Stuff and Retirement: Hillbilly Nerd Talk: Episode 55

Stuff and RetirementToday’s episode of Rock Your Retirement is a sneak peak at the interview that Kathe did on Hillbilly Nerd Talk.  Hank and Petra talked to me about their own retirement.  During the interview, we wondered if stuff and retirement don’t go together.  And, is “Retirement” even the right word? Many Baby Boomers are redefining what they want to do in their later years.  They can be more care free than the generations that came before.  That is, if they have prepared Financially.

We talked about the fact that there are two types of Baby Boomer Retirements:  Those who planned financially and those who didn’t.  For those who have the financial resources, their retirement is more like a teenager’s life, but with the ability to do more.

Even though the show, Rock Your Retirement, doesn’t specifically discuss finances, it is true that if you are completely financially strapped, you’ll be thinking about putting food on the table and a roof over your head.  We assume that the listeners to Rock Your Retirement have already done some financial planning and that they are looking for different information. We have discussed Stuff and Retirement in the past.  Check out the episode on Downsizing.

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Stuff and Retirement:

We Americans are tied to our STUFF.  We talked about Wendy Holt (episode 9) who moved to Costa Rica.  She gave up all her stuff, along with the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.

Speaking of stuff…Hank and Petra DO live differently than most of their peers.  Hank drives Elmer, a twelve year old pickup truck.  At ages 47 and 44 they could have “retired” earlier.  Living a less extravagant lifestyle gives you freedom.  Hank said that objects tie us down.  Petra said that they are invigorated by the next phase of their life.

Every town in America has storage facilities where we have to store extra stuff. People keep their stuff in their garage, and their cars on the street. Petra brought up that people could probably clear out a bedroom to keep extra stuff in, but we just have so much!

Frank brought up “First World Problems”.

Imagine trying to explain to a person in Africa or Nigeria how we have a problem in America where we have too much stuff, and we have to rent extra boxes to store it all.   Petra also talked about how you can rent shipping crates to store your stuff in your yard.

Just think:  If you die and haven’t gotten rid of it, someone else will have to go through your stuff.  Your stuff will wind up in an Estate Sale.  Frank said that you can retire earlier if you didn’t have so much stuff as you went along.  Again, Stuff and Retirement don’t go together. Your STUFF can impede your retirement, and your life!

Hank brought up the Maslow theory, that once you reach a basic level of survival, more stuff has zero effect of being happy.  Petra said that when you get to a certain point, there is nothing to strive for.  It even might impede your happiness.  We all agreed that more stuff actually causes less happiness, not more.

He also said to be proactive, not only with what to do with your money, but also with what to do with your time.  Hank brought up the fact that he cannot podcast 10 hours a day (although they have a great show, check it out).

If you like the Rock Your Retirement show, please tell a friend! That’s the only way we grow, one listener at a time.

Listen to Hank and Petra’s show, Hillbilly Nerd Talk, HERE.

This article on Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on

Life Begins At Seventy: Alan Mindell Episode 52

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Alan Mindell Life Begins at SeventyIn Episode 52 our guest was Alan Mindell, who taught us that life begins at seventy.  Alan Mindell’s novel, The Closer, became a bestseller, including being listed on Amazon as the number one paperback in new sports fiction. His new novel, The B Team, about horse racing, also became Amazon`s number one bestselling paperback in new sports fiction.

For Alan, his speaking topic of “Life Begins at Seventy” certainly fits.

Besides writing novels, he also dances regularly in the San Diego area, and works as a tour guide for Friendly Excursions, the tour company he founded more than forty-five years ago.

One of the things that he has been doing and getting great pleasure from lately is conducting beginning creative writing workshops.  Today he gave us some tips on writing a novel or memoir.

Alan has been writing since his late 20’s. when he turned 60, he decided to take it seriously. He found a publisher and got his first book published. Alan always has a notebook and pencil with him so he can write anywhere he is. His goal is to get people to write. He doesn’t care how they write or what they write. One of his students wrote about a pet turkey which lead me into my story about living on a commune (yes a commune) and my pet sheep.

