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Questions and Stories about Empty Nest and Retirement

Listed below is the compilation of all of the questions and stories that retirees and those with an empty nest have asked, shared, or submitted as a response to our national writing contest. Topics range from education, to money, to relationships, to health, and many more in between. Do you have a story to share about your experiences being retired or adjusting to an empty nest? Click the "Share Your Story" button to add your voice to!

Read Empty Nest and Retirement Questions and Stories

School Daze

I held tightly to my daddy’s hand as we hurried along the sidewalk on the long journey that led to my first day of kindergarten. That little trip was full of excitement, energy, anxiety and joy. It took about 10 minutes to walk that half-mile with my tiny legs pumping as hard as they could to keep up with my father’s long stride. How could I know, that I’d spend the next 56 years heading to school each September. That special feeling was rekindled every year as I spen

Sue proved a skillful forger. The note I dictated to my good friend and co-conspirator passed the scrutiny of the school secretary. I fixed my eyes on the floor as I handed it to the stiff woman behind the counter, and mumbled something about a sore throat I had suffered the day before. Peering at me over the top of her half-specs, she lifted an eyebrow then shifted her gaze to a pink absence slip, printed my name in the space at the top and slid it across the counter.
I had never cut a s

It was 1966 and her name was Mrs. Garrett. She was young and sported a very blond '60s haircut, you know the one--poofy with the big flipped up curls that lay above her shoulders--and she was very strict. There was never any doubt that Mrs. Garrett was the one and only boss in her second grade classroom.

Back in those days, corporal punishment was THE acceptable form of classroom management and, most likely, Mrs. Garrett's sole reason for becoming a teacher. She made swift use of thi

The year that I got my iPad I realized that cookbooks were becoming obsolete. Suddenly, right at the touch of a fingertip, I had every incarnation of recipes and foodstuffs visually explained to me; and, not by Martha or Julia, but by good old-fashioned home cooks with just an iPhone camera. The intimidation factor was
limited; and, the cooks were sometimes international. It was entertaining and
informative. It was appointment cooking at its best.

I viewed

We helped our older granddaughter with her model of a mission, a requirement of every
fourth-grader in California. It’s such a big deal that the craft stores have whole sections devoted to this endeavor. There are Styrofoam kits for the various California missions, with dozens of plastic accessories.

We bought a kit, because it seemed the easiest thing to do. I found a jar of Christmas snow and used it to spread over the walls, giving them a textured effect. We put in pine t

Recently, two items precious to me disappeared: one a wedding ring, the other a charm from my late husband, inscribed “all my love.” I left them on my dresser and then they were gone--lost, strayed or stolen. The security officer in our assisted care facility took my information and suggested a prayer to St. Anthony, the retriever of lost items.

That sounded fine to me. Although the saint and I are not members of the same tribe, we’re certainly on the same wavelength. The prayer is s

Many retirees have worked their entire life towards and arriving at the date of retirement, seeking time to do nothing, travel, or quite frankly get the hell away form the stressful mundane rat race or the hamster wheel of life. This is a pivotal time to seek out and determine what your heart and soul truly wants and needs.

Retirement is also a time to de-stress, from all of the responsibilities you come to believe is necessary in your life. A time to reflect and de-cl

Doris Baker, a 96 year-old resident of Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach, and a member of the Greatest Generation shares a special story about her dad in honor of Father’s Day:

My father has always been special in my life. His arms held me up in a muddy lake near our farm so I could learn to dog-paddle. I knew I was secure. He would never trick me into learning by letting me go. One spring day he dug down in our lawn to plant some bushes and found a very large mu

I was certainly my father's daughter. Though he died too young and too soon at age 55 on a Father's Day, he is always with me.

Eli, better known to me as Pop, began work early in life in the Upstate New York cotton mills. He told us about having to be hidden in a box whenever the child-labor inspectors came checking.

Although Pop’s older siblings went to college--his sister to study business, one brother to become a pharmacist, he and another brother, Frank, opened a junk

What do a song, a fragrance, and a friend have in common? If they are old enough, they have the power to transport us back in time. Luckily for me, when it happens, I typically end up in a good place. I am not sure if that is because I have blocked out most of my painful memories, or if I just choose to see my past as positive.

For instance, I can hear Crimson and Clover, by Tommy James and the Shondells and think of my first slow dance when I was in Junior High. The guy br


When you think about this day in the future, and you will think there are things you won't remember.

You won't remember the scratchy robe, the awkward hat or the colors you wore.
In fact, you probably won't remember the names of your classmates at your 20 and 30 year reunions. But I can tell you one thing you will remember.

You will remember the feelings you had in your heart today.

You will remember the feelings.

