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Old 04-01-2007, 10:32 AM   #1
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Retirement disaster...

Group :

We are Paul & Mary, from Windsor Ontario....I'm 50yrs (Mary's is secret) & we're well established in our jobs & on our way to financial security in our retirement years...something we're looking very forward to.

We (make that, I) talk alot about our pending retirement, as we own a nice sailboat that we intend on taking south to the Keys & Bahamas in a few years...(fun, fun, fun !!!)

After a few years, when sailing south along the east coast for the winters gets stale, we plan to just sail the boat here in the Great Lakes & take the Airstream south during winters...I REALLY HATE THE COLD.

The reason I'm posting all this is because we have an Aunt & Uncle who are now just hitting 65yrs....& they did not talk enough about their retirement together.

Oh the $$$$ were just fine, but they did not talk enough about what they "expected" for their lives after working was done in the years to follow.

When they retired...

He wanted to stay semi-busy since he's from a big family (3 of his brothers are business owners) & assisting them just seemed natural to him. He owned his own business for many years & since the family assisted him, he wanted to return the courtesy now that he had the time & being busy was pretty much a way of life for him.

She wanted (& expected him) to just hang around the house all the time, puttering with household chores, watching the soaps with her, gardening, etc to fill up the days...ending each day with dinner & watching more TV.

Of course, when it appeared that this was not working for him, he suggested..."hey, we're retired & we have $$$...so let's travel"...but she refused because they had 2 cats at home (yes, it's true) & she would not leave them.

This receipe for disaster went on for about 5yrs until they finally ended up divorcing after 38yrs of being married.

The real reason that I'm sharing all this with the community is to just say how lucky Mary & I feel we have become, by being aware that our Airstream is far more than just a trailer...matrimonially speaking !!!

IF...our Aunt & Uncle would have just had the same determination to presue "the options" for their own retirement, I doubt they would have decided to pull their lives apart after so many years together.

It makes me wonder how many more couples (& not necessarily older people) could avoid becoming statistics if they would only learn how get properly hitched.

"PUN INTENDED" !!
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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Very Interesting:

In a former life I instructed new hires in ways to avoid just such a disaster. I always told them that "your job is not your life". You need to have a life of your own! Too many people retire and have no interests to keep them busy. They think that something will just come along. They seldom do of course.

I am retired and enjoying it very much. I have several former work mates however, who have gone back to some form of employment simply because they had no life without their jobs. They were their jobs. They had lost their Identity.

My wife had retired and since has started working again. Not because she was bored, but because she wanted to help people and she is doing just that. Now, here is the balancing act.

The Airstream is a useful tool for both of us. I like to work on it and modernize it. That keeps me busy along with a lot of other projects that I have. She likes to travel in it. She has a folding computer station in the riders seat and she takes her laptop and while we're on the road she works. That way she manages to stay busy while I'm driving, and when we arrive at our destination, she takes over and does all the cooking and such. Works well for us. It's also the only way I have of getting her to not work so hard and to have some fun along the way.

The point is that everyone needs to have their own identity. How do you describe yourself without it? Do you say, "Oh, I'm nobody," or do you say I'm somebody with a background and an active life. "We're Airstreamers", and we're so much more.

Perhaps I'm rattling on and not making much sense. Let me sum it all up with something my Father used to say about people.

"Yep, they arrived a day late, a dollar short, and with nothing to do when they got there."
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:31 AM   #3
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How tragic!
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:38 AM   #4
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I remember going to a retirement party for a gentleman I'd worked with and he presented a significant surprise to his wife on their retirement - the keys to a brand new Motorhome that was driven onto the driveway while they watched. He then spoke about how they could now hit the road and tour the America's for most of the year. This was a major disaster and the wife broke into tears and went into the washroom very distressed.

It had never been discussed, never had she thought of spending her retirement touring - she wanted to spend the time with her friends having coffee and tea visits, playing bridge, and more importantly watching her grandchildren grow up.

Things were awkward for several months and then he headed off on a solo tour for several weeks, then they were several months, and then it became a permanent thing with him finally coming back to town and staying at the local campground with his lady travelling companion.

Yes, discussing how couples are going to spend their retirement is a necessary thing to do and I suspect most people do so, but still, it needs to be at some point a pretty pointed discussion so there's no misunderstandings.

