“Retirement” Ideas

This is more of a scratchpad now. Other writings will include:

  • Why I am no longer working, and why I don’t think I will get a job like the ones I’ve had.
  • Where I’m at financially and some models using traditional thinking.
  • What I want in my last quartile
  • This one: ideas
  • How I plan to pursue those ideas: learn from others at all stages in life, visit shared living situations, etc.
  • Why the last quartile of active life is underserved – few mentors in real life or virtual, few materials, few ideas. WW1 quote – see google doc. Why “retirement” is not an accurate word (with definitions). Define the four quartiles: Childhood, Young adult, mid-life, late-life. I’m not tackling the period after you basically stop doing things or need medical care daily. This should be the best part: have assets, wisdom, resources, and are able to give back. We need to optimize this.
  • Why I don’t find the traditional retirement options compelling

I’m documenting my own journey and those of others that I learn from. Not advocating right or wrong or prescribing, but I am looking for co-conspirators with similar ideas!

I think that my journey of learning and discovery may be one that yields insights and value to others. Put another way, I think one of these must be true:

  • We have enough. Jen and I will be fine and I’m seriously overthinking this.
  • A whole lot of people with fewer assets and retirement income are in the same boat or worse.

My Ideas for a Sustaining Income and Fulfilling Life

I’ll talk about:

  • Turn your assets into income streams. What do you have that others want that you could share?
  • Invest in assets that you also get to enjoy.
  • Share when traveling to spend less, have a better and more unique experience, and meet great people. AirBnB, Turo, etc.
  • Share the assets I want to have access to.
  • Talk about it. We don’t talk much about money, difficult things, or fears.

I am somewhat unique in that:

  • It brings me joy to share and give. I love it when neighbors borrow tools or need a little help with a project. The pool is far better shared with friends then alone. Etc.
  • I really love deep engagement with people and am fairly extroverted. I definitely want my introvert time too, but 95% of the time having guests in our house is a plus for me.

Turn Assets into Income Streams

What assets do you have that you could share in order to generate income, karma, or goodwill?

Physical assets:

  • Your home. Rent rooms on AirBnB. Share generously with friends that are visiting to increase general happiness, and also perhaps generate some favors in return. I also want to generate income when we travel from renting the portion of the home that we occupy.
  • Your car, second car, ATVs, etc. When not using them rent them out on Turo or other sites. I’d also like to rent out my primary care when we’re traveling.
  • Pool. Swimply will share it. It not only generates some income but it makes me happy to see it used and helps pay some of the cost.

Other assets:

  • Take apart your resume and break it into skills that could be marketable on their own. How could you help people?
  • Monetize your hobbies and passions. I enjoy our connected home and 80+ IoT gadgets and have learned a lot over the years the hard way. It would be really fun to share my knowledge, and possibly turn it into a part-time job. Same with cooking. If I cook I generally cook for 10-20. I’d much rather share than freeze the leftovers.
  • Your network of friends and colleagues. At this stage of career we tend to know a lot of people that also have assets and skills. Connect people and create value! Lunchclub.ai is a great site for this that I use weekly.

Invest in assets that you also get to enjoy

Investing in the stock market brings me no joy for so many reasons:

  • I have no unique knowledge nor a unique strategy. I believe entirely in broad market index funds as tested well by Warren Buffet’s challenge.
  • I don’t get satisfaction by helping fund public companies and keeping P/E ratios high so that those with money get more money.
  • The investments don’t visibly appreciate my support.
  • I can’t use my knowledge, energy, or other assets to improve my investment.

I have a rental house that I bought while my daughter was in college and now rent to a young couple and his brother. It is better for me in that:

  • The college scenario was a great win-win-win.
  • As a rental it brings me some happiness because I know who I am helping and appreciate hearing that it’s good for them. I like thinking of their new family in a cozy warm house.
  • The renters seem to appreciate the house.
  • I can use my knowledge and energy to pick a good investment area, make the right improvements, find good repair people, etc.

But I don’t get to enjoy it. Consider two options if you have $1.2M to spend and like the idea of renting to others:

  • Buy three $400k homes. Rent two, live in one. Get around $4-5k in rental income.
  • Buy one $1.2M home. Live in one part and rent other bedrooms, cabins, or whatever to short or long-term renters.

With the first option, the rentals have the advantages from above but on a daily basis they don’t increase my happiness, nor do I do things to increase the value to the renters.

I am drawn to the second option for many reasons:

  • I can have a closer relationship with the people renting and both experience their joy and increase it.
  • I can personally make their experience better by fixing up the place, providing nice shared spaces, etc.
  • The shared common areas of a $1.2M home will be much nicer than that of the $400k home.
  • I’m quite content with very little private space so more of the property could be income generating.

It’s challenging in other ways:

  • The economics are less clear. We will be traveling and meeting people in situations like this to learn. We’ve had a bunch of really fun experiences already that I’ll write about!
  • More sharing. I generally like people but I really don’t like messy kitchens or annoying people. I like my music loud sometimes. I rarely like other people’s music loud when they want it.

So we’re going to travel and learn and figure out whether this really works. We are interested in:

  • Buy it. Acquire the dream of someone like-minded. Find someone that has built such a place but is now ready to move on. There are BnB’s and yoga retreats and all kinds of cool function property businesses for sale.
  • Buy in. Find someone that has built something great and needs or wants co-investors or to expand on it.
  • Buy the property. Find a property that is reasonably close to the dream and buy it. The people and business part we would then have to build.
  • Buy the land. Take a blank slate and make it great. Tempting but so much work and energy and time.

Share when traveling

We love using AirBnB, Turo, Lyft, and other sharing options. We get:

  • Often a better price
  • Often a more unique experience
  • To meet people that tend to be more interesting than average. Like-minded “sharers”

As we travel we like this for our own reasons, and now we will also target experiences and people from which we can learn. People doing something similar or unique.

Share Assets

I want many things that are, for me, better shared.

  • Gardens. I love growing food and beautiful plants for so many reasons, but it’s a lot of work. And then, when the work is done, you have whatever is in season coming out your ears as you try to give it away. I would much prefer sharing a garden with a bunch of people to diversify the crops available, share the work, knowledge, and inspiration, and share the bounty.
  • Pool. Our pool is fun but so much better with friends and family! We use it a lot and it still goes unused 60% of the days.
  • Workshop. I have tools and love making things. Friends have tools. But if I had one here I would use it maybe one day in 10. Why not share with 10 people and pool/save resources.
  • Vehicles: Cars, Trucks, ATVs, Motorcycles, E-bikes, Bikes. For all of these except maybe our primary car I would much prefer 10% ownership at 10% of the price than 100% at 100%.
  • Animals. Jen and I have our two cats and we both really want some chickens and maybe significantly more animals if the property allows it. But, I do know that we don’t want to do it all ourselves and also have to pay someone to take care of them when we travel. I’d much rather have fractional ownership and share responsibility and cost than full ownership with full responsibility. We also want a continuity of loving care for our two cats when we travel rather than just a petsitter.

Talk about it

Things we tend not to talk about include:

  • Our fears
  • Our failures
  • Money

I think we need to. This is too difficult to do alone, and honestly just not as fun.

I’ve started to talk to people at all stages of life about this last segment. What are their plans, or how well did their plans work? I’m taking notes and will be sharing in some form. Who knows, this might be part of my future giving back and maybe even income!?

Get ready for some open conversations people!


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