Managing Available Cash

3 MONEY BASICS. Most of what is written elsewhere about retirement attends to FINANCE, and financing retirement, whileKNOWING MY RETIREMENT does not offer macro-financial direction. However, day-to-day money management must be part of retirement life, for social and emotional wellbeing.

Here are 3 core money managing basics for retirement.

1. First Principle: Partners should each have some money which they can spend as they want, without having to account for it, not to anyone; fritter it away, or save it up for a bigger purchase, no questions asked.

Robert Frost observed:

Never ask of money spent
Where the spender thinks it went.
Nobody was ever meant
To remember or invernt
What he did with every cent.

Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “The LACK of money, is the root of all evil.” Everyone needs some mad money; this is a principle of social-interpersonal health.

2. Second Principle: Have a budget and work it. My father, the economist, wisely observed, “Happiness is spending 95 % of your income, misery is spending 105% of your income, and it doesn’t matter what your income is.”

Outside “individual mad money” (which is a budget category)–and in some opposition to the First Principle–we need to know how much money we have, where we want it to go, and where it is going.

More will appear on KNOWING MY RETIREMENT about budgeting but for a good introduction to sound budgeting concepts we recommend an excellent website GETTING FINANCES DONE. Click on the link to the right.

3. Third Principle: Understand Money. Money is a means, a tool, an enabler. It is not a GOAL, nor a PURPOSE, nor a VOCATION.

It is well to identify goals, purposes, and vocations and to work and live in a way that can be guided by these. Then life is enriched and full of meaning. Money can help along the way, but it provides no satisfying direction. Keep the importance of money in perspective.

Posted in Money | 1 Comment

10 Best Selling Retirement Books on Amazon

RETIREMENT BOOKS — READ ON…As our readers know, most of the information on the web regarding retirement focuses on financial planning. Here at KNOWING MY RETIREMENT our primary emphasis is the non-financial aspect of retirement: Information, psychology, health, personal development and so on.

Below are 10 of the best selling books from AMAZON.COM on the non financial aspects of retirement. They are ranked starting with the most popular. We reviewed about 108 titles to develop this list. So for AMAZON, financial retirement books outnumber non-financial ones by about 10 to 1, pretty much the state of the art for retirement information.

Click on the books of interest, and the link will take you to AMAZON for more information.


How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor

The Retiring Mind: How to Make the Psychological Transition to Retirement

Supercharged Retirement: Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love

How to Love Your Retirement: Advice from Hundreds of Retirees (Hundreds of Heads Survival Guides)

The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement: Planning Now for the Life You Want

Don’t Retire,REWIRE!,

The Joy of Retirement: Finding Happiness, Freedom, and the Life You’ve Always Wanted

Retire Smart, Retire Happy: Finding Your True Path in Life

Changing Course: Navigating Life after Fifty

Posted in Retirement Books | Comments Off on 10 Best Selling Retirement Books on Amazon

Retirement Books

We are assembling a list of books relating to retirement . Books will periodically be reviewed and rated. As the numbers retirements increase exponentially KNOWING MY RETIREMENT will try to keep abreast of the best and most up to date sources of information, retirement books, and resources. Check back frequently for updates and reviews. If there are any retirement books you would like reviewed leave a comment .

Posted in Retirement Books, Reviews | Comments Off on Retirement Books

ZZZZZZZZ Get enough sleep

Fifty years ago conventional scientific wisdom was that the need for sleep declined gradually but consistently across the lifespan. By the time adults approached their retirement years, according to this view, five or six hours of sleep each night could be both normal and adequate.

Current understanding of older adult needs for sleep point in just the opposite direction. From ages 35 to 85 we lose on the average of an hour of sleep per night. But according to psychologist Sean Drummond, a sleep expert at the University of California, San Diego, “The biggest, most common, most robust change is that we spend more time awake in the middle of the night.” Having periods awake during the night indicates a decrease in sleep efficiency, but does not indicate a decreased need for sleep.

The effects of lack of sleep can mimic the effects of aging, making our brains less able to learn and recall facts. Drummond found that it was not the quality of sleep, but the actual number of hours of sleep that improved performance of older adults on memory tasks. Lack of sleep effects brain performance in ways similar to aging. And Drummond speculates that getting an adequate quantity of sleep can prevent aspects of the cognitive decline that accompany growing older.

Learning and memory seem particularly sensitive to adequate sleep. “It’s critical to sleep before learning. Sleep almost prepares the brain like a dry sponge to soak up new information,” according to Dr. Matthew Walker of the University of California at Berkeley

Further, getting enough sleep is likely to contribute to longevity, support the immune system, support healthy metabolism, and foster other restorative functions like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis and hormone release according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Sleep has also been found to retard the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and reduce the pain of arthritis.

In one article we cannot cover all the positive benefits of sleep for those of us who are retired. But remember getting enough sleep can make us smarter, healthier, and even better looking. Seven, eight or even nine hours of sleep a night, every night, is the prescription. And a cat nap during the day can have the same helpful results. Don’t be so concerned if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to walk around, snack, or read for a little while. Go on back to bed. Remember for older adults, the quantity of sleep can be even more important than the quality. Happy dreams!

Read the Science News article here

Read the Harvard Sleep Center article here

Posted in Health | Comments Off on ZZZZZZZZ Get enough sleep

Happiest at 74

GOOD NEWS For the average adult the three decades from age 45 to 75 are years of increasing happiness. British researchers have found that age 74 is the happiest time of life in a survey of 21,000 folks living in Great Britain. *

The findings in Britain parallel research on marital satisfaction in the United States. Marital satisfaction declines steadily until midlife, and then increases and can surpass levels in early marriage as couples grow older together.

Perhaps in the second half of life we are not as burdened with problems and responsibilities. The intense demands of family and career in middle life tend to give way to more personal freedom. Increasingly we are able to attend more directly to things we personally enjoy. As we grow older we can take time to look at the positive aspects of our lives. Increased financial resources can be counted on the positive side. More attention to emotional relationships, children becoming independent adults, grand children, all these can also contribute to a wholesome awareness of the positive in life.

Not that everything is honey and roses as we get older, but it is reassuring to realize that our sense of happiness and well-being can increase from middle age. And as we follow the advice of the old song and “accentuate the positive” perhaps our smiles will become broader and more frequent, and our enjoyment of life more intense, even as our hair lines recede, and chins sag a bit.


Posted in Retirement Psychology | Comments Off on Happiest at 74

Brain Function

Stay healthy and you’ll stay sharp
We have all had a “senior” moment where a name won’t come to mind, or we walk into a room and can’t remember why. Some forgetfulness is normal. Short-term memory usually declines more rapidly than long-term memory.

But it is possible to hold off, and even prevent cognitive decline that often accompanies aging. What may not seem obvious is that working on general physical health is one of the tools we can use to give a big boost to brain health, and to maintaining cognitive function.

A research article entitled, “Predictors of Maintaining Cognitive Function in Older Adults (Neurology, June, 2009) reported that adults from age 65 to 73 who did NOT show signs of cognitive decline duing this age range shared many of the following characteristics:

Regular Exercise
Moderate alcohol consumption
No Smoking
They worked or volunteered (less than 55 hours per week!)

And they were less likely to:

be overweight
have high blood pressure
have diabetes

On the surface, these characteristics seem to be just good old advice about being healthy. But it turns out that a HEALTHY BRAIN goes along with other aspects of physical health. Exercise, lose weight, control blood pressure and diabetes, participate in meaningful activity outside the home. You’ll stay smarter. It’s something to think about…

Posted in Health | Comments Off on Brain Function