Ask the Readers: What Is Your Dream Retirement?

By Ashley Jacobs on 9 April 2013 (Updated 16 April 2013) 96 comments
Photo: pedrosimoes7

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Emily, Jennifer, and Brenda for winning this week's contest!

Some want to travel around the world, and others want to stay closer to home and family. Some want to rest after years of work, while others can't imagine not working at least some of the time.

What is your dream retirement? Where will you be, what will you do, and when will you do it? Are you on track to reach your retirement dreams?

Tell us about your dream retirement and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For extra entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

    If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

    Giveaway Rules:

    • Contest ends Monday, April 15th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 15th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
    • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
    • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
    • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture

I want to travel! Both truly fun traveling and to help out worthy causes.

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Mary Happymommy

My dream retirement would be to have a house on the beach and be able to take walks on the sand everyday.

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Betty D.

My dream retirement would be a paid for house at the beach, my friends and family close. I'd hope to be busy enough with fun things that I wouldn't miss having a job, but who knows.

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Tiffany

Living in a "green home" in a beautiful area and spending time reading, walking, gardening, cooking, camping, traveling, and developing relationships. Being financially secure, independent, and free from having to work.

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Linda

I am trying to Retire my way right now! I am working 2 days a week and using the other time to go to Estate Sales/Auctions/yard sales for collectables to re-sell and I design Wire Sculpted Jewelry and Art Glass,starting my Etsy site to sell both.And I sell things I find in the Consignment store that I also work in..Lots more fun and better money for my time!Selling on Ebay and Etsy is challanging but I have always loved finding great thiings at great prices so it is a good fit!

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Sara

My dream retirement is becoming a frequent cruiser - and traveling around the world.

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Alex H

Travel. Travel, travel, travel. See the world! See the galaxy!

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Nancy

Soon we will be debt free and have some retirement savings, which along with social security, should be enough for a comfortable retirement if we are frugal. We moved close to our grand-babies and gained the added advantage of a mortgage free home, which has put a realistic dream retirement within reach. My dream retirement consists of (1) being a useful and loving presence in the lives of my daughter, her husband, and especially our grandchildren and (2) working on and completing a book project in collaboration with a close family member on rebuilding a life from the destruction of addiction, which we hope will be a practical and inspirational resource for others. These objectives give my life meaning, which I consider essential to a "dream retirement."

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Holly

My dream retirement would be retiring to a small cottage within walking distance to the ocean and speding my days catching up on reading and listening to the waves.

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Elena

My dream retirement is living in my own house in Europe

Guest's picture

My dream retirement plan is to be able to retire in the home we just bought in Puerto Escondido Mexico and watch the whales and their babies play in the Pacific while I float in the swimming pool

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KF

Definitely traveling. The dream is to have a big enough nest egg to travel comfortably once or twice a year. Other than that most of my time will be spent on hobbies and family. I'm on track for this dream!

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Therese

I would sell my house and travel the world, stopping to spend some time with each of my children and their families throughout the year.

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Kristine E.

I would love to travel everywhere I hadn't been before!

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Olivia

Ah, travel most definately. All across this country. With longish stops along the way. Perhaps in a Tumbleweed Tiny Home.

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Debbie M

My dream retirement is to do lots of things and not have to specialize for money anymore. So I can spend time on many creative, physical, intellectual, social, and charitable goals. I'll stay where I'm living now. I can quit in two months, but only by sacrificing my Roth IRA contributions. I've been doing temp jobs and people still need me, so I may keep doing those until I qualify for my pension or until they dry up.

Sample day: wake up and have breakfast with SO. Go for a jog before it gets too hot. Practice on the guitar a bit. Bring a picnic lunch to a friend who's still working. Catch up on laundry, then tutor someone then work on a project like a book or a quilt. Then spend the evening with my SO like I do now.

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Michelle P

We have been saving really, really religiously for our retirement. Maxing out 401Ks as well as a defined benefit program and other investments so that we can retire young. We hope to be living someplace in the Pacific Northwest and doing lots of tropical travel to scuba dive. Can't wait!

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Yana

Our dream retirement is based on not living according to a work schedule. We don't travel at all now, but if we were free from working for sustenance, we would do a bit of traveling.

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Deborah Basham

I'd love to split my time between a beautiful cabin in the mountains and a great house on the beach.

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Kelly

I would like to spend my retirement traveling- continuing to learn and experience new things like cultures and foods. For a home base, I will have a cottage in San Diego and will spend time gardening, walking, playing bridge with friends, and spoiling grandchildren. Retirement's a long way off for me, but I'm building a nest egg by saving at least 10% of what I earn.

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Guest

I think the dream retirement would be to have enough steady retirement income to do some traveling to other countries. Unfortunately, for us, that what retirement is, a dream.

