Sunday, October 17, 2010

Test Driving Retirement

Years ago, in the naivete of youth, I thought I'd retire at 50. Then, it moved out to 55. Then, as Skip's disease progressed and we started having expenses I hadn't anticipated, such as for household assistance, I figured we were looking at many more years of employment before I could retire ... would probably have to delay until 62. And, since I worked at home, I figured I was extending the years during which I could work without issue, since I could care for Skip intermittently during the work day.

I should point out that I've pretty much wanted to retire since I began working. I know there are some people out there who don't want to stop working. I do not count myself among them. I've enjoyed aspects of all my jobs and found satisfaction from them in many ways, but always looked forward to the day when my time wasn't spoken for by an employer. Maybe this is because I've never found a job that I was passionate about.

After being laid off, as I thought about finding a new job -- learning the ropes, having all those new responsibilities -- the prospect of imminent retirement looked better and better. I've found it very hard over the last few years to handle the triad of responsibilities for caregiving, a demanding job and self-care. And, when anything got deferred on the margin, it was always the self-care that got kicked to the curb. I thought if I didn't have to manage a job, I might actually start exercising, cooking healthfully and getting more sleep, all things I'd stopped over the last few years.

Also, if it turns out we can't swing retirement financially, having a significant gap in my resume isn't likely to be a huge issue during this "jobless recovery." There are millions of folks in the US who have been jobless for really long periods of time. Otherwise, the President and Congress wouldn't have extended unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks. (Unfortunately, this extension is only in force for the folks who were unemployment in May 2010.)

I am still browsing the career sites and the sites of companies that I know employ home-based employees. Keeping those options open while I give retirement a spin!


Muffie said...

Good luck, Cranky, in whatever you decide to do. I was one of those about whom you spoke -- I loved my job, and I didn't want to retire. However, instead of retiring, I was forced onto Disability, and I hate it. I really want to work, but I can't.
Let us know what you decide to do, and keep us informed of Skip's health.

kmilyun said...

Nice to hear from you. I miss the social aspect of going to work. Some jobs I loved and some a totally hated.

KRP has to continue on working cause we so can not make it without the $.
She would give anything to be retired. Me I get so freaking bored here at home . ...

Hope Skip is doing well give her my hiya and it will all work out cause it has too!

Kansas Bob said...

Hope things work out and employment doors open soon. I can relate to retirement looking differently since my wife Ann (diagnosed with MS then re-diagnosed with NMO) became whelchair disabled three years ago. Our dreams of retirement have been turned inside out.

zoomdoggies said...

"Life is like a river, kid. You gotta go where it takes you."
-- Wayne Malloy

Yes, I am indeed embarrassed to be caught quoting a TV show, but yeah, Cranky. What you said. Welcome back!

Diane J Standiford said...

Job lover here, but always wanted more time to write--it worked out and thanks to choosing and paying over the working years for good long term care ins., we are making it, though we NEVER expected that we BOTH would be retired on disability so soon. It does take a lot of adjustment and your idea about working from home is great. I telecommuted last years of my working life, trying to do anything to hold on. Good luck. You'll find the right fit.

Anonymous said...

Life can definitely throw a curveball sometimes, but it looks like you have plenty of supporters behind you!

Have Myelin? said...

You'll find your own answer one way or the other.

At first I was PO'd that I couldn't work. Now I'm glad I'm done with that part of my life and have different things to do.

Cranky said...

Everyone - thanks so much for your responses. I do envy the folks who loved their jobs so much they didnt want to retire. Wish I'd had such a passion for what I was doing.

Kansas Bob and Firststreet - welcome!

Webster said...

Hi Cranky, I hope your perfect home based job will magically appear soon, before you have to spend down all your resources. In the meanwhile, enjoy your extra free time.