would not simplify at all. We have enough fat in our lifestyle that it will be relatively easy to downscale if things take a bad turn (e.g. dump the weekend place). But then I worked until 56 and DW, currently 54, plans to work until 56. Plenty of others here ERd earlier and skipped a few of the luxuries. In retrospect, I might have choosen that as the better alternative.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 09:29 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
An LCD shouldn't be a budget buster, considering the other items you mentioned.
Not a budget buster but a question of priorities! My living environment is important to me right now, so is my social life, as I am single. So no LCD! Also, no LCD if I still want to pack away the savings.
Everyone has to prioritize expenditures, especially in the case of the little luxuries of our way of life, don't you think?
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 11:07 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

I'm simplifying my lifestyle by not talking to reporters.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 11:10 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 927
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
We have enough fat in our lifestyle that it will be relatively easy to downscale if things take a bad turn
Seeing the word "simplify" equated with "downscale" is causing me to wonder if they're the same thing.* A lot of people seem to think they are.

In my mind they are different.* Downscaling would involve reducing expenditures in order to live within my means now and later.* But SO and I are planning to Simplify for non-financial reasons.* Looking at all the things our parents have amassed over the years, seeing our own pile grow despite our best efforts -- having to CLEAN it all and move it around and store it...* having the many and varied costs of owning a bigger home to keep it near us (and the paperwork that's involved in all that)...* it's all looking like a waste of our limited time on this earth.

In the end, would I rather clean my spacious house, or clean my little RV or apartment AND go hiking?* Would I rather sit and watch tv, or go interview the WWII veterans at their retirement home?* Would I rather spend a week painting my own home, and cleaning the windowns and the gutters, or lock up the condo, grab a few groceries on the way out of town, drive to Death Valley and climb Telescope Peak?

We are struggling with these issues right now -- I'll be really interested to see what the folks who've already done this come up with.



__________________
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 12:07 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline

In the end, would I rather clean my spacious house, or clean my little RV or apartment AND go hiking?* Would I rather sit and watch tv, or go interview the WWII veterans at their retirement home?* Would I rather spend a week painting my own home, and cleaning the windowns and the gutters, or lock up the condo, grab a few groceries on the way out of town, drive to Death Valley and climb Telescope Peak?
Caroline, that is exactly the point!* Simplicity and downscaling are not necessarily the same, although I am trying to do a little of each.* I live in a townhome not a house. I get to live in a nice area but with no upkeep of the exterior, no lawn work. And it's very energy efficient. I live in a cold climate but my highest heating/electricity bill last winter was $65! That's simplicity and downscaling.* Also, I drive a Subaru Forester, all wheel drive, simple maintenance, drives forever, great mileage -- it's the downscale version of the SUV.

Also, clothing. Buy quality for items you wear forever, like hiking boots, warm coats,formal wear. Buy cheap for up to date clothing you wear casually from places like Old Navy, even Target for sports clothes or go to thrift stores if you have the time to shop frequently.

Another way to simplify and downsize is to buy used and then recycle. I belong to a "freecycle" list on yahoo. Give stuff away if you don't need it anymore!* Some people I know subscribe to the idea that if you bring in one material item, you get rid of one.* Reduces clutter.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 12:52 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
The reporter writes: "I'm looking for examples of people between the ages of 50 and 65 who haven't retired altogether, but who have made significant changes in their lifestyle to reduce their commitments, responsibilities, activities and/or material possessions. These changes could be colorful and dramatic -- becoming a lighthouse keeper or traveling the country in an RV, for example -- or more ordinary, such as selling a house in the city/suburbs and moving to a smaller home in a rural area. . .
I'm not sure how many people would be able to travel the country in an RV and still not be "retired altogether". There are jobs you could do on the road, but that would seem to be a pretty small group of people. Of course the group of people who moves to a lighthouse would be even smaller.

I am 52. I've quit my corporate life and become a part-time author and editor. So I might qualify on those counts, but I did not choose to write and edit in order to "reduce committments, responsibilities, activities or possessions". In fact, writing and editing increase those things over a full-time retirement lifestyle that I could choose. I'm just doing what I want to do having achieved financial independence.

__________________
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 01:04 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee


I'm not sure how many people would be able to travel the country in an RV and still not be "retired altogether".* There are jobs you could do on the road, but that would seem to be a pretty small group of people.* Of course the group of people who moves to a lighthouse would be even smaller.

We have met a number of people who fulltime rv, taking paying jobs in commercial campgrounds to support themselves or at least supplement their income. Recently we met a husband and wife who each left their prior jobs as a nurse and at Walmart to "Workkamp." They would work four to six months in a commercial campground fulltime. Then they would take a little time off and then pick up a new job in another commercial campground. I wouldn't call it ER, just a different lifestyle.

