I Will Never Retire!

by Krantcents · 84 comments

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That’s right, I will never retire!  Although I will retire from teaching in five (5) years, I know I will never just kick back and play golf, play cards or sit around.  I saw firsthand how my mother worked part time into her mid eighties.  She worked because she liked what she was doing!  She retired from that job at eighty-six.  What did she do?  She made things and sold them at an open air market every Saturday. 

It worked for her because it kept her engaged.  More importantly, she lived to nearly ninety-nine (99) years old.  This may not be right for everyone, but it was right for her.  I know that I like to work and to stay busy.  Being a planner by nature, I created a plan for retirement.  Everyone talks about a financial plan for retirement, but I put together a retirement plan to achieve financial freedom before I reached forty (40) years old.  I achieved my plan by the time I was thirty-eight (38) years old.

My focus now is to preserve and grow that nest egg so it will be there when I leave teaching in five (5) years.  I will not be relying on it for income for my necessities; instead I will use it for luxuries.  Between Social Security and a pension, I will have enough income to live reasonably because I will have no debt.  I will use my withdrawal from my IRAs to travel and satisfy some of my wants.  I expect to live in retirement for thirty (30) years.  I expect to retire (again) shortly after my seventy-first birthday!

Many of my fellow teachers work as substitute teachers in retirement.  Personally, I cannot imagine being a substitute teacher to earn some extra money.  It is a well paid second income in retirement although there is a limitation how much you can earn.  There are pros and cons of being a substitute teacher; you are not responsible for grades or content, but you need to be effective with someone else’s lessons.  The students do not know you in most cases and discipline can be an issue!

My Plan for Retirement

Cycling – I started bicycling over twenty (20) years ago as a form of exercise.  I usually ride my bicycle at least ninety (90) minutes from two (2) to seven (7) times a week.  I expect to continue this well into retirement, but I realize I will not ride (outdoors) into my nineties.  Since the state of California views bicycles as vehicles, there will be a time when I am unable to do certain things because of age.  I plan on using these limitations to motivate me to fulfill some of my lifelong goals.  For example, I want to bicycle a portion of the Tour de France!  Not during the race, but some other time.

There are other goals with cycling such as riding in a century or half century ride.  If you do not know what that is it is a one hundred (100) or fifty (50) mile ride respectively.  Often, it has multiple stops at wineries, restaurants or a tour of the countryside.  Although it can take as long as twelve (12) hours, I do not view it as a race.  Another goal is to cycle in Europe or overseas as part of a river cruise.  Daytime is used to explore the villages along the river and you return to the cruise ship either in the afternoon or evening.  I think this type of exploration would be a lot of fun.

Living in the Los Angeles area, there are lots of day trips I can ride locally.  Many years ago, I rode from Malibu to nearly Palos Verdes along the beach.  When we vacationed in Santa Barbara years ago at a Bed & Breakfast, we used bicycles to tour the city.  My friends and I rode down to the beach for lunch and enjoyed the city in a casual way.  Last year, we finally visited New Orleans for the first time.  I did not bicycle while I was there, but bicycling in other cities to discover the city is on my list.  Some of you may say, I could do it now and you are right.  My plan is to do much more of it than an occasional trip.


Although I am retiring as a teacher does not mean I do not want to teach.  In fact, I will do it for free!  I started to set things up with the Boys and Girls Club in my school.  Some of the workshops will cover investigating careers, interviewing skills and writing resumes.  Aside from many years experience in these areas, I taught these areas as part of courses for five (5) years.  Next year, I will teach these courses again as well as other courses.  The nice thing about a workshop is I get to pick subjects I enjoy and there is a need.

If the demand for these workshops grows, I will add subjects to meet demand which may mean additional locations.  The nice thing about this kind of involvement is I can go in different directions.  I can write a book and earn money, run seminars or workshops for money too.  I can also control how many locations and how often the workshops are offered.  The workshops can be a small group of less than twenty (20) people or a large group of five (500) people.  Of course, the dynamics of a large group changes what can be done.  I can offer materials for a token fee where the participant walks away with a template which may be very appropriate for a resume.


I started volunteering in the summer of 2012.  I started volunteering now to create a framework for volunteering in retirement.  I do not want to take the time and effort to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life when I walk out of work on the last day!  Besides, volunteering is similar to a job, not all volunteering is the same!  It takes time to figure out what you like or enjoy and you need to try a lot of things.  My current volunteering is helping with a nonprofit that feeds the homeless.  As I do more and spend more time with them I may suggest adding more services.