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Hannaeh (@hannahililly)

My dream retirement would consist of living on a large farm and planting everything under the sun.

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Amanda

My dream retirement would be to move to a mid-size town in Europe, most likely Italy. I'd get my exercise by walking to the market every day to pick up just the food I would need for the next meal or two. I'd enjoy reading books outside and definitely drink lots of coffee and eat pastries like there's no tomorrow.

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kymi

My dream retirement would be to rebuild my home for the kids and their future, Travel the world and relax on the beach in Hawaii.

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anne hill

dream retirement is to travel the world many times over! then settle for 1 year in ireland, then india, then tokyo, then keep moving to different countries each year!

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to have my health and the money to travel the world

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Christie

I would love to work part-time at a job I like (or love) and save money for travel; staying at a place for about a month at a time to really learn about it and not just be a tourist. I would also love to be able to see my family and friends often and enjoy some warm weather. (Living as far north as we do, there is still snow on the ground and I'm SO ready for some warmth!!)

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Diana

Honestly, I just want to make it to 'retirement' with my health. Unfortunately, dying young seems to be the normal in my family. So travel, spending time with grandchildren and volunteering would all just be the frosting on the cake!!!

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Beverly

Over the years, I have learned what is possible, and what is important to ME. So, here goes...I would like to dump my house, purchase a nice camper and spend my time alternating locations, visiting with family and enjoying the beach and the mountains. (I live fairly close to both). If family is free to travel with me, I would like to see some of the west and would definitely like to visit the Holy Land before I die.

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The Scoutmaster

My dream retirement is to travel, volunteering around the U.S.A. How I plan to do this is to buy a small van & convert it into a mini home to travel in. I want to give my current home to my kids, then set out. If I ever get to "OLD" and I'm unable to travel alone anymore, My son has already said they will build a little "Granny House" in the backyard for me to live in. Imagine...after climbing all the mountians, building all the sand castles on the beach, watching all the sunrises & sunsets over nature that I wanted...I will be blessed to garden & bake cookies with my great grandkids. What greater retirement could there be!

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Jody

My dream retirement would be to travel by RV to as many national parks as possible. I'd also love to travel to Ireland to visit my ancestral home.

Guest's picture

My husband and I are working towards owning rental properties that will fund our retirement. So far, we have one (I am 25 and he is 30) and are working on buying a vacation rental. We'd like to be free from outside jobs before retirement age, so we can work full-time on our rentals and be free to take a month or two to travel. Work hard now, so you can enjoy later - that's my motto!

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OFG

Finding happiness in the little things in life. I don't need a big house or a bunch of amazing around the world vacations. I just want to be happy and to find happiness in the little moments that make up my life. I think too often we set big goals and dreams, but it is the everyday moments that make up an amazing life.

... oh and not having to work or worry about money of course.

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Lisa

Retirement came early and unexpectedly for me through a disability. So I've learned to bloom where I'm planted.

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Ellie W

My retirement dream is to share the golden years with hubby and both stay healthy. As long as we can live comfortably I will be happy.

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Natalie B.

Retiring to a lovely cottage in a small town in the mountains. It should have access to an airport and lakes. It should have a wood stove and bike paths!

I want to be able to take hikes, garden, and travel the world if I feel like it.

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lostannfound

Our dream retirement is selling our house, hooking up the camper and hitting the road! Working at state/national parks in exchange for campsites/stipend to help defray some costs of traveling. Seeing more of the US and visiting family from west to east coast.

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Allegra

My dream retirement would be to own a nice house in LA, and have lots of free time for writing and for taking care of many dogs! I'm a good 40-50 years away from retirement, so it's tough to tell whether I'm on the right track. But I do have a dog.

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Kathy

I still haven't given up the idea of finding all the dreams that never came true. I never found the love of my life, I never was able to pursue the career that I really wanted. I just want some happiness before I have to leave this world.
It would be nice to be able to see the things I never got to see, like Bavaria, where my family came from. I'd like to have a little garden and maybe a few chickens so I could have really fresh eggs.
If nothing else, I just want peaceful days, and to genuinely love everybody who will let me love them. I want to do as much for my church as I can.

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J. Pario

My beloved and I would have paid off our house in Nebraska. We would spend four of the winter months in beautiful, sunny Croatia, and then back in Nebraska I would have my own business as freelancer: writing, proofreading, creating custom art pieces, and fixing/decorating furniture and other flea market and garage sale finds. He would continue do shows as a mentalist/magician. We would still walk and bike to work, geocache, be active in our parish, and spend time with our family and friends.

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Tabathia B

My dream is to retire and live in the same area but I would love to travel more and be able to help my kids out in the future with any children that they may have and with the benefits he will now be getting hopefully our future is now a little more secure

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Lisa B.

