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Showing posts from July, 2017

Two Simple Quotes About Life To Ponder

Recently, I have been sorting through a few shelves of books in my office, deciding which ones to give away and which ones to re-read. While doing so, I stumbled across two quotes that prompted this post:


"Simplify the material side of our lives and enrich the nonmaterial side"
This is from well-known simplicity author, Duane Elgin. Over the years I have owned and enjoyed several of his books. Voluntary Simplicity was one of my first exposures to the topic of cutting back and reducing consumption. First published over 35 years ago, he has reissued this important work several times. Even after several re-reading of this book, I continue to find something to inspire me. This quote is a good example.

I haven't counted, but I would guess I have written at least 50 posts on the importance of focusing on the nonmaterial side of life during retirement. By the time we stop working, we have accumulated enough stuff to last for the rest of our life. Certainly, new clothes, a replacem…

Random Notes from my Desk

No particular topic or focus this time, just some loose ends to clear out off my desk. They aren't worth a full post, just a few paragraphs each:


*Britbox  This is a streaming service I became aware of after seeing an article in the New York Times. Betty and I enjoy many of the British shows that make their way to PBS, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. While humor from the U.K. often eludes us, British crime dramas are a very nice change of pace.

Since the police don't carry guns, crimes are solved more with intellect and old-fashioned sleuthing. There is much less violence, no explosions, and no on-screen shootouts. If a gun is used in a crime, these programs tend to show the victim after the detectives enter the story. The appeal of American shoot-em-up crime shows has worn quite thin.

Documentaries and lifestyle shows that feature the beautiful U.K. countryside are enjoyable, too. It is interesting to us that the hosts are not usually "Hollywood" beautiful. Rather, they are…

Do You Have a Smart Speaker? Why?

This topic seems like a logical one after my experience with computer cyberattacks. A smart speaker is one that allows you to ask a question, play a certain type of music, ask about the weather, or order a product without the effort involved in getting out of your chair. Talk to a smart speaker and it handles your needs. Amazon has its Dot and Echo while Google sells Home. Other companies offer similar products, either as a standalone product or hooked to a home security system.

A smart speaker is usually connected to your home wireless network. It has a speaker and a microphone. A "trigger" word, like the default, Alexa, for the Echo, causes the microphone to activate. After receiving a command, question, or other accepted action, that audio clip is sent to a server that executes your command, all in the blink of an eye. 

Third party apps can be programmed to turn on and off lights in your home, set your thermostat, lock or unlock doors, change the settings on your refrigerat…

Could I Live Without?

My recent computer hacking problems have forced me to think about what I could live without. and what would diminish my life's satisfaction. Some things are essential to me, some to my happiness and sense of satisfaction. Others are a part of of daily life but I could certainly function without them. This list is by no means complete, but it might be a thought starter for you, too.

It would be very difficult  or very unpleasant to live without:



My wife and family
Could I physically survive without them? Yes. Would it turn my world upside down and remove a large share of what I feel makes my life meaningful? Absolutely. If things ever begin to unravel I want to have those most dear to me by my side. 


Freedoms
If I had been born someplace other than The United States or another country in the developed world my sense of what constitutes key freedoms would probably be very different. But, being born to a middle class family in 1949 in America I have come to believe certain freedoms are a …

Learning to Fail

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by much of anything anymore. An article in the New York Times a few weeks ago detailed one of the hottest new presentations on college campuses: "How to Fail."  These seminars are designed to confront something that too many college freshmen have never faced: not being the best in the room.

Taking home a gold trophy for participation after a season of little league, never getting a grade lower than an A-, always having their wishes fulfilled, hovering helicopter parents protecting children from facing the reality of a world full of disappointment....these young adults don't know how to handle failure. Depression and dropout rates reflect the problems with a generation who spent life in a bubble.

Colleges have discovered that the problem is serious enough that these students need help in accepting less than perfection from themselves. They have to learn that a B or C isn't a mark of a loser. Not getting a class they want, or having a…

Retirement Blogs Worth a Look

A week or so ago I noted the reasons why I blog. That made me think of all the very good people who are writing and publishing and freely available on the Internet.