I could add services such as workshops to help the homeless to re-enter the work world.  My workshops for young people could help adults too with some minor changes.  There are other opportunities that I could explore such as working on the local Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Clubs.  There are professional organizations for retired professionals that are in need of volunteers.  The list is almost never ending.  This is one of the reasons; I am starting now and slowly adding to my hours of volunteering.  I am not looking to occupy forty (40) hours a week, but I want worthwhile opportunities to contribute to my community.


For the last two (2) years, I have written a personal finance blog.  Of course, my blog has evolved over time to include some other subjects, but writing has given me a new outlet for my thoughts.  I never thought about writing as a profession except in my fantasies.  Writing can be done anywhere and anytime which is very liberating.  I am not sure where this may go other than the obvious.  I can continue the blog and write articles or books as an opportunity to earn money.  I do not want to give the wrong impression; I do not need or want to earn more money.  It is a choice!  I believe in multiple income streams because things happen.

Final Thoughts

Although my plan could change, I started it now to make changes and refine what I want to do.  In many ways, it is no different than any other plan!  A plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.  Monitoring my progress will allow me to adjust my efforts, adapt to changes or change my plan either because my goals change or pursue new opportunities.  Staying flexible is important in any plan to take advantage of opportunities and when things change.  I am not advocating my specific choices because a plan is personal and should reflect your choices.  I am advocating planning for retirement beyond just the financial side.  What will you do?  I know that I will never retire!

Photo by Tabsinthe

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Tony@YouOnlyDoThisOnce January 22, 2013 at 3:25 am

Krants: What an awesome post! This is right up my ally, because your motto is the same as mine; YODTO! I have really enjoyed your blog, and I have a lot of reading to do to catch up! Can’t wait to hear what is next on your plate..

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 6:57 am

Thanks, I enjoy being busy and something to look forward to. Teaching seems to have a lot of the elements I really enjoy.

Holly@ClubThrifty January 22, 2013 at 4:24 am

I can’t see myself ever retiring either. I like working too much. Still, it will be nice when working is a choice and not a necessity.

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 6:59 am

Financial independence and making choices in what you do in “retirement” is key to real freedom.

My Wealth Desire January 22, 2013 at 4:51 am

I believe that being active and doing things that you love can give you more years to stay on this earth. Having a plan ahead of time can help you to prepare things that will help you in your journey to semi-retirement our retirement life.

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

Staying engaged in something worthwhile will keep you active and live longer.

Michelle January 22, 2013 at 5:34 am

I never see myself fully retiring. I’ll always want to do something!

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 7:01 am

I was concerned I could sleep too much, but that is not part of the plan.

AverageJoe January 22, 2013 at 6:42 am

I was reading a few weeks ago about biking trips through Napa Valley wine country. The tour stops at wineries and you tour the places. That sounds like a great bike trip to me!

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 7:03 am

When I was working, a banker asked me to join him in a half century ride in the Santa Barbara area. It went from winery to winery and a few restaurants in between.

Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom January 22, 2013 at 6:53 am

Great post! I doubt Derek and I will ever retire either. We’ll probably achieve financial freedom right around the same time you did, although Derek aims for 33 (hence freeat33.com) I always think we’ll be working on something, we’re not the type to sit around waiting for the next appropriate time to cut the grass :)

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 7:42 am

Thanks, I always need something to look forward to whether it is work, project or trip. I am taking steps now to make sure my “retirement” is something I will enjoy.

Kathleen, Frugal Portland January 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

There’s a bike event here called Cycle Oregon, that people really really like, it’s 7 days, 70-100 miles a day, through rural Oregon.

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

I never really thought of long distance. So far, I only did day trips of a couple hours, maybe I could work up to longer trips.

Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin January 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I agree with this 100% I tell my mom and dad on a semi monthly basis that they shouldn’t plan to retire. Just get another job or stay actively engaged. I also don’t believe you should give up your active income so easily unless you have a rock solid financial foundation. Great post!

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I believe in multiple income streams. I will have Social Security, a pension and side income (blog). In addition, I have IRAs, Roth IRA and a brokerage account. The pension and Social Security should cover all my needs and my withdrawal will cover my wants. The opportunities I see in the future will just supplement my earnings. I like that I can make choices.