Some of the jobs they really enjoyed. Others were hard work for not a lot of money, such as digging in hardpan to lay plumbing and sewer lines.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 02:39 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,457
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

We simplified AFTER we retired. We deliberately got rid of many of our possessions for the express purpose of having less to take care of and maintain. This wasn't for the purpose of "downscaling" or lowering expenses, although the result was lower expenses. It was really to have significantly less clutter in our lives.

And yes - having just a small RV to clean is a godsend. It takes so little time to pick up things and clean our living space. Much more time available to sit outside and enjoy the lovely weather, or go off and have fun.

In addition, over the years I have simplified by drastically reducing the number of hobbies I pursue and thus their associated clutter. This is a biggie.

I found that work required a certain amount of "stuff" - two cars, certain clothes, etc. It can be hard to simplify when you are still working because of the extra stuff it requires. When we retired, it was amazing how much personal stuff I was able to get rid of. And going down to one car was another biggie!

Audrey
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 04:00 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,382
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
I live in a townhome not a house. I get to live in a nice area but with no upkeep of the exterior, no lawn work. And it's very energy efficient. I live in a cold climate but my highest heating/electricity bill last winter was $65! That's simplicity and downscaling.
Could you tell more about this? This sounds like a very important feature, especially for those of us who do not feel that the increase in energy prices is about to reverse.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 06:43 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Could you tell more about this? This sounds like a very important feature, especially for those of us who do not feel that the increase in energy prices is about to reverse.

Ha
I'm afraid there's no real technical secret here, although I live in a new development that was built "green", but I'm not sure that really means. High efficiency furnace and condenser.* Double pane windows.West facing townhome, 1200 sq ft, middle unit. I really think being in the middle of the four plex is the key, since I only have windows front and back. I have the advantage of insulation on either side.* By the way, my utliity bill this month is $50 and I did use the air conditioning regularly! Thermostat at 75 degrees in summer, 68 in winter.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-18-2006, 11:43 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: In the fog of San Francisco
Posts: 241
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
In addition, over the years I have simplified by drastically reducing the number of hobbies I pursue and thus their associated clutter.* This is a biggie.

Audrey
I've never understood how you just "stop" a hobby.* If it no longer interests you, then of course you can stop.* But if you still have a significant amount of interest in a hobby how do you turn off that part of your life?*

But then, hobbies have always found me.* It is the kind of thing where you look around one morning and realize you've been hobbied.* ** So I've also never understood people who just go out to look for a hobby to occupy themselves.

It is possible to scale back some of the trappings of a hobby that you still enjoy.* In my first year of retirement I've sold off 15 motorcycles and all the related bits to them.* But I've still got 12-15 left (depending on how I count) - what I've done is jettison the ones that are only mildly interesting but unlikely to move to the top of the project queue so I can make more progress on the ones I've kept.* The hobby doesn't occupy any smaller amount of time or interest, just somewhat less space.

If a hobby has you, "just stopping" would seem to be like saying "I'm really happy with my relationship with my partner, I love her dearly and couldn't ask for more, but I think I'm going to simplify my life and get rid of her".*

I'm not against a bit of judicious pruning of bits of lifestyle that are clearly now extraneous, but it would be nice to not have that simplifying process result in pruning the lifestyle down to a stump.

cheers,
Michael
__________________
Michael Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-19-2006, 09:15 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,457
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Michael
I've never understood how you just "stop" a hobby.* If it no longer interests you, then of course you can stop.* But if you still have a significant amount of interest in a hobby how do you turn off that part of your life?*
It's easy - when you realize that you are treating all hobbies equally even though they really are not.* As I "grew up", I realized that the time and energy I had to commit to hobbies was limited (especially with a demanding career), and I was just kidding myself.* Hobbies can be a tremendous source of clutter (not to mention expense).* Some will be much more interesting to you than others.* Recognizing that and prioritizing is key.* You "just stop" something when you realize that it's not as important as other things in your life, and the added complexity is detracting from other more important things.

I also got myself to stop the bad habit of randomly collecting new ones by requiring myself to wait a while (and really think about it and consider tradeoffs) before running out and investing in a new setup.* This made a huge difference.

It's funny - even now retired, my time is still limited.* There are just so many hours in a day.* Even in retirement I further streamlined my hobbies - quite aggressively.* Down to just two or 3 active ones with a couple or three more put away.

I have a very strong interest in art (particularly drawing), but I don't have time to actively pursue it right now, but I know it'll always be with me, so that stuff is carefully put away but accessible when I'm ready to resurrect it.* Same with the stowed flyfishing gear - I enjoy it tremendously, but right now hiking and bird watching trump fishing.

