STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Who Are These Lucky Retirees?

Joined: 11/9/2011
Posts: 23
A high school friend posted recently on Facebook that he and his partner were on a biking trip out west. They both retired from state government years ago and travel extensively. The kicker is that they’re MY age and I’m not in that official retirement age demographic. Personally, I can’t even get my head around the concept of retiring. Are people my age really moving to their dream retirement city, traveling and living la vida loca? And they’re able to afford living in housing that isn’t a van? Geesh, must be nice!

A Lucky Few

The majority of my friends who are my age have no idea when or even if they’ll be able to retire. Some of us are self-employed, some have had personal and professional setbacks and most of us don’t have the healthy retirement savings that would allow the move to the next life phase. I recently bought a book about how to retire overseas, which now gathers dust, untouched on my coffee table. At the time, I thought it would be inspirational/motivational and jump-start me planning a different path.

Of course it helps if you’ve worked in government and plan to receive those nice retirement packages or your company kicks into a 401 K and pension plan (that isn’t being whisked off to the Caymans…). But I know a lot of people who have left the corporate world, willingly or otherwise and we self-employed folks have to try crafting our own plans.

Best Retirement Areas

Many 50+ organizations and publications love to list “The 10 Best Places to Retire.” I enjoy reading those, sometimes for real research, but often for comic relief. Sure, I’ll take that oceanfront condo in Naples, FL. Will that come with cash prizes?

But at least some of these top choice lists are now using different real-world variables like affordability, “green” towns, college towns, cities for singles, etc. For me, the best retirement areas would be wherever I had choices about how much I worked or whether I had to work to survive comfortably, without constant worry about finances.


My friends and I often talk about future restructuring of our lives with a better result in that work/personal life balance. We also talk about downsizing, relocating and moving to wherever. But most of these discussions are not likely to become realities any time soon. So they fall into a fantasy category. We don’t fantasize about living in an Italian villa (okay, I do) or on Maui. We talk longingly about our friends who have made it to retirement. “Wow, what must it be like to be retired?”

Rate this:
Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
I wanted to let you know that we featured your essay on the Stage of Life Facebook page today. If you would like to check it, out go to Feel free to share the news with your friends and family. You're famous! :)
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 3:11:06 PM
Rate this:

Baby Boomers (and older!) blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us is a blogging community for "Empty Nesters" and those in (or near) retirement to share stories about the adventure of life in an online journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories from Baby Boomers (and older), or check out the writing contest for Baby Boomers, quotes about retirement, etiquette advice, videos about retirement, discounts for retirement, and other resources for those in the Empty Nest and Retirement stage of life.  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your life experiences, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources.

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy