Your story – Peter

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First name: Peter
Age: 60-79
Gender: Male
Children: 1 daughter

Highest school level: College/University degree

Social background: Retired college professor. Married. We camp during the summers in the mountains of N.C. We live in a free-standing home in southeastern Florida–I grew up in the same city (West Palm Beach). Ride a motorcycle (CanAm) and have ridden for over 60 years. Major hobby this week is target shooting and have a membership at a target range–also a membership in N.C. for the summers when camping. We are in the two church communities: Florida and North Carolina. I am a reader, take walks, work three days a week when in Florida. I also workout with light weights and generally stay active. I do not belong to any clubs or social organizations.

Career: I started teaching in the Palm Beach County system with a BSE. The schools in which I taught were Jr. H.S., H.S., and college level. I taught in county systems in GA, FL, and MD. from 1964-1973 and earned my MEd in 1969. After 1973 I taught in colleges until 2009. The colleges were the one in which I earned my EdD (not a grad. assst., but on faculty), the Jr. College I attended (that was fun) which became Palm Beach Community College, then Palm Beach State College. I also taught for a few local private college part-time as needed. Subject areas were biology, chemistry, lower level math, various education courses (Stat., elementary math ed., elementary science ed).

Retirement plans: Already wholly retired

Forced into retirement: No

Retirement preparation: I did a lot of research into problems in retirement, talked with my wife (retired insurance agent), and did lots of putting things together for the 5-6 years before retirement. I also new that the most important thought was “It is not what you are retiring from but what you are retiring to”, as was told to me by someone I truly respected. So, I played around for about 5 months and did a bunch of things around the house I had been unable to do while working. Then, I went to work 2-4 days a week in a condominium. Working in retirement keeps me grounded and, although we are fine financially, it gives me some spending cash instead of drawing an allowance. I don’t do the family finances; my wife does a better job than I would. However, I do the cooking since she hates it and I worked in kitchen during college and before.

Describe typical day: I get up to an alarm everyday. If I am not working, I find something to keep me busy most of the day, go to the range, read, spend time with my wife (we actually like each other and talk bunches), go somewhere (attractions, shopping center, see friends, whatever keeps both occupied and physically active).

If I am working I am involved preparation of a meal at work, showering and dressing for work, and getting to work. If I have free time that day, I will go to the range, read, exercise, and/or generally relax. At work (doorman/security) I get plenty of walking and interfacing with people (residence, management, and other employees).

Look forward to retirement: I did look forward to a change in life and am currently retired.

Expectations: Detailed pretty much above.

Hobbies: Shooting, flying, fishing (still do), being with wife as we play together well.

Continue to work: No. Forty-five years of teaching was sufficient.

I did teach one class at the college from which I retired. The course was one I essentially wrote (notes, not the books) and did not enjoy it in retirement as much as during the previous years.

Retraining: Not necessary in my case.

What would you change about second career: Nothing.

Encounter ageism: No problems. I was the department chair until the year before I retired. I stepped out of the position because I was to retire the month before I was scheduled, which was before the end of the term (November retirement date). The date was due to a quirk in Florida law (DROP, if you know about that).

Did you relocate: No

Live near family: No

Advice for others: Decide well in advance of retirement what you will be doing in retirement. Keep in mind that hobbies like golf, tennis, going to games and similar likes when working will not fill the days. Further, those hobbies tend to get less interesting when done every day.

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