Mar 31, 2010

Living, laughing, staying healthy!

My husband loves jokes on email...this one came from him today.  In fact the whole email was a series of pictures from  Take a look and's good for the mind and body!


see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Mar 30, 2010

Buying a Park low now or pay more in the fall!

Small Park Model 
For Sale
Around the Corner From ME!!! 

In RV resorts all over the country, prices on Park Models will be at an all time low this time of year.  Owners are going home, rent dates are approaching and the visible buyers are becoming invisible.  Sellers get less hard nosed about bargaining and agents work deals you would not believe.  

On top of that there are a record number of units for sale.  We are coming out of a recession, the stock market is going up and it seems that prices may jump back up to where they were 18 months ago.  So, if you are a buyer, now is the time to do it.  I actually knew of an older model that was built so solid that the model was not easy to move.  It was for sale for $1000 dollars (plus rent)!  It was on a corner lot but did not have a awning or much parking.  But, for $1000, buyers can figure some of those problems out.

So here are some of the things I know:
  • Buy in the spring...the prices go down.
  • Always add the cost of rent to the buying this park around $4000 a year is the rate.
  • If you haggle on the price don't expect the seller to fix a leaking faucet or paint some small item with a pint of paint.  In our park labor is cheap so getting things fixed can be done with no problem.
  • Get it in writing, even if you have to write it yourself...agents are notorious for not doing this and there appears to be no law that requires a written least in Arizona.  From what I hear both the buyer and sellers are liable to go "back on their word" at the drop of a hat.  Buyers remorse is one thing but agreeing to something and then asking for this and that is not a good thing. For example, I sold a park model for a lot less than I paid.  The dryer worked fine but was noisy...I did not fix it.  The noise did not bother me. 
  • Check out the neighbors.  You may want to buy something that is not perfect if your neighbors are wonderful.  It can make such a difference in your winter stay.
  • Come and rent for a short period, get to know the park, rules for visitors, winter activities, etc.  While you may be able to buy very cheap, you still need to make sure that you are making the right decision.
  • Above all be careful...I might wax poetic about this life or the low cost of living like this but I never want you to believe that everyone is nice because they are old.  All you know is they are old and nothing more.  Liars and cheats grow old too.  
I want you to be armed with information when you decided to come live by me...I will have the wine bottle open and give you a hug.  I hope you find this helpful.  Have a wonderful day!

Mar 27, 2010

Restaurants...Portland Oregon and Tucson AZ

This was not a good restaurant
but I loved all the neon.
The sign in front said

In my world, the absolutely perfect day is one that includes going out to eat.  I love all three meals so I am not choosy.  Just let me put on some lip stick and go to a restaurant with a beautiful decor or out door seating.    Good food can override beautiful decor but I am not up for cockroaches or dirty tile even if the food is good...I'm funny that way.  If I recommend a place, you know I will tell you if it is just rundown or plain dirty. 

AND I love to take pictures and write about the food, location, prices and the clientele.  Today I have included a link to past posts about the restaurants I have enjoyed.  Maybe you will be dressing up (a little) and eating out tonight.


Mar 25, 2010

Games in the RV the Snow Bird life!

Bocce Balls in the sun

HOW MANY DIFFERENT GAMES DO YOU KNOW HOW TO PLAY?  Why?  Well retirement is all about becomes a game. 

I, for example, I play with words.  The blog is my game board and words are the game tiles.  Still others love a game of golf or a game of bocce.  Card games, including Texas Hold em, are great favorites around here.  My friend played in a bocce tournament with us this morning and left immediately to play Bridge.

I am just pointing this out to you because I believe that games and puzzles are a wonderful way to keep our minds alive and allow us to socialize with others.  We fill our days with tasks including family, business and recreation.  For the recreation part of our life, games are the best thing to come along. 

Here in the resort you will need to be fearless...this is your opportunity to learn new things in the company of people just like you.  You can take that first yoga class with other people that are taking their first class.  You can play your first bocce game with beginners like you.  Age is not a factor...the leaders in our bocce ball tournament include people in their eighties and people much, much younger! 

So if you are an expert, here is your chance to teach.  If you are beginner, here is your chance to learn.  Here are a few choices you will have if you choose to live with snow birds part of your year.

