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Is Multi-Generational Living for You? – Ep 234

Multi-generational livingAre you living in a multi-generational household or considering having your parents move in? Do you take care of aging parents as well as your own children? Do you know someone who is having challenges with caring for their parents? If any of these situations are yours, then this series is for you.

If you’re asked to picture a typical American home, you’ll probably imagine a single-family dwelling holding a mom, dad, kids and maybe a family pet. That picture isn’t as typical as it once was. Today’s family home may also house grandparents or a young adult or two. Multi-generational living is a term used to describe households in which there are at least two adult generations in residence. Two types of multi-generational living are becoming more common in recent years; two-generation households, where adult children live with parents, and three-generation homes, where there are adult children, parents, and grandparents living under the same roof.

Challenges in Parenting

Having parents around has some advantages, like being able to be a backstop for any kind of child care. A lot of young parents go through this challenge when they first become parents on what to do with childcare you know one of the spouses stays home and one of them calls part-time. Can they do remote work opportunities, or can they make it work if your work is close enough?

Where they can have an in-house nanny? There's a lot of just different challenges when talking to peers. One of the first to talk about is how are you handling child care. Have you found a nanny or have you found good child care, a daycare in your location? For Tae, thankfully having his parents there has allowed them to continue full force on their career. Thankfully, on the days that both of them have to leave the house, his parents are able to help out with that. It's amazing just having that support.

Save Up as Much Money as You Can

You want to be just as financially prepared as possible, especially when it’s your peak earning years. To be able to just kind of get our head down, work as much as you can because you know there could be a time and hopefully not ten years down the line if one of you really needs to be home to spend more time with one of your parents. That could be a possibility, and for Tae’s family, they don't want finances to become a burden.

A lot of people in my generation, the baby boomers or Gen Xers, even though we can financially afford to retire we would feel that something was missing in our lives if we weren't working and that's what a lot this show is about. It started because I've been trying to retire on my own, trying to let go of work, and that's why we're here. But it is good to listen to the other generation’s point of view as well and I think as long as you and your parents and your wife are all communicating so that when your parents don't want to work for a week or whatever you know because when you're older, you don't have as much energy to run after a five and six.

In a Multi-Generational Household we Should Have a Time for Ourselves and a Time for the FamilyMulti-generational living

Tae said it is very important just for his parents to have their alone time with their friends or just the 2 of them. For his wife and kids, they also have their own family time. They try to go to get away for the weekend, just the 4 of them. Thankfully, just as his parents are independent they're okay with them saying, “Hey we're going to go away for the weekend” and they're totally fine with that they're like, great the house is going to be quiet for the weekends. Once in a while, they go together on family trips.

Every family and situation is different and living in a multi-generational home will work very well for some and be quite difficult for others. As population centers become crowded and new construction continues to fall short of demand, multi-generational living will become even more economical in the future.

About Our Co-Host

Tae is the blogger behind Financial Tortoise. He writes about navigating the intersection between personal finance and being a sandwich generation. Tae and his wife cohabitate with his aging parents while raising their own children and building their careers.

Mentioned in This Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
Pros and Cons of Multi-Generational Living
RockYouRetirement.com/support

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

Challenges for the Sandwich Generation -Ep 233

Challenges for the Sandwich GenerationAre you living in a multigenerational household or are you considering having your parents move in? Do you take care of aging parents as well as your own children?

Do you know someone who is having challenges with caring for their parents? If any of these situations are yours, then this series is for you.

In other countries, the sandwich generation is a cultural thing, and it has been passed on from generation to generation. Therefore, it’s a given. But is it necessarily a bad thing? There is nothing wrong with caring for family members.

