Thinking of Retiring?

I suppose I could retire and move to a warmer climate. It would be such a joy to dress in lightweight layers all winter!

Instead of taking a trip to Paris for my 60th birthday, I started a new company. I genuinely enjoy my work, so the thought of retiring does not appeal to me yet. I know that if I had an unfulfilling job, I would indeed be looking forward to that day. But then what would I do all day? Get dressed up, go out to lunch, and spend the afternoon shopping? Travel alone or as part of a tour group? None of these options seems particularly appealing to me. Some of my friends are retiring in their early 60’s and taking care of parents or grandchildren or playing golf or tennis on most days. These options certainly do not apply or appeal to me. I could volunteer with a charity and help a few people locally. Donating to organizations that support women and girls and small businesses has been very important to me for several years. To continue doing so on the same scale, I need to generate income to donate.

Several of you have written to ask for more information about starting a blog or opening a shopping site. Since I have just completed this project, all of this information is fresh in my mind. I will share with you some of what is involved. As a successful blogger, you will need to have a strong command of your language, basic knowledge of HTML code, photography, layout, and editing skills, and share information of value with your readers. I study much more now than I ever did while I was in school! Creating original content is vitally important to the success of your blog. You will need to consistently build your brand across all social media channels and use search engine optimization (SEO) for your blog to be found among the millions of other sites.

Hiring a professional photographer can make your blog beautiful, but it also adds to the expense of creating it. Mr. Mickey and I take most of my photographs.

As I begin my third act, I want to remain productive, proactive, and positive. (Many of us live thirty years longer than our ancestors did, thus the third act.) I plan to continue to share what I learn and inspire you to enjoy every day to the fullest. Older women are now the largest demographic globally, yet we are rarely represented in advertising, and the fashion industry mostly forgets about us. I never focus on showing you all the latest trends, but it’s nice to know a little about what is going on in the style world to look current. At this stage of life, our goal isn’t always shopping for more as much as it is using what we already have in creative ways to look our best.

I have come to terms with the fact that bundled up will be my look for another winter.

  1. I am retiring in March at 65 after many years in a banking career. It used to be a lot more fun than it is now. I love your blog and am glad that you will keep,going

  2. It’s nice to see fashion and other ideas for women that are older. I have not fully found my niche on what I would like to do. We will be moving in a few years and I will be making another transition. For now I concentrate on painting, gardening & exercise. More and more of my friends are moving from this area and it is sometimes lonely and a bit overwhelming to try and meet new folks.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts. I am 61 and still working full time. Teaching during the day, tutoring after school, and sitting with the elderly a couple of times a month. Being single, I have to generate more income. Retirement is not an option, right now. Although, I would like to have a little more free time, I do love my job.

  4. Susan – I appreciate the honesty of this article. Some of us are ready for retirement; others are not. I retired this year from teaching at age 59. It was a second career for me after having “reinvented myself” several times, from a corporate writer, stay-at-home mom, graduate student, then an educator of young children . I think the secret (for me at least) is the reinventing part. Whether retired or not, our opportunities are endless.

  5. Very happy for you… You look fantastic and happy too. Love your look and look forward to hearing from you everyday.

  6. Hello Susan. I enjoyed reading this post. In two weeks I will be leaving my job to think about what I want to do next. Blogging is interesting to me. I did a little of it a few years ago but mostly for my own use. I need to do more research. I will certainly read yours and learn from it. Thank you.
    I love the idea of being 60 and being productive and looking good. The last picture you posted certainly says that to us.
    Thanks again!

  7. I feel the same as you, Susan. I have no desire to retire. I think it’s over-rated. The secret is to find something
    You are passionate about. I started my own business at just shy of 50. I love it and plan on doing it as long as I can!
    I do all the same things you do, blogging, photography, research, etc. I find it very rewarding.

  8. HI Susan. Wow! Love your new site. Somehow your emails stopped making their way to me. Subscribed again.

    At 52, as an Interior Designer, I have no thought to ever quitting. There is a possibility Mr. B and I will move to Charlotte this year, so I am thinking how to get more visibility down there. Began by starting up a new FB group called Queen City Home and Decor. For those who in or near there, including Fort MilL, SC. SLow start, bit hope it will succeed.
    In the process of a total rebrand of my site and biz right now.

    We have to keep going, I too am not interested in all that, though I do love to travel.

  9. Dear Susan,

    You are such an inspiration! I love your blog, your insights, your honesty.

    Happy Holidays to You!