Texas Hold Em (rules here)  On Monday night a group of people gather in the card room to play poker...the longer a player stays in the game the more he/she wins.  I hear it is a great lot of fun and, if you are lucky, you may even win a little petty change.

Euchre  (rules here) is played in the afternoon almost everyday.  For those of you from the mid west this is good news.  There are even a hardy few that play every day.  I don't know how to play this game but it does sound fun.  

Cribbage (rules here)  I learned this game as a child. Although the rules look complicated, it is really very easy and lots of fun. 

 Bocce (rules here) is that game you see being played in parks using concrete balls along with a smaller ball called a Pallino.  According to Life Script, healthy living for women! Bocce has been around for thousands of years and is still a favorite of the young and the old.

Throwing balls toward a target has always been a favorite sport of the common man. The Egyptians were the first to play bocce around 5000 B.C., using polished rocks. The Egyptians passed the game to the Greeks around 800 B.C., who then taught the Romans to play it using coconuts! Emperor Augustus was supposedly a great bocce sportsman. The Roman influence in the game is seen clearly in its name; the word bocce derives from the Latin bottia, meaning boss.

Horse Shoes is a favorite here in this resort.  Men show up in the morning and games go on all day.  Alpha Horse (rules here) says, "Horseshoes is a game that is extremely easy to learn, yet difficult to master. While no article can hope to help your mastery of the game (sorry – it takes time and practice to get the knack for pitching a horseshoe), by the time you are finished with this article you will have a full understanding of how horseshoes is played and scored."

Pickle Ball   We have just added a Pickle Ball (rules here) court here in our resort within the last year.  This court is used hard everyday that it does not rain or blow.  Players often practice on the court for competition at the city parks and recreation facilities.  It is a fast game with rules that are similar to volleyball but played with a paddle and a lightweight ball. 

Bridge is a great favorite with players both in this park but in parks near by.  If you love a challenging game, you will find wonderful playing partners and couples to spend time with.

Golfers with out partners will find a list of people looking for a game in the recreation director's office.  I noticed recently that there was a very long list of people that had signed up.

Bingo players have one evening a week to play and win.  If you love this game of chance, you will have lots of competition.  Our auditorium fills on this evening for a game.  You can win prizes/money at this event.

We also have a tennis court, pool tables and, for the card players, several rooms with the appropriate tables.

The choice is yours.  There is no reason for anyone to be bored here. When people ask me
"What do you do?" I am always surprised.  I think how do I have time to do what needs to be done.

Have a wonderful day.  You will more information on games on Retire in Style Blog.

Mar 24, 2010

Best Hamburgers in Tucson AZ

Nimbus Brewery, home of the best burgers in Tucson...or at least that is what I think...has a new location over on Tanque Verde (6464 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Tucson).  This is a very upscale address here in Tucson.  This street has some very good well established restaurants.    It features a full bar with great Martinis! is not the old Nimbus in any way.

The old Nimbus (3850 E. 44th St.) is located near the rail road tracks across the freeway from Davis Monthan Airforce base.  Trains and planes almost pass through the middle of the place. The racket is deafening.  Many times rock and roll music blares and it is a hangout for pilots both men and women.  You cannot deny that this place has atmosphere++++.  I took a picture of one of the tee shirts worn by a waiter today as we were eating lunch before our daughter flew home.  It is located near to the airport (sort of).  The tee shirt said: 

You should be spanked!  Drinking beer other than a microbrew shows poor breeding and a glaring lack of taste!

Have a wonderful day.


Mar 23, 2010

Living retirement life with the neighbors...conversations about Health Care Reform!

We find a sharing kind of atmosphere here in the RV Resort. We pass things back and forth...table clothes, bedspreads, curtains, herbs, flour etc, etc, etc! We also share our past and how it has shaped our lives. That is what I would like to do for you today. The reason? It is the passing of the Health Care Reform Bill signed by President Obama this morning.

My husband and I are retired educators from the state of of the few states to refrain from filing a law suit against the mandate that everyone must carry insurance. Just so you will know where I stand, I rejoice in this. I am a person that does not want to be rich while others do without basic needs because they make poor choices or because they are left with no choices. They should not have a choice when it affects others and they should have a choice when they are backed into a corner because be pre-existing health problems. There you have it. I am what I am. Many disagree with me here in the park but they respect my opinions and I theirs.

