It’s been almost three years now so, what has retirement taught me so far, if anything and what if anything can I share or relate to others possibly NOT so content in their retirement years or those close to retirement?
MOST IMPORTANT: Don’t not only go into retirement with a Plan A but a Plan B and possibly even C. Life tends to continue to throw curves at you – even at retirement.
If we were now playing the “what if” game then several months after retirement could’ve easily been my last. Attempting a thru hike of the PCT, on the heaviest of snow years may have resulted in a slip, a fall, frostbite, hypothermia, dehyration, eaten by wolves, mountain lion, or even drowned.
“Long distance hiking is not a vacation, it’s too long for that. It’s not recreation, too much toil and pain involved. It is, we decide, a way of life, a very simplified Spartan way of living … life on the move … heavy packs, sweating brow; they make you appreciate warm sunshine, companionship, cool water.
The best way to appreciate these things that are precious and important in life it is take them away.”
– CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest, 1997
Quit your worrying and just do it – once you get moving it all gets better; but you have to continue to move – it’s always harder to hit a moving target.
“Based on my calculations, I can retire at approximately 5 years after I die” Author Unknown
1. You are what you are – retirement doesn’t automatically change that. If you did fun things and had hobbies before retirement or drank lots of beer and watched 80 hours of TV you’ll probably be doing more of the same after retirement; if you didn’t, oh well!
Now comes the best part – only in the good old USA can you continue to reinvent yourself time after time after time. But you and only you need to personally make an effort to do so.
2. Schedules, we live by them in our working world so why not incorporate some planning time into your retirement; make a schedule, a task list, write it down, get organized, become technically savvy, learn about apps and what they can do for you.
Hey, I know I make it look easy but the truth is retirement is hard work. if you don’t believe me then just take a look at all these ongoing boat projects. Do you think my boat projects get done without me?
Yes, those are my clothes and hiking shoes to the left of that “hot” tub.
3. Friends and family – TIME. Time is the most valuable thing that you can give anyone; honest along with possibly thousands and thousands of dollars.
4. Pets – Ask Patti what I came to find out on my own as the secret to a happy and successful retirement life while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and she will name three things:
a. Having someone to love
b. Having something to do
c. Having something to look forward to
If you possibly missing one of the three above then do something about it.
Pets or BOATS can accomplish all three!
5. ON BOATS – Honest, one can never own enough of them.
6. Patti – A wonderful wife, mother and grandmother who is caring, nurturing and above all the most responsible of the group. Did I tell you she loves everything, me, her soon to be married daughter, her mother, you too Susan and above all her dog Lucy!
7. My Children – TBD
8. Grandchildren – More fun than a barrel of monkeys!
The following (thought much amended by me since the list was written in 2011 by Philip Taylor author of 104 Ways to Save Extra Money.
1. Live within your means. So what this really means is don’t buy a boat!
2. Travel the world. Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.
– Alan Keightley
I don’t write about things that I have the answers to or things that are very close to home. It just wouldn’t be any adventure. It wouldn’t have any vitality.
– Ann Beattie
I’m still a kid inside, and adventure is adventure wherever you find it.
– Jim Dale
I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
– Mark Twain
3. Buy a motor home. Someone in this family thought we needed a motor home before another boat – and I lost.
4. Remodel your home. Been there – done that and its far worse than working on a boat project. Homes aren’t called “She or Her” like boats are; they are usually only called by their addresses.
5. Move to the country.
6. Move to the city.
7. Start a business.
8. Get a part-time job.
9. Teach. Use your hard-earned wisdom and experience to teach others. Start a free course at your local library or community center. You could even possibly teach at a local community college or university.
10. Volunteer. Use your time in retirement to give back. Contact your local church or other charitable organization to find volunteer opportunities that suit your skills. Don’t forget to consider overseas opportunities as well.
11. Go into public service.
12. Spend time with friends.
13. Visit family. Explore your roots!
14. Dog sit.
15. Be a mentor. Find a young person to mentor. Many young people would love the chance to learn from the experienced and successful. Take time out of your week to change the life of someone else.
16. Get educated. Go back to school. Finish your diploma or get a graduate degree. You could even just take classes for fun to learn a subject of interest. Many colleges offer discounts to retirees above certain ages.
17. Read. Spend your days reading all of the books you never had time to.
18. Write a book. Writing a book takes time. Now you have plenty of it. Write a novel, a cookbook, a how-to guide, or even your memoirs.
19. Start a blog. Learn to blog and start sharing your retirement experience online.
20. Learn a new language like Spanish, hint, hint.
21. Learn to play music. Take lessons and learn to play the piano, guitar, or your favorite instrument.
22. Start a new hobby such as boating, fishing, diving, cruising. (it’s a boating blog – remember!)
23. Take up a new sport.
24. Join a fitness group.
25. Nothing. Drink beer, gain weight, up it from 8 to 12 hours of television and buy all those things on commercials – NOW.
There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won t.
– William Trogdon