In last week’s episode, we spoke about what the sandwich generation is and what issues you may face if you are taking care of both your parents and your own children. Today, we’re talking about six lessons for the Sandwich Generation. Now Tae and I didn't get through all six of the lessons in our conversation but they are all listed below

Get to Know Everybody’s Finances

Growing up as an immigrant family, Tae’s parents didn't know anything about retirement savings, and money wasn't discussed in his household. Tae said when his parents moved in they didn't have a formal sit down but he does have a sense of his parent's financial situation. His father has a small business where he generates a little money from that, but both of his parent's main source of income is Social Security.  He also knew that whatever money that had saved was really the down payment that they had for this home. So his parent's offer was we will help you with the down payment for your home bu you know, that we come with the house and you guys take care of the majority of the overall expenses.

The conversation of finances can be tricky because there is a fine line between knowing everything about your parent's financial situation and still respecting his parent’s independence and their decision making. So, definitely, by living together, they were able to have more natural organic conversations where he learns more a little at a time. But he doesn’t know if he could sit down with that and be like ‘alright, let's learn everything'.

Understand whose money it is

Just because you are responsible for paying all the bills doesn’t mean it’s “your money.” If you can have your parents make some of the financial decisions that is the best way to go. Also, if you have children living with you, make them pay their fair share for certain things. Even if you are able to afford to shoulder the cost alone. Many experts suggest that grown-up children who return to the nest post-college should pay their parents for a portion of the household expenses. “Otherwise, they don’t grow up to be independent.

Seek out the right professionals and organizations for help

You don't have to do it alone! Unless you’re a financial and legal wiz — and an ace social worker to boot — there’s no way you can manage the myriad affairs of your life, let alone your parents’ lives. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to consider working with a financial adviser for everything from retirement to college planning. You’d also be surprised how much direct help you can get — or referrals to professionals — through government programs or nonprofit organizations. (Best of all: A lot of these resources are free.) A great place to start is your local Area Agency on Aging (these are programs funded through the federal government

Find good care

If your aging parents need extra care, get help! In the article, the author writes: If there’s a single professional who’s made the greatest difference in my life — and my father’s life — in the past couple of years, it’s the caregiver who spends about 35 hours a week with him. She not only takes care of a lot of day-to-day needs, but she also provides companionship. Not a small thing when you’ve reached the point in life, as my father has, where you’ve outlived your spouse and most of your friends. But finding good care is no easy task. (And the same is true if you’re looking for a caregiver for your children, though I’m thankfully well past that stage.) It may be something of a cliché to suggest this, but it never hurts to ask friends, family members, and neighbors for recommendations. I found my dad’s caregiver through a neighbor who just happened to know a caregiver looking for a new client.

Raising the Kids

Grandparents love to spoil the grandkids, so an example would be, they'll come home late and they'll ask his kids  ‘Hey, do you guys want some ice cream?' and it's like 9 pm. And as parents, they would say like ‘oh no, you can't do that'. We've had to let grandpa know, and come to a level of understanding saying, “hey after eight o'clock, can we make sure there will be no more snacks.”

It's definitely a fine balance between trying to because we're still learning how to be good parents and we don't know what the best approach is. Having an agreement with raising our children is fine but at the same time being open-minded that ‘hey, is this really that big of a deal?', aren't, our children being able to live in a home where they feel loved? That's more important versus trying to uphold certain rules. Finding the right balance between trying to have the best parenting approach but at the same time being open enough to know, kind being able to step back and see the big picture and say okay you know, the environment on which they grew up matters more.

Making Time for Yourself and Making Time for Your Loved Ones

You have to have quality time with your spouse. For Tae this has been crucial to find quality time. Having parents and kids there, weeks can go by without him and his wife having their own time. Tae’s wife has been really good at saying ‘hey we need to go for a walk' or ‘you and I need to go out so we can take advantage of the built-in child care. So at times the will ask his parents to watch the kids for the evening while they go out to dinner.

It's one of those things where if they weren't intentional about making time for themselves, it wouldn't happen. Having some alone time a couple of times a week lets them talk about what is happening in the household and their lives. It also allows them to talk about how they are feeling. Knowing that this is the challenge of living in a multigenerational household, if you're not talking to your partner about it this on a regular basis, that's where things will really fall apart.

