Why do I feel guilty that I am not planning to retire? It seems like everyone looks forward to the day when they can retire from their long careers and stay home and die. I love my job (most days), feel like I’m making a contribution, love making my brain work, and enjoy interacting with really intelligent people. What do I hate? I hate sitting on the porch watching the sun beat down. I hate thinking about all the projects that a retired person would get done that are still sitting and waiting for me. I really hate the thought of just waiting to die.
While there is no way to tell whether I might have to retire because of illness or something beyond my control, what I will probably do when I’m closer to a decent retirement age (like 70) is reduce my work schedule so I can take more long weekends to visit my grandbabies, so I can actually finish some of the projects that need to be done (all my old photographs are not going to scan themselves!), and so I can relax for a minute.
The issue I’m having right now is that my husband is talking about retirement, and he’s talking about it like I’m going to retire even though I’ve told him many times I have no plans to retire. Unlike me, he LOVES sitting on the porch doing nothing, he actually gets projects done and would love more time to do that, and I think he’s just tired of working.
I have too many things I want to do that a Social Security income–even enhanced with my retirement plans–won’t cover in addition to a house payment, car insurance, medical insurance, etc. I want to continue to travel. I want to be able to attend events like concerts and plays. I want to keep my housecleaning service at least part time because I really don’t like scrubbing baseboards and toilets.
One thing that keeps me excited about all of this is my circle of friends. They are 10-20 years younger than me. Other than the extended time it takes me to get out of a sitting position, I keep up pretty well. And that forces me to keep up. I can’t imagine my life without them. I would be old. My hair would probably be gray, my nails wouldn’t sparkle, my clothes wouldn’t be stylish (at least to me), and I wouldn’t have been so many places across the country and around the world.
My husband is a homebody–I am not. During our 42 years of marriage, we have traveled some to family events, but he’s not a fan. I love it. So I’m very lucky that he’s willing to stay home and take care of our animals while I’m jetting off to Europe, or to a conference, or for a girls’ weekend. Really lucky. I realize that and am very grateful that we met 45 years ago and have had such an amazing life (so far). It wasn’t always rainbows and unicorns, but with perseverance, hard work, and lots of patience, it has turned out to be pretty amazing.
If someone else has plans to retire, more power to you. I really don’t envy you because I’m happier being busy. Which is why every person should do what they want to do. Do you want to retire when you’re 62 1/2 or 65? Go for it! Do the things you want to do when you have the time to do them. I’m trying to do the best of those things now–taking grandchildren to Disneyland, traveling to Europe, walking in a Disney 5K with friends, attending conferences to increase my knowledge and make new friends, and getting involved in outside sales opportunities and blogging. While I should have started some of these things many years ago, there’s no time like the present!