I’ve said something about what Tam and I want to do in our golden years (which are a ways off, mind you). We’ve tossed around the possibility of opening a restaurant in some tourist town, which would be fun, provided we were already independently wealthy and didn’t mind going back to being nearly penniless. Restaurants are hard, and unless you have something no one else does (besides location, location, location, money, money, money) you can kiss it goodbye in about three years.
Not my dream, ok?
So, we like going to the beach where her mom has a cabin, and near that place is a shop for sale. This shop has been there for almost 20 years. It has been profitable for that long, and the guy who owns it is awesome.
And…he’s selling the shop. Not right away, mind you, because he wants the “right” people to buy it. People who love what he sells and will keep running it the way he does, fair and square. Nothing fancy. It’s tiny and cramped and crammed with inventory, and we love it.
And…we’re going to try to buy it. Not right away, mind you, because we don’t have that kind of capital right now. He has shown me the books, we’ve talked about rent, we’ve promised to run it the right way, fair and square. Nothing fancy. We may change a few things, and add some special items, but for the most part, he’ll recognize the place when he comes to visit.
We’ve said “yes, but…” But, if someone comes in and he’s ready to sell and they have the money, go for it. It almost killed me to say that, but it’s what is fair to him. He agreed, but that’s just sound business. Fair and square.
In the mean time, we’re going to do our best to cut all costs to bare minimum and live off of one school district employee’s salary for a few years, while we put the other one in the bank. I figure if we can save up a sizeable chunk of the asking price, the bank may be more willing to plunk down a sizeable chunk of money to help us.
It’s a dream. We talked about what it would mean, and one of those things is that she would end up moving over there (it’s a three hour drive) and I would stay here and work for a year (or two) saving up more money to get the debt paid off as quickly as possible. I’d head over every summer and work with her during the busy season, and we’d do a lot of going back-and-forth on weekdays and weekends during the off times. Once the loan is paid, I’d move to the beach with my love and we’d run our store together. See, the shop owner takes home more money from the store than the two of us combined working for the district, so it’s a win-win.
Summers would be spent working our asses off 7 days a week, 8-10 hours a day, then when October comes around, we’d work weekends only, leaving Monday through Friday to visit friends and family. It sounds perfect. Better yet, when we “retire” we can hire college kids to help run the place during the busy season and it would give us something to do during the off season. Working two days a week at a little shop would be peanuts compared to what we do now. Plus, we wouldn’t have to worry about social security, because by the time we’re ready to collect it, there won’t be anything for us TO collect.
It took me a while to get the courage up to tell my mother about it. She is not always the most enthusiastic person when it comes to such ventures. But I had answers for her. Not all of them, but enough to let her know that we’d been giving it a lot of thought. I gritted my teeth and held my breath, waiting for her final response. She was cautiously supportive. I shit you not!
We’re going to the beach to talk to the guy this weekend. I’ll look at the books again, get things written down so I can take them to a bank and find out just what we need to do in order to turn this dream into reality.
And the sooner the better.