You wi

As each day goes by, I am asked whether I remembered to take care of the chores that burden my life. In this Independent Living set up where I live, it is anything but independent. For every request, there is a form which must be filled out in a timely manner; their time, not mine.

As part of the aging process, I gave up my car--a big mistake. Ironically, most of the approved drivers are older than I. My hearing is good, and I am only slightly near-sighted, which is more than

Soon it will be your yahrtzeit, the anniversary of your death. You died on Sukkot, your unfavorite Jewish festival. You didn’t think much of the lulav and etrog, the palm frond and citron fruit--thought it looked pagan. But you passed away on Sukkot and had to wait for a few days to be buried.

Jessica remembers how she and our other grandchildren sat with you so you wouldn’t be lonely. I should have gone, too, but I didn’t think it was permissible. Wish I could


“Dutch courage,” he informed the bartender bringing him his gin and tonic, a hipster with flat brim ironic cap and big glasses.

“Seven fifty.” Why did he pick such an expensive place? Was it pretentious?

“Why do they call it ‘Dutch’ courage?”

“Dunno. Need change?”

“No, thanks. I’m nervous – meeting a woman here –first date in nine years.:

No reply. The bartender couldn’t care less. Why do some people say ‘culd’ care

It was reported by several news outlets on April 29, 2014, that Harper Lee who authored the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” has agreed allow the book to be available to the public in EBook format on July 8 2014, which is the 54th anniversary of the original publication release date.

As a young fifty year old, I consider myself between the tail end of the baby boomers generation with one foot and the other in the world of technology. I grew up reading books the old fashion way as I rece

I was sixteen, going on seventeen. It was in January of 1957 when I met my future husband. I walked into College Prep English and surveyed the room. It was an overflow class that consisted of only seventeen students. The room was filled with great-looking and smart students. I looked around and picked out three good-looking fellows that interested me. Almost immediately, I eliminated two of them. They were super cute but I realized they were probably out of my league. I thought I looked

When I retired in my early 50's, I moved to southwest Florida for the warm weather and available outdoor activities. Once I settled in, I immediately noticed seniors in groups of two, three, and four or more running, walking and bicycling throughout the day, and they were not moving in these activities with a leisurely stroll.

Most were in a full on cardio sweat, no matter what activity they were engaged in. They all wore brightly colored clothing along with their matching run

The style in which you live is constantly in flux as you age. Obviously your bedroom as a young adult was different from what it looked like when you were a teenager. As people marry, pursue careers, have children, the style of living that works for them will also morph and change to fit their new needs and socioeconomic status. That living style undergoes a final change as people retire and choose how they wish to live the rest of their life.

Moving to a senior neighborhood

By Margery Wakefield

My eyes are different from your eyes. No problem.
I weigh more than you do. No problem.
You are taller than I am. No problem.
My brain is different from your brain. BIG problem, especially if I happen to have schizophrenia, which I do. Because I am schizophrenic, I can be fired from my job, thought of as a deranged killer, called names like “nuts,” “psycho,” “fruitcake,” “wacko,” “crazy,” “weirdo,” loony,” and many

March Madness: Grumpy Old Men

My friend Danny will be happy. Danny was probably born grumpy. He is a pessimist who claims to be depressed even when he sleeps. He has a scowl permanently imprinted on his face. And whenever I try to press optimism on him, he gives me his best evil eye and reminds me of what he has so often said: Simply, pessimists were disappointed less often because they didn’t expect much. Optimists, on the other hand, those with happy expectations, were too

“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports;
the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
Jim McKay, Sportscaster

As the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games begin, that introduction to ABC Wild World of Sports from 1978 keeps ringing in my head. Very few of us will ever experience the thrill of victory in the form of an Olympic medal, but most of us can relate to the agony of defeat.

In 1962, my mother decided to treat my si

After our brief first meeting, my future husband phoned for a date, offering:
…wert thou as far
As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,
I would adventure for such merchandise.

That was a pretty good line to try on an English major; not as prosaic as saying that his sister-in-law’s sister was my neighbor.

A favorite stanza he had learned as a child was:
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their

It's 2014 and time for your yearly update. I think you'd be happy to know that all your old friends are doing quite well. Eternity is still chugging along (rather swimmingly last time I checked). She is still the same thoughtless girl you knew, never stopping or turning no matter how many men plead with her to reconsider.
Death is still the kindly gentleman you used to love to walk with. I go on walks with him often. Sometimes he'll even bring out that rusty chariot. For such

Any minute now, we'll be buying a new car. How exciting! Pay a fortune for something that depreciates 100 percent before you get it home, unless it’s a very short drive. OK, so maybe it’s not that exciting. Memorable? I can't remember buying my first car.

Motorcycle or Car?

