Torrid Romantic and Sensual Escapades: A Retirement Primer


When Donna asked me to guest post for her blog, I have to admit my first immediate thought was, “well, there goes her credibility!”

I am a devoted reader of Retirement Reflections, and Donna offers a mature and polished take on our collective post-career journey. So it does make you wonder why she wants to feature a blogger whose sole ambition is to sow literary imbecility. My personal guess is that Richard is slipping something in her evening cocktail in order for there to be less “writing time” and more “us time” in that household. You may have other ideas, though. I encourage you to share them in the comments area below. We really should get to the bottom of this.

Anyway, on with the show…

My own retirement journey began in August of 2014 when I took advantage of an early retirement offer from my employer of some 32 years. I was a law librarian and worked for the (U.S.) federal government in a few different agency settings and locations.

I grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan but lived and worked in Washington, DC for 20 years, 11 years in Fresno, California, and a very brief 10 months in Portland, Oregon where in fact I ended my career. It hadn’t been my plan to live as a pseudo-gypsy in so many places, but certainly in hindsight the journey has been enriching and formative. Which is a polite and face-saving way of answering the inevitable question, “do you have problems making decisions?” Answer: “Well, yes and no.”

My wife “Gorgeous” and I made the decision to move to Florida and have it be our permanent retirement home. Going back to at least the 1950’s, the Sunshine State has been a popular “golden years” destination for Americans and Canadians, many of whom it should be pointed out arrive with a questionable sense of fashion. This works out for me personally because it’s long been a dream of mine to experience the subtle joys of wearing patterned shorts with the classic knee high hosiery. A tip for fellow dreamers out there: think small.

In my own modest way I’m doing my part to make America great again.

Guest Post: Shorts and Long Socks
Source: Pinterest

It’s a look, no?

Sartorial choices aside, the early retirement journey has so far been most gratifying. After giving myself about 18 months to get my bearings (i.e. watching more Perry Mason episodes than I even thought was humanly possible), I eventually succumbed to something resembling a routine. Last year I returned to my profession and found a part-time job at a local county law library. This has not only provided additional income and a sense of purpose, but it has also given me a window through which I can ascertain how other retirees manage financial issues such as taxes and income caps. Gorgeous continues to work full time, which adds a few layers of complexity to our economic situation. These are issues I fully admit to not giving much thought during my working years.

Harry Truman once said that he wished he could cut off the arms of all of his economists because he got so tired of hearing them start sentences with, “On the one hand… .” But in retirement, and especially early retirement, nearly every single economic decision has some kind of consequence which needs to be considered from all sides.

  • When is the best time to access a tax-sheltered account? At what percentage should I start to take distributions from it?
  • What age should I begin Social Security? Canadian citizens have a similar dilemma with their Canada or Quebec Pension Plans.
  • How will proposed legislative changes to Medicare affect my current plan, or perhaps later when I’m eligible to join?
  • How is it possibly fair that a third scoop of ice cream has suddenly become a gastroenterological issue?

These are the kinds of things we occasionally tackle on my blog. Along the way we also cover the complexities of ex-spouses, alimony, familial relationships, insurance, politics, and the reason why just because you can pour vodka into a martini glass, it doesn’t qualify to still be called a martini.

Sometimes we succeed in answering the great questions of the day, but mostly I just muddy the waters for you. All in the name of public service!

So I do hope that once you’ve read one of Donna’s fine posts, you’ll occasionally make your way over to my blog too. I won’t change the way you look at the world, but I guarantee you will think, “This is proof that pretty much anyone can call himself a blogger now.”

Until next time…

Guest Post - Snakes in the Grass
Marty and “Gorgeous” circa 2013, about ten months prior to his retirement.

Snakes in the Grass

From Retirement Reflections:

Thank you to Marty for brilliantly kicking off this Sunday Guest Post Series.

Marty will be on a blogging break this summer. You can check out his fresh posts again in September. For those of you who are new to his blog, why not visit his site to catch a few ‘reruns?’ You won’t be disappointed!!

If you are a retirement or lifestyle blogger and would like to contribute a post to this series, please leave a comment below or send a private email. If you’ve already signed up, but haven’t yet sent in your post, please do so at your earliest convenience. Stay tuned next Sunday for Cresting the Hill’s ‘Transition to Retirement — Smiling All the Way’! This post contains great advice that you won’t want to miss regardless of your work/retirement status.