I know what my wife wants out of retirement and it fits nicely with my expectations, but that's because we've talked about it for twenty years.

Barry
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear stories like that. Here is our ‘so-far, so-good’ story:
Our Airstream trailer is only one part of our retirement life interest and activities. We use it for the seasonal weekend rallies and at least one longer trip per year. In addition we also try to include one new and different non-Airstream travel adventure with our traveling club. But then we always traveled and ‘explored’ the country or tent-camped as a family. The transition to a travel trailer in retirement was a smooth and almost natural upgrade.
In addition, we have meet many very interesting fellow Airstreamers in the two WBCCI units we joined. Most have similar hobbies and interests that enhanced or expand on those things we already enjoy doing.
So I guess we’re lucky. We always talked openly about our individual plans, things to do and places to go. No surprises- -half the fun is thinking and planning our future together.
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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Age with Grace!

Deisel Phil and I used to "chase" helicopters for a living. We took the 3 daughters with us. When they started school, we bought some dirt and I became a full time music teacher. Our retirement came upon us suddenly due to a little medical problem....heart attack, and spending more time together was no longer a dream, but was thrust upon us. Happily, no serious problems came from the H. A. and the kids are grown, so what to do? He had been on a 2 0n/ 2 0ff schedule for all those years, and we had spoken of ...one day when... and here it was! We sold the dirt and moved into our Airstream Classic Motorhome, with our two dogs, and never looked back! Our kids are always glad to see us and insist we check in when we're on a trip. We still chase helicopters, but only during fire-season, and for the Forest Service, so we get to go places we would not normally have thought of. We are like a couple of teen agers, and I see envy sometimes in peoples' faces. It CAN be done. We're living proof!
Communication is the key. Shut the door and you're out in the cold.
Hope to see you out on the road. We'll be easy to recognize; we'll be the ones in the Classic Diesel -Pusher Motorhome, towing the Jeep......silver, of course! Have FUN! Sandra K. and Diesel Phil
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:50 PM   #7
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Enjoyed the stories. Both my husband and I are working. We plan to start with short rallies and perhaps a one week vacation in our Airstream.

Following our trips and how much we enjoy;we will make a decision together.

We have a Summer Cottage on a Lake we have enjoyed for years. Airstream will give us additional adverntures to explore. New people to meet. We are enjoying our plan at the moment and will plan more to come.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:52 AM   #8
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Lynn and I bought our Tradewind a year ago. I was using a walker and wheelchair while recovering from 2 recent hip relacements and a cervical laminectomy. Lynn suffered a stroke just weeks before. But we still had our dream to travel with an Airstream. The Tradewind was in another state and when a good friend heard of our impulsive purchase he drove 800 miles, picked us up (neither Lynn and I were able to drive yet) and drove us another 800 miles to fetch the Tradewind. The TW was in decent shape but needed some work which was perfect as we had a doable 'project' during our recoveries. We were physically able to take a couple of short trips last fall and are now looking forward to our first Airstream Rally later this month. We talked all our 38 years of what we wanted to do after the nest was empty so this 'impulse' was a no-brainer. As I now put the finishing (never finish) touches on the maintenance projects Lynn is busy putting the personal touches to the inside. I love her....Lynn, not the Airstream. Oh, I hope the TW didn't 'hear that.

Neil and Lynn.
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:24 AM   #9
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Hi Folks,
this story puts me in mind of my father! On a dreary day in 1978 he sat on the edge of the bed with a tight chest as my brother and I watched over him and worried what my Mother would do without him - such a strong and a good man! I had seen before what happens to retired miners - they barely lasted 5 years after retirement and my father hadn't got that far!
He wanted the energy to carry on doing things after retirement, to stay strong and active, but it seemed he might even be denied that! With the help of a good heart consultant he survived, thrived, stayed active and he's spent the last 29 years emptying the Coal Miner's Pension Fund which is so rich at one time it owned the infamous Watergate Hotel! I can hardly think back nearly 30 years without a lump in my throat! This week he's mounting his next great challenge - mastering the internet - at 86! Stay active, stay focused and do as much as life will allow you! I have no plans to retire. I have found a business which I can conduct wherever I am in my Airstream and I will leave this chair to do it!
Marc
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:58 AM   #10
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It is very sad when a couple goes their separate ways because of their very different concepts of retirement. We have been retired for five and seven years respectively, and are having the times of our lives. We spent over 100 nights in our Airstream in the last year, and hope to do even more over the next year.
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:40 AM   #11
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Our story...