Tackling Our Debt January 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm

The older we get the more we understand how important it is to stay active, both physically and mentally if we want to live to be 90 or 100. So many people think their life is over at 65 or 70 and they mentally just start packing it in and before you know it they are feeling sick and weak, and it just snowballs from there. On the other hand, as you plan to do, people keep doing some sort of work that requires both skill and physical activity and they easily live to be a 100. Look at Betty White, she is clearly on her way to working until she is 100.

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Part of it is good genes! As I wrote my article, I realized that I can do as much or as little as I want. I like the idea of picking and choosing too.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar January 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

That is pretty much perfection that you have done what you want since age 38. Retirement should be for doing what you love and not worrying about how to pay the bills. Ride the Rockies is a great week long bike event. It has some pretty good elevation, but you can go as slow as you want. My husband did it before we were married and I think we’d both like to do it at some point when our kiddo is older.

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I want to ride a portion of the Tour de France some day too. I love the idea of exploring cities, villages and small towns by bicycle. Although I intend to stay busy, cycling is always a priority.

Amanda L Grossman January 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

It’s fantastic that you have not only set yourself up financially for a great retirement, but have figured out things to do during retirement that will enable it to be very fulfilling. Good luck to you! Your bike mileage is quite impressive.

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Thanks, the financial side was the easy part, I was more concerned about the rest of it. My plan is pretty flexible where I can do as much or as little as I want.

My Financial Independence Journey January 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Sometimes I think about what I would do in retirement. I think I would like to travel… a lot. In terms of being productive, I’d probably find some way to produce something. Maybe I’d keep on blogging. Maybe I’d start a travel blog to go with my current personal finance blog.

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that the answer to the what would I do in retirement question is nowhere near as flushed out as my financial plans.

Krantcents January 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm

You probably have some time! I am 5 years away from retiring again. Last time, I started businesses and I just may do it again, but differently. I don’t want to be tied down.

The Happy Homeowner January 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

Such an inspirational post! I’m the same way; I really never see myself fully retiring–I love to be active, engaged and challenged so I’m sure I’ll always be cooking things up!

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 10:22 am

Thanks, it is one of the reasons I like teaching. Every day is different and it can be fun. I visualize taking that fun into retirement with workshops and other things.

Jules@Faithful With a Few January 23, 2013 at 8:18 am

This sounds like an amazing plan! I love that you will still teach. As a teacher myself( SAHM for now) I know that teaching is in my blood. I love it, and am looking forward to going back. If for some reason I don’t go back,I will do something that involves teaching at some level! Best wishes!

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 10:24 am

Thanks! I think I enjoy the opportunity to influence and change people. Some of the same reasons I blog. Being a lifelong planner, I am excited about the future in retirement.

John S @ Frugal Rules January 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

Great post! I plan on doing something very similar as a way to stay active and maybe do some things I’ve not had the time to currently…like volunteer or teach. I think we’ve created a view of retirement as you sit on your butt and do nothing. I see it with one family member in particular and it is so sad because they have so much they could contribute to society.

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Thanks, have to stay busy or I feel as though I am just treading water. The best part of my plans is I have a tremendous amount of flexibility.

Pauline January 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

I love this post! My grandparents are 85 and keep very busy, cycling, volunteering for several charities and their church, and finding time to learn how to email to keep in touch with me. This is the kind of life I hope to live, but I certainly hope that I won’t have to work for the money.

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Thanks, The best part of having sufficient money for retirement is you have choices. I hope I am still cycling at 85 years old!

John@MoneyPrinciple January 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I can’t see myself retiring, although strictly speaking I am retired from my former industry. But I am still working, some times consulting, other times doing completely new things.

I think the issue is not whether you are retired or not – that is the wrong way to look at it. But whether you are enjoying whatever you are doing. For some of us, we enjoy the work we do and we are privileged. Others have a boring job and can’t wait to ‘retire’.

What’s the big deal? As long as there is enough money it really doesn’t make any difference.

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I agree, my current career (teacher) is a good example! I enjoy teaching and I feel as though I am semi-retired because I only work 22.5 hours a week/40 weeks a year. Compared to my former career of 50-60 hours a week and 50 weeks a year. I really enjoy teaching and influencing people hence why I blog.

Financial Samurai January 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I don’t think I’ll be able to lounge around as well. There is so much to do. I have a long post sharing some insights on the pros and cons of retirement coming up.

