Simplifying Work Life Balance

How to Retire Before You’re 70

November 19, 2017

Ok, I admit it.  I am over 50 and I have very little figured out in the way of retirement.  Somehow I got here, in the over 50 category.  I started realizing that’s where I was headed when a few birthday’s ago I got something in the mail from AARP.  The offending envelope was quickly disposed of in the trash, but the retched letters keep coming.  My husband who is 3 years older than I has embraced it, well, as long as there is a discount involved, that is!  I suppose that is where I need to head. “Embrace all that humbles you” is rule I have tried to live by.  Easier said than done.

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Trying to Figure it out

As I tend to be rather a free spirit when it comes to most things, I have not nailed down the retirement situation yet.  Many ideas roll around in my head on a daily basis.  I have put several of them into action, so I can’t be counted as merely a thinker and not a doer.  Still, have any of the ideas helped me?  I am going to list the ideas I have tried and talk a bit about them. Then after that I will list some that I plan to try and some that might be of interest to you in your search.

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 Retirement Ideas I have Tried

  • 1.  Start Your Own Business–  Several years ago I started my own bakery business.  I planned it out and we ran it for 6 years before we realized that it was slowly killing us.  Not to say that I didn’t also love it.  I did, that was the problem.  Sometimes things we love don’t love us back.  So even though baking is my passion, and it really is what I am good at, it was time to say good-by to the bakery.  Not enough profits, too long of hours, stress etc.  Not the perfect business to work at into retirement.
  • 2.  Working for a Company that offers a Retirement Plan– After the bakery closed I got a job with a major healthcare employer.  I enjoy my job and truly love the benefits!  For the first time in years I have been able to take paid vacations and holidays.  I am paying into a retirement account for my future.  All this looks rosy, right?  If I had started with this company even 5 years ago instead of becoming self employed, I would have had time to build up my retirement.  As it is right now, I would have to work until I am 70 to get 20 years in.  Not something I look forward to in my future.
  • 3.  Side Hustles– With the realization that something had to change if I was ever going to be able to own my time again I began to look into different side hustles.  Since my daughter introduced me to Pinterest years ago, I have been an avid pinner ever since. Many people just know Pinterest as a place to look for recipes and search for their favorite craft ideas.  I never realized you could make money from Pinterest!  Once that concept started dawning on me I got excited about the possibilities.  I will be writing another post on how you can get started pinning for profit on Pinterest!
  • 4.  Start a Blog– Starting a blog is something I have wanted to do for years.  I finally got around to getting set up with my blog in September of this year (2017).  So as you can see my blog is very new.  I am working on it daily and so far have posted a new blog post every week since I launched.  It is exciting and frustrating, challenging and most importantly a huge learning tool for me. They say you should exercise your mind so that it uses new pathways to keep it young and healthy.  This will do it folks!  Computers are not my strong point.  I am a baker. I work with my hands.  If I can figure out how to get a blog ready to launch and actually send words out into the universe and people read them, then you my dear reader, most certainly can do it too!!  I will be writing a complete blog post about this subject very soon, so check back to see all about it.

Ideas I think about for Retirement

  • 1.  Open an Etsy Shop–  This is the next big dream for my future.  Right now I work full time, so with blogging and family I don’t believe opening an Etsy shop is going to happen anytime soon.  It definitely looks promising for a retirement income though.  I have thought about asking someone else to go in on a shop together with me.  Sharing the workload would make it a better fit for when we would want to travel.
  • 2.  Make Instructional YouTube videos– This seems like a plan that might be better carried out by a 25 year old but what is to stop a 52 year old from doing it?  At this age we have valuable information to give to others.  We each have something we know about or are interested in that could be shared on the web.  For me, I would like to make a channel about baking artisan breads.  People ask me all the time how to make bagels or sourdoughs.  This is a skill I have been perfecting for over 20 years.  I bet you have skills or ideas that you could use for this type of venture as well.
  • Opening a small tea shop– Many times opening another shop comes to mind.  Mostly when we are on vacation and are enjoying some little spot that is fun and relaxing.  The problem is I know the work involved. No matter how small and simple you want to make it, owning a shop still ties a person down.  So even though I know this could be enjoyable, I will probably not pursue it.  As for you though, it might be just the change of pace you are looking for and be a great way to get ready for retirement.  Many tourist destinations would welcome someone putting in a shop like this.
  • Selling at the Farmer’s Market– At first glance this might look similar to opening a tea shop.  You are tied to selling a product to people to make money.  On closer inspection though it breaks down a little differently.  Farmer’s markets run on a weekly and yearly cycle.  Typically they will be open once a week, and will run from about May through October, depending where you are in the country.  This leaves a person 5 days a week and 6 months out of the year to work on their product and travel.  Farmer’s markets welcome gardeners, bakers, and artisans of all types. It is also a great way to meet new people!

Work Life Balance

I hope these ideas have helped you think about your retirement in a hopeful way.  It is so important to keep work and life in balance.  So many of our modern diseases come from the stress we place on our selves.  I would like to keep things in perspective and work towards the goals of wanting and needing less. I want to live a simple life, free of unreasonable goals for the future. If we look for what makes us happy, and for ways to serve others, we will be able to find a way to stay healthy and happy into retirement.  I wish you the best, as always!

Blessings until next time,

Sheila

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