Boomers, how will you fill those empty hours between the office and the grave? 14

As someone who is staring down the barrel of retirement, I read everything I can on the subject. It will not surprise you to learn that some advice is better than others; some suggestions are nuggets, while others are more McNuggets – of questionable provenance and hard to swallow.

beachretirementThe advice ranges in value from “Damn, I woulda never thought of that” to “No shit, Sherlock?”

An article I just read is the latter. If I had to follow this guy’s advice I would either stay on the job or shoot myself.

Here’s a McNugget: “Once you are fortunate enough to retire, you don’t want to squander your hard-earned free time.” No kidding? After a lifetime of toil, I don’t want to piss away what remains of my life? Thanks, Solomon – duly noted.

The author has a list of things he’s looking forward to. One of them is trout fishing on Oregon’s Rogue River; another is hot-air ballooning over the Sonoma County wine country.

OK, I’ve been fishing and it’s boring. Like golf, it’s just an excuse to drink before noon (for losers who need an excuse, anyway).

Hot air ballooning, on the other hand, sounds like incredible amounts of fun. And what if you combined the two? Trout fishing from a hot-air balloon! That would be freaking awesome. Or how trout hunting from a hot-air balloon? With wine! When you’re looking for fun, guns and alcohol are a hard combo to beat. Toss in the distinct possibility of a fiery death and you can’t miss. Sign me up!

If trout hunting doesn’t appeal, how about splurging on something you’ve never done before? This author suggested a full-day spa treatment, or sitting by a fire on the beach watching the sun go down.

Oh – sorry; was I snoring? How about snorting coke off a stripper’s ass? If I thought my heart would take the stress (running from a wife armed with a box knife and a divorce lawyer has to be stressful) that’s what I’d pick. But a spa treatment? I’d rather take my chances trying to outrun my wife.

He also suggests learning new things. Learning is never a bad idea, but he suggests classes on understanding investments. That’s OK, I guess, but I’d be better off signing up with a running club and/or learning first aid.

Learning something new is a great way to keep things fresh, so he’s taking Mandarin lessons. That’s great, but not much help to me here in Texas. I’d be better off learning how to speak Spanish, so I’ll be able to communicate with the nice people who will be feeding me soup and changing my diapers in the not-distant-enough future.

I also toyed with the idea of learning to grow marijuana. My wife suggested that I move to Colorado to do that, or also take lessons in how not to become someone’s prison bitch.


  1. As a recent retiree I can attest that finding things to occupy your time is not hard. Like right now for instance. Reading inane blogs can fill up large amounts of time. In fact AISYTTF is one of the most consistent examples of that on the Interwebz. Keep up the dull work Carmack, at my age my system cannot handle any sort of stimulation, You da man!

  2. Dear Jeff,
    I appreaciate your zest for life! I too understand your need to seek pure fun. I believe I embody this principle and strive for it EVERYDAY, why wait? To find out more about yourself and what you truley love, I would definitly suggest doing a full spa day. Where else can you totally unplug, sip champagne, and dream about cool places to enjoy sweet sticky weed, other than your own couch. A change of scenery would do you some good. I think you have not thought about the benefits of a day at the spa in say…VEGAS! Getting a massage in a beautiful place, and spending the afternoon at an adults only pool will open new doors for you. The quiet time will allow you time to fantasize about what you truely love and how you would like to spend your time. Pack your tablet and write a new bucket list.

    PS Do not ask for a “happy ending” in a world class spa. It is tasteless and the doorman can point you in a different directions for said activites.
    Keep and open mind.

    Best Wishes for a long, happy, and healthy retirement.

  3. At the moment I resent my job for using the time I would rather spend on my hobbies. Once I retire I will perfect my finger-style guitar playing, do lots of needlework, and finally learn Italian. (Ya se español ahora. No necessito enseñas. Quizas polaco? Ruso? Farsi?)

  4. Jeff, you have to learn to play Bridge. It is an intellectual’s game and you would be great at it. Go to and download the free “Learn to Play Bridge” software. During the process they ask if you are an ACBL member but you don’t have to be one to get the free software. They just ask to keep track of who’s using the program. Just say no and proceed. There is a bridge club where you can play in Austin, probably at the university. I play, teach and direct bridge, and I would have gone insane being retired without it! You would still have time for fishing.

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