Our Co-Host

Tae is the blogger behind Financial Tortoise. He writes about navigating the intersection between personal finance and being a sandwich generation. Tae and his wife cohabitate with his aging parents while raising their own children and building their careers.

Mentioned in This Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist

6 Lessons for the Sandwich Generation

RockYouRetirement.com/support

Dave Ramsey

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

The Sandwich Generation – Episode 232

The Sandwich GenerationAdults in their 30s – 50s have parents age 65 and older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child. With an aging population and a generation of young adults struggling to achieve financial independence, this stress takes a toll not only on personal relationships but also affects the relationship with their spouse, children, and family. But living in a sandwich generation can also provide you with benefits.

If you're living in a multi-generational household, you must listen to this series. In today's episode, we'll talk about what exactly is the sandwich generation and what issues are you going to face if you're taking care of both your parents and your own children.

My guest today, Tae Kim, is a blogger. He writes about navigating the intersection between personal finance and being part of the sandwich generation. Tae and his wife live with their aging parents while raising their own children and building their careers.

How Their Sandwich Generation Started

Tae and his wife have been cohabiting with their parents for about six years now, so what triggered it was actually when his wife was pregnant with their first. Like any young parents, they were trying to figure out what to do with child care. Tae’s father approached them and said, “Hey, I know you guys are thinking about wanting to get a house, we can help out with the down payment but we come with the house”. So, they took the offer, and it was also an opportunity for them to lower their housing costs as well as spend time with the grandkids and help them out.

The Usefulness of Being in a Sandwich Generation

When Tae and his parents started cohabiting together it was very useful, especially when his mother was around. You trust your mother much more than a stranger that you hire. But they still did hire a helper for her, because it has been physically hard for Tae’s mother to take care of an infant, but then just the fact that she was there, watching over about everything gave them a lot of comforts. That definitely was a huge benefit of living together, because Tae said they would have been scrambling in the morning to either have an in house nanny or like drop the kids off out a different location.

It Can Help Ease the Burden at Home

Tae’s parents, help out with dropping them their kids and picking them up on the days that Tae and his wife were not around, but because they do not have to watch the kids What is the Sandwich Generation?all day, it's not physically draining. So it's really just helping out with our morning and the afternoon, but for them, it’s a huge help. Just the fact that someone can, when the kids wake up, help with just dressing them, feeding them, dropping off to school and picking them up, that's a huge help, as they are able to focus on their careers because it would be really challenging. Tae tried doing what their parents did when his parents weren't around for about a week. He tried dropping the kids off to school and picking them up, and it was so stressful.

The Sandwich Generation Energizes Your Parents

To see your parents strong when you're younger and then to see them getting weaker as they get older gives a great deal of impact in you. But when they are with their grandchildren, you just kinda see this sense of liveliness, that just, they can be children again and that just gave them a sense of energy that just increases when being around younger children who are also energetic.

Being a member of the sandwich generation can offer a wide variety of benefits to all the members of your family, but that doesn’t mean you need to take on all of these responsibilities on your own. As time goes by, things change and so will your life’s circumstances. Find out as much as you can about balancing your life during the sandwich years.

About Our Co-Host

Tae is the blogger behind Financial Tortoise.  He writes about navigating the intersection between personal finance and being a sandwich generation.  Tae and his wife paid off $105,000 student loans in 3.5 years while growing their families, cohabiting with his aging parents, and building their careers.

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Mentioned in This Episode:

MedicareQuick.com/Checklist
What is the Sandwich Generation?
RockYouRetirement.com/support

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

Finding True Love in Your Senior Years -Ep 230

Finding True Love in Your Senior YearsLove is a complex word, which we will be talking about today, specifically finding love during your senior years. Our guest speaker Dr. Joan Bragar has helped successful women use online dating to find a loving life partner. She wrote the book on it called, “Never too Late for Love: The Successful Women's Guide to Online Dating in the Second Half of Life.

