Ten Good Years

So what’s the plan?

Since launching this blog, we’ve been so busy trying to stay ahead of things that I realize we’ve never taken the time to talk about our intentions. Well, things seem slightly less hectic right now, so let’s take a moment to outline our plans.

Our two sons are grown and on their own. We really don’t need a four bedroom home on four acres for just the two of us. We’re either getting too old or too short of patience to do all the mowing and upkeep. We know we really should sell the place and find something smaller.

We’re both still young enough to maintain a physically active lifestyle. Neither of us has any health issues that limit us in any significant way. We realize that that could change at any moment. We all know stories about how “someday” became “never” due to sudden changes in health.

We both love to travel, experience new people, places, cultures. We love to sail. We love the beach, the water, warm weather.

So I made a proposal to Rhonda. Let’s exploit the uniqueness of this situation. We should probably sell the house anyway, so let’s do it. My pension won’t currently cover a mortgage, cars, property taxes, home maintenance, cable bill, internet, phone, etc. etc. etc. I’ll have to work until I’m in my late sixties to support our current lifestyle in retirement. But lose all that, and what I’ll bring in will be more than enough for fuel, groceries and boat repairs, the occasional bathing suit or set of flip flops, plus some extra for sightseeing and a trip home to see the kids every so often.

Why not? Why not just do it? Let’s ruthlessly downsize, store the treasures we can’t bear to part with, and head out to see the world. See it at our pace, on our schedule, rather than within the brief confines of an occasional vacation. Let’s do it while the kids are old enough to not need much help, but before grandchildren come along. While our health still allows it. While we’re still young at heart.

So that’s what we’re planning to do. Head out on our boat to wherever the wind takes us. No particular destination, no set schedule. Just wake up each day, make some coffee, eye the weather, and decide where we’d like to go next. For as long as it’s interesting and fun. For as long as we’re still young enough to enjoy it.

When the day finally arrives where it’s not fun anymore, and traveling by boat becomes just too much work, then maybe we’ll buy a motor home, and continue the adventure on land. We can see all that the US and Canada have to offer once we’re done with the Caribbean or any other ocean we care to venture to.

Ten good years. Let’s give it ten good years. We’ll be in our mid-sixties then. Maybe we’ll be so used to voyaging that we won’t ever want to stop. Or maybe we’ll be so tired of it that we’ll be ready to settle down to a small house with a little garden for Rhonda to manage and a library for all my books. Who knows where we might end up. Pensacola is nice, but I have a feeling there are nicer places. I’ve even pointed out to Rhonda that Forbes’ list of the top ten places to retire overseas can all be reached by water. Maybe we should just go visit them all and see which ones appeal to us.

Sound crazy to you? Well, maybe it is. It certainly isn’t typical. But let me ask you. If you knew you could quit work tomorrow and still cover all your basic needs — food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses, health insurance, entertainment — what would you do? Is a new car every few years really that important? Will the next season of American Idol really enrich your life?

We have the boat. My retirement papers are in. We’re a bit behind right now on getting the house ready to list, but we’re working on it. With some luck, by this time next year we’ll be writing about beach bars south of St. Somewhere.


Ten good years…

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