I was a grad student working at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, needing transportation. Heriberto, a co-worker, offered to loan or sell me his Harley Davidson motorcycle. As an und

I am researching unique places to retire. They usually do not have elaborate chandeliers. The people who live there are liberal-minded, caring human beings who enjoy walking and hiking and used to go camping and maybe still do. The place is probably rather small and environmentally somewhat remote. I mean, not in the middle of NYC (a joke).Maybe the people like to play scrabble of a somewhat advanced type.They have good senses of humor. These characteristics also apply to those who run this may

My mantra has been “somebody, let me outta here” and after twenty years that somebody was me. A journey filled with the domino effect of medical issues that led to brain surgery, wheelchairs, walkers, canes and handicap stickers. Of course we cannot forget all the normal stresses in life, even my soul was on spiritual life support. Like everyone else who finds themselves in a world of chaos and mayhem, a personal choice is made…to live or give up and die. I choose to live and to do so with pass

Teaching in an elementary school is the perfect place to witness a definite lack of civility. It's also the perfect place to begin to understand why civility is dead or dying. I suppose one could blame it on technology or social media or reality television or even the idea that civility is an antiquated idea that has no place in today's progressive society. But I believe it has more to do with poor parenting.

I see students walking around school dressed in self importance surrounded

The psychology behind this question is far too complicated to thoroughly explore in the word requirement. Age, level of intelligence, home environment, socio/economic background, ethnicity, geography and religion are just a few of the factors that contribute to an individual's perception of manners.

What my parents taught and expected of me in terms of manners is entirely different from what I taught and expect of my child. I was born into a southern household in the late 1950'

A friend of mine chooses a word each year that she can relate to as a guiding light of sorts. Last year she inspired me to do likewise. My thinking is that one word, thoughtfully selected could promote change, as well or possibly better, than a long list of New Year Resolutions. Last year I wanted to do more than resolve to change; I wanted to "define" a singular focus that would guide me to change. So, I searched for one tidy, little word that would sum up my hopes and dreams for the year

Not that long ago, while transferring bags from shopping cart to car trunk, I realized I had forgotten to buy bread. I reentered the market, grabbed the forgotten item and, when checking out, did something I hadn’t done anywhere in a very long time: I paid with cash.

Fortunately, the cashier knew exactly what to do with the five-dollar bill I tendered. She handed me the bagged loaf and, after consulting the cash register, two one-dollar bills and coins. At home, when I removed the c

Energy, invincibility, and the spirit of adventure are descriptive words that one visualizes of college graduates. It is exciting to be a 61 year old college graduate with the energy, renewed sense of invincibility that interconnects with the spirit of adventure. It has been an eye opening journey having been exposed to the social media, diverse technology, and critical thinking or lack of.

The stability of society is based on shared core values. We baby-boomers had the benefits

Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
“Hello? Oh, hey! How was your trip?”
“Who is it?” I asked my mother.
“It’s grandma. She and Georg just got back from their cruise. Where did you go again, Mom?” “They went to Hawaii. You want to talk to them?”
I nodded and she handed me the phone, “Hey Grandma!”

My grandparents were always traveling. In the winter, when it was too cold for them to come up and see the family in PA, they would travel to exotic locations such as Hawaii, Alask

Too much stuff?

As most American prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season and in some cases it has already begun with early bird sales being offered at the major retailers around the nation, most people should consider the issue of do I have too much stuff?

I am guessing that 90% of the people shopping use possibly only 10-30% of the clothing in their closet to include shoes. With most Americans working 5-days a week and spending the weekends at various leisu

Here's my story:

On November 12 at 7pm, my 95 year old mother became dazed and unresponsive. My sister, and mother's caretaker, immediately called an ambulance and had my mother taken to the hospital.

After being examined, the Doctor informed my sister that my mother had a stroke and to prepare the family for the worst. Tearfully, my sister began calling our family one by one. When I received the bad news, I felt completely useless, because unlike my New York family, I

Let me take you out of your world
and put you in another space.
A place where you will see new things,
hear new sounds,
smell new smells.

Your eyes may not believe what they see;
some you will like,
some you won't
some you may not understand--
no matter.

Now you must return to your world.
Perhaps you will become aware
of new sights, sounds, smells.
It is all tucked away
where some day you may need it;

“Do not leave him alone,”
the doctors say.
That bound me
in an unusual way.
I thought of family,
I thought of friends,
some near,
many far away.
The situation’s impossible,
I inwardly cried.
Nothing to do
even if I tried.

Then it started.
The phone rang,
a voice said
“I’m coming today
in time for dinner.
I’ll just stay the night,
leave early next day.”
Our time was short
so we spoke only

Back in the 1930s, our family was financially ruined after the tragedy of a series of lengthy illnesses. In the 1940s, my master's thesis dealt with health care and all of the lawsuits against the newly born Blue Cross. At the time, it was a small group plan, paid for by each individual; but it was not without critics and was sued by many large companies. In fact, many people thought that $10 per year was too expensive.

