Over Scheduling Retirement Week One

Adjusting to Retirement

Twelve. I counted them. Twelve appointment or activities scheduled for my first week of retirement. There are notations on the calendar every day but one and only because the appointment for that day was postponed, a weather delay.

I was warned by my retirement mentors to avoid over scheduling myself. I can see how easily that can happen. An eye appointment here and a coffee meeting there. Still, I think I needed a full schedule for this first week.  I feel good. A sense of accomplishment in fact.

My aha moments of more time:

  • Ease of scheduling mid-week, mid-day appointments
  • Workout classes with a smaller group of people
  • Less traffic when most people are at work
  • Relaxed coffee with a friend
  • Waking up without an alarm clock
  • Last minute road trips

I’m trying to celebrate and recognize the gifts that come when forty+ hours of my week are not scheduled.

While I haven’t faced any moments of retirement panic, I did have a nightmare that I was overdrawn on my bank account by $17,000. I don’t know where that figure came from. With more time comes more opportunities to spend money. 

I have a budget and I’m going to do my best to stick by it. I’m one of those lucky people with a pension, so I’ll always have money coming in for the basics. It’s the worry about my IRA and my withdrawal schedule that could be a problem, especially in a stock market where 1-2% drops on a daily basis have been the norm over the last month or two. Luckily, I’m looking at the long run and have enough in “safe” funds to last for several years without worrying about the dollars in the more moderate funds.

Do I feel like I’m on vacation? Maybe a bit. It will feel more like that as I work on the final details for my retirement trip in the next few months. Watch out New Zealand! Here I come!

A Sparkly New Year From a Different Perspective

Planning 2016

The map spreads out before me, so expansive that I am easily overwhelmed. 

After almost thirty-two…32…30+…more than three decades, of being in one profession, I’m retiring from law enforcement. My road has been very defined for most, if not all, of my life. That’s about to change drastically.

As I look back in review, there have been ups and downs, but overall, I’m proud of the work I’ve done and how I’ve served my community. I’ll write more about that later, but for now, I’m looking forward to a bright and sparkly new year.

It’s strange, scary, exciting, intimidating…I’m not sure I can even name all the emotions that flash by quickly like an out of control slide show.  So, what do you do when life opens up and you’re walking a path you’ve never been on before? Here’s my plan.

The year will begin as it has for decades, with a relaxed timeout for an inventory and then a rough mapped route of where I want my life to travel this year. Even better, I’m facilitating a group session on mapping out the new year with my favorite people, some I know and some I will soon meet.

A new year always seems like a fresh start, building upon the foundation I’ve set over the years. While I’ve thought a lot about my path moving forward, it’s still opening a door to a place I’ve never been before.

So, I’ll be looking at life from a new perspective with lots of available choices. So, I’m choosing to have a sparkly, fun and adventure filled new year and I’m planning to share my journey here. Stay tuned!

What do you choose for the new year?

Sisters’ Travel Update – The Destination Finalists

Many of you suggested destinations for our sisters’ trip scheduled later this year. We received an incredible list of proposed destinations. Curious as to the results? My sister, Wendy and I, have recorded our very first video in order to provide an update.

Listen closely to discover the three destinations we have chosen as finalists.

So what’s next? Your vote!

Later this week I’ll be adding a poll so everyone can vote on one of our top three final destinations and everyone who participates will help decide where we’ll be traveling. Once the selection is complete, we’ll start the process of planning and report back on the journey every step of the way. Remember, all of you are making the final decision. We will not be voting.

Thank you for playing. We’re looking forward to our trip.

Related Posts:

Help Two Sisters Looking for Adventure
Get Your Travel Agent Hat On -Sisters’ Vacation Update

Retirement Head Games


January 12, 2019…a big day for me. It’s the date I chose for my mandatory retirement. I can retire earlier, but no later than that date. It’s a long story, but ultimately, knowing specific retirement dates helps my employer with personnel planning and there are financial benefits for me.

After spending 30 years (or 35 years in 2019), working for the City of Denver, even thinking about retirement causes some concerns. Financially, I should be comfortable, but what about everything else?

I set the date knowing I have five years to work it all out. My niece, Shoshanna, hit the nail on the head when she suggested the limitless possibilities scare the shit out of me. I hadn’t thought about it until then, but she’s right.

Just think, I could:

  • Move to almost any place in the world, finances and laws permitting
  • Write a book or books
  • Volunteer for a vast number of organizations
  • Run for office (just kidding)
  • Explore the world
  • Be a full time couch potato (an option I’m not considering)
  • Change the world
  • Earn another degree
  • Start a new career

I know retirement will be here before I know it so I’m trying to make a road map.

There are plenty of resources about financially planning for retirement, but I haven’t seen many talking about how to transition into retirement. Here are the questions I hope to answer before then.

  • What do I love to do that I’d like to spend more time doing?
  • How can I make a positive contribution after I am no longer working full-time?
  • How do I challenge myself to continue to learn and grow?
  • How do I maintain my relationships and develop new ones?
  • How do I make sure my retirement is amazing?
  • What can I do now, and in the next few years, to make my transition easier?
  • How to I stay motivated to be active and healthy?

I don’t have the answers yet, but I’ve begun the journey. If you, or someone you know, has any suggestions, I’m all ears…

Leaving 2013 Behind

Yesterday, I spent time with my niece, her husband and a few of their friends reviewing my year and planning for 2014. This is the first time that I’ve joined a group of people in this process. It was such a great experience.

We began with Susannah Conway’s workbook “Unraveling the Year Ahead”. It’s free and downloadable off her website. Thanks, Susannah!!


Prior to entering 2014 planning, we need to leave 2013 behind.

2013 was an incredible year for me.

  • While I had a few unexpected challenges at work, they have resulted in a new assignment with fantastic people and better balance in my life.
  • With improvements in the housing market, I was able to sell an investment property that had been incredibly costly over the last seven years. While I didn’t make money overall, I removed a debt that cleared the way for exciting things to come.
  • I traveled to Churchill, Manitoba to see the polar bears. I love to travel and since finances have improved, I was able to make it happen. Also, this is the first big trip I’ve taken since my photography skills have improved. It was so much fun and such a good way to celebrate.
  • I’m happy. That is the biggest aha for me this year. Recognition that I’m in a good place and I’m happy with who I am has been the highlight of 2013 for me.
  • One of the challenges for me was seeing how unethical bullies can be rewarded. It’s been a bit of a struggle, but I’m focused on the fact that I can’t control everything (as much as my inner control freak tries). I also believe people reap what they sow and that you can’t hide from karma. I’ve worked to move on from that situation, but occasionally some bitterness still seeps through.

So as I wash the 2013 dust off my feet, I’m excited for an amazing 2014. Not just for me, but for all of you, too!

A Work In Progress

stickerLooking back over the years, I remember having lists of things to accomplish. Sometimes they were just a fixture in my brain, while others I actually wrote down and revisited on a regular basis. A lot of amazing things came as a result of working toward these goals.

I’m not sure when I stopped paying attention and let life run its course. Not that things have been bad, but I think I settled in and stopped stretching. It’s amazing how much the world can shrink when I let myself get into a rut. There’s so much more out there and I’m not done learning, creating and contributing.

After almost thirty years in my current job, I’ve set my retirement date on or before January 12th, 2019. It’s a scary thought in some ways and very exciting in others. When I think of retirement, it’s really just leaving my current job to move on to my next adventure. What is it? I’m not quite sure.

Five years seems like a long time, but I know it will pass quickly. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll begin putting together my list of things to accomplish. This time, they’ll all be in writing.

My life, even at almost 55, is a work in progress. Now, where should I begin?