Where to start? I started thinking about retiring years ago– reading books on how people made the transition, talking to people who were already over that threshold, fantasizing about what new and creative things I’d do , and of course obsessing about money and how to make all the nitty gritty logistics work out. My early plans were to leave a pretty big job I had and get into one that was much simpler, as a way to ease my way into actual retirement. I can still remember the dinner I had with a number of colleagues who told me how smart I was and talking about their own fantasies of downshifting .
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Jim E. Faris
When my life as a Hollywood film editor was becoming a greater than normal challenge, I decided it was time to think of other areas of life I wanted to explore. My wife Paula and I were living the suburban life near Los Angeles and thought the location offered little variety or options for learning or socialization. We were familiar with Santa Cruz, CA as our oldest son had graduated from UCSC and our daughter had attended the university in her freshman year and our son Brian was living in Santa Cruz. The town was situated at the Pacific Ocean so we knew the weather would be to our liking. The University was an attraction as it offered a variety of classes with a student body of around 15,000. The University offered a program called “Elders in Residence” which allowed anyone age 62 or older to take two classes for credit and live in the student dorms with the other students. Continue reading this story
My goal in retirement was to be involved in and give back to my community. I also knew that I wanted to be involved with kids, my original professional goal. Main hobbies were photography and world travel, both of which I planned to expand.
I had moved to Santa Cruz in 1987. I bought my house as an investment for future retirement, wanting to be close to the beach. My kids were both away at college, so I left my empty nest in San Jose near the university and moved to the beach. I built a darkroom and travelled the world. But because I was still commuting over the hill to SJSU, I really didn’t get to know my community, except for the SJSU Vanpool colleagues and folks who walked their dogs on West Cliff Drive on the weekends. Continue reading this story