On vacation last summer, as retirement loomed on the horizon, my huband confessed he had always wanted a classic motorhome. I made it my mission to find one for him. This forum made such a daunting task possible! I learned so many things to look for and look out for. We found our Ernestine in very good shape and are putting the touches on to make her the star she once was. He is like a little kid with a coveted toy. I have already planned 5 trips this year. I is our cottage on the lake...in the mountains...at the shore (and sometimes the driveway.) What a valuable piece of property! We are having a grand time, but we have always been dear friends, and I think that keeps the conflicts to a minimum!
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:04 AM   #12
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not the $$$

speaking of a former life... psychology is one of mine.

Not intending to play down the importance of financial planning - it is important, there is a trend to letting folks believe that if they plan financially - everything will be okay. In fact, the connection between working hard in a job and ultimate financial security in retirement reinforces the single minded practices where people have financial security without a life. If there was one piece of advice that I would offer is to have a life of hobbies and fulfilling distractions that good financial planning can support in retirement. In my view, financial security should be approached as a vehicle to supporting your pleasures in retirement.

one man's method
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitzwhopper
If there was one piece of advice that I would offer is to have a life of hobbies and fulfilling distractions that good financial planning can support in retirement. In my view, financial security should be approached as a vehicle to supporting your pleasures in retirement. one man's method
I heartily agree with this statement.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:48 AM   #14
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Interesting reading.

The stories of trouble are disheartening, but can be a wake-up call and a vehicle for positive change. Thanks for sharing them.

Thanks also to those who shared stories of success. They point the way to the possibilities. No relationship is without it's struggles and bumps in the road, even if they are relatively minor. But there are plenty of examples of folks working though the issues, and not just discarding the relationship over a disagreement.
Dave
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:10 PM   #15
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my husband and i have been married for over 37 years. he retired about a year and a half ago after working 7 days a week for over 30 years. i worried that he would drive me crazy being home, but it has actually brought us closer. he was so stressed working so much and now he is so much more relaxed. although financially it is tight, the tradeoff is well worth it! we still have to finish our house we have been working on for 31 years, we are both so excited about traveling in our excella motorhome. and i was always the one who hated to travel, now i'm as giddy as a child at Christmas! i think that is the way it is meant to be. we are both happier and closer than ever!
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:20 AM   #16
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Seems it is never too early ion life to get your head into where you want to go when the time to retire is here!
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:47 AM   #17
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I can tell that my wife and I are headed for retirement difficulties... I see in my retirement future a couple of cute, shapely 25 year old blondes in bikinis catering to my every whim, and she sees me dead very soon after the arrival of the young bikini-clad women... Hmmm....

Seriously, retirement planning is important... both from the financial and social perspectives. It is possible to make compromises and still have both partners happy and satisfied in retirement. It's even better when both partners are actively involved!

Roger
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:11 AM   #18
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Another take on this...

I'll relate two stories on this, one good, one "not so"......

As some of you guys have possibly read a couple of my earlier dissertations here on the forum, I consider myself blessed to be in that ever sacred fraternity of "Airstream Brats"... aka, those fortunate enough to Airstream as kids, years and years ago. I travelled extensively with my Grandparents in their 1969 23' Safari from the time it was brand new, until Gramps sold it due to failing health in the summer of 1976.

Gramps retired as a railroad executive here in Detroit on his 65th birthday, in late 1963, and by January 1964, he had purchased his first travel trailer, a 21' Avion. Now, in retrospect, i really don't know how much "consultation" he did with Grandma on this, but I do know they both enjoyed traveling, and even for years before retirement, they got away as often as they could.
Gramps kept a meticulous diary of every single day they were "on the road" and to look back and revisit these great days of theirs is indeed a heart warming experience. To skim thru these pages, it became quite obvious early on in their retirement and trailering life, that they became hooked. It seemed that the old Avion was being pulled out in the driveway every month, even if it was a short weekend jaunt.
I supposed it helped that both of my Grandparents were both overly social people, and made friends where ever they went. It was in very short order that they were both volunteering for this or that committee with the Avion Travelcaders group. They even did the Mexican Travelcade in 1965, and were gone for 10 weeks there.
They had prolly about worn the wheels off the Avion by late 1968, and they were looking to replace it. This is when (by chance) after looking at the new 69 Avions, they did not like what they saw, they drove down the road to the Airstream dealer to preview the all new completely redesigned Airstreams for 1969. Gramps always told (and re-told) the story about how it was "Mother" (as he affectionalely called her) and Mother alone who made the decision that their new trailer would not be an Avion, indeed, it was gonna be an Airstream.

