Tuesday, February 21, 2017

At a neighborhood park

I recently read on an internet retirement discussion forum where an individual shared how he now understood what his deceased father meant.

He shared how his father used to say, after he had been retired for about five years, how retirement was just an extremely boring way waiting to die.  He also shared how he couldn’t understand his father’s message.  He was still working at the time but has been retired for six years and now clearly understands. 

It seems like he’s had frustrating experiences trying the volunteer route to have meaning and purpose being retired.  Apparently, his volunteer experiences have not turned out well.  He shared how he “. . . either got dumped on or tired of being used and quit.”  He appeared to have noticeable case of “sour grapes” and ungrateful of his volunteer experiences.

Yet someone else shared how their experiences with volunteer work have been different and gratifying, despite not having any special merit, skill or intelligence which led them to what they now do as a volunteer. They shared being grateful for their volunteer work. 

An important consideration in the major decision of whether to retire or keep doing what we do in our professions and trades is the desire of our spouses.

Some of us, despite having gracefully-aged to a point of being retirement-aged qualified and financially-comfortable to retire, prefer to stay on our work pony and continue the ride a little longer.  Yet we may have a spouse that begs to differ.  This can be an emotional tug of war with ensuing conflict.

This gentlemen’s sharing of his father’s perspective about how retirement was just an extremely boring way waiting to die helps explain why many stay riding their work ponies past traditional retirement age, particularly the self-employed types. 

Sure, volunteer work is an option and it’s nice to know so many retired folks have found a legacy-career calling doing meaningful volunteer work.

But for many individuals who are retirement-age qualified and financially-able to retire, they may view doing volunteer work like being a retired professional boxer who enjoyed the limelight being in the ring but who now spends his time shadow boxing at the neighborhood park.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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