Delayed Reaction

Dennis Friedman

Dennis retired from Boeing Satellite Systems after a 30-year career in manufacturing. Born in Ohio, Dennis is a California transplant with a bachelor's degree in history and an MBA. A self-described "humble investor," he likes reading historical novels and about personal finance. Dennis has written more than 100 articles and blog posts for HumbleDollar.

  • Connect:
  • Twitter

Delayed Reaction

Dennis Friedman  |  May 15, 2024

IF YOU’VE READ MY articles, you know I don’t respond to readers’ comments very often. It’s not because I’m quiet or shy. Rather, it’s because I like to be thoughtful in my responses, rather than firing off a quick one- or two-sentence answer in the comments section.
That brings me to four comments that I’ve found myself pondering, often months or even years after the article appeared. Here’s my belated response to each.
Trading up.

Read More

In My Absence

Dennis Friedman  |  Apr 26, 2024

EVER SINCE I RETIRED, mornings are the best part of my day. I always go for a long, quiet walk before sunrise. The only person I usually see is Mark, walking his dog. It’s a great way to start my day. By the time I get home, my wife is up and we have breakfast together.
Last week, I had coffee with Eric, Rob and Craig. We met at a Starbucks in the neighborhood where I used to live.

Read More

Took Courage

Dennis Friedman  |  Mar 21, 2024

I ALWAYS THOUGHT my father was a brave man. It wasn’t just because he served in World War II. It had to do with a few incidents that I witnessed.
I’ll never forget when my dad and I went to McDonald’s for a late evening meal. I was probably in the eighth grade. I believe my mother was working late that night. It must have been a Friday because a lot of teenagers were hanging out in the parking lot.

Read More

Making It Easy

Dennis Friedman  |  Mar 1, 2024

ONE OF MY BIGGEST retirement surprises: how difficult it is to maintain a robust social network.
My wife and I decided last Thanksgiving to travel overseas. In the past, we would have spent the holiday with family and friends. But now, most are no longer near us—or with us.
My mother passed away about four years ago. Afterward, my sister and brother-in-law moved to Tennessee to be closer to their son. My cousin Barb and her husband moved to Florida to be near their daughter.

Read More

Lessons I’ve Learned

Dennis Friedman  |  Feb 5, 2024

I DIDN’T ALWAYS LIKE my retirement. After I quit my full-time job, I briefly went to work for another aerospace company. It seemed like the perfect arrangement for a retiree: just 16 hours a week, with the luxury of setting my own schedule.
But it was the same old pressure cooker environment that I’d wanted to get away from. Although I was working fewer hours, it didn’t feel like I was retired. Instead, it felt like the same old grind.

Read More

A Time to Spend

Dennis Friedman  |  Jan 13, 2024

I DROPPED OFF OUR Honda Civic at the dealer for routine maintenance. A young Uber driver gave me a ride home in his new Tesla.
I was embarrassed when he picked me up, because I couldn’t figure out how to open the car door. I told the driver I owned a Honda Civic, not a luxury car. “Those Honda Civics are good cars,” he said. “That was the first car I owned.”
Our conversation seemed backward to me.

Read More

Taking My Medicine

Dennis Friedman  |  Jan 2, 2024

I’M STILL KICKING myself for not getting a new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan during the enrollment period for 2023, even though our premium had gone up significantly. Most people, it seems, are like me: They stick with their current plan, rather than shopping for one that meets their needs at a lower cost.
For 2024, I vowed to do better.
Medicare’s open enrollment period ran from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2023.

Read More

Wasting Energy

Dennis Friedman  |  Dec 11, 2023

I TRY NOT TO WORRY too much these days. Although I’m retired, it doesn’t mean my life is carefree. There’s always something I could worry about.
After all, as we age, we tend to have more health problems to fret about, and just as many money issues. We can also find ourselves alone for the first time in decades without our partner, the stabilizing force in our life.
My mother worried a lot after my father passed away.

Read More

Who Will Care?

Dennis Friedman  |  Nov 22, 2023

WHEN MY DAD HAD cancer, we’d take walks through the neighborhood. One day, on our stroll, we met a neighbor, Ted. My dad introduced me. “This is my son, Denny, he’s taking care of me.”
Ted gave me a smile and said, “I hope my son will take care of me if I need help.”
Not long after that conversation, my dad was in hospice care. My mother and I were standing over his bed.

Read More

My Happy Retirement

Dennis Friedman  |  Oct 28, 2023

I’VE LONG THOUGHT that my life has gotten better as I’ve grown older. At age 72, I can honestly say the past few years have been the best time of my life. I’ve never been this happy.
But I’m beginning to believe that my best years may soon be behind me. Maybe from here on things will trend in the other direction—because what makes me happy might be hard to hold on to as I age.

Read More

Two Big Questions

Dennis Friedman  |  Oct 3, 2023

MY WIFE CALLS HER 99-year-old mother every morning. One morning, her mother asked, “Are you making big things happen?” After Rachel reminds her mother that she’s retired, her mother asked, “How do you make money?”
Although I chuckled when I heard the conversation, those two questions are probably on most folks’ minds as they prepare for retirement. First, how are they going to generate enough income to fund their retirement? Second, how are they going to stay busy doing meaningful activities?

Read More

Plane Sailing

Dennis Friedman  |  Sep 8, 2023

MY WIFE KEEPS COMING up with ideas for where we should travel next. She says, “How about New Orleans, Savannah or Charleston?” My wife can’t get enough of traveling. I’d rather hang around the house for a while.
This year, we experienced long flight delays on our last two trips back from Europe, so right now I’m not anxious to get on another plane. The most recent headache was our flight home from Ireland.

Read More

What’s in a Name?

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 24, 2023

WE USUALLY HAVE Chinese food every Wednesday. It’s our weekly night out for dinner. While waiting outside our favorite restaurant for a table, I heard my wife call out, “Hey, Doe, our table is ready.” That’s what my wife calls me. It’s my new name. She used to call me Dodo. Now, she’s shortened it to Doe.
How did this nickname come about? One day, I called myself a dodo for a silly mistake I’d made.

Read More

Young at Heart

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 7, 2023

MY WIFE AND I TOOK a two-week trip to Ireland. We flew to Dublin and stayed at the Hotel Riu Plaza. If you’re ever on the run and need a hiding place, just ask for a room on floor 2C. They’ll never find you because of the strange floor plan. All things considered, the Riu Plaza is a fine hotel at a reasonable price, with a good buffet breakfast to start your day.
After touring Dublin for four days,

Read More

Thinking Ahead

Dennis Friedman  |  Jul 11, 2023

WHEN I RETIRED, I thought about creating a website and writing about my retirement. I looked into what it would take to build a site and have someone edit my work. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the only ones who would probably visit my site would be my sister, brother-in-law and maybe a few curious friends. It wouldn’t be worth the time, effort and money—especially when HumbleDollar offers all the benefits an unknown and inexperienced writer needs.

Read More