What are you looking for in retirement?
For retired pharmacist – and lifelong boater - John Dunwoody, it meant adventure on the high seas in a 36-foot Grand Banks.
Most people retire and get bored, says John, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Explore your own interests to figure out what’s going to give you your dream retirement… and make a plan to get it.
We explore how to apply that philosophy to the real world – and how to make it work financially – as well as…
The joys of slow travel
Where to find little-visited but very interesting historic sites
Finding the value in the journey
The culture of boat cards
John Curry: Hi folks, John Curry here for another episode of John Curry's Secure Retirement podcast. I am excited about today's interview because I'm sitting across the table from a friend I've known since Rotary days back in the 90s. 1992, I think, we both joined Sunrise Rotary Club, John. I'm sitting here with a guy named John Dunwoody, and I'm going to ask him to tell you his background in a moment.
Today we're going to talk about adventures in travel from the standpoint of you work hard, you have goals, you retire, what do you do with your time? I think you're going to find today's interview to be fascinating just because of the things that this man has done and has talked about over the years that I found to be intriguing.
So first of all, John, welcome.
John Dunwoody: Thank you, sir.
John Curry: Glad you're with us. Take a moment and tell our listeners who the heck John Dunwoody is.
John Dunwoody: My name's John Dunwoody. I grew up in Miami, went to college as a pharmacist and ran my own business for 10 years, and then went to work for the big guys. Basically been in boating my whole life. I did get my captain's license in '81, I believe, and have had a dream of doing the America's Great Loop since high school.
John Curry: Tell us what the Great Loop is, because when you first started telling me about this, I was fascinated. Just tell us, what does that encompass? Where is that?
John Dunwoody: The Great Loop, it's a passage that you can do around the eastern United States going up the eastern seaboard, going through the Erie Canal over to Canada, going through the Trent–Severn Waterway, down Lake Michigan to Chicago, through the canal system there into the Illinois River, down the Mississippi, up the Ohio, and get on the Tennessee River, which then connects to the Tombigbee Waterway, and you end up coming out in Mobile Bay. From there you can go back to Florida and complete the Loop.
John Curry: Amazing. And how long does it take to do this thing?
John Dunwoody: Most people break it up into two seasons. You could do it in a year if your timing is real good. Since I grew up in Florida, I kind of sped through the Florida timeline, so I did it in nine months.
John Curry: Nine months.
John Dunwoody: Roughly nine months.
John Curry: Okay. Tell us why this was so important for you. Because you set goals that "when I retire, these are things I'm going to do," and this was at the top of the list.
John Dunwoody: Well, it seemed to me when you retire, most of the people that I've known that retire, a lot of them get bored or can't find things to do. This has just been a dream to complete this mission as something I could check off on my bucket list, as something as an accomplishment to ... It's like sailing around the world. It's just something that I thought would be an adventure and something interesting and see new places.
John Curry: Well, let's start back at the beginning. So once you determined to do this, and you told me earlier you'd been thinking about it since you were a kid, but as an adult, once you decided to do this, walk us through a little bit about what you had to do. Obviously first you had to get a boat big enough to do what you do, so tell us about your boat and how that came to be.
John Dunwoody: Well, I ended up with a 36-foot boat. It's a Grand Banks 36. I picked that size, that particular model also, just because it was as small of a boat as I could get that had the space that I required. I wanted to have enough to have two couples on board. Needed to have the range of at least 300 miles in order to do this. It needed to be seaworthy enough, and we're going to be going at a slow rate. Most of the time we're doing six miles to eight miles an hour, so speed was not an issue. I also checked my pocketbook so see how much money I had, and so I ended up with a boat that I'm very happy with.
John Curry: Very good. And what you'll do, you'll use this for a period of time, and then when you accomplish your traveling, your boating, that's an asset you'll sell.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. When I get tired of the boating thing, I'll probably go back to the RV lifestyle, but I did the Great Loop, and then the following summer I went down to the Keys. I went to Dry Tortugas, and I spent a month in the Keys. Brought the boat back up to Mobile, went on to Chattanooga and up to Knoxville to go to a football game on the river. So I brought the boat back down to Mobile, and it's getting some work on, and hopefully go to the Bahamas this summer.
