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Not Sure What You Love?
Take a Look at What You Hate!

One of the main tenets of the Platinum Living Network is that "getting the best out of the rest of your life" involves the discovery, cultivation and pursuit of one's passion(s). Just about everything I have read, or written, on this topic, includes "passion discovery" as a basic step in the retirement process, and a key to answering that all-important question, "What do you want to do with the rest of your life?"

When I covered this topic in February, I shared some simple tests which are designed to eliminate the perceived constraints of money or time in order to help you discover your true passions.

Recently, however, I was reminded of another effective method of self discovery, which comes at this target from the OPPOSITE direction under the premise that an equally effective way to discover what you LOVE might be to look at what you HATE.

When I first heard of this, I have to admit that it was one of those "light dawns on Marblehead" moment…

New Platinum Book - "Don't Retire, Rewire!"

I knew I would probably recommend this book from the moment I read the title. But the subtitle put me over the top - "5 Steps to Fulfilling Work
That Fuels Your Passion,
Suits Your Personality,
and Fills Your Pocket"In setting forth these three attributes, the authors, Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners, apply their 25 years of experience in personal and professional transition counseling to identify the key ingredients of a successful "second half of life."

I have written pretty extensively about the importance of pursuing our passions at all stages of life, and we have dabbled with personality issues, particularly through our recommendations of the book Authentic Happiness and the associated website, www.authentichappiness.org, where you can find a number of free personality tests.

And although I have not written directly about filling our pockets in retirement, or "rewirement," this idea is implicit in my encouragements not to take social security or other pensio…

A Dollar is a Dollar - Except When it Isn't

I grew up in a family that had to be pretty careful with money. I remember in early elementary school when school lunches were 23 cents, my two brothers and I each brought home our two pennies and deposited them in a jar which was earmarked for our first trip to a restaurant. We finally had our first restaurant meal as a family when I was about twelve years old ... at a local restaurant's "2 for 1 night." Actually, we didn't quite make it as a family. My older brother was so nervous about eating at a restaurant that he developed an upset stomach at the last minute and had to stay home.

Then I married Melanie, the "Platinum wife," whose money experience was, let's just say, the opposite of mine. Although her family was not wealthy by any means, her Dad always showered her and her siblings with pretty much whatever they asked for. This made for an, um, "interesting" first few years of marriage for us.

Yet despite our differences, there is on…

Is Early Retirement Selfish? Unpatriotic?

A while back, I saw an article that labelled early retirement as "selfish and unpatriotic." I didn't pass it along at the time, as I felt that people shouldn't be made to feel guilty about checking out of the workforce and living the traditional retirement. I want the Platinum Years Network to be about helping people pursue their passions, and ultimately that is a much better motivator than guilt.

But this article keeps popping up here and there, and often generates some pretty passionate responses, and tonight I came across another such article, so I thought I would open it up for discussion. The first and older article is called, "Early retirement is an act of selfishness," by Andrew Yarrow, vice president and director of the Washington, D.C., office of Public Agenda, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. Yarrow urges the nation's 78 million baby boomers to forgo traditional or early retirement and work for a few more years, for their own sa…

What Have You Done Lately to Pursue Your Dreams?

I don't generally watch shows like American Idol, and I don't like opera very much, but I love seeing someone pursue their dreams, and I love it even more when they achieve them. So when I came across this video of 36 year old British mobile phone salesman Paul Potts' appearance on the "Britain's Got Talent" TV Show, I was mesmerized.

This clip is a little over a year old, so I apologize if this is old news to you. And Paul is not a boomer, either, although he is the type of underdog character that almost everyone loves to root for. You can easily see by the reaction of the judges, when Paul tells them what he's going to do, that their expectations are VERY low.

But then, a miracle happens. Paul begins to sing, the audience is transfixed, then moved to tears, and the audience erupts by the time he's finished. If you love the underdog as much as I do, you'll be fighting back tears. And no doubt you'll also want to see how it all turns out i…

It's Unwise to Compare - But It's Human Nature

One of my former mentors was fond of using that expression - "It's unwise to compare." And I believe that using it as a guideline has helped me retain a positive perspective and outlook. Because within me, and probably all of us, is a nagging feeling that someone is doing better than I am, someone is getting an advantage, someone is luckier, etc.

The examples above are all examples of "comparing up," that is, comparing ourselves to someone doing better than we are. And this common human trait contains within it the seeds of jealousy and envy, the drive to "keep up with the Joneses" in the pursuit of material wealth, and the uneasy feeling that "the grass is always greener in the other fellow's yard." There is even a common phenomenon called "schadenfreude," a German expression meaning "happiness about the misfortune of others." Why else would shows like Cops or Jerry Springer be so popular, or why would we enjoy wat…

I Don't Have a Care in the World
(And Neither Do Most of You!)

I've been thinking about death today. Not by choice. It was placed in front of me. Twice. And I've found that when that sort of thing happens, it's best to pay attention. So I wanted to write down some thoughts and share them with you.

I generally really enjoy Saturdays, but today got started on the wrong foot. I had to set the alarm to get up early for an appointment, but as it turns out, the other person didn't show up. And then other impediments kept popping up which seemed to be conspiring to keep me from accomplishing ANYTHING on my Saturday "to do" list, so by noontime, I was in full "annoyance mode."

And then I got the news of the death of a man with whom I had just started to do some business. I can't say we were friends or anything, but in our few business dealings, I liked and admired him. He was about 50 years old, and had been in perfect health until about six weeks ago, when he started to experience some symptoms of fatigue an…