Today is a real milestone for me – I turn the big 55. I keep thinking about the Sammy Hagar song “I can’t drive 55”, wondering how this age will be for me. I know it is just another year and number, but “dag nab it”; all those young PF bloggers out their retiring in their 30’s makes me feel like an old man. So while you read this article, don’t shed any tears for my advanced years or the fact I am still working for “The Man”. My wife and I are cruising on the Pacific Ocean on our way to Puerto Vallarta, enjoying the view from our luxury suite. Hey, you only turn 55 once!
(Photo used from Princess Cruise Lines website. I highly recommend them for all your cruising needs.)
On another note, maybe we will run into Sammy Hagar at Cabo Wabo in Cabo San Lucas on the way back. I guess we will continue to drink tequila until he arrives, Sammy better hurry!
My Milestone Birthdays and Cruising
In reflecting on past birthdays, some were big milestone for me in my life. Here are some of the memorable ones:
- 18 years old: I could vote and became an official adult according to the government. At that time in Colorado, you could drink 3.2% beer legally.
- 21 years old: I guess it sunk in that I am really was an adult. I also went back to college after dropping out after the first year. I was legally able to purchase and drink alcohol.
A brief interruption to your regularly scheduled article: I seem to have an alcohol theme going on here. It is not intentional, however there will be some good wine consumed on my birthday from our wine membership. We are allowed to bring one bottle per person on the ship as part of the rules.
Back from the break to mention more milestones:
- 30 years old: I believe this was the most difficult birthday for me. I was married and it was finally sinking in that I was an adult. A few years prior I woke up and understood I needed to be investing in retirement plans, own life insurance, and build a passive income business. My thirtieth was a tough one!
- 40 years old: My first wife arranged a surprise birthday party for me. Several of my out of state friends flew in for the event. Good times by all and life was running along well – it seemed like nothing could go wrong. Only 4 years later on my first wife’s 40th birthday, my marriage crumbled.
- 50 years old: I had recovered from my divorce and happily remarried. My wife and I spent an awesome couple of days in Mendocino California and I received a 90-minute massage on my birthday! I embraced joining AARP and taking advantage of the discounts available. My debt snowball was cranking along and I was saving as much as possible. The passive income stream was getting better every year.
- 55 years old: I have been celebrating every birthday for the last three years by cruising at least seven days each trip. We found bargains and looked for discounts to upgrade to a balcony room. This year’s trip will warrant a separate article to describe the cruising experience and the room we were offered as a last minute perk by Princess Cruise Lines.
Some upcoming milestones for me
I see a couple more looming milestones, many around finances.
- 59 ½ years old: I now have the ability to draw from my retirement accounts without penalty and various other restrictions and rules. However, I could draw from them now using the 72t rule that dictates some conditions with raiding your retirement accounts early.
- 60 years old: Damn that is old. Am I now a senior citizen? Maybe we will have some grandchildren.
- 62 1/2 years old: I could start drawing on Social Security and a couple work pensions. Not sure if I will. It would be nice not to, living only on our passive income.
- 67 years old: I can draw on my full Social Security at this time
- 70 years old: Damn that is old. Am I really a senior citizen now?
- 100 years old: I kick the bucket/meet my maker. I have been in perfect health until the day I die. The investments have done well and I leave $10 million to my heirs after spending with reckless abandon for years.
My cruising birthday will be in the moment
I plan to completely enjoy my cruising time. The laptop remains at home, the cell phone locked in the cabin safe, the cabin phone in the drawer, and the TV covered with a towel. I plan to escape from connectivity and electronics. This blog will not see any comments from me until I return.
I will enjoy the company of my wife, each meal, several excursions, and the shipboard entertainment. I plan on meeting people and making some new friends. Each day will involve some form of exercise to counteract all the calories I plan on consuming. We will pre-book another cruise with the intention of cruising twice a year or more until we get too old or tired of the experience.
This is a much-needed break for us after selling our house, moving, and tackling many remodel projects. I want every day to last as long as possible, focusing on the moment and the experience.
Take care folks!
Can you remember what experiences you had or where you were on your milestone birthdays?