  10. When to retire is definitely and individual decision. I retired at age 53 and have loved every minute of it. I do not feel unfulfilled or useless. I love that my time is my own. The ONLY thing I miss about working is the thing I disliked about it so much when on the job…..dressing up with suits, hosiery, shoes other than sneakers. So, following some of you suggestions, I’ve been consciously dressing up just a little bit more for when hubby and I go out. We are not formal people at all, but I find I feel just a tad more sophisticated when wearing a pair of booties rather than sneakers. Enjoying your blog tremendously.

  11. Congratulations on the new corporation and…..thank you for your blog. I always enjoy your tips, your travel, and your style. Being a 60 “something” stay at home Mom to a 14 year old daughter, my days are spent wearing yoga pants and casual top. No style. Still, it great to know some great looking age appropriate looks for life outside my current “job.” I love the simple, classic and sophisticated look you wear and share.

    Happy holidays, and as always, you look “mahvelous.”

  12. Hi Susan, just started following you and enjoying it. Since I am a “lady over 60” 61 to be exact, and retired, I get the “what do you I do now?” While I’ve always kept busy Crafting for friends and family and occasional sale or to, I’ve always had my heart in fashion. As the oldest “aunt, sister, & grandma I’m the one who enjoys sharing styles for young & old with the other girls around me. That’s why I’m looking forward to some new ideas for my age to looking fashionable happy & not grumpy.

  13. Thank you so much for your comments and observations. I am happy for you! I look forward to your blog, aleays learn something from you!

  14. Susan you truly are an inspiration! I always joked I would never retire but at 68 my health was suffering due to exposure to allergens and my energy was waning! Retirement has given me time to stop and smell the roses in so many ways! I have purposely kept my calendar open to do and go when and where I want. These first two years have had a wonderful sense of freedom! Finding your blog almost two years ago has helped me refine my appearance as I also feel it is important to look ones best! But back to you as my inspiration. You made a huge investment at 60 and started a new business! You’ve chosen your own path which in its own way must be freeing! I turn 70 next month which causes me some anxiety. I know it’s only a number but society says that 70 is old. I don’t think, feel, or look old and I won’t be put in the old box! I’m not sure what I’ll do in this next year but it will be an adventure! I’ve had to great two great acts and this third act will be wonderful too! Why, because I feel inspired by you that I can make it wonderful!

  15. Retiring is always an individual decision. You seem to have a good reason for contiuing to work. I would like to just offer my experience as so many people say what do you do all day? I took an early retirement from a job I loved! I believed I would miss it very much. Wrong! My other life has been so full I have never missed it. I serve on a board helping women in crisis, I volunteer on a city planning board, I am very active in my local church, and…I have a 21 year old (plus a husband). My husband works for himself so he is around a lot and I do some office work for him. I have loved the 7 years I have been retired and have never looked back. I get to do things I never had time for before such as puttering around the house, doing a project myself instead of hiring it done, shopping for pure please not because I need something specific. Being retired is great.

  16. I am 57 and looking forward to retiring (Lord willing) in 2018. Retired cop husband hopes to REALLY retire end of 2017. I need to figure out what I’m going to do!!! We hope to move to our Lake Huron home and spend many winter weeks in Florida. We have elderly parents who may need more care by then, but our grandchildren by then will be in school with fewer day care needs.

    I would love to learn how to blog and do some crafts and some healthier, more creative cooking. I feel like I will never be bored (I love to read – books and Internet!), but I definitely will need a plan so I can feel productive. Volunteering would be good, and maybe some Internet freelance work.

    Anyone need a blog helper? I don’t have a lot of creative ideas for my own blog (maybe they will come later…), but love to help others with copyediting, etc.

  17. Your blog is one of 4 I read most days. I particularly like when you explain why something does or does not work. I too am a bit busty for my size and found your tip about necklaces or scarves hanging below or above the bust line most helpful. You were right it does look better!
    I was wondering about the brand of white tee you have on in the first picture. I like the scoop neck and especially the length of the short sleeve.
    Thanks for all the time and research you put into the blog.

  18. Please don’t give up on your trip to Paris. You are a talented women and I believe you can do both. Run a successful business and blog AND travel to Paris. That’s a memory you don’t want to miss and you would fit right in with your wonderful style.

  19. Susan, I look forward to your blog everyday and have learned more from it than I have learned about style and how to NOT dress frumpy, in all my many years prior. You inspire me daily. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing so we can learn about makeup, face & body shapes, style, healthy foods & the Appalachian culture. Love that you post photos of yourself, Mr. Micky & the places of interest.

