My favorite and best retirement story is about my Aunt Jo and Uncle Jimmy, who live in North Carolina. They are excellent examples of successful retirees and are perfect subjects for a great retirement story about senior retirement living.
This fortunate couple took an early voluntary retirement in their early 50's from a Fortune 500 company.
These smart people had raised their children, paid off their mortgage, and were ready for freedom from full time jobs.
And, by the way, they are "real people," not high power executives.
This is one of the reasons I call this the best retirement story: because real people can really do it well if they make a plan and stick to it.
Over the past 20 or so years, my aunt and uncle accomplished many things that are typical dream goals or bucket list items for many retirees.
The best retirement story has to include a dream house, right? Their dream house, which was built during the early years as retirees, was a spacious and very beautiful log home, complete with gorgeous stone fireplace, on a large lot with a fishing pond and woods to walk through.
At various points, the couple opened a small business or two, one of which was a florist shop. They also turned a craft hobby into a part-time income stream, even though they didn’t really need the additional income.
Jimmy's hobby of many years is carving ducks, as decoys or decor. He is a very talented artist, and has shown his work at various shows.
At one point they sold their home, bought an RV, and traveled around Florida meeting and enjoying the company of other retirees.
Another dream they lived was owning a beach house on the coast where they spent their days either on the beach or out on the water deep sea fishing. They made many friends over the 7 years they were there, and are still in touch with some of them. During this time, they also traveled out west to see the Grand Canyon and other attractions.
Not only were they able to buy a great home at the beach, but they happened to buy and sell at just the right time to benefit from the housing bubble, doubling what they had paid for their home.
Most recently, they moved back to the hometown of their children and bought a mini-farm. After remodeling the house, they developed a small vineyard and winery on the 5 acres of land.
Currently they are preparing to apply for a license to sell their wines. Until then, they can only give away their wines, which are excellent for such a young vineyard. They grow Muscadine grapes, but also make wine from other varieties by buying from other nearby vineyards.
North Carolina Muscadine wine as well as a wonderful blackberry wine are some of the types they make (and we're so lucky they have to give it away for now :-)
Throughout their retirement, my aunt and uncle continued learning and growing, and were careful to make good choices, but also to follow their dreams confidently. Their success is well earned and they are an inspiration to me and others in our family.
The advice my aunt and uncle offer to future retirees is to make sure you have adequate health coverage, and to always keep busy. Projects, hobbies and other interests are so important for the times when you need to slow down later in your retirement years so that you remain engaged.
To sum up this best retirement story, you see that they prepared well, made good decisions, but also, they fulfilled more than one goal during their retirement. They built their dream home, and bought another at the beach, traveled around the country living the RV life, turned a hobby into a business, and all along the way they learned new things, for example, how to start a vineyard and make wine!
An absolute best retirement story!
The story continues - read the update to best retirement story.