Image                                    What is retirement?

            It’s been three years since my wife, Ann, and I retired from teaching at Tomah High School. Together we taught for 70 years, 64 of those years at Tomah. It was a great career for each of us, filled with wonderful students, teachers, and administrators.

            Most everyone will retire from work if they live long enough. Retirement can be scary. Lots of unknowns. When you have a profession, such as teaching, you know what you are going to be doing each day. There is a set routine, a structure, and expectations.

            Retirement for us has meant that we don’t have to do anything, if we choose. Retirement, to a large extent, comes down to wealth and health. I’m not talking about being wealthy, but having sufficient funds and income to do the things you want to do. 

            Fortunately, we lived fairly modestly during our working life, we saved and invested during our teaching years, and we have a lot of years so that our State Teachers Retirement is more generous than for those that taught, say 30 years.

Also, our health benefits, upon retirement have been very good.

            Of the two, wealth and health, health is by far much more important. To date, we have been very lucky. In matters of health, luck plays a large role. Some of our teaching colleagues have gone to that great classroom in the sky! We keep our fingers crossed. Praying helps.

            So we have been active and busy. We travel often, having been out West many times and Europe for a half dozen trips. We’re going to Scotland in August and New Zealand in February. Branson is one of our favorite short trips, as is Texas and Florida.

            We have 2 super grandchildren we see often. We bicycle, jog, read, write, fly our club Cessna, and work with the KC’s in Tomah. My latest project: getting a radio controlled plane in the air.

            So if you are coming up to retirement, embrace it and have fun!


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