Retirement is not all that simple, especially when your regular routine is working 9-5 for 32 years. All of a sudden, you have the entire day to …. what? Without a plan well before your first day, retirement can be downright scary.
There are lots of little things to eat the time — yard work, little 'fix-er-uppers' around the house, blah blah. The trick is to have a purpose. Some donate their time, some start little businesses. The man I met took his hobby and turned it into a classroom.
This man, I'll call him "Grandpa", likes to toil in the sun. He's a beekeeper and a master gardener. He's a doer, someone who teaches by showing. And he's got 3 grand-daughters who are watching his every move.
So he came up with an idea. He asked the girls what they wanted to do over the summer, and they overwhelmingly screamed .. "Let's plant a garden!" … and a garden they did plant.
Grandpa asked the girls to bring out their piggy banks. "Why?", Was the youngest one's immediate question.
"Because you're gonna pay for the garden seeds this year", Grandpa said.
Tears flowed down her cheeks.
So Grandpa sat them all down on the grass in the backyard under the Illinois sun, and asked them to close their eyes. He then asked them to remember last year, when they planted tomatoes, strawberries, and corn. Grandpa invited them to lay back and let the sun hit their faces, remember how their plants grew, and how good it felt to see the leaves and shoots poke out from the soil.
He gave them each a choice. They could spend their money on seeds and grow another garden, or they could keep their money and not have a garden this year.
Suddenly, that money was not worth much. Especially without a garden.
So Grandpa took the girls to town and they all bought the seeds, tomato seeds to be exact. For all of $ 5, he and the girls planted tomato seeds. In all, 150 plants were sown. The girls knew to be patient. They'd gardened with Grandpa before.
But this time, those three small girls had something to lose. Those tomato plants never saw the shadow of a weed within 10 feet of them. Those girls took measurements every week, and reorganized the plants from biggest to smallest, giving the slower ones a bit more attention.
One of the little girls even named a few plants. "They can hear my voice", she said matter-of-factly.
While all of the plants grew, Grandpa worked with the girls to paint some signs; signs that would tell the world that those girls has something for sale.
And sell them they did. At $ 3 per plant, they had sold all their tomato seedlings in one short weekend. The oldest girl did the math — they had made $ 450. The second oldest, in her non-assuming way, reminded Grandpa of the $ 5 they'd spent.
The profit was $ 445. More crunching of numbers. 445/3 (they forgot to pay Grandpa) was $ 148.33 per girl.
They each needed a bigger piggy bank.[ff id=”2″]