About Me

Hi! My name is Elizabeth!

I am 50-something years old, and I do not have $1 million saved for retirement. (Not even close!)

Despite this, I am extremely confident that I will enjoy my last few decades tremendously.

Why? Because I believe there are many steps I can take today to significantly offset a lack of cash tomorrow and which will, ultimately, deliver a much higher return than any financial investment.

(See Start Here for more details on my retirement planning strategy.)

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The concept for “Live Well Anyway” first came to me several years ago, as I wandered a local beach, searching for sea glass.

The bike store I owned and operated with my husband was failing and, as we had already cashed in all of our savings and maxed out all of our credit cards trying to keep it afloat, it had become clear that we were going to have to sell our house.  

Our marriage was also imploding, meaning I was about to become a single mother to three school-age boys (good times!)

I’d recently started a new job that paid fairly well, so I knew I’d be OK financially, as long as I kept working.

But with no house, no savings and no money left over at the end of each month, how in the world would I ever be able to retire?

On paper at least, my future looked bleak.

Yet somehow, all did not seem lost.

Sure my money was gone, but I still had my physical health, my beautiful boys, and my supportive, hilarious friends.

I’ll NEVER grow tired of hanging by a fire on the beach with my friends!

I lived in a small town on BC’s West Coast, where the beaches and forest trails provided endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and peaceful contemplation.

And I had always been as happy to stay home with a good book as to participate in more thrilling, but costly, pursuits.

Even if I am completely destitute in old age,” I thought to myself fiercely, “No-one can stop me from coming to this beach and doing exactly what I’m doing right now!”

In that moment, the idea seemed obvious; even if my wallet was empty, I could still have a life that was full.

I quickly took out my phone and listed a handful of the free activities I already enjoyed and couldn’t imagine ever growing tired of:

  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Reading
  • Listening to music and podcasts
  • Beach walks
  • Picking blackberries
  • Hiking local trails
  • Admiring flower gardens
  • Beach fires

There was no reason I couldn’t keep doing all these things well into my senior years, regardless of my financial status.

Then, I was struck by an even bigger idea.

I still had 10 or 15 years to go before I hit retirement age. What if I spent that time figuring out exactly how to create the best possible life for the least possible money?

I could, essentially, train myself in the precise skills I’d need to live a low-cost, high-value retirement.

I could learn how to cook undeniably delicious meals from inexpensive ingredients. (Eating well was one area I was absolutely not prepared to make sacrifices.)

I could teach myself how to tackle basic home repairs and how to make beautiful gifts people would actually be happy to receive.

Most importantly, I realized, I could actively invest my time in strengthening the two key assets I already knew were essential to a happy life – good physical health and a solid social network.

In short, I’d become a freaking expert on how to live well during retirement on limited funds.

I was certain my unconventional new retirement planning strategy could work.

And, because I knew I couldn’t possibly be the only person who had somehow arrived at (late) middle age with lower-than-planned retirement savings, I’d start a blog to share what I learned with my peers.

Live Well Anyway, I’d call it.

Subhead: How to Plan for a Rich Retirement, Even if You’re Cash Poor.


Read my first post: Why A Solid Fitness Habit is Your Most Valuable Retirement Asset here.