Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 700 700th Anniversary

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

This is the 700 Episode of Retirement Talk. I feel like it deserves a bit of thought and review. The seven hundred episodes came at the rate of one per week for thirteen years. Not every week but almost. And for the last several years my loyal listeners will be aware I have been recycling many topics. I bring them up, review and update with more current consideration. And then include fresh topics as they surface.

At the beginning I wanted to investigate what I knew about myself, other people and the world. I did not want to consult books or other materials. I did not want to relegate my information to hashing overt the latest study. I thought that by the age of 65 I should know something and I wanted to ferret that out and see what has accumulated throughout the time. I pretty much stuck to that method of approaching each episode. It has been enjoyable and revealing.

I had anticipated that the podcast would include many interviews with others that are retired. That did not happen. Some interviews have been included but not many. This podcast is completely done by myself with no additional staff. I found that interviews required more time to produce than I had. First there is the time spent contacting someone with an interesting story. Then the interview itself which can take some time. Then there is the editing of the audio which also consumes more time that I had to spend. I found that to do an interview podcast I would need some assistance or a staff. I really was not interested in going that extra step with my retirement years.

2007 was in the very early years of the format. Most people had never heard of them. Thus I included the text in print for every episode. Many people did not know about using audio in this fashion and yet I wanted them to be able to participate. I also was not familiar with creating a website, creating an audio file uploading everything to a hosting server, and publishing it to a podcast catcher and publisher. There were so many unknowns which I did enjoy discovering. We retirees like a bit of a challenge after years of employment – just not too much of a challenge and one that we can pursue without a timetable or a supervisor.

Some listeners write and inquire about the process of setting up and producing a podcast in their retirement years. I always advise them to seek advice from someone else who has established one more recently because the technology and programs that I use are ancient in computer time. I have used more than four different programs to design my website. I have used three different audio programs to record episodes. It has been a constant challenge to stay abreast of the technology. And I am probably not abreast of it but it seems to still work.

The topics have certainly evolved with the passing years. I have found that the mind keeps moving and the talk that emerges throughout those years continues to change. In the early episodes the topics tended to be focused on practical matters: when should I retire, do I have the financial where-with-all to retire, where should I live, what will I do with my time and effort, etc. As time passed the focus turned more inward to examine where our minds go in retirement. Do we think enough, do we watch too much television, read too much, read too little, exercise enough, exercise too little, appreciate the little things, get lost in little things, do we spend our time on what we really value.

Travel is one topic that is usually high on the retirees list. I must admit that I also explored that realm of activity. Luckily I had traveled quite a bit before retiring and it was not high on my list. We did enough trips to keep life interesting and some of those are discussed in some of the episodes. As years accumulated in retirement my interest became more and more focused locally. There was one feature of our travel that seems to have emerged over the years and episodes and that was the interest in slow travel. We liked to go so slowly and stop and stop and stop. We wanted to walk down the street, sit in the coffee shop, talk to local people, and spend time just being in a different environment. We had no checklist to tick off all our conquests. As years passed episodes indicate more time spent just being rather than going.

The best part of producing 700 podcasts has been being engaged in the process. It has been a force to include sitting quietly and thinking about life on a regular basis. What have I been doing? What have I been thinking? Are the days being used as I really think they should be. Not only the days but each hour in each day. It feels good to write this last paragraph for it fits in nicely with the goal published in the very first episode on my podcast feed:

"Retirement Talk is an audio podcast (written script a click away) intended to help people who are retired, or considering retirement, to examine their own lives. We will consider an active retirement life in all its facets - not just financial. A retirement life-style that has been considered  carefully is our goal. We want to encourage thought and action."

This is Retirement Talk.

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