What do you like best about retirement? is an inquiry I often make of recent retirees.
I put that question to a guy I met last week and he was quick to give me a familiar answer: “I listen to my partner head off to work, and I go back to sleep! And then I get up and have a leisurely breakfast while I read the Globe and Mail.”
What? Is that the best he can do?
I’d like to suggest that men give less interesting answers to this question than women, but alas, loads of women trot out this very reply. In fact, pretty well every new retiree has some version of “leisurely start to the day” on their list of favourites.
No-one ever says “Now I can learn to play the ukulele” or “I’m going to clown school at Ryerson”, or “I’ve incorporated my own charity to aid homeless teens.” There must be people who do these things, but they are never at parties I attend.
I did press Mr. New Retiree about his former life. What did he do, and where? It turns out that he taught at a school in Mississauga, about 80 kilometres and a 1 hour drive from his Kitchener home. Except that no morning drive on the 401 ever takes only 1 hour. Not unless you head out the door at 6:30 or earlier. So he would likely be getting up every weekday at 5:30....
I get it.