Even in retirement, I have found that two active hobbies is plenty, and three is pushing it.* (It also kind of depends on what you consider a hobby - I don't count cooking, reading, web surfing, or exercise as "hobbies" -* these are more or less daily maintenance or mindless relaxation activities).

Currently photography/web logging about our travels (with research of associated history), nature video, bird watching and study, are my main hobbies.* It still is so much on my plate that I can't do the photography/web stuff and edit video at the same time - I have to plan and serialize specific projects. I guess you could call our "travels" a hobby too since we devote significant time to exploring an area and hiking around/wildlife watching - but I tend to think of that as our "lifestyle" since we live in an RV specifically so that we can travel a lot.

There are many, many other things that I enjoy doing and am rather good at.* But they are not nearly as strong as the above interests, so I let them go and my quality of life really improved by getting rid of all the associated stuff/clutter.

Audrey
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-19-2006, 11:42 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Everything is relative and personal I guess......

We looked at switching to a townhome or condo and realized that, for us, that wouldn't be "simplifying" at all.* We had our current home custom built, all brick, single story, six rooms plus a full basement and attached two car garage.* Very basic and built like the proverbial fortress.
There is almost zero maintenance.* I do the things I still enjoy doing and contract out the rest as I see fit.* It's pretty simple.

When we looked at townhomes and condos, we saw issues with some of the HOA rules, having enough room for hobbies we enjoy and trusting that the HOA would keep things as pristine as we like them.* It didn't seem simple at all, so we're staying here.

I guess, for me, the important thing about FIRE, is being able to do it your own way!* *



__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-19-2006, 04:27 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

We are looking at simplification now too. We have 10 months before DW retires and we hit the road for extended travel. We are selling the cabin, the toys, and all the furniture that goes with it. The house we plan on keeping for a while longer since we both like where it is and especially the unique backyard and the convience to major highways and to recreational areas. We will eventually downsize but not for a few years.

In the meantime we plan on cleaning out closets to get rid of stuff we don't use or need. Then when we do downsize, it will be much easier to do.

We will also cut back to two cars as the truck was mostly for hauling stuff to the cabin and for hauling the toys around. No need for that soon.

We are also consolidating our various accounts into a few places and moving as much as possible to auto pay or CC payments.
__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-19-2006, 10:58 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Okanagan Valley
Posts: 805
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

We had the opportunity to downsize and de-clutter as a result of our sons leaving the nest and me taking an assignment in Texas. We got rid of over 50% of the stuff from our 2 storey executive house (via our sons and the mother of garage sales) and lived comfortably in a 2600 sq ft maintenance free patio home while in TX.

We downsized even further 3.5 yrs later when we retired in Calgary. Will have another garage sale next Spring to get rid of anything we don't value and use by then...including kitchen gadgets to clothes to books, etc, etc. Current home is pretty much maintenance free except for lawn care and winter snow removal. When we no longer want to do that, we will hire it out.
__________________
AltaRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-20-2006, 10:14 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,382
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaRed
Current home is pretty much maintenance free except for lawn care and winter snow removal. When we no longer want to do that, we will hire it out.
Please share the secret of this home! I day dream about a very low maintenance home that still can be owned in fee- what do you have?

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?
Old 09-20-2006, 11:04 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Re: Have you simplified your lifestyle?

Ha,

I know you asked Alta, but please allow a few comments from me.....

I had my home built about 30 years ago with a focus on low/easy maintenance.* It's worked out just fine so far.

Single story.* All brick except for the eves, gutters, downspouts and facia which are aluminum.* High quality storm windows and doors.* Awnings on the east and west sides.* Aluminum clad garage door with no-paint baked finish.* Simple landscaping that's easy to mow around and maintain.

As Alta said, other than lawn mowing and snow removal (which are routinely contracted out around here if you choose, no lack of reliable service providers), I have spent very little time messing around with the house.* We just come and go week after week, month after month, without any outside maintenance.

I guess there is one exception to that......* DW is a rosarian and has a bunch of rose beds on the south side of the house that she attends to regularly.* Hey, whatever floats her boat!*

*
__________________

__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Costs of a Perpetual Traveller Lifestyle? Hyperborea FIRE and Money 74 04-27-2008 11:40 PM
Web sites for the RVing Lifestyle audreyh1 Life after FIRE 5 01-30-2007 12:29 PM
Good Travel Site or Boards for the RE Travel Lifestyle???????????? dex Other topics 6 11-05-2006 12:43 AM
In search of a modest lifestyle RockMiner FIRE and Money 30 01-11-2005 06:29 AM
Moving to the Country...new lifestyle Sands Life after FIRE 0 11-21-2002 10:53 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.