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Lounging around just seems boring! Life is not over whether you are 70 or 35 years old.

Boris January 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I always hear those who never “retire” always tend to live longer and happier lives. I admire your tenacity.

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Thanks, but I just don’t feel what a “old person” should feel like! I always want something to look forward to and accomplish. My plan is flexible enough wher eI can do as much or as little as I want.

Lena @ WhatMommyDoes January 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm

My mom says the same thing – she’s a nurse and can earn a full-time salary by working 36 hours per week and schedule 8-day breaks by working lots of days in a row. I think she might slow down, but I doubt she’ll ever quit. She uses it as her “travel the world” fund. In the past 2 years, she’s been to Egypt and China, and I think a Mediterranean cruise and trip to India are up next.

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm

My wife is a nurse too and she wants to continue working. I hope to change her mind to at least reduce her hours.

Rob @FinancialSprout January 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Keeping busy can be one of the biggest challenges of retirement, ask my grandmother. If you’re bored for 30 years you’ll go crazy! I think it’s great that you have a plan to keep yourself busy. It’s probably more necessary that people realize.

Krantcents January 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I know it is necessary fro me! There is a lot of flexibility un my plan to do as much or as little as I want. My bottom line is I must enjoy what I am doing or why bother!

Evan January 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm

It may be because of who I am surrounded by in my life and where I work but it feels like fewer and fewer people are following the traditional notion of retiring (packing up and heading to Fl lol). I may be splitting hairs here, but I feel like if you aren’t working for a wage/commission you are in fact retiring (although keeping active).

Those are some AMAZING GENES!

Krantcents January 24, 2013 at 7:00 am

Keeping active does not have include earning money. I think many older people feel healthy and enjoy staying active although some may have to work.

Suba January 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm

My husband tells me this every time we talk about retirement. I don’t think we will ever retire, in the traditional way, either. We have so much planned after we hit financial independence, it is like we are really really starting our life only after that. I only hope we are in good health to achieve all our retirement dreams.

Krantcents January 24, 2013 at 7:02 am

I find it odd that you have to wait to start your life versus the journey. I enjoyed the journey almost more than the accomplishment.

Suba January 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Our journey is just tighten the belt and save as much as possible for the dream. I am not saying we are not enjoying now, but we will really be fulfilled only after we start doing what we want to do (which won’t be possible while we work full time in a job).

Krantcents January 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I think I enjoyed the journey almost as much as reaching the goal. I celebrated reaching every milestone because it felt like a mini victory and it was a sign of progress.

Gen Y Finance Journey January 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

These are such great ambitions. Thinking about what you’d do once you hit financial independence is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of yourself. And I imagine it also helps you feel more prepared once you actually get there.

Krantcents January 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

I don’t know if I can describe the feeling you have when you reach financial independence! Some words come to mind such euphoria, confidence, ego boosting, independent, etc. My plan was to expand into business(es) and balance or diversify my holdings. Now my plans are evolving to want flexibility and fulfillment. Increasing income is no longer a necessity. For me, planning helps me reach my goals.

Kylie Ofiu January 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Fantastic plan! I think cycling part of the Tour De France course would be amazing!

I doubt I will ever fully retire. I do enjoy what I do and can’t sit still at the best of times, let alone retire and do ‘nothing’. I love to travel, so plan on doing lots of that now, instead of saving it for retirement.

Krantcents January 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Thanks! You are right, I don’t think I will do a lot of traveling as I get much older. I did hear of some seniors using cruises as a replacement for assisted living though. Hmmmmm!

K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! January 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

Loved this post! I am working to reach FI mainly to support whatever I would like to allocate my time doing. But the goal is keep my mind and body working on something that I connect with and gain pleasure doing. If I still enjoy my career when I reach FI then I’ll happily continue working full-time. It’s about being in the position to choose a course of action without feeling financially stressed. My mom is in her mid-seventies and still works part-time mainly for the social interaction and sense of being productive with her time. Both her and I are alike in that we’d go nuts just sitting at home!

Krantcents January 25, 2013 at 9:25 am

Thanks, I share the same feelings about staying busy. Everyone is different, but the common tread is doing something you enjoy. Financial independence gives you many more choices. Good luck!