She was certified as a relationship coach and she herself met her husband on Match.com and got married at age 62. So she knows what she's talking about!

Meeting Someone Online

Dr. Bragar got divorced at 58. She's the kind of person who actually likes to live in companionship and love. That is why she knew for a fact that she wanted to remarry. It was her son who was 32 and single at that time, who encouraged her to meet someone online. She'd never heard of it. Her son encouraged her to just try it and she at least thought she would test the waters and try it.

Not knowing the person you are dating is one difficulty you encounter when dating online. It is also more difficult to check them out through other people since you don't belong in the same social circle or community. So the four safety rules must be practiced. You don't give your phone number to anybody; you don't give your whole name out, meet someone in public, and only meet for coffee, not for dinner.

Practices in Online Dating: Meeting the Right One in Your Senior Years

PRACTICE ONE: SET YOUR INTENTION

This practice is more of an internal practice. Set your intention and decide what you really want. This is something you need to do before you go online dating. Some people just want to meet casually and meet lots of different people. Others want to be in a committed relationship. It's important to know what you want first, and this takes a bit of work and reflection. There are questions in the book of Dr. Bragar that you can ask yourself to know what you really want at this time in your life. You don't have to tell the person on the first date what you want, but you need to be clear without telling everything.

Dr. Bragar also mentioned not to interview the person on a first date. You are just getting to know somebody and it is important to know if you enjoy talking with this person and if you're comfortable with them. However,  it's also important to get to know someone if you're going to choose to live your life with them.

Dr. Bragar was able to meet 40 men in 2 years before meeting the right one. Her husband showed up right before her 60th birthday. She made an intention that she would call him by her 59th birthday but that didn't happen. So she made another plan to call him before her 60th birthday. Joan had had a few dates with two other men that didn't feel right and had she not made the intention to call her current husband before her 60th birthday, it may have never happened. She most likely wouldn't have tried again and probably would have taken a little break from dating after the two men that didn't work out.

She checked on the profiles of some men and she tried meeting them because she learned that you couldn’t tell much about people from an online profile. You actually need to meet someone in person to get a really good reading on them. So, as she exchanged one short message with her husband, she agreed right away to meet when he asked her to meet at Starbucks. They both understood that unless they met someone in person, they didn't know anything.

PRACTICE TWO: LOVE MUST COME WITHIN YOU

If you want to have love in your life, live a life of love. She explained that if you want more love, the place it has to come from is you. So you must build your relationships with family and friends. So when she invited her husband on her 60th birthday, he was able to meet all her family and friends. She was in a loving relationship, and it wasn't coming from deprivation. It is wanting to have a partner with a very different kind of love since she's been creating love in her life.

PRACTICE THREE: LEARNING HOW TO DATE ONLINE

Even if you're in your senior years and this your first time dating online, you must know how to set up a profile. Women must put up the right photo because men are visual.

PRACTICE FOUR: LEARNING HOW TO DEAL WITH DISAPPOINTMENT OF DATING

She advised delaying intimacy until you know what kind of relationship you're in. People get intimate early in relationships even before they commit to somebody. So the key here is to unpack all the early parts of your heart that had been hurt in love and heal them so that every time some stranger doesn't return your call you don't get wounded by it. A lot of healing is very important or else you'll stop reaching out to meet new people and you'll be alone.

PRACTICE FIVE: OPENING YOUR LIFE TO HAVING A “REAL MAN”

At the time they were still in the process of meeting, Dr. Bragar had very professional photos. He thought I was a little too corporate. When she looked at his photos, he was on Finding True Love in Your Senior Yearsa dock with a dog in a great big beard and just jeans and I thought he might be too much of a hippie for her. But we said, All right, well, at least meet each other. It turned out in reality, we're both a bit more to the middle of that spectrum. We have a tremendous amount in common. And so, you know, he's a guy, he's not me.

