I always say my “mission” these days is to do meaningful work in retirement. I don’t necessarily mean paid work – in fact I haven’t chosen to work for pay since my Encore Fellowship ended about 10 months ago.
I figure writing this down and making it public will help to keep me accountable, and also appreciate when I have actually accomplished more than it might feel like I have.
Do Meaningful Work
To me this simply means, spending time and energy on things that contribute to my personal priorities.
helping family members who are getting less independent
working out regularly, and hiking with friends
managing our financial decisions
engaging in local climate & sustainability projects
blogging and tweeting about books/finance/sustainability
Now that I’ve left my “full pull” job ~ that’s what I call a full-time career ~ I shouldn’t need Life Insurance anymore, right? Right.
Mr. SustyThemes and I don’t even have any kids, so it should be obvious. No dependents to support, both retired, so no further need for life insurance.
But…here’s my thinking.
(Note: I’m no insurance expert! But maybe sharing my thinking will trigger some ideas, or useful feedback.)
A long time ago, in what seems like another lifetime, I bought (or more accurately, was “sold”) a Universal Life insurance policy. I haven’t paid any (flexible) premiums since 2002 when I had other expenses and realized this wasn’t a good “investment” vehicle as policy interest rates continued to be reduced each year. It’s been out of sight, out of mind. I left my career almost 4 years ago, but have been busy enjoying life and doing some part-time work projects, so didn’t get around to reevaluating my insurance situation until this year. That’s the life of a joyfully semi-retired person ~ if I do one thing a day I’m satisfied 😉 But I digress….
This post is the first in a planned series calledRecent Reads Revealed, where I’ll share my reading list ~ I’m curious about yours too!
Are you ever curious what other people are reading?I am ~ especially when I know we have some similar interests!
I Love To Read and research things. So, now and then, I plan to post my Recent Reads in the hope it could be of value for others. I’d love to get a reading list conversation going within the community, so I welcome your comments!
Lately, it has become clear to me that there are some common themes running through my life ~ a common thread related to ‘sustainability’. Maybe it’s true for you too.
I like to keep up with the news and progress related to renewable energy and other ways we could be taking better care of things environmentally.
I also realize that my interest in financial independence and planning is essentially another angle on the same topic, focused on personal sustainability. It’s about identifying priorities, and then making life choices that align with that plan. I think of this as building a ‘resilient’ financial life that offers a form of freedom and balance.
And I value the benefits of a healthy life of physical activity, as well as a community of friends and family that form the foundation of a happy and healthy life.
As a part of nearly every day, I’m seeking and gathering information on these topics.
So, I’ve started this site to share some of what I’m learning, and hopefully inspire more people toward what I call “common sense sustainability”. I hope it offers some ‘food for thought’ for others on a similar path.
This past week I’ve had a few opportunities to ponder the importance of talking about money and finances with friends and family. All of us have so much to learn, and so much knowledge to share (successes and mistakes), that it’s a shame that most of us don’t talk about money and are left to re-invent the wheel as we roll down our path to financial security.
I didn’t really plan to “retire” before 55. Here’s how I came to realize it was possible!
In my early 40’s, as many people do, I got restless about my career. I felt the need for more “meaningful work”. I was excited to find a graduate program that spoke to me, and I made the decision to work full-time and work on my Sustainable Management degree part-time…good start to my transition!
In the midst of this crazy time, on a vacation in the mountains, I found myself drawn to a book called Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement. I read it cover-to-cover a couple times on that trip, and my mental wheels started turning (aided greatly by the clarity of mind that hits me when I’m surrounded by the natural beauty of an alpine lake and snow-capped mountains).
Five years later, I had an education in a new field that was meaningful to me, and 2 years after that I took what felt like a big leap of faith and left my high-tech corporate career.
Here’s a book that could be interesting to quite a broad audience.
The dedication sets the tone: “To the Next Great Generation. Embrace science. Solve problems. Make things. Change the world.”
I learned quite a bit of science and technology that I believe increases my ability to understand more about climate change, and options and alternatives being debated. It’s a bit like a textbook – that’s got its pros and cons. If you skim/skip sections that are a slog for you personally, you won’t miss the overall message.
The book conveys a positive ‘can do’ attitude; about technologies that are vital to pursue to change the way we manage energy and water, and the importance of laws and policies that will guide us to do more with the resources we have.
The title isn’t referring to that climate change is Unstoppable, although a certain amount of warming and disruption is definitely baked in, rather that our species is unstoppable when we decide to rise to the challenges we face.
To be the Next Great Generation, we all need to step up, through our personal efforts, innovations we create, the policies we support, and the people we vote for.
So maybe you don’t really consider yourself an ‘activist’, but you understand and are concerned about climate change and its likely consequences, and struggle with what you could or should do to engage? If this strikes a chord with you, this book could be a thought-provoking read for you. It was for me.