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Some Friendly Advice

Dan McDermott

Dan is an information technology executive in Minneapolis. He and his wife Sarah split their time between Minnesota and Arizona. They have two grown children. Dan works hard to learn about cryptocurrency from his son and Instagram from his daughter. Going for a long, leisurely run is his precious thinking time.

Some Friendly Advice

Dan McDermott  |  Jan 19, 2024

MY COLLEGE BUDDY Joe really looked forward to retirement. But in the weeks and months following his last day of work, he began to realize he didn’t have a core group of friends with whom to share his newfound freedom. Those he counted as friends were simply friendly workplace acquaintances. And several people who he thought might become deeper friends were still busy working and couldn’t “come out to play.”
So, after retiring two years ago,

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Dance of Coordination

Dan McDermott  |  Aug 8, 2023

MY WIFE AND I DROVE back from Arizona in June, so we could spend the summer months here in Minnesota. We took a longer but more scenic route through Utah and Colorado, and saw many natural wonders, including several national parks and the Rocky Mountains.
How did we spend our “windshield time”? Knowing we had an upcoming meeting with our financial planner, we discussed our work and our finances, along with when it might make sense for each of us to retire.

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How Much is Enough?

Dan McDermott  |  Dec 31, 2022

AT A PARTY GIVEN BY a billionaire on affluent Shelter Island, New York, author Kurt Vonnegut informs his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host had recently made more money in a single day than Heller had earned in total from his hugely popular novel, Catch-22.
To that, Heller replies, “But I have something he will never have.”
“And what is that?” asks Vonnegut.
“Enough,” says Heller. “Enough.”
The story may be apocryphal—I’ve read a similar version featuring J.D.

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Three Paths

Dan McDermott  |  Nov 12, 2022

I’M A BIG BELIEVER in retiring gradually, rather than declaring you’re done on a single retirement day. This lessens the change to your routine and your identity. One of the main appeals of a phased approach to retirement is that you can craft it to meet your needs. You may want to shift from fulltime work to part-time consulting, or perhaps lend your talents to a nonprofit or a startup.
To do that, you’ll need to figure out what you want,

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Deliberate Practice

Dan McDermott  |  Aug 29, 2022

I ENJOY PLAYING GOLF with friends and colleagues, but my game never seems to improve. Like many, I’m busy with my career and other activities, so I don’t make it a point to practice and, when I do, it’s rarely with an instructor.
Instead, when I head to the driving range to hit balls, it’s without a clear notion of what aspect of my game I’m going to concentrate on. It’s a trial-and-error process that’s modestly helpful at best.

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Ask Around

Dan McDermott  |  Aug 4, 2022

AH, SUMMER. Over the July 4 weekend, we spent time relaxing at our neighbor’s house. A three-year-old jumped into the pool from the diving board for the first time. He had a big smile and many supporters.
It’s always fun to chat with neighbors we haven’t seen for a while, and also meet new visitors. One man swimming with his kids turned out to be an investigative reporter for a local news station. We didn’t talk for long,

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Slowing to a Stop

Dan McDermott  |  May 17, 2022

THERE’S AN OLD JEST that goes, “How can you tell if someone is a runner?” The answer: “Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”
I’m a runner and have enjoyed running for more than 20 years. For me, it’s not about aspiring to go farther and be faster. It’s more about being outdoors, getting my heart rate up, clearing my head and just moving my body.
This spring finds me training for a half marathon that I’ll run with my son.

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Testing the Waters

Dan McDermott  |  Apr 1, 2022

AT THE PUBLIC POOL where I swam growing up, each hour’s mandatory safety break ended with the announcement that, “You may slowly reenter the water.”
There were two kinds of swimmers during those hot, humid Iowa summers. One group didn’t even hear the entire announcement. They were already enthusiastically running, yelling and jumping feet-first into the pool. The other group walked to the pool, tested the water with one foot and then waded in bit by bit,

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