Retired? Not Really

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Retiring from a job you have done for many years can be a radical life style change. Many people (even myself) have these dreams of retiring and spending the days doing what we want; kicking back and just enjoying things. However, most retirees will tell you that it just is not that simple after retirement. For many people, going from the normal work schedule, to having no real schedule, can be quite nerve racking, and can throw your whole life out of whack.


We get used to our schedule, and when there is a radical change in it, it tends to be not as easy or comfortable of a transition as we might hope. Of course with the economy the way it  is, many retirees still go and find at least part time work.  While the money is a major issue for doing this, there is also the factor of feeling that accomplishment of working that we have lived within for decades.


I have a neighbor who retired a few years back, and I have watched him as an example for some time. He did retire a bit earlier than the typical 65 years of age time frame, due to some heart issue he went through, but overall he is a typical retiree. He did not go out and find a new job or continue working, but has taken up working for himself around the house. It does not bring in additional pay per se, but he stays quite active.


He was always kind of a closet handy man, and I would always find him out in the garage working on something to better his house or yard. One time, four years ago, I was chatting with him in my backyard, and I was discussing how my wife wanted me to tear down this large two story shed that was falling apart in our yard. It belonged to the prior owners, and was basically just filled with junk we were storing, and was becoming a nest for vermin as well as becoming an eyesore. It was built on a nice concrete slab, and we gave thought to knocking the building down and using the slab for an above ground pool or something.


For me, I saw potential in that the structure was still strong, just the outer shell was falling apart. I thought it might be better to fix it up and convert it to a place for my band to practice. My neighbor agreed with my view (maybe it was because we had been previously practicing in the garage right next to his house). Anyway, we did some talking, some calculations, and found that it really would not be all that expensive to rebuild, and so he took on the job as a “way to keep busy” and in the process got to use all of his tools and skills. I helped as much as I was available, but for the most part he spent the daytime hours working while I was at work, and I spent mainly weekends helping out.  It took a little less than six months, but it ended up being a nice fixer-up project with great results. He wasn’t so concerned with being paid for the task, as it was a fun project for him that gave him the ability to learn new things and stay active.


After retiring, many people just want to stay active, and keep some semblance of the work and life schedule they had prior to retirement. Since then, he continued working on projects around his house, up until one of his daughters had her baby and  then had to go back to work. Now he plays granddad baby sitter by day, and he loves it.


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