Freedom on Wheels

January 24, 2008

I don't know about you, but in the midst of my daydreams, I often find myself planning the intricate details of my retirement years. Not the financial details of course, only the fun parts.

When I graduated from college a few years back, everyone seemed to ask the very same question, "So... now that you've graduated what are your plans?" And I'd usually give the same reply, "I’m planning to skip the work thing all together and head straight for the golden years of retirement." For some reason, most of my friends and family members thought I was joking around—definitely not the case.
Obviously things haven't fallen into place exactly as I’d hoped, but I've crunched some numbers and we've adapted the dream accordingly.
Here's a rundown of the updated plan:

At age 62, Jared and I will sell our house, our Blazer, and our dog. We'll use the profits from our house to do the only sensible thing—buy a gently used RV. And we'll use the profits from our car to do the only other sensible thing—commission an airbrush aficionado to trick out the exterior with a custom piece of artwork. We're talking six-foot-tall caricatures of Jared and me, arm wrestling our ‘lil cartoon hearts out, while we wear matching t-shirts that boast the slogan "FREEDOM ON WHEELS." And finally—last but certainly not least—we'll use the profits from the sale of the dog to eat at the Cracker Barrel five or six times.

Our outfits have been well thought out, too. We will have seven matching his & hers wind suits (one for each day of the week), bright white Reebok sneakers, and sensible haircuts that are oh-so-easy to maintain. We'll live in the rig full time, and drive that beauty from coast to coast as we visit grandchildren, ride every roller coaster in the continental United States, and stop at a Will Ferrell movie every chance we get.

I just started this job, and I like it pretty well, so you’re probably wondering why I have retirement on the brain this afternoon. The answer my friends, is very simple—I just finished chatting with our local electrical inspector, Joe. Joe works four days a week, in two different towns, inspecting the electrical systems in new and renovated buildings, and get this—Joe is eighty-eight years old!!! According to our conversation, he's retired three different times, he has pensions coming at him from four different sources, and he just can't stand the thought of sitting around at home. Obviously, he’s one hell of a guy.

So tell me this...Are you an Amy or are you a Joe? Do you dream about work or do you dream about play? If you tend toward the side of sweat and toil, feel free to spare me the details. But if you dream about shuffleboard at the senior center, then I want to hear all about it. What do you plan to do with your golden years?

19 comments:

Vanilla said...

I'm like Amy, except 62 sounds way too old to be retiring. I'm thinking that I'll retire at age 50. Whatever we can accumulate by then will have to suffice, which means that we might be spending retirement living in a tent – but that still sounds better than working. Ideally, someone I don’t know will leave me millions of dollars in their will and I’ll retire right away. We would travel the world and attend sporting events 3 or 4 times a week. I’d be in attendance at every Red Sox game and we would never ever again buy groceries. We would eat out for every meal.

Jess said...

I think even if I retire from my main career, I'll keep working in some capacity -- but maybe at something fun where I don't have to be concerned about how much I make, and I would only do it 2 or 3 days a week. For example, I always thought it would be fun to work at a small, independent bookstore or to work as a docent in a museum or zoo, but you can't make much of a living from jobs like that. If nothing else, I think it would be fun to go back to college and get a degree in something I think is interesting but has little practical application: history, art history, philosphy, English (oh darn, I already have 2 useless degrees in that!).

But, most research shows that geriatric decline begins with retiring young. The longer you work, the longer you live.

Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Topher said...

Please do me a favor and tell Joe to get a life. Come on, man!

In case you couldn't tell, I'm with Amy on this one. I'm already mentally retired. Just 22 more years of physically sitting at a desk to go.

Brandi said...

I'm with Amy on this one only no RV for us. We will be pulling to the boat to every lake in the US that we have always wanted to fish at! Just about 15 more years to go!!!!!

Charlotte said...

When people asked what I was gonna do with my Psych degree, I always told them "I'm gonna hang it in a pretty frame on the wall." And that's about all I did with it. I plan to retire from diaper changing by 35, and then I will sit and drink smoothies for the next 25 years until my hubby finally decides he's brought home enough bacon. After that, we'll be found somewhere in Europe with backpacks and hiking boots. WooHoo!

Laura said...

Without a doubt, you will find my 80 year old butt lying on a beach in a string bikini. No where else. My husband, of course, will be next to me in his sexy speedo, and the grandkids can come to us!!

J~mom said...

DH and I are both Amy's. We want to pay our house off early,stock pile money and then have fun jobs. Like 10 hour a week jobs and travel and take care of grandkids.

Christy said...

Well, I would have to say that I'm like Amy. My husband and I have this dream of retiring early, moving to Montana on a large ranch and living as far away as possible from civilization.

Wait! That's my husband's dream!

I would love to travel every square inch of this planet. And in doing so, spend all of our savings, and then live off the government until we die. Just kidding about the living off the government part.

Allison said...

This coming May, I will be a college graduate. I plan to enter retirement the following June.

Michemily said...

My problem is that the things I want to do during retirement would have helped me if I had done them 50 years earlier, like reading lots of books.

Cheryl said...

I plan to meet an older gentleman with a sailboat and sail around the world! That, or run a marathon in all 50 states. (Said she who has yet to run her first 5K!) :-)

chattypatra said...

I used to have the RV dream, but now...

I'll find myself a handsome, millionaire widower who will whisk me around the world in his private jet.

When we get tired of the constant travels, we'll spend our Winters at our beach house in Puerto Rico, our Springs in our Tuscan Village, Summers in our Parisian apartment, and Fall in our log cabin in Utah.

Of course, we'll travel with our personal chiropractor, masseuse, and chef. That means Jared could work for us! ;)

What can I say, when I dream, I dream BIG.

Few ox said...

I would be an Amy, but I get motion sickness pretty bad.

The Carrie Collection said...

100% team Amy. The only reason I work is to have enough money to get my booty to some tropical local where I can do nothing (and certainly afford nothing) for as long as possible. All I think about at school or during our 30 minute forced running or forced fun is what part of my pasty white body I'd like to be exposing to the sun's harmful rays and in what island I'd like to be doing it on. I'm planning a military retirement at age 46 so let's hang out then. P.S. How far are you from DC?

Amy said...

Well, I am Amy.

Although in reference to the post at hand, yes I would want to do as Amy. We are planning on working our bright white butts off so we can have fun in our golden years.

Grandma said...

I don't see any mention of a sidecar on that rig for giving your old mother a ride.... maybe you could at least stop by and beep and I'll wave from the window. thanks alot.

Bev said...

We have had the same questions. My in-laws work hard with the family farm and I don't think I want to take that up. I would much rather have a cool little apartment home on the square in a medium size city and travel. Who knows. We may all succumb to global warming before those decisions need to be made.

Bahston Beans said...

Shawn loves shuffleboard already. So I see us doing a tour of American shuffleboard courts. My luggage will be stocked solely with prunes and prune juice.

carla said...

added you to my blogroll.
hope you dont mind.

you CRACK me the HELL up, woman.

thanks for that.