RETIREMENT

The Surprising Decision We Didn’t See Coming

We’re embracing a change in our retirement plans like it’s our job

Kim Kelly Stamp
The Narrative Arc
Published in
5 min readJun 5, 2024

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Older woman in black hat and dark sunglasses
Photo by SHOTPRIME via Canva Pro

I casually glanced at my wife as we walked back to our car, trying to get a read on what she was thinking. The ‘deer in the headlights’ look on her face made my heart sink. To delay my inevitable disappointment, I decided to wait until we reached our vehicle to ask her thoughts.

About halfway across the expansive parking lot, the love of my life muttered, “I don’t know who I am anymore. I like it here; what is happening to me right now?”

Quickly, my anticipated disappointment turned to a euphoria usually reserved for things like a winning Scratch-Off ticket or a book deal from a Big 5 publisher. I couldn’t believe she liked the place as much as I did and that soon, we’d be living in a home without wheels attached to it.

We were giddy three years ago when we sold our home and our stuff to embark on an early retirement adventure in a 21-foot teardrop trailer. Leaving behind our stressful careers in healthcare felt liberating, and the idea of having few responsibilities felt decadent.

There was much to love about living a simple life in a small space. We had everything we needed with us and could go wherever we…

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Kim Kelly Stamp
The Narrative Arc

Writer. Publisher. Editor. Essayist. Espresso Enthusiast. LGBTQ+. PNW Native. Traveler. Gigi Extraordinaire. Pieces in: NYT, HuffPost, Next Avenue & elsewhere.