I was a pastor, and for 27 years we lived in Virginia. We left the area at the peak of the housing boom and did very well selling our home. We were committed to downsizing and went from 3,300 square feet to 1,900.
We chose Tampa when I retired five years ago because our daughter lives here. Family is very important, and we could have retired just about anywhere. But we, Marion especially, wanted to be close to our grandchildren.
We find the community in which we live, Tampa Palms, to be the best kept secret in Florida. Our "dream house" overlooks the second hole of the country club. There are very successful professionals living here, and there's tennis, golf and bridge.
Ones of the reasons we're so happy now is we got the advice of financial professionals. It was an amazing journey for us to be financially able to retire at 58 years old. About 20 years ago, we started to participate in a 403(b). The main lesson we learned about retirement planning was to start young.
In retirement, I have written seven novels. Four are a historical fiction on the Civil War. The first, The Honor of Love, was published in June. I'm going on a two-week book tour this month.
Writing is a part of my every day. Normally I get in four or five hours, then we get out and play tennis or golf. When I'm writing, Marion often plays with friends or spends time with her mother, who is in a sort of assisted-living place nearby.