A Retirement Parfait

Our resort pool

Our own resort pool

At least I get to live in the sunshine. Even if I never retire living in Tucson is like being at a resort 24/7 (see the pool next door). No more teaching, which took up so much of my waking attention. Writing — and getting paid for it — has always been my dream. And here I am.

Am I partially retired? I have my evenings and weekends off to read, watch “Breaking Bad,” walk to the movies and indulge in frozen yogurt afterward.

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This is the life. But I wonder: Should I have saved more when I was younger to stash away for my old age? Should I sell my Maine house since I still have no winter renters this year?

A retired librarian friend works a few days a week at a florist shop to get out of the house and make a little spending money. Another friend who taught university for 43 years retired in May at 65 and is taking life as it comes. She spent the month of September exploring New York City neighborhoods instead of exploring the minds of college students. Now she’s accompanying an old friend who’s moving cross-country to Portland (the other one in Oregon). What will she do next? I’ll vicariously follow her adventures.

I have friends in Tucson who taught all over the world for 40 years. Now they’re back in the college town where they met. They walk three miles daily, have coffee, meet with friends. Oh, did I mention that they’re also playwrights? Seems like a nice retirement.

Others who worried about retiring and having enough to do have found that the days go by pleasantly enough. Some want to live closer to grandchildren. Some are still considering their options. Yep, we baby boomers have options — if not funds — for leaving the workforce. Remember that book about pursuing your dreams “and the money will follow?”

I’ve been lucky enough to have three satisfying careers: high school and college teaching, owning a children’s bookstore, and being a journalist.

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What are the layers in your retirement parfait? Any goopy sauce stopping your plans from sticking, nuts or berries mixing things up, something frothy on top that you’re wild about? I’d like to hear from you!

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4 Responses to A Retirement Parfait

  1. Sheila Lepley says:

    oh, dear, such interesting thoughts from you. My days are filled with doing the things which give me joy: gardening, pottery, fish pond, cooking, reading, a couple of clubs, friends, travel though not out of the country, and hoping to do overseas volunteer work when the time for it works out perfectly re current health issues. not enough time in the day to do all that I would like to do…..by the way I do have a new tenant, a sweetheart I’m certain, And I am wishing you good luck on that Maine hideaway and finding someone for it this winter….tho a Maine island in the winter? it would take a certain type of individual to fill that bill.

  2. sheilawill says:

    Sounds like a lovely retirement. Guess you prepared when you were younger, unlike me. New folks come to live on Mt. Desert Island every year who are looking for a house over the winter before they buy or decide they can’t take it.

  3. Sydney Flynn says:

    NICE! Interesting, colorful, and makes us sound sort of cool…. Thanks, XXX S and V

    ________________________________

  4. sheilawill says:

    You are cool! Inspiring too.

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