When I run out of places to go or physically can't move around as much, then I'll sell it and go to the next thing.
John Curry: How much of this did you do while you were still working, or were you totally retired before you started?
John Dunwoody: I totally retired before I did this. I'd always had boats, I'd had sailboats and motorboats and things like that, but when the day came to retire, I knew obviously a few months ahead of time that the time was there. I started looking for boats, narrowed it down to five, and picked this one.
John Curry: I remember meeting with you a few times and you talking about selecting the boat. Talk a little bit about that because that wasn't an easy decision. You had to narrow it down as to what worked best for you.
John Dunwoody: Well, picking out the boat, first you got to decide how much you can spend so you don't waste time looking on things that are just outside your budget. But things that were important to me was I wanted a full keel to protect the prop and the rudder. I wanted it to be relatively shallow draft, so I have a four-foot draft. That was the high end of what I wanted so I could get into more places.
Like I said before, I also had to have at least two state rooms so that I could have two couples on the boat without bumping into each other. And the outside area, because a lot of the trip I'm by myself, I had to have a boat that I could walk around the boat quickly and get from side to side. So I had to have a walkaround boat that I could feel comfortable docking and handling by myself.
And this particular boat met all those requirements. It has a range of about 800 miles, so plenty of fuel, and it's got everything you want. It's air conditioned, showers, and it's got everything you need.
John Curry: Sounds exciting. What's going through my mind as you're explaining is that you had to pay attention to what you really wanted and needed. Can't just be what I want; it's got to be need and want because you may want something, but it's not appropriate once you get out there.
So what struck me was you better have a clear picture of what you want in retirement. If you want to sit on the front porch and rock all day, that's one thing, but if you want to travel and do things, what does that look like? We call that what is your vision of retirement? What is your vision. So you had to visualize the boat that you wanted, and then you went looking for it.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. Yeah, like I said, I've been around boats my whole life, and I had a fairly good idea. I did look for probably two months and made several trips with brokers and went on different boats. I just liked the Grand Banks. It seemed to meet all the requirements. You can fish off it a little bit. It was what I wanted.
In a life as a pharmacist, I see a lot of people when they get older and they retire, and oftentimes their health goes downhill rapidly. So I figured I wasn't going to let that happen. I was going to get out and just keep moving and doing the things I could do while it was still within my skillset.
John Curry: What would you say was your primary motivator or motivators to retire when you did, because you could have kept working longer.
John Dunwoody: I think I'm not unlike a lot of people. The world of pharmacy had changed dramatically during my career. It was not like it was when I got out of school and when I had my own business. Just healthcare had changed in general, and I did not enjoy my job at all. In fact, I regretted going to work every morning, and when you have that kind of an attitude it's really time to move onto something else if you can afford to do it.
John Curry: Makes sense. What advice would you offer anyone who just heard that, and they say, "Damn, I hate my job, but I don't know that I'm ready to retire"? What advice would you offer that person who is thinking that way?
John Dunwoody: Well, do the same thing I did. I went down and spoke with a financial advisor and gave them a general outlook of my lifestyle, what it cost me to live, and asked questions: if I had enough resources to retire now, or did I need to stick it out for a few more years? And if that was the case, what would I have to do in those years to make it as short a time as possible so that I could move on with my life?
John Curry: There's a lesson there too, folks. Any time that John and I are talking about his stuff, he's always asking questions. He doesn't just come in and say, "Everything's just fine. That's great. Thank you very much." He's questioning, how about this? How about that? And that's the key, isn't it, John?
John Dunwoody: Yeah.
John Curry: Constantly review it.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. I'm sure I'm like a lot of y'all. The last thing I want to do is run out of money before I run out of days, so I'm checking with him to make sure I'm on track for a successful retirement.
