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Go Go Years vs. Slow Go and No Go Years
Old 12-13-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Go Go Years vs. Slow Go and No Go Years

My husband likes to say that our retirement years will be divided into three phases. The Go Go Years, the Slow Go Years, and the No Go Years. Since we retired early we anticipate having many Go Go Years in our future. We have already been retired almost five years and have traveled extensively and enjoyed those five work free years. We are managing to stay busy with lots of activities. I have started to wonder just how many years we might have in the Go Go phase. We are healthy and active, so who knows.

My question is how many years are you planning to spend in the Go Go Years of your retirement? And what are your thoughts on the other two phases?
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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My Mom is 93 and she really was in the go go stage until her late 70's early eighties . At mid eighty she moved into the slow go stage . She would still travel but it's mostly one day trips or short getaways . Now in her nineties she is still in her slow go years . She recently flew to PA. to visit her sister and they hit the casinos three times that week .If I said "Mom let's go on a cruise " She would be packing immediately . I think she will never hit the no go stage or at that point she will be very close to the end .
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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I think my mother traveled from Honolulu to Europe for the last time when she was 85.

With her it seemed like a gradual decline with age, rather than stages.

I expect the same is and will be true for me. For example I gave up on mowing my lawn at around age 57, though I am still active, go to the gym, shop, and so on. Lawnmowing in the New Orleans heat and humidity just seemed too extreme after I reached that age, and I didn't want to end up another statistic. So, I pay a lawn guy to do it for me.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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MIL was 80 when she did her last balloon trip and in her 90's when they did their last Europe trip. FIL was on an extended car trip, two weeks, from Texas to the West coast at 95. He passed away at 96.

So, I would ask, how long do you plan on living. If my in-laws are and example 'about two years before you pass away'. They had go-go years about 40 and no go of 2. Never saw slow go.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
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Good thread. I think the definition of "go-go" will likely be somewhat different for different people, though. I would define it as the period where I am physically able and have the energy to do most or all of the things I've enjoyed doing in my 30's,40's and early 50's (like biking, kayaking, long-distance hiking, taking care of all the house/lawn chores, hunting/fishing, growing a big garden, etc, etc). I can see a period after that (the "slow-go", for me) where I would hopefully still enjoy travel and doing things, but perhaps choose activities that are a bit less strenuous, and/or do them at a slower pace. I don't like to think about the "no-go" phase, but I'm sure I'll have to face that eventually. Right now, at age 54 (almost 55) and just starting retirement, I am hoping for many years (at least 10-15?) in the "go-go" phase. I've been waiting for this next phase of life for a long time.......a time when I will FINALLY have the time to do all the things I want to do, and hopefully still have the ability and energy to do them.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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My question is how many years are you planning to spend in the Go Go Years of your retirement?
I figure at this point, five more years for DH (currently 55) and ten for me (currently 52)...
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And what are your thoughts on the other two phases?
Slow go will be until the day we die...the no go phase.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:15 PM   #7
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My parents entered Slow Go in the early to mid-70's. Now in their late 80's, they claim they are entering the No Go phase and they have quit doing much of anything for themselves (household chores, etc.).

For myself I am planning on two phases, Go Go and Poof, but we'll see...
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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......My question is how many years are you planning to spend in the Go Go Years of your retirement? And what are your thoughts on the other two phases?
Being a mere 52, I plan on spending the rest of life in the "Go Go Years"! There are far too many places to go, and far to many things to see, to do, and to experience to even ponder the thought of slowing down!

If for some unforeseen reason I can no longer travel on my own, just stick me in motorcoach, and superglue my forehead to the window so I can look out at all there is to see along the way. I love watching the scenery go by!!!

I'll slow down completely, and come to a screeching halt, when I'm dead and they throw my ashes out the car window while flying down the highway!!!

My Mom is soon to be 83, and shows no signs of slowing down either! She loves to travel, whether long trips or day trips. In the last year she's hit 19 states...from Iowa out to Massachusettes, from Wisconsin down to Texas, from Maine down to Florida....about 15,000 miles (all ground travel, no air)....plus heaven only knows how many day trips she took! Several years ago her grandkids nicknamed her "Granny Go-Go"...and for good reason!

I'm following suit! We're planning for a full year of traveling again in 2010...endless days of play!!!
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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Definitely in the Go-Go stage, having FIREd at 48. I had to learn to settle down a bit from a Type A+ existence, and I think I'm more relaxed. You all may beg to differ.
Now at the ripe age of 51, I think I've caught my FIRE stride.
I have to re-learn to travel on my own on some trips to visit friends at great distance since dh2b still w*rks. I used to travel completely on my own during my career, so it's just a question of dusting off some cobwebs. This time I am on my OWN schedule, not somebody else's.
My upcoming solo trip to FL in January is great progress for my
"get out there" mindset.

Slow Go ? Ask me when I'm 99.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:18 PM   #10
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Go-Go years all the way for us baby

My FIL in England is 85 and has still not slowed down. Goes bowling several times a week, reconfigures his garden every other year, has just bought a new car.... Next year we'll be meeting up with him in Toronto where he is flying over for a big family reunion.

My grandmother was always on the go, loved hiking, dancing etc, and after she out-lived 2 husbands, she emigrated to Australia, and met and married a much younger man. Sadly she also out-lived him as well - he died just a few months just before we got to visit her.

