- Name: Carol S.
- Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Age: 78
- Retired At: 62
- Marital Status: Divorced
- Profession: Journalist and Teacher
Carol was a communications director for an international charity and also a certified teacher. After she retired from her day job, she continued her freelance writing career, which consists mainly of travel writing. She was a substitute teacher for 11 years, which required no commitment other than the day-to-day. That not only allowed her to travel, but it also provided an income stream. Carol spent four winters in India as a volunteer for a community development organization. That organization helped provide room, board, and local transportation. When the last of her six grandchildren got her driver’s license, Carol moved from Chicago to South Carolina. We talked to Carol about her retirement.
Retirement Awaits: What does a day in retirement look like for you?
Carol: Usually, what I want it to be. I do not enjoy getting into a rut. One thing I am firm about: exercise. Use it or lose it. These days, I’ll take an aqua exercise class or a walk. Sometimes both. I’ve never been a fan of exercise, but I believe it’s important to maintain health.
Your Retirement Plan
Retirement Awaits: Did you have a solid plan going into retirement?
Carol: My plan was a change of scenery, so I moved to Italy 2 weeks after I retired. When my 3-month visa expired, I moved back to Chicago, continued my freelance career, and looked for things to do that interested me.
Best Part About Retirement
Retirement Awaits: What’s the best part about retirement?
Carol: I set my schedule. When I want to work, I work. When I don’t want to work, I go to the beach, visit friends, or take a trip.
Challenges In Retirement
Retirement Awaits: What’s the biggest challenge in retirement?
Carol: The greatest challenge was getting accustomed to a new lifestyle. It took months to find the right balance of work, hobbies, and socialization.
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?
Carol: I made a long-term plan with my financial advisor, which includes a monthly payment about equal to my social security benefits. This allows the lifestyle I want, but it is not an expensive lifestyle. I try to live below my income.
Retirement Awaits: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give someone about to retire?
Carol: Make a rough draft, not a firm plan. Allow for change. Live within your budget.
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?
Carol: I was not expecting the confusion: What should I be doing? It took a while to learn to follow my path, go through open doors with curiosity, not fear, and do the work I enjoy.
Best Retirement Vacation
Retirement Awaits: What is your favorite vacation or vacation spot?
Carol: Italy because of the history, culture, and lifestyle.
To read other Retirement Diaries, check out:
- Why I Moved Halfway Around The World In Retirement
- How Thinking Differently Improved My Retirement
- Why My Retirement Felt Like Hitting A Brick Wall
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