Well, as I have eluded to a couple times before, they wintered every year with hundreds of fellow Airstreamers in Pompano Beach, Florida, and we also continued to travel with the WBCCI every summer from 1969 to 1976, attending several International Rallies in those years.

Alas, Gramps health started to deteriorate after he caught a chronic bout of bronchitis in Bozeman after the International in 73, and it got worse and worse, and by the spring of 76, it was apparent that he could not handle the rigors of trailer travel anymore. It must have literally broken both of their hearts to have to sell their beloved little silver twinkie.... his entries in his diary in those days were decidingly somber. His days were barely "subsisting" by then, and he made his final voyage in April 1978. He was 4 months shy of 80 yrs old.

Looking back in retrospect, to many years later, i would reminisce with Grandma about those great days (she lived to be 96, we lost her in 1996) and even though she eluded to the fact that she never really had too much of a say in where they went back in those days, it was indeed a life in which they both learned to cherish and treasure, and the friends they made from both of the clubs, they kept for the rest of their lives. It was a case of them both realizing they could each find a rocking chair after retirement, and rot away there, or they could take the bull by the tail, and enjoy these years they worked so hard to enjoy. and from January 1964 to June 1976, they did just that. I am so envious of them, it makes me turn green.

Now the second, and much more condensed portion of my blabbage...
I guess we seem (in our adult lives) sometimes, to attempt to recapture our youth in any way possible, sometimes it is a case of trying to "get back" everything we had as a kid.... My case in point, is that prolly ever since the day Gramps sold the Airstream in 1976, I was wanting to have one and travel as I had so many summers of my youth. Even, ideally an Airstream just like HIS. Well, I was one of the statistically in the majority people that ended up in a failed marriage, and for several reasons. But as not to get too involved in a really unpleasant story, I'll keep it to the point. On more than one occasion in the later years of our marriage, i had casually mentioned the possibility of buying an Airstream to restore, and travel in with our two small children. We had a larger Chris Craft Cruiser that slept 6 and we travelled all over the lower Great Lakes with that as a family, and we all loved it, so i figured, why not try the Airstream route too....

Now, unlike my Grandfather prolly did, I consulted with my (then) wife, and tried to "sell" her on the idea. But as I later realized, the marriage and the relationship was already heading downhill fast, and this was too little too late. I was later told in so many words (and not kiddingly) that if i ever brought one of "those $#@*& ugly silver things" home to our driveway, I could sleep in it!!

Well, long story short, I realized that "selling" her on this idea, in any shape, form or fashion was a futile effort.... there was just too much water under the bridge, too much unhappiness between us, so i promptly tabled this idea. But despite the cold hard fact that we were divorced almost two years ago, the good part is that in the longer run, i am much happier than before. I know Gramps and Grandma smiled down on me that day last May when i found the ad on the internet for the '69 23' Safari Twin in WPB, Fla. And restoring this trailer, and the anticipation of traveling with my own children this summer, is indeed a labor of love, and a long time coming too....

Okay, now that most of you are asleep, or your eyes are bleeding, I'll shut up now.....

Oh, and in case you'all didn't get a good enough laugh before, attached is a pic of Grandpa and Grandma and I, in 1975, while I was visiting them on Easter Break. Yeah, Yeah, the tie.....I know....I know.....
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When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:24 AM   #19
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Nice story (and tie), Scott.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:11 AM   #20
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psychology revisited

ultimately, our society will suffer from the lack of fulfulling distractions as youth. having a life means developing a psychological flora and fauna of things that give us pleasure and make us happy. without that, our youth reach middle age with only knowing how to work. the grandparents and parents of old passed down these interests and started us on the road to adult happiness. the demise of a real liberal arts education is part of the demise of a gentle culture

i'm feeling much better now
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