Over the last two weekends, my husband Thom and I rented our personal home out on Airbnb. We’ve used Airbnb when traveling and have stayed in over ten different properties ourselves during the last couple of years. This, however, was the first time we have ever “hosted” strangers in our home. And while doing it twice certainly doesn’t make me an expert, I came up with some advice for anyone who might want to consider it in the future. [Read more…]
This last weekend I faced a big choice. Just over five miles from my home in La Quinta, CA a mega-concert aimed at Baby-Boomers called “Desert Trip” was scheduled. Legendary rockers like The Rolling Stones, Paul McCarthy, The Who and Bob Dylan were slated to perform. Sure, the concert was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear some amazingly talented icons in the business. However, the prices to attend for a good seat were equally astonishing—at least for me! I did make an effort to buy tickets online within my budget, but when those tickets sold out, I decided to make the best of the situation and try something else I’ve always wanted to do—rent out my house on Airbnb. Did I make the right decision? For me, yes. But how I arrived at that decision is something that I need to remember over-and-over as time goes by. [Read more…]
I arrived on this planet 61 years ago, and I don’t think I’m old. Sure, I’ve been around a while and have certainly aged. But again, I don’t think that necessarily makes me old. Then this last week a friend and fellow blogger wrote an article saying that it was “ageist” to deny that we aren’t old past a certain age. While my friend didn’t mention when that exact number occurs, just knowing she is only a year or two older than me, made me guess that she believes I’m in the same boat. But the thing is, I don’t think she is old either, regardless of her age.
Of course, I do agree with her that rampant age discrimination exists in our country. It’s been around for as long as I can remember and I’m guilty of it too. I distinctly recall thinking my parents were old when I introduced Thom to them back in the late 1970s. At the time, they were in their early 40’s, and I am now two decades older than them at that introduction. Your perspective clearly changes as you age and until you reach certain milestones yourself, it is tough to relate. [Read more…]
A recent article in Money Magazine listed four simple strategies that many millionaires use to get rich. While I have nothing against being wealthy, I believe that finding meaning and purpose, achieving happiness, and discovering our unique rightsized lifestyle is far more important. But interestingly enough, the four tips offered by Money Magazine actually translate into four keys for living SMART 365. So, even though my examples won’t be the same as those shared in the magazine, the similarities are remarkably close. Ultimately, these four lifestyle hacks can help to make each of us more financially secure regardless of our age. Even better, they can lead to a more stress-free and right-sized life at the same time. [Read more…]
One of the greatest improvements to travel in recent years has been the rise of Airbnb. Pronounced “air b and b,” this company allows travelers to stay in private homes, apartments and rooms around the world rather than traditional hotel rooms. Not only is the cost often less, it also provides a more unique and special way to visit a location. Over the last several years, my husband Thom and I have enjoyed staying at a variety of Airbnb properties. So I thought it might be valuable to share some of our experiences to help explain how it works, and why it is SMART to consider using it in the future. [Read more…]
Thom and I are off enjoying some “rightsized travel” so I invited another blogger friend who is living a rightsized life to share her ideas. Terri Webster Schrandt lives in Sacramento, CA and like all rightsizers, offers a unique perspective on what the lifestyle looks like in a person’s life. Thanks Terri for sharing another version of rightsizing with all of us!
Kathy and I originally met in person at the BAM (Bloggers At Midlife) 2016 conference in Las Vegas. We found each other to be kindred spirits as well as neighbors living in California!
After reading Kathy’s book Rightsizing: A SMART Living 365 Guide To Reinventing Retirement I easily identified the ways I have also rightsized my life. A big key for my semi-retirement was being able to retire from my day job of 32 years at the relatively young age of 55. After paying into the CalPERS (public employees retirement system) for years, I now receive 65% of my income as a pension. [Read more…]
Shortly after my husband Thom and I met in 1977, we opened our first business. We named the beach nightclub that we owned and managed on the coast of North Carolina, Night Moves. Since then, except for a couple of painful months in the following years as employees, we founded several other businesses and fully embraced the entrepreneur lifestyle. While I can’t imagine living any other way, I recently realized that the entrepreneurial approach isn’t mentioned much these days. What happened? Where did it go? And why aren’t more people embracing the many advantages that come from being self-employed? [Read more…]
One of my daily practices is to remember to look for the good no matter what is going on in my life. It helps a great deal that I’m married to someone who does his best to remind me of this on a regular basis. It also helps that I am a naturally optimistic person, in good health, with many other lifestyle advantages. But even then, I still need to be reminded on a regular basis to stay focused on what’s good, rather than its opposite. That’s why nearly all my writing here on SMART Living 365 serves to re-enforce the positive over and over. Still, what I seldom acknowledge is the huge helping of grace that makes it all possible.
I don’t use the word grace much in my writing. I’m aware that it is a trigger for some people like my husband Thom, to a former religious perspective that created pain and skepticism rather than comfort. I certainly never intended to use the word in the title of my first work of fiction, Finding Grace. But after the main character ended up naming herself, and as her journey unfolded, no other title came even close to fitting as well. That’s how grace often works. When we follow the trail of what seems to be good, we end up with the grace of unexpected gifts. [Read more…]
Every summer my husband Thom and I rent a home in the mountains for a month. Then for a change of pace, we rent a cottage at the beach after that. Neither are fancy, but they are fun and comfortable. While I love my home in the desert southwest, it can be brutally hot during the summer, so escaping to somewhere cool when it’s scorching outside is a dream come true for me. And because we’ve “rightsized,” the cost fits easily into our budget.
But a question we always get is, “Oh, are you staying at your second home?” We happily answer “No!” That’s because when we visit these locations, we like to have the option of changing destinations and properties. Best of all, we like the freedom of not having to spend the time and money managing the property for the remainder of the year. These reasons and more prompted me to consider: is buying a second home, an RV or a boat SMART? [Read more…]
Like most baby boomers who grew up in California and nearly half of the U.S. population, I tried marijuana as a teenager. The few times my girlfriends and I managed to get our hands on a joint, we would light it, pass it around and then spend several harmless hours giggling and acting silly. But once we matured, like most other adults I knew, we moved on to the far more legal and acceptable form of getting high—alcohol. And although some opportunities to give pot another try presented itself in the four decades since then, public aversion to smoking, the illegality, and the stigma, made it preferable to avoid. Now, in 2016 things are changing—dramatically. Not only is California poised to make recreational pot legal this November, our aging population is discovering the numerous medicinal benefits it offers to many who want to age as well as possible. Maybe it’s time for another look. [Read more…]