Wednesday, May 17, 2006


As we have gone into our early retirement and even for our daily living, we are always looking for systems, processes, steps if you will. It seems easier to think through what your own plan will look like if there are a list of steps to use as a guide. So when we started this blog on retirement, we decided that in our research for interesting articles, we would always be on the lookout for steps or guides to help those of you ready to take on that same adventure.

Seven Steps for Creating a Satisfying Retirement
from Gary Billings, Ph.D.
by Gary Billings, Ph.D., Guest Author

According to the AARP there are 76 million baby boomers who are beginning to retire in droves. In fact one boomer reaches age fifty every 7.5 seconds! Most will retire within five years. Because boomers are chronologically, physically and psychologically younger than their parents were when they retired retirement will be very different for them. So, if you are a boomer here are seven suggestions for making retirement more satisfying.

§ Think of your retirement as an opportunity to transition from first adulthood to second adulthood something akin to moving from infancy to adolescence. In this way your retirement can be properly seen as an opportunity for growth, learning, and discovery.

§ Listen to your inner voice when it begins asking, "Who am I?" "How do I use my talents? and "What do I really believe?" These questions offer an opportunity to live unfulfilled dreams and use hidden talents-- something that is often illusive during First Adulthood.

§ Allow yourself to dream about all the things you'd like to do, to have and to be. Perhaps it's buying a vacation house, or taking piano lessons or starting a new business. A well-known person reluctantly thrust into Second Adulthood and anxious and depressed dreamed about opening a fried chicken restaurant using a recipe that had been in the family for years. Colonel Sanders and his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise are now part of popular lore about the power of dreams.

§ Evaluate your situation remembering your life is made up of many different parts-- career, finances, family, social relationships, health, intellectual development, values and beliefs. One of the goals of Second Adulthood is to create a more balanced life by placing equal emphasis on each area. So assess each one. List your strengths and areas in which you'd like to improve. Be sure to identify your achievements. You'll find you've accomplished a lot more than you think. This gives you an opportunity to build on existing strengths.

§ Develop goals and priorities in each area of your life to help organize your time and energies. Goals create action and its action that gets results. One of the reason people often flounder during the initial phases of Second Adulthood is they don't have specific, measurable goals. Time becomes something to fill in, not something that bring them closer to their hopes and dreams.

§ Organize your time and get a day planner because after a life of hard work and stress it is easy to lapse into doing things are fanciful at a given moment. When we do this for too long we fritter away the day doing things that take us away from achieving our goals. As someone once said, life is what goes on while we're doing other things.

§ Eliminate negative self-talk because it works against a successful transition into Second Adulthood. The challenge is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones that help us achieve our goals. For each goal you've developed; identify negative attitudes that get in the way. For, example, if one of your goals is to find a part-time job doing something that is completely different and you find yourself thinking "No one is going to hire me at my age," or " I am too experienced for the job". Or, you've decided to buy a vacation home and you find yourself thinking, "It'll cost too much", or " I'll never find one in my price range." Once you've identified negative, self-limiting thoughts, develop positive ones to replace them. Just as you developed negative thoughts, you can just as easily re-program your mind to develop positive ones.

The transition from First Adulthood to Second Adulthood is often a jarring and unsettling experience. One doesn't move seamlessly and painlessly from one stage to the other. There will be periods of uncertainty, anxiety, even fear. These reactions are normal. Making the transition often involves going up a lot of different paths until finding the right one.
If you find yourself losing sleep over leaving your First Adulthood, give yourself a break and remember what Henry David Thoreau said:"If one advances confidentially in the direction of their dreams and endeavors to live their life which they imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hour."
So, if you are losing sleep, get out of bed and listen to your inner voice, allow yourself to dream about what you want to do in your Second Adulthood, assess important areas of your life, set your priorities and your goals, organize your time, and stop the negative self-talk. If you do this with confidence and purpose, as Thoreau implied, you can't fail.

~ Gary Billings is a Personal Coach. He is an expert in adult development. Much of his work centers on helping people make life transitions that enable them to do more and be more. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where he earned a Ph.D. in Education.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


We have found the internet to be a valuable resource with retirement planning; especially if you are someone who wishes to be in control of your own destiny and plan. Whether you are looking for financial calculators, advice, information or new ideas; you can find almost everything you will need for your research on the internet. We shall be sharing many resources that we have found to be quite helpful in our own planning and in working with others. One of the first resources would be to visit the Social Security website and first find out what you can expect from your social security benefit at different ages of retirement. This is a great core place to start that planning.

