Open top menu

4 Star Retirement

            Thinking about retirement? Are you ready? My book, 4 Star Retirement – 2 Star Budget, will provide many of the answers. It is an overview of all of the facets of retirement, whether you are currently retired or just thinking about it.

Next to your working life, retirement is the longest phase of your lifetime, with 25 to 30 years  available to most of you retiring now or in the future. I wish to help you achieve a successful and enjoyable retirement by touching upon the many items you need to consider for a great retirement. The book covers finances, where to live, tax issues, travel, health programs, cost controls, extra income and many more considerations.

Retirement planning is so easy to put off until later, for it’s a little like high blood pressure. It doesn’t hurt, ache or bleed, so I’ll take care of the problem later when I have more time. Then one day you awaken to the realization, I am 55 years old, and I have only $40,000 of savings . You start to panic, for you worry, “How can I retire in 10 years with enough money to last another 25 to 30 years?”

To assist your handling of the entire retirement planning process, I break down retirement into smaller, more manageable pieces. It’s like the story of how does a pygmy eat an elephant? “One bite at a time.” The book approaches retirement “One bite at a time,” so you can develop your retirement plan with smaller, more manageable bites.

My goal is to provide you with ideas and tools to help you put together a successful retirement plan. You will be able to build your program a little at a time, so you will not be overwhelmed by the feeling of enormity of the project. You can do it just “One bite at a time.”

My motivation for, 4 Star Retirement-2 Star Budget, was as a payback to the community for allowing my wife and I to enjoy a productive and enjoyable retirement, along with a wonderful 58 year marriage. I was born early in the Great Depression, and now approach 80 years of age, in the second decade of the 21st century. I have experienced near poverty, WWII, hyper inflation, the Cold War, and recessions, including the Great Recession of 2008-2010. In addition, I have seen many innovations, such as TV, computers, jet aircraft, the Internet, atomic energy, shale oil and gas recovery and much more.

I have lived in very small rural communities, where my high school graduating class numbered only 6 persons, as well as larger cities, such as Seattle, WA. I worked my way through the University of Washington, with full time employment at the Boeing Company during my last two years at the University. My Business Administration degree had a minor in engineering, and a later associate major in Real Estate.  I had many part time jobs through my sophomore year at U of W, including Alaska fishing, Forest Service , shell fish harvesting, truck driving and others. From university graduation, I spent 28 years in mid-management with the Bell System. After early retirement at age 50, I owned and managed a series of successful small businesses, including three real estate offices.

For the last 14 years we have lived at Panorama City, a Continuing Care Retirement Community of 1200 residents, near the Washington State Capitol of Olympia. I have been the resident representative to the Corporate Board of Directors during the last 11 years. This has provided me with excellent insight regarding the needs of retirees, both physically and financially. I am also on the Advisory Council to the Lewis-Mason-Thurston Counties Area Agency on Aging, Senior Services for South Sound and the Senior Action Network for the three counties. Along with my seniors activities, I am a Citizen’s Advisor to the Port of Olympia, WA.

Jim Olson

Written by Justin