About the author of LLR

My PicThe Living Life Retired (LLR) author/administrator, Sherry L. Christensen, retired at the age of 55 from teaching business/marketing and advising DECA in a public high school.  She worked in industry for 20+ years before becoming a teacher.  A proud mother of one married daughter, her favorite little people, her three grandchildren, call her “Nanni.” Sherry became divorced in 2004 after a 21 year marriage.

Sherry holds an associates of science degree from Amarillo College, a bachelors of business administration degree from the University of North Texas, and a master of arts degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Colorado.  She holds a teaching license and a K-12 principal license as well as a Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential.

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Retirement Adjustment Stages

adjusting to retirement

I get out of bed at 7:00 a.m. instead of 4:45 a.m.  Instead of driving 30 miles one way to work, I don’t go anywhere unless I want to.  I am home alone most days instead of in a public high school with 1500 people.  In the evenings, I can do whatever I want instead of grade papers or plan lessons.  I can even stay up late watching a movie. When I read the newspaper, I read for  personal information instead of cutting out relevant articles to instruct my business/marketing students.  I can see friends and family, go to the store or do housework when I want, instead of just on the weekends or during school holidays.  I have a sign in my home’s entryway which reads,

“I don’t want to.

I don’t have to.

You can’t make me.

I’m retired.”

Retirement is a different life.  A life I entered into June 1, 2015 and one I have had difficulty adjusting to.

In The Retirement Maze:  What You Should Know Before and After You Retire, the authors would say I am experiencing one of the “…four  phases that deal directly and specifically with retirement adjustment: 1.  The Honeymoon, 2. Disenchantment, 3.  Reorientation, 4.  Stability.”  One year after receiving a glass retirement clock from my employer, I believe I am living in the reorientation phase of retirement.

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Are you prepared for financial independence?

Getting ready for the inevitable financial independence day

By Wendi Strom

July 31, 2016

“Earlier this month, our great nation celebrated its 240th year of independence. On this beautiful day, we most certainly had an Independence Day worthy of celebrating.

But looking around at those celebrations lead me to the realization that not every independence day is cause for joy images (52)and celebration. In fact, two of the synonyms of independence are most telling of this: separation and self-sufficiency. What if we add financial to the mix? Financial independence, financial self-sufficiency, financial separation.

After being part of a financial partnership, through marriage for example, becoming financially independent, especially unexpectedly through death or illness, is typically anything but a celebration. It can be crippling, potentially both financially and emotionally. Because of this, regardless of your age, it’s important to take steps like these outlined below, to put you and your loved ones on a track of financial preparedness for the day that something happens to you or your financial partner.

Working with many couples and widows over the years, here’s a list that I’ve compiled and use with my own clients to help them protect each other….”

Read the entire article at:  http://www.denverpost.com/2016/07/31/financial-independence-day/

Wendi Strom, Certified Financial Planner, LOTUS Financial Partners, Denver, CO and president-elect of the Financial Planning Association of Colorado.

My first major retirement/remodeling project…

Retirement/Remodeling Project–You Can Do This!

When I purchased my home in 2013 I did so knowing I would have some remodeling projects to do.  My first major retirement/remodeling project was changing the 1977 fireplace surround and popcorn ceiling in my family room. Below is the before picture taken by the seller’s realtor…


My son-in-law who lives about 25 miles away and I removed the painted tile fireplace surround and the painted cedar wood slats above it right after I moved in.  We, or should I say he, removed the side box for wood storage and the drywall above it (with my permission). Then it stayed that way, open studs and all, for about two years.

I began the project by stripping the paint off the wooden beams on the ceiling.  This took a bit of time and elbow grease.  A lot of the white paint was embedded in the grain of the wood.  After several coats of Citristrip stripping gel, a scraper and a nail, it was ready to be stained the original dark walnut color.  I filled the beam joints next to the walls with sealant (I used brown DAP window, door and trim sealant).

Next, my son-in-law hung drywall and cement board for me.  We had to add a bit of framing as we kept the original fireplace framing.  Then I taped, mudded and textured the new drywall with all-purpose joint compound and a spray can of knockdown.  I used knockdown in the past when I helped a friend patch some walls.  Easy enough. Painting was next…I have a lot of experience with painting and I enjoy it.  It makes such a difference right away.

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One of my favorite inspirational songs…

When I first heard this song, I wrote it down because I wanted to share it with you.  I thought it was so inspirational, especially during my first year of retirement when I didn’t feel I had a purpose any more.  I hope you find encouragement, grace and peace through these words as I did.  To God be the glory. Enjoy…

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey
Video Source: YouTube.com

Are you a happy baby boomer?

happy baby boomersWhat exactly is a happy baby boomer?

Scott Hanson, author of Personal Decision Points: 7 Steps to Your Ideal Retirement Transition and “A Baby Boomer’s Four Keys to Happiness”

August 14, 2016

“If you’re a member of the Baby Boomer Generation, study after study reveals that your expectations for well-being in retirement are different from those of any generation that’s come before.

While this may be a deeply personal inquiry, according to the most in-depth study of its kind, (Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study), when you consider what it means to be happy, there are a few common threads by which Baby Boomers are bound. Which raises the question, how can Boomers live well and retire happily?

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Kiplinger’s Social Security Strategies

Read the entire article

Social Security Strategies if You’re DivorcedSocial Security strategies

Read the entire article

Social Security Strategies if You’re Single

Read the entire article

Social Security Strategies for Married Couples

All four of these articles are by Sandra Block, from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, January 2015.

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