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

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

Images of the High Plains: a Forgotten Part of America

Ranch in eastern Wyoming

Ranch in eastern Wyoming

The West of American myths is the High Plains. The early explorers and settlers had to cross it on their way to better-known destinations. Many tried to settle there and failed. The bison massacre occurred largely on the High Plains, and Indian wars spanned decades in the 1800s. Continue reading

Hooking Up: A True Tale about Ed and Emily

Surrogates for Ed and Emily; a young couple at Niagara Falls in Jan. 2010.

Surrogates for Ed and Emily; a young couple at Niagara Falls in Jan. 2010.

About a week ago I went to breakfast at a local restaurant and was seated near a group of six young women. They were enjoying themselves: laughing and trading racy stories. 

They worked together and talked about that—and about “hooking up.” The hook up culture is new to me, so I decided to listen. Never too old to learn, I thought. I settled into my booth, ordered pancakes and tuned my left ear to the women. Continue reading

Later Living Encores: Ola’s Quilt Shop


When retirees get to their middle 80s, most don’t want to or can’t stay physically active. Instead they relax, take up hobbies or devote full-time to television. Their conversations often concern their health problems. But there are exceptions, like Ms. Ola Coombs.

Ola had always wanted to have her own quilt shop and she got her chance at age 79. Ola’s Quilt Shop in Lavonia, Georgia opened in May, 2006. This year Ola will turn 87. Continue reading

Who Are You?

Retirement DSC00977

Sunset on Lake Champlain

Who reads these posts? What’s going on here?

This blog is now two years old and we might take stock of our efforts. Two years ago I expected most readers would be retired. Now it’s clear that many readers are not even close to retirement but instead work serving a senior population.

Continue reading

Frank’s Key to Retirement: a story


“I cut my own firewood,” said Frank. “Helen likes a fire in the winter. Of course it’s messy, what with the dirt on the wood and then the ashes, but she likes a fire. And truth be told, I like to cut and split the wood.”

It was a bright cold day, and I had stopped by Frank’s place to plan some deer hunting. We were out back of his house at his log pile, in the middle of his 4-acre woodlot.

Continue reading

Tough Times for Our Working Children

Some work is dangerous and hard

Some work is dangerous and hard

Many retirees are having a ball. They receive pensions and Social Security, own their homes, live in the moment, indulge hobbies, travel, and worry only a little about the future. Of course there are some who are struggling, some still working, but on the whole, seniors are doing better than at any time in modern history.

On the other hand, our working children are facing hard times, even though many don’t fully appreciate it.

Continue reading

It’s Your Turn—Volunteering Is Easy, Fun and Important

Learning some new procedures from a young staff member at Meals on Wheels

For retirees volunteering usually beats work. Volunteers are not usually competing against co-workers, are not facing pressure to make economical use of time, are not usually micro-managed or given impossible deadlines and are not ordinarily forced to accommodate oversized workplace egos. Instead, volunteers can focus on the work experience itself. Continue reading