Your Extra Innings

           It’s been 2 months since I launched this blog and it’s been an adventure, a good one. I’ve learned a lot about blogging, writing, and thanks to feedback from you, a lot about your concerns about retiring. It’s for that reason I would like to reintroduce Your Extra Innings – Delay Your Retirement On Your Terms.

I created Your Extra Innings in the hope of being a guide for people who want to, or have to delay their retirement. Over the last 5 years, I’ve studied all experts I could find about this time in our lives and found that there was something missing.

There are a few really good books about delaying your retirement or creating an encore career, but they tend to focus on people who have the financial resources to enact significant career changes. They include stories about a lawyer who wants to do pottery, a CEO who started a vineyard, and a pilot who became a high school math teacher. These stories are all about people who can afford to not earn any income for a while as they take the time to get certified to teach, build their business, or grow their grapes.

My aim is to help those who want to delay their retirement but make that shift seamlessly, without an gap in income. We want to transition into an alternative retirement that allows us to maintain the benefits of working without the commitment to a full-time job. 

Your Extra Innings

Why “Your Extra Innings”?

The First Three Innings

Look at your life as a baseball game. In the first three innings, you are born, learn to walk and talk and hopefully graduate out of diapers. You move on to school, sports, dance etc. Through this process you train for a trade, employable skill or go thru college. The 3rd inning ends with you walking through the door into adult life and starting a full-time career.

Innings Four, Five and Six

In innings four through six, the process is you get your first fulltime pay check which leads to your first new car and it’s payments, your first serious relationship and it’s payments, then you buy a house and it’s payments and eventually you may have kids and their payments. You begin the process of building family; get a bigger house and a nicer car as your career advances. You become tied to the rat race and all the “keeping up with the Jones stuff”.

Innings Seven, Eight and Nine

Now comes innings seven, eight and nine. Your kids go through their first 3 innings and then, hopefully, out of the house. Your career is taking routine steps up with more responsibility and pressure, and the same goes with your spouse.   You go through mid-life and menopause and start thinking about You for the first time in thirty years. “What’s it all about?”  You start thinking about your later years. The problem is you are still paying the mortgage, the car payments, and your kid’s college, so for the time being you are coasting along the mid-life freeway which doesn’t appear to have any off ramps.

The ninth inning brings a glimmering light in the distance, and it’s called your retirement years. While this has been a mystical world that you heard tales about, it is starting to come into view. Is it real? Do I want it to be real? Will I really be able to retire?


Your Extra Innings

You thought about that new recliner and universal remote control. But you realize that delaying your retirement is becoming a real possibility. You may have to work to live how you want. You may want to work to have the life you enjoy. But it’s the bottom of the ninth and it’s time to plan Your Extra Innings. What are your options? If you are going to work, how much do you need to earn to meet your goals? There is a lot to consider and I’ll be getting into it with upcoming posts.

In my next posts I’ll start getting into the reasons why people will delay their retirement by getting into some of the positive reasons and the not so positive reasons. I appreciate all the comments and questions I receive so please keep them coming here:



In my previous post I talked about maintaining the health of your network for Delaying Your Retirement. What about maintaining the only vehicle you have to get you into Your Extra Innings – YOU?

“Between the ears I don’t feel much different than I did when I was 35; But when I get out of bed in the morning I’m reminded that I’m driving a used car” Martin Mull

Martin Mull


Have you seen the pictures of the old cars in Cuba? Prior to the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Havana was a destination for Americans for the weather, beaches, casinos and mobsters. The cars being driven there were mostly imported American cars. When the Revolution happened, all the Americans left the island, leaving their cars behind. At the same time, the United States imposed an embargo on Cuba blocking all imports. As a result many cars being driven today are American made from the 1950’s.

For years the only options were either poorly made Russian cars or keep the American cars running, as a result, the owners have taken exquisite care of them. They are constantly being maintained and polished. The owners work together to take care of them, to the point that the cars are outlasting them. And now, the next generation is doing the same. In the United States cars may last 15 years if they are well built. People just don’t take the same level of care as they do in Cuba.

