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I saw it as I was returning to our retirement cabin after a mountain biking ride.

“How appropriate”, I thought.

I loved it immediately.

So…I decided to write about it.

NVR BORD is the perfect statement to make in Re-Tirement. Decide what statement you're going to make. Then, make it. Click To Tweet


I was tired. 

It had been a brutal mountain bike ride in the heavy heat of a Georgia summer.  2 1/2 hours of pounding the hills, burning 1,791 calories in the process (if my FitBit is to be believed).  I had a nasty tumble on a steep descent down from the mountain top.  My leg was bleeding, but my mind was clear. 

Crystal clear.

I was tired, but content. 

There’s nothing better than linking up with a reader and doing something I love, and I enjoyed meeting up with David for our mountain bike climb up to Boyd Gap Overlook, where we celebrated by having a passerby take our picture:

Sweat beats boredom, every time. (Looks humid, right?)

Just another day in the life of retirement. 

Never bored.

Outside, active, social. And sweaty.

I seem to be sweaty a lot these days.  It goes with an active life during a Southern summer, and I’m good with that.  It’s the path I’ve charted for my retirement.  It’s the life I’ve chosen.

As I was returning to our cabin from the trail, I slowed for the (one) stop sign in our small mountain community. It was then that I noticed the Jeep in front of me and smiled…


I sounded it out in my mind … Never Bored.    

I loved it immediately.

Thoughts of my book came to mind, where I encouraged the reader to rephrase “retire” into “Re-Tire”, or the act of putting new tires on whatever type of vehicle you choose to become in retirement.  For the first time in our lives, we’re free to decide what type of vehicle we’d like to become.  I even mention that I’d become a Jeep with big “mudder” tires, the better to explore our mountain surroundings.   I meant what I wrote, and I followed it up by buying myself an old Jeep as a celebration when my book hit #1 on Amazon.

But I left something out.  

Seeing the Jeep in front of me led to a realization.  How could I have missed it? Not only should we choose the vehicle and the tires we’d like to become in retirement, but we need to symbolically “personalize our plates”.  The owner of that Jeep was genius, and his “NVRBORD” plate was a perfect symbol of an intentional life.  Never bored. 7 short letters, but they told me all I needed to know.  That person, whoever they were, lived life.

I’ve never been a big fan of personalized plates, but they make perfect sense in Re-Tirement.  I would argue that “personalizing our plates” is an essential act in planning our retirement.  Redefining who we are is critical as we move away from what we “were”, and move toward what we are “becoming”.

I’ve always encouraged Re-tirees to have a quick “elevator speech” prepared on who they are in Re-Tirement. 

Me?  I’m an author.  I’m a traveler.  I’m an outdoorsman.  

But, could I condense an elevator speech down to 7 letters?

Challenge Accepted.

What’s Your Re-Tirement Plate?

Since NVRBORD is taken, I’ll have to find something else.  The challenge has become personal for me, as I hope it will become for you.  I had fun brainstorming ideas for this post.  Here’s what I came up with, along with my “winning” entry.

In reverse order, here are the 10 best ideas I could come up with for my personalized Re-Tirement plates:

10. RETIRED – Seems a bit predictable, and doesn’t say enough about LIFE in retirement.

9. EMTNEST – Better, but still only one facet of the reality of our life.

8. NOOFICE – I don’t miss going to the office, and I suspect I never will.

7. CYAWORK – See ya later, working days.  Hello, Freedom!

6. 1FUNDAY – A weekly habit my wife and I recently started, a potential future post…

5. HAVNFUN – Because, well, I can.

4. WONNDUN – We won the game, we’ve crossed The Starting Line.  But…I’m far from done.

3. LUVDOGZ – With 4 dogs in our life, this one fits pretty well.

2. OLDNFIT – I’m more fit at 57 than I was at 50, hoping to stay that way til I’m old.


And the winner is…


  1. IN2LIFE – I’ve decided that Re-Tirement is all about living life, and living it fully.

Only seven characters, but they say a lot about how I’ve chosen to live my life in retirement.  I’m 100% into life, and I’m living it abundantly.  I savor every moment, and I cherish each and every day I’m given.  Isn’t that what all of us should be pursuing in Re-Tirement?

With every sunset, there’s one less day to enjoy and soon they will be no more.  With no more work contaminating my freedom, I’m finally able to be into life every day, in whatever way works for me.  What better way to summarize it than those short 7 characters, IN2LIFE?  They say, in a statement short enough to fit on a license plate, what my life is about now that I’m Re-Tired.