What are 5 tips to writing a book?

Our Freebie, 5 Tips on Writing That Novel or Memoir You Know You Have in You. Can be found at but here is a brief synopsis of what we talked about.

  1. Don’t Edit. Don’t get stuck. Flow with your ideas. Don’t stop and edit every word that you write.
  2. Decide whether to write in first person or third person. All of Alan’s novels have been written in third person but he enjoys writing in first person
  3. Never be afraid of dialogue. Stay true to the character
  4. You do not have to go in time sequence. You can start in the future and then go back to the beginning. Flashbacks or backstories then you can bring the story to the present
  5. Have fun!

Today’s Freebie, 5 tips on writing that novel can be downloaded for free at

So what if you can’t join Alan’s writing workshop or you want to find your own? Alan says you can find a lot of workshops in your area online. He said Meetup is also a good way to find these or, form your own! You can find Meetup at
Remember, Life begins at seventy!

Get Alan’s books!

Contact information for Alan:

If you would like to check out the tour company go to

Rocking Your Retirement by Volunteering Overseas: Ep. 51

In this episode of Rock Your Retirement we talk with Bill Manassero about volunteering overseas in retirement. You can listen to the show by clicking on the arrows below or finding it on your podcast app in your Smartphone.

Volunteering Overseas with Bill Manassero

Volunteering Overseas with Bill Manassero

Volunteering Overseas: How it can give you a better retirement

Bill Manassero is the President and Founder of Child Hope International. It’s a charitable organization that works with orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children on the streets of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The Manassero family’s unique ministry, helped street children get off the streets, and build a promising life for themselves in the Haitian society. Bill and his family served as missionaries in Haiti from 2003 to 2015. Transitioning back to the states for retirement, he began investing in real estate as a means to fund their retirement and help fund their Haitian Mission. He now shares his real estate knowledge with other seniors through his Old Dawg’s REI Network – a website, blog and weekly podcast.

Bill tells us some amazing and touching stories of his time spent Volunteering Overseas.

Before Bill and his family went to Haiti, they had a children’s music ministry. They traveled all around the world doing family concerts for various camps, schools, and groups. Bill noticed one of his daughters saving money. He asked her what she was saving for. His daughter said she wanted to build an orphanage, a school, and a church in Haiti. She was only nine years old at the time! This was the catalyst to start their Haitian Mission.

His organization is very much volunteer driven — A good majority of the volunteers are retired. The volunteers commit to anywhere from 1 week to 2 years of service. The volunteers help with things such as teaching life skills such as baking and sewing. They also show the children how to set up a business so they can become self sufficient. The volunteers feed hundreds of children every week. It was fascinating to hear how much volunteering overseas has impacted not only the Haitian Children, but the volunteers as well.

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We asked, “What do you think people should know BEFORE they retire?” and he responded with:

Look forward to it. Prepare yourself for a new adventure to do anything you want to do. Take a look at the spiritual and emotional side.  Start getting excited. Don’t get hung up on the money aspect. Focus on the freedom you will have.  You can use that freedom to help others and help yourself.

What advice would you give to a retiree who feels stuck?

Try to change your perspective on your retirement. Spend time with those in need.

Contact Information: or

Download TODAY’s freebie at:

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How to Live in an RV: Episode 48

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In this episode of Rock Your Retirement we talked to Jerry Minchey. You can listen to the show at

Jerry Minchey How to Live in an RV

Jerry Minchey: How to Live in an RV

On today’s episode of Rock Your Retirement, we’re learning about how to live in an RV!

Jerry Minchey, #1 Best Selling Author, is the author of several books about the RVing lifestyle, and about retirement living. He lives full time in his 34-foot Class A motorhome. He has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA from USC, and an OPM degree from Harvard Business School.

Jerry  has worked for NASA and worked for many years as a computer design engineer. He holds five patents, and he has a private pilot license with an instrument rating.  (Let’s go flying!)