As teachers in our state we were faced with the task of negotiating with insurance companies district by district...big districts because of size were given better deals by insurance companies. The huge companies like Blue Cross were willing to take from those with less and give to those with more because, just because! Just this year the state took this away from the insurance companies and began purchasing insurance for every state employee so that employees would pay less for their insurance out of pre-taxed dollars. It was a huge breakthrough for janitors, secretaries, teachers, health care and state workers at every level. The only question that went unanswered was why couldn’t small business and those that have been unemployed because of cost cutting measures have access to something that would at least give them a leg up. I have high hopes that we will now see that benefit coming to others in our state. Insurance companies will not be able to take our premiums for years and then deny coverage when we actually use the policy.

We are retired and living on a fixed income...we may pay more for our insurance in the end. It is all good...I just feel better when my neighbor is well.

During my lifetime I have seen the line in front of the hospital on the day when that endity had to write off a portions of their patients debt. Maybe hospitals will not have to pass that cost onto their other patients as each person takes responsibility for their own insurance and debt. We are feeling hopeful that in the next four years things will be better.

I share these hopes with my neighbors here in "The Waiting Room for Heaven". Ours is a diverse population where Canadians, Americans from every corner of the United States as well as Europeans share a life. We have found that, if we are going to enjoy our time together, we must be tolerant of differing views in our conversations. That is how we live.

Have a wonderful day. Spring is here, the sun will shine and our country will survive. God Bless America!


Mar 20, 2010

Vacation: Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, Tucson AZ

Corralled horses await riders on trails throughout the resort

We visited TanqueVerde Guest Ranch today and stayed for lunch in their beautiful dining room.  Our daughter and granddaughter are visiting with us this week so we get to show them the sights.  Tucson has so many hidden treasures and it truly has taken us a long time to dig out the places we know about. 

I always fall in love again with the 'wild west' when I visit this lovely resort.  Horse are corralled close to the center of the resort so visitors can greet and meet with the beautiful creatures.  This particular horse was taken with my daughter's jacket and kept trying to eat the buttons off the front.  How can you not love a horse with such a lovely personality?

The cowboy hat was purchased in the gift shop!  No adventure is complete without a little shopping.


Mar 14, 2010

Palm Spring golfing for less...comparing prices!

I received a comment from Links World Golf yesterday.  I had just posted an article that included information on how to golf on great courses and still save money.  The article was called  Living on a Budget.  Links World Golf is a site you can go to for reservations on golf tee times, hotels and car rentals.  It is a full service vacation web site.  If you are booking a vacation all in one place this might be just the location for you.

BUT if you book tee time separately you can save some money.   If you have your computer with you or can access a computer in the resort or RV Resort where you are staying, you can save at least $25 on every tee time by using golfnow. For example, I compared two tee times tomorrow morning using both golfnow and Links World Golf.  In Palm Springs at the La Quinta Resort and Club Dunes Course a tee time at 7:15 will cost you $139.00 including cart.  On Golf Now a similar tee time will be $115.00 including the cart.

We use golfnow most of the time here in Tucson, Az.

You do the math.


note:  I think our computer laptop has paid for itself over a period of time.  We get the best information on restaurants, golf etc. and save a great deal of money.  And we live an upscale lifestyle.

Filed under Inexpensive Living in Style (free is good)

Mar 13, 2010

Living on a, restaurants, resort living in Tucson, AZ

The Wall DoorImage by Always at Home via Flickr  Fort Lowell Neighborhood
Inexpensive living while still living in style is actually very easy.  It just takes a while to figure it out.  So here are some basic tips: 

There are links that you can connect to for discount golf in almost every resort area in the nation.  Here in Tucson golfnow, and EZLinks INC. are the services my husband uses.  You will find tee times afternoon are very reasonable but later in the season the very early tee time and the later afternoon tee time become more and more appealing.  

We also buy a Wild Cat Trail Card that is good for some very good courses and will give you a free round for your birthday at places like Tucson National.  I suggest you check that out if you are spending a season from Oct. to May.  The card it not good during high season.  If you birthday is during that time you can use it with a month of the date.  

