Retirement Diaries were created with you in mind. We are all curious about what this next phase will look like and who better to tell us than current retirees? We interviewed dozens of folks and asked them about what retirement meant. Words like freedom, relaxation, no commitments, travel, and even fear were mentioned. It’s something most of us look forward to, but we might not be certain what to do when we get there. Below are just a few examples of retirees from all over the globe, their struggles, successes, and advice that will hopefully inspire you.
Retired To Panama
“Retirement is not the end of your former life, but a fresh new beginning.” – Joyce
Joyce moved to Panama when she retired from her career at the age of 62. She is currently building her part-time business by helping others retire abroad. After 40 years in the corporate world, she was ready for a change. Joyce doesn’t miss the long commutes or rigidity of working. She enjoys being her own boss. Joyce’s best advice is to spend time planning what you want to do, visit where you want to live, and test it out. Read more about Joyce’s story.
Retire As Soon As Possible
“Retire as soon as possible. Life is short.” – Mark
Those words are Mark’s best advice if you’re considering retirement. He retired at 58 from his successful career as an electrical engineer. His days in Connecticut are filled with family and friends, yard work and pool upkeep, reading, hiking, and attending military air shows. His favorite part about retirement is his independence. Mark enjoys being in charge of how he spends his days. A challenge in retirement was developing a schedule. Mark had a solid plan and encourages others to have one as well. Read more about Mark’s journey.
Gift Of Retirement
“I believe God has given me each day to do as I choose. I can use it for good or waste it.” – Joe
Joe reminds himself every day that his retirement was a gift. He is enjoying his golden years split between Florida and Missouri, with his best friend and the love of his life. Joe owned his own business and was a corporate IT director. He enjoys his newfound freedom but suggests retirees make a budget and stick pretty close to it. If you ask Joe for his one piece of advice, he would tell you to delay knee surgery as long as you can! Follow more of Joe’s story.
“It’s back to giving myself permission to live my life now. It’s my time. I have a bucket list and am ready to start checking things off.” – Terri
After a career of 40 years in television, 65-year-old Terri decided to put down her camera and start retirement. She felt more prepared after talking with her financial advisor. What this St. Louis local wasn’t prepared for was the slower pace. Terri suggests folks think and plan for this third phase. She recognized this stage is finite, but her bucket list is adding up and she’s ready to enjoy the new freedom she has. Read more about Terri’s story.
Retired To Ecuador
“This is the chance to create the life of your dreams. So dream big and get busy making it happen. No regrets!” – Edd and Cynthia
Edd and Cynthia decided to take early retirement after the 2008 recession. Their journey led them to Ecuador. However, these expats are not ones to stay put. They enjoy long trips to visit family and extended stays all around the world. Because of their travels, their biggest challenge is a unique one: where will they sleep next? In all seriousness, Edd and Cynthia have designed their retirement with themselves in mind. They focus on living within their means and can be creative in the ways they save. Learn more about Edd and Cynthia’s retirement.
Why I’m Semi-Retired
“Filling your time means you are busy. Living your time is deliberate. And it’s exciting. ” – Nan
Nan retired at 59, unretired at 62, and semi-retired at 64. She was prepared financially for retirement, but not lifestyle-wise. After the initial honeymoon phase, Nan burned out and began to search for meaning and ways to contribute. This landed her in her current state of employment: helping other retirees plan and build their retirement from a social sense. She and her business partner are taking what they learned and sharing it with others. Nan’s journey is only just beginning. Read more here.
Retirement Meant Hitting The Open Waters
“As they say, learn by doing and reading the manuals. I thoroughly enjoy it.” – Kevan
Kevan worked in management in Asia and the Middle East and ended his career in Dubai at the age of 59. Then, he decided to leave it all behind, buy a sailboat, and head for Mexico. He loves every minute of it. He finds it harder to keep in touch with his family but enjoys the friends he makes along the way. Kevan did wonder if he left the business world too early, but he says he would make the same decision all over again. Read more about Kevan’s journey.
This Snowbird Says Play And Retirement Go Hand In Hand
“I played all my life so I just continued playing.” — Suzanne
Suzanne has been retired for more than 15 years. This former P.E. teacher says she has played her entire life and retirement is no different. Activity and exercise are her top priorities. She spends part of the year near Lake Erie in New York and the rest of the year in Florida. Suzanne has found success in retirement by setting goals. Learn more about Suzanne’s story.
Fast And Furious
“I did not ever realize that retirement seems to “hit like a brick wall.” It comes on fast and furious!” – Karen
For this retired educator, retirement came fast and furious. She admits she was not emotionally prepared for the transition, but she quickly found ways to fill her time. Karen and her husband live in Missouri and love to travel, especially to national parks. They also spend a great deal of time with their children and grandchildren. Read more about Karen’s transition into retirement.
Retirement Means Working On My Terms
“You will know when the time is right to retire or semi-retire. The timing is different for each of us, and as long as you have a plan, it will be amazing.” – Sandi
Sandi has been enjoying retirement for four years in Massachusetts. She slowly transitioned into it by freelance writing. She loves the flexibility but still feels like she is contributing. Her biggest obstacles are slowing down and being in the moment. Sandi would have changed a few things to prepare for retirement, like keeping in touch with colleagues. Learn more about Sandi’s journey.
If you enjoyed these stories, check out our Retirement Diaries page for more. We would love to share your retirement journey and advice with our readers. If you’re interested, please submit this form.