  20. Susan I’m one of your biggest fans. I follow several blogs and sometimes I don’t have time to read them all, but I never miss reading yours. Congratulations on your new venture.

  21. So happy and inspired to read about your next chapter. I have learned a great deal from your blog regarding health and fashion. You have encouraged me to think and be aware of fit and image that clothing creates. I thank you for sharing all of your experience and talent with me!

  22. I’m a retiree and have been since 2009; I have to say that it took a few years to adjust to being out of the workplace but have made the adjustment and really enjoy volunteer work and totally enjoy having a large flower garden to maintain!! Susan, thank you for blogging and sharing your life with us! Love to see what you and Mr. Mickey have been up to!!

  23. Susan, you look great bundled up! And I so appreciate your attitude and commitment to meaningful endeavors, all the while making it apparent that you enjoy them because that’s where your heart is. Keep it up; you are an inspiration.

  24. I just want you to know what an inspiration you are to me.

    I was/am so tired of magazines that feature “How to dress in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.” What? We don’t wear clothes after our 50’s? We don’t want to look our best after 50 or 60, 70, 80 or 90?

    Thank you so much for helping us continue to look our best.


  25. One of the things to think about when you think about retiring is self-definition. You are a woman who owns her own business, does tons of work for it, builds it, and helps the rest of us. I retired several years ago from a place of work that I loved. I did so because I had a long term chronic health problem. The day after retirement from that I started writing a book. I’m writing my second. Friends have something to ask me about. I’m still in the game. As I read your post, I could see that you had considered these things. Yes, bundle up and keep going.

  26. Thank you for your explanation of your journey into a new era. At 70, I too want to accomplish more, not become a lady of leisure or volunteer all of the time. I plan to start a lifestyle blog that addresses concerns of people at 70 and beyond or approaching 70. The view from here looks great, just as your view must! Good luck with your new endeavor.

  27. Hi: I did retire because of a health problem and I just could not do a 2+ hour commute each way and then pick up my 5 y/o grandaughter at day care and my 11 y/o grandson at aftercare (). have physical and legal custody of both of them and have since he was 4 y/o and she was 1 day old. Now I just have 1 full time job; raising them. I would have loved to be able to travel but it didn’t work out. Now we’re thinking seriously of relocating to another state and it’s exciting. I may even get a part-time job. I really appreciate your tips and outfit articles; I don’t want to compete with the young mothers at day care or school I just want to look as good, stylish, comfortable and unfrumpy as I can and with your help I’mm doing it. The compliments are quite nice to gt. So I’m very glad you’re still going strong and will continue to help us for a long long time. Thank you.

  28. This is the era of the Renaissance woman!

    This generation thinks of rebirth, not retirement from life — we must recreate ourselves and think about the next third of our lives. Much opportunity awaits.

    I appreciate the youthful enthusiasm of my young adult offspring. This is the perfect time of life for watching such optimism and personal growth. Baby bird is about to leave the nest, and momma bird is spreading her wings, too. Having a child later in life has been a blessing. We are discovering truths about ourselves and life at the same time, in different ways. I feel an urge to return to campus life. Silly? Maybe not.

    You can have a business and go to Paris, too. Scarves await in Paris, Susan! The sophisticated yet simple style of Parisian women: a few good quality basics in neutral colors, good shoes and a good bag, along with a wonderful scarf — does that sound familiar?

    Thank you for this inspiration during these dark, end if year days. Winter does turn thoughts inward. I often dream of getting away from this season, but each season of the year is like the seasons of life. Who would I be without the first bulbs of spring, the lush leaves of summer, the brilliant colors of autumn and the quiet stillness of dormancy in winter?

  29. Hi Susan,

    I always enjoy reading your blog and following your life. Always impressed with your activities and your ability to inspire so many. I laughed when I saw your picture of your mannequin, Monique. I too have a mannequin and she is Monique as well!

    I also have to say that warm climates can be boring and you long for the seasons. I know of one lady that lives in Hawaii and she comes to South Texas in our “winter months”, January usually to experience some little bit of “winter weather”. Enjoy the cold!!

    Thanks for all you do.

  30. Susan, I laughed out loud at your first sentence. I’m retired in an amazing golf cart community in Sun City, Texas and it’s blistery cold and dreary out today.

    I love being retired and living in this amazing place where I have two amenity centers offering many classes including Yoga and Pilates every weekday. Since finding your blog, I’ve begun finding quality clothing for my active lifestyle where I can go from exercise class to lunch, shopping, etc., with a few added accessories.

