Coping: With Retirement? Hardly!

Say, kiddies (which means Millennials):  Pay attention to ‘de ol’ man here:  Ain’t no such thing as retirement.  At least IF you have an active mind.

I’ve had a couple of pleasant emails from classmates who graduated with me back in 1967 from high school in Seattle. We will miss this week’s reunion up north due to our Oklahoma commitment.

Turns out, people are a lot like bullets:  Once fired, they tend to hold to their trajectories until they hit something.  Or die.  Hence, the “winners” and “interesting” people from high school have turned out to be the overachievers or still “interesting” people here at the other end of life.

(Continues below)


The main point here is that retirement as a concept hasn’t happened yet, though we’re chipping at the concept.

Near as I can figure, there are three or four key aspects to successful retirement.

First, on the money side, naturally, you need a little dough for food, paying property taxes, and miscellaneous that will beggar you if you so much as blink.  Auto insurance (a tax because government requires it), home insurance (not a tax, but foolish to be without), medical insurance/ACA ( again a government tax – because it is not optional; it’s a collection racket for the for-profit healthcare system…).  That and more takes money.

Since we pretty much know that short of a (socially engineered, coincidental of course) age-targeting pandemic, Social Security will be bankrupt in 2037 (or earlier), the money side of retiring has kept me working 60-hours a week, or more: writing, consulting, and what-not.

You really need to be seriously working your retirement money plan not later than age 35.

Second aspect of retirement is being healthy.

First subroutine of health is exercise.

Tomorrow, our new Gold’s Home Gym will arrive.  Elaine, who owes here phenomenally misleading good looks to a combination of outstanding genes and being some of an exercise fanatic/gym rat, read the assembly manual online a couple of times Sunday.  Assembling it will take (by web accounts) on the order of 4-6 hours, which is plenty of exercise for one day in my book.

Looking at Elaine, however, the benefits of exercise are obvious.  A colleague asked me in 2000 at a party “Has she had any, you know, body work done?”  I laughed at the time – and still snicker out it.  No, that is one of the major side effects of a life-long fitness program.

Gold’s, by the way, and others, are now doing “fitness logs” so people don’t lose interest.  They’ve dialed things in so if you’re doing serious strength training, you do three sets of 8-reps each.  Toning is with lighter weight and 10 sets of 8 reps.  Someone who is a tad overweight (ahem…) is instructed “Get on the machine and keep moving for 20-30 minutes.”  That’ll be a challenge.

There’s an old saying:  Do something every day for 30-days and at the end of that time it’s a habit.  So I will write up 30 daily logs…

Second subroutine of health is nutrition.

Elaine happened to be doing some studying recently on when the body produces its biggest hits of human growth hormone (HGH).  She already knew that 3-4 hours of sleep into the night and then again 2-hours on was in the studies.

But what she found was some discussion of how taking Vitamin B6 and a solid dose of L-Arginine (and for us Citrulline which is an arginine precursor) at bedtime.  This is in addition to our other vitamin stacks in the morning.

Amazon has Source Naturals L-Arginine L-Citrulline Complex, 1000 MG, Supports Peak Performance,240 Tablets for about $24-bucks.  For the B-6 I take the Twinlab Stress B-Complex Caps with Vitamin C, 250 Capsules which is $29-bucks, or so.  One of each in the morning and again at bedtime.

The secret sauce seems to come from two directions.  First is the discussion that the L-Arginine and B6 may augment the HGH results at night.  But the other is that the L-Arginine seems to increase NO2 in the body which is good for muscles, toning and development-wise.

Third aspect of retirement is Activities.

More than one of my ’67 high school classmates had heard a few years ago from classmates how some of us would “never be able to retire and would become bored.”

Are you kidding?  Not enough time in the day around here.

In a recent Peoplenomics article, I discussed the concept of an Activity-Centered Home.  The idea of an ACH is that you figure as many fun and interesting activities as you can shoe horn into a house.  Then you set up two day types:  Working/maintenance days and play days.

Now you set up your home so that each of your “activities” (like hobbies) has its own specific area.  In the Peoplenomics article, “A Software-Directed Life” I explain this little spinet of code I wrote in VB/Excel because it really is running my life now:

First, a random number determines if I work, or play, on a particular day.

Next, random numbers are assigned to all possibility activities.  Two clicks and you get:

As you can see, there is always too much to do.

Maintenance days (for activities like painting/art/music) involve getting everything totally ready for the next “play” session.  Drums and guitars need tuning, the next instruction video needs to be found and bookmarked.  A gas welding “maintenance day” is when plans are sketch, the metal for the next project is figured and cut.  The Play day is when you light up the torch or turn on the MIG rig.