John Curry: What are some of the lessons you've learned since you embarked on this traveling, I'm calling it traveling America's Great Loop. I'm not sure how we'll title this eventually, but that was such a big deal. There was a lot of unknowns. There's got to be lessons you've learned along the way. Share some of those with us.
John Dunwoody: Well, you've heard this from other folks, the biggest thing is don't get so focused on the end goal, like in my case was completing the Loop, and I had certain dates I had to be in certain places so that I could complete this task. It was on the way to completing that task, it's these little things that were unexpected, the people you meet, that make it a lot more enjoyable.
It took me a long time to figure out to quit being so goal-oriented or destination-oriented and learn to understand that if I got to a town that I enjoyed and the people were nice, I might be there three or four days or a week versus the one day that I had penciled out as my time to get fuel and water. It took me probably four, five, six months to figure that out, but really it's so many good things happen on the way there during your trip if you just slow down and do that. It's not the end of the world if you don't get to your destination on time. There's always another day.
John Curry: That's valuable information because not just with a vacation or a trip like you did, I find that going to conferences, I may go for one particular reason, but a side conversation that I have with someone is more valuable to me than the entire conference. It's being willing and flexible to listen and learn from other people.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. Yeah. Kevin, my son, was with me for a large part of the trip, and we went to a little anchorage that wasn't much to the anchorage, and there was four other boats there. We had to ex-DEAs, we had a bank executive, and a CEO for a very, had to have been a large company. He had an extremely expensive boat. But we were there for about four days because the weather was bad, and had an outstanding job. And we were all different backgrounds. Outstanding time.
John Curry: Describe what you mean by an anchorage.
John Dunwoody: Well, this one was in the ... I'm trying to remember. I think it was called the Berry Islands there in Georgian Bay. It's just a protected area. The winds were coming up and we knew a front was coming through and it was going to be ugly for about four days.
So several boats pulled into this little deep water harbor and just anchored out. You're not far apart from each other, so you're going to see each other in the dinghies, and we ended up going out there every night about 5 o'clock. We'd all get in our little dinghies and meet up in the middle and have drinks. One night we had a little cookout of hotdogs on the beach. We were all running out of food because we were all planning like me to be at next place on a certain day. So we were scrapping what we could from each boat, but turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip those four days we spent there.
John Curry: Have you kept in touch with some of these folks that you've met along the way?
John Dunwoody: Many of them. I joined a group that gave me some hints about how to do this and prepare. They said get some boat cards made up, so we did that. I probably have 300 boat cards that I met from people on the way, and the ones that I spent more time with and enjoyed, we do talk. We send emails back and forth. I did this, what, two years ago, and when I was in Mobile here I had a couple of boats come by. They saw mine, they called me up, we went to dinner. I hadn't seen them since we were up in Canada.
John Curry: Wow.
John Dunwoody: Yeah, so we'll run into each other. You go into seeing each other at different places, but it's kind of a small community.
John Curry: Is a boat card just like a business card?
John Dunwoody: Yeah, just a business card.
John Curry: Okay.
John Dunwoody: But everybody's got them, and it's kind of helpful. Nobody can remember anyone's name, but everyone remembers what boat you had and what the boat name is. We're pretty good about that, not so good on the names.
John Curry: That's cool. So instead of your name, well actually the name's there too I'm sure, but it's the boat name primarily, then your name below it or something?
John Dunwoody: Yeah. Like, my boat is called Gump Stump, but everyone just calls me Stump. No one calls me John or Dunwoody. They just call me Stump.
John Curry: Hey, Stump.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. Some of the names are clever. It's a fun time. Fun time.
John Curry: The closest I can relate to that is a few trips I took with my motor home. You'd pull into that RV park, if you raise the hood checking the oil, half a dozen people would come and check on you making sure you're okay. Everybody looked out for each other.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. Very, very helpful. Everyone was great. I never had any really bad experiences with anybody. Some folks you get along with better than others, but I didn't have a negative experience on the trip.
