Significant Other– Les and I took an impromptu day trip the other day. We're trying to avoid just staying at home and watching TV. Our relationship is strong. But we're both struggling right now with our lack of social activities.
Friendship-Over the last month, I've been making an effort to solidify some of the relationships that I formed over the last few years since I've moved here. In a fifty-five-plus community with a lot of clubs, it's easy to make a lot of acquaintances. But there's a difference between being friendly with someone and actually being friends with someone.
Family– On the family side I've had a disappointment. My estranged brother recently informed us that he won't be attending my father's memorial service that he helped plan last year. I’m really disappointed that my brother's not coming, although honestly, I kind of knew he wouldn't. You know, all of us have family disappointments, and mine is no different.
On a positive note, I'm trying to build my relationships with other family members. I usually don't send my siblings gifts for their birthday. But this year, to help strengthen our relationships, I sent my two sisters a gift for their birthday. I know it's a small thing, but it's what I did to help with those relationships.
Spiritual– My spiritual pillar is also indeed lacking. Part of it is because I'm really not ready to attend church again. We are currently in an uptick of COVID cases where I live. And not only that, but I know at least three people who have died. They were all fully vaccinated, and one was healthy and in her late 40s. So yeah, I'm scared. And yeah, I'm not as social as I once was because of that. But I've been working on this. And I'm trying to give thanks for what I have. I've also been meditating and praying, and I've been reading my former pastor's daily emails.
Health-On the health side, I've been doing very well. If you're a regular listener, then you already know that I lost 20 pounds during COVID. I know, totally opposite of what most people did. It's been a struggle, but worth it. Because I'm lighter now, I can do more. I'm swimming once a week, I'm doing water aerobics five days a week, and synchronized swimming twice a week. I know, you think I'm probably going to turn into a fish, at least Les thinks that. In addition to all the water activities that I'm doing, I watch what I eat. However, I'm disappointed that my cholesterol is still high.
Purpose– I struggle with this and it is one of the reasons I'm still working. If I'm not working, then what is my purpose in life going to be? Is it this show? Is it doing fun things? I mean, doing fun things isn't really a purpose, is it? I don't have grandkids, so they can't be my purpose. So, until I figure it out, I'll still work because I really do enjoy helping people.
So, tell me, help me out. What's your purpose in life? Have you figured that out yet? Send me an email, at Podcast@RockYourRetirement.com and tell me what you're doing? What is your purpose in life?
For this week’s Rock Your Retirement Health Segment, I have Lynn Cherry with me. She is the host of a podcast called Pickleball Fire. As you can imagine, she talks about pickleball. Lynn moved from North Texas to Connecticut and needed to find an indoor activity to do during the winter. She went to her local gym to check out what pickleball was about. She ended up playing that day and immediately loved it!
It's a game very popular with people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80’s
Lynn enjoyed the sport so much she ended up starting a website to grow and promote the sport. During the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, she actually started her podcast.
Among other things, Lynn talks about what pickleball is, why a lot of older people really love the sport, and how it’s played.
I asked Lynn to tell me if there was one thing that you want our listeners to learn about pickleball what would it be? She said in terms of the game if you need something to do and to get up off the couch to try pickleball. She said that it isn’t like going to the gym. It is fun, easy and she has even interviewed someone on her Podcast who lost 100 pounds by playing pickleball! So, it is definitely great exercise
If you don’t like going to the gym, or don’t have a membership to one, and would like to find a pickleball court near you, Lynn has you covered.
If you go to https://pickleballfire.com/courtsyou can find various places to play. And within that search feature, you can also find instructors. She said it isn’t necessary to get an instructor but if that is something you would be interested in that is another option.
Pickleball is becoming so popular that there are even restaurants that are putting in pickleball courts! You can visit https://chickennpickle.com/ to check it out
What’s is going on in Barbara’s Life?
We talk about Barbara’s recent trip to Mexico with her friend. There was actually a hurricane coming during her trip but thankfully, they did not get a direct hit where they were staying. Then, a few days following that, there was a devastating hurricane in Louisiana.
There was one day during her trip where she was walking by herself and just kind of asking God what's going to happen now with fall approaching. With everything shutting down, she was coming to the conclusion that she needed to cancel all of her trips and just stop planning because it's just so unpredictable.