Clunkers In Havana


Imagine if we took care of our bodies as well as the Cuban’s take care of their cars. What if we only did the right things? What if we didn’t abuse or didn’t put the wrong stuff into our bodies? How long will our bodies last? We or many people we know are on drugs that could have easily been avoided if they did the right maintenance and care of their bodies.

There are many people limping around or riding their scooters just because they avoided taking care of themselves. Health issues are the #1 negative reason people have to retire early. And in a recent study it was found that approximately 75% of our healthcare costs go towards dealing with preventable illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.


(Disclaimer: Please discuss any fitness plan and diet with your doctor before starting)

The good news is that it’s not too late. It’s time to think in terms of “Health-Span” instead of “Life-Span” when planning on Delaying Your Retirement. Exercise is the best anti-aging cure you can find. Besides the physical benefits of exercise, it’s also great for your brain. You can start a simple fitness plan at any time. I’m not talking about triathlon level training, but a simple plan of walking, light weights and stretching. And you don’t need to spend much money. Starting slow and light, with 10 to 15 minutes a day, provides a solid benefit. Gradually increasing how far you go, you can steadily build up your fitness level and improve how good you look and feel.

Delay Your Retirement
Dumb Bells


In my home gym I use hand weights, a yoga mat, a workout bench, and workout bands and I keep track of my steps. My plan is pretty simple:


5 times a week my wife and I walk 10000 steps which includes a 45 minute power walk outside or if the weather is bad, at the Mall. Even if you’re lazy you’ll find that you may be doing 4000 steps in a normal day. Add a trip to the grocery store and it may go to 5000 steps. But if you do a 30 minute walk through the neighborhood you’ll be heading towards 10000 steps. Here’s the kicker; the 10,000 step number is an arbitrary number. Studies have found 7,000 steps are just as beneficial.

Strength Training

Every other day I do a core workout, legs workout and upper body workout. Maintaining a healthy level of strength is important as we age. It will help slow down physical deterioration, maintain bone density and prevent injuries caused by accidents.


Stretching is vital in order to keep your joints and muscles flexible. Not only to move when you are exercising but just to live a normal active life. Stretching helps prevent injuries, even the ones that happen reaching for the peanut butter on the top shelf at the market. The following is a stretching routine similar to what I do and is geared for us former youngsters.

Exercise Log

Developing an exercise routine can be challenging. But that can be easily overcome by making up a simple log that you can use to track your efforts. Put it in a highly visible location like on the refrigerator, kitchen cabinet or bathroom mirror. It will serve as a reminder to walk or workout and be an encouragement as you fill it in. Below is a screen shot of the log I maintain on my iPad.

My Work Out Log
My Workout Log


I’m not going to promote one diet plan over another, but I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight by following a few rules:

Whole Foods

Eat Whole Foods

Eat whole real foods and avoid processed foods. Real foods are foods just as they have been picked or slaughtered before you prepare them. Processed foods are when you need a scientist to help you read the ingredients label on the package.

Get Enough Protein

I’ll eat my share of beef and chicken, but I also include eggs which have gotten a bad rap in the past. As my wife will attest, getting me to eat fish has been a challenge, but now we’ll have fish once a week for dinner and once a week for lunch I’ll have a can of sardines covered with some type of flavor masking substance like tartar sauce or Tabasco Sauce.

Healthy Fats

Get healthy fats into your diet like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and avoid vegetable oils that are highly processed.


Drink plenty of water and clear, clean drinks. I start every morning with 20 oz. of water followed by black coffee. Later in the morning I’ll have a green tea or two and more water. My goal is to drink half of my weight in ounces of water. 

Avoid Sugar

Avoid sugar. It’s a tough habit to break especially with all the hidden sugar that is out there in things like ketchup and salad dressings. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided also.

And Bad Carbs

Reduce white carbs like rice, potatoes, and grain based foods. The body treats them the same as sugar and both lead to weight issues, diabetes, and can influence various cancers. Getting sugar and carbs out of your diet will make you feel energized.

