Final Planning for retirement and how it started

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Moving forward with my plan required me to identify the things that really make me happy. So then I created another list. This list took much more time than I though. It was not very difficult to identify items for my list, but just how important the items were changed based on the day. It soon became apparent that the things that made me most happy made the people around me happy.

I could babysit young children just for the joy in their parent’s eyes. I could cook for one, two or much more just to hear the laughter and pleasure as they tried the dishes I prepared. I could go on a vacation and enjoy the look in my partners’ eyes as she saw things new and for the first time. I could take individuals to sites or exhibits and see them wonder in amazement. I had time to share with family and friends. I had time to give back and aid my community. Wow, was I happy in my retirement life.

Year One!

Well my first year of retirement life went like this. I purchased a new car, with the plan that it would be my last. I put 22000 miles on it in year one. If I keep this up I will need another car before I am 69 years old. I do not care. I have visited my sisters, my brother, my children, my grandchildren, and my great granddaughter. I went to my daughter’s birthday party in southern California (1200 miles). I spent special time with my oldest daughter and her children (780 miles). We went on a trip to see old friends and old places (660 miles). We spent weekends away from our home at some “Bed and Breakfast Inn” (980 miles). We went to the gold country in California and saw all of the old towns (540 miles). The trips just did not stop. Lucky for me gas reached more than $4.00 per gallon. $75.00 to fill the tank! Just like my grandfather I found myself saying “I remember when gas was $.39 (yes 39 cents) a gallon. Oh well I was having fun.

We planned two trips one to Italy and one to the northeastern United States including Canada. We also planned some smaller trips like a weekend in San Luis, San Francisco, Solvang, and Monterey. We were going to travel and enjoy each other before we were unable to travel. Our only limitation was the fact that my partner was still working and we could only schedule based on her accrued vacation time.

I was board during the day when she was at work so I took over some of the household tasks. I did laundry, I made dinner, I watered the plants, I fixed the bed, and I completed lots and lots of “honey dos”. I was a house husband! I found out just how much I loved to shop for food and how much I enjoyed cooking dinner. I discovered how much I did not like to clean dishes. Heck, I did not like washing pots, pans, silverware, the counter tops or the stove.

Well I had a plan. I was a house husband for most of the days going to the store, making dinner, and planning a take away lunch for Marti. Next I would become a daily shopper so that my food ingredients would always be fresh. In between these two items I would work on any “honey do’s” and write my little blog. I think my plan was good and my path was set. So my real retirement life started.

My Retirement Plan

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In order for me to take charge of myself, I needed to create a list of things that would make my remaining years the best.  This is the list of items I developed.

1)   I would like to have a partner in order to enjoy my remaining life.

2)    I need to find someone who will manage my finances.

3)    I need to make sure I have all the resources for my remaining years.

4)    I need to develop a one year finance budget based on my plans.

5)    I must share my plan with my children and some of my extended family.

6)    Identify things to do that really make me happy.

7)    Develop a yearly plan that will satisfy my needs.

I was now on my way to a happy retirement.  I had some work to do but each of these tasks directly impacted me.  They were the items that would aid me to be happy in my future years.   So I started to complete my own list.

Item number one was to locate a partner.  What was I to do?  I am a widower who had been married for thirty-eight years and my wife and I had dated for four years before getting married.  I had been out of the single market for forty-two years.  I did not have the first idea about finding a partner. I was in high school when I meet my wife but that was not an option now.  (I would be arrested.)  So I started to look around my home, (you know, the neighborhood, the food store, cleaners, barbers and of course the hardware store) and the offices I visited (like my doctors, dentist, optometrist, tax consultant, and my attorney).

It did not take long to rule out my home turf.  Thinking back to when my wife passed away I remembered the wonderful neighborhood ladies who brought me food during my time of mourning.  They were nice but I did not remember a spark.  The barbers and the hardware stores were very bad hunting grounds due to the lack of females present.  That left the food store and the cleaners.  The cleaner was soon cut from my list because most times I was the only person dropping something off.  I then tried to focus on the food store.  What a learning experience.  I thought women love to shop.  They may love to shop but not for food.  They arrive, they pick, they pay and they are gone.

Then a friend told me about “Match.com”.  After thinking and thinking and thinking again about this method of meeting women I choose to give it a try.  I had to develop a profile, create photos, and improve my method of chatting on line.  The profile was easy.  I just said what was true.  I was a widow, had a job, planned to retire very soon, and was looking for a long term relationship.  The photos were much more difficult.  There was not one photo that looked like the way I saw myself.  Can you believe that?  So I had a friend select the photos and soon they were posted.  How would I meet the chatting goal?

What a lucky guy I am.  I soon discovered that I did not have to chat on line.  I could just respond to any inquiries or questions submitted to me.  My two finger typing skill would not limit me in meeting potential new partners.  I was very thankful for spell check as well.  With my typing speed and spelling problems resolved I moved forward and posted myself on Match.com.  After one week without a response I realized that as the man I must do the hunting.  So off I went.

I soon discovered that women are much more cautious about who they will provide additional information like a phone number or where they live.  I found that it was easier to meet them at a very public place.  Soon Starbucks and I became friends.  I also learned that a lot of women do not own cameras.  That was why the photo at Match.com was taken so many years before they joined Match.com.  Sometimes I would pass right
by the lady, I was there to meet.  I also learned how much fun there was in the whole dating seen.

I meet one lady who was only interested in the fact that I was a US citizen.  She was here in the USA to visit her daughter who had married another US citizen and she wanted to stay in the USA.  Lucky for me she had someone read my e-mail to her and that same person assisted her in the response.  It was my poor luck that she did not bring that person along to interpret for us during our first and last meeting.

I also meet two different ladies who were very interested in my overall financial health.  They were not looking for someone who was in debt, but someone who would enjoy taking care of them in their golden years.  They did not care much about my physical health, though I felt they would have preferred that my physical health was not real good.  Lucky for me I had both a doctor and a dentist appointment scheduled for the
following week.  I passed both health checkups and both ladies at the same time.

I know that women must kiss lots of frogs before they find a prince.  I was no prince but I was not a frog either.  I was starting to become discouraged in the whole dating game.  I was ready to pull the plug and try something else.  Heck living alone started to look better and
better with each new lady.  Then it happened.  I meet her.

She was a widow, from a long term marriage.  She had two children, two dogs, and a successful career.  She thought I was cute and she liked me.  She told me that her two children were her number one priority and that that was not going to change.  Well what was I to do?  I thought she was beautiful, and I really liked spending my free time with her.  I had my two children and along with my grandchildren they were my number one
priority.  I had no pets, a successful career and was a widow from a long marriage.  I was happy.  We continued to date and learn more and more about each other.

It did not take us long to find out that we were happier together than apart.  We started spending more and more time with each other.  We even talked about moving in together.  Soon we were together more than we were apart.  Life had a new smile.  We took the big step and we started to share our living quarters.  In fact, we are still together today as I write this blog.