Internet age helps you with retirement planning

By CINDY G. MCCUBBINS Social Security District Manager

Remember the old saying that "time is money?" It has gained a new meaning in the Internet Age, where just a few hours on your computer could help put you on the path to a more financially comfortable retirement.

Recent reports show that among Americans who are beginning to plan for their retirement years, people who rely on financial planning tools, such as retirement calculators, usually end up better off financially than those who do not take advantage of these tools.

Of course, the best place to begin any retirement calculation is by knowing what you may expect to receive from Social Security ... and how much more you will need to enjoy a long and comfortable retirement. Each year, every worker age 25 and older is mailed a Social Security Statement. Read it carefully because it is a roadmap to your personal financial future. It shows how much you and your family can expect to receive from Social Security when you retire, or if you become disabled or die.

In addition, you should also visit Social Security's financial planning website at You can use the calculators there to test different retirement ages or different scenarios for future earnings amounts. And you can link to a non-Social Security worksheet that will help you decide how much you need to save and invest for a comfortable retirement. Most financial advisors say you will need about 70 percent of your pre-retirement earnings to maintain your pre-retirement standard of living comfortably. Under current law, if you have average earnings, your Social Security retirement benefits will replace only about 40 percent, so you will need to supplement your benefits with a pension, savings or investments.

So remember: when planning for your financial future, make use of the financial planning tools that are now available to almost all Americans on the Internet. And one of the best places to begin is at

Monday, May 01, 2006


Not only do we need to get financially fit as we plan for our retirement; we must make sure that we are mentally and physically fit as well. We all have been reminded throughout our lives about the importance of maintaining a healthy attitude and the value of getting at least moderate exercise; but the key is to remember those words and act on them; even when we don't really want to. I know, personally, that I shall never accomplish some of the feats in the following article; but I know that I can do a lot more than I am. So I shall.

How Fast One Ages is Determined by This Single Trait

(PRWEB) April 11, 2006 -- Those who look, feel, and function as if they are thirty years old, when they are actually in their fifties, have it. Those 50-year-olds who more closely resemble those in their seventies, don’t. Men and women who display youthful qualities that belie their years think differently.

That’s the finding of author, Ed Mayhew, “Fitter For Life: The Secrets of 25 Masters of Fitness” ( Mayhew concluded this after studying dozens of top master athletes, men and women ages 40 to 93 who, defying Father Time, successfully compete with athletes who are decades younger. Mayhew says, “These successful agers are invigorated by thinking about what they want to have and to do – the next big challenge, adventure, race or game, while those on a fast track to old age think more about what they don’t want, what they are trying to avoid.”According to Mayhew, “These faster agers, dominated by the specter of age-related decline, try to ‘push away’ or evade dreaded conditions, thus keeping these things ever present in their consciousness and bringing on themselves a long-term, low-grade stress. This ongoing stress interferes with the body’s natural repair and regeneration of cells.”

Here’s the difference between focusing upon what one wants and what one doesn’t want:

• While some lament that they are too old to do what they used to enjoy, speed skaters Boris Leikin and Bruce Conner qualified for and competed in the 2006 US Speedskating Olympic Trials. At the ages of 53 and 49 respectively, they were enjoying competing with skaters half their age.
• While it is not uncommon for people to think that their time has come and gone, Tamara Savage, a health care administrator in Flint, Michigan decided to quit her decades-long smoking habit at age 48 and to get “fit by 50.” Topping off at 233 pounds, she got her act together and proceeded to lose 105 pounds. She then celebrated her 52nd birthday by running a 100-mile race in a time of 29 hours, 30 minutes.
• While many settle for reminiscing (“In my day I was…”), California’s Laura Val, a world-ranked swimmer in her youth, was setting more than 160 national and world age-group records and swimming lifetime-bests in her forties and fifties.Val says, “…anyone, regardless of their age or circumstances, can become healthier and happier and can slow the aging process by simply becoming more active…It is simply a matter of the right attitude, and with the right attitude, anyone can do it.”

To learn more about how the Masters of Fitness slow the aging process and even reverse aging for a period of years and the role of the mind in this process, contact Ed Mayhew