He's always open to talking with me. He loves to talk to me, but it's a different relationship than a girlfriend.

Yes, we are in our senior years, but we now have an extra decade of our lives. If we're lucky and fortunate, which most of us are, we have an extra decade of healthy living, We're no longer worried about establishing a career or being successful that way. And we're no longer child-rearing. Even in our senior years, we're looking at 10 or 20 years of a healthy life. And that's why there are more divorces not only a healthy life but women who you know, know how to support themselves and are not financially dependent on men. So you want to have a choice, to live that part of your life as happy as possible.

About Our Co-Host

Dr. Joan Bragar helps successful women use online dating to find loving life partners.

She is the author of Never Too Late for Love: The Successful Woman's Guide to Online Dating in the Second Half of Life. Certified as a relationship coach by Katherine Woodward Thomas, the family therapist and New York Times best-selling author of Calling in the One and Conscious Uncoupling.

You can ask for a digital copy of her book by writing her at [email protected]

Side Note: If you haven't read my article on what the future is for the Rock Your Retirement Show, you can read more about it HERE 
Mentioned in This Episode:

Never Too Late for Love: The Successful Woman's Guide to Online Dating in the Second Half of Life

RockYouRetirement.com/VPN

Match.com

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Why Can’t we Pull the Trigger and Retire?

Financially Independent Retire EarlyAre you still working even though you are able to retire if you wanted?

I started the Rock Your Retirement show in 2016.  Since then it has been downloaded over 220,000 times. Potential sponsors have reached out to me.  And I've been asked many times why I started the show.

It started as a personal project but has grown to much more than that.  But since you asked, I'll try to explain it.

I believe in the FIRE movement.  In case you haven't heard of it, FIRE stands for Financially Independent, Retire Early.

I've had good examples of this. My dad was able to retire when he was fifty but kept working until he was fifty-five to provide more of a cushion. So I've seen people in my life retire early according to US standards.

And he was so glad that he retired when he did.  He and his wife were able to travel the world for many years.  They were spending our inheritance and we didn't mind.  Literally cruises around the world that lasted for months.  They were Rocking Their Retirement for sure.

He taught me to save 10% of my income no matter what.  Save it for retirement. So I did. And I became a financial planner and tried to teach others to do that also.  But honestly, most didn't.   I had more money saved and invested than most of my friends.  While my friends were buying new cars every few years and drinking $15 glasses of wine at expensive nightclubs I was being frugal.  Squirreling money away for a rainy day.

But there wasn't a FIRE movement when I was younger. I was weird.  No one could understand why I didn't want to buy a new car.  When I found the FIRE movement I was shocked.  Many of these young people are saving 30, 40, or even 50 percent of their incomes.  I hadn't even thought about that.  But even if I had, I wonder if I would have retired.

I could have retired many years ago.  If you look at what the FIRE movement says, which is to save 25 times your living expenses, we are way beyond that.  But I'm still working.  And I don't know when I will stop working.

I've been self- employed since 1990 so I don't work for “the man”. Many people in the FIRE movement use the word retirement to mean that they stop working for someone else. I'm using the word retirement to mean stop working for pay.  Not to use the income you bring in for living expenses. And that's not what's happening.

Is it because I'm self-employed that I can't retire?  I asked some other people who can't seem to retire the same question.  Why do you continue to work?

Julia Menez of Geobreeze had this to say:

At first, my husband and I didn’t even realize there was an official name like “FIRE (financial independence retire early)” to describe the direction of our lifestyle. I spent my early twenties studying for actuarial exams and rarely made time to go out to parties or restaurants, so my salary largely ended up in savings. Even after I finished up exams, we lived a frugal lifestyle since I enjoy cooking at home and our main source of entertainment is traveling for next to nothing through travel hacking.

