Gone Fishin’

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Are you a beach person, a lake person, a mountain person, or a mixture? For my money, there is nowhere more beautiful on earth than the high peaks in summertime. I don’t fish much, but I sure do like to camp, hike, and bike in the mountains. This summer we have a full schedule of trips planned for the Sierra Nevada and Rockies….

Just about every near-retiree I talk to has a dream or “bucket list” they intend to pursue in retirement. For the older generations of my family it was a house in the Virginia countryside, an RV resort community in the Georgia mountains, a home in a small Cape Cod village, and an island off the Florida coast.

For me, that retirement dream has been living in a medium-size, culturally rich mountain town out west, and spending as much time as possible in the higher elevations once the snows melt.

Having dealt with more passings among family and friends, and our own health issues in the past year, the opportunities for travel this summer seem especially vivid. As I write in the conclusion to my second book, in retirement, and in life, you really never know how many more summers you’ll get.

After achieving a certain level of financial security, I say “seize the day.” Don’t die with regrets about how you lived your life. There are ways to generate more money, if you need to. But once you run out of time in this life, the story is over….

Alas, there are always tradeoffs. None of us can juggle all the balls we’d like. I love to travel and explore in retirement, but I also feel a need to be creative and productive. In my case, I’m committed to keeping this blog fresh and relevant, to learning more about retirement finances and sharing that knowledge with readers. But, I’m also 100% committed to enjoying my retirement! So that means that this time of year, travel comes first, and there will be less time for the blog.

Also, after more than five years of posting articles here, I seem to be reaching a natural milestone in the development of this site. Even once my summer travels are over, I’ll probably start taking a little longer between posts going forward. Let’s look at the history:

My first posts on this blog are dated October 2011 — about 6 months after my early retirement at age 50. I spent the initial months of retirement decompressing and vacationing. Then I began to wonder what I’d do with the rest of my retired life.

This blog turned out to be part of the answer. Little did I understand at the time the work that would be involved, but also the rewards that would follow in feedback from appreciative readers.

For the first year or so, while building traffic to the blog, I tried to post about once a week. I had lots on my mind in those initial days of retirement and lots of fresh topics to cover, so the routine wasn’t difficult. In recent years I’ve been posting about twice a month. Most readers seem comfortable with that pace of information — not so much that it overwhelms you; not so little that we lose touch.

It must be working. The blog has almost 200 posts and pages now. It recently reached 14,000 subscribers, and continues to average more than 2,000 unique visitors each day.

After 5+ years of steady writing, I’ve pretty well covered the basics of saving, investing, and retiring, as well as annuities, estate planning, health care, real estate, retirement calculators, retirement income, small RVs, Social Security, and even a bit on taxes.

I’m not out of topics by a long stretch. But many of the subjects sitting in my editorial pipeline now will require more in-depth research and thought, and a longer gestation period. For example, my email inbox continues to fill with reader questions around withdrawal strategies and annuitization. Those are worthy topics that I remain very interested in for my own retirement needs. And I expect to write more in those areas during the back half of this year. But each post requires digesting new academic writing on the subject, and possibly initiating my own original research. All of that takes time, especially when this is a part-time gig to start.

While I’m working on those new posts, if you’re ever lacking for retirement-related reading — especially if you’re a newer reader here — be sure to check out some of my most popular articles from the past. Over the years I’ve tried to write comprehensive, “evergreen” content that isn’t quickly outdated. Most of these older posts continue to be relevant and valuable. Here is a sampling you might not have seen:

And, if you need more detail in an easy summer read, check out either of my two books: Retiring Sooner is for you in early- to mid-career (or late-career if you’re a slow starter). It covers the essentials of mindful money management, retirement goals, simple passive index investing, and accelerating retirement. Can I Retire Yet? is for you in later career. A number of reviewers have called it the most comprehensive book available on the retirement decision. You’ll find everything you need to know about retirement expenses and income, health care, retirement modeling, and managing your money as you start the retirement journey.

My book sales continue steady. The second book, in particular, has far exceeded my expectations. Thanks to all of you who have purchased copies for yourself or others, or left reviews!

And, if you have read one of my books, found it helpful, but not left a review yet, please consider taking a minute now. Amazon makes it easy. One sentence is all it takes to help me out. Reviews and word of mouth are my primary means for marketing. Every single endorsement is greatly appreciated!

So, I’ll be out in nature for a good bit of this season, but the blog and its themes and my readers are never far from mind. Stay tuned to hear more about my travels, as well as my latest research and thinking on retirement topics. I may be writing a little less often, but I look forward to posting many more useful retirement articles for you in the years ahead!

Lastly, have a relaxing and fun summer! And, if you need vacation or travel ideas, check out my posts about great retirement towns and vacation towns in the American west….

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