It’s Your Turn—Volunteering Is Easy, Fun and Important

Learning some new procedures from a young staff member at Meals on Wheels

For retirees volunteering usually beats work. Volunteers are not usually competing against co-workers, are not facing pressure to make economical use of time, are not usually micro-managed or given impossible deadlines and are not ordinarily forced to accommodate oversized workplace egos. Instead, volunteers can focus on the work experience itself. Continue reading

We Can Be Happy with Ordinary Friends

People often idealize friendship, talking about true friends and soul mates with whom deep and lasting relations abide and in whom true sympathy resides. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that way in 1841 in an essay on “Friendship.” He describes friendship as a high-minded, God-given relationship between persons.

Writing in January on our blog, Later Living, I took a more practical tack, speaking of friendship as human companionship offering goodwill and affection; writing that friendships make people healthier and help them live longer, and that to make friends retirees need to join activities with other people.

Is Emerson’s a more helpful view—one that leads to a healthier or more fulfilling later life? Continue reading

How to Make the 6-Step Investment Model Work Better

Two weeks ago we wrote about a 6-step investment model for retirees, and two days ago we saw that the model worked. Now we can show how to make it work better. The key is to further diversify the stock investments. Originally we used a mutual fund that reflects returns to 500 leading U.S. companies, and today we use one that reflects returns to the entire U.S. stock market.

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Remember that Office To-Do List?

Given all the aches and pains that intensify with age, it can be especially delightful to celebrate some things that were (or should be) left behind at the career place. Conquering the To-Do List in yesterday’s The Wall Street Journal may well deserve such a celebration. Many retirees gleefully toss out the old career-ladened to-do list, and despite Ms. Sue Shellenbarger’s excellent column, many of us can simply skip it. Now, back to that pain in my left shoulder …

Country Friends

There’s still a little magic in every motorcycle ride to the country. When I was young, our family took automobile rides on many Sunday afternoons, and I always loved to watch the farms and forests roll by, imagining what it would be like to live where we passed. Sometimes my father stopped and talked with people we saw near the road.

On a recent motorcycle ride I stopped to watch a small herd of Holsteins in a roadside pasture. They were grazing slowly toward me, but once I dismounted and walked toward the fence, they turned and headed away. Their owner came out from the farmhouse across the street to say hello and ask about my interest in cows. He looked about my age, but he was smaller, more wiry.

“Pretty, aren’t they,” he offered.

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