Saturday, December 08, 2018

Practicing Retirement

I love my job as an Agile independent consultant, but I've been wanting to have some time between gigs to "practice" retirement.  As friends and family will attest, I've been very frugal -- let's just say it: cheap! -- with the goal of retiring by age 60.

At age 58.75, I've been somewhat obsessed with the idea of retirement, both with the standard Pollyanna excitements and Negative Nellie fears.

Pollyanna:
  • I can do whatever I want! 
  • I'll host a Carpe Diem network and find my 'tribe'.
  • I'll have the time to travel, pursue hobbies, exercise, and have new adventures every week!
  • I'll have parties, socialize, foster all my relationships, and with all my internet-dating and social-media savvy skills find the man of my dreams!

Negative Nelly:
  • I will be bored.
  • I will miss my high-paying Agile consulting work and instead be hosting Meetups that bomb for lack of interest.
  • I will always be worried about spending money so instead of spending a penny on hobbies and adventures, I will cheaply play on my computer all day, blindly hopping from one site to another, depressed and only somewhat amused by funny YouTube videos.
  • I will become progressively more sick, ugly, stupid,  decrepit, and grumpy and only get online dating interest from men who are worse than me in all of those categories or those looking for GGILFs.  Only one or two people will show up to my parties even when I invite ALL my say-they're-my-friends-but-really-they're-too-lazy-to-do-more-than-LIKE-one-of-my-facebook-posts. I don't get a single heart emoji from anyone.
Since Thanksgiving, I've been loving the time off and feeling a lot more Pollyanna-ish than Negative Nelly-ish.  

I have been VERY busy living life fully, embracing every holiday event, looking for opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends.  I also want to write more, read more, learn more, experience more!  Just to give you a little flavor of the fun I've been having:


  • Hiked Chautauqua with my friend and fellow-coach, Ryan visiting from Boise.
  • Had an awesome family Thanksgiving at Scotty's new house in Colorado Springs (now all my kids are officially home-owners!)
  •  Cleaning and organizing my basement
  •  Went to see an Elvis impersonator honoring police with a former police officer and good friend
  •  Learned about an intriguing network: Liv and befriended someone who's actively involved.
  • Beta Tested a game about the Law of Attraction for Financial Goals
  • Got a luscious massage from CoCo who works miracles on my back
  • Went on the Golden Candlelight Walk and Fireworks with a good friend I hadn't seen for years

  • Went to see Mary Poppins at the theater with a good friend who knew "Mary Poppins"!

  • Went to a singing Meetup Group (even though I didn't actually sing)
  • Started my own Meetup Group, Carpe Diem Connections
  • Hosted a Conversation Salon about passions
  • Went to a meeting to explore the possibility of going to Italy in May
  • Got on Bumble and met a few people including a 51-year-old hottie with massive muscles
  • Bought Solar Panels and had them installed at my home
  • Went to a Book Release party celebrating the publication of a friend's book

  • Am taking part in a CU experiment testing the effectiveness of edibles on lower back pain

  • Planning my next Snowbird Experiment to Tampa
  • Weightlifting at Lifetime Fitness and seeing notable improvement in Skeletal Muscle Mass!


  • Made a new friend, Francisco.
  • Got a surprise Christmas wreath in the mail from a good friend, Chris.
  • Got together for a gal-pal brunch hosted by recovering back-pain-sufferer friend, Cathy.



I wrote a blog post about each of these in my head.  I worked at fully appreciating each experience and noticing the smells, sights, sounds, and emotions and thought about how I could best describe the event so the reader would feel they were right there. I was so witty in my head.

My Pollyanna wants to write a perfect blog post or poem or journal entry about every one of those experiences. My Nellie does not want to spend any more time in front of the computer. I'm hoping to keep both voices satisfied. Write regularly... but keep the blog post short, sweet and imperfect, so I can keep up with living!


2 comments:

Ron Garcia said...

Hi Yvette
Interesting questions about retirement planning
Like you I’d did some research on retirement prior to my decision to retire December 24, 2016. It was my Christmas present to myself.

I had a great career working for the Government as a senior manager in the Computer/ Intelligence and Missile Defense areas.
All high energy and requiring a lot of my time.

The first thing I learned before retirement other than ensuring I was financially stable to retire, was to train my mind in preparation for retirement. I noticed that many who retired before me were not ready for retirement mentally and thus they were never ever happy in retirement

I can tell you, that you will have amble opportunities to explore new hobbies or learn new skills, for me it is taking art classes at the Bemis Art School at our Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs.

Traveling is fun, but as before it is well planned to stay within my budget as it was prior to my retirement.

I have changed my shopping habits, no longer do I need new business suits, blue jeans and shirts are the norm. So money is saved there.
I actually shop for groceries several times a week, picking up the items needed for my evening meal and lunch. You will be surprised by how little you will be spending on groceries and still eat healthy.

I have some friends who sold their homes and now are nomads in the RV world. RVing is not for me, I like having a home to relax in the evening or after some trip.

You can always crash at friends and family too, I prefer B&B.

Anyway, retirement like any life changing event is well planned and thinking ahead.

But again the mental adjustment to retirement is key.

Have fun planning your next adventure

Yvette Francino said...

Thank you, Ron, for sharing your insights and thoughts about retirement. It is a mental adjustment and tough for me to feel comfortable spending when I'm not bringing money in, but I'm lucky to be at a place where retirement is a possibility!