I think most Americans dream about their retirement. Unfortunately, it’s not the same dream our parents had. Gone are the days of good pension plans, matching stock purchases, or selling your family home to use as a nest egg. I honestly don’t know very many people over the age of 50 who are comfortable with the idea of not working. In fact most just hope they can hang on to the job they have, or they plan on working at something as long as they can because they can’t afford to live with any amount of comfort if they had to retire anytime soon. Add to this the fact that if you’re over 45, a good “career-type” job is difficult to find and you have a lot of Americans taking part-time work and maybe two of those jobs to keep things going. Plus, many people our age have adult children and grandchildren living with them because they can’t find jobs that pay well.
For my money…this election should be about the economy. But this isn’t a political posting.
I always dreamed we would move Up North and just kind of bounce around great small town like Petoskey…living an easier, quieter life. We go up when we can, but Lynn’s still working and we’re just not ready to cut our ties with Metro Detroit. Not yet, anyway.
But it’s not easy to retire these days. Not without cutting your expenses and living a little less glamorous than you might have dreamed of. I know a few Parents who kind of work as “daycare” for their grandchildren. Maybe they get a little cash for doing that, usually it’s to help their own kids save money.
When I first retired, everyone told me “Better find something to do…otherwise you’ll go crazy or drive your wife away!”. Someone even pointed out to me that American men sometimes only live 18 months past their last paycheck. Mike Bradley helped me find a small building to rent and before I did my last radio show, Lynn snuck in and cleaned it up so they day I left my career, I went from driving to the station to driving to my shop. With 2 months I started as the world’s oldest metal shaping/welder apprentice. with Eric Gorges, host of the hit PBS-Detroit TV show “A Craftsman’s Legacy.”
It took me about a year before I realized I never really retired! I was just spending the productive part of my day doing something different. I still get up at 4am..I still take a long nap in the middle of the day, and I still stay up till midnight. Just as I’ve done for 44 years.
So now I suppose, retirement is just a word. In the classic-sense, I am retired from broadcasting. But now I’m playing around with this blog, so I’m not so sure that’s accurate. In the back of my mind I still have the need to do “a show”, just like everyone who posts on social media.
But one thing’s for sure: Whatever was important to you BEFORE you stop working, is still just as important afterwards.
This is how I spend my time, 3-4 times a day…rain or shine.