Recently a friend of mine lost her job and is considering an early retirement. After being on unemployment she realized that it is very hard to do nothing. I am a widow who raised three children and put us all through four-year colleges. (I went back to finish my degree too.) So I know how to live on nothing. Now that I have an empty nest and am semi-retired, she asked me for some advice. This is my advice to anyone else that is struggling with baby-boomer money problems. This advice must be adjusted to fit what each person likes and needs:
1. Don’t buy anything new you can get used (or you can fix one you already—a little Gorilla glue and some duct tape can fix anything but a broken heart!). Goodwill is full of stuff with the tags still on. Pick Upscale towns that have bored rich people who throw way things you’d like. (Yeah they’re still out there!)
2. Don’t buy anything with plastic. Don’t use credit cards or buy things petro-chemical base, which includes anything from China. NOTHING from China. The USA already owes them trillions of dollars. That doesn’t help our own economy, now or ever.
3. Smell the roses NOW! Really DO it. Everyday. Stop whining. Volunteer in a senior citizen center (pre-school, hospital, dog shelter) and adjust your point of view. You’ll feel really good about yourself, which money doesn’t do—money just makes you want more.
4. Grow your own. Veggies are easier in pots than in the ground and it’s very rewarding.
5. Limit meat products as much as possible. You don’t need the extra protein, fat, or chemicals. You’ll have fewer medical bills and problems later in life.
Voila! You just cut your budget right there. Change your point of view and you don’t need money. You just need a little reality testing and patience with your old habits and beliefs. Just throw your hands in the air and say, “w’hey-ow hey-o” and celebrate your freedom everyday. Do a little dance with the sheer pleasure of being alive and being a woman! Dyno-mite! Celebrate who you are and forget what you don’t have. It’s a waste of time in times like these. Having is not being.
Love and Fair Sailing,