Ain’t That A Messy Middle – Episode 242

Ain't That A Messy MiddleIf you are a new listener to the show, we have a lot of back episodes where you can find information that you're looking for. But starting with Episode 239, which was three episodes ago, we started following the life of Barbara mock. This is section one of this one year project, there will be 12 sections, which we will release on a monthly basis, so be sure to subscribe.

Have You Made That Decision Yet?

Today, Barbara, and I talk about the messy middle. This is the place where you have made the decision to retire. But you're not retired yet. You're getting ready. You're planning. you're filling out forms, taking classes, creating your checklist, checking things off, it's during this messy middle. That things start to get real, it starts to get a little scary.

You're looking at how permanent your decision is. This is the part where things can get a little messy at home too. Because even though we might have discussed it with our significant other, when it starts to get real, things can pop up that you didn't think about before. And as Barbara promised, when she embarked on this journey with us, she tells us everything. Remember Barbara promise to be vulnerable.

The Messy Middle

Barbara is halfway through looking back and halfway through looking forward to that retirement. The other day, it's fall in the Pacific Northwest, raking leaves on a gorgeous sunny day. Suddenly, she kind of felt like the changing of the seasons is a metaphor for what she's going through right now. When she first started in the summer, everything was new and bright and shiny and exciting, full of energy. Now that fall has arrived, having wind and rain and leaves flying everywhere, she's thinking that's a picture of how she's feeling right now. And then as winter comes she would just like to curl up with a good book and sit by the fire.

But I'm thinking that spring is going to be my new life. And I'm going to be coming out of this season of the past and looking forward. And in some ways that is exciting. But it's also a little scary because it's so permanent.

Once You've Made that Decision, There's No Coming Back

Once you make that decision, you're going to retire. I'm sure there, you could go back on that, but I'm not. So I know, there's a state certain out there. And I think Ain't That A Messy Middleour listeners, Barbara had talked earlier about a book she has been reading called, Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement by Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence. If you're the type of person that really wants to think about and plan for your retirement, not related to money, this book is highly recommended for you.

As each chapter unfolded, it was exciting. It was fun. At the end of each chapter, it suggests to you to answer some questions. What are you going to stop doing? What are you going to continue doing? And what are you going to do that's new? Those are really, really fun questions to explore and think about. So Barbara churned through these 10 keys, these 10 secrets, and then she got stuck. She couldn't figure out why. Because the very next step is to create your plan for retirement.

Barbara's Vision for Retirement

After so much thought into it and so much back and forth with her husband, Barbara finally knew what her vision for retirement is. She's a little vulnerable in saying it but as she said before, she's committed that she'll be open about this.

Barbara's greatest ambition is to please Jesus, above all else. Continue to love and be loyal to her best friend and husband. Full of gratitude for her family and friends. Embrace adventure and travel for the opportunity to learn and grow. Kind, thoughtful, and compassionate to those in need. And focus on her physical, spiritual, and emotional well being so that she can bring joy to others through service in my community. That is who she is and who she aspires to be.

Retirement Is A Messy Middle

If you're thinking about retirement, it is almost like a journal. With projects, at the beginning of a project, you're really excited. You're envisioning this future, but it gets really messy in any project and there's never a straight line from A to B. It's whirling around back and forth. And if you're impatient like Barbara, you want to get to the finish line, you want to get it done.

If you're anticipating retirement, don't rush this part, rest in it, analyze it, think about it, talk to your friends, talk to your family. And at some point, try to get it down on paper, because that means then you're likely to get it done.

Read all of Barbra's blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/

Mentioned in this episode:

Barbara's Amazing Retirement Journey: Section 1
Canceled Plans Before Retirement – Ep 241
Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement

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

Canceled Plans Before Retirement – Ep 241

Canceled Plans Before RetirementThe transition to retirement can be tricky for many, as spending discretionary income we can’t earn back seems risky. The last time that we got together, Barbara and I were talking about her pending vacation. Not only her pending vacation, but the vacation that she just went on, and how that was similar to a mini-retirement. Today we are talking about canceled plans. And I'm sure that you the listener has had some canceled plans this year, too.

Planning is Difficult During This Period of Time

I've had a couple of canceled plans. When COVID first started, I was really just getting off of a cruise. We almost didn't go on that cruise but my husband and I kept going back and forth on it. Like many, we didn't think the virus was going to get as bad as it did. What we di was we prayed about it. For those of you who listen, you know that I am someone who prays. It's not something that I focus on during the show, but we prayed about it and we ended up going on our trip. Honestly, that last cruise was probably one of the most interesting cruises we've ever been on because it was the cruise that kept going back and forth to Florida. For one reason or another, we kept heading back to the port.

