Today is opening day at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox. While I am not much of a baseball fan, I do love the history and tradition that Fenway Park represents. You can just imagine all of the memories made at a storied park like Fenway. My memory of the park is a bit unusual. Different from what most may think about when watching the boys of summer. Here’s where I met the pilot and his wife.
I met a very interesting couple about six years ago at the 406 Clubhouse at Fenway Park. I think of them often. The Clubhouse was very impressive. It sits right on top of home plate and faces the Green Monster. I could view the entire park from the floor to ceiling windows. When the Sox are away, the Clubhouse can be rented for events. I presented to a group of investors who came for a retirement planning seminar. (Ok, they really were coming for a tour of Fenway and a cocktail hour…but they did stay to listen to the presentation!)
The seminar covered topics that everyone planning for retirement needs to think about. One topic is about how long you may live. I also talk about investing to beat the ravages of inflation. And when to start on your own planning. The audience was very engaged. I saw many wives giving an elbow poke to their husbands or looking at them with a raised eyebrow. As is often the case after a presentation, people stop by to ask a question or tell me a story.
This night, I met a pilot and his wife. He was in his late 50s, she was a little younger. He thanked me for the very informative presentation. First he asked, “What are you supposed to do when you are forced to retire before you are ready?” And followed with, “How can you really prepare for that?”
Forced retirement comes to the pilot
He shared that he was frustrated that he had been forced to retire. Most older pilots had a mandatory retirement age at that time. The airlines were restructuring and offering early retirement packages. After a few minutes of conversation, I turned to his wife with a question.
“How do you spend your time and how is it going now that your husband spends more time at home?” I asked.
Turns out, she had been a flight attendant for the same airline. Unfortunately, her job had been eliminated. She was very honest when she shared with me that “early retirement” was very hard on her. And, on him.
She laughed and said, “You know, I married him knowing that I would not spend every day with him. Our marriage has been successful since it’s been 4 days on, 3 days off! Now, we’re driving each other crazy.”
Retirement was quite an adjustment for this couple and I can’t help but think of them often. They are part of the Baby Boomer group who faced the reality of retirement before they were ready. I hope they were able to develop a game plan that worked for them and they are enjoying retirement.
If you are a younger Boomer, do share your game plan for retirement. How have you faced early retirement offers? What have you decided to do? If you have a spouse or partner, how are you doing spending so much time together? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
(And, if you do follow baseball, the Red Sox just won their first game of the year – 9 to 6 over the Yankees!)