 If you spend the whole season and can produce a bill from your RV Park for example you can get a residents card that gives you a discount on golf.  Joining a men/women's club is a good thing because it will allow you to participate in local tournaments that have very good rates and wonderful prizes.  My husband belongs at Fred Enke Golf Course and renews his resident’s card every year.   

I don't like sleazy, dark, dirty or shabby and will not go to a place just because you can get Mexican or steaks for less!  It is just not any fun and it might make you sick!  We do a couple of things to keep it under control and still eat at some very upscale place. Some of the best places in town have great happy hour (Urban Spoon) specials.  For example, a place called Luna Bella on the corner of Fort Lowell and Swan has a beautiful outdoor patio and their happy hour is the best we have ever had.  We also use occasionally.  This coupon service will make some restaurants affordable.  I do, however, recommend that you check people’s comments online before you purchase.  Some restaurants that are failing use this service to 'sucker' people least that is what I think.  NEVER FORGET THAT UPSCALE RESTAURANTS OFFER LUNCH FOR LESS WITH A WONDERFUL MENU!

Believe it or not you fraternal organization have some wonderful benefits.  The Elks Club for example offers great good at very reasonable prices.  The club in Green Valley is absolutely gorgeous and has great bands playing in the lounge almost every weekend.  The camaraderie and opportunities to volunteer may be just the medicine you need to keep you emotionally well.  My husband reactivated his membership this last year and it has been a wonderful experience for us. 

Even though the rental of a park model can be expensive living in an RV resort can help with the budget and still give you a beautiful place to spend your winters.  Actually, you would never need to leave the park accept to get groceries.  Activities, beautiful pool, and lots of neighbors to visit will fill your days.  We will have our block party this Monday.  I have organized a Western BBQ and we will all gather around BBQ's to eat sing and visit.  It is loud and lots of fun!

Area potlucks (Northwestern States for example), dances, dance lessons, poker, card games of every kind, a pool hall, exercise room and a coffee room are just a few of the activities.  You could be busy every minute of every day. 

And there are little jobs that pay...if you are interested in working just a little bit.  Get in contact with your resort office and see if there is anything for you to do.  You may have to wait a while but something will turn up.  Gate guards, custodial work, the mailroom and even the office may be able to use your talents.  I suggest that you establish yourself as a volunteer and go from there. 

If you want to earn extra money using your talents you can do that too.  There is always the need for a carpenter, electrician, painters, etc.  You could even set up a little business on the side helping a few people shop or meet doctors appointments.  Once you have built a trust in the community you can offer your services.  We have an Avon lady, a Sentsy representative; cake-decorating service, a guy that surfaces the roofs and the list goes on.  Just be creative!


Retirees live on a budget too...not because we are poor or even living on a limited income.  We do it out of habit.   There are those among us that even...gasp...wait until we have the money saved before we buy things.  I am not sure whether it is what happens when we actually grow up or if most of us have always lived this way.  These are just some of the example of how we manage to leave our REAL homes in the north and go south for six month at a time.  It is, in fact, very doable!!


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Mar 12, 2010

Pages on Blogger

I have been looking for a way to sort my posts into categories so my readers can find more information easily.  The pages (Home, Rving & Travel plus more to come) have now become possible.  Check the pages out.  You will find links to posts related to the title.

Mar 9, 2010

Humor...Ode to Forgetfulness!

Email jokes and videos are a dime a dozen and most of them have been around a hundred years.   But once in a while there is a joke or video that is just hilarious.  If you have already seen Ode to Forgetfulness forgive is worth watching again and it made me laugh out loud.  Was it on this blog I told you about this calendar page quote on memory loss... 

There is a good reason why they don't give women over 50   babies.  We would lay them down and forget where we left them!  
Enjoy the video or better yet sing along!

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Mar 7, 2010

When is a motor home to old to drive down the road?

Monaco Coach
Crown Royal

I ask too many questions...I know that.  In my defense I mean no harm.

