There are presently only two people who listen to me. One is my husband, and he listens only to what he wants to hear from me. Most of the time he just tunes me out. The other is my therapist and she gets paid to listen to me.
Actually, that’s a GREAT gift! I am always happy after I see my therapist because I know that for 50 minutes, someone listened to me!
So, it comes as no surprise that there is nobody around to listen to my constant whinging and whining about my desire to retire. Retire from my job, that is. And as there really is nobody to actually listen to me regarding this issue, I took my iPhone, scrolled to my bank’s app and used my “face ID” to connect. And there I was, sitting on the sofa of our living room, feet curled over sofa’s edge, knees to my chin and I went directly to my account. I spoke into my phone as very politely and sincerely asked my bank account if I could retire.
Daddy Cool from Capital One thought my question to retire was far more than amusing. It was laughable!
I thought I heard a slight chuckle coming from my phone. Then I heard a guttural laugh. My phone answered me. My phone, through the laughing so hard it started to cough, told me that I could not retire. My bank account also went further in conversation to ask me if I was out of my mind.
I got the hint.
I want to retire but I simply cannot afford to do so.
The future of me!
Now. Before I go on, this blog post isn’t being written in a bitter tone, nor is it angry. It just is…well, it is what it is. I do not begrudge those who have been able to retire in their mid-60’s or even younger. I mean, come on—my dad retired from the New York City Police Department with a full pension when he was 45 years old. That’s 21 years younger than I am now! What happened along the road to retirement?
Yes. What DID happen to the road to retirement? For me it’s more like dirt than yellow brick!
During the evening hours when I do get the chance to watch TV, elusively nestled among the many health-care and drug advertisements, I’ll watch ads regarding the wealth of retirement that various financial institutes are showcasing. These ads fascinate me to no end. The calm and reassuring voiceover will captivate as the impeccably-dressed and groomed older couple, that you know is even far above the wealth of the one percenter. They listen to their financial advisor, an older man in a suit explaining to them how they can retire, travel the world in luxury, perhaps downsize to a one-million-dollar townhome rather then spend their days in their seven-bathroom estate!
This Charles Schwab ad always cracks me up. Look at the smug on that woman’s face. She’s sooooooooooo one percent!
They look lovingly at each other then give the financial advisor their nod of approval. Yes! They are ready to retire in the lap of riches and luxury!
This couple has finished looking lovingly at each other and their bank statement. Now they are simply laughing at those of us who can’t retire!
But that really isn’t the case for the other ninety-nine percent. Actually, I would say more of us can’t retire. At all.
Hmmm. How many decades can I shave from my resume?
And if you are of that certain age who experienced life’s events such as the Economic Recession of 2007 into 2008, major illness, a divorce, (that would be me), the loss of a home (that would be me) a company restructure (where you were the one let go and didn’t get to enjoy that restructure–would be me times three), you know what it is like to hit rock-bottom and try to claw your way back to a job with a salary that is no longer attainable.
Sadly, 13 years later many in the 50 and over demographic haven’t fully recovered!
Let me put it in simpler terms. I’m 66. Should I decide to retire when I’m 67, which is next year, I’ll be at an iffy level of income simply because my present salary is not a livable one. Even if I wait until 70 to bask in the glory of additional monetary benefits due to delaying said retirement, I would still be a poor person. Basically, I can retire next year but I still can’t retire. I would have to continuing working. ( Caveat: The full-benefit retirement age is 66. However, the longer you put retirement off (Until age 70), the more money you get per month)
And note how the retirement age is slowly increasing. Personally, I think it’s a disgrace–especially since many haven’t recovered from that last recession.
Trust me, I’ve thought long and hard about this. I want to write and my present job drains my energy. My job is akin to an energy, or psychic vampire. Rather than sucking blood, my energy is completely sucked. Upon arriving home from work, all I want to do is go to bed. I figure if I retire, then I can become employed on a temp or part-time basis. But the question remains—is my demographic being hired for non-full-time positions? Does ageism flow over into that non-career area?
My job literally sucks all the energy out of my body. By late afternoon, I’m burnt out. Don’t get me wrong. If I had a job I loved I wouldn’t even consider retirement!
The main reason I want to retire is that I just want to enjoy the rest of my life. I may be older but am at that age where when I fall, I can get up!
Even if I drank too much wine and fell, I can still get up…and drink more!
I don’t need “The Clapper” to turn lights off and on. I’m very capable and physically able to get up off my ass and turn the light switch on and off.
Even on my laziest days I wouldn’t settle for using this thing.
I can still climb stairs—and I do this very quickly so there’s no need or a stair lift. And..I don’t need a Hoveround® to get me where I’m going.
I can still RUN up and down our three flights of stairs–God knows it’s the only phase of exercise I get!
I’m not ready for a Hoveround yet either. I can’t even sit in a moving car that long–I need to get out and stretch!
I want to enjoy my grandson. I want to enjoy being a part of my children’s adult lives. (Even if they feel differently).
Hey, I want to enjoy this little ishkabibble!
I want to enjoy my time with my husband. And waiting for the three-week’s personal time off that I’ve accumulated after a number of years just isn’t cutting it anymore. I want more time. And given that time is of the essence as we age, more time really isn’t that much to ask for.
And I would like more time for me to laze around on the loveseat in our sunroom like the princess I am!
It’s also the little things that become increasingly important to me. I want to walk every day. This morning as I drove through Valley Forge Park on my way to work, I passed a few morning walkers. They looked so happy and at peace and they were doing something good for themselves. They were maybe a bit older than I am and for a fleeting moment, I was envious and as that moment passed, I was happy for them.
I pass this bridge twice a day, two and from work. I’ve walked across it a couple of times while enjoying time with my son. I want to do that on a regular basis!
Remember when it was normal to work a 35-hour week? Somewhere along the line that 35-hour work week morphed into a 40-hour work week. For some it’s 45 and others in managerial roles work with no life balance. We need to enjoy our lives. Enjoying life makes for less stress.
A week-end is being off work on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday you run errands like a crazy person because you didn’t have the time to do them during the week because you had to work late. And on Sunday, you are miserable realizing that the next day you have to go to work. And the cycle keeps spinning!
So that’s about it for this post. I needed to talk about this. There’s no way I’m the only one who feels like this—am I right? If you are thinking about retirement or are retired or are retired with another job, give us your thoughts. It’ll make for a good conversation!
Seriously. Is is ME? Am I the only one? I will say, though, that I wish I had a writing job. Writing makes me happy! So what do you think? Are you ready to retire? Are you retired? Let’s tawk!