I have forgotten the negative complaints about Social Security

At our independent living facility, it is protocol to address residents by their full names (e.g., Mrs. or Mr. Brown), but the help is addressed by first names only. In addition, when an aide brings a resident to the dining room, the aide must leave and go back to the resident’s room until she is called. That aide acts as an escort for activities and, after each, must also wait to be called.

The other day, I gave a lecture to the residents on a book I authored, My Life among the

We were ready for retirement! We had three financial planners (yes, three...hedging our bets you see) tell us we had plenty of money. We had lots of things to do. Me, gardening, gourd art, growing food, painting, reading, writing and 6 grandkids. Martin, bicycling, motorcycling, gourd art, photography, helping me with the six acres and ditto on the 6 grandkids. We were both accomplished cooks who like trying new dishes. We were set!

Then the announcement was made by

In the movie Steel Magnolias, Julia Roberts' character Shelby plays a young wife living with diabetes. In a very moving speech, she tries to convince her mother (Sally Field) that having a baby would make her happy. One line in that memorable speech strikes a chord as Shelby laments, "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special." It made for a very dramatic pause in the scene, but my question is, "who said it has to be one or the other?"


I want you to know
that I can give you
for anything that I could give you
would not satisfy you for long.

But to you,
to whom I can give nothing,
I would give everything
if it were possible.

You have my permission
to take from me
anything you like--
my thoughts,
my visions, my dreams,
my creativeness
and any practical gifts I have.

Now the burden
is on me.
I must treasure and nu

I was given a laptop by my children for Christmas 2 years and I wanted to christen it with a quick thank you letter. That letter turned out to be one that my son recently sent back to me. He had saved it 2 years ago and while recently clearing out his e-files, he came across it again. He sent it back to me with a note that brought a tear to my eyes...And the letter goes:

Words can't express my amazement of you two. You are so grown up, so insightful, and so beautiful mentally and

Do you feel like you are always talking yourself out of success or accomplishments? As soon as you start to set goals for yourself, do you suddenly have nagging thoughts about how you aren't up to the task or how you simply aren't qualified to carry it through?

If you have ever experienced either situation, you need to change the way you respond to your inner dialogue. I call it those "voices in your head." Isn't there a country song about hearing voices? I guess it goes to prov

Thanks to Don Henley, the title of this story was very easy. I thought I knew what love was, what did I know...When you get to be my age, divorced, grown children, no grandkids yet, you think you know exactly what love is. You fool yourself into thinking you know what to look for, what to avoid, and what to jump up and grab if it comes within reaching distance. I thought I knew.

I've been divorced for 3 years, and although I went from parents house to college dorm to married, I to

Tennis season begins in five weeks and as Captain of two teams I am obligated to the job until April. I don't mind the work, in fact I welcome it, but it is a commitment that can potentially disrupt my peaceful life. Organizing players and substitutes, attending practices and matches, recording scores and constantly communicating with team members, league representatives and the club pro adds a whole new dimension to my otherwise balanced retirement. As Charity Director for my community Wo

I know you have a touch-tone phone
so that will make it easier.
Do you remember the gift I sent you?
You haven't replied--did you mean to?
If you received it and it was in good shape.
If you thought: I don't know what I'll do with it.
I don't know where to put it.
Why did she send it to me anyway?
If you thought: it's not my taste and
doesn't fit with anything I have.

Once upon a time, a young man from a faraway land met and fell in love with a young woman, who was from that same faraway land and also in love. They planned to marry, but when his grandmother consulted the astrological signs, she declared, “Over my dead body!” (rough translation). Heartbroken, the couple parted.

Although I felt sorrow for our foreign grad student and his would-be fiancé, I was awed by the power of grandma’s astrologic matchmaking. This saga came to mind as I

One of my friends once lamented, “We are too old to make old friends.” Sad but true as we octogenarians and nonagenarians outlive our contemporaries. But there is always a ray of hope when we meet someone who has wandered along a parallel path and wants to share.

That describes Thelma, my new neighbor, poet and friend. She might have been the namesake of the heroine in Marie Corelli’s 19th century novel, the tale of the princess whose name translates as courage of will, dedicated to

Memo to Miriam: you should realize that time passes …

When I moved into my small assisted-living apartment, I realized that I needed to do some refurnishing. First of all, my queen size bed crowded the room and I needed something smaller. That was easy--all I had to do was call my friend Eddie who runs a local furniture store where we always did business. So I called.

“Senior or junior?” asked a voice.
“Must be the senior,” I answered.
“I can deliver a message. H

I have it posted on my blog

What writer hasn’t dreamed of seeing their work in print? The idea is an aphrodisiac, enchanting, irresistible.