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads out there…and those who are forever in our hearts!

54 Replies to “Torrid Romantic and Sensual Escapades: A Retirement Primer”

  1. Well done! The first cab off the rank for Donna’s Summer Series and now I feel like the bar’s been raised pretty high. I just told my husband that you refer to your wife as Gorgeous – he’s going to have to lift his game from now on! Lovely to meet you – I’m on next week and mine isn’t anywhere near as humorous – but it’s going to be great meeting some new Midlife bloggers 🙂
    Leanne | recently posted…5 QUESTIONS ABOUT MY BLOGMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Leanne! The only “bar” that’s been raised here is the mention of martinis. 🙂 As to your husband, indeed the choice of a pet name is indeed a personal one. My only suggestion for him is to avoid anything that is remotely close to current family members or former girlfriends.

      I look forward to your post next week!

      1. Hi, Marty – Thank you again for an outstanding guest post! As has been our history, your comments continue to hide in my spam folder. This is especially ironic for today’s post. I will keep reminding myself to check and rescue you out of there!

    2. Hi, Leanne – I had never heard that expression before. (Australian?) Sometimes, I wonder which rock I have been living under? I agree that Marty did a brilliant kick-off post. I have been delighted with all of the high-quality write-ups that I have received so far. Your post is set and scheduled to run next Sunday. Meet you back here then!

    1. Hi, Anabel – I laughed out loud at your ‘scribbles furiously’ comment. I adore this little corner of the blogosphere!

    1. Thanks, Kate! Even though I think I have you to “blame” for this duty here on Donna’s blog. 🙂 Sorry for the shoulder slump! With the move, et. al., I knew whatever I tried to write this summer would be sub-par. In other words, normal! But perhaps several weeks off will give me some inspiration. I’ll try to check out your doings so I’m not too far out of the loop.

      Your hubby will think of us during hurricane season, I’m sure!

    2. Hi, Kate – Thank you for recommending Marty as a Guest Host. I agree that he was a perfect choice to kick off this series (but Marty, please know that I would have stalked invited you anyway)!
      After the very long and cold winter that we just had, I too would love to convince my husband to move further south. Unfortunately, if wanting to stay within Canada’s borders, Vancouver Island is reputed to have the warmest winters in Canada. (Insert deep sigh here!)

  2. Marty an enjoyable read….I am sure your blogs will be interesting to read and follow…..
    Donna, how do you find the time to do all this writing, reading of other bloggers…and then putting all these ideas of different themes together…sounds too much like a job!
    I will just sit back, read the blogs, my novels, play golf and pickle ball….and and!! LOL
    As always enjoy following…..

    1. Thanks, Georgia! Yes, blogging can sometimes simulate a job. When I write something truly insipid, I write a memo to the file. It’s bound to come up at my next performance appraisal.

    2. Hi, Georgia – I highly recommend Marty’s blog to you. I know that you will find it very interesting and incredibly entertaining!
      I think that the secret of retirement is fully engaging in your loves and passions and declining the mediocre and annoying. After years of needing to negotiate for work, it is very liberating to finally be able to say ‘no…but thanks for asking’!

  3. Hello Marty! Great to meet you here. I’ve seen your comments around but now I know that I need to get over to your blog and become serious about following you.

    Although I do take issue with the idea that vodka in a martini glass doesn’t qualify as a martini. I’d say that it all depends on how many martinis you’ve had before you pour the vodka in the martini glass. At some point, anything in a martini glass is a martini. Context is everything. 🙂
    Ally Bean recently posted…A Remodeling Update: In Which Ms. Bean “Helps” & Other Important ThingsMy Profile

    1. Hi, Ally – I agree. You definitely need to become serious about following Marty. Kindred spirits I’d say!
      Case in point – the martini banter! Very entertaining!!

      1. Hey, Ally! Many thanks for commenting. re: the martini issue. My last boss is a strict constructionist about gin, and it’s his informed opinion that the dictionary definition of a martini can ONLY include gin. I actually only threw that in there for him because I plan on sending him the link to this post . So, Eddie, if you’re reading this, I’ll let you defend yourself!

