The New Faces of Retirement: Yvette’s Story

What inspires your dream of retirement?

For Yvette Ratleff Bucci, a 55 year old retired nurse, inspiration came in the form of a Jaguar.

Yvette is spending her retirement chasing personal interests, learning new skills and exploring the world. And she first crafted those goals behind the wheel of a particular patient’s car.

“I met a woman [who] was 78 — a client I was helping in her home — and she helped me enjoy a life that I never would have had,” she recalls. “She was well-to-do, so I drove her around in her Jaguar and took her places. After she passed away, I realized that life was short. I decided to create my own little world and realize my dreams.”

So how did Yvette do it? Saving became a priority. Motivated by her vision of retirement, she worked to pay off her home and car, taking calculated steps to minimize her monthly obligations before making the jump. And while she knew she no longer wanted to be tied to certain work hours, retirement didn’t mean she was done with her work life.

Yvette’s new focus on travel, art and exploration also led her to a new business venture. She’s now selling her paintings, mosaics, sculptures, and other vintage finds, including vinyl records and old board games online and at local flea markets.

Yvette is using her dreams to guide and inspire her daily life in retirement. Without the pressures of a more traditional job, Yvette is able to make every day an adventure, and focus on her passions — painting and sculpting in her home workshop, exploring thrift and antique stores, kayaking, hiking, gardening and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

She also loves to travel, recently visiting the Grand Cayman Islands, Montego Bay, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic — vacations she never would have dreamed could be a reality working as a nurse.

Yvette’s advice for others thinking of taking a new path in retirement? Be frugal with daily expenses and find new sources of income — you can live life on your own terms. “Get up every morning and be thankful for a new beginning.”