(In my dreams, this is what 50 looks like.)
In THIS post, I told people I would solve their problems. What a bold claim! (And I wasn't even drinking when I wrote it.)
I am going to tackle Kristen's problem first because it was one of two that have nothing to do with decorating. (The other one was about a long ear hair. I said condition the shit out of it and let it grow.)
So here we go:
Kristen wrote: I'm 50 and my husband is 54. We are both without full time jobs, but have $1 million saved. I want to play and try new directions, but the conservative side of me says keep job hunting. Need "life" advice! Decorating will come next.
Let's solve this problem:
First, you need to answer some questions:
1) What kind of work did each of you do, and for how long?
2) Were you good at this kind of work?
3) Were you fired with cause?
4) How long have you been looking for work?
5) Why haven't you been hired yet? (Don't say "the economy.")
I am curious about your net worth because that's different than just what you have saved.
What if you have two mortgages on your house? What if you have $90k in consumer debt? etc etc etc.
Here's what you should do:
If you have a net worth of $1M (mostly liquid... not including real estate), and if your answers to my laundry list above are positive (i.e., I wasn't fired; I do a kind of work that I can still get hired to do; I haven't found a job, because honestly, I am not trying that hard because I have my financial shit together and I want to take a break, etc.) then you can take a 6 month break and "play." At month three, you need to spend a few days taking potential hiring managers, friends, or other people in a promising professional network out to lunch, dinner, or coffee to keep your job-hunting/network lifelines open.
Don't spend too much money during your 6 month break with the exception of two weeks where you really go full tilt (maybe a trip to Paris, eat at great restaurants, stay at great hotel). For those two weeks, really live and have some luxury. Enjoy it.
Then get back to work. Lather, rinse, repeat every 5 years.
Let us know some answer to the questions above. (We'll be curious to hear more about your situation.) And let us know what kinds of things you want to do with your time off. What does "play" mean to you?
And congratulations on saving! Assuming there isn't a ton of debt on the other side of your balance sheet, you are an inspiration to all.