Posts tagged ‘retirement’


Here are some guidelines I put into play during my life and are helping now in retirement.

Get as much education as you can. With costs today, it is not easy but it is important. If you think a high school diploma will be enough, learn a trade during those years and work as hard as you can learning it.

Here I’m going to be a little philosophical, but a good education will not only get you a good job but enhance your appreciation of your life and the world around you, give you the ability to understand and analyze the world around you. Today we have become a population of sheep spending and wolves profiting. Question everything. This was once a hallmark of youth, to think and question, not to bury your mind in an endless stream of the latest electronics.

Don’t spend like a drunken sailor – sorry sailors. This is the really hard part.

For your entire life, buy only what you need, not everything you want.

Learn that bigger is not better. We are only told bigger is better is by those who sell big.

Don’t upgrade just because you can. It may cost you down the road.

Don’t move from that small house you’re in now just because you can. If you don’t need the room, stay where you are. If you have kids and it seems a little crowded just wait awhile. The kids will move out after a time, and if you’re lucky, will only come back to visit.

Develop a comfortable lifestyle and stick with it no matter how much money you make. The money you don’t need, save. And find the most profitable way to save. In today’s world, a bank is not the place. Find a financial advisor, but only through references that you trust.

The next may be difficult, for in the reality of today’s world, it may no longer exist.

Find a decent paying job and stick with it.

Earn a 401k or pension that is properly funded. Even if at times the job is shit, stick with it. I’ve better.

Here is a fact none will tell you in all the seminars you will be offered to attend at the finest restaurants in the area. If you are young, you may not believe it but this will happen. If you maintain a decent salary all your life, you can retire early and not need to wait until you’re 70. I retired at 62 and the increase I would see at whatever age was minimal, because I maintained a good salary with increases and qualified for a decent social security payment at the age of 62.

What retirement guru will tell you all this?

I strongly feel, that the secret to a good retirement begins when you are young. When you reach the age to retire and are offered a plan where all is taken care of, it is probably bogus.

This is just my opinion, take it or leave it.

I just had to get this out of my system. There’s more where this came from and will follow.

Now back to the important subject of writing.

January 27, 2015 at 12:32 am Leave a comment


I’m here to tell you, what I think, is there a secret to the good retirement. But if you’re an old flatulence (trying to keep it clean) or approaching old flatulence age, it’s already too late. The secret, of course, is to start saving early. But there’s more to it than that, much more. Lifestyle is a big factor, what you expect from life and what you have experienced is a big factor. I’ve been lucky, in that the situations in my life formed an individual primed to save and not expect much, not need much. Let me explain.

Those familiar with my blog have probably read some of my memoir pieces. Born and raised in Newark, N.J., my family was poor. By the time I began college, we had always lived in the same cold-water flat. Six of us in two bedrooms. The experience was less than pleasant, but little did I realize it primed me for the future. Extravagance has no place in my existence, never has, never will.

What follows are some truths I have learned. Truths the retirement hucksters will not dare tell you. How will they make their money for their retirement? When you reach that certain age, and if you’ve not been diligent with your career and finances, anyone painting a rosy picture of what life could be like is just reaching into your pocket. .

I feel that preparing for retirement is not something you suddenly do when you’re ready to retire, or nearing that point. It’s a lifestyle you establish while you’re young and stick too. Perhaps not so much a lifestyle you establish, rather one that happens upon you.

But there is a way to prepare, depending on your age, not so much for you but for your offspring. Teach your kids well. If you talk on the phone while driving, and demand that they don’t because it is dangerous, no matter what they say, they will talk on the cellphone while driving. Our children learn by example. And whose example, yours.

If you max-out your credit cards and buy whatever you want, and then turn around and tell your kids to spend responsibly, what do you think they will do? It is the future generation we have to teach by example, not by words.

Here are my three simple rules to a secure retirement. You will not like them, even if you are young. Most of the young will not listen, it’s the immortal and all-knowing thing, but here they are… to be continued

January 22, 2015 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment


I am a writer, and I hope that someday to gain some success. I am also a retired scientist therefore, have some knowledge of this game of ‘the good retirement’ you might say I gained through ‘on the job training’. With that in mind, I am writing a piece that many will find discouraging and I’m sure with which many will disagree. I can only speak from experience, and for myself. With all the talk about retirement, due to that nasty habit we have developed by living longer, I thought I’d voice my experience. Nothing you read here may help you. My hope is that someone out there may benefit.

