During the month of August, my husband Thom and I are renting a home in the mountains about an hour from our primary home in the desert southwest. This is our first year in this particular dwelling and it has a number of features to enjoy like good wifi (of course!), a large wraparound deck looking through the trees, and a hot tub. One of the unexpected amenities is Alexa. Have you met her? On the surface, Alexa seems like an amusing and helpful addition to any home. But watch out! Not only is she extremely attractive on many levels, she also adds to the many irresistible distractions that technology offers us in our current world. [Read more…]
A big topic in my age group is retirement. About half of my friends are looking forward to it while the other half are already there. As for Thom and I, we see ourselves standing with a foot on both sides. We aren’t retired, but neither are we chained to our work. What makes us different from others hoping to retire soon is that we’ve embraced what I call rightsizing. Rightsizing is a process that any of us can do to come into greater alignment with our most cherished values and goals. On a practical level, rightsizing points to actions we can make at any age that will help before, and especially after, a person retires.
In case you are wondering, I am not a financial advisor. Most retirement “planning” comes from people who would like to manage your finances. That approach tends to put the focus on how much money you make, how much money saved, and how much you need in the future to maintain your current lifestyle. Rightsizing, on the other end, downplays money and instead puts the focus on what is most rewarding in your life.
My husband Thom and I have been real estate brokers and investors for over 35 years. And while I’ve been mainly writing about the subject for most of those years, Thom has actively been a specialized commercial broker. Even better, we’ve used our knowledge and background to manage our own purchases and investments. Then about seven years ago we began switching our thoughts about real estate ownership; what it means and what it can do. That’s when we started gradually rightsizing our lives. Lately, it occurred to me that while I often take what we’ve learned through the years for granted, it might benefit others to see it through our eyes. In fact, in many ways real estate is a perfect mirror for a rightsized life. [Read more…]
Thom and I are still away enjoying some “rightsized” travel. This week I invited another blogger friend named Nora Hall to share some of her SMART ideas on rightsizing and retirement. Nora lives on the east coast and regularly writes about relationships and retirement with warm-hearted humor and encouragement. Please enjoy Nora’s thoughts on rightsizing our brain clutter.
I first “met” Kathy Gottberg in 2015 when I read her blog, “Letting Go of the Clutter in Your Mind.” I found it here and continued reading about Rightsizing on her blog. I was hooked! Her comments made tremendous sense to me and for my audience. I found her wisdom to be especially true when it comes to Rightsizing Your Brain Clutter.
Although Kathy’s thoughts on Rightsizing apply to people of all ages, I focus on individuals who are, or will soon be, retired. That said, letting go of the clutter in our minds apply for all of us regardless of our age. [Read more…]
A good friend named Mark recently bought a new truck. To call it a pickup is grossly inadequate. Mark arrived one day in this shiny enormous vehicle with four doors, cushy soft leather seats, a fully digital dashboard with onboard space-like technology, a moonroof that spanned the entire length of both the front and back seats, and automatic retractable step-bars that lower and raise as you open the doors. I’ll admit I was a bit envious as I looked at my aging twelve-year-old Nissan Murano sitting next to it. But after hearing the “great deal” Mark got by paying only $50,000 for a $65,000 priced truck, all envy evaporated. My Murano is free and clear, still looks decent, and reliably gets me everywhere I want to go. Meanwhile, our family savings sits safely secure in investments that generate automatic cash flow. Instead of envy, I now have pride—pride in the benefits of a frugal and rightsized life. [Read more…]
This last weekend I faced a big choice. Just over five miles from my home in La Quinta, CA a mega-concert aimed at Baby-Boomers called “Desert Trip” was scheduled. Legendary rockers like The Rolling Stones, Paul McCarthy, The Who and Bob Dylan were slated to perform. Sure, the concert was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear some amazingly talented icons in the business. However, the prices to attend for a good seat were equally astonishing—at least for me! I did make an effort to buy tickets online within my budget, but when those tickets sold out, I decided to make the best of the situation and try something else I’ve always wanted to do—rent out my house on Airbnb. Did I make the right decision? For me, yes. But how I arrived at that decision is something that I need to remember over-and-over as time goes by. [Read more…]
A recent article in Money Magazine listed four simple strategies that many millionaires use to get rich. While I have nothing against being wealthy, I believe that finding meaning and purpose, achieving happiness, and discovering our unique rightsized lifestyle is far more important. But interestingly enough, the four tips offered by Money Magazine actually translate into four keys for living SMART 365. So, even though my examples won’t be the same as those shared in the magazine, the similarities are remarkably close. Ultimately, these four lifestyle hacks can help to make each of us more financially secure regardless of our age. Even better, they can lead to a more stress-free and right-sized life at the same time. [Read more…]
Thom and I are off enjoying some “rightsized travel” so I invited another blogger friend who is living a rightsized life to share her ideas. Terri Webster Schrandt lives in Sacramento, CA and like all rightsizers, offers a unique perspective on what the lifestyle looks like in a person’s life. Thanks Terri for sharing another version of rightsizing with all of us!
Kathy and I originally met in person at the BAM (Bloggers At Midlife) 2016 conference in Las Vegas. We found each other to be kindred spirits as well as neighbors living in California!
After reading Kathy’s book Rightsizing: A SMART Living 365 Guide To Reinventing Retirement I easily identified the ways I have also rightsized my life. A big key for my semi-retirement was being able to retire from my day job of 32 years at the relatively young age of 55. After paying into the CalPERS (public employees retirement system) for years, I now receive 65% of my income as a pension. [Read more…]
Every summer my husband Thom and I rent a home in the mountains for a month. Then for a change of pace, we rent a cottage at the beach after that. Neither are fancy, but they are fun and comfortable. While I love my home in the desert southwest, it can be brutally hot during the summer, so escaping to somewhere cool when it’s scorching outside is a dream come true for me. And because we’ve “rightsized,” the cost fits easily into our budget.
But a question we always get is, “Oh, are you staying at your second home?” We happily answer “No!” That’s because when we visit these locations, we like to have the option of changing destinations and properties. Best of all, we like the freedom of not having to spend the time and money managing the property for the remainder of the year. These reasons and more prompted me to consider: is buying a second home, an RV or a boat SMART? [Read more…]
My husband Thom and I love to travel almost as much as we enjoy rightsizing. But the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. In fact, because we rightsized our lives some years ago, we can now travel more and in better form than ever before. So, if you’ve always dreamed of traveling more, but never seem to have the time or money, perhaps what you need is to rightsize your next trip.
First, I must recommend that you rightsize your entire life. What do I mean by that? If you are new to this website and unfamiliar with rightsizing, here’s a short definition: Rightsizing is taking the time to focus on what really matters to you and brings you happiness—and at the same time reducing and then eliminating everything that brings you down and sucks the joy out of you. [Read more…]