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Retirement years

Published June 19. 2010 09:00AM


This was sent by a reader who is retired. He asks that I share his retirement experiences with my readers. He's hoping it will be helpful for anyone contemplating retirement. Consider it a gift to all you older fathers out there who will be honored tomorrow.

Fifteen years ago my wife and I moved into a retirement development on Florida's Southeast coast The Delray/Boca/Boynton Golf, Spa, Bath and Tennis Club on Lake Fake-A-Hatchee. There are 3,000 lakes in Florida; only three are real.

Our biggest retirement concern was time management. What were we going to do all day?Let me assure you,passing the time is not a problem. Your days will be eatenup by simple, daily activities. Just getting out of yourcar takes 15 minutes. Trying to find where you parked takes 20 minutes. It takes a half hour on the check-out line in and one hour to return the item the next day.

Let me take you through a typical day.

We get up at 5 a.m., have a quick breakfastand join the early morning 'Walk and Talk Club.'

There are about 30 of us, and rain or shine we walk around the streets, all talking at once. Every development has some late risers who stay in bed until 6 a.m. After a nimble walk avoiding irate drivers out to make us road kill, we go back home, shower and change for the next activity.

My wife goes directly to the pool for her underwater Pilate's class, followed by gasping for breath and CPR.

I put on my, 'Ask me about my Grandchildren' T-shirt,my plaid mid-calf shorts, my black socks and sandals and go to the clubhouse lobby for a nice nap.

Before you know it, it's time for lunch.

We go to partake of the many tasty samples dispensed by ladies in white hairnets.

All free! After a filling lunch, if we don't have any doctor appointments, we might go to the flea market tosee if any new white belts have come in or to buy a Rolex watch for $2.

We're usually back home by 2 p.m. to get ready for dinner.

People start lining up for the early bird about 3 p.m. but we get there by 3:45 p.m., because we're late eaters.

The dinners are very popular because of the large portions they serve. You can take home enough food for the next day's lunch and dinner, including extra bread, crackers,packets of mustard, relish, ketchup and Sweet-and-Low along with mints.

At 5:30 p.m. we're home ready to watch the 6 o'clock news.By 6:30 p.m. we're fast asleep. Then we get up and make five or six trips to the bathroom during the night, and it'stime to get up and start a new day all over again.

Doctor related activities eat up most of your retirement time. I enjoy reading old magazines in sub-zero temperaturesin the waiting room, so I don't mind. Calling for testresults also helps the days fly by.It takes at least halfan hour just getting through the doctor's phone menu.

Then there's the hold time until you're connected to the right party.Sometimes they forget you're holding, and the whole office goes off to lunch.

Should you find you still have time on your hands, volunteering provides a rewarding opportunity to help the less fortunate. Florida has the largest concentration of seniors under five feet tall and they need our help. I myself am a volunteer for 'The Vertically Challenged Over 80.' I coach their basketball team, The Arthritic Avengers.

The hoop is only 4.5 feet from the floor. You should see the look of confidence ontheir faces when they make a slam dunk.

Food shopping is a problem for short seniors or 'bottom feeders' as we call them, because they can't reach the items on the upper shelves. There are many foods they've never tasted. After shopping, most seniors can't remember where they parked their cars and wander the parking lot for hours while their food defrosts.

Lastly, it's important to choose a development withan impressive name. Italian names are very popular in Florida. They convey world traveler, uppity sophistication and wealth.

Where would you rather live? Murray 's Condos or The Lakes Of Venice?

There's no difference. They're both owned by Murray, who happens to be a cheapskate.

I hope this material has been of help to you future retirees.

If I can be of any further assistance, please look me upwhen you're in Florida. I live inThe Leaning Condos of Pisa on Boynton Beach.

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