On Retirement 2018-02-14T09:50:13+00:00

On Retirement

Anatomy of a Retirement
Originally posted on August 12, 2014

There is a story, really  more of a fairy tale, which tells of a man who has worked at the same company for 40 years. Then comes the big day when he is given a loving farewell party, he is thanked for all his loyalty and good work, and is given a beautiful gold watch as he walks out the door towards the sunset to collect his pension and enjoy his much deserved retirement.
Yea, that might still happen, in fairy tales!
Believe it or not though, people do still retire. I did. I

Carpe Diem
Originally posted on February 1, 2016

“Follow your bliss” – Joseph Campbell
We just returned from Trang, way down south. We had to settle a friend’s estate. It was necessary but not very pleasant, and it left me thinking of the Latin aphorism “Carpe Diem”, “Seize the Day” and how I wanted to share this with you. Here’s the story.
I’ve known Allan for more than 30 years. He was an American Peace Corps volunteer in the south of Thailand back in the 60s; the same time I was here. We later met when my wife Pikun joined a Thai classical

Days of Change and the Concept of “Now”
Originally posted on October 1, 2015

There are special “transition” days in all of our lives. Before, we’re one person. After a transition day, we are someone else. My latest transition came when I decided to retire, and to retire to Thailand.
There are days which we will always remember; days like September 11th, the day John Kennedy died, the day John Lennon died, or the more mundane like the day the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, or the day the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl. These are events that make for a change in

Reinventing Yourself in Retirement
Originally posted on December 1, 2010

Retiring means reinventing yourself.
For those who haven’t accumulated “enough”, retirement isn’t an option yet. “Enough” is an interesting concept.  My Social Security check is nowhere near enough to retire back in Seattle. But, as a growing number of people are beginning to learn, it is more than enough to live a happy, and for some a very comfortable, life abroad.  So for most of us, retirement really is quite a viable option.
For many though, it isn’t the money that keeps them from leaving the 9 to 5 existence.  Some just love the

Retiring Early – Or How To Go To Taco Bell and Save Half A Million Dollars
Originally posted on February 1, 2010

We have been asked frequently how we were able to retire as early as we did, at age 55.  Especially now that so many people have lost a considerable portion of their retirement savings in the current economic downturn, one asks the question of how in the world we can retire at all, let alone retire early.  The only way most of us can do this is to increase our bottom line so that we will have enough to live

The Age of Gold
Originally posted on June 3, 2011
Posted on my 65th birthday. Next week I turn 72. Most of this post still holds true. Going out later to buy a set of weights.

I just looked at my passport and it says that today is my 65th birthday. That can’t be right. Seems like just yesterday I was 22 years old and stepping off that Pam Am 707, Round-The-World Flight #001, at Don Muang Airport in Bangkok for my first time. It was Durian season and the aroma was deadly, and I swear the temperature was 150 degrees. I almost got

The Grand Tour, One Last Time
Originally posted on December 11, 2017

It has been while since posting. No excuses, no writers’ block, just taking a break.

So we decided to take a real break and tour some of our favorite places in Europe. We decided to go in the late fall to avoid the crowds. And that worked out for a about half of our tour. When on our last visit, there was a 2 kilometer line to get into the Vatican Museum, this time we walked right in with no waiting. When there was a 4 hour line to get into

The Retirement Comfort Zone
Originally posted on April 1, 2014
Many readers of this humble blog about retiring to Thailand are currently mulling over some basic questions: “When should I retire?”, “Do I have enough to retire?”, “Should I consider retiring abroad?”, “Could Thailand be that place?” All the answers they are looking for about retirement can be summed up by answering one simple question:  “What is my comfort zone?” The question is simple, the answer may not be.
Comfort Zone: a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.
We all have lots of comfort zones. If you

The Retirement Stage of Life
Originally posted on April 16, 2013
For the last few years I have been writing about retiring; specifically retiring to Thailand. But recently I have been thinking more about just “retirement” on its own, whether here or anywhere. And for me it is turning out to be a really good time.
But read any recent financial magazine or website or watch the news on TV and you’re sure to come across stories about how so many people are not at all prepared to retire. They have no savings, they are “under water” with their houses, both they and their

To Sleep, Perchance to Wake at 3 am – Ay, There’s The Rub
Originally posted on April 1, 2017

Apologies to Hamlet. But really, I think Hamlet was talking about doing himself in, or in his words, “shuffled off this mortal coil”.
Me, I just want to sleep through the night.

When we get older our sleep patterns change, not usually for the better. My sleep patterns currently suck.
Is it normal to wake at 3 am just so I can fall asleep reading, or watching TV, or listening to my wife talk about her day at 8 pm? So I turned on my Android

We’re the Globals
Originally posted on March 4, 2014

Ever since Homo Habilis got the urge to move out of Africa and venture abroad, humanoids of all kinds have had the itch to move, to migrate, to find that greener grass across the way. I saw this continued migration pretty clearly today at the Thai Immigration Office here in Chiang Mai. I was there to do my 90 days reporting, a requirement for all types of visa holders. Here is what I saw.
On one side of the compound, under a tent protecting them from the first rays of the hot-season sun,

What Makes for a Happy “Retired” Life?
Originally posted on January 1, 2016

Maybe it is due to genetics, or my lifestyle choices, or just dumb-luck, but I am not very prone to depression, though sometimes, especially during the holidays, I do experience a bit of the melancholy.
As they tend to do during this time of year, the holidays are once again upon us. It’s a time to enjoy the warmth of family and friends, and be happy like you are supposed to. But wait. What if family and friends and the people you most care about in the world are more

You Are What You Wear
When I got to the garden party they all knew my name
But no one recognized me, I didn’t look the same
Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band – Garden Party
Most of us are aware that when we retire our lives change, sometimes drastically. And when we retire to a foreign country, the changes can increase exponentially. Some things that are affected by retiring and especially when moving abroad include the language that we speak, the foods we eat, the amount of alcohol we drink, the health care available to us, our circadian rhythms (including when we