Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As my regular readers know, I occasionally inject a “non-finance” article into the world that is The Retirement Manifesto.  It’s intentional, and driven by my belief that “Helping Others Achieve A Truly Great Retirement” (my byline) requires us all to think beyond the financial issues in our lives. Call me philosophical, but there’s a lot more to great life than successful management of our finances, and I enjoy occasionally delving into other thoughts.

It stretches my mind, and I enjoy it.

So….Today, a simple focus on one word:


Many years ago, my wife and I chartered a sailboat in The Virgin Islands for vacation.  We owned a small sailboat at the time, so were able to qualify (after a brief “sea trial”) for a “bareboat” charter.  After a 1/2 day with a captain for the sea trial, we were on our own.  No captain, just charts.  We’d never sailed on anything larger than a 22′ boat on a landlocked lake, and now we were sailing a 35′ sailboat on the Caribbean Sea.

What a thrill.

Virgin Islands

The name of our boat was “Serendipity”, an absolutely PERFECT name for a charter sailboat (keep reading, the definition is below).  We spent the week randomly exploring, serendipitously, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in world.

Ever since, Serendipity has been my favorite word in the English language.

Serendipity sailboat

* Not the actual boat, but the closest I could find for this article!  Thanks

Serendipity Defined

Serendipity definition


Serendipity has a place in The Retirement Manifesto library, for this author believes it can be a tremendous tool in our quest to Achieve A Great Retirement.

The pleasure of serendipity, or fortunate discoveries by accident, should be our motto for retirement. Click To Tweet

For the first times in our lives, we’re no longer locked in the need to serve “The Man”.

We’re no longer dependent on “The Money”.

We’re no longer constrained by our work schedule.

We’re free to explore.

We’re free to search.

We’re free to find.


“Making fortunate discoveries by accident”

Have you ever had the experience of an making a fortunate discovery by accident?  How often have you struck out, without a plan, for the sole sake of exploring and experiencing whatever develops?  If you haven’t done it lately;

Go for a drive this weekend (without a destination).

Take a walk on a trail (that you’ve never walked before).

Google something you’re interested in (and see where it leads).

Strike up a conversation with a stranger (and see what you can learn).

Go to the library and check out a book (on something you’ve been interested in learning about).

Go to a new restaurant with your spouse (and order something “weird”).




Serendipity…..….I try to do it as often as possible.

I’m doing it right now.

At this exact moment, I do not know what the next words will be that I write.  Today, I realized that’s why I love writing.

It’s Serendipitous.

Oftentimes, the article begins with a random thought, and migrates into an entirely different topic.  I get a sense, internally, that I’m “on to something”, and I follow it, serendipitously, to see where it will lead.

Take, for example, this article.  Initially, it was going to expand on the following quote, which I found on a Motley Fool article this week:




That was the plan – to write about “They’re having fun” and “the power of real passion” as the drive behind my writing.

So, I started to type.

30 minutes ago, when I started this article, I titled it “Why I Write”.

25 minutes ago, I changed it to “Why Do We Do What We Do”. 

20 minutes ago, I changed it to “Serendipity”.

I intended to write about why I love writing this blog.  As I wrote, I realized I enjoy writing because it gives me a way to experience serendipity.

Instead of writing about why I love writing, I ended up talking about serendipity, and showing you my serendipitous writing process through the use of my “headline” example. In the process, I learned something about myself, and how serendipity is at the core of why I enjoy the process of writing this blog. I wish you could experience the contentment I receive when I complete the writing of an article for this blog.   Maybe today, you’ve gotten a small taste of it.

And all of it happened…….



Try it.

You’ll like it.



  1. Excellent!! Perfect as we are in our third week of retirement and having the time to just venture out…in no hurry to get anywhere …just being open to what the day may hold.

  2. This is awesome! Great insight, thanks for sharing your process and for encouraging us to try it!

  3. Exactly on point. An antidote to our “over planned” society that can be realized in retirement. Planning is important but serendipitously discovering things is the joy that comes from the unexpected.

  4. Fritz, I just finished listening to you on Joshua’s podcast. I felt a kinship, although I’m older, just turned 60, because I just finished week one of life 2.0, my retirement! I worked for the same company for 38 years finishing up as the VP and GM of one of their companies. I no longer needed a salary but didn’t want to stop my motion for all the reasons you discussed on the cast. In my case I’ll earn the equivalent of a pension working two days a week doing government affairs/lobbying contact work. As I have no pension it will also provide an unneeded but enjoyable retirement income and a nice expense account. I signed on to your email and hope to follow your journey as I begin mine, Steve

    1. Steve, I really enjoy the relationships I’m developing with my readers, and look forward to learning from you as you make the transition into “part time” retirement. It sounds like you’ve played it perfectly! Thanks again for joining The Retirement Manifesto team!

  5. You are welcome, I’m also a runner and enjoyed your post on the memorial run.

  6. I have a new goal in life. It is no longer Financial independence and early retirement. It is now serendipity!

    I want to discover great things by accident. This can happen through travel, work, encounter, doing weird stuff… And what is nice about it, I can already start now!

    Thx for the inspiration

  7. Frtiz,

    This is a great and inspiring article. It is seemingly crazy one can start writing about an idea and have it transform into something completely different. Not better, not worse, just different.

    I hope to try my hand at sailing in the next few years so your story about traveling out without charts or any certain place to be was quite engrossing.

    I’d like to hear more about it sometime!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Hoosier! Serendipity is a wonderful thing. Whether through writing, or through sailing, or through any adventure that appeals. Pursue it, it’s fun! (Happy to share our sailing experiences with you, any chance you’re going to be at FinCon17?)

Comments are closed.