Retirement is all it’s cracked up to be

retireemtBy Phil Riske, senior writer/reporter | Rose Law Group Reporter

Retired does not mean tired again.

It means renewal.

Let’s look at “not working” purely from a single financial angle.

During my 37 years of driving to and from work in Phoenix, I chalked up enough miles to circle the earth more than eight times. I estimate those travels cost me $22,000 in gas alone, or $140 per month.

Let’s include the cost of four cars, which was around $100,000.

So, all in all, I spent $122,000 in commuting to work and back home again.

My average monthly gasoline bill in retirement — $45.

Road rage

We’ve all experienced it, and it’s maddening. I guess I could ask a physician the cause and effect of regular blood pressure spikes while driving the freeways for 37 years. Could road rage lead to a shorter retirement?

Work stress

Again, we’ve all been through those times at work when you’d like to throw something (or someone) through the window, and when you get home, you (figuratively) kick to dog and fall asleep on the couch before dinner.

Other than trying to save someone’s life in the ER or trying to land a crippled airplane, I can’t think of many things more stressful than deadlines for journalists. Add to that covering the craziness of the Arizona State Legislature for seven years. (By the way, Mr. Kaepernick, I stood for the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each day of the session at least 630 times.)

Having to wear suits and ties is confining and expensive.

Again, maybe I should ask a physician — or a psychologist — if the government experience could shorten my retirement.

Now, I just watch the craziness of government and the presidential race without having to write a word about it. It’s now entertainment, not work.

Man of the house

About the only retirement-related stress is standing in long lines at the grocery store, which leads me to some unanticipated benefits of retirement for myself and for others.

With my wife’s encouragement, I’m learning to cook. Never did I think someday I’d be planning the family meals.

And, you know, burning a meal or cleaning the house ain’t all that bad.

A good life is a happy wife.

By the way, someone will directly benefit from my retirement because all those suits, ties and wingtips have gone to Goodwill.


I acknowledge working is not only necessary, it can be a maturing and fulfilling experience.

Retirement, however, provides the time to watch the growth of plants, flowers and trees day by day, when work often causes us to mentally miss the seasons, and we don’t stop to smell the roses.

Retirement is better than wondering when the next corporate downsizing is coming.

Retirement is a time to reconnect with friends we neglected because we were “busy.”

Retirement is all it’s cracked up to be.

Try it sometime.

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October 2016