One Grandson’s Open Letter To Retirees In The United States
Here in Panama City, I now employ two of the best editorial assistants I’ve had the pleasure of working with in all these many years of working with editorial assistants.
Denis Foynes hails from Ireland (specifically, a little town, population 5,000, in the northeast of the country, not far from Derry, as he explained to me at our office tree trimming party this week). Denis is 21-years-old, smart, earnest, open-minded, hard-working, and bound for great things, I believe.
David Sexton is his American counterpart. David relocated, on our offer of employment, from the U.S. capital to the Panamanian one, about two months ago. David is a few years older than Denis but shares the same approach to life and work.
This morning, when I checked my e-mails, I found one from David that read:
“Kathie, attached is something I’ve just written. Maybe you could work with it…find some use for it…”
Reading on, I was delighted with what David had to say. I thought you might appreciate it, too.
Here you go–David’s open letter to retirees back in the States:
“My grandma–Nanaw, as I call her–retired recently for the second time. The first time was from the federal government nearly 15 years ago. More recently, she retired from a voter registrar’s office in small-town Virginia.
“Nanaw ‘gets’ this whole retire overseas beat I’m covering now, but she’s got a few years on the average retiree. Plus, she’s too drained from the latest election cycle to earnestly consider relocating her life to a new country right now.
“This doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about where I’d want her to move–that is, where I’d be most excited about visiting her if she were ever to retire overseas.
“I am 26, which makes me part of the Millennial generation. Sadly, we Millennials struggle to find time to visit dear old grandma and grandpa. I don’t make excuses for our behavior, but it occurs to me that I would probably be more likely to visit Nanaw more often if she were enjoying her retirement overseas. What follows, therefore, are five excellent international retirement options, and why, if you move to one of these, you may see much more of your Millennial-generation grandkids.
Italy or France
“Why you’ll see more of us: Millennials enjoy food, wine, and high culture.
We’re fairly sophisticated, if we do say so ourselves. We’re well-educated, and, when given the opportunity, we like to enjoy the finer things in life. So consider a country known for its world-class food, wine, and culture. Italy and France top my list in this regard. Be advised, though: The debt from that art history degree we wound up with is killing us, so you may need to pick up the tab at all café outings we enjoy together. (Side note: our impractical, liberal education is one of the chief reasons we’ll appreciate your new home in either Italy or France and look for any chance to visit.)
“Why you’ll see more of us: Millennials need a break.
“Millennials do a pretty good job of managing the vast interconnectedness and dizzying speed of modern life, but it does overwhelm us at times. And I can think of no better place in the world than Belize to get away from it all. How sweet it would be to have an off-the-grid retreat or a Caribbean island hide-a-way in the family to run to whenever the need to unplug the iPad and recharge the soul overtakes us.
“Why you’ll see more of us: Millennials love cities.
“Millennials are attracted to things they didn’t have growing up. As we enter adulthood, we’re choosing adventure over safety, connectedness over isolation, convenience over inconvenience, car-independence over car-dependence.
“Put another way: We despise the suburbs from whence we came. Downtown, with its excitement, intimacy, and ease of living, is our preferred habitat. I put Buenos Aires on this list simply because I like it, but you can replace it with any of the world’s brand-name cities, and, I promise, the grandkids will show up.
“Why you’ll see more of us: Millennials love natural beauty (and hobbits).
“That Millennials are city-dwellers does not preclude an appreciation for natural beauty, particularly the unspoiled variety. Even the least outdoorsy of us loves snapping Facebook-profile-worthy photos in front of striking, natural landscapes. And, thanks to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies, when Millennials think ‘striking, natural landscapes,” we think New Zealand, and we really want to go.
Why you’ll see more of us: it’s Thailand.
Thailand seems to be either the Millennial’s favorite country or at the top of their travel bucket list, so it’s a great way to lure the grandkids to you. Bonus: It would be fun for us to say, ‘Phuket, I need a vacation; I’m going to visit my grandparents in Thailand!'”