    When I see an email from you, it’s the first one I read. Thanks so much for your honesty, integrity, and willingness to “show us how it’s done instead of telling us what to do.”

  31. The white tee and vest is a very flattering look. One more to file away when the weather is warmer.
    I so appreciate your generosity in sharing your personal thoughts with all of us.

  32. Hi, I am a lady in my Seventies, retired and living in South Florida. I so do miss wearing jackets, scarves and boots. I’m originally from N.Y.C. I love your post and really like your information on tailoring and proper proportion.retiring was never on my list but here I am. Your life has taken you to A most interesting place. Enjoy the ride. Good luck,and thank you. Also more hot weather tips. Haha.

  33. I love your blog and am glad you have hit your stride in such a great way. Love your style as I attempt to mimick a bit with my personality. I’ve ordered a couple things from your site and have not been disappointed. Keep up the great work.

  34. A truly inspiring blog. I was so happy to finally find a fashion blog for ladies in the third act of my life. I also am still working and not thinking of retiring yet. Thank you for your insightful blog.

  35. You are an amazing woman and so willing to share your knowledge (always researching) with other women. I enjoy your tips for dressing in a polished way. Glad to see you are researching more than when you were in school. I find too that I am constantly looking for healthy recipes and lifestyle in addition to accommodating dressing with style even though my body is changing.

  36. While I’m only 45 I started reading your blog as I love your style and believe your tips on finding & applying a style you love can be applied to any age. Congratulations on the new venture. It’s so important but sometimes difficult to find something you love doing. For anyone wanting a great guide to starting a blog I highly recommend the great Framework product by Abby Larson at Just a Girl and her Blog

  37. Thank you Susan, for the time you take to post every day. I’m sure it takes patience and creativity to do it and it is greatly appreciated.

  38. Excellent post! At 63, I feel fortunate that my life has a lot of variety, including a few consulting jobs, a lot of volunteering, and a foray into the retail world via Etsy (something I never expected to do). I really enjoyed your take on why not to retire along with the description of what it really takes to do a blog and an online store.

    For anyone that wants to dip a toe into retail, I would like to suggest It is really easy to open a shop on Etsy and the financial risk is low. An Etsy shop does have to offer either handmade items (made by you) or vintage/antique items. But it’s a great way to supplement your income and, for me, has helped me keep up with new technology (a great way to stay young!).

    Thanks for sharing your take on “retirement,” Susan!

  39. oh how I wish you wore a size 6 shoe. Poor me. I love to dress for cooler weather, I like the layers. Our summers are in the 100’s so not fun to dress for the proper look of a 70 year old ( the new 60) I hear. 🙂

  40. Thank you so much for this blog!! I’ve been following you since you started on Facebook!! You are an inspiration! Modeling, blogging, and running an on-line fashion store!! All the things I’ve dreamed about my whole life! I will be turning 60 in 2017 and would love to be able to do some of these things. I currently work full-time, so my pace is a lot slower.
    Keep up the great work!

  41. You have gotten so many responses to this post that I’m not even sure you will even get to read mine:) Anyway, as an English teacher, I wanted to let you know that yours is one of the most clearly written blogs out there (I mention this since you made note of the fact that you have to have a command of language before you start a blog). Your articulation and clarity is one of the things that makes yours so enjoyable. By the way, I’m always disappointed on the days you don’t post something:( Thanks for giving me something to look forward to:)

  42. HI- I really enjoy your blog! It has been very interesting to learn about your journey to health and to benefit from all the information about style you have learned. I have often wondered if any books helped you learn about style and how to dress your body type. Could you sometime share some information about sources (especially books) that were beneficial to you ? THank you.


    1. No particular books stick in my mind; I constantly read articles online, magazines, books, so my sources of information are varied, and my research may be just one picture or one lady walking through the airport. I study the look and why it works or doesn’t work for the person wearing it. Proportion is so important!

  43. The first year after retirement is the best. After that you should always have ready the alternatives to stay active and happy.
    Susan I wish you success and luck in the new chapter of your life.

  44. Susan,
    Thank you for this great article. I am trying to discover my passion for blogging, art, photography, etc. as you have. It’s quite a challenge but after learning about your journey I am truly inspired to keep going, I to will get there. I love what you do and look forward to hearing from you.