Not having plans is difficult for Barbara. Learning to live through a pandemic is not easy and like all of us, Barbara is trying to figure out how to navigate her “new normal”
We talked about Barbara trying to find her purpose. She decided she needs to just accept and lean into this fall, that it's not going to be what she planned. But she needs to be okay with it.
Final thoughts from Barbara on Finding Purpose
It's realizing that having a plan is one thing but being able to adapt that plan to the conditions that there are at the time, not getting too attached to one specific vision. Because then you can miss the butterflies. You can miss out on what's right in front of you. Something as simple as taking a dog for a walk or taking a child for a walk. There are so many things that we tie up with entertainment. Going to a place like Disneyland or going on a cruise or going to Mexico, when really right around us there is life being lived.
There are wonderful people and there are stories to be heard. And in our zeal to program our lives to book a trip, how many times are we missing out on things that are right around us? Because we're just not looking for it? Because we're so focused on this future thing. So for me, I have no regrets about retiring. I have felt so enriched this summer, I'm so grateful. It’s kind of like get over yourself. So what if you don't get all your plan. Find something else to pivot on. Take a class, learn to paint, call a friend. It's just kind of like, say yes to life, and quit worrying about the things you don't have is the lesson I've been learning this summer.
In today’s episode, we have Randy Gardner who is going to tell us about his retirement experience. Randy just recently retired. In fact, as of our recording, he had only been retired 1 week. Randy serves as an inspiration for the many listeners of my show who want to retire early or planning to retire but are may have some reservations.
Incidentally, Randy is also a big fan of the Rock Your Retirement Show and started to follow it a few years back. He had to travel for three hours between cities and grew the habit of listening to podcasts. That’s exactly when he discovered my show and started listening to it!
Soon, he got the idea to retire himself but wasn’t sure of his financial situation. He also had his wife to convince who was an artist but also quite adept when it came to finances.
How a financial advisor can help you decide if you are ready for retirement
Randy sat with his financial advisor and went through his financial position. He tried to evaluate how his retirement may turn out if he chose to quit his technical job. Interestingly, both of them realized that he would be doing quite well even if he chose to retire right now! They worked on the finances and his income including Social Security to get a detailed picture of his financial scenario into the retirement years.
Randy got his wife to sit down with his financial advisor who made the picture clear to his wife and answered all her questions. Getting the confidence he needed, Randy decided to give up his job and spend a life of retirement.
Randy is a Rock your Retirement listener!
I know that many of you are worried about being bored in retirement. Randy was also plagued by the same thought. He wondered how he could fill up his week which was earlier spent in working for over 40 hours. Let's take a look at Randy's retirement experience.
Randy had already started listening to my show and started taking cues and notes from the stories people had to contribute. He started to develop a list of things to do in his retirement life which will keep him busy. To his surprise, both Randy and his wife had quite a few things which they had put off due to various reasons.
Here are some things Randy wants to do to have a great retirement experience
For starters, Randy wants to play a lot of golf which he enjoys to the fullest! He is also thinking about continuing his interest in music and maybe start learning piano which he had gave up at the age of 12. Both Randy and his wife also want to travel a lot! They would like to go on some train trips and cruises that they've always had their eyes on.
Randy even wants to learn a foreign language and makes notes of things he wants to do in his iPad or iPhone all the time. Another impetus to retire was to spend more time with their daughter and son-in-law. Being retired they were now free to move to Austin, where their daughter lived. They also bought a house in the city which is located only a short distance away from their daughter’s home. Randy is also free to spend time with his mother who is single and over 90 years old.
Retiring has also brought other pleasures which he could not enjoy during his working life. He can go to bed late and wake up late. Although by his standards 6 am is as late as it could be! Randy loves to watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee. He believes it to be the best time to spend with family. He can begin the day with his daughter, son-in-law, and wife and talk about all the day has to offer.
Advice from Randy based on his retirement experience:
Randy believes that we all should have a routine and purpose to get up the next day. It doesn’t have to be something extraordinary but simple things like going to the gym or taking a walk in the park. He inherited the habit from his father who was a stern believer of a routine life.
If you are worried about retiring and wondering how you would be able to spend your day- Randy has some suggestions. You should start making a list of reasons to quit your job and what to do when you retire. More often than not, you will end up with multiple items that will keep you busy during your retired years.