John Curry: Tell us about some of the challenges you've had along the way. I know something had to break down at an inopportune time, things like that. That's just mechanics.
John Dunwoody: The first thing that happened, when my son and I left and went to St. Mark's and went to Tampa, that's the longest crossing in the entire loop. It's 140 miles, and that's the longest open water you've got in the entire journey. I had a, alternator must not have been working correctly, and all my electronics went out. Battery, everything's dead, and we're out there in the middle of the Gulf. So that was unpleasant. We did manage to get into Clearwater and figure out the problem, but that was ugly.
The other thing that happened that was bad is I had a water pump belt break in a channel. So I ended up anchoring in the channel, and that was not a pleasant time. Got a lot of horns honked at me at that.
John Curry: Get out of the way!
Did you ever have anything happen where you were worried about your safety along the way?
John Dunwoody: No. John, this trip, like I just said, the only open water you have is from basically Dog Island in the panhandle to Clearwater, and it's roughly 140 miles. Other than that, you're always in the sight of land. I could basically swim to shore from wherever we were the rest of the trip. So it's not like you're going across an ocean or you're out in the Bahamas in the middle of nowhere. You're close to shore. Coming down Lake Michigan, which can get very rough, you're only 30 miles to a harbor. If each harbor's 30 miles, and you can see shore, but each harbor's only 30 miles, you're only 15 miles from getting back. So you just pick your weather.
But no, I really didn't have that big dinghy You're always close enough to get towed in. You can get towing services and all that. It's a lot safer than making an ocean crossing. Even a short one to the Bahamas is much more dangerous than this trip.
John Curry: While we were having lunch, you mentioned some things about seeing so much of our country by doing this because you would take time and go into smaller towns and visit. Tell us a little bit more about that. What stands out as some of the memorable places that you've seen. You told us about the people, what about some of the places?
John Dunwoody: Well, almost every town in early America was built on a river. So during this journey you would pull into a little town you've never heard of or didn't remember the name, and invariably walking through those towns you would find out that Lewis and Clark was there, or there was a Revolutionary war fought there. Once you hit the Tennessee River, there was many Civil War battles and stuff.
Just about every town you went in, there was something that you remember from your elementary and junior high school history books. In Alabama there was the Helen Keller house. It's just amazing how much history you'll see. The Trail of Tears was all through Alabama. There was several things about that, and I learned quite a bit more about that than what I had known from the school books.
It's very interesting. The riverboats that first would come down from the Chattanooga area and stuff, when they would load them on the boats, they would go down the Tennessee River to the Ohio and down the Mississippi out to New Orleans. And all those crews would walk back to Chattanooga. It's called the Natchez ... I don't say that word right, but the Trace, the ...
John Curry: Natchez Trace?
John Dunwoody: Yes. But they would walk back, and they had just gotten paid in New Orleans. I found out that was a very dangerous trip from there back up to take the next boat down because all the bandits and Indians that knew that that's when they had the monies because they had just gotten paid, and they're all working their way back up to take the next boat down.
John Curry: That's interesting. See, I never thought of that, and I've been on a couple of riverboat cruises, and I love it, the paddle boats. It's just fascinating. But I never thought of that, because they had to, didn't they? They had to come down, and walk back.
John Dunwoody: And a lot of those boats, these were not the powered ones. They were just a bunch of logs thrown together. They'd load the carry on it and float down the river. They'd get to the end, and they'd walk back home.
John Curry: Wow. You mentioned earlier, and I can't remember the details now. You said something about someone in your family that was a general-
John Dunwoody: Yes.
John Curry: In the Civil War.
John Dunwoody: Yes.
John Curry: And then you went to visit this cool place. Tell us about that.
