Entries in Retirement (5)


Maryland Couple to Retire in 'Tiny House' on Wheels

Image Credit: Kenneth Lam/MCT/Landov(PASADENA, Md.) -- When Greg Cantori and his wife, Renee, are ready to retire, they will not only have to pack up their respective offices, but also downsize their home, in a big way.

The Cantoris of Pasadena, Md., plan to retire in a 238-square-foot house on wheels they purchased two years ago for $19,000.

The couple lives with one of their two grown daughters in a 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home on the same lot where their future retirement home waits on wheels.

“We don’t know how many years it will be but we’re getting there,” said Cantori, the president of Maryland Nonprofits.

Cantori, 53, became used to living in small spaces as a 19-year-old living aboard a sailboat and then spent his honeymoon with Renee, 51, living aboard a 30-foot sailboat in the Virgin Islands for three weeks.

“We know what it’s like to live small and simple,” Cantori told ABC News.

Once on dry land, the Cantoris raised two daughters, now 19 and 22, and began to follow the “tiny house” movement in which people, like themselves, choose to abandon space for simplicity and give up luxuries to make do with less.

“This is not for everyone,” he said. “Probably 99.9 percent couldn’t conceive of doing this.”

The Cantoris, however, can completely conceive of it and have made it their “goal” to live full-time in the “tiny house” they purchased from a lawyer in Kansas and drove across the country to Maryland attached to a U-Haul.

Their “tiny house,” which consists of a kitchen, bathroom, living space and two bedroom loft, has stayed put on their property since its purchase, but once retirement comes, the Cantoris plan to move on.

“We’re thinking of moving it to Western Maryland or Nova Scotia,” Cantori said. “We may find a place we want to stay for a couple of months or a couple of years and then move from there.”

“The rigidity people have when thinking of their lifestyles, they don’t realize they have many other options,” he said in response to those who wonder how, or why, the couple would choose to downsize in such a drastic way.

“None of this is permanent,” Cantori said.

Cantori also sees adapting to a “tiny house” as a great and easy way to keep the property in the family. Both daughters, according to their father, “love” the house and their parents’ retirement plans.

“Unlike an RV or a house, you can pass it on and it’s not a burden to your children,” Cantori said.  “In this case, you can say, ‘Here it is, take it with you.’”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Steals Show at Husband’s Retirement Ceremony

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after receiving the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during Captain Kelly's retirement ceremony in the Secretary of War Suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011. Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords honored her husband’s career in the U.S. Navy at the White House Thursday, standing on her own to pin the Distinguished Flying Cross medal on his jacket for commanding the fourth and final flight on the space shuttle Endeavour.

While the retirement ceremony was intended to focus on Capt. Mark Kelly’s impressive career, his congresswoman wife’s presence took center stage as Kelly thanked her “for your boundless friendship and optimism as our family has traveled this road over the last eight months.”

“Gabby, you remind me every day to deny the acceptance of failure,” Kelly told his wife. “I look forward to the next phase of our life together and watching all of your future achievements.”

Photos taken of the Arizona congresswoman attending the ceremony show a beaming Giffords wearing a red jacket adorned by a Members’ lapel pin reserved for representatives. She also wore black pants and running shoes.

Approximately 50 guests were seated in the room, which is decorated with the first U.S. flag to fly over Paris after the liberation at the end of World War II.

Vice President Joe Biden, who presided over the ceremony, commended Kelly for leading the shuttle in May and he also spoke directly to Giffords.

“I don’t use the word loosely. You are an inspiration. You’ve been inspirational, people looking, saying ‘I can make it, I can do this,’” Biden said. “You have spoken to the whole country.”

“As vice president I get to work with an awful lot of people who devote their lives day to day to public service,” he added. “But it’s not every day you encounter examples of sheer, sheer courage, selflessness and dedication, like you see in this couple.”

At a news conference later Thursday afternoon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that it was “really a thrill” to see Giffords.

“I was very impressed,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said of Giffords, who has been recovering privately in Houston from a bullet wound to the head. “I’ve seen Gabby probably about once a month since the eight months since the tragedy, and I was very impressed with the strength of her presence and how she walked in.”

Giffords held a bouquet of flowers and showed off a short haircut and eyeglasses, although her hair appears to have grown out a little since her last visit to Capitol Hill earlier this summer. Thursday’s visit marked the sixth time that Giffords has left Houston since surviving the assassination attempt in January.

In a landmark television event scheduled to air Nov. 14, Giffords and Kelly will share their remarkable story for the first time since the tragic Tucson shootings in an exclusive ABC News special with Diane Sawyer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


One Couple, Two Retirements: Baby Boomers Spending Time Apart During Retirement

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- For many couples, marriage may have meant till death do us part, but for others, the parting is coming in retirement. Staying together but spending time apart is fast becoming a trend for retired baby boomers.

