Cape Gazette
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Retirement 101

How much of a risk taker are you?

By Lisa Graff | Apr 29, 2014

I have plenty of time to read now and have recently discovered the world of blogging. Because of this column, I was invited to post my work on retirementandgoodliving.com. This site has connected continents of readers all sharing their life experiences.

Writers post topics ranging from retiring to Malaga, Spain, to road trips across America. Also on the site, you can read articles about a variety of topics including health, money or even the top 10 fishing spots in the world. (Three are in the U.S.!)

PJ wrote to tell me about her experiences. “One of our goals for retirement was to see more of the country.

After purchasing our first RV in 2003, we spent 11 years (in successively bigger rigs!) making three cross country trips; staying in 154 different campgrounds in 45 states.

Our last RV is now for sale! Family has recently relocated to Germany and is encouraging us to visit, and my husband Bob found out there is a company offering Harley tours of Italy. On to new adventures!” Best wishes to you both as you explore new lands and thanks for writing to me!

This reminds me of the time my boyfriend and I drove across country in a 1963 VW in 1972. I painted the sunroof with peace signs.

We pitched our pup tent next to those mammoth RVs and stoked up the coals on the hibachi to heat cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. The starter failed on the engine in the middle of Kansas, and then life really became a road trip.

Retirement is about taking risks, whether in travel or here in town.

Last week I signed up for an evening class, Canvas and Corks, at the Rehoboth Art League because I have not painted since the fifth grade, and drinking wine at the same time sounded precarious.

The teacher, Jennifer, was very patient with my friend Irene and me.

Between us, we used about 36 brushes and a tray filled with a dozen different paint colors trying to copy her model. OK, I tried to copy her model. Irene went for a more modern art approach.

At the end of two hours, you take home your finished masterpiece and/or your empty bottle, but your pride stays right there in the studio with your soiled apron.

We plan to sign up again, as it is offered every month, because we need more time to let go of our fears or inhibitions. I plan to bring wine for the teacher too.

Speaking of talent, let’s hear it for the specially trained dogs who participate in the L.E.A.P. (Literacy Education Assistance Pups) program at the Lewes Public Library every Monday from 4:30 to 5:30.

Children who otherwise struggle with reading seem to fare better if there is an obedient pup listening. The children’s reading levels have improved, to say nothing about the dog’s education.

One owner, Phil, told me, “I didn’t know my dog could sit that still!” Think it might be awhile before my princess puppy could join this organization. I see dog-eared pages and torn shoelaces of little sneakers.

My next-door neighbors Bob and Jeanette are talented and adventurous risk-takers too. The family is erecting a tree house for children Eric and Emily while Gracie reads to them from our side of the fence. What risks are you taking in retirement other than your 401K?

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