Anything can happen of course but Go-Go is the only thing we are planning on.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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I think the secret is good health. There was a gal who I worked with whose counsel led me to retire. She used her parents as an example(her mother got alzheimers and died) and told me that "sooner or later one of you(DW and I) will get sick. After that happens, everything will revolve around the illness." Then it's no go time.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:39 PM   #12
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I think the secret is good health. There was a gal who I worked with whose counsel led me to retire. She used her parents as an example(her mother got alzheimers and died) and told me that "sooner or later one of you(DW and I) will get sick. After that happens, everything will revolve around the illness." Then it's no go time.
Absolutely agree. We both are very fit at present (age 54) and work out or play sports 7 days a week but in life there are definitely no guarantees. However we certainly don't plan for anything other than go-go.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #13
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Well, after reading how long people's parents and grandparents have been "go-go", I'm a little worried! My parents both passed young compared to the stories above (67 and 74) and so did both sets of my grandparents (well, one lived well into her 80's, but had Alzheimer's the last 10-15 years of her life). They all pretty much passed due to heart and lung disease. Even my sister passed at 46 from a heart attack.

Sure doesn't bode well for me, just looking at that data. However, they all smoked and did not exercise. I'm a very healthy eater, exercise, and do not smoke. My main vice is drinking (but just on the weekends). Hoping to break the mold above and "Go-Go" for much longer than my ancestors! Also hoping to ER due to seeing my loved ones passing so early.

DH's grandparents lived into their 80's and his parents are still living. I love hearing that, cause I wanna keep him around a LONG time!
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:26 PM   #14
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OP, is your DW from the Ď60s like me? I remember Go Go stock funds, and no go cars, but what is slow go, a cooking technique? I must still be in the go go years as Iím having trouble getting into the slow go Zen attitude. Wait ítil next year.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:10 PM   #15
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We've noticed people stop RVing by their early 80s. That seems like a definite slo-go to no-go point even for the healthiest folks.

Until then we see tons of active folks in their 60s and 70s. Of course we're seeing the a filtered group - there are plenty of folks in that age range home-bound or slowed down by health problems. But at least there are many who get to enjoy life to the fullest during those ages.

Each of us lost one parent when they were in their early 60s. One had poor health during most of his life, the other lifelong terrific health but was cut down at 63 by incurable cancer. One parent passed in her late 70s. The remaining parent is 79 and has been slo-go for perhaps 5 years but is still doing OK.

It's sobering! The thing is, you just don't know how long you got, and even if you stay fit and healthy, you still can get cut down. But if you don't stay fit and healthy you'll reach that slo to no-go period sooner!

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Old 12-13-2009, 11:03 PM   #16
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Actually reading about the Go Go Years it just exhausts me. I look forward to retirement so I don't have to be blowing and going all the time. Maybe it is my introverted nature. Or the fact I've had a demanding job for 30 years and have 3 kids. But I don't want to have to travel non-stop. I don't want to have to go here and there. I kind of look forward to staying home and reading or playing on the computer. Slow Go sounds great to me. Of course, I want to feel like and be able to do what I want but don't want to feel I'm forced into being a big traveler or whatever.
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:02 AM   #17
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Well, after reading how long people's parents and grandparents have been "go-go", I'm a little worried! My parents both passed young compared to the stories above (67 and 74) and so did both sets of my grandparents (well, one lived well into her 80's, but had Alzheimer's the last 10-15 years of her life). They all pretty much passed due to heart and lung disease. Even my sister passed at 46 from a heart attack.

Sure doesn't bode well for me, just looking at that data. However, they all smoked and did not exercise. I'm a very healthy eater, exercise, and do not smoke. My main vice is drinking (but just on the weekends). Hoping to break the mold above and "Go-Go" for much longer than my ancestors! Also hoping to ER due to seeing my loved ones passing so early.

DH's grandparents lived into their 80's and his parents are still living. I love hearing that, cause I wanna keep him around a LONG time!
I'm in the same boat. One grandparent dropped dead of a heart attack in his mid-fifties but he was a heavy smoker (as were all my grandparents), seriously overweight and had other medical problems. Another died in his late sixties after being more or less bed-ridden for several years - he was a heavy smoker and did not exercise. My own parents are still going strong (frequent travel etc) at 73 and 67, but they live much healthier lifestyles than my grandparents did.

I'm sure my diet could use some improvement (less sugar) but otherwise,
I'm hoping that an active lifestyle (physically and mentally) will overcome any genetic deficiencies. But if it doesn't, I'm determined to get the best out of what i've got to work with and that means not spending any more time in the office than I absolutely have to. DW is on board with this - she tells me she expects a good many decades of wear and tear out of me.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:10 AM   #18
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Put me down for <1 of them thar no-go years.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:26 AM   #19
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Actually reading about the Go Go Years it just exhausts me. I look forward to retirement so I don't have to be blowing and going all the time. Maybe it is my introverted nature. Or the fact I've had a demanding job for 30 years and have 3 kids. But I don't want to have to travel non-stop. I don't want to have to go here and there. I kind of look forward to staying home and reading or playing on the computer. Slow Go sounds great to me. Of course, I want to feel like and be able to do what I want but don't want to feel I'm forced into being a big traveler or whatever.
Lots of travel doesn't appeal to me either, Katsmeow. My first month of retirement was much as you described, with the additions of sleeping in and going to the gym. To me it seems peculiar that so many are mad for travel, but I guess it's a case of "different strokes for different folks".

On the other hand, I am not ready for a walker yet! So if you aren't either, then I guess we can still qualify as "Go go".
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:36 PM   #20
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Those three phases make sense to me. Like most other posters, I want to maximize the "go go" phase. My life has been all about travel and outdoor sports, and I certainly hope to continue that as long as possible. But I see some gentle warning signs that "slow go" will eventually be a reality. And I think preparing for eventual "no go" would be wise, since most of us won't escape that to some extent. One form of preparation is to do everything we can, while we are still able, to minimize regrets. Another form of preparation is to develop spiritually, on whatever path is right for each of us individually, so there is some hope for equanimity as we inevitably encounter "no go."
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