Today, as an example, the Harbor Fright metal-cutting band saw has started dropping the blade off, so I have to watch a video on alignment of that (and do the steps) so that cutting metal will result in straight, not wobbly-angled cuts that require a pass through the milling machine.  805RoadKing’s video here is great.

And so it goes…. Point is that working this list top-down ensures I eventually get around to most of my major hobbies and do them either well in play mode (as in play with ham gear) or in repair/maintain/improve mode so the play time is perfect.

I’m trying to sneak “Find perfect Cuban bread recipe” onto Elaine’s list or mine…

Fourth aspect of retirement is Education

One of the keys in The Millennial’s Missing Manual is realizing that almost anyone can do anything.  I’ve met paraplegic pilots, got eye issues, asthma and eczema myself, but overcoming any “difficulty” in life seems to come down to just two subroutines that make up “education.”

First subroutine is to become a well-read expert in a subject area.  I’m going through two massively difficult problems right now.

The first involves getting our home studio ready for daughter Denise visiting at the end of the month to lay down some tracks.  Fine, but I have never had to actually install and tune VST (virtual instrument plugins) in any of my DAWs (digital audio workstation software).

When I was running recording school, I was the analog dude.

“Error: Unable to open ReWire subsystem -100” was the kind of problem left to staff.  Besides, we were all Mac/ProTools-based.

OMG they hide VST’s in how many freakin directories in Win 10?  At least four that I know of, and that’s before the re-install of GPO-4’s Aria players .dll’s and such due to a migration from an old HDD to a SSD  (Translation: old SATA spinning drive to Solid-state drive.)

The second will be the grown up version of our Breaking News page which will go out on its own web addy and will be organized in multiple ways.  You’ll be able, for example, to read today’s news based on timelines, or by subjects, or by future-oriented keywords.

Not terribly difficult?  Er…the language of programmers today is different than when we were breaking ground on data management in the 1980’s.  First-level, second-level, third-level sorts have become categories, taxonomies, and items and so forth.  Sheesh.  When you’re old it gets harder to unlearn the original way and relearn the new lingo du jour which companies in software are prone to do.  But, we digress…

The Second subroutine in education is adaptation.

This is the point of desperation where -after you’ve actually read the manuals and they don’t give you advice that you can directly follow – you get to cobble up creative solutions.  Best helping hand here is TRIZ, which may be a Wiki entry but the book And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared: TRIZ, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving ($40) is totally worth every cent and why it hasn’t been mass-adopted in public education K-12 escapes me.

Point is, once you are out of the “formal” education system, then your real learning in life begins.

One of our Peoplenomics subscribers was kind enough to send me a copy of Dr. Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives which is now on the reading list.

I think everyone, after a few close brushes with Death, figures out that Life isn’t going on forever and you get serious researching the “What Comes Next?” problem.

By the way, we watched Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas White this weekend on Amazon video.  Excellent and the nearly 5-star ranking is well-deserved.

Our Monday morning Bottom Line about  education in “retirement” is that once freed from the sheepskin mill mentality, you can actually focus on the important stuff in life.  These being the topics and details that really matter to your playing of the Game of Living.

Always a different path than anyone else, though you may share interests, everyone comes down a birth canal and saunters off collecting experiences until they leave some years later.  Thereafter, we may get to compare notes.

Eye Doc Day

For those following the adventures of George’s Left Eye, another trip to the eye doc palace today.  This time a highly regarded retina specialist  will be looking at the retinal/macula edema.

In our last exciting episode, my surgeon who performed the anterior lens implant started me on a fairly stiff dose of prednisone in the eye (4X daily) and the vision improvement has verged on remarkable.

The logical outcome today would be for the retinal fellow to extend the 4X rate for another week (or two) and possibly augment with a long-lasting (shot in the eye) steroid and then do a slow taper on the steroid drops over a month or three.

A good article describes it at the American Society of Retinal Specialists over here.

Main thing is it’s fairly uncommon for “normal” cataract lens implants.  It’s when  in my case (after 25-50 years) your first lens implant has a catastrophic issue, and you go to a second lens implant only to find that due to scarring that second lens had to be in the anterior chamber.

Shots in the eye, by the way, sound a lot worse than they are.  Anesthetics are pretty good.l

If you have anyquestions, send ’em along – I’ll eye out for them…er…so to speak.

SEE you tomorrow morning and write when you get rich,

14 thoughts on “Coping: With Retirement? Hardly!”

  1. In regards to assembling a home gym. I put together a Weider model and it took all of the 6 hours indicated. The instructions were complete and unambiguous however it still takes time and a lot of ‘on the knees’ work. Plan accordingly.