Yesterday I wrote about foreigners buying motor homes.   When I saw this Austrian couple's motor home, all I could think was "oh my goodness are you taking that out on the road?"  Paint worn, dented here and there, well used or used hard.   I did not imagine that they planned on traveling in the motor home.  I thought they were just going to live in it here in the southwest.  The gentleman was thoroughly disgusted with me..."why would I buy a motor home and park it?" he said.  I just stood mute...I didn't want to be rude.  "Oh, I am so sorry...I am dumb as a bag of hammers!"  I don't think he knew what I meant...not even a little.

We traveled with a couple that owned a coach about this vintage and it was a royal pain in the *%^&.  Solenoids, connections, leaks, stuck under name it. It was diesel pusher just like the one pictured above.   I actually offered to kiss a mechanic on the lips once when we could start our journey again because he fixed their RV.

Is this Monaco coach built by a company that declared bankruptcy last March a good choice?  I don't know.  All I know is that our RV resort does not allow old motor homes to keep up appearances and all that you know.  When I saw this, it surprised me a bit.  I am wishing them luck!

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Mar 6, 2010

RV Resort Living...Expats/foreign Visitors and Motor Homes

In the motor home section of our RV park you can find liscense plates from all over the United States and Canada.  Huge rigs pull in here for the gem show and the spaces remain full until the snow birds head home.  The spaces are large and newly paved.  But there are some motor homes parked through out the park in spaces left empty by park models that  have been sold or the owner has removed for various reasons.  My friend has a motor home parked next to her now.  The owners are from Austria.  They have come to the United States to travel so they purchased a second hand motor home and a new car to tow behind it.  They will stay for two weeks, travel in the western United States and then return to the park to store their RV.  They have Arizona license plates and a Tucson, AZ address.  Friends in town are helping them.  The motor home is quite old so resale on it will be a lot easier than if they bought new. 

It will work for them just fine.  However, I would suggest you do this in a state like Oregon where the license fee for RV's is much less.  It would be very wise to check and see what states have cheaper fees and go there.  Arizona is very expensive.    Because we are residents of Oregon, we took delivery of our motor home in New Mexico and licensed it in Oregon.  When you are an expat or a visitor, the rules are probably a little different.  Just a thought.
I couldn't resist the temptation to take a picture of one of our neighbors helping her husband work the his motorcycle kick stand .  This is the only way I could  ride a motorcycle.  She told me about a bland man that rode his motorcycle on the back of a trailer like this.                                               
A friend of mine has started a new business...she just celebrated her 70th birthday.  Isn't that amazing?  She discovered Scentsy Pots, a product that she loved and signed on to sell it from her home.  After receiving a Scentsy Pot for Christmas, she could only think of the advantage of using a product like this in our park models.  Small night lights with a dish on the top for melting a very small amount of scented wax can make our park models smell heavenly.  No fire, no soot, no expensive candles.  She has a little open house about once a month and her business has been very good here this winter.  I went to her coffee this morning and ordered a gift for my daughter who will be visiting soon.  Go to Mary Grace's website to see what she has to offer.  You can even order on-line if you wish. 

That is the way my day has gone.  Beautiful and sunny today.


Mar 5, 2010

Anna's Hummingbird...fighting for sugar!

Anna's Hummingbird
Ruby-throated hummingbird public domain USFWAImage via Wikipedia     Ruby-throated Hummingbird
We have a hummingbird feeder just outside our living room window. Two hummingbirds have claimed it as their own.  If you understand these little creatures, you will know that war is the game they love more than any other.  One is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird and the other has red feathers around the side of it's head and is called Anna's Hummingbird.  The Anna's Hummingbird will sit on the railing of the feeder so we can get a "birds eye view" of all the red feathers.  When this bird is feeding the other will dive bomb the feeder and the game of war is on.  The Ruby-throated Hummingbird will even fly at us as we change the feeder water or even if we stand too close.  What these little creatures don't have in size they make up for in aggression.  I have jumped in the air several times when this bird caught me unaware. 

We also have a very large Saguaro Cactus outside the window.  Cactus Wrens and Woodpeckers make their home amongst it's thorns. Each time we wander outside we are treated a bird theater performance.  I love that part of being in the Arizona desert. 

