The “Retire for Less” Newsletter RETIRES!

Today I received the final edition of the “Retire for Less in Costa Rica” Newsletter. This wonderful couple, Paul & Gloria, are really retiring themselves now and it is about time! I have recommended them many times and they are keeping their website up for awhile, so check it out now if you haven’t before. They give the most practical advice of anyone on retiring in Costa Rica and they will be greatly missed, though maybe I will get to see them again for other reasons or socially. I hope so. They will be dividing their time between Costa Rica and Mexico which is an unusual way to retire, but very interesting.

In their last newsletter they included a summary of their philosophy over these 12 years that has not changed. I will try to copy it here:

What is the Retire for Less Philosophy?

Sometimes we tell people that we live the “retire for less lifestyle,” or perhaps we notice that others are also living in a similar way. So what exactly is it?

Conserve, simplify, enjoy. These three words sum up the Retire for Less Philosophy or lifestyle. We believe one can:

  • Enjoy the simple things in life
  • Discard some old beliefs regarding retirement
  • Count your cash, get your Social Security, and go where it’s cheaper
  • Reinvent yourself and begin a whole new, adventurous phase of your life
  • Look at your life differently, embrace the new culture, and try not to be ethnocentric
  • Scale down, live within your means, and learn to have fun, fun, fun!
  • Conserve energy, go green, and live without air-conditioners, heaters, dehumidifiers, and cars, as much as possible
  • Live without debt, reduce expenses, and reduce expectations
  • Save money, spend less, use less, and be satisfied with less – less is more

Conserve, Simplify, and Enjoy! Read our entire Retire for Less Philosophy here.

They will be missed and have certainly helped a lot of people retire here and elsewhere. Now I will just continue my very simple life in Costa Rica, not owning anything including a car. Zero debt. Walking almost daily. Enjoying the simple things of life in a simple country that puts people and nature above industry and money. Where nature is king and we will be carbon neutral in a year or so! (99% of electricity now.)

¡Pura Vida!

Live Slow

My latest T-shirt
I live in T-shirts & cargo shorts!
This one features a Costa Rica Sloth and
my new way of living.
“And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn’t come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself.

For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.” 
Alexandra Potter, The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather
“Wisely and slowly; they stumble that run fast.” 

Hugh Howey, Wool Omnibus

“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.” 

Patti Digh, Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives

¡Pura Vida!

My Biggest Job Nearly Finished – TO SIMPLIFY!

Because of the better sunlight, I photograph most of the album pages
outside on my terrace, one page at a time, soooo slow it seems.
So far it is 7,880 photos taking up 10 GB of space on my computer!
And it is all scrapbook pages from before my birth to 2008, soon to 2014.
It is an incredible personal and family history, but I cannot keep them all!
And 30 boxes of albums is too much for someone to deal with when I die.
I do not have children or anyone who could deal with that many books.

Here is my office/guest room today with just 5 more books to photograph.
Compare this with the photos below a few months ago.
And the new couch makes into a full-size bed for guests.
The old one below was a too-short single bed for little Ticos.
All these boxes have been emptied and contents destroyed
as have all the ones in the next photo by the door of this same room.
All of these are also gone now!
The space is free, the house open and
uncluttered! True joy in removing stuff!

The high quality binders used have been donated to schools, libraries and others. And then I have some genealogy stuff and a stamp collection to deal with and I am truly finished! And remember I got rid of a lot more stuff in Nashville including all my furniture! Plus a lot of art earlier here. I have made real progress! Anytime I want to change rent house, it will be a simple move!

I’m applying the lessons learned in many books read: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo  (I read a review copy summary), Celebrating Time Alone by Lionel Fisher, Simplify by Joshua Becker, Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster, Always We Begin Again, The Benedictine Way of Living by John McQuiston II, Living the Simple Life, by Elaine St. James, Seeking Paradise by Thomas Merton, Walden by Henry David Thoreau and in many ways the Bible. Eliminating “stuff” is so freeing! Now I’m almost ready to die, but think I have a lot of real living to do first! 🙂

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
~Henry David Thoreau 

Charlie Doggett
Retired in Costa Rica (My “Woods”)
Pura Vida!