About 10 years ago, a product scientist that worked on my team at MegaCorp was getting ready to retire and bought himself a bright red Pontiac Firebird with the big hood scoop and body flares. He was a fun guy to work with and said he wanted to treat himself to something fun for retirement and figured that if he only drove it in the summer, it would probably last him the rest of his life!
I was reminded of him recently when a thread on EarlyRetirement.org popped up titled “Early Retirement Treat for Yourself?” The thread had dozens of people sharing what they bought (or planned to buy) themselves for their early retirement. I thought the responses were interesting so I tabulated all 64 of the ‘treats’ people shared:
- Vacation (14) – Trips all over the country, all over the world
- Vehicles (10) – Sports cars, Jeeps, luxury cars, and project cars
- Bicycles (8) – Many of these were expensive carbon-fiber racing bikes
- Boats (7) – A big discussion of sailboats in particular was funny to read
- RV/Campers (5) – A lot of people hitting the open road with their new time
A FEW PEOPLE:
- House Upgrade (3) – Home theater, bigger garage, kitchen make over
- Camera Equipment (3) – Probably to take on all those trips!
- Sound System (2) – Big stereo systems for true audiophiles
- Golf Clubs (2) – Nothing says retired like golfing
- Motorcycles (2) – One person even bought a Harley Trike
- Kayak, Musical Instrument, Computer, Season Ticket Package, Tractor, Telescope
Perhaps this list seems pretty predictable, but I thought the variety was interesting. I was surprised that no one said they built their dream house or bought a lake cabin/cottage. I know a few people who did that. Likewise, only a few people said they didn’t get anything or that retiring early was enough of a treat.
We hit on a couple of the big categories when we retired – we upgraded our sports car and went on a fantastic trip to Japan. Officially, the trip to Japan was to celebrate our son’s high school graduation that summer, but it all sort of happened at the same time.
What would you do / have you done to celebrate FIRE? Anything to add to the list?
Image Credit: FirebirdGallery.com