KidsAbility Donation

It is official, the numbers are in and all accounted for and I’m very happy to say that thanks to great sales at the book launch last Monday evening we are donating $150.00 to KidsAbility (http://www.kidsability.ca/) in gratitude for all of your support.

And while I have your attention, allow me to thank everyone again who helped out to make it a very successful evening, and to all those who attended.

This is what retirement’s all about, following your dreams and enjoying life.

What a night! Retire Fit, Fit & Fit is successfully launched. When I started this journey almost 2 years ago, I could never have imagined last night.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out for my book launch. Your support and kind words just filled me up so much I may never feel empty again. What a wonderful feeling to see so many of my friends chatting and enjoying the company of others.

No matter where my book goes from here, best seller or remainder bin, last night was the highlight. I truly hope you enjoy reading it and you find it to be useful in preparing for your retirement.

A special thanks to everyone who pitched in to help last night: Anne, Pat, Fred, Brenda, Ted, Diana and Dalin. You all made the evening so much easier for us to enjoy – Thanks.

A very special thanks to Rose. I could never have done this without you!

What Will I Do With My Retirement?

Recently, I was talking with two close friends, Mork and Mindy (not their real names in case you’re wondering) who have set their retirement dates for later this year. They’re both excited and oh-so-ready to stop working and start playing. But they haven’t quite figured out what their new life will look like.

Mork, who has been a super Type-A for all of his life, knows he will sort out what he’ll do once he retires. He feels he has lots of time for figuring out what he’ll do in his retirement once the time comes and, quite frankly, he still has lots to do to finish up his work life. I’m sure he will succeed as he has always been internally driven to set and meet his self-imposed goals.

Mindy thinks she wants to be busy, but like Mork, hasn’t defined what she’ll focus on once she stops working.  The trouble is, while she is fairly motivated when given a task or goal, she isn’t the Type-A that Mork is. That is, left to her own devices, she sometimes finds that she has frittered away an entire day watching TV or playing a computer game. Not that there is anything wrong with these pastimes on occasion but soon, very soon, she will have 40+ hours a week that she has to fill with something. I think she is a bit overwhelmed by all the choice and the fact that her retirement has become all too real.

So yes, they are both financially fit as well as physically fit. However, in my opinion neither has planned for their emotional fitness. I have no doubt that Mork will decide on something to do and will throw all his energy into it – he has the habits and the drive to do so; but, how many Morks do you know? I know just a few. Most of the people I know are Mindys and for this particular Mindy, I’m concerned that she has left her Emotional Fitness a bit too late.  Her days might become very, very long once her initial “Yay, I’m not working!” euphoria wears off.

They both recognize that they’ll no longer have goals and commitments set by others (their boss, clients or co-workers) and in this new stage of life, they will be in control of their choices and their goals. But they will need to be driven by their internal interests and needs to make sure they have a reason and purpose in their lives.

If you’re getting close to your retirement date, are you ready to be the driver of your daily life? If you’re one of those Type-A’s who have always been internally driven then taking control of your personal life is a natural step. If though, you’ve been best at responding to goals set by others, then you’re now entering a stage where those daily and yearly plans need to come from yourself. Start your planning now, to give meaning and purpose to your life during your retirement years.

Happy Anniversary to ME!

Happy Anniversary to ME!

Today is the second anniversary of my retirement. Two years ago was the first day of my retirement and my wife and I got into my Miata, put the top down (even though it was cool and damp, just like today) and headed South. Well not too far South. We got all the way to Port Dover and had a great Perch lunch and then headed West. All the way to Port Burwell where we were stunned to see a submarine on dry land. http://www.enjoyontario.ca/museum-of-naval-history/ We had a great tour of the sub and then on to Port Stanley where we found a great B&B for the night. What a wonderful way to start my retirement. And best of all, the trip was part of the plan (the sub was a bonus) – yes we both love Port Dover and had planned a little road trip as my retirement kick-off.

Looking back over two years I’m very satisfied with how my retirement plans are unfolding. I envisioned a retirement with lots of travel, community service and time with friends and family. We’ve done some local travel, travel to B.C., and a Mexico and two Spain trips. I’ve created a number of videos promoting Rotary and am working on a couple more right now. We’ve spent a lot of time with friends and family. There were a couple of surprises and for the most part they were small; however, the big surprise for me, and most people who know me, is that I’ve written a book. I expect the final proof from the printer this week and then it is ready for sale. In case I haven’t mentioned it to you, or you haven’t visited my web site, my book is Retire Fit, Fit & Fit: Become Financially, Physically and Emotionally Fit.

I know you are probably planning for the financial aspect of your retirement, but are you also planning for the physical and emotional aspects? Read more about my book on my website howardpell.ca.

So! What are you going to do on the first day of your retirement? The first month and the first year?

Saving For Your Future

Dear 20-, 30- and 40-somethings reading this.

In my soon-to-be-released book Retire Fit, Fit & Fit I talk about the benefit of starting to save for your future when you’re young. I know what you’re thinking; there’s tons of time before I retire, I’ll figure it out by then. However, “Then” will come much sooner than you think.

When I was just out of high school and bouncing from job to job and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I got caught by an unexpected (to me) layoff. It was then that one of my soon-to-be-ex co-workers who was considerably older than me gave me some startling advice. He said:

You should always keep about a month’s salary in the bank for when you are between jobs.

Biff! Pow! Holy bank account Batman, I had never heard this before, and all of a sudden it made infinite sense. But somehow it also dawned on me: Why stop at a month’s salary? Why not 2 months or 12 months? It was some years later that I heard this next incentive (as if I really needed one by then):

The rich plan for three generations; the poor plan for Saturday night.

I just love this quote, attributed to Gloria Steinem. Go on, read it again, it’s worth it.

Then today I read this article by Neal Gabler in The Atlantic. It is rather lengthy but worth your time. The most startling revelation for me is that 47% of Americans couldn’t cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing or selling something. I have no data but I suspect that, more or less, the same could be said for Canadians. Which brings me to the last quote for this blog entry:

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

From David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

If you are in the same position as these 47% and need to reduce your spending and increase your saving (for your retirement, your children’s education, or just for a $400 emergency), may I suggest you take these quotes to heart and seek advice on how to change your financial future.