He has owned several engineering and marketing businesses, and he is the founder and editor of the website,  How did he decide to live in an RV?  He tells us on today’s episode.

After Jerry retired he bought a motorhome and started living full-time in it.

He started following several RVing blogs and forums. After a couple of years of following the RV forums he realized that there were a lot of people who had tons of questions about the RVing lifestyle, what’s it like, how much does it cost, etc. That’s when he decided to write his first RVing book (Motorhome and RV Retirement Living – The most Enjoyable and Least Expensive Way to Retire). Jerry has since written three more books about motorhome and RV living.  If anyone is an expert on how to live in an RV, it’s him.

He sells his books (both the printed versions and the eBooks) through Amazon. He also has links to the Amazon sales pages for his books on his website

Jerry says, “Probably the most interesting response I get from people when I tell them about living full time in an RV is that they say, “I could never live in an RV. I have too much stuff.”

“They say it with so much conviction it’s like saying one leg is longer than the other one. They act like they were born that way and there’s nothing they can do about it. Getting rid of your stuff is one of the most liberating things you can do.”

“Since I live full-time in my motorhome, my typical day varies a lot depending on where I’m camped. Sometimes I’m in a campground and sometimes I’m camped in a state park or a National Forest all by myself. Either way, I do a lot of writing and I like to hike.”

Jerry gave us a lot of great information and we also created a freebie, 5 steps to living in an RV Full Time, that you can get by going to

Jerry’s Book(s):

Jerry, what do you think people should know BEFORE they retire?

Contrary to what a lot of financial advisors say about how much money you need to retire, I tell people to look at retirement from the opposite direction. When you’re near retirement age, what money you have is what you have and there’s not much that they can do to change the amount. So look at what you have and decide what kind of retirement you can have. The good news is that when it comes to retiring and living full-time in a RV, the price of RV you have doesn’t have much to do with how happy you are in retirement.

Your RV is like your dog. Whether it’s a rescue dog or a pedigree dog, you love it and enjoy it just the same.

Jerry, what if someone feels stuck in retirement?

I would tell them to live their life so they can say, “When I grow up I want to be just like me.” It’s an eye-opening thought and in many cases it expands their horizons when thinking about how they want to live their retirement.

Contact information:  Email-  Website:

Don’t forget to join our free Facebook group!  It’s very supportive and you can get many of your questions answered from experts, and people who are doing what you want to do!  Just go to

Today’s Freebie, 5 steps to living in an RV full-time, can be found at

Playing with Cars! Bill Bennett Ep: 40

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In this episode of Rock Your Retirement we talked to Bill Bennett. You can listen to the show at

Playing with Cars! Bill Bennett

Playing with Cars! Bill Bennett

I had a difficult time naming this episode but decided on “Playing with Cars”.

There was so much that Bill and I talked about it was hard to decide.   Let’s tell you a little bit about Bill first:

After graduating from college Bill Bennett went into the flight program in the Marine Corps. He spent 4 1/2 years flying helicopters. He then went into sales and marketing for a number of companies and became an executive for a fortune 500 company before he retired. His wife of 42 years passed away a year and half ago and Bill decided he had to grab himself by the bootstraps and decided to get going.

Bill bought a Miata for $107.   That’s right.  He purchased a Miata for $107.  You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out how, but let’s just say that he is an expert at playing with cars.  He is in a group of sport car enthusiasts who enjoy doing things like racing in parking lots and driving up winding roads in the mountains to get some pie at the Julian Pie Company. He and his friends are constantly playing with cars.

Speaking of playing with cars, he likes to spend time re-building cars, because he’s working on another one now!

Another way he is playing with cars, is Bill started writing for a magazine about one of his hobbies which is collecting high-end model cars.  Think of it – he got to collect cars for free just for writing about them!  That’s the way to start playing with cars!


