Long days filled with nothing but relaxing. No board meetings, no being bored by meetings, and plenty of time to play golf.
Retirement sounds easy, right?
According to local Naples resident and newly published author Dave D’Antoni, retirement, and especially the act of retiring, isn’t necessarily as easy as those of us still trudging through working life fantasize it to be.
“I’ve watched a lot of retirees, some of whom are failing miserably at retiring,” D’Antoni said, adding, “There’s a lot of things to think about before you retire.”
Which is exactly what prompted the writing of his recently released book, “The Globetrotting Golfer’s Guide to Retirement.”
The main argument that D’Antoni makes in his 283-page book is that careful and early planning is the key to a successful and enjoyable retirement. From planning where you’ll live and how you’ll sustain your lifestyle, to deciding what you’ll do to keep yourself active and your mind engaged, D’Antoni peppers the book with amusing anecdotes from his own retirement journey.
Especially entertaining are the stories D’Antoni tells about the stress retirement puts on a marriage. D’Antoni illustrates this with a great story about the process of getting his wife used to the idea of him retiring. Shortly after declaring his retirement intentions, Sue Anne D’Antoni looked at her husband and said, “I don’t want you hanging around the house. I have a life and I don’t want you to ruin it.”
While D’Antoni hadn’t thought about his retirement affecting his wife, it instantly became clear that in reality it very much would.
After decades of being so busy with careers and child rearing, the transition to being home together all the time can be too much for some couples to take.
“If we’d stayed in Columbus (where the D’Antoni’s are from), I firmly believe we would have ended up with either a divorce or a murder,” said Sue Anne D’Antoni. “The weather is so grey in the winter, we would have both been stuck inside with each other, it would have been really miserable.”
Which is where the golfing part of “The Globetrotting Golfer’s Guide to Retirement” comes into play.
“I think of golf as adult daycare,” said Dave D’Antoni, totally deadpan. And, he has perfect daycare attendance. Since retiring, he’s played more than 1,500 rounds of golf. When he’s not traveling, D’Antoni plays golf seven days a week.
The third section of the book is actually totally devoted to golf. And though D’Antoni does talk about the sport and describes some favorite golf courses in the section, the section acts more as commentary on the philosophy of golf than anything else.
“Golf is a game about confidence, honesty and ethics,” he muses.
His golf section explores this idea, in a variety of ways, kicking-off with a chapter entitled “What’s so great about golf?” which truly waxes poetic on the beauty of what many say is the world’s most infuriating sport. This is followed by a hilarious chapter on couples golf (which is most obviously written by a man), a chuckle-worthy collection of D’Antoni’s favorite golf quotes and a chapter that gives advice on traveling with a golf group.
Besides having something to do each day when you’re retired, D’Antoni advocates that you can’t have a happy retirement without finding the right place to retire.
“The book pretty much guides you to south Florida,” joked D’Antoni dryly.
And while it’s obvious that Sue Anne and Dave D’Antoni love their life here, figuring out that Naples was the right fit was actually a bit of a challenge.
D’Antoni often traveled for work to Scottsdale, Arizona, which is known for its beautiful golf courses. For many years, he just assumed that the couple would retire there. But, when he brought Sue Anne out to see Scottsdale, she took one look at the desert and said, “If I wanted to live in a concrete block house with a dirt yard, I’d have stayed in West Virginia.”
The desert was clearly not going to work.
Once the two finally figured out where they wanted to be (Naples), the next step for them — and for anyone entering retirement — was figuring out the right community or development within their new locale.
“Some neighborhoods are too young, some are too old,” says Sue Anne D’Antoni, adding, “We just moved my in-laws into a senior living facility, and my mother-in-law, who is 92, keeps complaining that ‘there’s no one but old people here!’”
The entire book is bursting at the seams with good advice for anyone thinking about retirement, but it would also be a humorous read for someone who has recently been through the retirement process.
And though one could argue that perhaps even D’Antoni has failed the retirement test himself, spending the last six years of his retirement penning “The Globetrotting Golfer’s Guide to Retirement,” readers will no doubt enjoy his quirky stories, quick wit, and his refreshingly candid tell-it-like-it-is approach to authorship.