Since then, though, I had a trip to Hawaii, that was canceled, a wedding that was canceled, and a lot of other events that have been canceled or postponed. 

Canceled Plans

Barbara also had a bunch of canceled plans. Starting with their 40th-anniversary trip. Barbara and her husband had planned to go to Cancun and the Riviera Maya. That's 10 glorious days planned! One at a resort and one on Isla Mujeres, a small little island off the coast of Mexico that she had always wanted to take her husband to. This trip was supposed to be in April. As the virus was unfolding in March, it became clear that everything was shutting down and it was really disappointing for them.

Barbara thinks that 40 years of marriage is a big deal that is why it should be celebrated. They had a pretty big financial investment on that trip though they got most of the money back. Still, money wasn't the issue. It was just that dream and that expectation of getting to go.

Barbara's Big Retirement Party

From previous episodes, we've talked and established that Barbara is an extreme extrovert. She's that person that wants a huge party. Her kids have known for years what that party was, they knew where it was going to be. They knew that they were going to have to take off work and come up with the grandkids so that all her friends could see her children and grandchildren.

And to realize that, no, there probably won't be a party is hugely disappointing for Barbara. Yet, Barbara knows in her heart that there'll be something down the line when it is safe to travel and maybe it'll be better. She's trying to take an optimistic approach because, in the end, what's important is that they're safe. Sometimes she feels guilty that she have that option to consider having a big party and having a trip planned. On the brighter note, she just thinks it's been delayed, not necessarily canceled.

This Should Have Been The Last Hoorah

Sometimes retirement parties are opportunities to say goodbye to these people because this will be kind of the last time you'll see some of them. Having it a year later, probably wouldn't work and although zoom is better than nothing, let's face it, you don't get the hugs. Because physically being able to hug somebody means so much.

 In this time of COVID, we're not hugging, we're not shaking hands. I just wonder, what is that doing to our mental health? What is it doing to our well being? Barbara is a big hugger. She's missing hugs as well. It's tough.

What do you do? One of the things that I've learned when I'm reading articles and reading blogs is some people are forming pods. For the listeners, the pod is where you get maybe two or three families together and you have a pact that you will not get together with anybody else. Basically, your pod is your socially distancing. You can basically become each other's families. And that you promise that you will not go out in public and do things that will expose you to COVID except within this pod.

Give Yourself Something to Look Forward ToCanceled Plans Before Retirement

Sometimes having something to look forward to is more valuable than any money or deposit you might lose. In terms of retirement planning,  Barbara has been listening to all kinds of webinars and seminars that her employer offers. When you're in work mode, these things go past you with these emails and training and classes and you just let them go by and it's kind of like when you're pregnant, you all suddenly see all these other pregnant people.

Now that Barbara's on the road to retirement, she's seeing all these opportunities that she didn't pay attention to at work. Every month, there's training and classes that are offered, but there's always one about preparing for retirement.

Now there's zoom. She's learned more about deferred compensation and more about Social Security. And then there was one that really aligned with the Rock Your Retirement program where it wasn't anything about money, rather it was about creating your personal definition of retirement. The presenter was talking about the steps of retirement, the stages of retirement, how important it is to redefine who you are, and just the different approaches. The time Barbara's spending in either reading or listening to the Rock Your Retirement podcasts or these classes is just really helping her form an idea of what her life is going to look like in retirement.

Read all of Barbra's blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/

Mentioned in this episode:

Trusted Housesitters
Go Do Enjoy! Episode 27

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

Practicing for Retirement with Barbara Mock

Practicing for Retirement with Barbara MockWe continue to follow Barbara Mock through her retirement journey. For the next year, she is letting us live vicariously through her eyes, telling us what it's like to go through the stages of retirement.

Practicing for Retirement

For many people, traveling is one of the things they enjoy most about retirement. Barbara took some time off of work and went on a little mini practice retirement. She and her husband went on a trip to Priest Lake Idaho with some friends they have known for over 40 years and have kept in contact with. Everything sort of fell together last minute and she said it was magical and even thought to herself, is this what retirement could be like?

Having fun with friends that they have known forever and ever kind of made her realize that maintaining friendships over a long period of time is really going to be something valuable to as we retire.

Priest Lake

It was 96 degrees. You're in a mountain lake. I hope you guys look it up. Look at the photos look on Google Earth. It's crystal blue, pristine water. You can see to the bottom, even when it's quite deep, and it's really remote.

