Retirement after the Military

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retired colonel in retirement community in fairfax VAAfter seeing first-hand what happens when individuals do not plan for retirement, Colonel Jim Macklin and his wife, Sally Macklin, knew that they wanted to do things differently. The couple cared for both of Sally’s parents in their latter years. “We had a small, four bedroom house and our four children and both of my parents were living with us. It made quite an impression,” says Sally.

Partly because of that experience, the Macklins knew that they wanted to move to a retirement community earlier rather than later. Sally explains, “Too many people say, ‘I’m not ready yet,’ and that’s too bad because if you plan ahead you are able to move while you are still in good health and can enjoy the community.”

For the Macklins, choosing a retirement community was made easier by their military affiliation. During the early planning stages for The Fairfax, a retirement community for retired military officers, the Macklins made contributions to help the Foundation for the community get started. Col. Macklin recalls, “We would receive questionnaires asking us what type of apartment we would like. Looking back now, it is funny that we always thought we would only need a one-bedroom apartment. We had no concept of what life would be like at this age!” He goes on to explain that some of the one-bedroom apartments at the community are now used as guest apartments.

As for the Macklins, they moved into a spacious three bedroom cottage, which has become a nice home base for their busy retirement lifestyle. Col. Macklin retired as Deputy Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts in 1993, a position in which he spent the last eight years of his civilian career. Prior to his work with the Federal court system, he served over 27 years as a lawyer in the Judge Advocate Generals Corps of the Army. A wife and mother, Mrs. Macklin cared for the couple’s four children.

They decided to move to The Fairfax in 2001, so that they could enjoy the community amenities and the added freedom to travel “One of the beauties of living here is the security you feel in leaving. We try to take at least one or two major trips a year, and we go to Nags Head once a month. We always know our home will be safe and secure while we are away,” says Jim.

When they are in town, the Macklins certainly keep busy. Sally plays ladies’ tennis twice a week at Ft. Belvoir. Jim is the Chairman of the Resident’s Council at The Fairfax. Planning their upcoming trips is no small feat either. The list includes Egypt and Costa Rica, and their eighth Elderhostel is coming up soon.

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