Retirement– Trading One’s Time, Saving a Dime

One of the eye openers of retirement is that one’s life is not really different just because one retires. One wakes up the morning after one’s retirement party to discover the only real change is that one is not required to punch the clock at work. Consequently after a lifetime of working at the job one has some real-time on one’s hands. What one does with it more often than not determines one’s happiness.

Initially one benefits from taking an honest look at what condition one’s condition is in and doing things to improve it. This belies another reality of retirement. All too often one needs to do something to do something else. When younger one simply does what one wishes to do. Climb a tree, just do it!

In retirement one discovers the importance of doing certain things necessary for one to do the other things one wishes to do. This two-step process is an eye opener. Yes, one has more time and more things to do just to do the things we are used to doing. One’s metabolism slows down 3-5% in one’s 50’s, and in one’s 60’s and 70’s. When one reaches the age of 75 it is evident that one has slowed down a bit, clearly a bit less energy but everything is still manageable given the proper focus and effort.

Yet another eye opener is that saving properly for retirement does not diminish the importance of trading one’s time. Retirees rejoice in one’s new found time, time to do things they love to do.

If one is a retired passionate golfer and has budgeted this expense properly then it’s time to hit the links regularly. If one is a retired passionate golfer and is looking for ways to reduce expenses over-all long-term, then trading one’s time for green fees is a great opportunity.

Whether trading guitar lessons for Spanish lessons, youth officiating duties for passes to the community recreational center, ski resort duties for ski passes, travel duties for complimentary travel, theater and music venue duties for free tickets, it’s all good.

As a young boy I learned how to shoot billiards (no pockets) and Fronton (Jai Alai) Jai alai – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia while living in Mexico as a kid in exchange for teaching individuals how to speak English. Free access resulted in my becoming really good at these games in a short period of time. This also enabled me to spend my allowance on things I couldn’t trade my time for.

A retiree like a kid has plenty of time. The money one has in the bank is frozen energy accumulated over a lifetime. Before one thaws out all of ones frozen energy to play today the notion of trading ones real-time for play today is worthy of consideration. One may discover that the money one has in the bank can be better spent in other ways. Retirees also get the chance to apply their wisdom, meet new people and stay connected to their passions without stressing the budget.

Some retirees have taken this concept to heart and applied it to their over-all budget by trading their time for their housing/traveling expenses. House swapping is becoming increasingly more popular.  However a retiree applies the concept to their lives it is a valuable tool providing greater opportunity and financial flexibility.

The Retired Couple  – Trading Time for Housing/Travel Expenses

Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” plays softly in the background. Their new lifestyle has unexpectedly enhanced their spirituality. Rick and Liz are getting paid while taking permanent vacations in America’s most beautiful destinations. They love working and living in America’s finest scenery while enjoying their RV that features all the comforts of home. They’ve learned how to keep their living costs in check. They love the travel and adventure, being closer to nature, learning new things, helping and meeting new people.

Rick and Liz have volunteered and worked as paid interpreters, guides, campground hosts, and nature studies instructors all over the U.S. They typically give presentations for guided tours but like to do anything that keeps them learning new things. They’ve seen America’s beauty firsthand and made many friendships along the way, relationships they would never have had otherwise.

Their lifestyle also helps to keep their living costs in check. Often times the jobs they seek pay little more than minimum wage but they receive free campsites with all utility hookups for their work. Some employers provide gas bonuses to lure people to them. Rick and Liz enjoy their freedom and the means to see anyplace they want in the U.S. They’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover that many employers seek seasoned employees who possess excellent work ethics. Rick loves to read, collect rocks and is an avid chess player. Liz is an avid birdwatcher, and loves to knit and do macramé.

Examples of where the Boomer Age jobs are around the U.S.:

Lodges, ski resorts, youth camps, RV parks

Campgrounds, resorts, national and state parks

Marinas, amusement and theme parks

Guest ranches, casinos, and racetracks

Examples of positions available to retired Boomers around the U.S.

Tour guides, musicians, chuck-wagon cooks

Caretakers, managers, activity directors,

Camp hosts, golf course attendants, instructors

Maintenance workers, show actors

Some camp workers choose not to camp. Instead they opt to live in housing provided by their employers, such as private cabins or employee dormitories. Sometimes they rent unique affordable properties on a short-term basis.

Others just pay for their own campsite and work independently in seasonal tourist locations. Some couples trailer their sailboat to different U.S lakes in the spring, and spend the summer working and saving. Then they head to the Caribbean for the winter, living on their boat while renting inexpensive apartments on islands from time to time.

Whether one trades one’s time for what one loves doing rarely; often or all of the time, it is a powerful tool for getting what one wants without breaking the piggy bank.


About Roger O'Keefe

My background is in education and finance. I'm a published author and photographer, former radio talk show host, and creative retirement planning expert. My work is a love of labor, I do not sell any products of any kind. I've appeared as a guest on more than 50 national and local television and radio shows. With a Masters in education, I'm a licensed educator and author of the “Future Bright Program” and the California State Department of Education “Teacher Appreciation Program.” I'm a member of the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Care Planning Council NCPC. I'm currently writing my second book and reside in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My mission is to reshape retirement planning one person at a time. Please visit my website and take advantage of the many complimentary online seminars, resources, and retirement planning tools.
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