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Empty Nest and Retirement Blog Archive

Retired and Realistic

Posted by: Suzanne on 09/11/2012

As retirees, we have to be realistic about changes in our body while striving to maintain good physical health. Sports that we used to play with ease are now more difficult or even out of the question. Weaker muscles strain more easily, reaction time and fluid movement is inhibited, and our proficiency is diminished. That does not necessarily mean that it is time to throw in the towel – we might just need to adjust to a new normal.

I have played competitive club tennis since my e... Read More

Redefining the Nest

Posted by: pammlofton on 09/06/2012

Do you ever dare yourself to do things? I remember the first thing I had to dare myself to do when the nest became empty was to figure out who exactly I was now that the lovelies were all grown up. It may sound a little crazy, but I really did have to define myself in this new role. Maybe redefine is a better way to say it.

The kids still need us from time to time when they leave the nest. Especially if they leave to go to college. I mean, who else is going to fill out FAFSA and send... Read More

On a Scale of One to "Laying Sod"...

Posted by: Suzanne on 08/19/2012

When my husband considers a DIY project that is going to be challenging he tries to encourage my participation by saying that it will be “easier than laying sod.” Over the years that phrase has become a euphemism to describe the level of physical difficulty we are about to encounter. It got its origins when we were in our early forties and had a pool built in our back yard. Heavy machinery destroyed all of the grass on the side of the house and we decided to replace it ourselves. How hard co... Read More


Posted by: warren on 08/08/2012

The closest I ever got to London was an overnight in a Heathrow Airport hotel when my plane was delayed in Abu Dhabi. Nevertheless, watching the Olympics on TV, I realized what’s missing from my exercise routine: swimming.

My Life with the Fish

When I was growing up, we spent a month or more of most summers at a freshwater lake, swimming almost daily. Eventually, instead of renting, my parents bought a cottage--everyone called them “camps”--a short walk from a small Adiro... Read More

Friendships In Unlikely Places

Posted by: Suzanne on 08/03/2012

Lately I have invited the most unlikely cast of characters into my life – a skydiver, a biking/hiking enthusiasts, a writer, a quilt maker and a frugal grandmother to name a few. They do not live in my hometown nor even close by. In fact, I have never met any of them face to face. They live in places like Oregon, Washington, Arizona, California, Texas and Hawaii. We have become acquainted via the blogosphere and visit each other regularly with the click of a mouse.

I never know ... Read More

Fishing Tales

Posted by: warren on 06/27/2012

Yes, I’m retired. No, I don’t care to go fishing. Fishing is filed away in another lifetime.

Everyone fished or hunted or both when I was growing up in Upstate New York. I was close to the action. Along with automobile supplies and toys, my father’s store carried sporting goods, including everything except bait for freshwater fishing.

For at least a short time, you could even buy your state fishing license at the store. I mention that only to remove the difficulty of obtai... Read More

Do They Ever Take Their Stuff

Posted by: Suzanne on 05/24/2012

One week ago I woke up to view what can only be described as a “white trash yard sale” in the middle of my house. Seriously, if you have ever watched an episode of Storage Wars (a T.V. show that auctions off the contents of abandoned storage units) you get the picture. Our dear Daughter has arrived for the summer! Of course, she didn’t bother packing (other than her clothes) and instead just hauled her stuff ala Sanford & Son to be dumped in the most accommodating place – our living room. Af... Read More

Blogs and Blogging

Posted by: Suzanne on 05/15/2012

Seven months ago I started a Blog with the intention of having yet another creative outlet for two of my favorite past times – writing and photography. I wanted the blog to be specific to the two of us and chronicle our retirement life including travel, adventures and hobbies.

Since the internet is a highly public venue, it was important to me to design it in a congenial way that would invite viewers to feel w... Read More

Cooking For Two

Posted by: Suzanne on 05/02/2012

Eating right and staying healthy is a challenge at every age but especially for those of us at this stage of life. With just two people at home it’s tempting to eat out a lot. There are several reasons not to succumb to the temptation.

First, it is hard to make healthy choices at most restaurants; fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet and unless you are visiting the salad bar regularly, you probably won’t find those in abundance on most menus.

Read More

Coveting My Daughter's Room

Posted by: Suzanne on 04/02/2012

My daughter will graduate college in May and be off to law school for another three years, so I’m thinking – enough is enough. I have maintained her space as if she would be returning home at any minute for almost four years and I think it is time to reclaim it. The possibilities are endless – a craft room sewing room, reading room, guest room that reflects my style and not hers.

But, what message will that send?... Read More

Retirement Your Way

Posted by: Suzanne on 03/07/2012

My husband and I have been retired for several years, but we just recently figured out how to be retired. It didn’t happen over-night and we learned through trial and error the things that make us feel happy and fulfilled. Our days are a collection of simple pleasures and surprising moments jumbled up with the responsibilities of homeownership and an occasional spontaneous day trip or well-planned vacation. We make short term commitments that are meaningful and manageable and we pay a respect... Read More

Schedules and Empty Nest

Posted by: pammlofton on 03/03/2012

One thing that kept things running relatively smoothly while raising 4 daughters was scheduling. And by scheduling, I mean scheduling everything. EVERYTHING. It worked. We knew who had to be where and when they had to be there which was invaluable with four daughters all involved in different activities. Yes, we ran late sometimes even with a schedule. But it was a guide- a mother’s helper, if you will-and not written in stone. As parents all know, having children means learning how to go with ... Read More

The “Open-Faced” Sandwich Generation

Posted by: NancyMyMoves on 02/28/2012

I’m a ‘Boomer in what’s been called the “sandwich generation” – we care for both children (or grandchildren) and elderly parents. I don’t have kids, so I guess I’m an open-faced sandwich: I’ve lost my Dad, but my 83-year-old mother is going strong. I’m very lucky and grateful that she’s able to live alone in her own home. But in 2009, she had a scary bad fall and I supervised her recovery. I learned many life lessons throughout the process. One was to never bring up moving unless she initiates ... Read More

Why Journal

Posted by: Suzanne on 02/19/2012

I recently posted an essay on Stage of Life about my reflections on four decades of personal journal writing. During the process of writing that piece, I started to think about why I still write. I narrowed the list to twenty reasons that I think will make sense to you.