You read the many ads about self-publishing and, on impulse, investigate with an e-mail. You receive prompt telephone calls from representatives who explain the many options. Each is so erudite, so concerned with getting you on the right path to a best seller. From the many offers, you choose one recommended by a friend.

My own case was a bit different. All I wa

“Hi,” says the voice on the phone. “This is your cousin Chuck.”
“I don’t have a cousin Chuck,” says I.
“Yes you do,” insisted the voice. “My grandfather and your grandmother were brother and sister.”
Thus our “e-friendship” began, as the patriarch and matriarch and their offspring were reintroduced.

How did he find me? It started with a newspaper article by my daughter, which mentioned our hometown. Strangely enough, our paths could have crossed years before. He went t

Did you know, if both you and your spouse are age 62+, you can buy a home for a primary residence and make no principal and interest payments for as long as you live? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well you can with the FHA-backed HECM for purchase program. It’s more common name is reverse mortgage. Everyone hears that and shies away. Let me dispel some of the myths about this loan for you.
1. I don’t really own my home. You are on the title and the home can never be taken

When I first heard, I said a prayer and then turned back to my government homework. It didn't sink in. I didn't realize how serious it was. They told me he was in the hospital. I heard words like "brain-bleeding" and "heart-attack." I heard "freak accident", I heard " life-support." It didn't sink in. Not until we walked through those too-tidy hospital corridors, not until I saw the grim look on the relatives faces, not until I saw that white rose on the door of his ICU unit.
"Your f

After 27 years of service I decided to retire in 2010, I began planning several years earlier the essentials monies, health, active hobbies and paying off purchases that I did not want to take into retirement.
My kids were out of the house on their own and most importantly not in my pocket.

What I did not consider is the issues of really being able to retire. I am single and I never considered the idea. I mean the issue of complete retirement to enjoy life long hobbies, de

Hello everyone,

Stage of Life has a great offer to share with those looking to take a summer vacation.

The Wyndham Hotel Group is the world’s largest and most diverse hotel company. It includes 15 hotel brands representing over 7,300 hotels and more than 620,000 hotel rooms in 66 countries, under the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Dream Hotels®, Night Hotels®, TRYP® by Wyndham, Wingate® by Wyndham, Hawthorn Suites® by Wyndham, Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada Worldwide®, Baymont

Novice writers, like newlyweds, thrive on immediate satisfaction, but only those who have loved long know the meaning of passion, its pain, sacrifice and reward. From that first adolescent crush on words, the reveling in meaning, comes the impulse for expression. That seed is planted; the process begins; the discomfort of the thinking process as growth and development proceeds with the bloating of ideas, until the painful birth of the brain child.

In the beginning, the child must be

When my daughter was in kindergarten, the teacher asked the class to draw a picture of a parent doing whatever they do for work. My daughter did not quite know how to draw her Dad doing accounting work and running a business, so she decided to draw me. On parent night I walked around the classroom and saw drawings of Moms with stethoscopes, wearing chefs hats or nurses caps and holding scissors or standing before a chalk board. There was a Dad in a police uniform, one dressed in a suit carry

As a recent empty-nester who's had a rather hard time of it, I've finally come to the point where, after finally emerging from the depression, have decided to begin to live life again and try new things. One of those new things happens to be riding a motorcycle with my husband. He's convinced me to try it and now I find that I really enjoy it. So, we bought a bigger bike and are planning road trips for the summer. I bought myself a sleek new white helmet that coordinates with the bike and m

Empty nesters are masters of reinventing. We reinvent various aspects of our lives all the time. We have to. When the last of our brood grows up and moves out to peruse their first real independence in the world either while attending the college of their choice or going directly into the work force, we are left, after the shock of the quiet wears off, finding ways to fill the empty hours. We have no choice other than to reinvent everything from our daily lives to those times of year that cente

“Go read your books; someday you will be a teacher. I don’t want you be a pot-walloper like me, your mama.” Your words must have come from the eight year old child who, arriving in America, was put to work in a cigar factory, stripping stems out of the leaves. When you told us your job, we teased you--“Our mother was a stripper!”

You always demeaned yourself, though you were the finest baker, the best cook, the creator of dresses for me and suits for my three brothers. You knitted sw

I received a fun little comparison between 1965 and 2013 and wanted to share it with the Stage of Life community. If you're a Baby Boomer, you may get a kick out of this (or it'll depress you!)...

1965: Long hair
2013: Longing for hair

1965: KEG
2013: EKG

1965: Acid rock
2013: Acid reflux

1965: Moving to California because it's cool
2013: Moving to Arizona because it's warm

1965: Trying to look like Marlon Brando

"These don’t match," said the Social Security clerk, comparing my birth certificate and my SS application, unamused at my response, "I wasn't born married."

