How The Other Half Is Doing In Retirement

I’m always writing about how I am doing in retirement. Today, I want to write about how my husband is doing in retirement. If you ask him if he is retired, he will tell you he is semi-retired, which, I suppose is partially true. He does take on work every once in a while but lately he hasn’t. That’s due to a combo of health issues, which in turn, have made his working days severely limited and numbered. So, he’s faced with real retirement now!

Back in 2005, DH has been accumulating things for what he would like to do in his retirement. His main dream is to have a garage he could putter in. He wants to repair cars and tinker. He bought a 2000 Grand Jeep Cherokee for pennies on the dollar, that seriously needs a new engine. It’s 2018 now and hopefully, once the barn interior is finished, DH can tinker and restore this valuable (so he says) vehicle. And make some money!

DH’s main idol, inspiration and TV mentor is Richard Rawlings from Gas Monkey Garage, also known on TV as the reality show ‘Fast and Loud‘:

This TV show is just one of MANY hubby watches morning, noon & night

So, in 2005, when I received a modest inheritance from my dad’s estate, I asked my family if there was anything they needed. My youngest wanted her student loans paid off ($50K). My oldest wanted a $50K down payment to buy a condo. And Nick wanted a garage. He did some research and the best, cost-effective deal was to erect a pre-fab steel barn and use it as a garage. The cost was, of course, $50K and that’s the fastest $150K liquidated out of my inheritance ever in US history! But I digress.

barn.jpg - 1
insulated, radiant floor heating, bathroom with shower, garage door high enough to store RV

Once the steel barn was erected and finished in 2006, that’s about all that was done with it. We ran out of money (or I just wouldn’t allot any more funds towards the project) and the barn just sat as a huge storage bin for years. It had no electricity, no running water and no heat.

Till now.

Three months ago, DH had electricity brought into the building (it passed inspection). Since DH works at times as an electrician, he is doing all the interior building wiring himself. Our well sits right outside the barn and will be easy to arrange having running (hot and cold) water installed in the building. DH again will be doing all the plumbing work himself.

Let There Be Light.

First on DH’s agenda, once electricity was brought in to the building, was to install lighting. Also, thanks to electricity, DH is bringing in electric heating, use of his power tools and some semblance of order and continuity. There’s still a lot of clutter DH needs to dispose of (such as my daughters stuff) but he’ll get there. The good part (for me) is that he’s out of the house most of the day (thank you Lord Jesus!) and he just comes back for lunch and then dinner. Hopefully the lighting and the heat will keep him in the barn for longer period of time (fingers crossed!) He also has a microwave, dorm-like refrigerator, dual recliner chair and a stereo system. All he needs is a flat screen TV and it sounds like the perfect man cave to me!

barn.jpg - 3
Let there be light!
barn.jpg - 5
Don’t mind the clutter. And there’s that 2000 Jeep Cherokee just waiting on an engine.
barn.jpg - 6
Don’t mind the mish-mosh. DH concocted a superb sound system generated out of his iPhone.

OK. So, now I have explained to you, my readers, what my hubby does during the day as he spends time in retirement. In the meantime, one of his friends turned him on to ham radios. His friend sent him a free beginner radio. DH had me buy him an instruction book from Amazon (our local library did not carry the book). DH spends his evenings studying furiously so that he can pass an upcoming ham radio test next month and become a licensed ham radio operator. He has also reached out to a few local ham radio clubs here in our vicinity (who knew?) and will be attending a few upcoming meetings (while also making new friends).

barn.jpg - 7

In other words, he’s busy!

Pardon the pun, but this is Nick At Night:

at night.jpg
radio in hand, head light, ear phones as he listens to a podcast on ham radios, while watching TV

How can anyone NOT love this guy? He’s a hoot for sure. And I am so proud of him. He tackles every challenge until he learns and understands it. He challenges himself each and every day. He’s stead fast and doesn’t give up. DH has goals and ambitions. He won’t let anything deter him.

