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Mr. Free Spirit Talks About Retirement and Cruising


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By Mr. Free Spirit
I had a discussion with the Publisher of Black men in, Mr. Gary Johnson concerning the frequency of my column. Gary stated it was totally my decision, therefore I decided to make it once a month unless the demand warranted it to be more frequent.

Mr. Free Spirit Speaks:

In the introduction of my column I provided my definition for retirement which differs from the official definition.

Mr. Free Spirit defines retirement as: The next phase of living. When a person decided to start the next chapter of their life, based on the completion of the current phase.

Retirement is no longer determined by age, people including African American’s are retiring earlier in life based on work, and/or lifestyle. Many years ago the thought pattern was, save for a rainy day, the current thinking is, where should I live and how should I live and we start to look at various States, Cities or Towns will accommodate their new life style of easy living.

Per my research, I’m already seeing a seismic shift in attitudes toward retirement among the baby boomers and their children. Many of you think or know that you are unprepared for retirement. You will have to reduce your living expenses in retirement, and you may be counting on Social Security to supplement your retirement income. You may or may not be confident your income will last throughout retirement. You may have reduced or modify some of your spending, do you have a handle on your retirement expenses? I plan to address and expound on all of aspects of retirement as it relates to the four quadrants. This will be in random order. I will also address geographical areas and taxes as they vary between States.

My four Quadrant’s will address all aspects of retirement:

A. Retirement Living for African American Baby Boomers

B. Leisure Entertainment during Retirement (I.E. From Boating to Broadway)

C. Wines, Art and Wisdom

D. Planning to Live and Enjoy Vs Planning to Die

Toasting, selective focus, canon 1Ds mark III

This issue will address Quadrant B.

Leisure Entertainment during Retirement (I.E. From Boating to Broadway)
You have served your time in the employment realm of your life. You deserve some leisure entertainment. You had leisure entertainment while working however, it was structured and not leisure, now it does not have to be defined by your employer. Shape your retirement environments, these are the golden days, gold does not rust or tarnish.

Types of Cruises:
Let’s discuss cruises.  Traveling with the whole family or going it alone? Interested in a specialty cruise, such as a theme cruise, a voyage around the world or a transatlantic crossing? Looking for a deluxe experience, a romantic escape or a stress-free holiday getaway? Whatever your cruise style, there is a cruise ship for you. You can plan the perfect cruise vacation. Choose the type of cruise that suits you, and get started.

First Time Cruisers ??
If you’re worried that you’ll be bored on a cruise ship, banish that idea right away. Cruise ships schedule so many activities that a day at sea can be almost as much fun (and as exhausting) as a full day of sightseeing. From cooking classes to rock-climbing, trivia contests to line-dancing, wine-tasting to Wii-playing, there’s truly something for everyone.
Want to lie in the sun or take a dip in the pool? No problem. Want to spend time shopping for souvenirs, indulging in a massage or gambling in the casino?

The Daily Bulletin
How do you find out what’s going on each day? A daily newsletter is delivered to your cabin each evening. One will also be waiting for you when you arrive. In it, you’ll find the schedule for the next day’s activities and entertainment offerings, as well as opening hours for the spa, restaurants, on-board shops and bars. You may also find listings for movies on your in-cabin TV, information on scheduled ports of call, debarkation and embarkation information, and sunrise and sunset times.

Would you book your cruise within a few weeks of departure in order to save up to 82% off the regular price? If so, check Vacations to”  Let’s talk about ships I have used. I will rank them in the order of preference for Me. If you’ve had a different experience, continue to use the ship you like:

1. Royal Caribbean
2. Celebrity Cruises
3. Norwegian cruise
4. Costa cruise

However, after saying of that, my real preference is depicted in the section NDV below: The Birth of No Drama Vacation (NDV)

In August 2013, six friends (two men and four women) chartered a catamaran and sailed the British Virgin Islands with Captain Rex McAllister and First Mate Carroll Greene. All of these people were from the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia area.  Some the people I knew from a sailing I did with them some years ago.

This sail was a great success – so much so that plans were made to form a new vacation group. When Rex McAllister asked Joan Jackson to become his partner in organizing the next year’s trip, No Drama Vacations (NDV) was born.

Each year, more friends of NDV have joined the group in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). In 2014, Beverly Tolbert’s Detroit-based E-Dock and Friends sailed with NDV. In 2015 Craig Martin’s Nauti by Nature joined NDV and E-Dock and Friends to form a 12-boat flotilla, sailing from island to island in The British Virgin Islands in what is known as Nature’s Little Secret. I was shocked as to how little is known about BVI. My trip was spectacular and educational as it relates to BVI.

The hallmark of NDV is first a mix of like-minded, easy-going, low-maintenance travelers. The second is equal parts exploration and entertainment. One day’s activity was a dinghy ride from the anchored yachts over to one of Tortola’s most beautiful, off-the-tourist track beaches. The highlight of another day was a sail from Jost Van Dyke to Necker Island and a coveted one-hour tour of Sir Richard Branson’s private island retreat. A few days later, some of the group took a taxi ride to the highest point in Virgin Gorda for barbecue and beer. There have been beach parties, a night-time glass bottom boat tour under a full moon, boat-to-boat happy hours, live entertainment imported from the States as well as an island band and an evening beach party.

In keeping with the name No Drama, there’s no joined-at-the-hip set schedule except the one agreed upon over an evening Dark and Stormy at “five-thirsty” or a cup of morning coffee.

Many NDV alumni consider it one of the best vacations they’ve taken, and with good reason. A No Drama Vacation guarantees smooth sailing, relaxation, the opportunity to make long-lasting friends and of course, No Drama.

Niambi Davis

Beach Chair and a Book
Pictures from Paradise

Mr. Free Spirit will be traveling with NDV Aug. 2016



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1 Comment

  1. This is a GREAT article. I would NEVER have thought about any of this stuff regarding life after retirement or how to plan for it. Thank you for this article. I will tell all of my friends about this. Most of us are within 5 years of retirement. Can I send or post questions? How can I get access to your other articles?

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