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Golf Retirement Case Study: The simple life

Photo: Jeff Newton

Jordan has found his new call of duty on the golf course.

Age: 62 Residence: Rio Rancho, N.M.


Life is like golf. People overcomplicate it. Robert Jordan keeps both simple by playing shots within his limitations. His three-bedroom home near Albuquerque sits five minutes from the Santa Ana Golf Club, the 27-hole track where Jordan tees it up three times a week.

The house cost him $205,000 and the golf membership runs him $1,800 annually, a small price for the pleasures of unrestricted play. "Not a day goes by that I don't realize how lucky I am," he says. "I have more than I could ever need."

As a kid, Jordan's main investment was adventure. At 17, he boarded a ship in Galveston, Texas, and wound up a sea captain in the merchant marine. Though his salary was modest (it maxed out after 29 years at $115,000 a year), his pension plan was solid. He retired at 46 to a post-tax income of $2,800 a month.

Retirement required downsizing. Jordan sold a home in Miami and bought one in New Mexico, where real estate cost half as much. He cut back on eating out and learned to cook.

With his $1,400 mortgage, Jordan could afford a fancier club, but Santa Ana suits him. Its close and accommodating, though he never takes advantage of it on weekends. Says Jordan: "I leave those days for the guys who have to work."

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