I’m Into Life.


Re-Tirement is a time to decide who you want to be.  Not only the vehicle you’d like to become, and not only the type of tires you’d like to roll on.  Your chosen Re-Tirement vehicle deserves your own set of personalized plates.  Take the challenge.  How would you summarize what you want your retirement to be, in 7 short characters?

Mine?   IN2LIFE

What’s Yours?


  1. Mine: WHTSNXT

    “My leg was bleeding, but my mind was clear” Add on “and I was caked in mud” and that describes my situation after most mountain bike rides.

    I hope I never run into a Sasquatch with guns, as in the sticker on that truck!

    1. Fritz,
      Loved your NVRBORD article.
      Wife & I just retired and trying to figure out what’s next but planning to never be board.
      We are hoping to be GR8LATE in what every this next phase of life brings.
      Currently looking for that relaxed southeast charm after living northeast rat-race.

  2. Good exercise x2! 🙂 Appreciate hearing about both, Fritz.

    LVRCHNW (Live Rich Now)

  3. Well, my wife and I are living your article today! We are going to EPCOT for the reopening of the Park.

    Many may consider us foolish, but seriously, we stand a better chance of getting COVID In the throng at the grocery store. At EPCOT masks are required and we’re even bringing throw away gloves for any rides where we have to touch things. Plus, after four months of rest, the park is as clean as it’s ever going to be!

    (As a side note, my blog has a story of how our decision to go, led to the discovery of my wife’s engagement ring. We thought it went out in the trash 16 months ago!)

    It’s time to live life again. We’re getting started today!

    1. Brave man. Not about tempting COVID, but in agreeing to wear a mask all day in the July heat of Florida – THAT sounds brutal. Enjoy your special day, and amazing to find your wife’s ring. Will have to check out your site to read the story…

      1. You know, we saw everyone wear their masks all day long, even the children. 104 heat index. I was very impressed!

        Great day! Disney folks we talked with were so happy to be back at work.

        The Ring story was so special and unexpected, the joy is just bursting out so I just had to mention it. 😁

        Oh, forgot my plate. I guess…
        NOFEAR! 🤷‍♂️

        Or DUMMY.

  4. WHTARDE – what a ride – the life journey might have some highs and lows but what a ride it is and what a ride it can be if lived intentionally! Love the post Fritz ! Nice job on the floors in your new office – great you tube video!

    1. Life definitely is a great ride. If you liked that YouTube video (thanks for watching, btw), you’ll enjoy next week’s post. Just finished it yesterday, it’s a tour of the new World HQ of The Retirement Manifesto! BTW, looking at doing epoxy coating on the woodworking shop over the next few days, hoping to make a video of that process, as well. First time for me, yet again. Fingers crossed that it turns out as well as the floor in the writing studio.

  5. Another insightful article. Life is to be lived, work which I was fortunate to enjoy being with a Great company creates the ability to enjoy retirement. I’m too busy to be bored. It was so uplifting this past Sunday to be back “on duty” at Clingmans Dome as a Volunteer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Answering questions, giving directions , helping visitors enjoy the park while reminding some of the rules. BTW, that Jeep Gladiator looks just like the one I bought in Feb. My fourth Jeep which give me a feeling of adventure and adds zest to life.

    1. Curtis, you never cease to amaze me. You’re my Retirement Idol, and the living demonstration of a retirement filled with “zest”. Glad you’re back volunteering at GSMNP, awesome retirement activity. Hmmm…the Jeep looks just like yours, and says NVRBORD…I’m thinking that must have been you up ahead of me at that stop sign…


    While on the surface, ONEGOAL might sound simplistic and boring, it is actually tied to many things: purpose, relationships, fitness, charity and accomplishment to name just a few. For the past 22 years, much of my free time has been filled with training (running and cycling), competing and fundraising with friends who are focused on the same common goal…END CANCER!

    I have personally raised over $220,000 for cancer research thanks to the generosity of countless donors who have supported me on this journey to eradicate cancer. The journey has taken me through many marathons, (including 2 Boston Marathons), a 52-mile double marathon (ultra-marathon) trail run through the mountains of Colorado, a 200-mile one day bike ride through Death Valley and a weeklong 1000-mile bike ride. All of these events (and many other endurance events) have been completed in honor of friends and family affected by cancer.

    In addition to my own fundraising, I’m even more proud of the cycle teams I have coached. These teams consisted of people from all age groups, all walks of life and all athletic abilities who focused on ONEGOAL and accomplished extraordinary things…raising nearly $3,000,000 for cancer research.

