After all the countless hours of examination, analysis, computations and conjecture, I’m pleased to announce I’ve at long last reached a decision about my impending retirement. Actually I should say that ‘we’ have reached a decision, as my wife’s input was crucial to the outcome. Consider the rumors true, I’m taking the ‘golden handshake’ incentive offered by the district and am retiring effective 6/30/2013. Woo Hoo!!!
Of course my retirement is contingent on the district having enough teachers accept the ‘golden handshake’ to make it worth their while. If the numbers aren’t right they can rescind their offer and I would then have to work another year before retiring. So now it’s just a waiting game. I probably won’t know for certain if the plan is going to fly until near the end of April. If it’s meant to be it will happen. We’ll see.
I tell you, retirement certainly isn’t an easy decision to make. If it was only a question of what age to retire it would be a breeze, but there are so many damn things to consider especially monetarily. It’s really more about what income we’re comfortable retiring with than anything else. If you’re a late bloomer, baby boomer like me you’re not going to be retiring anywhere close to your full salary unless you continue working for another 15 or 20 years and that’s sure the hell not going to happen, at least for me. I enjoy my job but there’s no way I’m working until I’m 75 or 80! I want to be young enough to enjoy my retirement.
So it seems that the real challenge in entering the realm of the retired is how to spend all that newly gained, leisurely time without spending a whole bunch of money, in other words, learning to get by with less. I know we can do that. We already do. It doesn’t take much to satisfy me. I like my wife an a lover of the simple things in life. Although I haven’t always been that way, I’ve managed to change my ways and have come to appreciate the simple things. There was a time when I desperately wanted material things and only possessing them satisfied me. Thankfully those days were left behind long ago. Nowadays I’m pretty content, although I must confess to spending more money than I have to on one particular item, and that would be beer! I’ve got a taste for the micro brew and it definitely cost more than Bud, Coors or Miller Lite!
Today time is my most valuable commodity, I can’t believe how quickly it’s passing. When I was young it seemed that time was like a lazy creek or stream, slowly flowing along, but now that creek has become a raging river, whose current speeds along at an incredible rate. I suppose that’s one of the main reasons I want to retire. No one knows how much time they have remaining so before mine’s gone I want to take some time to smell the roses before I go.
There’s so much to do. I want to do some traveling. I want to sit down and finish writing those stories I’ve been working on forever and read all those novels stacked up on my nightstand. I want to tinker around in the yard and garage, finish up some of those projects I always talked about but never had the time to get around to, I want to play my guitars, maybe record a few songs and sleep in if I want to. I want to spend time with my kids, grandkids and friends, and most importantly I want to spend some quality time with my best friend and soul-mate, my wife. Now that will be nice. I only hope she feels the same and can handle having me around all day. Guess we’ll soon find out!
“It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man.” Scott Elledge
“Retirement is wonderful. It’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it”. ~Gene Perret