Thursday, September 8, 2011

Retirement? How???

When you start working, retirement doesn’t seem real...that day when you can give up the daily grind of schlepping into a job you’ve been doing for so long, it’s like you’re on auto pilot every day. But where do you start when in fact you are reaching retirement?? We thought you would just quit...don't go into work anymore and stay home. WRONG!!!

First you take more than one ‘retirement’ class! Yup you have to take a class to understand that you're infact retiring!!!! Can you believe at 50+ we were going back to school?!

After all the classes Hub and I decided to get rid of ‘stuff’. After much, how shall I say, ‘discussion’ (to put it mildly), we kept the most cherished. Then we sold the house and bought a 2 bdrm, 2 bath condo in an area that had everything we needed. But after being in our beautiful new condo for a few months we took a trip.

Now Hub being a diver, wanted the Caribbean. I on the other hand go for more daring sports and entertainment like shopping...we choose Mazatlan for our 2 week trip (btw there is no real diving in Maz).

So after twelve days (with two days left) and seeing condos and houses all over Maz we came upon our future casa. Hub reminded me that we wanted a bungalow...something with no stairs, easy to keep up and near the water. Remember we were just ‘looking!’

We bought a 3 level, 2bdrm, 4 bath new house with a spectacular view and only minutes to the water. So on the last day of our vacation we did all the necessary legal stuff before jumping on the plane back to Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

After working out all the details, we could have kept the condo and the new Maz house, but then we would be ‘house poor’ just as all the years before. We decided the condo had to go so, with much regret it was sold. We got rid of alot more ‘stuff’ (yes more uhhh discussion on just what was necessary) and then had one last garage sale.

But there was still one important detail that had to be worked out.

Where would we stay whenever we returned. Skype would solve the communication problem while away as that was already arranged.

Now having only one child, the ‘kid’, our 33 yr old son, his wife ‘A’ and our 18 month old Gbaby ‘M’ were brought into our plan. (His parents moving was nothing new for him and ‘A’ was getting used to all our moves...15 houses over the years.) We outlined our plan to them both...we would return 2-3 months a year to visit family and friends but would need a place to stay and since they had a lovely, large home with room in the self contained basement, wouldn’t it be perfect!

The real question.....Could they really see having the Gparents living 24/7 in their basement for a couple of months a year?

Much to our surprise and delight the answer was yes!

Well you know the ol’ laid plans.

We sold the condo 1 ½ months early and needed to move in ahead of our scheduled flight to Maz, and we did..with bed, couch, bookshelves and boxes...OMG there were boxes!! But the ‘kid’ and ‘A’ were wonderful about it all!!!

Days were spent moving around the boxes as well as running here and there to banks and more financial meetings. We helped with Gbaby as well as cooking, cleaning, laundry and OMG I had forgotten how much laundry a young family has daily!!! We also gave them time to themselves....(so much time that Gbaby #2 is due in the spring.)

We don’t know how they truly felt about our ‘invasion’ but we had a fabulous time, even with Gbaby #1 yelling down the stairs at all hours of the day and nite...”Pappa? PAPPA!!!”

Well the day arrived! After saying goodbye to family and friends we headed off, knowing that we had a home to return to next year (and that would be sooner than planned, what with Gbaby #2 arriving in the spring.)

So off we went. Hub and I each dragging 2 suitcases, 2 large boxes, 2 computers, camera, IPods and magazines but not to Maz...we were off to Winnipeg for an 8 hour layover!! which by the time we landed was closed for the night so we slept on benches, drank coffee and ate stale donuts. In the morning we rechecked all our luggage again this time to head out to a country where English is NOT their first language but where we would now call home. 

Yes it was out of our comfort zone, but would we do it again?????
In a heartbeat!!!!

Just a few thoughts from 2 Canadians living and loving it in Mazatlan.
Linda and Hub