    I look forward to having more time in retirement to achieve ONEGOAL and, in the process, develop even more life-changing relationships, fulfill a purpose, maintain my fitness and help a lot of people along the way.




    1. Re-Tirement means freedom and independence to me. So, since my first name is Tom, my seven letters are: FREETOM

  7. Fritz,

    Excellent article!

    I immediately got on the TX.GOV site and could have snagged it, but the cheaporetiredguy took over and stopped the process when I saw the price ($495 for 5 years)! I think I will find a bumper sticker for $1.50!

  8. Hello Fritz, great article and I love the challenge! I’ll have to give some thought to my seven letters, but today my wife and I have decided to take the kayaks and go fishing, so as you can see we are way too busy for any serious thought. Love your blog, and congrats on the success of your book, I enjoyed it too.

    Just Giver, a stolen line from a Canadian cult classic indie film Fubar. Week one of retirement and Canada quarantine under my belt In the mountains of British Columbia. I’m usually thinking about the long drive back to the Midwest by now but not this time. The mountain bike tires are filled, the fly rod ready and the ukulele tuned. Time to Give’r

  10. What a creative and thought provoking post Fritz!

    My initial thought was “LUVRTMT” expressing how much I love retirement. Then I got to thinking that few would understand what RTMT stood for. After all, the whole point of a personalized plate is to convey the message, isn’t it?

    That’s when my mind turned to “RETIRED” which I believe says it even more clearly. Especially on a vehicle such as that Jeep which captures the spirit! For myself, my vehicle will be my father’s 1974 Jeep J20 truck. That’s been an ongoing project where one day I’ll have it fully restored to its original glory.

  11. How about IAMFREE or LIVFREE ?

    I love your “Re-Tire” concept! I am about 18 months away from pulling the plug at age 51, but everyone around me is like “you are going to retire at your age? Why? What will you do?”

    I am going to borrow your “Re-Tire” expression to help people understand that I want/need to move on to another chapter in life after a rewarding but grueling military/medical career. I really enjoy your blog – Thanks for what you do!

  12. MXTERYN – Since my wife an i are cyclists and ride road, mountain and gravel bikes we ride on all surfaces. Fritz you made me smile when i heard of your crash and some blood because we’ve all crashed. Glad your ok.

  13. In the UK, we don’t have the same options for car plates. Current limitations are XXnnXXX.
    The best I could come up with was RT11RED. Better suggestions welcome.
    However, as Randy Mills says earlier, I wouldn’t be prepared to spend the £250 or more to pay for it!….

    And as I posted in 2016, just after I started blogging … I never get bored

    1. Erith – second time today I came across you (congrats on getting picked up by Physican On FIRE for your recent post!!). Yeah, those limitations make it tough. Not sure my brain has enough juice left this afternoon to make a XXnnXXX suggestion!

  14. Love this!!!! Mine would be FNDHAPPY

    I had a dry run of retirement last month. I was bored alright. It made me realize that living in extreme summer heat isn’t conducive with my Love of the outdoors.

    1. Find Happy – Love it!

      I think a lot of people had some “reality checks” during their forced test retirements over the past few months. The good thing is, you’re able to learn from it. I live in GA, and the summer heat is brutal. I still get outside at least several hours a day, but I try to get my “outdoor stuff” done by late morning at the latest. It’s just too dang hot outside in the afternoon. Afternoon’s are a great time to hunker down in my new “Treehouse Writing Studio” (a tease for this week’s post, and the place I’m typing at this exact moment…stay tuned)

  15. I saw this in a house on a hilltop in St. Croix USVI and it spoke to me so I had a sign made for my own house – SOMEDAY CAME.

    How often do you say Someday I’ll do this or Someday Ill do that. Well Someday is now here!

    That’s hard to get down to 7 chars. I guess my plate would be SMDCAME? Any suggestions?

  16. Rule of thumb for a full life (especially in retirement) – have a set of intentional activities that push the physical and mental boundaries pertaining to your specific genetic gifts on a daily basis!

    The litmus test at the end of the day will be a fantastic dinner and a sound asleep!

  17. Us two have two cars. My wife’s license plate is GR8L8E and mine is LUVSME. 😄

  18. Mine would be “PPL-1ST” It is not about things or money. Always have to remember why we are participating in this thing called life. Once you have your priorities settled, the rest is easy to figure it out.

    Every bad movie ending, has some old guy sitting by himself, focus on ways to live you life with people.

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