My husband and I are both fortunate enough to have high salaries; we live off of the lesser of our two incomes and invest the rest. As our net worth grew, we discussed the idea of early retirement, and how we might spend our time if we quit our day jobs. Neither of us even disliked our jobs — I had just landed my dream role at work and leaving the workforce after only a couple of years as a credentialed actuary felt like a waste of all of that exam effort. However, the idea of FIRE was fascinating, and we figured having a high savings rate couldn’t hurt.

We already lived off of one income; we could even live off of just our investment income if we moved to a lower-cost area. To test out the early retirement lifestyle, I transferred to a full-time work from home arrangement.

That first year of working from home in Boulder, Colorado was the loneliest year of my life.

It was apparent that we needed a change before my pent-up energy drove us both insane. Given that now neither of us had any intention of retiring for some time, we decided it would be ok to try out a higher cost-of-living area, and my husband requested a transfer to his company’s New York City location. I was still working from home (even prior to the age of COVID-19), but there were many more opportunities to expand my social circle.

One of my attempts to meet new friends led to an unexpected gig as an event planner with a nightclub promoter team, culminating in my hosting an after-party for Women’s Travel Fest right before the Coronavirus outbreak. These days, I fill my evenings by networking with other travelers and content creators as I blog on geobreezetravel.com about how to hack time, money, and productivity by using skills learned through travel hacking. 1

Travel hacking. That is another term that I didn't know about. Travel hacking is where you try to travel for free or through low-cost methods.  Typically travel hackers sign up for credit cards to get the bonus points, and put all of their charges on one card that gives them points, then they take the trip they were “saving up for” using those points.  I used to do that before Les and I got married.

He HATED the idea of it.  He said he didn't want to deal with the accounting because it created too many credit card entries in Quicken.

Try as I might, I couldn't get him to agree to it until a couple of years ago.  I do this very sparingly, and he was more open to the idea after we took a completely free trip to Costa Rica a few years ago.  I had some airline miles that were about to expire, and then we used my Marriott points.  We both enjoyed taking a trip that we didn't have to pay for.

Another way to travel hack that you've probably heard me talk about is to house sit.  I use Trusted House Sitters to do this.  For under the cost of one hotel night stay, you can get a whole year's membership.  Learn more about it at What is a house sitting service?: Episode 120

And to save 25% off the cost of your membership, use the link http://RockYourRetirement.com/THS  You'll get 25% off, and I'll get two free months added to my membership.  So we'll both win!

Even though we aren't traveling right now, at some point we'll want to travel again.  For me, travel will be between working for now.

Leif Kristjansen likes the perks of working, as well as social benefits.  I agree.  Even though I'm self-employed, I get perks because I'm working that I won't get once I completely retire.  Here's what Leif had to say:

I have enough non-work income to stop working but I still show up for a few reasons that I think are all great.

First off, financially keeping your job is really amazing. By the time you hit retirement, you are at the peak of your career and thus your pay is at its max. So any extra days worked can really give you a lot of extra spending money. I hire tutors and cleaners without a second thought since I have the extra money coming in and I don't like doing those tasks.

To make the financials even sweeter. Keeping work perks like healthcare accounts, computers, phones, and gym discounts has a lot of value too.

During catastrophic events like COVID it is a sanity saver to have an escape route back to a job if I ever needed it. It has completely removed all stress from this recession for me. Sure, I've lost money but I don't care if my investments disappear or if my job disappears…as long as they both don't.

On a more mental note, there are a lot of enjoyable things about showing up to work. I work minimally part-time and that's because I realized I really enjoy my job, I just didn't like how much of it I was doing.

My co-workers were great friends, and it would have been a big loss to lose easy access to them.

Also, I loved my job when I first went into it and my work motivates me. Just because I don't have to do it doesn't mean I shouldn't. In fact, it makes work that much more enjoyable to know it's optional. I could walk out tomorrow and it wouldn't matter. It's hard for a job to be stressful if you don't have to show up tomorrow.2

I'm creating this piece while still sheltering in place.  Leif is right.  If I weren't talking with clients on the phone I might go insane.  I don't think I can attend enough virtual happy hours to satisfy my need to be connected with people.