  4. This is the perfect start of your summer series, Donna! Funny and insightful. Good to know that I am not the only one having a hard time with decisions!! 🙂 Happy Father’s Day to all North American fathers. In Belgium, it was celebrated last Sunday and I’m glad I could finally show my respect to my dad in person once more.
    Liesbet recently posted…Monthly Expenses – May 2017My Profile

  5. That’s one of the many things that I love about blogging, Liesbet…knowing that I’m not the only one with a particular style/question/idea/issue….
    I’m so glad that you had the chance last week to show your respect to your Dad in person.

  6. What a great way to kick off your series!

    Marty: Well done. You are one of my very favorite blogging buddies and I’ll miss seeing your posts throughout the summer. Please come back (I know of several bloggers who “went on vacation” then never returned)!

    Donna: Thank you for helping to introduce Marty to your followers who might not be already following him. His posts always make me smile.
    Janis recently posted…GratiTuesday: Building bridges, not wallsMy Profile

  7. Thanks so much, Janis. Grateful for your comments, and the feeling is mutual! Your posts never fail to provide an interesting perspective, plus your occasional photographic “walkabouts” are fun to see.

    I do promise to be back, fear not!

  8. Hi, Janis – Thank you for your kind and supportive words. I’m confident that Marty will ‘See Us in September’….Besides, we all know what state he lives in and would somehow track him down. And, I now know Gorgeous’s real first name!

  9. Hi Marty! It’s great to meet you. I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC. It was a great place to live, but the traffic…yuck! At the age of 56, my father took an early out offer from his government career, twenty plus years later, he’s still enjoying retired life.
    Thanks for introducing me to Marty, Donna!

    1. Hey, Jill. Many thanks for reading! Yes, that’s one thing about working for the government– it “inspires” you to move on from the grind!

      I do miss the DC area quite a bit. There were so many interesting things to do in all directions.

  10. Hi, Jill – Thanks so much for stopping by. I too love all of the connections and intersections that we discover in the blogging world. I’m pleased to have had the chance to introduce Marty to others who had not yet found his blog.

    1. Hi, Dee – Thanks for stopping by and sharing these kind words. I agree, laughter is the best medicine.
      I’m looking forward to your guest post on July 16!

    1. Hi, Kathy – I agree that it is great to meet other bloggers that share similar interests and passions. I met Marty, you (and several other bloggers that I now regularly follow) though Janis of RetirementallyChallenged. I definitely owe her! I am looking forward to your guest post!

    2. Kathy, yes, absolutely. The comradeship within the blogging community (and WordPress in particular) definitely makes the experience all the more enjoyable. I look forward to reading your blog also!

  11. Yes, Marty, I follow a strict dictum that, without gin, you are simply enjoying a cocktail in a martini glass. I recognize that my opinion is a minority one and only really arises when I ask a waiter for a martini, very dry, with olives and the response is, “Vodka or gin?”

    Now, I am not pretentious enough to declare, “I asked for a martini, didn’t I?” That would only result in being unkind to the waiter and likely poor service to me. But, I would be lying if I said it did not cross my mind.

    Finally, if you want to see one of the best martini (in the most broad sense) bars in San Francisco on your next visit, consider Blondie’s Bar & No Grill on Valencia street between 16th & 17th Streets:

    P.S. I like your blog Donna! And you picked a great guest blogger 😉

    1. Hi, Edward – I have no idea why this comment suddenly appeared (and how I missed it for almost three months)! I blame Marty 🙂 as his comments are frequently hiding in my spam folder. Thanks so much for stopping by to read Marty’s post here. I greatly enjoyed your comments!

  12. I love this! I’m a bit envious of those who get to retire. I get a small pension from the State of TN, but I only worked there 20 years, so it won’t be the “half of my salary” it would’ve been if I’d stayed 30 years. Writers never get to retire!
    Stephanie Faris recently posted…Mystery Monday: Asha DegreeMy Profile

    1. Hi, Stephanie! Many thanks for reading and commenting. I think in your case you definitely have to consider the glass-half-full. As a fellow government rat, you were smart enough ten years before I was to leave the grind. It’s all a matter of perspective!

    1. Hi, Joanne – This post definitely made me smile too. And I am loving the martini debate. Very fun! I look forward to featuring your post as well.

