My Retirement Plan

Leave a comment

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.

Advertisements

Transition

Leave a comment

Prior to my retirement my wife passed away due to a prolonged illness. I found myself focused just on work. I slipped into an enclosed place where I could work and just focus on work. It was not a happy time and I am sure that other people could see my problem. After several years of this work only life one of my children approached me and asked what I thought about her returning to school. I thought it was a good idea and informed her why she should do it. She explained about the hurdles she must face to return to school, however, she had a solution. She could move herself and her two children into my house and stay with me and attend college.

I was alone in a very large home and it seemed like a great idea. My job required me to travel and so I was not at home much of the time anyway. So she returned to school and she and her family moved into my house. I now had one of my daughters living in my house along with two grandchildren. We started to change the house to accommodate this group of people.

I asked my daughter to be in charge of the changes as I was still traveling for my job. She jumped at the opportunity and soon the house became a home once again. I found a lot of my time being taken by my two grandchildren. A teenage boy ( the skateboarder) and a pre kindergarten little girl. I went from being alone to being in a crowd. It was fun to come home.

Next I noticed how my other daughter was dealing with her family. She was starting to enter a major life change – divorce. Her four children were very unhappy and in need of some type of support. What could I do? In the old days my girl (my wife) would jump right into the mess and make things better. Could I do that? I sure felt that I was lacking the necessary skills. But I knew that I had to do something.

Retirement seemed to provide a possible solution and I started to look more closely at this option.

During this thought period I noticed that my granddaughter who was living with me demanded more and more of my time. Tasks like helping to cook dinner, watching TV, doing exercises, going shopping and a thousand other fun tasks began to take my mind away from work and look closer at living. Heck I even started to meet girls my own age. Living was much better than what I had been doing after my wife passed away.

Wow it seemed that my life went into a totally different direction. Work was no longer the center of my universe. People were becoming more and more important to me. I felt that I was needed by both of my daughters and their families. I felt that I needed someone closer to my age to share life’s ups and downs with again. What to do?

After a long talk with my CPA I discovered that I could retire and live good for the remainder of my life. I talked to work and set a retirement date. I then talked to my family and they were all happy about my decision. Soon the day came and I was a retired person.

At this time I had meet that one special girl who I could talk with and share life’s little ups and downs. She was a widow as well and we were happy together. She had two children and we both agreed that our families were our number one priority and our relationship was number two. I am sure you will understand that in time this too changed. Her family is my family and my family is her family.

Now I am a retired man, with a girl who loves me and three families that want and need me. What a lucky person I am.

My Retirement Started

Leave a comment

Retirement for me was filled with questions and concerns. My main concern – what will I do? How will I fill the day? Will I become just one of the old men who shuffle their feet trying to get from point a, to point b?

At this point I should let you know that I am not a individual who likes to play games.  So any activity relating to a game was not on my list. I consider golf a game and so I do not golf.

The first week went ok with me spending time with my children and grandchildren. But to be honest visiting can only last so long. Spending time
with my girl was lots of fun but she worked and that left me alone for the day.  What was I to do with all this free time? I let my daughters know that I had some free time and I let my girls know that I had free time. They told others and soon the word spread. The next thing I know was that I was being asked to help in more ways than I had imagined. I became an available resource!

The next few weeks were filled with activities from my teenage years.  Babysitting became my number one requested task. This task was followed by something we all know as a “honey do”. “Picking something up” held the number three slot. Sitting in the grand number four position was “waiting for the man/woman”. The number five slot changed daily, so I just thought of it as my “do anything” list.

Babysitting is something that can mean much more than just being the adult around children.  I discovered that I was more than just qualified to sit for children.  I could sit for pets, homes, gardens, and plants.  I was surprised to learn about the importance of these items to their owners.  I will share some of these sitting events with you later in the blog.

I think everyone knows what a “honey do” can mean. From changing a burnt out light bulb, to watering the plants in the yard, everybody has been assigned a “honey do”.  We all are never exempt from being given a “honey do”.  “Honey do’s” changed for me when I found “the list” of my “honey do’s” waiting for me to get out of bed.  My honey was not just asking me to do something, she was just leaving me “the list” of “honey do’s”.

The joy of being asked to pick something up became an adventure.  I have picked up glasses, prescriptions, loafs of bread, US postage stamps, laundry and the list goes on and on.  The adventure was in trying to locate the correct optometrist, drug store, type of bread, post office, cleaners and other business establishments.  I have met many new people who have become friends just by picking something up.

Nothing is more exciting than waiting for someone else.  Yes I have waited for the cable person, appliance repair person, computer geek, plumber, delivery person and of course my luggage at the airport.  I cannot list every person or item that had me waiting for its arrival.
I am sure we all know the happiness we experience when the waiting is over.

My “do anything” list was just that.  If what I was being asked, attempting to complete, or just some task that needed to be worked, did not fit into any of the four main categories, then it fell into my item number five.  Hey John, do you want to go to Italy this year?  Have you ever
made creamed spinach?  Do you think it would be difficult to install a vanity in the bathroom?  I have a three day weekend coming up where
would you like to go?  I did notice that most of my “do anything” items started with a question.

I soon learned that my golden years could be filled to overflowing by just providing a service to anyone who requested my assistance.  I was sure that this was not the way I wanted to end my golden years.  I felt it was time for me to take charge and make my remaining years truly golden.

Newer Entries