And if I weren't working, my medical insurance coverage wouldn't be as good.  So that is one reason why I continue to work.  Because I'm ten years away from being able to go on Medicare.

Some people have businesses that they don't have to work in.  These are the golden gooses.  True businesses that the owner set up to pay an income to them without much on their part.  That's where Jay Smith is in his work life right now.  But he chose to drive an Uber in addition to his business.  Here's why:

My name is Jay and I'm financially independent but still keep working. This means that my living expenses are more than covered by my income, pretty much on autopilot.

I'm a former professional hockey player who turned to sales after my sports career. After 9 years in high paying sales jobs, including medical device sales, the company who I worked for became public and the atmosphere completely changed.

I had always felt like an entrepreneur deep down and I was at a tipping point in life. Not being happy at work anymore was a sign to move on to something new and exciting. I always performed at a very high level and was confident about starting a new business! I used a lot of the money saved up to finance the business I currently own today.

My portfolio of activities consists of online retail sales, online advertising sales, and affiliate sales. After 2 years of building and fine-tuning my online business, it now runs 95% on its own with the help of two contractors. I'm able to bring in the same amount of money that I was making before. Speak to any small business owner and they will tell you that my situation is almost a miracle! I'm very fortunate and have a lot of gratitude.

Now that I have all the free time in the world, I can do whatever I wished with it right? Traveling, visiting many different countries… wait… the only problem is, I'm 32 years old and have young children…

No one around me has this much free time on their hands. My friends all have a 9 to 5 job. Am I condemned to a boring life of solitude? Not exactly.

I play close to 100 rounds of golf in the summer at a private golf course. In the winter though, since I live in Canada, it's a different story! My first winter as a “solopreneur” was very difficult. I'm a very social person and I wasn't seeing many people during the long cold winter months. The second-year around, I had promised to keep myself busy somehow.

After considering many options and receiving full-time job offers on Linkedin, I wanted to do something that would be flexible, not take up 40 hours of my week, and that I could squeeze into my current bag of business. The most important thing was that I wanted to socialize and meet amazing new people, that's all. I signed up to become an Uber driver and it's one of the best decisions of my life!

Driving for Uber on my own terms completely fills the gap I was lacking in my life. I get to chat with amazing business professionals and cool people all day long in my Tesla! I've made some new friends thanks to this ride-sharing service.

We take for granted many of the little things around us that actually make us happy, such as work/professional relationships. For most people, they're with colleagues and co-workers for 40 hours+ every week. I never realized how much I could miss the work environment. Maybe the job sucks, but not the people.

It wasn't a walk in the park to get to this point. Huge financial risks, crazy hours, many failures, which ended up costing me my marriage. This entire experience went full circle. I went from not wanting to work, living on passive income, to realizing I was always going to be working because I actually loved it if it's on my own terms. I need to see people and stay busy, that's the bottom line whether I'm 32 or 70 years old.

If I can provide a single piece of advice for people who wish to become financially free, it's to start a small project as a side hustle. Don't get stuck with analysis paralysis, test something small today. Make a move this year in 2020. Keep watering those flowers until they bloom, then you can decide to pull the plug on your job, which, by the way, is probably your main source of income to finance your side project. Turn a dream into a goal this year!3

Some people who are financially independent but don't want to retire, pivot.  That is to say that they don't completely retire, but they also don't continue in the same job that they were doing.  Some change jobs completely as Jay did.  Others, like Michael Sampson, just make a small change.

After 30 years’ litigating family law and business cases at big law firms and turning 55, I’d saved enough in investment assets to meet expenses comfortably. This would continue even if I made nothing on my own, worked the hours I wanted to work doing what I loved and lived to be ancient.

