Saturday, September 15, 2012

Will you just RETIRE already? There is a line waiting!

Since when did retirement get to be such a big deal? I mean, really folks, when the time come, be prepared and, as Nike would say, just do it. It is not rocket science.

Because I am old, I remember when people worked their required 30+ years and then they retired to do what retirees do. They went fishing, took care of the grandchildren, bought groceries and worked at what ever they wanted to work at.  It was natural and right!

Now there seems to be a trend toward working forever and staying young forever. People live beyond their means so retirement becomes a race to make enough money so they can keep on living beyond their means. Heaven help us all! Halting the passage of time forever is about as possible as a 20 month pregnancy or putting a rock on you child's head so he will never grow up. Some things CAN not be changed. We should grow up, do what ever grown ups do, let our children do the same and get on with our lives.

This is what I do in retirement...the picture is what I make it!
Have you ever thought that retiring as we grow older is a natural progression in our lives? It is a part of the cycle of life and as we grow old, we move over to give some space to our children or grandchildren. I often wonder if the unemployment problems we are in today are a result of the boomers thinking that, if they just keep working, they will not have to face themselves or even their home life. They are a little afraid of the next step and they take the cowardly way out. They keep going to work everyday while young people go without jobs.

I liked a post that Satisfying Retirement put up yesterday describing How to Retire. As Bob Lowry says, retirement is not simple. He points out that it is complicated and even hard. I agree. There is a sense of grief because of the loss the retiree may experience. Living with your spouse can be a trial that would drive a saint wild. The list goes on. But, my friends, take heart. You are tough and smart.  You can do this. You left your home when you grew up and it was hard. You probably are a parent and maybe you had problems. That was hard. You may have lost your parents or a sibling. That was hard.  You are aging and your body is doing what a body does as it gets some miles on it. That is hard. So what makes you think that retirement is going to bring you to your knees?

Life is a sequence of ages and stages. While we would all like to skip some of those stages, it is not going to happen. As those of us that blog from the experience of retirement will tell you, it is not about what life hands you, it is how you see what life hands you! This latter stage of your life can and should be one of the best. It allows you to make choices and live out some dreams...and it is not about money. Really, the simplest things are the most fun.

There, I said it!



  1. I totally agree. I think boomers are taking jobs of young graduates and complaining that their pay is so low.
    I also know that many young graduates are no longer going into lower paying jobs. I was called back out of retirement to teach "home ec". They had been looking for six months- country wide- and could not find someone to move here to teach it for the wages that are paid in this area....
    BTW- If you know anyone who is willing to teach FACS (home ec)--I have a position that needs to be filled in January so I can return to retirement!

  2. I agree! Retirement while not without its own set of challenges can be really wonderful.

  3. Good stuff! Another avenue for some is to pursue a passion or second career that is what they would actually LIKE to be doing. Something new, exciting, different than what you have been doing all your life that makes you look forward to getting out of bed each morning. If money is not the main concern you are even more free to wander down a path you have not yet traveled. The opportunities are limitless and retirement is the perfect time to do some experimenting. Enjoy!

  4. Thank you, Barb, for the plug. I guess it is a little sad I had to even write a post about how to retire. As you note, it is just part of life and shouldn't need a particularly detailed insruction manual.

    Too many folks overthink it or try to prepare for all eventualities. That is not going to happen! Life happens.

    Being in the "retirement" business, I sometimes wonder if most of us prepare as strenuously for a marriage or career!

  5. Jannette,

    I know what you are saying. Teachers qualified in those areas that are considered "disposable" in the tax payers eyes are getting to be rarer than hens teeth. My son works for a company in Shanghai China that runs an international school. They cannot find PE teachers. People simply quit taking the major because there were no jobs.


  6. Arizona2012,

    Yes, you are right. There are challenges but the rewards are worth the effort. And really, in the end, there is no choice.


  7. David,

    You are right. Websites like and AARP provide some wonderful idea for life after retirement. Bob Lowry spends a great deal of time working with men just released from prison mentoring them so they can succeed in their lives. He knows that working does not necessarily mean a job.

    The idea here is that "living within your means" means you can retire when you should. I think that is the reason I have written so much about down sizing and living in small spaces.

    I have a friend that says that I can have a home in Oregon and a park model in Oregon. Talking about small space living is blowing smoke she thinks. But the truth of it is we can afford both. If all we could afford was an apartment or a small park model, that is where we would live and we would do it with style surrounded by a beautiful (in our eyes) life.

    Thank you for your comment.


  8. Bob,

    As always, you are very insightful. Honest, I am not sure if we can prepare mentally for the unknown. Money can be saved and books can be read. But in the end we must walk in the shoes before we can honestly know how they feel.

    Be well.



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