Veterinary medicine too exciting for the retirement life

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friday I attended a retirement celebration.

Since it was not a close friend, it wasn’t top on my list of things to do. But when Mr. Neely personally suggested that I attend, I started thinking about it.

Weaseling I said the retiree wouldn’t remember me anyway and Ed Neely told me that even if Dennis Dorton did not remember me that he certainly remembered my loan.

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Which got me thinking about two things: Retirement and my loan. When I put my business plan on Ben Tackett’s desk, he said it was the most complete plan that he had seen in his almost two decades of banking.

I didn’t mean to make it the best, I just went through what I learned in my MBA program and worked through all the questions for the computer program on business plans. And that is the only way I know to do things, my best.

At 52 years of age, I was certainly set and did not need to start anything new. And the idea was not mine, it was put into my head.

For months, I argued about why it shouldn’t or couldn’t be done. But after lots of discussion it seemed like a good idea. It was a good idea for me, because a challenge keeps you young and stimulated.

It was good for the people involved because working together allows for a positive synergy. It was good for the community, because it would recycle an unused building and clean up the area.

And I felt that it was good for the economy and I believed that the American people will work and the economy recover. I actually believed that would happen sooner.

Of course, everything cost more than it cost and when equipment and some additional projects ran over, I was suddenly looking at a million dollar mortgage.

If you are a normal person, when you start looking at owing a million dollars, two things happen. The first takes your breath away and not in a good way.

The second makes you take a deep breath and hold it, because somebody somewhere (or in this case a group of somebodies) trusts you, you personally, enough to loan you a million dollars.

That, too, is an overwhelming feeling. But a good one.

A large mortgage also keeps you focused. You have to be attentive to every client. You have to try your best to make sure the best possible happens for every patient.

I don’t think you can get that much by charging too much or not being fair, certainly not for long enough to pay it off.

My original plan was to pay everything off in 15 years, but the increased loan amount made a monthly payment that I knew I could not keep up with.

When the bank officials suggested a longer term, I baulked at first. But as I started thinking about it, I knew I didn’t really mind paying off the mortgage until I was 72.

I have saved and planned for retirement, but I don’t think I would really enjoy it. My extended family is not close, M’Kinzy will be off living her life and my husband will probably not be able to travel during the retirement years.

But my staff and my clients are really like my family. Sure they can get mad and move away, but often they come back which is just like family.

And I truly enjoy my work. The Life is Good shirts have a tag that says something like “Do what you like. Love what you do.”

And I do! I love the challenge of the puzzle of a sick pet. I like interacting with the owners and working toward a solution that works for the whole family. I like that I can help when things go bad, but enjoy when I get to be the hero.

So, I signed the extended terms which means that I pay off the mortgage when I am 72. The bank thinks that I will sell the business and pay it off early.

But I know, even if I do, I will work some. Good luck, Denny Dorton, but I just cannot imagine anything else.

Oh, and you can do things cheaper and with less, but you don’t save as many lives.


MJ Wixsom practices veterinarian medicine at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. For questions, call 606-928-6566.