This time of year, I often think of the carefree summers I enjoyed as a child. I spent the first 13 years of my life in Newark, Ohio, before moving to Cincinnati. My father is from Akron and most years my sister and I would spend at least a week at my grandparent’s house visiting our aunts, uncles and cousins that lived in the area.
My grandfather (Pa) passed away in 2010 and would have turned 100 this September. He is never far from my thoughts and I am forever grateful for the lessons he taught me.
1. Happy endings aren’t just for the movies
My grandparents were married for 72 years. My husband, Tom, and I will each have to live to age 99 to accomplish this feat! They were able to live in their house until the year Pa passed away. Remaining physically and mentally active and being blessed with good health allowed them to maintain their independence.
2. The importance of social circles
My grandparents were always active in their church and had a wide circle of friends. They were fortunate to live close to most of their 8 brothers and sisters and saw them frequently. After Pa’s death, my grandmother moved to an independent living facility where she remains today. She just turned 94 in March and continues to spend her days filled with social engagements and family visits.
3. Live within your means
My grandfather drove a Frito Lay truck for a living and my grandmother never worked outside the home. They lived in the same house for 47 years and were diligent savers. Pa stopped working at age 60 and they were able to enjoy a comfortable retirement which included spending winters in Florida and many rounds of golf.
4. Have a purpose
Pa started caddying at the age of 13. Golf was his passion and he played whenever possible. One of his happiest moments was when he finally got a hole-in-one at age 89. A retirement lasting over 35 years would not have been nearly as fun if he wasn’t able to do something he enjoyed so much.
When I envision my life after work, my grandparents often come to mind. Having a fulfilling life, surrounded by the people I love is just as important as making sure I’ve saved enough money. I hope it is for you too.