What Should I Do When I Retire?

Lots of Opinions – Which Ideas Make Sense?

While I was researching new ideas for blog posts, I came across this keyword phrase – What should I do when I retire?  Since it is so close to home (I’ve been retired since January 2016), I wanted to see what others thought.  After reading several articles, my conclusion was, what a bunch of HOGWASH!  I doubt seriously that most of the writers are retired.  If they are, then they have a much different perception than I have.

Here is an example – Volunteer Abroad. They suggest you contact an agency (who will charge a hefty fee) to set up your 2-week trip. Why only two weeks? Now that you’re retired, what’s the hurry? One of my favorite things to do is to travel somewhere and stay the full length of the Tourist Visa. Churches and missionary organizations all over Latin America minister to the needs of those in poverty.  Often,  these poverty-stricken peoples are indigenous to their countries, but the rest of the world overlooks them. These churches and missionary organizations would be happy for you to come and help as long as you like. Living in Latin America rather than living in the US is possible on your Social Security alone.

What Should I Do When I Retire?  My Real Life Suggestions

1 – Travel For Months, Not Weeks

There is no reason for retirees to travel to a new country and only stay for two weeks. That is the kind of trip you took when you were working.  Our first trip after retiring was a visit to the beautiful island of Roatan, Honduras, where we stayed for about 100 days. We had to request an extension on our tourist visa, but it was easy. That trip educated us to what it would be like to retire to a Caribbean Island with beautiful blue water and powdery white sand. That had been our dream for many years. But living at sea level that far south is hot – all the time. Our conclusion was – a beautiful place to visit, but a hard place to live.

Screenshot - Altitude in Peru. 16,050 feet on a bus!
This is a Screenshot from my phone in Peru. 16,050 feet on a bus!

We Traveled to South America – For 4 Months!

We left Roatan, Honduras, and moved to what was formerly our first choice, Boquete, Panama. If you want to learn more about our experiences in Boquete, click here! After living in Boquete, Panama for 17 months, we left to check out South America.  We spent 2 weeks in Colombia, 3 weeks in Peru, and 3 months in Cuenca, Ecuador.  Wow, those Andes mountains are incredibly high.  On one trip from Arequipa, Peru, we climbed to 16,050 feet – on a bus!  

Our time in Peru was fantastic.  Had we taken this trip during our working years, we would have missed over half the things we experienced.  We would have had 2 full days of traveling, and at least 1 day to acclimate to the altitude.  The trip wouldn’t have qualified as a visit to Peru – only maybe to Machu Picchu.  Don’t get me wrong.  Machu Picchu was magnificent. But missing Lake Titicaca at 12,000 feet, the Colca Canyon with its Condors, Arequipa with its volcanos, and the action and beauty of Lima would have been a real mistake.

Favorite Sites in Peru - Volcano Misti near Arequipa, Machu Picchu, and the coastline of Lima.
Peru has so many things to see and do. Here are 3 of our favorites – Volcano Misti near Arequipa, Machu Picchu, and the coastline of Lima.

Our final stop on that trip was Cuenca, Ecuador, which is known as “The Cultural Capital of Ecuador.”  Based on all our research, we had intended to stay much longer.  We stayed for 3 months.  We didn’t know much about Cuenca except what we had read.  It is a beautiful place, there is a lovely community of English-speakers, and it is incredibly inexpensive to live there.  But at 8,500 feet elevation, we were cold most of the time.  We always wore jeans or long pants and a light jacket or sweater.  The shorts stayed in the suitcase.  Although the average temperature in Cuenca is only 10 degrees cooler than Medellin, it was enough to make us uncomfortable.

How Could We Possibly Afford Such A Trip?

And for anyone wondering how we could afford a trip like that – our total expenses, including airfare and tour costs, were less than our Social Security.  With a cost of living that is 20-30% of the US, you can live and travel well for much less. It was even less than our monthly expenses living in Panama. So as silly as it sounds, we saved money by traveling.

If you want to get your feet wet, you could start in Mexico, and wander to the southern tip of South America, and stay in almost every country for 3 months each. That trip would take you 3-4 years. During that trip, you would make new friends, have unforgettable experiences, and have lots of opportunities to volunteer, learn, and teach. You would be able to afford the entire trip on your social security alone, if necessary.  And at some point along the way, you might find a new home.

2 – Learn Something New

Learning challenges your brain and keeps it active!  With all that extra time, we can now invest ourselves in something we have always wanted to do. Hobbies like wood-working, photography, and gardening are very popular.  I have many friends who have become ferociously competitive players of the best card game ever invented – Bridge.   They play in local organized games sanctioned by the ACBL, in tournaments all over the US, and special events on cruises.  The very top echelon players also compete in international competitions.  This game will challenge your brain.

What Should I Do When I Retire - Pickleball
Pickleball is usually played with 4 people. It offers a fast pace with low impact making it very popular with Seniors.