  2. The thing that continues to amaze me is the tremendous amount of resources used by Americans for their hobbies and amusement, and how oblivious to this Americans are.

    George, if you transported your shop to Ecuador there is enough equipment there to start at least 20 businesses that would allow hundreds of households to benefit from their use, and in the process financially support numerous families.

    Plus, they have family members working in these businesses to pass those skills along. I’ll bet if you turned your family loose on your equipment they would not have a clue how to operate 3/4 of it, much less produce quality results.

    Vilcabamba has many homes that have absentee owners from the neighboring city. It is not unusual for these places to sleep 10-20 people. At least a couple of times a month they show up with friends and extended family for a party weekend. And on weekends a car with one or two people in it is an oddity. If they are going somewhere, they load up with friends and family, including pets.

    It’s a culture of sharing.

  3. RETIRE is a french word coined about the 16th century. The literal translation is to “draw back”. Initially it was a description of a physical activity, as in to “draw back” from a position or location.

    The current usage in America wasn’t in the vernacular until after Roosevelt’s New Deal, when a formal national pension became available via Social Security payments. People could “draw back” from work completely, if they had their home paid off and watched their cash carefully.

    The actual usage today means to withdraw voluntarily from actively working to earn a living. Social Security is rarely enough for this to be possible, especially in light of medical bills for aging complications, and thus many people simply cannot “draw back” completely.

    There are many unrealistic expectations surrounding the mental image of ‘retirement’. As George indicates, for some there is no change in their day-2-day regimen, yet for many there is a large change when one is no longer working for someone else 8 or more hours daily every week.

    My point is that what we term “retirement” in America is a recent invention – predicated on an abundance of everything. In my mind, this is a very unrealistic expectation as it has never been possible historically, except for the uber-rich, the landed gentry.

    Social Security and “retirement accounts” are wholly American inventions, built in an environment of massive economic expansion. That expansion has collapsed in this country and moved elsewhere.

    I am not telling my kids to aim for retirement, but to aim for a trade or occupation they take joy in, and to have a second one waiting in the wings as they age.

    I think this a more prudent expectation to engender.

    • I agree that’s exactly what I told my kids have something in reserve ,
      use whatever, it is you have now for a stepping stone and continue and then as you get older you be able to use that first thing again as a stepping stone anyway I like the 1-2-3 punch have one to three different things and if number 3 fails you can go back to number 2 and if number 2 fails ,you go back to number one.
      It sounds like getting BACK TO THE BASICS of prepping material ,
      that’s what everyone should strive for step 1-2-3 that way you can always come back to -1- and -1- is where the family structure has precedence .

  4. Dear Mr. Ure, slow day for comments.. Thanks for mentioning “Journey of Souls”. This is not a religious tome. It is a description by Dr. Newton.. a PHD Psychologist,, who was a spiritual skeptic. He discovered a hypnotic technique that took his clients to the space between lives. He did this for over 7,000! clients,, from wildly divergent backgrounds. They gave surprisingly similar accounts.

    Without spoiling the book’s contents; in brief: We are created in a soul incubator, as a member of a small group. When we are ready, we are given choices as to which human body we will combine with.

    We each do this human thing, over and over,, until we get it right (enough), and then we don’t need to come back here, or any of the other worlds we have experienced.

    Dr. N was never told about the ‘Why or Who’ behind all this. (I think its our human ego that contends we should know what’s going on’,, when none of us really have the chops to comprehend this dense existence.)

    When we move on from this incarnation: we are met by our Guide and important members of our group and near groups. After the turmoil of our last life has been soothed; we meet with our own unique council. We discuss dispassionately what went right and wrong– did we accomplish, in that life time, the goals we had set?

    Again, this is not court. There is no judgement or punishment. This is not the Bardo of the Buddhists,, no one was ever met by Jesus,, and certainly not Moh.. or Satan.. Nor did Dr. N. ever have any client say they had been a famous person (no Cleopatra or Ben Franklin).

    Newer souls crave existence so much that they agree to be tribesmen in Africa, or prisoners in the DPRK. So there are no excuses.. we each chose this body and this place among humanity.. Born (joined), with amnesia of our past, we gotta take the cards WE CHOSE, and make the best hand we can.. no more whining.

    At the other (also shallow) end,, are people who are somewhat more intelligent or gifted with $$ and power.. How they deal with that burden will help their own growth. (and next lifetime they might come back in rural China, with the hogs living downstairs.

    I look forward to reading whether you think any of this is plausible. As I read between the lines of your comment section,, I think a lot of your readers are on a path.. I think JOS is good info.. for me its led to calmness and acceptance (and gratitude),, and I don’t feel sorry for anybody,, we each signed up for this. Get on with it.