About a month ago, a past employer promised DH a $1000 bonus. Nick never got it. But he was persistant. He very calmy kept contacting the employer. Said he was checking in with him and oh! BTW, didn’t get that bonus check. It took around a month but DH got his $1000 check (yay, Anne!) Nick is going to use all of this money to finally finish off his barn and make his Richard Rawlings-like dream come true. He’s going to have a full, finished gas monkey garage. DH is going to buy and fix up cars for later sale and he’s going to tinker. Only took him twelve years to get here, but he’s here nonetheless.

Happy retirement, Nick. You deserve it. Have fun!

Side note:  Shhhhhh! DH hasn’t mentioned sailboats anymore. Thank the Lord.




  1. Oh, wow, I got mentioned in a blog. My fifteen seconds of fame. 😀 So glad that bonus came through.

    My husband also watches just about every car show on TV. He’s also a target shooter so he watches all the target shooting shows, too. We have discovered the marriage-saving power of TV earphones. We’re still sitting next to each other in the living room but one of us watches TV and the other one reads. It’s nice that way.

    He’s always been a garage guy, too, but is actually tapering off now that he’s 76. But he has saved us thousands in car repairs.

    I was blown away that you gave each of your daughters $50,000. There was a time when I would have done that, but my sons have torqued me off so badly I wouldn’t buy them a ice cream cone, now.

    Ah, life does hold its surprises. Some of them pleasant, many of them not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anne. I thought I’d give you a shout out. Funny the things men like and are involved in. Lol.
      I’m not as generous as I once was. If we fast forward to today my kids would get a nice meal out and hubby a pre fab storage shed!! Ha ha. But I’m glad I did what I did anyway. My daughters will remember it always and hubby loves his new man cave.
      Thanks for your comment.


  2. Perfect timing to get his man cave heated so you aren’t on top of each other in the colder weather. My son gave me Bosc earphones so I could watch TV or Amazon Prime after the baby goes to bed. Love them!
    I’m confused, I thought your older daughter was paying back the down payment as a loan and still owed you $13,000. Did you give her $50,000 and also a loan? And this is the daughter who wouldn’t make lunch for you when you went to help with her first daughter! Lara


    • Lara, we just visited this daughter last week. And guess what? We brought our own lunch and lunch for daughter and granddaughter as well. It’s not worth it anymore to argue with her.
      At first, we had an agreement that the $50K I gave her for the down payment on the condo was a mutual investment. Thankfully, we had a written and signed notarized agreement. In 5 years she was supposed to either sell or refinance the condo, and based on the increased equity, she was supposed to give me my $50K back plus part of the equity gained on the my investment. That was our agreement.
      Well, the housing market tanked, her value went down and she could only pay me back $15K (which we used to finish off our NY home). I told my daughter from the beginning that the $50K was my retirement money and it had to be paid back when I turned 60. Well, I’m 67 now and she still has around $13,500 more to go to pay me back @$300 a month. UGH.
      She never sold it. She never refinanced it as agreed. She rents it out now and is making a bundle. She used it as collateral to buy another condo, that she and her husband currently live in. They now have real estate holdings valued at $1.125million thanks to me. Her hubby lived in the original condo for 3 years while they saved money to buy their current place together.
      Sorry, but no one, including my daughter makes money off of me without reciprocating. Nope. She has to pay me back the money.
      At first she outright refused, so I threatened to get a lawyer. I had a solid contract. But in the end, her husband agreed to pay me back because he said he was very, very thankful that I gave my daughter the money, interest free in the first place. He said that no one had ever been that nice to him…he was very, very thankful…and he has been paying me back, each month, on time I might add, on the first of every month. Unfortunately, I asked several times for increases but they just can’t afford it. But at least I am getting my money back.
      As for my other daughter, I felt it was only right to help pay off some of her college loans since I was never there for her in the beginning due to my own financial problems. And as for Nick getting his barn, the property is in both our names, so its a moot point.
      If I had to do it over, no one would get anything. I would have used all of the inherited money towards my own retirement.
      Live and learn.


  3. Live and learn is so appropriate when we deal with family and friends and also our finances. Thanks for clarifying. Keeping the money for yourself would have made your life so much easier and less stressful that’s for sure.Sincerely, Lara

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.