Welcome to Wild Rumpus Sailing– some thoughts and a journal of sorts from a middle-aged, bald, overweight guy considering what the heck to do in retirement. (If you do not yet know who we are, check this out first –https://wildrumpussailing.blog/about/) It may seem early to consider retirement since I am not yet 50, but seeing the old law partners continue to work into their 70s was disturbing. Even more disturbing, they continued to come into the office even after they had no cases for the ostensible purpose of “mentoring” the younger lawyers. Since we refuse to work until we die, here we are – typos and all.
An Important Question
About a year ago my wife asked: “what are we going to do when we retire?” I shrugged. Retirement was not something I really considered. I only graduated law school yesterday -wait -nope, that was over twenty years ago. Uh oh, I think I am the same age the all-knowing partners were when I started. Hmm, odd, I do not seem to know much.
But we just had kids, so still plenty of time. Um, nope, they are 13 and 11. Hmm. They will be out of high school and the house (fingers crossed) in just 7 years? hmm. The old model? Well, let’s see. I am a Jew that grew up in NY. So, obviously, I will move to a small condo in Florida, be on the board of the homeowner’s association, eat corned beef, and check out flea markets. Egads, that sounds awful (and very similar to what my parents did).
I know a bunch of older lawyers. They all seem to work until they “retire” and then they keep going to the office, putzing around, and schmoozing with the other old lawyers until they go home, watch the news and complain about the country and practice of law going to hell in a hand-basket. Yuk.
Months go by and we have no answer. The question occasionally pops up. Enough so that we actually engage with the financial planner we barely used before. Prepared for awful news, we get a decent report. Retirement before 80 is definite. Retirement before 65 is likely. Retirement in the 50s is possible if we focus. Well, that is some happy news.
Wrong Answers In The Right Direction
Unrelated to this retirement issue, we take the kids on a great spring break trip to Italy. That sparks some conversation about traveling. Maybe we should get a small condo as a home base and just travel all over the world. Sounds fun, but we both hate airports and the process of getting places. I am not a huge fan of hotels and I seem to spend a lot of my life in them already. But, I like other cities and countries. How about a villa in Italy and live there part of the year? Well, that sounds fun twice, but then it is just a second home that I need to worry about and an area that I will be familiar with. Hardly an adventure.
Maybe be one of those couples that goes from cruise ship to cruise ship? Nope, that is the old model put into mobile form without any decent corned beef. Not us.
Lightening Strikes -A Fortuitous Catalytic Event
Time passes. No answer, but we occasionally discuss the question. Then, in a completely unrelated turn of events, Teresa, the aforementioned wife, who is way smarter than I am and has an incredibly successful career as a lawyer at a big law firm, is asked to move to San Francisco and open a new office for her law firm.
When she asked me if I would consider moving to San Francisco I paused and said maybe. We talked about it as a cool adventure for the family, a nice change of pace and city, and good for her career. Oh, and they have awesome dim sum. Other food too, but come on – awesome dim sum is itself a solid reason to move across the country. Downsides- I either commute to maintain my own law firm which will be a huge hassle or take the California bar and practice there (I am kind of old to start again as a lawyer at a firm). Hmm. Well, we can table those issues until we check out the city and decide if it is even something we want.
I had only been to SF as a tourist. Teresa went to law school out there but never looked at it with a critical eye for life with a family. So, we went (canceled a big motorcycle trip I had planned which was a huge bummer, but in the end totally worth it). We loved SF and could see ourselves living there with our kids. Maybe not in the city as we originally thought. The school situation was problematic and the homeless population gave us the creeps. But, we checked out Tiburon and loved it. Tiburon is beautiful, having hills, waterfront, beautiful homes, an easy ferry ride to the city. You can bike to and over the Golden Gate Bridge, and Muir Woods is a short drive.
Reconnaissance – It’s Not Just for Military Maneuvers
As the idea of moving to SF progressed, we decided to tell the kids (who were pretty middle of the road about the whole thing) and take them to SF. That trip was a lot of fun. We stayed at the top of Nob Hill and every time we went back to the hotel they insisted on pushing/pulling me up the hill.
Teresa had to leave for a work thing, so the kids and I checked out some tourist stuff including the ferry to Tiburon!
A Momentous Life-Altering Decision
The kids officially announced that they were excited about the move. They expressed some concern about the house (please don’t sell it) and wanted to talk about how often they would visit their friends, etc, but overall they gave their approval. Well, that was easy -just ply them with beautiful scenery, boats, great food and the possibility of re-decorating their rooms and they are up for a 2,400 mile move. And boats- they want a boat or a house with a dock (they set their expectations a bit high). And now, finally, circling back to the question -what will we do when we retire – how about boats?