There are several kinds of hummingbird feeders available.  Our first feeder attracted the bees in Arizona africanized bees (killer bees) are a problem.  We don't encourage bees.  We visited a local bird shop and found a feeder that discouraged the bees because it does  not leak sugar water.  It is called the Aspects - 12oz HummZinger Ultra I also bought a beautiful bee trap that made out of pink glass.  The bee trap is simply a bottle with a cork in the top, a lip around the inside bottom and a hole in the middle of the bottom.  It works like a charm.  The bees climb inside to feed on the sugar water inside and cannot find an escape route.  Evidently they don't fly down with ease. 

My grandmother's name was Anna...the hummingbird that carries her name is as beautiful as she was.

Have a wonderful day.

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Mar 3, 2010

MSNBC on 5 keys to happiness!


Is this what it feels like to be old?  My daughter-in-law asked the question...not of us but of the universe in general.  She is the mother of a new baby plus 4 other children,in her middle thirties, and a professional.  She is not old...she is just a busy woman doing a lot every day.

As for feeling old...I can't say what that feels like.  Everyone needs to answer that question if they feel they must.  This morning posted an article about happiness and how you find it for yourself.  We all know that happiness is a frail emotion that can be crumpled with the raise of an eyebrow.  But it can be invoked MSNBC says. How?  Information from MSNBC "5 things that make you happier":
  • Be grateful. Cicero said Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.  I think he could have added It is the key to wellness and happiness.
  • Be optimistic.  "...visualize an ideal future...and describe the image in a journal entry."
  • Count your blessings.  "People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found."
  • Use your strengths.  Have a good sense of humor?  Learn a new joke!  Remember if it makes you laugh that is good enough...nothing is sacred!
  • Commit acts of kindness. "It turns out helping others also helps ourselves." 

Consciously doing these things are effective ways to find true happiness in your life...lighten your burden, your attitude, your truly is simple.  At least I have found it to be so in my life.  You might give it a try.

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Mar 2, 2010

Retirement Life Style Coaches (links & more) or Where will you the "state of Panic"?

 Moonrise over the Rincon Mountains, Tucson AZ 2010
Do you have a plan for a retirement lifestyle or are you just planning on "traveling" for the rest of your life?  If you don't have a vision or plan, you probably need to do a little research and even visit a retirement lifestyle coach seminar so that you can form a better image of life after retirement.  And I am not talking about money...I am talking about LIVING! 

Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting next to a very interesting lady on my flight from Portland to Phoenix.  She was a world traveler, an artist and a reader.  She was reading a travel book that looked very interesting.  She also had a financial magazine on her lap.

We talked a bit about this and that.  The conversation turned to retirement.  Evidently her spouse works a lot and does not like the idea of retiring. Locations for retirement came up and she stated that she didn't want to live in Vancouver, WA. when they retired.   I told her that it had taken 10 years for us to decide to live  part of every year in the state of Arizona.  "Well," she said, "my husband is going to retire in the "State of Panic".  Her husband had no idea what he was going to do with his time.  "What do you do with your time?"  she asked.

I think this is a very very important question everyone should ask themselves.  Sitting down to die is not my idea of retirement.  Giving up a very lucrative career that you love to live in the State of Panic is not a good thing either.  And it is very hard to explain to a retiring person what they will do all day.  Most retired people will tell you they have no idea how they had time to work!  Tending to investments and other business can take a huge chunk of every day.  The ever present books, home projects and that avocation you have always dreamed about can fill your life.  In the end though, each individual has to make those decision about their life.   You need to know that retirement is not much different than going to work...there will be days when you are not as enthusiastic as others.  There will be adjustments.  That is just the way it is!

Dee Casio on a website called Retirement Lifestyle Strategies has some wonder information.  In the last paragraph of her home page she said:
Retirement can be the best time in a person's life or it can be a challenging time. This is such a personal decision, and it is really up to each individual to decide what their vision of retirement will look like.
Find out if you are ready for Retirement Coaching by taking the Retirement Coachability Success Quiz.
That is why I think a retirement coach may be a good idea.  I know that retirement is not a short road to the grave...I promise that if you approach this part of your life journey with the same dedication that you brought to the beginning of your career, you will love doing what you want every day.  I promise you will not retire in the State of Panic!!!  I promise!


Links to retirement coaches (non-financial):
Embracing Your Retirement
Lifestyle Designs for Retirement
Revolutionize Retirement
The Retirement Coach
The Coach Connection (links)

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