After 3 days, their friends had to go back to work so Barbara and her husband dusted of their camping equipment went camping at Farragut State Park in Lake Pend Oreille. They hadn't camped in the dirt for 20-25 years. They put up their tent, watched the stars, and had a romantic time. We talked about the next day where Barbara and her husband met a couple and shared a boat ride and a meal with them. What both of them learned is that you can make friends anywhere if you're open to it.

Your Spouse and Retirement

Not only has she been practicing for retirement, but Barbara has also been doing a lot of reading and research. She wants to plan for the emotional outlook of retirement, but how it will impact her relationship.  Her husband is not as willing to research but will discuss it. During a 7-hour car ride on Barbara's practice retirement/ vacation, she learned a lot. She learned that her husband has sort of been putting his retirement on hold waiting for her to retire and that he loves golf. Her husband had taken up a sport that Barbara loved and she wanted to make sure that she was taking an interest in things he loves as well.

They have also been having conversations every day. There is an enormous amount of planning and preparation it is taking her to prepare. She had no idea how many checklists and things you need to get in order prior to retirement. Social Security, financial planning, estate planning, medical insurance, social life, traveling, downsizing, or moving, among many other decisions that have to be made.

Focusing on work

Barbara does find it a little difficult to focus on work with her impending retirement. Especially after her practice retirement vacation. However, with work being very busy right now, it helps her stay focused on her job.

Pretty much everyone at work knows by now that Barbara is retiring. Some offer advice and most tell her she will love it. Barbara did reach out to an old colleague who has been retired for about 10 years. What she told Barbara was amazing. It was so inspiring. She's in her 70s, her husband's in his 80s. And she said, keep moving, move, don't become fragile. She and her husband have stand up paddleboards, they go kayaking, and they are avid snow skiers, they ski all over the world and in the US. She has a bike that she rides; she has an organic garden, and she does yoga and works out every morning! So that was her advice. Stay strong, exercise, and keep working out so that you can do the things in your retirement that you want to do.

Have you thought about practicing for retirement? Or if you have already retired, how did you prepare? Were there things that were surprising to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Read all of Barbra's blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/

Episodes and websites Mentioned

What a retiring Executive Needs besides Money

Your Retirement Quest by Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence

Afford Anything Podcast

Fritz Gilbert- Creating a Retirement Jar

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

Barbara’s Amazing Retirement Journey: Section 1

Barbara Mock is joining the Rock Your Retirement Show to share her Retirement Journey with us!  We'll be following her on her pre-announcement.  We'll be following when she announces to her superiors.  We'll discuss what happens when she tells her team.

What will happen the next few months after the announcement?  What happens on the last day of work?

How will her relationships change with her friends?  What about her family?  How will her relationship change with her husband?

Will she go through the dreaded stages of retirement?

We'll all find out together as we embark this journey with Barbara hand in hand!

Join us on the Rock Your Retirement show podcast so you can go through this journey with her.  This is section 1.  It's best to listen to these sections in order so you can follow her journey.

And she's writing journal entries along the way.  After today's episode, you'll be able to follow those as well.   They'll be in the “blog” section of this website.


To listen to the podcasts, search for the “Rock Your Retirement” show in your favorite podcast catcher, or click subscribe on the player below, and follow the instructions.


Not Exactly Goodbye…

The future of the Rock Your Retirement showUpdate 8/3/2020:  We are changing the format of the show.  Stay tuned.  We will still be releasing at least monthly but you are going to LOVE what's coming!! (Also if you added a comment here earlier, we had a computer blip that affected this post.  It wasn't you, it was us.  Sorry about that).



The episode below replaces what I originally wrote.  Please listen to it.  It explains our new format that we created after I wrote the info below.

Prior to recording this, I wrote the post below:


I wanted to let you know what the future is for the Rock Your Retirement Show.

If you have listened to the episode where I discussed my traumatic event, you’ll remember that I’m re-evaluating my life. This event was life-changing for me. If you haven’t listened to the episode, and you are interested, just go to Episode 209.

Since this traumatic event, I decided I wanted to scale back on some of my workload. I have already announced to my remaining financial planning clients that I’ll be retiring from financial planning on 12/31/2020. Although I partially retired from financial planning in 2015, I continued to work with my favorite clients.

With Covid-19 affecting so many of our lives, I’ve had additional time to reflect. In my time of reflection, I have discovered that I need to make some further changes. And those changes affect the show.

