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MIng 05-02-2008 09:58 AM

Sixty-three and reFiring!
I am a 63-yer old newly single mother with a 13 year old daughter. I live in NJ near NYC and am considering where I might live after my daughter goes to college in five years. I have a 4-season summer house in the upper upper upper peninsula of Mich., but with the long long long cold winters can't see being there full time, despite the very low cost of living.

Also I don't see ever retiring in the traditional sense of the phrase, but am doing what I call reFiring or being in reFirement. In other words, I have embarked on several new business ventures, that draw from my background and from my heart. I am a writer, teacher, program developer and consultant. Background in women's rights, civil rights, environment and arts. And China scholar. So just recently getting my head around how to make money. I never understood how other people did that and being of the artistic bent need time and space to creat. Now I have a better sense of how to join my need for money for myself and very importantly for my daughter's future AND create a channel for expressiveness.

Since neither venture is really dependent on a specific place, being mostly internet-based--the world is open! I speak French and Chinese (neither fluently) and am thinking about beginning Spanish.

So this is all a BIG hummmmmmmmmmmm...to me. :confused:

I am interested in understanding how folks who are early retired live. What do they do all day? What is a typical day--or is there one? Are there others out there who want to reFire? In other words, who have left or completed previous careers--kids are basically out of the nest, want to live somewhere (anywhere in the world) be comfortable, have diverse social life, but still want to create something, have a new/second/third/fourth career, start a small business, go back to school for that never completed or dreamed about degree or subject?

I began my PhD at 46 and started learning Chinese. Adopted at 50...What are others doing and how are you approaching this part of life?

Grateful for feedback,

Moemg 05-02-2008 11:34 AM

Welcome ! As you can see from this group we are all handling retirement differently . There is no one size fits all . I'm taking classes , going to a gym five days a week , helping with my elderly mother ,traveling and starting to remodel my house . I currently live in Sarasota ,Florida .

MIng 05-02-2008 04:33 PM

Is It Only Language?
Maybe I'm just hung up on the language! But "retirement" sounds like a withdrawal from the world and a disengagement. You certainly sound totally engaged! Is it that "retirement" is predicated on ample money? Or what...

Midpack 05-02-2008 05:42 PM

Definition Of Retirement Changes For Americans

Times Record

Retire (verb): 1) to withdraw, as for rest or seclusion 2) to move back or away; recede 3) to withdraw from one's occupation, business or office; stop working 4) to fall back or retreat, as from battle.

What is your personal definition or vision of retirement?

It may not square with any of the above definitions, but one thing is for sure, the definition is changing for most Americans. Baby boomers who make up almost one-third of the U.S. population are turning 50 at the rate of 10,000 a day. This demographical onslaught is just one factor that will continue to change the paradigm of retirement.

The June 14 issue of U.S. News & World Report defined the emerging vision of retirement as plainly as I have encountered in the following excerpt:

"Retirement as we know it, is dead," said Ken Dychtwald, president of the consulting firm Age Wave and author of many books on baby boomers and aging. "It's no longer an end, it's a turning point. A chance to take a break and then reinvent yourself. Retirement is morphing into a rich and enriching third act of work, education and leisure. It still takes a good deal of money and planning to pull it off. But, as the boomers are about to prove, there is much more to having a life later in life than that."

I like that definition so much that I am going to morph from retirement planning to "morph planning."

I had written in an earlier column in this very publication that "Retirement today should be about retiring TO something, not FROM something."

The new and changing paradigm of retirement or morphing mandates that we think of that stage of life as a turning point, an exciting destination, an opportunity to reinvent.

What do your retirement or morph years look like in your mind's eye?

Does your vision include an active lifestyle, staying close to family, volunteering, continuing to work? The possibilities to morph or reinvent ourselves are exciting but also challenging. Any worthwhile challenge requires advance planning.

Begin by dreaming, evaluating and investigating. Happy morphing!

TickTock 05-02-2008 06:52 PM

I think SteveR said it best:

"The concept of FIRE is really about doing what makes you happy and being able to chase your dreams without the millstone of a job around your neck."

Not necessarily withdrawal or disengagement at all.

Alan 05-03-2008 11:05 AM


Originally Posted by TickTock (Post 652182)
I think SteveR said it best:

"The concept of FIRE is really about doing what makes you happy and being able to chase your dreams without the millstone of a job around your neck."

Not necessarily withdrawal or disengagement at all.

Excellent definition.

Zoocat 05-03-2008 05:59 PM

"Retirement" is, I think, undergoing quite a transformation. Not many people I know want to hang it up and watch TV and play golf and bridge like my 85 yr old dad, although he is happy enough. The younger retirees I know are still engaged in what interests them. Volunteer work, part time "careers", traveling, spending time with family, etc etc etc.

Also, I feel compelled to add that some of us are "retired" because we were downsized, developed health conditions, or were not able to get hired in our field of work any longer because of ageism. Retirement is not always a choice.

I value this site for helping me figure out how to maximize my resources and for the fine minds here who are willing to analyze and help with a wide variety of predicaments.


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