Adventures in Retirement
Thanks to medical science we are living longer.
Thanks to ibuprofen, we’re also functioning longer.
Retirees, especially, are beneficiaries. With time
and a bottle of friendly caplets on their side they
can do things earlier generations of retirees could
not. Instead of sitting in a rocker and watching
re-runs of Golden Girls, retirees today are sitting
in a catbird seat and self-directing their lives
into new and exciting adventures.
know this because, in my job as proprietor of a
yacht school and chartering enterprise, I have been
privileged to talk to some of these adventurers and
I am watching the first wave of boomers plan and
take action for the best years of their lives.
Bruce and Margaret Ellen have chartered with us many
times. When Bruce retired they cruised from Myrtle
Beach on the East Coast to Fort Myers then back
again. In two years they put 270 hours and 3,000
miles on their boat.
put Richard and Suzy Koths of Michigan in this
category. Though some years away from retirement,
the Koths own a 42-foot motoryacht which they put
into our charter fleet. It helps pay for the boat,
upgrades and upkeep. When they retire, they’ll
already have their winter home in Florida adjacent
to one of the great cruising destinations in the
Many people who attend our liveaboard yacht school
are finishing up their careers and soon will have
the time to do what they really want to do. Cruising
is a big part of their retirement plan. More than
once I have heard talk about cruising “The Great
Loop.” Sometimes called the Great Circle Route,
this is the continuous waterway that takes cruisers
up the Atlantic Seaboard, across the Great Lakes,
down the Mississippi, and along the Gulf of Mexico.
They even have their own association.
Cruising the Great Loop seems somehow appropriate
for our goal-setting culture. Buried in our careers
we seek to build a nest egg and to provide for the
future. Once security is in our sights, we look to
fulfill another basic instinct -- adventure. An
ambitious plan like cruising the Great Circle Route
Cruising also is a civilized way to fulfill the
deep-seated desire we all have to return to the
basics. I call this satisfying our “call of the
wild” instinct. Instead of a closet full of clothes
and shoes, we bring onboard a duffel bag’s worth of
basics and boat shoes. Cruisers know that so long as
their clothes suit the weather their outfit is
probably perfect for every occasion.
Once upon a time Dinah Shore sang about seeing the
USA in your Chevrolet. Today, she could be singing
about seeing the USA in your cruising boat. Cruising
is a great way to see the USA without having to pull
your wheeled vehicle into a gas station every few
hours and an interstate motel every night. When
you’re cruising, you don’t have to pack and unpack
every night. With cruising, your castle is also your
mode of transport. It’s fun. It’s scenic. It’s very
economical. It’s romantic.
Today’s new generation of retirees are redefining
“sailing into the sunset.”