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Real Retirement: This retired couple lives for their hobbies — and each other

This is the first in a sequence of profiles about lifestyles in retirement.

• Jim, 67 and Kathy, 66

• No kids, married 44 years

• South Carolina


Jim went to work for a major oil corporate proper out of college and moved up through the group. When he retired he was overseeing the entire capital projects being achieved around the globe, reviewing startups of refineries and offshore platforms. Over the years they moved 18 instances, residing in Asia, North America and Europe.

“By the time I officially retired in 2008, the company didn’t care the place we lived so long as lets get on an plane and go the place we needed to be,” Jim says.

Kathy has a degree in schooling, however didn’t use it much because they moved round so continuously, so she labored in many industries.

“I labored as a vet tech, bank teller, for an insurance coverage corporate, I gave driving classes, and labored with baby horses,” Kathy says.

Why did you retire?

“I had all the time deliberate to retire between 55 and 59, because I was getting bored with the entire commute and wanted to do one thing else,” says Jim. “And when I concept I had sufficient sources, I pulled the trigger.”

“And I finished up retiring when the lady I was working for retired and I didn’t have any longer horses to civilize,” Kathy says.


The couple lives off their retirement accounts and savings.

“Our corporate had an option the place I may take an annuity or lump sum,” Jim says. “I took a lump sum and rolled it into an IRA.”

The fact of retirement

There are risks in the case of retiring as young as Jim and Kathy did. According to a up to date study dispensed via the National Bureau of Economic Research, men who retire at 62 have a marked increase in mortality. The researchers evidence issues to unhealthy adjustments in lifestyles taste that continuously accompany retirement, reminiscent of observing extra television and becoming sedentary.

The loss of preparedness — together with psychological preparation — can also be adverse to a retiree’s bodily and psychological well being.

Read: Why retirement could be a dangerous time

That hasn’t been a problem for those two.

Both Jim and Kathy had interests cut loose work and evolved leisure pursuits that saved them mentally and bodily challenged earlier than they retired. That helped them steer clear of feeling misplaced or depressed once they stopped working.

“That can also be an issue that bothers numerous retirees, we deliberate for it prematurely,” Jim says.

They volunteer with Ruritan, a civic group in rural areas, work on the church library and are a part of a neighborhood watch group. Kathy belongs to Daughters of the American Revolution. They were also commit extra time to exploring issues they were hooked in to.

“I went again to university to do one thing I’ve all the time wanted to do — work on an plane myself,” says Jim.

For her part, Kathy has canine — an Australian Shepherd and a Collie, each rescues — and presentations horses in competitions.

“We live out in the nation. Right now I've one horse and I show him in local presentations, I go to Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina.” The horse’s identify is Impulse For Gold, however his barn identify is Pockets. Kathy’s horse has long past on to reputation, and closing year he earned merits in different categories.

Kathy and Pockets.

And Jim has his airplanes. “I've a small twin engine plane that we personal. I educate other folks easy methods to fly, and get their private license.“

“These most certainly aren’t the 2 safest leisure pursuits we can have picked out,” Kathy says with a laugh.

Jim's aircraft.

Recently, via a direction at a neighborhood college, Jim labored on assembling an plane from the 1940s from scratch. Someone had given the aircraft to the college, Jim says, it was all in items, and so they wanted to show it on the entrance to a new college construction.

“All we had to go on were a number of the authentic drawings of the plane. It’s rather a procedure!” The elegance was every age, starting from highschool graduates who wanted to be aircraft mechanics to fresh retirees.

Despite being fascinated by leisure pursuits that may be somewhat dangerous, they’re each in excellent well being, “knock wooden,” Kathy says.

“Jim is a runner and has been all his lifestyles. The horses stay me out and busy, lifting hay and lifting saddles,” she says. “When I was more youthful and checked out people who were 65, they weren’t doing the forms of issues that we and our buddies are doing now.”


They splurge on their automobiles and eating out. “When it’s time to buy a car, we purchase what we would like, Jim says. “But we stay a car until it goes 150,000 miles or 10 years. We have two pickups and two automobiles.”

And they’re affordable on “the whole thing else,” Kathy says. “The furnishings in my circle of relatives room we purchased in 1979, and the bedroom and dining room furnishings is wanting replacement. But if it’s fixable, we’ll do this as a substitute of shopping for one thing new.”