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Retirement is NOT Always Forever - Nor Complete

My husband and I have differing ideas about what it means to retire. My idea is that it should be a real change, not just changing jobs.

Now, our ideas were formed, in part, from our different experiences. My dad retired - for good - at 60. He had just received a diagnosis of cancer, and he wanted to take advantage of the freedom of retirement.

He never did much travel. My mother's ill health made that difficult, at best. She was resistant to getting a motor home, and using that as a base for their life. Even after her death, 12 years later, he seldom was able to see other sights. He died four years later, never having been far from home.

Den's father died before he could retire, at 52. Even when he was in the hospital, dying, he was planning to oversee building and operation of the new plant in Bradford. After his death, the new structure was never built, and the original plant eventually closed.

Den has already retired, once, from his job in Cleveland. Even before the retirement paperwork was through, he was already working another job in SC.

When he talks about retirement, he envisions working, although perhaps on a reduced or more flexible schedule. He may be right, for him - he finds it hard to NOT work, sometimes (often) going into work on the weekends to catch up on paperwork.

Not me, though. When I retired, I anticipated NOT working at all. I planned to write - and, perhaps, to make some small income from that.

Last spring, after a LOT of nagging, I finally agreed to work as a sub in Fort Mill. This was largely because of the recent diagnosis of cancer he received.

I've continued, this year, because I realized that, with only $5280 needed each year in income, I could qualify for a year in Social Security. That not only ups my current income, it also raises my SS check, AND it decreases the amount taken from that check, as a result of WEP (Windfall Elimination Profits). WEP is levied against government workers, military, and teachers, and is calculated on the amount of the check we receive each month, by a formula related to the number of qualifying years.

So, yes, I may well work for another 5-10 years, part-time. It would definitely be worth it.

In some ways, working has been beneficial to my writing. It's easier to procrastinate if you have no urgent appointments. By restricting the endless time, I've made it more important to maximize the free time that I have.


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