My grandmother has been a model for how to live in retirement - she's active, she volunteers, she keeps her mind active with puzzles and crossword puzzles. She's 89 now, and up until a few years ago, she mowed her own lawn! When I retire, I hope to be able to slow down, to travel, and to stay active by volunteering like my grandmother.

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NJ

My dream retirement would be having more free time to volunteer in my community and traveling a bit

Donna Freedman's picture

To write just for fun vs. to keep the lights on, and to have enough money/security to travel and to continue helping my family and community -- especially as regards assistance with college funding. Would hate to see my nephews burdened by student loans, and I'd like to keep contributing to the two scholarship funds that helped me when I was a midlife student.

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judyyy

My dream retirement is just to stay well so I can enjoy my grandchildren.

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Debra K

I'd like to do some volunteering and traveling to see family and the world. I'd also like to do more writing.

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Beatriz

My dream retirement is to work part-time for as long as I can but with summers off so I can go stay in different foreign cities for a month at a time with my husband, making many friends worldwide, then coming home to be close to family and have lots of time to walk, think, read and write!

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DeeDee

I want to travel and be able to afford health insurance. I would like to greatly enlarge our garden when we retire so we can supply the food banks in our area with fresh produce.

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c weng

live in other parts of the world, learn their languages and cultures

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Guest

I would love to travel and see the world!

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Monique

My dream retirement hopefully isn't too far off when I'm too weak to enjoy it. I hope to have a little house near friends and family with lots of trees surrounding it and a garden with happy hens. And some dogs, of course, along with stray cats picked up along the way. And every once in a while I hope I'll take off and see another part of the world and meet new people and new ways of life.

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Guest

To live on a boat exploring the world!

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Bethany

I'd like to get busy doing all the stuff I've always put off like reading, hobbies, etc. I'd like an extra room for visitors but not some huge mansion that only those raising kids need.

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Guest

Own a home with no mortgage, travel, chill. I'm a teacher, so hopefully it will happen around 60.

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erBrenda Faulkn

To travel to Australia and England!

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Jen

I'd love to travel. If I couldn't physically do that, I'd like to sit around someplace warm and read all day. And whack people who get out of line with my cane, of course! ;)

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I would be debt free and traveling the world!

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Nicole

I would like to be healthy enough to travel for half the year and volunteer with environmental groups for the other half. That's my motivation to not only live frugally and save money for retirement but also to eat healthy and exercise every day so I'm spry enough to do what I want when I'm older!

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Ben

Volunteer in a museum

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Diane

My dream retirement would be a house near the beach with my sweetheart... totally paid for, with my kids & their families living nearby. While I'm dreaming, I'd also like a HUGE porch/patio with a small gorgeous pool!

Guest's picture

What I'm doing now, writing about wine, only without actually having to make it pay!

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Jerry

At least for a little while, my dream retirement would be to buy an apartment on that luxury cruise ship that just goes around the world. But that would be boring to do indefinitely, so I'd eventually need to go back to at least working part time or volunteering, to remain a productive member of society.

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Lynda

the freedom to travel to anywhere, any time with the health to keep up with it.

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Emily Nagle

volunteer, write, travel.

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Patrick

At the risk of sounding like a broken record with all of the other comments, travel is high on my list for retirement. I would like to travel twice domestically and at least once internationally each year. I would like to be mentally and physically healthy enough to do at least a small amount of work at my discretion. Otherwise, I would like to read volumes, try out a few hobbies I just can't seem to find time for now, take a number of college courses and otherwise take it easy.

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I would like to own a nice B&B on a nice tropical beach that can make money without me having to work much.

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Kelli

I would love to travel the world and also be able to do more philanthropic work for animal causes. I am not at all on track with retirement savings, but I'm hoping to get better about it once my credit card debt is paid off.

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Margaret

My dream retirement is living in a nice community with assistance for any needs for my husband and I and no debt.

My mother (75 yrs old) is living in a two floor home that she can't go down the stairs, is underwater on her mortgage and cannot get rid of the house. She needs assistance with things like lifting groceries and laundry and is otherwise independent but her neighborhood has gone downhill in the 40 years that she's lived there and now she is jittery about her safety alone.

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Susan D.

I'd like to live in a little house near some water when I retire--by a lake, a river, the ocean, whatever--I just want to live near the water again.

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serenity

it would be a dream to retire a early as possible with no debt. Kids are self sufficient. own a nice size house with a nice yard so I can garden. I must also travel.

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Guet

a nice house to live and travel the world!

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MELISSA HANSSON

My husband and I would love to retire to a small town on the Oregon coast.

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Maura

First I would rent an RV and drive from one coast to the other and see the sights and then I would settle down to a place on the ocean and walk the beach everyday.

