Why This Is My Perfect Day In Retirement

Retirement Snapshot

Anne-Michelle biking to get groceries

Photo credit: Anne-Michelle Wand
Name: Anne-Michelle W.
Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Age: 71
Retired At: 70
Marital Status: Life partner; although, I call Doug my husband
Profession: Owned a real estate franchise; now works in transformational courses for personal development.


Anne-Michelle loved her career in real estate. Helping people make an important purchase or investment, like a home or a second home, fulfilled her in many ways. Then, at 70 years old, she was ready to move into the next phase of her life. Anne-Michelle was ready to spend more time with family, travel when she wanted to, and continue with a lifelong passion for personal development. We talked to Anne-Michelle about her retirement.

Retirement Reality

Retirement Awaits: What does a day in retirement look like for you? 

Anne-Michelle: I wake up at dawn and meditate while I am still in that consciousness between being asleep and being awake. Then, I rise and do my exercise, which might be yoga, pilates, swimming, or biking, depending on the day.

After that, I have breakfast with my husband. Around 9:30 a.m., I focus on my six daily activities for success for 2 hours. I am in a mastermind group and a consciousness-raising group. The activities revolve around this.

Break time for lunch and a walk on the beach or in nature. It may be lunch at home or out with a friend. I might just lay in my hammock for a while. Sometimes I go to a mosaic class or a wine-and-paint class.

On Tuesdays, I go to town to do my grocery shopping and other errands. I do them all on my bike, by choice, as part of my exercise program. I love it!

In the afternoon, I make phone calls or watch a webinar, then it’s time to plan dinner. I enjoy cooking and often Google new recipes to try with ingredients I have on hand. I bake my own bread and make my own yogurt. I grow many things in my garden that will grow in a tropical climate and one of them is black peppercorns. In fact, as I write this, I am grinding fresh dried peppercorns to use for dinner.

After dinner, it’s time to relax and have a conversation with my husband. We usually watch a movie on Netflix after that.

Bedtime is early since we rise early. What a lovely day. I have much to be thankful for.

Your Retirement Plan

Retirement Awaits: Did you have a solid plan going into retirement?

Anne-Michelle: Yes, I do what I want, where I want, with who I want. I have developed multiple streams of income to support my lifestyle.

Best Part About Retirement

Retirement Awaits: What’s the best part about retirement? 

Anne-Michelle: The feeling of freedom!

Challenges In Retirement

Retirement Awaits: What’s the biggest challenge in retirement?

Anne-Michelle: How to stay connected with my older grandchildren when I live far away.

Cost Of Retirement

Retirement Awaits: We want people to understand how much retirement really costs. How do you manage your money now? Do you have a budget, meet with your advisor on a regular basis, etc?

Anne-Michelle: I have always been good at making and managing money. I lost most of my retirement in 2008 and have since made it back even better because I am now out of debt. Retirement costs will be different for everyone. If you love to travel, it will cost more. We chose to move to Panama for many reasons and one of them was the lower cost of living. We can live a luxurious life here on a normal budget with a maid and gardener. I track expenses each month to see where the money is going. We are able to live very comfortably on $2,000 a month, or $3,000 if we travel.

Retirement Advice

Retirement Awaits: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give someone about to retire? 

Anne-Michelle: Plan for retirement and live your best life. You never know how much time you have left, so stop worrying and start living.

Things I Wish I Would Have Known

Retirement Awaits: What are a few things you wish someone would have told you about retirement/this season of life/transition?

Anne-Michelle: Do it sooner rather than later.

Best Retirement Vacation

Retirement Awaits: What is your favorite vacation or vacation spot?

Anne-Michelle: My whole life is a vacation here in Bocas, so it’s my favorite spot.

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