Client Spotlight: A Happy Retiree’s Hobby Restoring Classic Cars in Retirement (1970 Ford Bronco)


Client Spotlight: A Happy Retiree’s Hobby Restoring Classic Cars in Retirement (1970 Ford Bronco)



Much of the recent financial news has been laser-focused on inflation, and rightfully so. When prices go up, quality of life doesn’t often follow. At Capital Investment Advisors, we might have up-to-the-minute analysis on the Federal Reserve’s latest rate hike, but that doesn’t mean we’re paying any less for eggs at the grocery store. Inflation isn’t fun for anyone.

But as challenging as economic forces may be, our clients seem to keep on keepin’ on.

Today we focus on Rick Arnold. He grew up on a small farm in downstate Illinois. For those who don’t know the term, “downstate” has no strict definition, though some locals might disagree. One might refer to it as the areas outside of Chicago city limits. Others might explain they consider any section north of I-80 “outstate” because downstate’s border is in Bloomington. We aren’t here to join the fray. Whichever interpretation Rick employs is good enough for us.

Rick learned his mechanical skills out of necessity but fell in love with cars during high school. During his senior year, he rebuilt a van and soon drove it to Alaska and back. The next step was to graduate from an automotive trade school and work as a technician for five years. During college, he worked for Shahid Khan. Now the billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Khan started his business making automotive parts. Seeing how successful his old boss has become, Rick sometimes wonders if he should’ve stayed in that lane rather than merging over to finish school and graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Either way, Rick’s continued love of vehicles prompted him to build many over the years, including a Lotus Europa, four different Mustangs, two Jeeps, two trucks, and even a few motorcycles. He took a slightly different direction for his latest pursuit, building a classic Ford Bronco. Why did he choose it? It’s popular, fun, and, let’s face it, the parts are much easier to find. I don’t imagine many neighborhood auto parts stores are flush with Lotus radiator caps.

Check out Rick’s latest progress below.

Oh, by the way, the last Mustang Rick built now resides in Southern France with a French Air Force pilot. Travel is consistently popular with our clients, but typically it’s the retiree, not the car, that climbs aboard the airplane. Au Revoir, Mustang!

A Happy Retiree’s Hobby Restoring Classic Cars in Retirement: 1970 Ford Bronco A Happy Retiree’s Hobby Restoring Classic Cars in Retirement: 1970 Ford Bronco

Photo of a Mustang Rick built that ended up in a French magazine.

A happy retirement comes in many shapes and sizes. Finances certainly matter, especially in today’s climate of price escalation. So following the steps to build a solid financial foundation is critical. Once the economic infrastructure is in place, the happiest retirees, like Rick, know that it’s even more vital to find purpose. One of the most effective ways to create it is to find core pursuits — hobbies on steroids — that get you out of bed in the morning.

The research for my book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think: The 5 Money Secrets of the Happiest Retirees, uncovered that the happiest retirees on the block (HROBs) have an average of 3.6 core pursuits, while the unhappy lot have only 1.9. So if you want to build your own Ford Bronco, Rick is the man to see for advice. If not, there are so many other options. Ready to find the right ones for you? Check out this core pursuit finder my team and I created.

You won’t regret it. Rick sure doesn’t!

Please note, Rick gave us permission to share his story and photos.


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