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retireThis fall marked my 22nd year of being in the transportation industry and my twenty-first year in the music industry.

I am on year 2 of a 5 year plan to be semi-retired by the age of 59 and although I will still need to "work", I do not intend to kill myself doing it nor do I intend to continue living out of a suitcase 275+ days per year.

I have friends that all say the same thing, what will you do after you leave the road? My response is "Welcome to Wal-Mart, do you need a buggy?"

All kidding aside, this is for all drivers out there, but especially you young ones.

I’m sharing my plan as encouragement to the rest of you. I want you to realize that one day you will be unable to work as hard as you work now, or you will become tired of working as hard as you do now. Without a plan and without goals, you will be in for a rude awakening when that realization comes about.

Making plans for Nigel

You do not want to be doing this when you are 70 years old, I don't care how much you enjoy it.

I have spent countless years living for the moment. In the entertainment arena, this is an easy thing to do when you are surrounded by the negative influences of rock ‘n’ roll stardom. It took me a very long time to realize that I was actually getting older. Although I had the toys and the trappings of a successful career, I would not be able to sustain that lifestyle once I was incapable of working a job that provides for those things.

I want to enjoy retirement from the road and I do not want to be worried about how to do that, so let me share some wisdom of the ages with you.

My plan was simple; I want to be off the road by the age of 60 and only work in what we call a "team drive" capacity. This is where a tour has a stretch from point "A" to point "B" overnight and one driver cannot legally do the drive. Our company flies in a team driver to make the logistics work and then the team driver flies back home from the destination.

In order to effectively do this, I wanted to have my primary residence paid off so that I was not paying a mortgage into my retirement. I currently own and pay a mortgage on my condo in Nashville, with a low fixed APR. However, re-financing to an even lower APR and 15-year note would interrupt my 5-year plan. What I decided to do was buy some cheap property in the country where I would build my retirement home and pay cash while I was doing it.

Come back next week and I'll tell you more about how I'm following through with my retirement plan and the major pitfalls you need to avoid.

 

About the Author: Rick Smith

Rick Smith

Rick Smith is an entertainment coach driver for Senators Coaches, Inc. He has 21 years in the entertaiment industry which include coach driving, truck driving, running the Nashville office of a major entertainment trucking company, leasing managment for an entertainment coach company, and road/tour and production managment experience. Prior to entering the entertainment industry he was a police officer.