Shannon @ The Heavy Purse January 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Wow! Your story is amazing and inspiring. I love that beyond preparing yourself financially for retirement, you really took the time to think about how you wanted to spend your so-called retirement. So many people skip that step, but frankly it’s almost more important than the finances. How can figure out how much you need when you don’t know what you plan to do? And I love, love the idea of biking part of the Tour de France – what fun!

Krantcents January 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Thanks, putting together a plan helps me start now! I started volunteering and will just add more. I have been a bicycler for 20+ years and teaching or training almost my entire life. I particularly like the flexibility of my plan.

101 Centavos January 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

I think I’m with you on not ever retiring. I plan to have an active homestead with a large garden. Enough by itself to keep busy year-round, not including other activities and interests.
My dad, by the way, climbed the Stelvio on his bike a few years ago with a friend, as a personal challenge. Both were in their late sixties.

Krantcents January 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

I can handle hills, but not mountains! I think a half century will be enough of a challenge for now.

Jesse January 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I love doing what I do and feel the same way, I don’t plan to “retire” in the traditional sense. I want to continue working on projects that I enjoy till the end.

Krantcents January 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

The old age home will be very different in the future with more and more people learning and using computers! i just want something to look forward to do every day. I think the more I am engaged and stimulated, I will live longer and happier.

retirebyforty January 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Keeping active and engage is the way to keep happy. I love your plan. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m 65, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be playing golf and watching TV all day. It’s more fun to keep life interesting by traveling and volunteering.

Krantcents January 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Thanks, I figure I have 30 years in retirement and I want to have a good time before I have to go into some old age facility.

Shilpan February 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm

This is one of my favorite posts! I have seen plethora of articles on how to retire early, but none on how to work more. I also don’t see myself retiring in the traditional sense. I can retire now if I wanted, but I won’t. Nonetheless, having financial freedom allows me to do what I enjoy most.Thanks for sharing!!

Krantcents February 3, 2013 at 8:01 am

Thank you! I grew up with overachievers and realize that I must do something with my life or it lacks meaning. When I “retired” at 38 years old, I started some businesses because I just could not just collect my rents and kick back. This time, I want a variety of things to do so I can do as much or as little as I want to. I think I will probably try to keep a schedule of a few hours a day of things I enjoy off my list although that could change.

Donna McCaw February 3, 2013 at 6:10 am

This is what retirement looks like now. Active, engaged, varied, and personal. Baby Boomers are not known for going gently into that good night. We do need a new word for this life stage because of the connotations of inactivity associated with the word retirement. Something a bit more dynamic. You are not alone in this kind of plan by any means.
At least you have a plan!

Krantcents February 3, 2013 at 8:19 am

Being a lifelong planner, I knew I needed a plan. To your other point, I grew up thinking it would be very different when I turned sixty. Society says it is old, but most people who turn sixty are not that old. Many baby boomers did not work hard physically and are pretty active in their sixties. At 66 years old, I am ready to tackle a variety of things both physically and mentally challenging. I think when I “retire” in 4-5 years, I will be moving into another phase of my life. I think life is a bunch of phases and I am just entering one of several. I hope to still occasionally write about them.

Kevin @ Invest It Wisely February 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

I feel the same way. Even if I no longer work in an office, I certainly don’t consider myself retired, and I work much more than before. ;) As long as I can do something, I’d like to keep on doing it, and not consider myself “retired”.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

Great! I just enjoy working especially if I can do what I love to do. I would probably reduce the number of hours working to maybe 3 hours a day though. Wait a second, I only work 4.5 hours a day now, but I am here about 8 hours.

Sharon February 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Financial freedom by 38? You are a rock star. You are also in a good situation with a pension and social security. I hope to be doing something productive well into my 70′s and 80′s. My grandmother worked into her 80′s as well, working as a bookkeeper for her church. It didn’t pay much, but it kept her mind active. She didn’t need the money as she had a great pension from my grandfather who worked for the telephone company. We are not going to be as lucky. We’ll have to rely on our 401K’s to keep us going in retirement.

Lots of food for thought in this post! :) !

Krantcents February 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Thank you, I was just a man with a plan! Financial freedom provides a lot of choices, the most important of which is the freedom to do what you like/love. I trained lots of people over my career and teaching is similar. Next year, I am teaching Personal Finance and Intro to Business Careers (again). I get a lot of freedom in teaching because I know how to get things done. Being happy in your careerprovides additional opportunities. The perks and benefits including the pension is just a bonus.

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