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September 27, 2015


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Hi Syd,
I loved going back and reading some of your posts dated in 2008. Many of those bloggers and commenters are long gone off the internet. Wish we could do "I wonder where they are now"? segment.
I noted that when people first retire they are gung ho about traveling and 'doing' things. They rant and they rave. Eventually it all goes through their system and most everyone seems to settle into a nice comfy routine after a few years.
Personally, for me, at my stage of retirement, I am enjoying just doing less and less.
I'm in the de-cluttering stage where I just keep purging and purging till I reach minimalist level.
Less is so much more.
Thanks for this thoughtful post.
Nice to read something 'new' from you, even if it is about the past!


Looking forward to your before-and-after series because I love your insights, voice and humor.
Are you still working on a book? (you don't have to answer)


I look forward to this Syd, it should be fun! Particularly the naysayer comments, of which you received more than your fair share as a too-be-envied early retiree. Though of course, what we think is so often what we do, so my prediction is that the naysayers live in worlds where they will continue to be right, and the same will be true for the 'yeah' sayers.

I was mentioning to Mike the other day that after five years of being retired, it feels like life has both sped up, and also slowed down. While we are continuing to go fast and hard in the areas of our lives that give us joy (time with family, physical pursuits, travel), we are slowing down in the areas that allow for self reflection - meditation, yoga, sitting and smelling the roses. And like you, thoughts/worries about finances has dropped to the bottom of our list. Meaning, we now buy and drink only the good stuff. (Do be sure to let Doug know . . . :-)

Fervent Finance

Can't wait for those posts! It seems like as long as you're flexible, everything will work out. :)


Great idea. Looking forward to reading your posts.


Looking forward to reading your insights!

Retired Syd

Cindi: Must be going around. I'm in a major de-clutter binge too. I'm trying to have empty shelves in my closet and in the kitchen, and fewer pieces of furniture. We had to move one car out of the garage to store all this stuff. But we will soon be transporting it up to Napa where friends will coordinate giving it to victims of the recent horrible fires up there. A win-win!

Louisa: Aaah, the book. I guess you could say I'm still "working on it." That would be a generous way to describe the lack of progress!

Tamara: I know what you mean about speeding up AND slowing down. And yes, the good stuff--good girl!

FF, Gisele, Steve: Ok, better get writing--don't want to let you down!


Syd, At eight years you're still a newbie by my standards: I'm a few weeks away from seventeen years since I left my career at age 45. So far so good. But I have been slowing down; my volunteer work still gives much-needed structure and satisfaction to my life, but for a lot of activities it's "been there, done that". My hobbies have morphed somewhat over the years, which I guess isn't surprising.

I do wish I could de-clutter, but it seems to be a lost cause for me. But I have, at long last, begun the process of getting a proper Will done, which is a major accomplishment for someone who is single and childless. I've also learned a lot. (I didn't realize that one could name beneficiaries for pretty much all financial accounts and even one's house — via a Beneficiary Deed — making things very simple. Who knew?) And that process has me thinking about de-cluttering again. And so it goes...


I always look forward to your posts (even on your nonexistent schedule) and love the idea of a "then and now" overview. After just about a year and a half of retirement I am looking for a good balance of doing and doing nothing. Sometimes even writing a regular blog post (I try for four times a month) just seems like too much commitment. There is so much else that competes for my time. You appear to have struck a balance that works for you and I always enjoy it when you allow us to peek into your world.


I look forward to these before-and-after posts! I'm an early retirement newbie (only 2.5 years out, now age 45) and I'm definitely still in the flailing stage. I really appreciate the kind advice you've given on this blog and via email because it reminds me that this uncertain feeling is perfectly normal.

There must be something in the air because I'm decluttering too, and I'm already close to being a minimalist by many people's standards!


I am pretty new to your blog, but also new to retirement. I am going through exactly the same phase that you did in the early year(s)! It feels so good to know that I am not alone in my anxiety about exactly what I should be doing. Thanks for posting! I am enjoying reading your posts!


Hi Syd,
The idea of phases within retirement seems spot on. Especially since all aspects of development have phases. I think we are lucky if we evolve within retirement. I'm still in the travel phase -- 2015 Southwest desert, Italy biking, transatlantic cruise, walking in Peru -- but I can imagine a shift will take place. Retirement is not unlike other life phases in that we want to evolve and development. Nice post.

GailD PhD

Sally Rader

Hi Syd,
I love the idea of the Then and Now posts! It is encouraging to hear that many of your concerns when you first retired are no longer concerns. I find your writing very inspiring and thank you for your posts. I hope to take the plunge next year sometime - one of my biggest concerns of course is healthcare and running out of money and becoming homeless LOL and oddly enough of course the little things like- what to tell people. I worry way too much about what others think I guess :) Thanks Again! and so good to find this latest post!

Lorraine Watkins

I have enjoyed your posts and like the radomness! I don't think that is a word. I agree with the others it it is a time of anxiety, guilt, excitement, joy and contenment. I had never read about these feelings prior to my unexpected early retirement. I found your blog and felt relieved. I am 4 years into this and feeling much more comfortable! Thanks.


I look forward to it, too. As you know, we both retired in 2008 and are about the same age (I am 52). I am particularly interested in one commenter who posted a lot of contrarian comments and became rather rude after a while before thankfully disappearing.


Great to have a post from you.
It's not looking good for your SF Giants this year :--(
Best regards.

Retired Syd

DPG: Yes, we just did all that estate planning stuff a couple of years ago. Kind of makes you feel like a grown-up doesn't it? My advice on the de-cluttering: pick one thing. Say a closet or a junk drawer. Don't think about the project of the whole house--it's too much to think about. Another tip, when you see something and think "I gotta throw that out," do it NOW. I keep a bag on my closet floor and every so often when I think, "why am I keeping that thing that I never wear," I throw it in the bag.

Janis: No, I know exactly what you mean--see my next post!

Grace: At 2.5 years I predict you are just about to turn the corner on that flailing thing.

Gail: I know--I've been following your adventures on your blog. Fun!

Sally: Oh the what others think. I think that worry is harder to conquer than even the homeless thing!

Loraine: Yes, you definitely hit your stride about year 4, don't you (note to Grace!)

deegee: Aaah, I remember him well.

Rick: Save you some money on hats!

Mary Couzens

I think this is a great plan for your blog! Looking back on your initial thoughts/feelings/notions, compared to how they align now that you're a seasoned retiree will be really interesting. I like that you also embrace that is entirely okay to change your perceptions about retirement and allow your feelings to evolve with time. This will be really insightful to those just dipping their toes into the retirement pool and preparing for The Big R! Can't wait to read more!

Steve Miller

Hi Syd,

I've been retired for just over 3 years and I agree whole heartedly. When I first retired, I stressed about a lot of the same things but I don't stress nearly as much anymore. It's great to hear that it's true even after 8 years of retirement.

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