John Dunwoody: Well, I'd gone to this town where I'd followed several of his battles. He was at Shiloh and up at Chattanooga and some other battles. At the end of the war when Lee surrendered, he gathered his troops in I think the small town of Gainesville, I believe that is the name of it, in Alabama, and surrendered.
And I could never figure out why he surrendered in such a podunk town when I went there to visit it. I mean, it just had a stop sign. Started reading the little plaque they had there just about the town, not about his speech, but at the time it was the third largest city in Alabama because that's as far up the Mobile River that the steam ships could get, so all the cotton and everything else that they were trying to ship out either before the War or just after would have to go through this town. They'd load it up and ship it out.
But when the rail systems and all that came about, the town just basically disappeared.
John Curry: Just died.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. And also when they put the dams in, when they started locking the Black River, they could farther up closer to Tuscaloosa, and that probably hurt it also.
John Curry: Yeah. What other stories or places were floating around in your mind that you'll share with us? I just find this fascinating.
John Dunwoody: The easy ones, when I was in Alton, Illinois, they had a statue about the Lincoln Douglas debates, and I had forgotten all about that. Several of the towns, Lewis and Clark had been there.
Up in New York on the Erie Canal there was a lot of references to the Revolutionary War when they were trying to come down from up north where they had to cross different rivers. And at that time, it obviously wasn't a canal, but the canal replaced the river in certain parts and they had all these "this is where General so and such crossed the river," and they had the different forts that were there that had to be conquered. They were all ones that I vaguely remembered, but had forgotten about.
John Curry: So you got to really live a lot of our American history, didn't you?
John Dunwoody: I think so. Went by West Point, which was very, very moving to me. I thought that was impressive. I anchored two days by the Statue of Liberty.
John Curry: Wow.
John Dunwoody: Just had a great time.
John Curry: So you literally anchored right there in the harbor.
John Dunwoody: You could've hit a golf ball from my boat to the statue.
John Curry: I was there in October, and the hotel I was at had a beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty. Every time I go I'm just fascinated by that. That's amazing.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. It was interesting. New York harbor's an interesting place. A lot of traffic, very busy place. Very busy place.
My son and I went up and we stayed at the 79th Street marina and walked around Central Park for two days. Had a great time. It was very interesting.
John Curry: What's next on the agenda? You mentioned Bahamas.
John Dunwoody: I hope to go to the Bahamas this year if I can get some work completed on the boat in time. My insurance makes me be north of North Carolina during hurricane season. So if I get the boat done in time, then I'll go to the Bahamas, take the boat up north.
John Curry: Wait a minute. Say that again. Your insurance does what?
John Dunwoody: Makes me be north of North Carolina during hurricane season.
John Curry: Interesting.
John Dunwoody: If I'm south of that and I get any damage to a named storm, they won't cover it.
John Curry: I never heard of that. So, you got to haul butt north if it gets bad weather.
John Dunwoody: It cuts your insurance about in half. So if you don't do that and you stay down, then your premiums will about double.
John Curry: The risk you take is if you don't do it, then you're not covered.
John Dunwoody: Right.
John Curry: So you just plan ahead.
John Dunwoody: And when people do the Great Loop, the general guideline is you want to be in New York on June 1st to start that trip so you can spend all the time up in Canada and all that kind of stuff, and they don't open Erie Canal until about that time.
John Curry: Is that because of weather, or because of the season of hurricanes?
John Dunwoody: Well, the Erie Canal has to do with snow melt and everything when it rains and their wet seasons up there or whatever. But they don't even open the Erie Canal until late May/June. It's their timeframe. But I want to be in June because of my insurance policy, I need to be at least in Virginia. But if you're going to do this trip, you don't really want to get up there much before June because it's cold.
John Curry: It's cold.
John Dunwoody: June, that seems to be the time when everyone starts gathering around in Norfolk or New York and starts getting ready to migrate through the Erie Canal and through Canada. We just kind of go in groups. You'll see a person for a couple of weeks. You might see them every night, and then you might not see them for a month, and then you'll see them back in Chicago. And everyone ends up in Chicago by the end of August, certainly by the end of September, everyone has gone through Chicago and you're on your way down the Illinois. It starts getting nippy.
