Sunday, October 26, 2014

Next Phase

The pie of life?  Hum? Bahahahaha

While back stateside visiting, we got a lot of questions.  Some are standard such as "What is your favorite island so far?"  "Do you ever get scared?"  "How is the boat working out?" 

Others ask much deeper questions.  These get more to lifestyle, way of living, a path/plan towards a different life that to us means freedom, exploration, and growth.  You would think these questions are coming from wannabe cruisers and they are.  But a pleasant surprise to us has been the number of non-sailing friends and acquaintances that are asking these deeper questions.  At least five different couples have told us how they have been re-examining their life, path/planning, and thinking about what I like to call the next phase of life.  They aren't suddenly planning on learning to sail and setting off over the horizon.  However, they are now thinking outside the "normal" box.  Big questions like "How much is enough?"  "Can I live with less stuff?"  "And if so, what does that mean for my future?" "What am I going to do with the next phase of my/our life?"  "What if we chose to NOT have kids?  What if it was just the two of us and we went traveling sooner rather than later?" "What does it really feel like to be debt free and how does that change things?"  These are BIG questions.  Just thinking about them should mean something to these people and I congratulate them.

I tend to look at life in phases.  For a few years now I have been asking friends "What are you going to do in your next phase of life?"  Often they respond with "What do you mean next phase?  You mean like retirement?"  I mean the next phase of life.  Perhaps this is once the kids are out of the house. Or your next career or after your major career is over - the job/career you really wanted.  Or finally taking that volunteer job you have always wanted.  Or true retirement.  For my younger friends, perhaps it's whether you are going to get a "real job", or get married, or have kids.  And so on and so forth.  The next phase of your life....whatever that might mean to you.  Men seem to be especially bad at answering this question.  I think it's because so many men identify themselves primarily in terms of their careers.  "If I am not the head of my own company or that sales executive or engineer, CPA, (or whatever), then who will I be?"

I think the bulk of us generally plans for money part of retirement.  At least I hope so!  Or maybe worry is a better word.  Ha - although it's not really funny.  Many of us knew long ago that pensions were a thing of the past and not in our future - ever!  Money of course is a big part of life and thus a focus.  That is just a fact of life.  This is true of retirement planning.  The numbers can be scary.  However I am finding that very few people actually plan for retirement beyond the money.  I am talking about what will you actually DO in retirement or the next phase.

So have you starting thinking of your next phase of life?  We certainly don't have all the answers by any means but we are out searching and having a grand adventure while looking for them.   


  1. What a great collection of posts I woke up to this morning! But this is my favorite. I'm not "retired," I'm enjoying "my life, act II."

    1. Of course you are never retired when you are a landlord. Act II - I like that.

  2. Love this post! I am just now getting caught up on blogs after our travels. We are constantly asking ourselves these kinds of big questions, and revisiting them time and time again. The answer we gave a year or five ago may not be the same answer we give today. Life is all about evolving, right?