Obviously, everyone on this site shares the same passion – writing, but many of you may not have considered journal writing. I hope you will regard this list thoughtfully, pick up a blank book and begin the journey... Read More

My Stage of Life Companion

Posted by: Suzanne on 02/11/2012

Through the years, I have experienced many phases of life, all with one constant companion – my journal.

It has served different purposes and taken on many identities – mentor, friend, confidant, life coach, counselor, travel buddy and dumping ground to name a few, but it has always been there with me.

As a confused twenty-something, it helped me evaluate and prioritize. It was filled with “to do” lists, timelines and pros and cons concerning potentially life altering dec... Read More

4 Best Places to Retire Close to Home

Posted by: NancyMyMoves on 02/07/2012

If you’re like me, in that nebulous “might retire someday” demographic I’ve written about before, you’ve probably already scoped out areas where you might head when the magic day arrives. Maybe you’ll move to Provence or Asheville, NC? It could be that you’re looking at some great all-inclusive retirement communities. (Ha! When I said “all-inc... Read More

The Dash

Posted by: Suzanne on 02/05/2012

We are all living the “dash.” You know, the time between our birth date and the date we die. That little – is the equivalent of a micro chip that contains an accounting of our lives. The stories that are recorded there are up to us to write, and for others to decode. I say decode because every human story is complex, full of twists and turns and periods of regression and progression. We learn, we grow and we change, constantly. So, what is the real story? Can we fully understand anothe... Read More

Thoughts On Cooking And Living

Posted by: Suzanne on 01/29/2012

My husband and I love to entertain and have a pretty solid game plan when we decide to cook for friends. As soon as the e-vites go out, our fun begins. Although we can make dinner for two in about fifteen minutes, a "company" meal might take a week – seriously. First we look for inspiration – cooking magazines, Pinterest, what looks good at the market, or seasonal fruits or veggies. When something peaks our interest we build ... Read More

Who Are These Lucky Retirees?

Posted by: NancyMyMoves on 01/27/2012

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’... Read More

Betty White

Posted by: BettyBoomer on 01/22/2012

Last Monday night our fitness instructor couldn’t make it to class so we (the class) were supposed to go upstairs and walk the indoor track instead. Being the exercise buff I’m not, I opted to go back home instead. I’m glad I did. I had forgotten to tape Betty White’s 90th birthday TV bash. I missed the first twenty minutes of it but managed to get the gist of the show. Actually I would say the “gists” of the show but apparently that is not a legit word. Ah, the joys of writing “creative”... Read More

Saying Thank You

Posted by: Suzanne on 01/18/2012

In this world of electronic communications, it is rare, but welcome, to receive a beautifully crafted, hand written thank you note. I was fortunate enough to get one just a few weeks ago, in response to a batch of homemade cookies that I had brought to an elderly neighbor. Seeing my name and address penned across the envelope in a delicate handwriting set the tone that something special was inside. Carefully opening the note, I observed the weight of the paper and the colorful foil lining on... Read More

They’re Back! Setting Guidelines for Returning Kids

Posted by: NancyMyMoves on 01/16/2012

I dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents. I mainly did it before I flunked out. Somehow, I missed the equation – waiting tables in a bar + 8:00 a.m. classes = bad grades. I’m grateful that my parents were willing to let me crash there for a while. But it was an adjustment for all of us. They had taken to that empty nest thing really quickly. Although the combination of intergenerational cohabitating and my job at a gas-and-go store reignited my educational passion and I headed... Read More


Posted by: Suzanne on 01/09/2012

The beginning of a new year is a good time to entertain fresh thoughts, contemplate new behaviors, and make positive changes. This year I offer the following thoughts about encouragement and plan to take my own advice.

We all know the devastating consequences that negative, belittling and disparaging words can cause, but have we truly considered the equally powerful, but opposite effect that words of encouragement create? Individuals need validation, appreciation and understanding... Read More

Six New Year Resolutions for 2012

Posted by: BettyBoomer on 01/01/2012

I could write that I am going to try blogging on a weekly basis again. Perhaps if I realized that my blog entries don’t always have to be so long or profound or even very good, they will be easier to do. Okay, I’ve convinced myself. Weekly blog added to the list.

I could write that I want to start writing seriously again but my writing forte seems to be writing humorously instead. Hum, maybe I could sum this resolution up with a wonderfully wise cliché “Go with the Flow.” Add ... Read More

Retirement Assets Decrease

Posted by: mcoly618 on 12/29/2011

The other day during my daily reading, I found an article,
U.S. Retirement Assets Declined by $1.4 Trillion.

The article discusses the total value of Americans' retirement assets dropping 7.5% from the record high of $18.4 trillion recorded in June 2011. According to a report by the Investment Company ... Read More

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