John Curry: Yeah. Because the cold weather coming.
John Dunwoody: They start heading south. Really if you did it and you wanted the best weather days and the best everything, by December you want to be moving out of Mobile and heading south because more and more fronts come through closer together, and your days to make that crossing from Dog Island to Clearwater start shortening.
Just the other day I read they're supposed to have 12-foot seas out there.
John Curry: Oh! That'd be rough.
John Dunwoody: Yeah, so you just have to watch that.
John Curry: Tell us about that. What was the worst weather you had on your journey?
John Dunwoody: My son and I, we left the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Simon's, Georgia, and went outside all the way up to Cape Fear. We got caught in a bad storm off Cape Fear. Tornadoes and all that stuff. My son had never been in a bad storm out there, and it was a new experience for him, but it was kind of scary. It was bad.
I guess what else I left out is this trip, there is the Intracoastal Waterway all the way up the East Coast. So on the East Coast to Florida to New York, you never have to go outside into the ocean. You can do that whole trip inside, and when you come out Mobile, and Mobile to Dog Island you can be inside on bays and canals the entire time and never have to go in the ocean. It's just from Dog Island to Clearwater, and from Clearwater all the way down to Fort Myers you can go inside, never have to go outside.
And then they go cross the canal from Fort Myers to Stuart to Lake Okeechobee. They did this during World War II because the German subs could sink our stuff, and the army wanted to have a way to move barges up and down. So they dug this thing, it's supposed to be eight feet deep and so wide. It's rundown now, but basically that's why it was built. Panhandle of Florida's so shallow you can't get subs in there, so they don't worry about this.
John Curry: Fascinating.
John Dunwoody: Didn't know that, did you?
John Curry: I did not. Every time I'm with you I learn something. A while back, I said we've got to interview you for the podcast.
Now, let's talk about some takeaways here. Because we're at about 28 minutes.
John Dunwoody: I'm sorry.
John Curry: We like to keep these around 30 to 35 minutes. We have plenty of time.
Some of the things that went through my mind that I think I can apply in my world is I'm not a boater. I don't really care so much about boating, but some of the takeaways are no matter what I want to do, maybe it's going fishing or hunting or spending time on vacation, is you had to, number one, determine what you wanted, you had a passion for it. Big time passion, obsessed with it.
Then you started putting all the pieces together. Everything from, okay, when do I retire? Do I have the money in the right places to support me for cash if I need this, income for that? You had a roadmap, if you will, and you started planning and thinking it through. Then you had certain things that had to be done at a certain time like being at a certain location because of either insurance or weather.
For me, the takeaway is how do you coordinate all these pieces of the puzzle when it comes to retirement? I say over and over, it's not just about the money. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don't have time to spend the money and do the things you want to do, what good is the money. Likewise, if you have plenty of time but no money, what good is that? So you got to have time freedom and money freedom, but you got to have something in mind that you want to do. And instead of sitting on your butt watching TV all day, that's what you've done. You found things to do. You're living the life you want to live on your terms, and that's the key.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. The financial net worth on the people I met in the boat range from not very much to people that had a lot, and it didn't matter. We're all anchored out there and we're just having a good time. We had several people that were on small sailboats with outboard motors doing this thing. It's a little more roughing it than I want to do, but they were fine.
There was a couple of couples, an elderly gentleman, he had to be 85, and his wife, and they had a little outboard boat. They were perfectly content. The bigger boats, it's just bigger problems, and if you don't have the resources to maintain all that stuff, you'll spend every cent you've got just doing that.
So, it doesn't matter. Cover the safety needs, get something that can do it. You might have to rough it a little more than what you want, but that's a small part of the whole deal. Very small. My boat is certainly not one of the best that are on it, but it more than suits my needs. Just pick something you can afford to keep up, maintain, and use so you're not worried about "oh, it's going to cost this much." Make sure you get something small enough that you can afford to journey instead of being stuck at the dock.