    (and blpg, that is what punctuation looks like)

    • Hey if you have a minor brain like mine does if you stop long enough for punctuation you lose the whole train of thought=( lots of laughs) plus don’t stop for the stop signs out in the country if there’s nobody around for miles but if you’re in the city make sure you stop on your blank or on and wave and smile so some people as they get older want to be left alone they don’t want to have to go through the ritual every time there’s a human being that they encounter they have deeper thoughts deeper much deeper like that Monk on the hill who just this once then the younger months to bring them up some water and every once in awhile,. – may all beings be lovingly fulfilled , so be it

      • So far I’m coming across all kinds of things in this nature of what everybody thinks everything is but so far again the alien interview kind of clinches everything puts everything into a proper perspective I would like to know what other people think about that

  5. I stopped taking my Vitamin B supplement at bedtime when I realized I was waking up from a Niacin rush a few hours after falling asleep. Very unpleasant. You may have developed a resistance by now, but I still avoid taking my Bs late at night, which includes my multi-vitamin. Better safe than sleepless.

  6. “Retirement”…. Hahaha! What a myth! After I got ‘retired’ early from my intense job and bought a house, I find there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. And with a ‘fixed income’ (why am I always broke?) it just means I cannot buy my way out of trouble and have to contribute my own hands-on WORK to get things done. My first year of ‘living cheap’ was a real eye-opener of challenges. Fortunately, the pension arrives in a few months, and I have been marketing my services as a contractor that will soon be bearing fruit. More money means I can do more things… wait… where do i buy ‘more time’??

    • Yepper that’s a big 10-4 because the X not there all you can do is watch it passed by and watch all the assets deteriorate unless they’re given to someone else and then the cycle starts over again so one of those monks got over us they don’t do anything but they don’t have to at least the elders don’t they left the younger monks do all the work and they just sit back and meditate all day long I think they have something going there

  7. I like the ideas here. I really don’t plan on getting Social Insecurity which should have died when they said it should have. So my goal is to retire a multi-millionaire so me (and whatever lady is crazy enough to be around me) can do what we like in “retirement”. Though i plan on doing something i love but it wont be required to work. probably something dealing with airplanes and/or guns or something. I hope by then we will be a freer nation… Well i don’t hope but i figure with what is coming down the pipes from what you say Mr. Ure and other sources, we may have a chance to salvage the Republic… Gotta have hope and faith to make it through the hardest times.

    PS: Could i start a blog like Oilman2’s Mr. Ure? A following of a young mans quest to becoming self-sufficient and a better life in general? Plus i need to keep practicing my writing. Figured i would ask!

    • Yep I agree each day we wake up our goals changed just a little bit more and then some days when you wake up they change a whole lot more

      • Even if your bedridden each day is worth it takes a lot out of the human body to get that blood pumping making all the parts do what you wanted to do that’s work alone right there and we’re not talking about getting in the feels and raising crops or just talking about getting up every morning and trying to determine whether the day it’s going to get worse or just a little bit better because you’re at the age now where it’s hard to plump Scooby pump that blood through the body and that’s where you see all these people in Rest Homes their blood just won’t get pumped enough the old Pumpers not working so that go into a catatonic or a State of Shock or sometimes people say hey there an alternate reality but really they’re still there just they don’t have the means to move the body comma. New sentence so we do have something to look forward to

  8. 1. When taking arginine, don’t forget the ornithine. The two are synergistic, and ornithine, like tryptophan, melatonan, and valerian, is a natural calmative.

    WTH is this word you use: “retirement,” and what does it mean? I can picture myself, sittin’ on the porch in a rocker, or layin’ back with a fishin’ pole — for about two hours, once or twice a year after a good meal maybe, maybe…

    …naw, not even then!

    If I’m not doing, I’m planning or studying, and I like it that way. My elder, peer, and kid acquaintances all look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them “I’ll die, working.”

    They can’t conceive of someone who can’t do “nothing,” nor I, someone who can.

    They tell me “You should enjoy your retirement;” I tell them: “I am…” and right there, I lose them for the remainder of the conversation. Now understand, I rarely work hard. A lifetime of destroying my body has seen to it that doing so is seldom even a possibility,

    However, I’ve learned to work smart and steady, with an understanding (and incredible appreciation for) mechanical advantage, and an ability to combine facets of mathematics with chemistry, physics, and (un)common sense in my head and on-the-fly, much to my surprise (and I’m sure to the utter astonishment of any of my high school and college instructors who’re still around…!)

    BTW the biggest single difference I’ve seen between myself, and the “Xers,” “millenials,” and “nexters” is I don’t recognize or accept the word: “Can’t.”

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