America’s Coolest Small Towns 2010

Budget Travel finished their poll of the 2011 coolest small towns and the results are:

Ely, MN
Cloverdale, CA
Brevard, NC
Saugatuck, MI
Kennett Square, PA
Bandon, OR
Cuero, TX:
Nyack, NY
Medicine Park, OK
Egg Harbor, WS

Rest of the best small towns are:
Sandoint, Idaho – Stow VT, Redge Lodge MT – New London NH – Lyons CO – Sitka AK, Siston OR, Cooperstown NY,  Three Rivers CA, OJai CA.

Ironically I have visited more of the small towns on the “Rest of the Best Smalls Towns” list and they are good choices.  The top list of best small towns gives me a list for future visits.

Retirement – Are You Ready and Can You Do It?

Retirement – When Does It Begin?

Looking forward to retirement is the current pastime of many of us 50+ years old boomers.  Anticipating our retirement and what it will be like is a pleasant thought.  They say you really don’t know what retirement is until you actually retire.

The expected benefits are many: having more time, doing things we like, making new friends, traveling, experiencing new things, less stressful life and a better balance between work and play.

Using the new definition of retirement as being a better balance between work and play, when do we pull the trigger and consider ourselves being in retirement? When you leave your full time career job?  When you start drawing social security somewhere between age 62 to 66?  Or when you say so?  Many people find it hard to say they are retired, even after they have retired.

Some people ease in to retirement. They start working from home doing consulting or a Internet business.  People start working part time or take some time off then jump back in for a while. Some people move to a 55 plus community on the edge of a metro area and still work full time.  All of these are the transition to retirement and help easy the process. The exciting part is actually starting the process for a better balance of work and play in our life, no matter what you call it.

Robert, age 62 and retired

Rediscovering Passions In Retirement

Retirement Activities

Now that I am retired and have time, I am rediscovering some things I used to like to do that I have not done in say, 25 years.  Once of those things was to attend the European style Formula road races.  I guess it started when in 1972 I was taking leave from the Army (drafted in Jan 1970) while stationed in Germany.  I got my back back and sleeping bag and hit the road for 30 days to see Europe.  Well I just happened to be passing through Le Mans France when I noticed everyone getting off the train at that stop.  I follow them right in to the 24 Hour Le Mans race.  That’s when I got attracted to this type racing.  Back in Atlanta in the 1970s I started going to the same type races at Road Atlanta with my wife Mary Ann.  We even camped in the infield a couple of times.  Those were the days.

Then life happened and I was a professional accountant then real estate broker and didn’t have time for such.  I haven’t even thought about it for some time.  Now that I have more time, my friend Scott and I attended the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta last Fall.  It was great. We went in the paddock area and saw the Peugeots, Audis, and Ferraris up close.

So last weekend when Scott wanted to know if I would go to “The Mitty”, a historic sportscar show and race at Road Atlanta, I said sure.  I found out I was not the only boomer who likes this type racing.   Many of the guys racing were in their 50s and 60s.   They were really enjoying themselves, showing off their cars and then racing them. The gentleman in the photo above is Tony Adamowicz.  He was having his 69th birthday and came in second in his class driving a 1969 Eage MK5 Formula race car that he had won the championship with in 1969.

Many boomers were taking photos at the events.  We assumed one gentleman with several long lens cameras was a photo journalist, but he said was just doing it for himself.  He was not alone.  Then there were the boomer spectators like me, enjoying the sun and fresh air while walk around the massive grounds to see the race from several view points.

Rediscovering this passion from my earlier years is a delight.  I expect to do more rediscovering of the things I used to like to do as well as new adventures.