Mike's Musings - Retirement

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Retirement is often one of the most traumatic times of a person'slife. Seldom is it considered as such at the time, but, in retrospect, many recognize it's unanticipated positive and negative effects.Retirement is easier for the self employed to slide into. They start by reducing their working hours on Fridays, then by takingFriday off, then possibly Mondays as well. When the DAY arrives, they may have already cut down their visits to the office to threeor four times a month.The situation is different for most retirees. They either worked afull day, or had a farewell party Friday afternoon. Monday morning provides a momentary shock. But then it's "whoppee!". Statistically, more divorces occur in the first three years after retirement than any other period in a marriage.Check the "for sale" ads and garage sales around retirement villages.For sale, like new, seldom used: mountain homes, vacation condos, hunting cabins, fishing cabins, golf club memberships, time shares, golf clubs, motor homes, RVs, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, ski boats, speed boats, fishing boats, etc.All the shattered retirement dreams that came face to face with reality are now for sale.Retirement plans MUST consider 24/7/365, or they are doomed to failure.There is a BIG difference between a weekend adventure, a two week vacation, and living 24/7/365. And the biggest failure was not taking into consideration the WIFE's post retirement plans. I doubt if she was dreaming about hunting clubs, fishing cabins, etc. etc. etc.Our statistic is now single, living on half rations, and trying to makethe most of what his wife has left him with.The eligible women he meets want to talk to him about their operations,and show him pictures of their grandchildren.If he is lucky, he hears about, reads about, is told about, or remembersa time long ago, in the Fountain of Youth in the Garden of Eden called the Philippines.Perhaps it's a pen-pal magazine, or maybe an Internet chat group. Or hefound a website about retiring to the Philippines.It could be that one Friday evening, on his way to the Senior Citizen'sWeekly Bingo Party, Square Dance and Shuffleboard Contest, he sees acontemporary with a Filipina wife 30 years his junior, heading for thelocal disco and karaoke bar.Whatever. Our hero arrives in Manila, and onward to his chosen destination. By his attire, demeanor, and his turkey neck gawking, he might as well be wearing a a sign around his neck saying "Available", because it's obvious what he is looking for.He credits the coy smiles he receives from the young ladies he passes asa tribute to his held-in stomach, puffed-out chest, and slicked down hairwhich covers up his bald spot.Enough smiles, and he pictures himself as a 30 year old Adonis, regardlessof what his reflection in that damn mirror shows. He found Paradise, and he is ready to enjoy the pleasures of retirementhis nagging *beep!* of a first wife cheated him out of. But, IS he ready? One definition of insanity is doing the same things overand over again, and expecting different results each time. Has he taken into consideration what she sees in him? What she wants fromhim?Is he prepared to give it? Has he considered her as a person at all?Does she want to stay in the Philippines, or to immigrate? Does shehave/want children? Is she looking to raise only her standard of living,or her whole family's?Is she looking to be a lady of leisure, or a partner in farming or whatever lifestyle he selects for them? How much of a friend and companion will she be? How much of a friendand companion will he be to her? Is SHE marrying the "foreigner", or is the "foreigner" marrying HER? (Whose culture predominates?) How much time will be spent together? How much time spent independently?Will she mix with his "foreigner" friends? Will he mix with her Filipinofamily? And HAS he learned the most important lesson of all? Retirement is not a long weekend, or a two week vacation, but living and enjoying 24/7/365._____________Mike Farrell First Sergeant of Marines Retired and Reincarnated in the Philippines Cagayan de Oro

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