Posted tagged ‘retirement’


February 22, 2022

retiredOn the last day of December 2021, I retired.   There was no retirement dinner, no gold watch, just an emailed letter to my business partner stating that I was retiring and the business was now his.  We really hadn’t had any business since early in the year … my only responsibilities had been maintaining contact with certain websites that allowed us to work for the government.   So, there is really no change in my days to mark the occasion.    But even at 77 years old, it feels odd.   For over thirty years, I have written in a journal most morning, a remnant of something Julia Cameron called Morning Pages in her book, The Artist’s Way.  It was part of a plan to bring out my Inner Artist, and indeed it did.   I took classes in creative writing, published a short story and wrote a novel (unpublished).   I began painting and photography.   I started this blog that has over 2000 posts on it and another to display my art.  At the end of my pages each morning, I would write four letters (M for Mystic, A for Artist, S for Scientist and E for entrepreneur).  In a small attempt to keep some balance in my life, I would order the letters to correspond to the extent that my previous day was occupied with each of the four.   For example, S, A, M, E would mean that most of my time was spent on Science and Art, while spirituality and business were less important. (more…)

There IS a Free Lunch!

June 19, 2015

P1010610One of the great advantages of being a self-employed consultant is the flexibility to work both where and when I want.  When can be virtually any time that inspiration strikes … or, other times, when a deadline looms.   Where is frequently at a picnic table in Yorba Regional Park.  Yesterday, our housekeeper, Eva, was cleaning our house so I came to the park fully intending to spend most of the day.   I set up my office away from the office at a picnic table in one of the shelters near Lake Number 3.  I travel with a backpack that weighs about 40 pounds and when I’m spread out, my array of electronics (from laptop to bluetooth speaker and a camera just in case one of the park denizens stops by for a photo op) covers most of a table.   I was busy writing an email to a friend when a van parked nearby.  Suddenly I was surrounded by about 30 people.   There was a time I would have said old people but I’m less inclined to do that since at 71 I’m clearly in the club.  From the van, I could see they were from the Town and Country Manor, a retirement facilty, and it was pretty clear they were setting up for a picnic lunch.   Kidding, I said, If you want to have lunch in my office, you’ll have to feed me.   That got a few chuckles and appreciative smiles.  Then I went about my business while they set up table cloths and a food table.

A while later, someone came by and offered me lunch. I was only kidding, IT AND C 2 said, I’m fine. Then someone asked again, saying there was plenty of food.   So I had a lunch of fried chicken, baked beans and potato salad while I chatted with several ladies who stopped by to comment on my electronics or ask what I P1010609was doing.   I helped one woman get her digital camera working.  Just because we’re old, she said, doesn’t mean we can’t use electronics.  Amen.  One woman mentioned how nice it was to be able to walk around the park at her age.  Ever politically incorrect, I asked how old she was.  She was 75.  I’m 71, I said.   You don’t look it, she replied.  My wife assures me she was flattering me and if so, it worked.   When a gaggle of Egyptian Geese swam by and someone said, Look at the baby ducks, I politely corrected them and they appreciated the information.  By the time lunch was over, they were calling me Bud and I was one of them.

t AND c 3

It occurred to me that I would like to post about the experience so I showed them my blog on my laptop and asked a director if it would be OK.  She talked to everyone and they said yes.  It is a perfect subject for Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog because it highlights one of the best things about getting older.   I become part of a community that is, for the most part, kinder, quieter and more appreciative of the small things in life, like a beautiful day in the park.   My new friends were a reminder of just that.   As they were leaving, several stopped by to tell me what a wonderful place Town and Country Manor is to retire.  But I already knew that from watching the faces and the interactions of the people who happened to stop by for lunch in my office.  You can read about Town and Country here.

Friday Favorites 6/6/2014

June 6, 2014

image It is 11:00 on Friday, the end of what has been a hectic week.  It is amazing how many retired people I meet who tell me that they are busier in retirement than in their working days.   That is the preferred solution … I have known other who, after spending years with work as their only activity (and source of fufillment) find themselves bored or depressed … and miserable.  In Al-Anon’s Dos and Don’ts, one of the most neglected Dos is Find recreation and hobbies.   I am fortunate that I have had many outside interests for my entire life because, for some reason, it is hard to develop interests after a life of workaholism.  Yes, a number of my hobbies (or avocations, as I like to call them) were on life support during my working and parenting years, but they seem to have recovered enough in my semi-retirement to fill any empty spaces in my days.

Retired. Semi-Retired. Unretired.

February 25, 2014

semiretiredIf you’ve visited Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog lately, you may have noticed that I’ve referred to myself several times as Retired, with a writing avocation.  If you’ve been coming by for, say, a year, you know that in the past, I’ve said I was Semi-Retired (with a writing avocation).   It’s probably appropriate to define these terms before continuing:

(a) Retired: The state of having no work, combined with the realization that there isn’t going to be any more at my age.

