Other VanOrden Posts

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Most Rewarding Time can be the first 10 Years of Retirement

Senior perks are one of the upsides to “retirement”.  Last evening we were at a first-run new style theater with high backed cushy seats that rock. As we were getting tickets for Bourne Legacy, I just per chance asked if there was a senior discount.   The ticket lady was about to charge us full price, then looked at us and said, “Yes, at age 55”.  I was hopeful she didn’t think we were old enough.  But I told her we made it by multiple years, and she adjusted the charges to $15 total which as about what I paid per ticket in Alaska.  Senior status certainly has its advantages.

The same thing happened at the golf course recently.  The attendant had already rung us up but was kind enough to give us tokens for hitting golf balls on the driving range so he wouldn’t have to cancel us out and re-ring the new senior discount total.  I have to start accepting my new status and cashing in on all the “you poor old person” opportunities.

Speaking of opportunities, today we get to play grandparents for two of our favorite kiddo’s because both mom and dad are scheduled for work or otherwise. So flag football for our 7 year old grandson Liam, 2 games none-the–less, and golf driving-range for our 9 year old granddaughter Brynne. We are trying to break her into the lady golf craze as the next Paula Creamer.  She has a pretty sweet swing for a newbie.

So even with its aches and pains, I am getting used to my new found life.  I have to admit it is weird to wake up each morning and not have an iron-clad set of work commitments that make me get up and moving through the day.  I am not sure Jeannie likes me hovering around the house so much.  So beside working on getting used to a “fixed” income, and losing some more weight, and growing a new $1,000,000 nest egg with aggressive savings (see previous post and podcast), I am contemplating other goals.

A few days ago I almost threw my hat into the ring for the city manager’s job up in McCall Idaho for which I qualify due to my MEd Master’s degree in leadership and my experience managing personnel and large budgets for most of my first career.  We would have sold our home and moved to McCall within 12 months.  It’s a beautiful town up in the mountains covered with trees by a large picturesque lake with loads of snow every winter.  But we didn’t leave our beloved Alaska to live in snow country. “Golf, Grandkids, and Gardening” would have been impacted as well so I came to my senses and backed away.

My personality loves projects and challenges.  They always come with a cost in anxiety, health, and relationships.  I need something to do but it shouldn’t be high profile any longer.  I could do some part time adjunct professorial teaching at one of the local colleges.  I could continue to build my online brand by expanding my “Retirement Freedom” website and share with BabyBoomers how to double retirement income.  I could try my hand at authoring several books, the first being about my weight loss saga.

I am 60 years of age and figure I have 10 more good years of productivity in me before I go solely to the service and volunteering lifestyle.  The need for flexibility has become apparent.  A regular job would defeat the purpose of retirement from my first career and our move from Alaska.  So the contemplation continues and even increases as we settle into our new life.  Time is on my side as I press forward.