I started Blogging because I wanted to share what my world in retirement is like – Answer – Just amazing! However, I feel I am being pushed down a silo. Choose between Retirement, Travel, Money Saving or Hobbies.
Ideally I would like my blog to have 4 themes
- Retirement – making the most of it. Retirement is like a free gift. You’ve lasted the course. hopefully you are fit and healthy, and even better if you have some money behind you. As my header says – Having Fun in Retirement
- Travel – where in the world have you been, where do you want to go to? What experiences have you got to share? Even better, you now have the time to travel as much as you want. No imposed holiday deadlines set by your employer. Also if you have done it right, that pension keeps popping into your bank account wherever you are.
- Money Saving – like every sensible person, you watch the pennies, make the pounds/ dollars stretch. and to be honest, this is where age helps, you have travelled that road. You know, with hindsight, what was a good idea, and what was an absolute loser. Think Credit Card interest payments…
- Hobbies – why include this? Hobbies may give you some additional money, they give you enjoyment, and if you don’t enjoy them- why, on earth, are you doing them?
So I have the dilemma, which theme is the major one within my blog?
I have chosen to fit in with the Money bloggers. I have joined the Rockstar Finance forum. Why? It is a really vibrant community, and I love being part of it. The members are so supportive. I have also just joined Money Bloggers UK, because I am UK based. Again, the members are so supportive, helpful and informative, but with a bit more UK focus.
Many of my posts have a money theme, but not all. I am not really interested in doing posts about 20 ways to save £1, but where appropriate, I will happily include an article such as Frugal February, and indeed soon to be Miserly March (link to follow!)
I love writing travel posts. They don’t match with a budget travel theme. If I am staying somewhere for 1 or 2 months, I like to be comfortable. I am happy to be my usual economic self when shopping, using public transport etc, but I am not content to be in a tiny flat, miles from the city centre because it was cheap. I want somewhere where friends and family can come visit, and feel part of the city. Hence I factor this into the overall cost. My living expenses are pretty much the same, so this is a bit of an overhead. I could rent out my house at home to balance the expense, but so far I choose not to.
Last year in Barcelona, we chose an apartment near the beach and close to the centre of the city. Yes, we paid a bit of a premium for it (not too much!). We got loads of extras, we were on major bus routes, and a short walk from beaches, markets etc. The day we visited Sagrada Familia, we were with friends who had to get back for work. We had another month to wander around it….
A big benefit of going away for some weeks, is that you get the chance to absorb the city / town, you can go at a slower pace. you can spend a day looking at an area, rather than the 1 hour as allowed by the tour guide. You can wander around and have a coffee. For instance I well remember the sunny afternoon, that we sat outside a cafe, and took the photo below. It was indeed sunny, but quite cold, the waiter spoke little English, we spoke less Spanish, so we chose from pictures on a menu! Mind you Cafe Americano is pretty multi-lingual. And it was one of the cheapest coffees we had the whole holiday, despite the view.
I cant understate how enjoyable Retirement is. There are people we know, who for reasons of health, money or indeed choice, do not do much. But their life is still rich, they see family, they do things they want to do, be it gardening, reading, sewing or writing. They are content, they are delighted not to be part of the working hastle, regardless of their means or their physical capabilities.
For some of us though, retirement means freedom to do what we want, travel plenty, enjoy our hobbies, enjoy the freedom that not getting up with an alarm clock means.
However, it’s not all hedonism. My husband still works part-time. I am a volunteer governor at a UK university, which takes 1 or 2 days a month. It is a little bit of payback. Both my husband and I were fortunate to go through university on full grants, our university education transformed our lives, so it s good to give back, not only financially but with ‘time’, that very valuable commodity.
I am a very competent metal worker. Up until now, I haven’t really tried selling things, but come the new tax year in April, I may do so. I already pay extra National Insurance contributions to try and boost my state pension. See this post. I am still waiting for the updated calculation, requested on February 1st… I have had feedback that those who are interested in money saving, don’t want to see jewellery, so I have put it in a separate list (See top of blog – View my metal work). I could blog forever on this, so maybe the long term solution is to set up a different website on this. However, one step at a time….
This was made, from a flat sheet of copper. Very therapeutic. It takes a lot of hammering. If I carried on, it would become a hemisphere, very rounded. But I like it better as above. My husband prefers the rounded version – he says it shows more skill – which it does, but I like all things random!
I’ll stay as I am, in the short term. Settle down to blogging, explore and understand that world. I am not sure I have the stamina to run 4 different blogs, so I may go with a separate metal work theme an dthe current blog – who knows?? I certainly don’t!