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Liisa

Lots of travel, a paid-for small house, and some part-time jobs that we love! :)

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Rebecca B. A. R.

I want my husband and I to have enough money to comfortably pay bills, have no debt, be able to help out our nieces and nephews, have a little bit of fun money, and money to donate to charity. We were well on our way to this, until the recession hit, and now who knows when we'll get back on track.

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Tyler

My dream retirement would be to teach part time at a college. I never really want to completely stop working.

Guest's picture

If I could do anything, I'd live in Ireland with a little cottage and some sheep. Since that's unlikely for more reasons than just money, I can be happy will having a cottage-like home & visiting Ireland occasionally. If I'm realistic about my possibilities, then yes, I'm on-track to live those happy goals. :)

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Kay

Staying healthy! Otherwise none of my dreams could come true.

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Lisa

My dream retirement would be to live the way I have always lived, in a big city with easily accessible culture, transportation and services. I love my life and just want it to be able to continue without having to work every day. Retirement should be about the extension of your life, not it's destruction.

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Marina B

Maybe travel a little. Definitely a home on the beach with my hubby!

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SerenityNow

My dream retirement consists of simple pleasures and the time to enjoy them. I hope to have a cozy little home, a garden, and a library full of great books to read.

Guest's picture

Why retire? People are most satisfied when they're doing meaningful work.

I don't consider it retirement but I am planning to trade my house in for a sailboat in the next few years. But I'll still be working from the boat.

Guest's picture

My dream retirement is to live according to the way God wants me to live. I want to be able to give more than I thought possible, and spend time working in the capacity that I'm called to.

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Evelyn

Sleep in! I would love to be able to not have a schedule to go by and to finally start and finish a book in less than a few week. When I retire, I would also like to know what it feels like to be bored and to just have so much time in your hands vs. now when I sometimes wish there was 48 hours in a day.

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Raina

A lot of traveling and living in different places. But my dream retirement might change as I get older. Who knows, might have grandkids and I'll want to stay close to them.

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BRB

To be able to travel as much as we want and not have to worry about money in any regard!

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Julie

I haven't considered it much; I suppose I should! I would like to be able to live simply, near my family, and not worry about money. It would be nice to be able to travel some too.

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Karen L.

My dream retirement would be to first have good health. Secondly, I'd like to have enough savings and income from investments, pensions, and retirement accounts to live comfortable even during unstable economic times. Thirdly, I'd love to live near my children (and future grandchildren) in a comfortable climate away from the snow. And finally, I'd love to have a wonderful network of friends and stay socially active.

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kristina

To buy a farm.

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de

Small, inexpensive apartment with a little garden space, small class B motor home, freedom to travel to visit friends and family and learn about new people and places.

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Dee

Ideally... Healthy! Six months warm, six months somewhere LCOL & temperate; most likely staying in US. World travel once a year & time to see friends, read & help people. Would like to adjunct a course or two, but really only hope for a simple, funded-enough retirement with my sweet husband! That is mostly what I want 'a chance to grow old with' him. :)

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Amy

The traditional idea of retirement is to quit your job to have more free time to do things other than go to work.
Many start planning to retire with their first job counting down the days hours and minutes till they'll be "free".
Sounds like a miserable way to spend 20,30, or 40 years of a life.
Why not find a job you "love" and do it till you die?
Stop working for "the man" and work for you in the sense that you live a life that affords freedom to travel, volunteer, play golf, garden, etc for your entire life rather than the last few years. Most that I've known that have all these plans when they retire only find they've saved too little or waited too long to enjoy life. They find they spend all their days sleeping , eating , watching television and dieing. Ever notice how many vibrant people retire and fairly soon die? No purpose, no activity, no peers, no contribution, loneliness all combined with too much free time delivers you even more soon to the grave.
It is a blessing to have a job, to be needed, to contribute, and to have health that allows for work.

So many plan to travel in retirement yet they don't travel now because it is too costly. When one retires they no longer receive a paycheck therefore how can many travel on a "fixed" income if they can't do it with a pay check? As many age they find they don't drive at night or prefer to stay home....so much for adventure.

My dream is to be able to find employment and keep employment with good health until my last days.

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Carmen

Retirement for me would be to be living mortgage (and debt) free on a small farm with my family. It would have a small house, but large enough that I could have a room of my own (crafts, reading)

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prathee chandar

To live the same standard of live after retirement and live close to the people we love.

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Guest

Living in a safe, cool, sunny place surrounded by lots of natural beauty and cultural and entertainment opportunities including outdoor activities, small town atmosphere, and good shopping -- all of it dirt cheap.

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Nicholas

My dream retirement is to have a paid for house away from the big cities and being able to travel around the world.