Participating in traditional sports like tennis and golf are also popular.  Many Seniors have been waiting all their lives to get to play their favorite game as often as they want. But there is a new sport that is gaining followers rapidly, especially retirees – Pickleball.  It is sort of like tennis, but there is far less running involved, and the games move much faster. Check it out here.

There are many fascinating things to learn and do. Here is an idea you may not have thought about – Learn how to create videos on YouTube. You don’t need much to get started, and the equipment is not costly.  People are creating videos for all types of subjects, those you have heard about and those you might not!  Of course, all you have to do is click google.com and start searching.  And you might just make a few bucks (or a whole lot more)!   Start with this article.

3 – Teach or Mentor

With all of our experience and training, there is much of value we have to offer others.  We can make a difference in their lives. You can coach or mentor a new small business owner in many areas he or she hasn’t even thought of yet. You can teach a young person to sew or repair an appliance, machine, or car. There are many things we know how to do that could enrich the lives of others.  We Baby Boomers know a whole lot of stuff, and it would be a shame to let it disappear. And no matter where you are, there is a group close to you that could benefit by learning English.

4 – Become a Volunteer

Volunteers can make a world of difference in many lives, meeting needs that go unmet every day. There are opportunities to help wherever you are in the world. Here in Latin America, one of the biggest tragedies is what is happening to the Venezuelan people. Millions have no choice but to leave, and due to circumstances beyond their control, they have very little to take with them. But there are also situations far less tragic where you live, and you could provide much-needed assistance,  and your help would be much appreciated.

5 – Find Those You Can Assist

As one way of volunteering, you can personally help those that need a hand up.  A few days ago, I stopped to offer a little assistance to one of the many people trying to sell candy on the street just to survive.  Many of these are displaced Venezuelans. To my surprise, the man was fluent in English and Spanish!  I thought, how can that be?  Then I noticed he is blind!  I asked him his name, and he said: “William, just remember William Shakespeare!”  William has a wonderfully positive attitude, and he was a source of encouragement to me!

In talking with him, I learned that he was born in the US, and his parents moved to Venezuela when he was only 13.  After thinking about it for a few days, I came up with a way to help him and help me at the same time.  He doesn’t have to see to be able to translate.  And there are certain times when I need a translator, particularly when I go to pick up my prescriptions every month.

Today, when I saw him, I offered to pay him and pay for transportation to accompany me to pick up my prescriptions tomorrow.  He was only too happy to accept my offer.  If it works out like I think it will, I’m sure my other friends will see the benefit of using his translation services.  And everyone wins!

6 – Meet New People – Make New Friends

Meeting and making new friends is one of my favorite things about being retired.  When we were working, we had very little time to spend with friends, and as we moved to be closer to our work and reduce our commute time, we lost touch with friends we had known for years.  We have now lived for an extended time in 4 different countries, and in every case, we knew not one person when we arrived. But it has been so easy to make friends, and technologies like Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp make it very easy to stay in touch.

We learned that we had a great deal in common with the North Americans and Europeans living in these countries.  They went through the same decision process we did to end up in that particular destination.  We could walk into a store or restaurant, hear English, strike up a conversation, and by the end of that time, we had made a friend.  Some friends have moved on to other destinations or have returned to the US, but we still keep in touch.   I’m sure you will experience similar results as you make friends with other seniors attracted to the same things which interest you.

7 – Start a Home-Based Business

In my research for this article, almost all of the posts and articles I saw said seniors need and want to find something to do to make extra income. That doesn’t mean you need to keep working your same job. It means something you can do from anywhere, on your schedule, with you in control.  In other words, ON YOUR TERMS!  With your permission, I would like to share more on this subject with you.

The name of this website is Make Money Retired. Several months ago, my wife and I decided to figure out how to make money from our home, regardless of where in the world we were at the time.  Statistics say that at least 50% of Boomers don’t have enough savings, and need more income to live a more comfortable retirement.

My wife and I started investigating different options and learning about the different ways we could do business online. In our research, we quickly decided that Affiliate Marketing was our best chance. Although we had used computers to do our jobs for the past 20 years or so, we didn’t know very much about making money online (“MMO”). I had been a CPA, and she was an RN. We started trying to learn as much about the subject as we could. The more we researched, the more we realized we needed to learn, and that we were going to need help.  During that process, we discovered a company called Wealthy Affiliate.


Who or What is Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate exists for the sole purpose of helping people create successful online businesses. They are laser-focused on this goal, and everything they do either helps accomplish that goal, or they don’t do it! Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim were two young successful internet entrepreneurs who joined forces in 2005 to create Wealthy Affiliate. Since then, they have helped well over a million members start their online businesses. Wealthy Affiliate members have created some of the most successful online companies in the world.

Wealthy Affiliate BenefitsWhat does Wealthy Affiliate Do?