Since 2016 I have been paying to host the show. Although I’ve added some advertising it has never supported the show. In fact, my affiliate link provider has indicated to me that I’m not getting enough click-throughs, so they want to start charging me as well! So, if I continue to run ads it will actually cost me money!!

It has been a tough choice however, I have decided that after we run all the shows we’ve already recorded, I’m going to take a break and we will stop doing our weekly episodes. It costs me about $150 per month to keep the show going, and my revenues are nowhere near that amount.

The only way I can continue on a regular basis is to get some listener support. You can support the show at a $3 per month basis if you’d like. If a small percentage of my listeners did this, then I will get the $150 I need to continue weekly episodes beyond 07/06/2020 when our last weekly interview is scheduled to be released.

Don’t worry though, even if I don’t get the support I need to continue on a regular basis, I’ll still pop in sporadically to tell you how I am doing. So, stay subscribed so you get the notifications.

In case you’re interested in supporting the show, here’s where you can do it: http://RockYourRetirement.com/Support

Your friendship over the last few years, and support of the show and me personally, means the world to me.

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


How Multi-Generational Living Will Work Ep 237

How Multi-Generational Living Will WorkIf you are living in a multi-generational household or considering it, you must listen to this series. Last week we discussed the pros and cons of multi-generational living. Today, we are talking about tips for living in a multi-generational household.

Multi-generational living means a single household that includes family members of several generations, grandparents, parents, and children, all under one roof. Was once a cultural phenomenon has slowly become a national trend. For some families, it’s about caring for aging parents, others have adult children returning home. Also, for some, it’s a cultural expectation. And others have adult children that haven’t left.

Learn to Deal with Conflict

It's tough from the spouse’s point of view. For Tae’s part, you can't be as a direct daughter-in-law it's hard for his wife to talk to her father-in-law like, “Hey you two you need to clean this up.” Time’s a little bit different. All of us have to contribute to a multi-generational household. To avoid any kind of conflict down the line, Tae would rather do the work upfront.

Tae’s wife is not living with her parents, she's living with his parents. So, it's very important to recognize, appreciate, listen to her concerns about a multigenerational household, without being judgmental but just kind of hear her out.

Set Boundaries

Tae’s family shares a community fridge. Everyone shops at their own timeline and then everybody was just kind of stuff their own things in different sections of the refrigerator. There was this time when Tae’s wife was going to cook and couldn’t find the carrots that they just bought. This is one of those items where you know it keeps coming up. So what they did to fix this problem was they labeled parts of the refrigerator saying, okay this my section, this is the grandma section. We don't go into each other’s sections and everyone's got their own section.

We have come up with the system of separating parts of the refrigerator and then just reinforce it on a regular basis.

Even Though You're In a Multi-Generational Living, You Still Need to Prioritize Privacy

It is recognizing that everyone has their own personal space in the house, and one of the things that helped out was having separate spaces within the house. Tae’s family has their own little community area where they can have their television and just sit on their couch. They lay out the things that they want, not getting into each other’s space as regards to like who left the newspaper here or who left tissues here. It’s a place where we can create our own mess, they can create their own mess, and we're not getting into each other’s space. That was very important for them.

Split Expenses, Where Possible

When Tae’s family decided to cohabitate, Tae would take over the mortgage as a majority of the utility expense. His parents thankfully said they would take care of the electric bill and the phone bill. So, to clear things up, they said they would take care of the gas bill, the water bill, the mortgage, and then you guys can get take care of the phone bill and the electric bill. Food is a little interesting because they don't have clear agreements. Tae and his wife would go and do their own shopping at Costco for what they want and then for his parents they would purchase what they want.

In a Multi-Generational Living, Going with the Flow

Conflicts are going to happen on a weekly basis just because when you have four adults living in the house. It's natural for Tae and his wife to just recognizing where his How Multi-Generational Living Will Workparents are coming from. That helps get things into the right mindset. You need to approach things with a mindset of appreciation instead of trying to say, okay, like this is not working for us. At the same time recognizing that, hey, there's a cost to everything.

For us we make a conscious decision to cohabitate because there is a mutual benefit from both financially at the same time from a family perspective. It’s comforting to have parents around. So, recognizing that we've made a conscious decision to be where we can't get everything that we want, but in the end, the benefit outweighs the cost and they're the things that we have to work through. Coming back to the right mindset try to look at everything from a very empathetic perspective.

Multigenerational households only work with a high degree of mutual respect, communication, and, above all, loving family ties.

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:

Tips for Multigenerational Living

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

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