"I can't foresee wanting to spend 24 hours straight with someone," said Susan Ross, a retired teacher, who has been married to her husband, Jim, for 31 years.

While Jim stays at home in a suburb of Austin, Texas, and pursues his passions by working at a museum and biking, Susan can be gone for weeks volunteering in Honduras or days helping underprivileged children in San Antonio.

"We are both pretty independent people, and so it really helps us to have our own interests as well as things we do together," Susan told ABC News.

Dorian Mintzer, author of The Couple's Retirement Puzzle, said it's important for couples to openly discuss their desires and goals for retirement, even if it leads to spending more time away from each other. "I do think more pursuits will be done separately," said Mintzer. "We're going to see more living together but apart."

Susan said many of her friends are tired of being with their husbands all day, every day.

Jim has no question he and Susan made the right decision. "I see how happy it makes her," said Jim. "Why would you not want to do that?"

Living together apart is something women push more than men, perhaps reflecting the power they've gained in the past 40 years. "It's a different generation of women that want to have a voice," said Mintzer. "It's no longer just adjusting to the husband's retirement.'"

John Chatfield had planned on retiring to Maine with his wife, Jane. "I have always loved the beautiful scenery," John told ABC News. "We had our first conversations about retiring in Maine sometime before we were married."

But a funny thing happened on the way to full-time existence in vacationland. His wife didn't like it. "I got through the first winter and I felt, 'All right, I can do this.' But that's a sense of a person stranded who says...'I can hold on,'" she said. "People tend to eat supper around 5:30 and go to bed at 8:30. My life isn't over yet!"

One winter after spending time in Cambridge, Mass., caring for her mother, Jane decided to make Cambridge her winter home.

"I realized John was ready to accept my being away for that period," said Jane. "The Charles River, Cambridge, all those young ponytails bobbing up and down as they stay in shape. The rowers on the river, that's gorgeous."

Both say the separation has enriched their relationship; having the courage to pursue different dreams has strengthened their bond.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Retirement Home Hires Male Dance Partners for Women

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOCA RATON, Fla.) -- A shortage of men in retirement communities across the country prompted one home to hire dance partners for a Valentine's Day dance for the surplus of female residents there.

At St. Andrew Estates in Boca Raton, Fla., older male dancing enthusiasts as well as volunteers from a local college fraternity were brought in to take the ladies for a spin on the dance floor and give them the company for which they have been searching.

"I just enjoy being with the young people," said 86-year-old resident Shirley Fogwell. "The kids who come in here are wonderful kids."

The volunteers, college students from Florida Atlantic University, also said they got a lot out of the experience, even though many aren't expert dancers.

"The older ladies were leading me on the dance floor and teaching me how to dance," said Eric Lampe. "I feel a lot of love right now."

"It means a lot," said T.J. Wilson, another volunteer. "It puts a smile on my face to see them smile."

With so few men in the retirement home, it has become difficult for the women to meet anyone with whom to have a lasting relationship. Valentine's Day can be especially hard on the residents, who are thinking of their deceased loved ones.

"We fell in love in ninth grade and we married when we were 23 years old," said Fogwell, remembering her late husband. "It's just a day of memories really, when you get to be my age you live on memories."

Women outnumber men three-to-one in nursing homes in the United States, mostly because they are living longer and are less likely to live alone. In the chain that includes St. Andrew Estates, 70 percent of the roughly 9,000 residents are female.

The volunteers have made the ladies very happy to celebrate the holiday.

"I am very lucky," said Fogwell. "I am very lucky."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Retirement Delayed: Baby Boomers Worry About Benefits Cuts 

(WASHINGTON) -- It's possible that Congress, searching for ways to cut the deficit, might extend the age by which Americans can start getting Social Security benefits. 

While David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP, says his members fully support efforts to rein in federal spending, he adds that upping the age for Social Security eligibility isn't the right way to go about it. Raising the wage cap, currently $106,800, would be better, he says.

Right now, most Americans get their full benefits starting at age 62. But under a draft plan floated by the co-chairmen of President Obama's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, the retirement age would rise to 67 by 2050 and 69 by 2075.

Social strife in Europe over benefit cuts was one of the factors that prompted Congress to finally deal with Social Security's problems, before they reach a similar crisis stage.

The idea of raising the retirement age dealt a setback in November when the Government Accountability Office issued a report suggesting that such a move might cause more financial harm than good. By 2050, said the GAO, Americans age 65 or older will account for more than 20 percent of the population, up from 13 percent in 2000. Forcing older people to keep working might lead to an increase in the number of people applying for disability.  Increased disability costs could well exceed the savings from delayed retirement.

The AARP's Certner notes that many older Americans lack the two things essential for employment: good health and a job. "Maybe we should work past age 62," he says, "and AARP supports that. But age discrimination is an issue. For people who are older, it's more difficult to find a job, or, if you've been working and get laid off, to get re-hired." Depending on the type of job, says Certner, an older man or woman may physically lack the stamina to do it.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio