- Location: Florida
- Age: 66
- Retired At: 64
- Marital Status: Married for 30 years
- Profession: Corporate accountant
Throughout their marriage, Susan and her husband have traveled to Florida several times a year and are now so happy to call it home. After enjoying many years in the heavy truck and automotive industries, it worked for her and her husband to retire early. Now, they’re enjoying the Sunshine State with their two children and six grandchildren.
We talked to Susan about retirement.
Retirement Awaits: What does a day in retirement look like for you?
Susan: No alarm clock and no schedule! Every day is different. We have 2 dogs and live right next to Robinson Preserve. We are very active and I go to a personal trainer two times each week.
Your Retirement Plan
Retirement Awaits: Did you have a solid plan going into retirement?
Susan: We have been planning for our retirement for many years. My husband always wanted to move to Florida and we did that ahead of retirement by 3 years. I worked remotely until I retired on November 11, 2019.
Best Part About Retirement
Retirement Awaits: What’s the best part about retirement?
Susan: Each day is what we make it and we can decide on a whim to go over to Anna Maria Island for lunch and walk around the shops on Bridge Street, or we will head down to St. Armands. Since moving here, my husband has made so many connections in the blues community. He plays bass and I am always enjoying live music and meeting new people. I’m an accomplished home cook and get to enjoy planning dinners for friends and visiting family.
Challenges In Retirement
Retirement Awaits: What’s the biggest challenge in retirement?
Susan: So far, retirement has not presented any challenges. I feel very fortunate!
Travel In Retirement
Retirement Awaits: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Susan: Islamorada, in the Keys. We have a family home there and drive down as frequently as we can. We have been going there since the early ’90s when my parents bought the house. We kept the home after my parents passed away.
Cost Of Retirement
Retirement Awaits: We want people to understand how much retirement really costs. How do you manage your money now? Do you have a budget, meet with your advisor on a regular basis, etc?
Susan: Our money is diversified. We have annuities, 401(k) plans, and cash savings. All of our investments are now managed by us. We did not feel we were benefitting with wealth management firms. I don’t recommend this for everyone because it requires a great deal of knowledge and understanding how the markets work, but my husband has studied the markets for years and we have done very well. Since I have always worked in finance, I have the experience to manage this information. We have a monthly budget and try to make it work. Vacation time can cause us to go over. As far as the cost of retirement? That is different for everyone. We have a mortgage on our home, but virtually no additional debt. This is how we managed to retire without significantly changing our lifestyle. My best advice for the younger generations is to start investing in work-offered retirement programs as soon as possible and take full advantage of the company match.
Retirement Awaits: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give someone about to retire?
Susan: For anyone about to retire, my best advice is to make sure you have picked up a few hobbies, or you can take courses in areas of interest. Plan to volunteer in your community and help the local residents who are less fortunate. It’s a great way to meet new people and get invited to local events.
Things I Wish I Would Have Known
Retirement Awaits: What are a few things you wish someone would have told you about retirement/this season of life/transition?
Susan: I was very lucky to have the parents I had. I was taught early on to make sound financial choices. So, this is a question I really can’t answer. I knew I would have a blast in retirement.
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