Sometimes, I feel that is the case because life as I knew it is over. Now I belong to that vast sisterhood of unemployed ladies, dismissed from careers as wives, lovers, caregivers and caretakers. To keep busy, we are consummate volunteers, competent babysitters, and advice-givers to teenagers and young marrieds. We play canasta,

I received a renewal notice for my Driver's License about two weeks ago and finally got around to taking care of it yesterday. My procrastination was brought on by a pre-determination that it was going to be terribly inconvenient. And it was. But not because the office was inefficient or that the lines were unbearably long - it was inconvenient because I failed to read my renewal notice carefully.

The last time I renewed my license, all I had to do was surrender the old license

Recently, as my brother was taking his turn keeping vigil at our dad's bedside, the two of them relived many a coon hunt of his boyhood nights gone by. That's when he thought of a question he had always wanted to ask.

"It was so dark out there in the woods," he mused. "How did you always know exactly where we were?"

The faintest smile flickered across Dad's face as he held up a weak forefinger and answered, barely above a whisper, "One star."

Later, my brother

Dragons, it seems, are the ultimate evil. In fairy tales, when the hero slays the dragon, he is considered the bravest of the brave, he wins the treasure and the adulation of the townspeople, they throw a parade and he marries the princess. The dragon is his final obstacle between Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After.

If my life were a fairy tale, my dragon would be $100,000 in unsecured consumer debt.

Over 25 years of married life, Downtown Dad and I fully own the fac

Our neighborhood is not classified as a "retirement community," but it does have a higher than average number of retired couples living among the "still working folks." The community lures the newly retired with a variety of home choices ranging from condos to estate homes and with its proximity to fishing, golf, tennis, culture and great healthcare facilities. It has an active social climate that invites neighbors to participate weekly in both organized and private events. Parties are a re

She announced to the class that this would be her last year teaching as her face graced us with a smile. You could see the relief wash over her mind as a weight was lifted, as the words crossed over her lips and reality sank in.

My favorite professor leaving, after decades of putting up with tests, papers, excuses, and every other drama she dealt with outside of the classroom. I never experienced it firsthand, but I could imagine how stressful her job could be. I never asked, never w

We were finally going to do it.

After eight years of making do with the threadbare, dog and kid stained, lifeless green carpet (picked out by the previous owners) in our bedroom, Downtown Dad and I decided it was time to do something nice for ourselves for once, and replace it!

But – replacing flooring is never JUST the flooring. Pffft! If you replace the flooring, you MUST paint the walls, and if you paint the walls, you HAVE to repaint the ceiling, and once you’ve change

Granddaughter Elishe introduced me to Facebook, thus opening the email portal with former high school students, friends and relatives. The latest round of emails began with Elishe, announcing a pregnancy and describing the parent-teacher conferences in the school where she teaches in Jerusalem.

Then an email from Nephew Lee, the talented composer in Brooklyn, giving me access to his 7000 picture gallery and editing my family tree.

An email from Cousin Chuck in California

What happens when you turn 55 years old, and have no money for retirement? Simple arithmetic shows you that it is impossible to save enough for a decent retirement with so little time left in your working career. But wait, the fear and misery gets worse. What if you are too old for the job market and find yourself jobless to boot? And to further compound the hopelessness, there is household debt to service. The author of "55 and Scared Sh*tless" found himself in that exact situation.

“I’m buying a bond because I don’t want to lose any of my principal!” Not great reasoning or logic and not exactly accurate.

An investor buys bonds (or bond funds) for many reasons but their investment objective(s) must drive that decision. The two primary reasons to invest in bonds (also called fixed income securities) are diversification and/or steady income. Although investment portfolios normally include a fixed income component, if either of these are not your investment prior

In September, I started teaching at the elementary school my four daughters attended when they were growing up. The opportunity presented itself and, being an empty nester with time on my hands, I jumped right on it. I have to say that, even before the most recent event, the thought of some psycho walking into the school with a gun had a place in the back of my mind. Following the Newtown incident, the thought has taken more of an up-front position. I also have to say that I have no idea what

Hello All,

Stage of Life is proud to announce its latest endeavor - the development of the first mobile storytelling game! For the last three months, we have been putting our creative efforts into drafting Writing Race, a multiplayer story writing game for Apple iPhone where friends will collaboratively (or competitively) write a story together using their mobile phone.

Our idea to expand Stage of Life’s literacy initiative to the mobile realm began as some scribbling on

2012 is a year to remember. The 113th Congress we elected will include more women than ever before, including women of all races and sexual orientation.

New Hampshire made a clean sweep with its female governor and all-female house delegation, joining its incumbent female senators. There were also many women taking state and local offices.