Handling lawsuits with novel or tricky issues for clients for whom the issues profoundly mattered led me from handling “civil” business disputes to family law matters. But the process for resolving family disputes – litigation wars – inevitably suffered from the same bad aspects common in business disputes: lawyers’ egos, uncontained fees, counterproductive positional bargaining, procedural constraints, delay, unnecessary depositions, document requests, interrogatories, and hearings, risk, and lack of imagination.

Working for big firms offers collegiality solo practice may lack. The income is more than most people make. Health insurance for excellent coverage is often much cheaper than paying for non-group coverage.

I asked what everyone should: “Do I love what I’m doing enough to keep doing this? If not, can I do something else?” I didn’t love what I was doing enough to keep doing it. I could do something else: collaborative family law practice. Collaborative divorce had been around since 1990, but I hadn’t discovered it until 2014. Starting with the New Year in 2017, I broke from the big firm life to devote my professional energy to collaborative family law matters.

The collaborative process is a confidential, interest-based, team approach that helps couples respectfully create positive, lasting solutions out-of-court. Collaborative teams typically comprise a lawyer for each spouse, a neutral financial expert, and a neutral mental health professional to facilitate team meetings.

In the collaborative process, I could use all that education and wisdom not to rip apart and inflict pain on an opponent and his or her sharp attorney, but to work with other professionals creatively to help a couple survive family challenges like divorce! If my solo practice generated no income, it wouldn’t matter, because I’m financially secure without that income. Being in that fortunate position is liberating.

My decision was right.4

Another attorney, Andrew Taylor, had this to say:

After many years of laying down multiple legal document templates onto my website, I can now sit back and just potter with updates that I find necessary, speak to individuals whom I feel I am able to directly benefit (or allow a colleague to do this) and otherwise just enjoy my golden years.

I cannot just completely remove myself from what I do, it has been near 30 years of hard work and I wouldn't know what to do with myself otherwise. I have certainly met a happy medium where I do not need to endure back/mind breaking days in order to pay my way. 5

Les is convinced that this is my problem.  I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I wasn't working.  But that's not exactly true.  If you follow the Rock Your Retirement Facebook group, you already know that I'm an aspiring artist.  I've been posting updated to a colored pencil drawing I've been working on.  At the time I'm creating this, the drawing is almost finished.  I'm already thinking of what I will create next.

I think Greg Githens summed it up pretty well.

I want to make an impact.  I wrote my book, “How to Think Strategically” with the intention to pay forward to the next generation of leaders. The book’s big idea is that strategic thinking is an individual competency and those who show they have it can add value to their organizations and advance their career.   In addition, I’d like to see business, non-profits, and government groups craft good strategy rather than bad strategy. There’s plenty of avoidable waste in the strategy area. More recently, I’ve been exploring the connection of resilience to strategic thinking and strategy. That connection is especially relevant as we consider the emergence and eventual recovery following the pandemic.

I'm also exploring ways that I can provide my expertise to the community to help it develop it's resilience.6

There it is.  Making a difference.  I suppose that is why I keep working even when I don't have to.  I want to make a difference.  And I'm doing it.  Some day I will likely retire from paid work.  But for now, I'll keep working.  I'll keep helping people find the Medicare Plan that works for them.  And I'll keep podcasting and helping you find your perfect retirement lifestyle too.

  1. Julia Menez, geobreezetravel.com, Julia Menez, email to the author on 04/17/2020
  2. Leif Kristjansen, https://FiveYearFIREescape.com, Leif Kristjansen, email to the author on 4/20/2020
  3. Jay Smith, https://webwizardmedia.com, Jay Smith, email to the author on 04/18/2020
  4. Michael P Sampson, https://www.sampsoncollaborativelaw.com, Michael P. Sampson, email to the author on 04/18/2020
  5. Andrew Taylor, Director, https://www.netlawman.com.au/,  Andrew Taylor, email to the author on 04/18/2020
  6. Greg Githens, www.StrategicThinkingCoach.com, Greg Githens, email to the author on 4/18/2020


This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on https://www.RockYourRetirement.com

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