Here we go.

Other than being a writer, I am a person trying to survive in today’s world and economy. I think I have the secret, at least for myself and maybe those young and prudent out there (that’s a hint as to what is coming up) to a secure life after you retire. If you are beyond ‘young’ you will not enjoy what I’m about to say, but such is life, but then again, you may have journeyed down the right road early on.

Newspapers, periodicals and direct mailings focused on seniors tout the way to a retirement where all your dreams are fulfilled. Where life will be a comfort and no worries will cloud your future. Once you reach a certain age, you will bombarded with offers to free dinners at the trendiest local restaurants to listen to the profits of retirement success. The only success realized will be their own profit.

I’m not saying that you don’t need advice, but what you get at these fancy restaurants may not be the most helpful. Could even hurt you.

I’m not going to give any specifics, but what follows next is fact. You just have to believe me.

My first experience with a financial adviser was through my employer, a large company with many who signed up. After my wife and I provided all the data asked for, he asked me, “How you like to retire at 57?” Who wouldn’t? As time went on and our daughter set off to attend NYU, during a meeting he just mumbled saying, “I don’t know how you’re going to pay for it.” That retirement ‘at age 57’ went out the window. Eventually, we heard about another adviser with a local reputation.   Word of mouth, the best way to a reputable business whether it’s plumbing or investments. We decided to change advisors and that’s when things got a little ugly. Attempting to switch our investments for one to the other was like pulling hen’s teeth. The new advisor expected there to be difficulties and he was right. To make a long story short we are very happy with our new man. Oh, and he doesn’t charge a fee, only takes a percentage of our profits. If we don’t make money he doesn’t.

So if you’re at that golden age to take action, stay away from the free meals, unless you’re really hungry. To my mind, it’s all bullshit… to be continued.

January 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment


As I stumble through the maze of trying to get my work published, I run across websites that may be helpful. I’ll let you be the judge on how helpful they really are, but I’ll share them.

Next week, I will perhaps make many enemies and maybe one or two friends.

My new series, Rant & Raves, will take a personal look at retirement for that is where I am now. I find the process not difficult and share my ‘insight’.

Most of my enemies will come from the gurus lecturing on how to retire with no worries, the term ‘snake oil’ comes to mind. This will be a personal journey, not meant to be chiseled in stone, merely etched in sand. But having gone through the process, i.e. living to this point, I feel the need to share my ‘wisdom’.

Anyone wishing to ease that retirement from my first life, my writer’s life is still in process, look below.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

January 17, 2015 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment





This piece is meant for those poor souls that are compelled to write.

As reported recently on my blog, my wife, Joni, and I went on a cruise last January. The experience, much to my surprise, was most enjoyable. At my age, it is wonderful to have all your needs met, even some you didn’t know existed (all legal of course). However, this reflection is more about the people I encountered and my thoughts, contrasting my mindset and that of those wonderful people at a similar stage in our lives.

Joni and I joined a large group while taking the cruise, including my sister, Shirley and her husband Matt. They now live in South Carolina in an over 55 retirement community and were joined by about eight or nine other couples from the same community. I had the opportunity to talk to most of them and those feelings generated are the source of this article.

All retired, the exuded the joy of life. They had all worked hard and now it was time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. In the many conversations I shared with them, I came to appreciate the image of retirement, having time to relish the simple things that life now offered whether it be gardening, walking or spending time with grandchildren.

As I listened to them I reflected on my life. I have always been one to pursue a goal and that drive offers no peace. I envy those who, in retirement, can put aside their past efforts and enjoy their twilight years.

I am reminded of the legend of Sisyphus, doomed to role a stone up a hill only to have it fall down the opposite side where he must again begin his effort. There is no end to his toil.

Those retirees I encountered have defied Sisyphus, for the most part. Some still work part-time, victims of the current economy. But for the most part, they have rolled the stone of their careers to the summit and now enjoy the gentle coast downward in retirement. They have reached the point where the repetition of failure no longer exists. They are at peace with their life and the world.

But for us writers, the scenario is different. I am one of your legions and share the Sisyphus of the written word with you. You and I will never retire. For to retire to us would mean we have ceased to think, to imagine. We roll the rock of our creation up a slippery slope only to have, for many of us, have it roll down in rejection and lack of appreciation. We are compelled to continue this effort to the end.

Fellow writers, these are my observations. God help us all.

March 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm 2 comments


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