Radical Retirement for the Kids

Retire early and fly away

Last time we saw Christy Shen and her husband, Bryce, living one version of a radical retirement: they retired in 2014 (Christy was 31 years old) after only a few years of work. Each year while working they saved more than half of their earnings. Can anyone do that, or were they just lucky to invest when returns were high? Continue reading

Christy Shen Retired at 31: Is She Crazy?

Christy and her husband, Bryce, retired in 2014 at age 31; they had about $1.16 million saved, which includes about 4 years of living expenses ($160 thousand–my estimate). Can two people make the money last in Toronto, Canada, where they live? What if they have kids? Continue reading

Later Living Will Bloom Again

Redbuds and forsythia at sunrise signaling a new season

Redbuds and forsythia at sunrise signaling a new season

A Short History of Later Living

I’ve neglected this blog for some months, but I’m now ready to revive it.

Back in late 2011 when I started, two motives dominated. First, I wanted to see if I could write a weekly post or column (it’s not easy). Second, I wanted to figure out retirement for myself (how should I live in retirement?). Continue reading

Nature Is a State of Mind

Wide open landscapes in the West

Wide open landscapes in the West

In 2003, a year after I retired but when my wife was still working, I took Anna, our dog, and headed west to see some of the country I’d visited in times past. Anna and I camped most of the time, and one particular night I remember finding a small Bureau of Land Management campground on Antelope Reservoir in eastern Oregon. We could see a long way across the reservoir and surrounding desert landscape. I remember preparing dinner while Anna, sitting at the edge of the campsite, watched the landscape for signs of life. Continue reading

Witnessing Fall Color

In Athens, Georgia, fall color is nearing its end. It typically peaks in late October or early November. Today, in mid-November, the large landscapes of color are gone. We’re left with some colorful trees, maybe particular branches or individual leaves. It is a good time to experience retirement and walk around the yard and woods with an eye for small beauty.

Continue reading

Small Health Skirmishes Hint at Bigger Contests Ahead


Retired people can read for days in a row if they set their minds to it. An old friend in his eighties clued me into that. He would turn off his phone and TV and read for a week.

My habit has been to read when I’m almost sick. At the first hint of illness I give up, turn on some music, pick up a book and sit near a back window where I can read and occasionally lift an eye to see outside. 

When I worked as a professor I got sick often. Germs thrive in the open petri-dish-environments of college campuses. In retirement, without all that mingling, I seldom get viruses. But something else is taking shape.  Continue reading

Retirement with a New TV


“Barbara, c’mon, hurry up, I’m starting Longmire,” I said, settling into my chair. It was about 3:10 p.m. and we recorded Longmire the previous evening.

“I’m coming, just wait a minute,” she said. 

Soon we were both settled in front of the TV watching an episode that we recorded the evening before. Walt Longmire is an older sheriff who struggles against evil in Wyoming’s backcountry.

We watch TV on our schedule now, and we fast-forward through the commercials. 

It’s great! Continue reading