    V. ReDesigns by V.

  45. I just started following your blog after a good friend recommended it. I particularly enjoyed this blog on retirement. I retired relatively early (age 55) and I must say I am finding out there is a whole new world out there other than working! I do not miss the stress or the exhaustion I felt at the end of the work day. I am still exhausted in the evening but it’s a “good” type of exhaustion.

  46. I love your three Ps: productive, proactive and positive! I find I do so much better when I have clear, expressive goals. Thanks so much for your clarity.

  47. Hi Susan….I want to thank you for being a voice for so many of us . It is comforting to know we are not alone in our feelings regarding being more mature and still wanting to present ourselves in a positive way that is also “not frumpy” . It is very wonderful to be able to sit at my kitchen table in the mornings, read your posts and and comments so many make. It is like having a support system out there who are all,fighting the same issues and dealing with the third act!! For so many years, I have loved Nordstroms and my husband lovingly jokes about me having a personal parking place there and not needing any ID, credit card or charge card to shop,there. They will figure it out and work with you to make the experience there the most wonderful. NOrdstroms was my happy place for years. But…. a few years ago they started moving away from the older shoppers and really emphasizing the younger girls. Very sad for me and my friends. All that said … I feel I have found a new happy place in your Blog and in your suggestions for shopping and places I would not ever know about on my own. So thank you for that!! We Boomers must stick together!! I thank you for leading the charge for us and for all your time and efforts!

  48. Hi Susan:

    I’m excited for you and your accomplishments are inspiring.

    I also am working as long as I can. I’m sixty six now and not ready to stop. I don’t have my own business but maybe sometime in the future I can do something with my interior design background. You are truly an inspiration to me and I look forward to your posts as I have learned so much from you. We older women need a voice and you are doing that in a grand way. All the best to you!

    An avid fan,

  49. Thank you, Susan, for this site. I have been following your blog for about four months. I work a part-time job (in my retirement) as a receptionist at a beauty salon. My employer keeps asking me what’s up as I look so stylish lately! I owe it all to your wonderful blog for us older gals – thanks so much!


  50. Susan, congrats on your new venture. Loved the original blog, which inspired me to revamp my wardrobe! Love your style, blog content and your shop. Please reconsider a trip to Paris, you will love your time there.
    Thanks for providing a place for us seniors to learn how to dress for ourselves.
    Happy Holidays, Paula

  51. Susan;
    I love your blog and respect and admire you. I just want to give a small bit of advice. Don’t put off that trip to Paris.
    My husband and I planned a trip to Europe for our 25th anniversary but put it off till our 30th because we got involved with “life”. He died shortly after our 29th anniversary.I became a widow at 49. I have travelled solo since but I deeply regret not having the memories with him.

  52. I have thought of purchasing slacks, tops or dresses, but without measurements, I am not sure which size to buy. I did try typing size into the search area, but no luck. Am I not looking in the proper place?

    Thank you.


  53. Thank you for sharing this Susan! Most inspiring and informative! I am in my late 50’s (boy, did that sneak up on me) and still very busy working and until recently caring for a family member. Life is so different at this age and the future is such a question mark that I am trying to figure out. Big decisions and uncertainty. We need to share and learn with other women along the way. I am following your blog and will check out your store!

  54. I enjoyed you post and also have cell phone stories I could share. But, something else stuck out to me in your post. Your fleeting thought of relocating to a warmer climate. We just sold our home near Charleston SC, and are aligning ourselves to relocate in WNC where our mountain home is. Susan, in my opinion, you and I live in regions that provide us with the optimal weather for our stage of life. (Hickory, NC, has even less snow, but also less mountains…ha!) Having endured the heat and humidity of “the low country” for nearly 40 years, I simply cannot take it as I could when I was younger. It has become stifling and has made me a prisoner in my own home. A change needed to be made. We have a lot of work to do on our property and still have boxes to unpack which will all keep me quite busy for a while. Once we are caught up I am not sure what I will do. I do not want to retire/become inactive and need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Something different from what I have always done. I was a legal secretary for decades, but no longer have the patience. I have reached a stage in my life where I cannot put up with false fronts, BS and sniveling excuses. I’m not sure what that leaves….gardening? It will be about a year before we are permanently settled in the mountains. My point is, if you ever get the notion to go back to a warmer climate, go visit in August for an extended period. It is not what it is cracked up to be. At least not for me.

  55. You look very good for all “bundled up”. I wear many layers in the winter which I need for warmth and weather protection but I look and feel huge.

  56. “Older women are now the largest demographic”. At what age are we “older women”, Susan? Happy New Year!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.