Les and Kathe talk about the pros and cons of cruises
In this episode, Les and I talk about our experience of going on a two-week long cruise abroad the Celebrity Millennium ship. The 18-year-old ship took us on a cruise to different Asian countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and mainland China.
We decided to record an episode discussing what we liked about the cruise (and what we disliked).
Both of us have been going on cruises for a long time and here are our thoughts on the pros and cons of cruises:
The Pros of Cruising:
We booked the tickets for the spa level class, which was the higher class on the cruise. Les and I got a top floor room, and it came with a nice balcony. We just loved the open skies and endless ocean on view!
The upper-class service was as expected. Les and I got our food in a separate blue restaurant, which the cruise said had healthier food to offer. We were even given a personal waiter who ensured that he knew our preferences from before and set our menu accordingly.
What I personally loved the most was that the staff at the restaurant even accommodated our diet choices, making protein shakes for me each morning. We also had a waiter, who always welcomed us by name each time he saw us. A personal touch is always lovely.
All classes in the ship are also given a personal room attendant, and I did find it to be convenient. While the personal attention that we got from the staff was because of the tickets we had booked, I had been to other places which didn’t really meet up to the same standard.
What did I and Les like the most? It’s perhaps being able to meet new people and make friends with others. Both Les and I now think that cruises have an older population, and our travel was a wonderful way to meet people who are our age and of the same mindset.
Did I forget to mention about the captain? He always had a joke up his sleeves, no matter what! If I compare the pros and cons of cruises, I think you cannot argue that the value a cruise experience has to offer.
The Cons of Cruising
Les is prone to seasickness and staying on the 11th floor did not help him! So pro tip: if you stay on an upper floor you will be most affected by rough seas. If you get sick easily, we suggest you book a lower floor room.
Les feels that cruising, in general, robs the chance to explore the culture and habits of the local people. I agree with him. If you want to explore local cultures cruising may not be the best route to go. If you want to immerse yourself in local culture and people, home sharing is what you should be looking for, as it helps you to experience all of that closely at an affordable price.
Sometimes, I did feel our room to be a tad bit warm, but it was probably because of an HVAC problem, which the staff fixed later after I called them.
The only significant problem I had on the entire trip though, was when we were trying to board the ship. The staff, for some reason, misled us to another port. We had to pay extra to our cab to get to the right port and catch the ship! Talk about a stressful beginning!
So, there you have our pro's and cons of cruises. Overall this was a good cruise and the service was great. We may be doing more land vacations for a while but I think since cruising has become more affordable, everyone should try it at least once.
Diane Dahli is a retired teacher of 15 years. She is all about enjoying her retirement and living her passion, which is currently her blog. It took a Diane awhile to realize her passion and purpose post-retirement. After attempting to jump back into the classroom and sitting still for quite some time, she decided to pursue writing in the form of a blog. She has loved it ever since and would like to continue doing it as long as she can.
Her Retirement Journey
Diane also loves to read. She has read books like The Writer’s Way and The Purpose of Life. She also joined a self-awareness group in the midst of trying to discover her purpose. Diane wasn’t looking for busyness in her retirement, she was looking for purpose, something meaningful.
She found herself wondering if she retired too early if there was something else she needed to do in teaching. After applying for a job in a classroom, she got a job in a resource room. It was a very intense position. At the end of six months, she clearly knew she didn’t want to go back to teaching.
Diane spent time gardening, volunteer and spending time with her grandson. She also took a year-long course in herbalism and grew herbs, something she still does. While she loved these things, they still didn’t capture her full, long-term attention. She was immersed in life but also had this idea that there must be something more that she wasn’t getting to.
How she found her purpose in Retirement
She eventually decided to revisit something she had always wanted to do, to write. At first, she didn’t know what to write about. Eventually, she decided to write about her generation after researching and discovering blogs, such as Time Goes By, about The Silent Generation.
Her daughter was tech savvy and helped her design her blog website. She has now been blogging for three years. Diane gets up every morning at 5 a.m. to write for about two hours before her husband gets up. She finds all that is involved in blogging, including the social media, very fulfilling.
Retirement advice from Diane:
Get some professional help. If that doesn’t work, just start daydreaming.