The ones I read on a regular basis are listed on the right sidebar. I encourage you to check them out if you haven't already done so. Every 8-9 months I update that roll call, adding some fresh ones, while removing those that no longer seem to be the best use of my time, or the blogger has stopped posting fresh content regularly.

I decided it was time to search for some fresh choices for both you and me. Here is a list that may help you discover some new blogs to add to your personal must-read list. Don't be surprised if some of these show up on my blog list, too. 


I have grouped them by category to make it a bit easier. I hope you find them worthy of your consideration.


Focus on Financial Issues
The Retirement Cafe

The Retirement Manifesto

The Squared Away Blog

Our Next Life

A Wealth of Common Sense

Focus on Lifestyle &…

You Have To Be A Little Crazy To Retire

Let's review.


Retirement means you:
1)  Stop getting a regular paycheck
2)  Give up employee health insurance
3)  Say goodbye to coworkers and companions
4)  Don't get paid when you take a vacation
5)  Have to fill an extra 8 hours a day on your own
6)  Must find ways to feel productive 
7)  Are your own financial safety net
Of course, all seven negatives can befall you without retirement being the cause.  Your company may downsize, be purchased by someone that loves automation, fails to please stockholders or owners, moves its factory to Mexico, or tries to sell a product the Internet has made obsolete.
Now, you are unemployed, which is like retirement, except you are under serious pressure to end your forced lack of work as soon as possible. You want to go back to work. You need to go back to work. You spend every waking (and sleepless moment) thinking about work. 
So, all a bit tongue in cheek, right? If these points were the sum total of retirement, you would have to be a little craz…

A Hacking Attack Triggers Some Changes

A few days ago I noticed a massive bump in the number of daily visitors to Satisfying Retirement. Six times the normal views showed up on the blog's stats page. For no discernible reason I was in the top tier of retirement bloggers. 

I figured a bunch of computers had clicked on the spot for some reason, one I didn't immediately figure out. The number of spam comments didn't increase dramatically. The comments came from the normal folks and regular blog readers. There hadn't been a huge spike in book sales. So, I assumed the traffic spike was just an odd occurrence.

Then, on Friday afternoon I learned differently: my computer had become loaded with malware, trojan programs, ransomware, and other not-so-nice software. My home wireless network had been overwhelmed with attacks, many of which got through. The computers began behaving erratically. The printers stopped printing. When I tried normal fixes for typical computer glitches the problems only became worse.

Finally, Be…

Why Do I Blog?

That is a good question. More than seven years after beginning all this, I'm don't have a simple answer. Certainly, it is satisfying to see something I have written on the Internet and pulled up during a Google search. Those small monthly checks from Amazon for selling a few books or getting clicks on the ads that flow down both sidebars is nice. They don't pay for more than some legal pads, printer ink, or downloaded photos. But, there is some validation there.

I guess there are a few parts to the answer of why I keep doing this. First is my need to write. A blog gives me a reason. I know myself well enough to know I don't have the patience or drive to write a novel or even a nonfiction book. A long time friend of mine has written two mystery novels, both of which I bought and enjoy. It has been a joy to watch his writing improve and his lifelong dream become fulfilled. It was hard, stressful work for him. That path is not for me.

Six to seven hundred words a few times …

7 Perks of Retirement: Small but Nice!

Every once in a while it is good to be a bit whimsical. Retirement isn't always serious and important. Here is a list of seven things that you can do when you stop working full time (there are more than seven, but you're busy, right?).


1) You can sleep late if you want to.  Just because I can doesn't mean I do. My warped sense of productivity screams that I've wasted half the day if I'm still in bed by 7 AM. Even on Saturdays when I really could laze around all morning I am up and on with the day by 6:30. But, the freedom to sleep later is still, in theory, available to me.

2) Going out to dinner earlier and getting the senior price. I used to joke about retired folks having dinner at 4 in the afternoon to get the blue plate special. Now that I am one of them, my wife and I do eat much earlier than we used to. We consider 5:30 PM to be late dining. If going to a restaurant, 4:30 PM is actually a good idea to avoid the lines and long waits. And, we always check the ba…