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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The big prize



For those of you working all your lives for a comfortable retirement, have you any idea what it looks like? What do you imagine it will be?

Long walks on a warm beach? Vacations in exotic locations? Traveling the country in a big motorhome?

Let's say you are super lucky and get a good middle class retirement. First thing, you won't be a kid anymore. You probably won't want to go bungee jumping. Yes, there are those spry old folks who go sky diving and water skiing. How many do you know in real life?

If you do move to a nice retirement community in a warm climate your days will eventually revolve around Monday cribbage night and your three cats. That's actually not the worse outcome. Dad's getting up there in age, and that's pretty much how things are for him now. Throw in a bit of billiards and flea markets and that's about it.

When dad first retired he did a lot of hunting, fishing, and travel. Mom and dad were involved in their community. Of course, dad retired at 52, and never regretted it. He was young enough to do things. His retirement was smaller than if he's worked later but he figures he had some darn good years and the energy to enjoy them.

The big storage lot at the community is full of boats and big RVs. Most don't go anywhere. Maybe they did once. What do most retired people do with most of their days? They watch a lot of TV. Okay, let me go off on a tangent here. Even when they are traveling in a big motorhome or a large motor yacht, one of the first thing they do is set up the TV dish or tie into the local cable system. Cable TV is a big draw for many campgrounds and marinas? WTF?

Okay, it's not a horrible life, but how much of your youth do you want to sacrifice to bad TV in your later years?

Maybe it's a good thing that so many young people realize retirement won't be what it was for their parents and grandparents. If they are smart they won't sacrifice the present for “the big retirement prize.”

-Sixbears

14 comments:


  1. For us, we retired 12 years ago and do not regret it one second! We got a small pop up camper for our ranger truck and hit the road. Camped on BLM land, some pay camp grounds but mostly free ones. We have no tvee, either here at home or in the camper. Biked, hiked and walked most of the time. Great places in the Sonoran desert, Colorado Plateau and Pacific Northwest. Some took some driving, but we took our time getting "there". Camped on the way, while "there" and camped on the way back.
    We are preparing to hit the road again after several years taking care of my mother in law. She has passed now so we are free to head out. Had to upgrade from a truck camper to a camper van. No tvee, microwave or fancy stuff. We did get solar though and are excited to try this out. Some we have talked with can be out four to eight days without coming in.
    We live fairly simple, heat with wood, save rain water, no microwave, tvee, clothes dryer, dishwasher and cook a lot on the wood stove when it's cool weather. We read a lot of books too.
    We don't take a lot from our retirement investments and I'm on SS. This is the best time of our lives!

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    1. Looks like you know what to do with retirement. So many don't. Enjoy!

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  2. I have a TV in my bedroom that I haven't turned on in years. I'd never watch the one in the family room if my wife wasn't always after me to spend time with HER (as she sits and watches TV). I DO spend some time on the computer, but I could cut back to wifi only and get by without service to my home. I'd have to change my email address, of course, and that's a pain. If anything happened to my wife, I'd definitely dump the cable and internet, though, and save the money. $104 is too much, though some folks pay much more.

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    1. Gorges, you are a guy who can fill his days with interesting things to do, so no need for TV. I've been watching TV here with my dad, but there are so few shows that are worth it.

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  3. Your father is a wise man! I am 50 and have quit . my wife told me today she isnt ready for the couch and TV retirement yet.As you wrote yesterday we have 5 dribbles of income and no gushers.

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    1. Isn't it nice to be young enough to enjoy your own time?

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  4. Haha, it must be a worldwide thing. The first thing most motorhomers do here in New Zealand when they get somewhere is put up their satellite dishes and tune them in. Really funny to watch but so sad...

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    1. TV is a serious addiction. They must be getting something out of it that I'm not. Rather have a good book.

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  5. I couldn't retire because I didn't have a "real" job. I was driving the motorhome in the Davis Mountains area when I got a call from a customer. I told him I was 70 years old and it was time that I officially retire. I don't have any retirement income other that S.S., because I am driving my 401K, it is called a motorhome. And no, I ain't gonna bunji jump.

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    1. I think you beat the system years ago Dizzy.

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  6. My hubs wanted to work past the age he retired, his back and the shitty place he worked prevented that just as well, now the union states many won't get what he gets..I worked only partially but will go back, not enough to keep me occupied, probably volunteering and keeping busy, we have two TV's I think I got diabetes 2 from watching so much, now I walk like forrest gump just to be healthy, no more red meats, no pop whatsoever..Most in my neighborhood have to work two or three jobs, they have many cars, we have one that works, I don't drive...we are ok..we have ss and union pension and fed pension but still taxes on our home take a big bite and car insurance you know the drill..If I had kept my good federal job my hubs could have retired earlier which would have been great cause his health is not that great, so we just take it one day at a time. Our only college degreed daughter will never live like we do, no home, no hubby, no kids, she travels on the companies dime, she saves every damn dime and doesn't want to share it with anyone, as most men don't make even close to what she does..an only child syndrome we figure, well happy holidays, I honestly think one can live well without lots of stuff, health insurance is a good thing to have, but stuff not so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ciao !!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Happy Holidays to you too. Health is always an issue when we get older. Glad you are taking care of yours. All the best!

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  7. Yeah, only so much 'Love Boat' reruns you can take before you pitch the TV thru the window. DVD for movies, CDs for music are pretty compact.

    Dad retired at 65, died at age 70. He had worked constantly since age 10 so he figured he was did his time in the traces. I thought he was going to go nuts, but he LOVED retirement. Big time classical music fan, he would wake up super early in morning and have his music cranked up on the headphones. I'd wake up and go to living room to see an old man in a T shirt and briefs jamming out - it was funny as hell! I'd wave, he'd grin and give a thumbs up, it was all good.

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  8. Only is coming home near us, we snagged two free round trip Amtrak tickets, will stay with her in hotel provided by her employer, we spoil her with nice meals and I got the gift cards ready, pet place, target and h&m and trader joe's..Hubs had a tummy ache he got really ill, rushed to the e/r food poisoning, no more eatin out ever, one can get food poisoning in one's own home and we have never had that..Only arrives right after Christmas we are jazzed..Cooking for pantry that provides food for the hungry and homeless..Christmas is all year long if you think of your fellow man..Good the Pope Francis Time's man of the year, if only the cardinals will let him speak and spread the word of love for one's fellow man, he is truly a blessed holy man, I left the roman catholic church many years ago, my Mom would love Pope Francis as she preached to us in our familia that all people deserve love and attention and the church was not like that way way back in the early 60's when she passed from this earth..she was a European catholic, but I was raised by Jesuit Priests and Holy Name nuns, they loved all people and there was a black priest and black nun who taughter at the school where I attended..Why can't people understand and esp. the roman catholic church that God exists for EVERYONE..we are on this journey on this earth for a short short time, but love and care lasts forever, Pope Francis really was the only choice for Man of the Year, he lives simply and refuses to act like the other Pope who retired to a million dollar Villa until his place was secured beautifully and lavishly in Vatican city..the new Pope won't last long the church cannot get converts without lots of money toooooo bad, peace and joy to you..I know you will be doing well you know how to live and I mean really live not merely exist to work and work all the live long day, ciao and happiest of the holidays too!

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