    2. Hi, Joanne. Yes, the vodka dilemma is one of the great unsung conundrums of our time. Who’d have thunk it? Most people still think it’s health care or terrorism! Thanks so much for reading…

  13. Hi Marty well done on being the first in Donna’s Summer Series but I suppose someone has to be first! Love the way you call your wife Gorgeous and that you have settled into retirement and keeping your sense of humour. I retired at 55 (I turn 60 in August) which is quite early and it certainly took me a while to adjust. I’ve retired from work but not from life. I’m taking part in the series in a couple of weeks in fact I think it is the Sunday I’m running a half marathon so I might not even have the energy to read my own post LOL:) What do retired people do? They start a blog of course! Great idea Donna for your series and we are off and running!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond recently posted…Tuesday’s Tip: 12 ways to improve your health and wellnessMy Profile

  14. A half-marathon??! Good God, Sue, for me that’s the equivalent of just walking out to the car to get to the gym in the morning. Well done! I look forward to your own upcoming post…

  15. Congratulations on your upcoming half-marathon, Sue. That’s very inspiring! Thank you for stopping by to check out Marty’s post. I am greatly enjoying introducing my blogging friends to each other…and having ‘old friends’ meet up here as well!

  16. Marty, your retirement life sounds eerily familiar to mine…me “retired” at 55, but working part-time as a lecturer, while hubby still works full-time (someone has to keep us in medical insurance). In trying to save pennies, I’ve gotten my library card renewed (just love audiobooks for road trips, reducing our TV satellite account and thinking twice before buying things (but then I buy it anyway)!
    Thanks Donna for a great read in your summer retirement guest series!

    1. Terri, we’re very much kindred spirits about saving money — I won’t say “cheap,” I promise! In spite of being a librarian, I always purchased movies and documentaries on VHS, DVD’s, etc., for years because I didn’t want to be bothered with having to return them anywhere. Now I religiously borrow them from the public library, or if that isn’t possible I’ll get them used on e-Bay. It was a financial gamble retiring so early, but so far it’s worked out better than I could have hoped. But, yes, keep hubby working for the health insurance!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  17. Hi, Terri – I love that there are a variety of different retirement and semi-retirement options available. Both you and Marty are great models of some of the wonderful choices out there. Thank you for participating in this series. I look forward to your post!

  18. How fun is this? Love your post here, Marty. Great sense of humor, a truly gorgeous “Gorgeous,” and you ask good ‘retirement’ questions. My guy and I are considering never retiring, although he gets asked the question often (“When are YOU retiring?”) which annoys him no end. He loves his work – why the heck retire? Oh, and on the sock issue – I wrote a blog post once on the best way of embarrassing our kids. And #1 on the list is – wearing long socks… 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your comments, Pam! Indeed I think your guy has a right to be annoyed. Deciding when to retire goes up there with other life decisions such as which college to choose, losing ones virginity, or making that peanut butter choice between crunchy or smooth. Everyone has a different comfort level!

      I do look forward to reading your sock post… 🙂

  19. Hi, Pam – If you both are loving what you do, and having the time to fit in all that you want, I totally agree with your decision not to retire. Good advice about the socks! Thanks for stopping by, I greatly appreciate it!

  20. I am still musing about the “torrid romantic and sensual escapades.” Florida — is it torrid? Or could it be that Floridian romance is torrid? As for the sensual part, that must be the black kneesocks or, more specifically, the feelings elicited in oneself or others when wearing them.

    Dr Sock recently posted…Finding my Housework MusclesMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Jude – I took the title to refer to Marty’s hidden suspicion that Richard was trying to get me less focused on blogging and more focused on romance. But, as you say, it could also have been the black knee socks. Thanks for following and for commenting. I look forward to your post!

  21. Hi, Jude. One of Donna’s rules — in fact I think it was the ONLY rule — was that each guest blogger respond to comments. Apologies for responding late to your comment.

    Re: my “torrid” and “sensual” header for the post. Really, it was just my not-so original way of getting across the silliness and imbecility which is present in my writing. As a kid I was a huge fan of Mad Magazine and that never changed much as I aged. For those who enjoy a good laugh (really, I’ll settle for a smirk on the reader’s end), I’m your blogger. If one is looking for objectivity and intellectual honesty, I’m probably not! 🙂

    Thanks for reading!

    1. Hi, Marty – Thanks for staying on it and commenting on all posts. With my School Administrator days behind me, it was more of a ‘request’ than a ‘rule’…okay, maybe a ‘strong request.’ I agree that those who love wit, humour and thought-provoking conversation should definitely tune into your blog. I recommend it highly!
      P.S. No spam folder today — very impressive!

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