Article Number: 3
Date : Nov 27,2012
I am sorry I have not added any new information to my retirement experience until now: I have been stuck in indecision. Have you ever been there? It really can be a miserable time. It is one of those times when I find myself afraid to make a decision because it might be wrong. [Deciding is really the hard part you know.] Actually I did decide to buy and live on a sailboat but after going to a few marinas here in Thailand and looking at several boats I realized that owning and living on a sailboat for the next several years is not what I really want to do. That is the question I should have asked myself in the first place, ‘What do you want to do?’
I thought I was going to retire, or at least semi-retire, to a sailboat. But the reality of living on a boat in the topics finally sunk in and when I really thought about the heat and the need to constantly clean and maintain all the equipment on board it seemed like way too much work particularly with things I am not that excited about in the first place like engine maintenance. And while I could have hooked up air-con in the end the trade off just was not worth it for me so at least for now I have decided not to retire to a sailboat. It seemed to me like going camping without the dirt you have so much of when camping in a tent but camping nevertheless. Clothing, wrinkled and smelly. Every meal preparation an ordeal. Well that’s just not me. I imagine there are lots of people who would give up everything for the opportunity but I am not one of them.
So time to move on…
I have also, since learned, that not everyone retires in the sense that they stop working and many of those who do are quite miserable. It is one thing to plan the financial aspect for your retirement days [and many don’t plan at all!] and quite another to have some sort of ‘things to do in retirement’ list made up so that when you do retire you are not watching reruns on TV for the rest of your life. So I guess you could say I took a break from having to decide what I am going to do when I retire…IF I retire.
About 6 months ago my Thai girlfriend, Nee, and I went on holiday to Italy. It was great! For the first 10 days or so we were with a Thai tour. I wanted to do that so someone else could work out the whole itinerary and I only had to worry about the 5 days following the tour where we stayed with friends in a town on the NW Italian coast, near France, called Imperia. On the tour itself we went to Milan, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Genoa, Naples, Pompeii, and Capri. I liked the whole trip but I especially liked Rome and Capri. Capri for it beauty and Rome for it’s rich history. There were times when I imagined I was standing in the same spot, as say, Julius Caesar, or anyone of the names familiar to me of Roman history. What a rush!!
I especially liked roman architecture and took hundreds of photos. When I came back to Thailand from our holiday I immediately started to make drawings of a house or two and then a condominium along the lines of the Italian designs I had seen while travelling the length and breadth of Italy. Before I knew it I was looking at land in Chiang Mai and talking with a local architect to turn my drawings into a condo project. I also talked with a close friend and business partner in other ventures, about my intention and showed him my plan and the possible profit if we built what I had in mind and he decided he wanted to sign on. So at this early stage we have bought the land, talked with a builder we have worked with in the past and are in advanced stages of our completed architectural plans.
There are still many hurdles to get over before this project can become a reality such as selling my house, hiring a sales manager, getting bank financing, and finally making the sales necessary to make a profit but steps are just steps [it’s like ‘how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’] and if I look at them like that and take them one at a time I should be just fine. Starting a large project like this is never easy but it certainly is doable. Other people do it. It is not like I am going to the moon. I still want and need challenges in my life so I have, without really thinking about it, answered my question, ‘What do you want to do? And I also know why. [“I need REAL challenges in my life’]
So when am I going to retire? I am thinking now I just will do what I want to do and stop when I want to stop and not put a date on it. After all it is the journey and not the destination that counts.