Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Retirement Planning...

I'm coming to realize that probably the main reason I never actively engaged in financial planning was that I never really believed that I would need to retire. (Another strong reason is a total lack of trust in financial institutions -- no doubt inherited from my parents, who had lost their innocence about banks and insurance during the Great Depression.)

I've always believed that I could continue to sell my skills (which, admittedly, are mostly mental, not physical) for as long as I needed to. It never occurred to me that people retired because they had to, because they just couldn't do the work any longer.

This is a very shocking realization! But the truth pops up to remind me daily that I am no longer in my twenties, and I can't keep the pace that I'm sure I remember I once could. (Of course, the memory is going, too, so I could be wrong about that.)(My sentiments, exactly. I don't care if it's good for me; I didn't sign up for it!)

My life has changed so much that when I take out the albums and study the record of family life therein, I actually wonder, "Who was that woman!?"

Followed by the corollary, "Who am I now?"

It is a shock to look in the mirror and see a stranger -- moreover, a stranger I never expected to be. And learning how to be mortal at this late a date is proving a challenge, LOL.

So, how am I to go about planning for retirement, when that means I will probably not be doing much of anything I have done before. Since I am less physically and mentally fit than I had planned, and probably not going to stop that deterioration, what am I going to be doing?

In short, what am I going to be when I grow up?

Do I change careers yet again? Do I consider retraining? Do I upgrade the computer and move into the 21st Century? Do I move to Mexico, or some other retirement community, where the cost of living matches my Social Security check? (That's assuming I believe in SS, which I don't and never have had any trust would be there for me. Alas, current events are supporting my paranoia...)
Truthfully, the old eagerness for new places and new ideas and new learning just isn't there. I have no enthusiasm for reentering the love/hate relationship of learning new computer software (or I'd upgrade to Ubuntu and open source).

This reluctance may not be entirely my fault, or the result of aging. It used to be that change happened far more slowly, and there was time to get used to the idea. I could actually become proficient in a software application before it went to the next version!

The world actually may be moving too rapidly for me to follow any longer. And seems to be going directions I don't much like, for that matter. I'm just hanging on by my fingernails!

It does not help my ego that I grew up hearing these very complaints from my parents and all their siblings as they reached the age I am now.

The trick for me, daily, is to resist turning into a crochety old woman, complaining and whining about some decline from the Good Old Days... This is a challenge, too, seeing as that is exactly how I remember my aunts and uncles! I have role models to fight off.

I need to remember...
This is only the Fall of my life...

Not the Winter...

I can still rise up anew, and perhaps like the butterfly, I don't have to plan the details, but simply go with the flow.

And trust the process!

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  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger Nancy said…

    I know what you mean about not being ready to retire...

    I had planned on retiring..but not until I was at least 60 or so. Not at 45. It was a rude and nasty awakening to find out my body wouldn't allow me to do work my mind was well able to continue.


  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger adnama52 said…

    nice blogging- check me out at - about retirement in South Georgia. I feel the collective thoughts as expressed by the vast majority who approach the 60 mark. It is a struggle daily to keep up or even try. Some of it (most of it) I am content to have pass me by. The so called rat race has passed itself into rats in fast forward taking medications to keep their brains from imploding due to pressure from every direction.


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