Readers' Submissions

My Thoughts



I've read some interesting submissions here over the past year. The ones that grab my interest the most are the ones from the aging guys who are looking towards retirement and seeking a Shangri-la life style in the land of plenty. I'm 61 and retired from United Airlines as a 747 pilot a year ago. I'm fit and healthy. You can't drive a passenger carrier otherwise. I am still fit to fly but the FAA disallows flying over 60 years of age. I flew for 32 years. Not all of them in the left seat of a 747. I had to work my way up the ladder as we all do. It's not that easy. I was looking forward to a 6 figure retirement but if you are up on the news, you'll know that UA sold us all out and turned over our retirement to the US government. My retirement stipend is now less than $30K. Hardly enough for a cushy life style. To tell the truth, I'm now getting $2,753 a month in retirement. I was promised $10,000 and change a month just a few years ago.

I'm divorced. My ex took half our assets 9 years ago. I never remarried. I'm content being alone. Well, not really. If I knew what marriage was about going in I would never have married. But, I do have three wonderful children. My oldest boy is in his last year of residency and will be a certified medical doctor shortly. The other boy and girl are still in graduate school working towards professional business degrees. They'll be well enough. I'm proud of them. My ex hounds me daily seeking more money. I don't have any. She already has it all.

I live in a small house in Destin, Florida. Well, not small. It's 2,000 square feet. It's nice with an ocean view. I go scuba diving, fishing, play golf, etc. But, I'm bored here. I'm thinking of selling it. I can get $150,000 in equity out of it. Real estate here has really soared in the last few years. Cash in the pocket.

I've never been to Thailand. I always flew into Singapore and spent two nights there on a turn-over every now and then. Nice country. On one trip there a fellow pilot took me to Orchard Tower one night. I was 55 at the time. He said it was the four floors of whores. Funny but true. It's a great place. Right across the street from the Hilton Hotel on Orchard Road. That was an eye opener. On a weak moment, I took back to the Westin Stamford Hotel a pretty Thai girl for the night. She was 23 or so she said. It was quite nice. I paid her $60 US dollars for the night. She was delightful. I don't know if the prices are the same now. It's been a few years since I was there. But, as my fellow pilot said, negotiate the price. Good advice. She asked for $100 dollars at first. But, if you're fit and confident, the girl will go with you for a reduced price. Treat them like a girlfriend and they'll treat you like a lover. We went to Summerset, a jazz bar at the hotel. I liked that. She did too. In the room I let her order anything she wanted on room service. She ordered like she was starving. I didn't care at all. I was on per diem. When the food trolley came and I tipped the waiter, I asked her to be naked when she ate. She smiled a delightful smile and said of course. She took a shower and came out all clean and naked. It was a wonderful night. She ordered some great Thai food and the dessert I enjoyed was worth waiting for. I enjoyed her while she ate. She was delicious and I didn't give a damn who was in there before me. She was such a pretty girl and a wonderful performer. She did everything I asked. She would always say, ''if it makes you happy''. Yes, it makes me happy.

Due to my time in the left seat and the bidding process with UA, I made several trips to Singapore and always went to Orchard Towers looking for the same girl. Sometimes she was there and we left immediately. She said the girls only get a 14 day visa. When she was there, it just got better and better each time I was with her. Other times she wasn't there I made do with some other girl. I took out a Filipina girl one time and I have to admit, she was a winner. But, I'll always remember that first girl. ''If it makes you happy''. Yes, it makes me happy. ''Do I make you happy?'' ''Oh yes.'' Good.

At times at the grocery store here I see Oriental women and think about a life in Asia. I have a friend who lives in Phuket, Thailand that keeps telling me to come over to live. I don't think my modest retirement stipend would allow that. I sure wish it did. I'd be there now. If I sold the house that might make it possible I think. I would love to spend the remainder of my life in Thailand. I mean, there's not much happening here for me.

I received an email from a fellow retired pilot the other day. He is also divorced. He had to sell his house in Las Vegas due to the drop in retirement stipend. Sold his airplane, gave up his membership in a golf country club. He will now get as much as me in retirement. We got screwed. I responded and said we should move to Thailand. The plan is afoot.

Stickman's thoughts:

While the amount of money you expected has been drastically reduced – and DAMN, that must have made you LIVID, you could still have a very nice retirement in Thailand on your current monthly stipend. $US2,753 a month is over 100,000 Thai baht a month. This is plenty! In fact I'd say that most retirees spend MUCH less.