One of the most interesting presidential candidates was Jill Stein, of the Green Party. Hardly noticed in the Obama-Romney fracas, her

From: Frontage Road to Zen: The Retirement Chronicles

The methodology (if you can even call it that) I’ve been using to discover what comes next is: Web-researching/reading/social media about things that interest me. Getting out there...following a trail...seeing what develops. I’m planning to do this until something gets traction.

So this weekend I went to a number of Tucson Modernism Week events. I used to wear, when I

A New Chapter: Surviving Retirement
Maddy Olson blogs on a variety of subjects that are deep topics and can change lives. Writing for Brookdale assisted living is a very rewarding passion she enjoys. Several losses in her family to Alzheimer’s Disease has prompted her write about the topics she has researched or practiced.
Some dread retirement, some look forward to it. There are ways to enjoy these later years, it ju

As one of the Stage of Life Editors keeping an eye out for products and services that can be of assistance to Baby Boomers, I came across the company Wearever. With more Boomers taking care of their aging parents, not to mention aging themselves, the often taboo topic of incontinence is something not everyone is comfortable talking about.

Because of that, we asked Wearever to share their thoughts about this issue in the hopes that it'll help those of you dealing with it, either with

More from
writen after an 11-day road trip.

I had little connection to electronics while on the road – just a quick email check here and there. I really wanted it all to just … be … unfold … flow. And it pretty much did. Reaching the last days, I still had a need to get back, driven by different considerations than when I was working (meaning I needed to get back for the Bonnie Raitt concert and some other things).

But t

Here is a very short story about my last days at work from my blog: Frontage Road to Zen

Two final days of work (yes, I actually had things to do - many "case briefings" to write, lots of odds and ends, and organizing some files to pass on...almost the usual multi-tasking, detail-oriented brain jam that was much of the previous twelve years). Two co-workers took me out to a lovely lunch yesterday and two brought me flowers today....

I have lots of stories on my blog:

Frontage Road to Zen: The Retirement Chronicles

I hope you enjoy!
Joan C.

by Ermine Cunningham

I called Mom Monday morning with the bad news.
“Mom, Cousin Carmella’s obituary is in the paper.”
“Oh, poor Carm,” she replied. “She’s been sick a long time.”
“Calling hours are tomorrow. I’ll pick you up and we’ll go together?”
“OK,” she answered. “Just remember when I go, I don’t want any calling hours. If they can’t come see you when you’re alive, why bother when you’re laid out? It’s not right.”<

There is no doubt that many people have felt the full force of the financial downturn. Recession is a word which has been around for quite some time, and with it, the unfortunate implications that have in some cases literally decimated the lives of families. From a purely financial standpoint, it is at times like these that it is important to take a moment to review available options when considering the financial situation and not make any rash decisions.

In terms of finding

"America's Retirees: Vote the Issues, Not the Party Line", a new two and a half minute online video animation from ProtectSeniors.Org, highlights voting for federal candidates who support retiree economic issues.

We urge you to have a look (by clicking on the title of the video above) and forward it to fellow retirees to encourage them to join in the fight to protect our earned retiree healthcare benefits!

I moved to Germany this year with my husband when he took retirement .Ive been a "house wife "come part time jewellery making teacher for the past 20 years so I didn't know how i would feel having company around all day but It is fun most of the time .We are finding out so much about starting a new life in a new place that we don't have time to sit still .I have just started a blog about our life here to let folk know there is life beyond work .I would love to here from other folk that are thin

September 1941, a few months before Pearl Harbor and WWII, I was the new 8th grade Social Studies teacher assigned to a school that was a make-shift solution to overcrowding. In a reciprocal agreement between a local parish in need of funds and a school system in need of space, the city rented the middle floor of a parochial academy. Supposedly temporary, this arrangement lasted for two decades.

The building was comfortable, with wonderful cross-ventilation, ideal for capturing the

Reading the newspaper article about Anders Breivik, the right-wing assassin responsible for an attack unparalleled in Norway’s history, I think of the chain of events which brought him to my mind.

“It could have been us,” wrote Lee Brooks, my dear talented nephew, musical director of the annual Oslo Freedom Forum. The forum, supported by world leaders, Amnesty International, the Nobel Peace Center, the University of Oslo and others--business, political and cultural leaders as well as

I was recently asked when I was going to retire. I replied that I hadn’t quite made my mind up between the Goodyears or the Firestones, then again Yokohamas were an inexpensive choice while Pirelli’s, though my favorite, at this stage of my life, may last longer than me!

