by Irwin Lengel
One of the fun things we truly enjoy about retirement is the fact that we can pretty much pick up and travel to wherever we want to go (within our budget that is) without much concern.
Having two of our three children scattered across the country and wanting to see each of them at least once a year, we think nothing about planning trips to see them whenever it fits into both our schedules. Being retired allows us to do that.
Another thing we have found is that we still enjoy the adventure of cross-country trips. It is a known fact that there are lots of fun things to see in this great country of ours.
Last year we bit the bullet and traveled to Europe and it was a fantastic trip of a lifetime. But, that being said, there are still many, many historic and other types of attractions to see here in the states. We are hoping that we still have at least one more cross-country trip in the cards. So, what I am saying is that retirement might be a good time to travel to see what this great country has to offer.
Of course, traveling requires appropriate financing. Which brings me to yet another aspect of retirement living.
That is the possibility of part-time work to occupy some of that time. If you would ask any of my children if I were enjoying my retirement, chances are they would respond by saying - “Oh, is my dad retired?” It would appear that I have been working some type of job (part-time) ever since I retired.
But, I do not look at any of the part-time jobs I have held as that. They were all “fun” jobs. As a matter of fact, when I get the text asking if I am available to teach one or two classes of an upcoming Semester, the first thing my wife usually asks is “When are you going to call it quits?” My usual response is “When it stops being fun!”
I enjoy teaching as much as I enjoy writing and if I can do one or both of them and earn a few bucks in the process – so much the better. Even though I am “Retired”, I still seek out odd jobs such as writing gigs and teaching assignments when I can so that we might offset some of the expenses incurred during the afore-mentioned travel adventures.
Such part-time jobs assist with the expenses so that these trips do not deplete our retirement savings. Eventually the time will come when we have to reduce the number of trips each year as cost will be one factor and health issues will be the other. While we like to think we are in excellent health, fact of the matter is that as we move forward with our retirement plans, one thing that we can be sure of is that both cost and health issues will tend to increase with age instead of disappear.
Another time-consuming project one can do during retirement is to write a travel journal. Writing and keeping pictures relating to trips could provide years of entertainment and fond memories once our traveling days were over. Another retirement pastime could be researching family history. This is a very time-consuming project but can be very fulfilling.
Bottom line is just this – as we get older during these “our golden years” – I am of the opinion that the two primary things that keep us happy and enjoying retirement boil down to finances and health.
As long as we spend wisely and pay attention to our health, we should be able to enjoy our retirement years. But, one thing we can be pretty sure of is that we will have more changes in our lives as we move forward. The secret to remaining happy is to expect change and adapt to it as it comes.
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