(b) Semi-Retired:  Alternately working, sometimes nearly full time, but wondering how long said work will last, and not working as in (a) but with hope that more work is on the way. (more…)


May 28, 2013

montanaTelevision commercials about retirement … mostly sponsored by investment firms seeking our 401K or IRA dollars … paint a picture of vital seniors fly-fishing in Montana, hiking in the Himalayas or enjoying a glass of wine at a Paris cafe.  The truth isn’t quite as pretty.   For many retirees, retirement is a balancing act between meeting monthly expenses and making sure their nest egg lasts until that certain day down the road when they no longer need it.  Various sources give guidelines for how much money you need to have to fully retire … I won’t bore you (or frighten you) with the details.   But according to Forbes magazine, Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at the New School for Social Research, estimates that 75% of Americans nearing retirement in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts.   That is substantially below anybody’s magic number.  As a result, more and more people are continuing to work after the age of 66.  At 69, I’m one of them.  I’m Semi(?)-Retired. (more…)

Busy. Useful.

February 2, 2013

usefulA week ago, my morning email in-basket included a note from my friend, Ron.  Are you available for lunch today?  Innocuous for most people, not for Ron.  Ron is not a man of few words … he is legendary around here for his long voice mails … so, I knew, something was wrong.   I rearranged my afternoon plans with Muri and set a time to meet him at the local Chipotle for lunch.  Ron is a managing partner of a small engineering company, one even smaller than mine.  They had just lost a substantial job that they were counting on, which meant they might have to let people go.  But that wasn’t what he wanted to talk about.  I know I’m over-reacting, he told me over soft chicken tacos, but I was worrying about having to change jobs.  Then it hit me – what if I have to retire?  What will I do?  So much of my self-worth is tied up in being the provider.  Ron didn’t know it (until I told him) that he’d come to a moment that most of us reach when it’s time to stop working.  We wonder: How will I stay Busy?  How will I feel Useful? (more…)

Monday Smiles – 11/5/2012

November 5, 2012

When my brother-in-law, Norm, retired, I wondered how he’d deal with the leisurely life.   He didn’t seem like the hang around and watch TV type and, although he was a golfer, how much of what used to be a forty hour week can you fill with golf?   It seemed to me that to some degree, he made his leisure life emulate his work life.   Example: Need a new sofa?  Make a list of furniture stores within 25 miles;  collect swatches and paint chips required for the choice;  estimate time needed in each store;  schedule sofa shopping expeditions to the minute; perform a cost-benefits analysis of each candidate sofa;  choose and order.  I sometimes wondered if there weren’t Gantt charts hidden somewhere in the house.  OK, a slight exaggeration, but the point is, he would turn everyday activities into projects.  But lately, Muri and I have been struggling with the leisure life.    Older Eyes in particular can’t get used to the on-again-off-again nature of his increasingly part-time business.   So, Norm, we’re belatedly following your lead, sans Gantt Charts. (more…)

Up and Down

September 1, 2012

It has been a crazy week.   Starting the week, I was semi-retired with just one low-pressure contract with a long time client.   Then we called a potential customer to discuss an idea we had for improving his radar.   We’re not radar guys but we’ve done some similar work underwater with sonar, which works similarly …. radar uses radio waves, sonar uses sound.  He liked our idea, so now, we’re writing a proposal due in three weeks.  The same day, I was retained as an expert to help an investment firm evaluate a company they might buy.  The next day, I spoke to another company interested in using me as an expert on medical ultrasound.  Thursday, we had a status call with our formerly low-pressure customer and discovered we need to be done sooner than expected.  Suddenly, I was unretired. Yikes!  By the end of the week, both expert opportunities have faded, at least for now, and I was back to busy but semi-retired.  Life’s like that sometimes.  It’s good not to over-react but not always possible. (more…)


February 21, 2012

Semi-retired life is funny.  It’s funny because in my business it’s not semi-retired as in I’m always working quarter time.  It’s I’m working full time this week then off for threeHalf time for two months, then off for six.  If you’re a sports fan, you know that if your favorite quarterback doesn’t get enough snaps, he won’t be able to get into a Rhythm.  And you know, when he can’t get into a Rhythm, there are no touchdown passes.  So, on this Top Sites Tuesday #139, my Thought Number One is a question:  Do you think that only jocks need to find a rhythm, that engineers can sit on the bench then come right in and crank those equations? (more…)

Money and Me

October 22, 2011

courtesy wearethe99percent

The website, We are the Ninety Nine Percent (brought to you by the people who occupy Wall Street), features pictures of people struggling in this economy holding a hand written note like this one.  I’ve been stopping by to read them for a few days and my first reaction is argumentative (You are the 99% of what?  You have a future.  What that future will be depends in part on your skill set and willingness to work.  There is no deserve … this is life.). I wonder exactly what they want.  If the 1% had less money, do they think they would have more?  Instead of arguing, though, I’ve been thinking about my attitudes toward money. (more…)