Wealthy Affiliate provides the following benefits to all their members:

  1. High-quality training
  2. Website Hosting and 24 Hour Support
  3. Everything necessary to build a professional-looking website
  4. Encouragement and assistance from the entire Wealthy Affiliate community
  5. Specialized tools like Jaaxy, the best keyword search tool on the planet
  6. Proven strategies to attract traffic to your site
  7. Endless opportunity, with no risk.

These benefits become invaluable in creating your blog or another type of website and turning it into a profitable small business.

How Does This Help Me To Make Money Online?

You Need Training

Making Money Online is unlike anything you have ever done before. You will learn so much!  There are technical issues about creating a professional-looking website, building an email list, learning about themes, plug-ins, and database management.  You will also learn many new terms and concepts and how to create content that responds to the questions people are asking.

Wealthy Affiliate provides comprehensive training courses that will take you from an absolute newbie to an experienced and successful online business person.  Along the way, you will create lots of high-quality, engaging content that attracts traffic from around the world at all times of the day and night. You can make money while you sleep.  

In addition to comprehensive courses, there is specialized training on every conceivable subject about MMO.  Each week there is a new live presentation on one of the hot topics of the moment.  Many of the members are encouraged and compensated for creating new training courses.  You will never run out of opportunities to learn something new.

You Need Website Hosting And Support

Your premium membership comes with the opportunity to create up to 50 websites. Each of these will be hosted on Wealthy Affiliate servers, and receive high-performance 24-hour support provided by Carson and his experienced team. They take care of the technology so you can manage and grow your business.

Each website must have its unique domain name, and these can be purchased directly from the Wealthy Affiliate site. The prices are very reasonable, starting at $13.99 per year.

You Need The Tools Necessary To Build Beautiful, Profit-Ready Websites.

Wealthy Affiliate makes building your WordPress website extremely easy.  With a domain name, you will develop your website with a few clicks in under a minute.  You have access to thousands of free and professional themes (which cost surprisingly little).  I now have 5 different websites, all using the same theme, which cost me about $50 total. I can use this theme for as many sites as I want.  But due to all the customization options, the sites look different from one another. And that’s good because they appeal to totally different audiences. Also, we get benefits from plug-ins that add professional-looking features to our sites.  Wealthy Affiliate provides access to everything you need plus the training and answers to your questions.

You Need Answers to Many Questions

For me, one of the essential benefits Wealthy Affiliate offers is access to its members for assistance, guidance, and training.  It is called the Wealthy Affiliate Community, and they have been life-savers to me on many occasions.  A few of their suggestions have saved me hours of research.  And several members have become friends and mentors, always giving requested feedback.  The Wealthy Affiliate Community provides personal coaching, encouragement, and guidance.  What you get from these folks is incredibly valuable.  In my opinion, this one feature is worth the cost of the membership all by itself.

Great Content Is The Key To Your Success!

It’s straightforward.

  1. To make money, readers must click on one of your affiliate links and purchase a product.
  2. Attract readers with content that answers their questions or helps them find what they are looking for.
  3. Therefore you must figure out what they are asking, and what they are seeking.

How do you do that?  You begin with a tool that analyzes all of the billions of Google searches every day. It then organizes them into “keywords,” and provides proprietary data to help you find the most popular searches with the least amount of competition.  Wealthy Affiliate has the best keyword research tool on the planet!  They call it Jaaxy.  We call it “the best thing since sliced bread!”

Jaaxy Search Results for This Article

Jaaxy Search Gives More Searchers and Fewer Competitors

When you are preparing to write a blog post, you may have an idea about a topic.  Jaaxy helps you to find all the search keywords for that topic and arranges them, so you know which one is the best.  This process may be challenging to understand, so let me use an example.  For this post, I wanted to write about ideas for what to do in retirement.  So I started researching various ways to say that and ultimately narrowed my results down to what I felt were the best ones.  Here is the spreadsheet I used to make my decision:

This spreadsheet helped me decide the title and main keyword for this article.  I wanted to use a keyword that gave me the most searches with the least amount of competition.  QSR is the number of “competing websites” that are using the same keyword.  For me, the best choice was the first one – 120 average monthly searches with only 30 competing sites.  Notice the difference in QSR between “do I do when I retire” and will I do when I retire.”  Fewer monthly searches and 6 times as many competitors!  No thanks.  Jaaxy helped me change a few words and maximize searches and minimize competition.

Like the Affiliate Community, this is another situation where one component of Wealthy Affiliate is worth the total price of membership!

Conclusions and Recommendation

Don’t put off retirement.  You can afford to retire.

Enjoy all there is to do in your retirement.  Put that extra time to good use.

Travel to new countries and stay awhile.

Check out Pickleball.

Make the extra income you need by creating a home-based business through Wealthy Affiliate.

Custom Banner - The Sky is the Limit

Thanks very much for your attention.  Please leave a comment below.

When you join, Kyle, Carson, the entire Wealthy Affiliate Community, and I will all be there to help you every step of the way.

As my favorite speaker, Zig Ziglar used to say at the end of every speech,

“I’ll see you at the top!”

Steve Tuggle




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