So that got me to thinking that maybe the decision to buy new tires was like a metaphor for Retiring, or at least buying into a new stage of life. First question:

What makes a car stable? Well, it has four

The very moment that wonderfully soft, smooth, moving voice of Nat King Cole’s comes flooding into my ears singing out “Chestnuts roasting by an open fire…”, I am completely mesmerized. I don’t even have to close my eyes and I remember Christmases at my grandparents house- Granddaddy bringing in the cedar tree; retrieving the boxes filled with Christmas treasures from the attic with Grandmother; the plastic Santa face for the front door; the floral displays made of plastic poinsettias, glass o

I am Leonardo. As I live on a small island, the title of my blog is “Stories of an Islander”. I was born in summer of 42. So now I am 70 and I invite you to read my blog.

For a change there is no business connected to my blog. My passion is writing and my aim is to tell stories which happened and are still happening directly or indirectly to me and my family. Mind you I am just an ordinary man, nothing spectacular……I am not a politician or an astronaut and I am not telling you how t

I just discovered your site and wish to use your services to promote my free story blog. The fact is that I could not fill all the fields required to register because I live in Malta a small island in the Mediterranean Sea in Europe.Nevertheless it seems that i am registered because here on top it says 'Welcome leonardo'.

To know about my stories in my blog which I started few months ago and I post regularly on Saturdays,it is best to write the blog's URL: www.StoriesOfAnIslander.wee

I was lucky enough to virtually meet former California Senator Omer Rains a few months after he published his book, Back to the Summit. His inspirational story is one of believing in yourself and not allowing anyone else to limit you.

This book, to me, is the quintessential story of perseverance and extraordinary determination on the part of one individual. It is the story of how a powerful politician and lawyer of famous celebrities came back from the darkest hours of his life in

For my first story on Stage of Life, I will attempt to answer the question,"How did I get Here?"

As a Christmas present for my mother last year my son and I produced a music video to celebrate her life and have some fun with the fact that she had bought herself a Mazda Miata at the age of 83. We posted it on Youtube so family and friends could share in the fun. I thought Mazda might find it funny and it ended up on a e-magazine sub-site for Miata owners.

One day last week

As the new millennia dawned, Sue and I were knee-deep in preparation for our July 29th wedding. To be honest, she was knee-deep, as the preparations assigned to me were no more than ankle-deep. But still, there were vows to compose. Being a writer—and her, an editor—this was a responsibility I didn’t take lightly, for she’d know immediately whether I’d put considerable time and effort into their creation ... or not. More importantly, I wanted the vows to be special, a reflection of the depth

For a suburban male teen in the late ‘60s-early ‘70s, it was a crowded temple—the pantheon occupied by “Rock Guitar Gods.” I saw many of them in concert: Allman, Beck, Clapton, Page, Winwood. However, the stringed instrument that I returned to again and again to savor its unique sound was the harp in Elton John’s “Come Down in Time,” from the 1970 album Tumbleweed Connection.

Long ago, I worked as a night watchman at a lumber mill. It started as a lark, a summer job in 1974 between

MY SONG: Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” - 1986 - its been a song of meaning in my life when I was 17 and still 26 years later.

The first song that came to mind was Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.” I am a child of the 80’s, but this song was special to me because it was the favorite song of my best girlfriend back when we were in high school. We had known each other since kindergarten, but by the end of junior high we had became inseparable.

By the

Music was an important part of our lives; in fact, you could tell our story in popular songs. The first time we met at a sorority house party, we danced to "I'll be with you in apple blossom time." He wasn't in uniform yet but soon would be; tall and handsome with a smile that lit up my life. Soon, we would be separated by war. In the meantime, we enjoyed the Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movies and chorused, "The bells are ringing for me and my gal." After we saw Holiday Inn, we asked a bandleade

October 31 would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. I always wondered why they choose Halloween to get married. As a child, I believed that my parents’ marriage was cursed by witches and goblins. Their union was a difficult one, plagued by threats of divorce. While sadness consumed our house, I can recall rare times when mom was happy.

Mom told me that she chose to get married on October 31 because autumn was her favorite season. She enjoyed seeing the vibrant green leaves tur

Last night we received a call from our son, only hours after he and his girlfriend were over relishing the sun with us and enjoying some time off of his job with the Alaska Division Of Forestry, informing us that he was going to be deployed with 5 other Alaska division crews, to go down and assist the fight with the Colorado blazes. The last time he was deployed to any major wildfire was into the Alaska interior last year, to fight a fire outside of Tok. Our initial reaction was of both excit

So often I’ve told people about my bathrooms woes. No, it’s not a medical issue. It’s more of a there’s-an-almost-hole-in-the-bathroom-floor issue. And it has needed to be dealt with for over five years now. We even have the most wonderful steam shower just sitting and waiting for the project to begin. It’s been sitting and waiting for about six years now. On my front porch. In its original shipping crate. Sigh. This renovation is stymied by the fact that the Mister of the house is quite capabl

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