In this episode:
Retirement advice from retirees
How Diane found her passion and purpose in retirement
Diane's Retirement Journey
Settling into doing nothing
The traditional retirement route
Diane’s decision to try a second shot at the classroom
Stephanie Cunningham came on the show to talk about her retirement in a different county.
On Today’s Show we discuss:
Retirement in a different country
Stephanie’s bicycle tour
Decrease in social status after retirement
Stephanie’s cultural transition in Australia
Needing a reason to be on this earth or sacrificing happiness
Value of community in Australia
Money isn’t everything
Stephanie was born, raised and worked in Colorado until she took early retirement to join a round the world bicycle tour. While on the tour, she found Australia and decided to move there. Because of visa regulations at that time, she couldn’t work, which forced her into an early retirement. Trying all of the activities that are traditional in retirement left her unfulfilled and wanting more.
The Bicycle Tour
The bicycle tour was a millennial trip. While it wasn’t an inexpensive trip, it was for a whole year. Stephanie did a lot of physical training for the trip. It was recommended each rider do at least 6,000 miles before the beginning of the tour. Each weekday, Stephanie rode 135K. It was physically challenging but not nearly as difficult as she thought it would be. Stephanie enjoyed the trip because you see things you wouldn’t see on a bus or in a car.
New Found Love for Yoga
One new activity she tried was yoga and enjoyed it. She decided to become a yoga teacher for over 50’s and then added yoga training to teach over 50’s for yoga teachers. In March of last year, she started the podcast Changing the Face of Yoga to expand the perception of yoga. She will launch the second broadcast in July about finding purpose in retirement as she struggled to find purpose and feels it is very important for a successful retirement.
She talks about her initial culture shock and the challenges for retirement in a different country.
Australia is a tenth of the US population but as large land wise as the US. It is less crowded and frantic. Stephanie claims it is almost 10 years behind in certain ways. Australia has less commercial ads and consists of a much more laid-back atmosphere. It is also gorgeous.
Impact of Not Being Able to Work
Stephanie was not planning on retirement when she moved to Australia. She had worked for Colorado and retired for a nominal amount of money. She planned on taking a year off then going back to work in a different way. There were a lot things Stephanie loved about working and it was a hard adjustment at first. She certainly never imagined her retirement in a different country.
Advice for Retirement in a different country
Stephanie recommends really planning it and understanding what you are getting into. She recommends going to an expat community when first adjusting. In addition, look at exchange rates and cost of living when considering retirement in a different country.
I brought Karen Poirer-Brode on the show to not only talk about scrapbooking, but about developing creativity. After retirement, Karen launched a podcast called A Creative Approach Podcast. She shares stories of people who used creativity to their own advantage and worked through challenges with a creative approach. Karen loves storytelling and uses it as an art and way to connect. In addition, Karen also has a blog called Karen’s Corner of The Web. She also spends time volunteering and working as a Scrapbooker.
On Today’s Show we discuss:
Karen’s love for scrapbooking, art and photography
Scrapbooking is Karen's way of making stories. She does digital scrapbooking and traditional scrapbooking. Karen's teacher discouraged her from art when she was little and she wouldn't discover that she has a passion for art if it weren't for scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is one of the ways in developing creativity. You can take a photo and tell stories about it in fun ways.
Karen also gives scrapbooks to her family and friends occasionally. There are also groups in scrapbooking and Karen belongs to the creative department. People from different parts of the world get together via webinar and they make scrapbooks together. What a great way to make friends! In addition, you may use scrapbooking to document your travels so you remember the happy memories you experienced.
Scrapbooking is a fun thing to do with your grandkids and a way to connect
Karen shares a story about her childhood and what her mom used to do. Do you remember when you were little and it was raining outside so you had to stay in? Her mom would take out pictures and they would tell stories about them. Karen says it is a great way to have fun with your children and grandchildren even today!
What is a scrapbook crop?
These are events where two or more scrapbookers gather to work in a social circle on their books, cards or other projects. It came from the word “Crop” which means cutting out a part of a picture. They bring all their paper and embellishments. Others bring their digital crops. They bring their laptops and they make scrapbooks together.
Karen Poirer Brode was born in the Canadian Prairie. She lived in Canada until she finished medical school in Montreal. She then became a physician, specializing in OBGYN. After marrying and having a family, she moved to California, where she is today.