John Curry: Right. And also remember early on, you shared with me, I'm going to use this for two or three years. Then I'll sell it and recoup some of the cost. So you planned ahead that way.
John Dunwoody: Yeah, yeah. Hopefully. Like I said, getting down in the engine room sometimes is a little tough and stuff like this, and I can't see doing this when I'm 75, not with this boat. So I would have to downsize again and go that route if I want to keep doing it. But at that time, I'll worry about that when the time comes.
John Curry: John, closing thoughts. Anything that you would offer as advice on any topic, whether it be planning a retirement or anything at all, to our listeners? Anything at all?
John Dunwoody: No, except like I said, being a pharmacist, I saw so many people that they quit work, their motivation would stop, and you'd just see them deteriorate rapidly because they seemed not to have anything else in their life that they enjoyed. Work was everything.
If that's your case, you need to keep working, but if you're going to retire and you're going to want to enjoy your retirement, you need to have something you can be involved in. It can volunteer work, it can be working in your garden. It doesn't matter what it is, but you better have something that you can do that occupies your time and you enjoy, or you're going to go downhill rapidly. Rapidly.
John Curry: Talk about the mental and the physical side of being retired. You got the financial side that you're retired, but the mind and the body need to be kept active. Do you feel like the things that you've been doing has done that for you as far as keeping the mind active and the body?
John Dunwoody: I do, because every day on the boat, believe me, something breaks. Every day something breaks, or you have a navigation issue, or you have ... docking, or going up and down the rivers, you have the barges coming at you and you need to get on this side or that. You need to think. So there was never any ... Always having to come up with solutions when you're out there anchored and something breaks, if you don't have a backup, you got to come up with something.
John Curry: I'm going to call you MacGyver.
John Dunwoody: Yeah. There was always something. As far as physical, at least on my boat, I'm going up and down the stairs a lot. Going up the East Coast I actually lost weight on this trip because I did go out in the ocean often, and it was rough, and you'd walk. It's amazing how many calories you can burn if you're out there in the waves and you're going back and forth. When I got out the lakes, I gained a little because there wasn't any waves to fight.
But you stay active. We had our dinghy. You're launching a dinghy, you're hiking, you're taking short excursions. I did not really find where lack of physical activity or mental activity was ever an issue. You're always trying to think and plan something. It wasn't like you're at home and you're just watching TV. There's always something that's got to be done. Always.
John Curry: Part of what I study and work on in retirement planning has nothing to do with money. It's about longevity. I just turned 66 on December 9th, but what if I live to be 86, 96? What if I live to be 100? I need to make sure that the brain is sharp and I have the flexibility, the strength to do things.
So I'm experimenting with things and have semi-retirement. I hope I never fully retire. As long as I'm healthy and work with people and people want me, I don't want to fully retire. However, I want more time off. I want to do things that I want to go do. Whether it be martial arts, dance lessons, whatever. Do things I want to do. And the way you have to do that is determine what it is you want, plan for it, because if you say, "Well, I'm going to wait till I retire and do it," hell, most people don't do it.
John Dunwoody: That's true.
John Curry: They don't do it, and then they wait until they're unable to do things physically, they're worn out. So many people come in here, talk with us, that have retired and do nothing. They're the most miserable people that we see. The ones that are busy doing things like you talked about, they're happy, they're fun to be around, they're not sour.
John Dunwoody: I have friends that ... all mine stay pretty active, but the ones that don't ... like you said, they just have no interest. Everything is negative. I'll bitch and moan about the boat, but at the end of the day, I enjoy it.
John Curry: Yeah. It's a project for you.
John Dunwoody: It is.
John Curry: Folks, I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have. I always enjoy visiting with my friend
John Dunwoody. John, thank you so much for being with us today.
John Dunwoody: You're welcome.
John Curry: Thank you for sharing.