Bill started skiing after 20 years by going on a 4-month ski trip in Colorado.  He was sore for the first few weeks, but after that he really got into the sport.  He’s thinking of taking his grand-kids skiing, just like he used to take his own kids, when they are old enough.  In between ski trips, he keeps active by doing things such as walks on the beach and hiking.  You don’t need a lot of money to keep busy.

What do you think people should know BEFORE they retire?

Prepare for your retirement financially so you don’t have a constant grey cloud over your head of not being able to afford to do the things you want to do.  Look at monthly or weekly expenses and figure out how you are going to satisfy those financial needs. Downsize so you have the money to do what you want

We have a lot of listeners who are new retirees or maybe feel stuck in their lives at the moment.  If you were sitting across the table from a new retiree, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give to have a successful retirement?

Do what makes you happy and be selfish with your time.

Freebie:  None mentioned on the show, but if you need a Life Plan, go to

People Need YOU: Episode 29

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In this episode of Rock Your Retirement we talked to Tweet Edmonds. You can listen to the show at

Tweet Edmonds says "People need YOU".

“People Need you”, says Tweet Edmonds

Tweet was born and raised in Illinois and moved to California in 1988 where she lives with her husband and cat. Even then she said that People Need YOU.  She managed an RV park in El Cajon for 17 years and had one of the top rated parks in the state. They even won an award for one of the best parks in the nation. Tweet retired from the RV park and then worked with her husband who was a construction claims consultant and expert witness.


Tweet and her sweetheart have been together for 30 years. She says the key to a happy marriage is to have your own interests, love each other, but give each other some time to do activities on their own with their own friends.


Although she’s the first one to tell you that people need you, sometimes you just need to get away from it all.  Tweet and her husband love to travel, whether it’s exploring San Diego or taking trips to the Desert. They visit Palm Springs and Palm Desert frequently and they love it there!! Johnny Mathis performed at Aqua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage on 2/13/16. The couple they were with and they all got to go back stage and not only did she get to meet him she got a hug and kiss!   Her age group grew up with Johnny Mathis. Tweet says that Johnny Mathis was with her for her first date, first dance, and first kiss. She’s flying to Illinois to see a lifelong friend in May and will be seeing…. You guessed it Johnny Mathis!

She loves the following businesses in Palm Springs:

Tylers for hamburgers

Kitchen-Kitchen for kitchen items

Serena’s for jewelry


She walks her talk.  She says that people need you and she does what she can to help.  Look at all the volunteer work that she does!

  • Volunteers for The Lake church helping with the monthly coffees and also the Newsletter
  • Secretary of her HOA and she also organizes a luncheon for the HOA members each month, in addition she helps with landscaping and works with Arbor Well to help preserve the trees.
  • She is also active with Mom’s warehouse which gives supplies to Active Duty junior enlisted military family on camp Pendleton.
  • Belongs to a group called the Questers which is a group concerned with the preservation and restoration and education about collectibles.
  • Every year Tweet and her husband host several Marines every Thanksgiving. Tweet bakes dozens of cookies and cooks pounds of bacon, and Mark Country Club is kind enough to freeze these for her.  Tweet said that she’s not very good at making gravy (even though she collects gravy boats) so Mariahs has donated gallons of gravy for her Marines. Then when the Marines come, they can have a home cooked meal.  Some of them have never had a Thanksgiving meal before.  She said that this has been a tradition that she and her husband have enjoyed for many years.

What do you think people should know BEFORE they retire?

People need YOU

Tweet says to volunteer somewhere:  People need YOU.  Libraries, Schools, Military, etc are all looking for volunteers.  Figure out what you will do, and start doing it.  Also, give your spouse time to volunteer or do what he or she wants as well.  It will help your marriage.

 We have a lot of listeners who are new retirees or maybe feel stuck in their lives at the moment.  If you were sitting across the table from a new retiree, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give to have a successful retirement?

Be with people.  Get to know your neighbors.  If you don’t know anyone, make or buy some food and bring it over.  Become involved in a church. Everyone needs to have friends and to socialize.  It keeps us healthy.