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Life After Work

CNN.com users on what they would do if money were no object

  • Story Highlights
  • CNN.com asked users what they would do in life if money were no object
  • Most people said they would do volunteer work
  • Some respondents felt a need to experience new hobbies, interests
  • A few would continue to work, but also use their talents to help those in need
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(CNN) -- CNN.com asked its users what they would do if they had all the money they needed. What would they do in retirement? Or would they retire?

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Several CNN.com users said they would buy a motorhome and travel around the United States to NASCAR events.

We received more than 1,400 replies. Some people wanted to volunteer in other countries, some wanted to find new hobbies, some just wanted to relax for a change. Here are some of the edited responses that users around the world sent in.

Reza Rohani of Tehran, Iran
I would develop an NGO for popularization of science in Iran and some Central Asian countries. I would establish a publication house solely for the mentioned purpose and travel around the world to become more acquainted with different cultures and produce information packages and audio-visual documentaries to bring about a better understanding to people in different countries.

E. Noonan of Natick, Massachusetts
Oh, if I didn't have to work, I would spend my time on my dream of acting. Slogging around New York trying to get auditions, get into stage plays, get an agent -- all that sounds wonderful, as long as there is enough money to live on. Voice-over work and straight plays ... I would be in heaven.

Frank Morganti of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
I'd continue my work as a general contractor as my new hobby and wouldn't worry about money.

Eric Scheffer of Bangkok, Thailand
Retirees and financially independant people can still be of great use to society and communities. There is, for example, still a lot of poverty in Asia and Africa. Living costs are low, and retirees can live comfortably in Asia or Africa while participating in community work.

One can, for example, teach simple things in the villages: hygiene, healthy cooking, etc. They can also give aid and simple loving care to small children.

I would like to encourage retirees and financially independant people to become actively involved in such countries, and make a difference. There is no need for us or any healthy retiree to sit around and wait for death. The world needs us.

Mandy Sickler of Marion, Indiana
I'd finish my last year in college as a social work major and I would pay off all my college loans. Then I wish I had the means to load up a huge plane full of food, water and clothing/shoes to take to underprivileged countries and teach the people how to use the food I brought them.

I would bring over educators to teach the people in these places about how to maintain their health. If I could, I would provide every child with the correct physical checkups and immunization shots.

But this would be way out of reach for me to do; so if I didn't have to work, I would join the Peace Corps and work my butt off to help in any way I could.

Roger Belanger of Tiverton, Rhode Island
I'd be involved somehow in the theatre arts. My mid-life crisis hit about 10 years ago at 40 and I became involved in amateur theatre. If I were able to "walk away from it all," I would dedicate my life to the performing arts in some fashion.

Robert Madden of Parsons, Kansas

Buy a motor home and become a NASCAR fan on the road at a different track every weekend.

Cicely Jette of Boston, Massachusetts
I would develop the other side of my brain! I'm a research scientist and spend most of my time on data analysis, organization and logic.

If I didn't have to work, I would learn to sing opera, how to speak French and Italian fluently, how to act, and I would spend all my free time in museums. That is ... until I overloaded my right brain and was driven back to the lab.

Mark Albert of Salmon River, Nova Scotia
I would do the same as now: stay home with my kids. I have already decided to leave my job to be able to spend time with my kids in the most valuable time of their lives and mine. My wife works and makes enough for me to be able to do so and I am very grateful! Not enough parents stay home to raise their own kids. It rocks!

Valerie Cathell of Dumfries, Virginia
If I didn't have to work is tough to contemplate; however, I have fantasized about helping kids who are not able to read or are trapped in war-torn areas with no exposure to education. I am an educator currently, and I work in a small private school where funds are scarce.

I understand limitations when there is not enough money. I would love to be able to touch the lives of kids who have no idea what an X-Box is or an iPod. Even in our environment, we have parents paying private tuition, who have the means to provide these "often taken for granted" things. But that is what they are: things.

I worked with my fifth grade class to create a book for children in Uganda last year. After receiving the book, the liaison/facilitator of the program, sent our school a DVD of the children in Uganda. We shared this with our students and they were in awe of the way those kids actually lived. It was a life-changing experience and one that inspired me to seek ways to help others more often.

Donald LaMarr Sr. of Antioch, California
If I didn't have to work I would spend a significant portion of my time on the streets of Oakland, Berkley, and San Francisco, California, approaching and mentoring potential gang members in a different more positive direction.

We have more than 1 million young African-American males who are either unemployed or underemployed who need some direction and someone to show them that there is a different way, a better culture than the gang culture. I would help guide them back to our educational institutions.

I would help to create hybrid educational institutions for the most incorrigible amongst them. These would not be the gladiator training camps that our youth prisons have become. These would be places where education and cultural development become mandatory and punishment for failing or resisting assimilation would be severe. That's what I would spend most of my time doing if I were retired.

Jeffrey Young of McKinney, Texas
For every person that needed help, I would stop and offer assistance. From one to the next, like a connect-the-dots on the map of the world just to see how I could band-aid my way across the globe in search of myself while making a difference from the smallest to the greatest challenges thrown at me.

I would be a constant part of the solution. If I had nothing to worry about financially well, 90 percent of my problems would go away and then I would have the rest of my life to focus on the things that matter.

I would go about developing relationships, experiencing the lives of others all while uplifting spirits of the world one soul at a time.

I would breathe life from the Himalayas. Ride the currents in the waters of Costa Rica. Listen to jazz in New Orleans. Dip in the hot springs by Vancouver, British Columbia. Really.

There is not enough time for me to talk about everything I would do. Instead, trust in that I would never waste a moment learning life all over again.

Debra Ross of Rex, Georgia
If I were the recipient of a sudden, legal windfall, I'd immediately quit my job and purchase an RV and travel to every state in America driving at a consistent, aggravating 40 mph.

Isn't that what the people do when they travel in those things anyway? Far be it from me to break the rules. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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