Dessert For Breakfast?!?

Don’t get me started about the “Dessert For Breakfast Isle” in the supermarkets. Thanks to the food lobby, our dietary guidelines have been hijacked to push the sale of grains and sugar. This is the main reason there is an obesity epidemic, along with the health problems that go along with it. This is a link to an article on how politics has influenced what we eat.

With today’s medical advances, we are living longer than the generations that came before us. Today, a 65 year old has a 50% chance of living to 88 years old. So why not give your body the best chance of carrying you through these years?

In next week’s post I’ll get into the impact of people delaying their retirement from the employer’s point of view. Please send me any comments or questions you may have.



Sometimes The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence

                                     In my previous post I talked about the importance of staying sharp Even if you do all the right things while planning to delay your retirement, things may not work out with your current employer for many reasons.  It could be ageism. There could be HR issues. Your boss may be thinking of the overhead savings when you retire. If you are facing a decision to either stay full-time or retire, you may have to be prepared to talk with other companies. This is why it’s valuable to maintain your professional network.

Throughout our careers, there have been plenty of people who held the ladder for us as we made the climb. And there were plenty of people that we held the ladder for as they were making their mark. Things don’t change as we enter the later years of our careers. Don’t be invisible. We may not be looking for the next promotion or another step up the ladder but we may be looking for help with a career shift. Another serious point is as we age, our network ages. You may find out that a good part of your network has retired or even made the ultimate career shift.

Friend of a Friend

It’s estimated that 75-80% of all jobs are filled through connections, a friend or a friend of a friend.  As it happened to me, opportunities came up from surprising sources. A few months after I walked away and took some time off, a friend of a friend in the industry needed help on a project. He knew my story and asked the friend “would John be available to help us?” The friend called and that started a very nice relationship.

Catching Up Isn’t Networking

The challenge we face as our careers mature, is that our networking tends to become more like catching up with old friends. We go to industry events as we have in the past, but we look for the same comfortable people. It’s a good time, but not effective if you are trying to make connections to help you as you approach Your Extra Innings.

It’s time to get back to your younger networking mode. Be strategic especially when you go to meetings and events. Stay connected to your old friends but make it a goal to meet a new people. Ask your friends who they could introduce you to. Remember that leaving an event with a few business cards is not networking. You need to follow up with the people you met. How can you help them?

Nine Steps To Reconnect With Your Network

Re-establishing your existing connections may prove to be the key to a successful shift to Your Extra Innings. Let it be known to your network what you are looking for or be open to do. The time to start fertilizing your network garden is before you need it.

Follow these steps to reconnect:

  1. Look through the contacts on your phone. Who should you check in with?
  2. Look through your LinkedIn connections. Who could you reach out to?
  3. Remember that true networking is a two-way street. You are not just looking for your benefit but you are looking to see who you could help.
  4. Are there any Facebook or LinkedIn groups you could join and participate in?
  5. How does your LinkedIn profile need to be updated? Are there any special projects you’ve been involved with? What new skills could you promote on your LinkedIn profile? Also, don’t be passive on LinkedIn. Post articles you find interesting and comment on articles posted by others.
  6. Maintain a list of people you want to reach out to. Make it a goal to reach out to one person a day. A simple hello is all you need like “I saw your name in my contacts and I thought I’d call to check up on you”.
  7. Reach out to any recruiters you’ve dealt with in the past. You never know!
  8. If you have participated in industry groups, don’t give up on them. Stay involved.
  9. Don’t ignore the younger generations. Challenge yourself to interact with them. They could be the decision makers you need to connect with.

A couple of my favorite books on networking are Never Eat Lunch Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and The Start-Up Of You by Reid Hoffman . Both offer solid tips on building and maintaining your network. As Reid Hoffman says “Who you know is what you know”.

To repeat, you may not ask for help right now, but you need to continue to build and maintain your network so when the need comes up, it’s easy to ask for help.

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In my next post I’ll explore the “Proper Care and Maintenance of Us Seasoned Professionals”. Leave me your email address and you’ll receive it in your in box as soon as it’s posted.