I can’t afford to retire.
When did I figure that out?
Well I always knew it really.
I never planned for retirement.
Always thought that was in the future — I’ll take care if that later.
Later came and went.
Quite by accident I did manage to save a few bucks back over the last several years but not nearly enough for a bona fide retirement.
But that is not stopping me — so far.
I’m into my second day of at least semi-retirement. And I can’t write that without feeling self-conscious or that I have to make the pun because I’m retiring from driving a semi truck.
Been doing that for most of the past two decades — had to take some time off for cancer treatment and associated hospital stays, but other than that it’s been nearly 24-7 on the big truck. Well I did have that one job where I was home each day but an interruption caused by my cancer ended that, so it was back out on the long road.
I took a month off and went to Spain last year — actually two weeks in Spain total, the rest prep for and then doing other things after that.
But at 66 and with an incurable form of cancer — albeit in essentially what is remission — that could come back at any time, I feel I need to live life a little before I can no longer live life.
But on this second day, realities of continuing family responsibility (I’m a widower but have two adult daughters), as well as the reality that I still have to pay fairly expensive apartment rent, and all those other pesky living expenses, I’m wondering if I should not save my place back at the old job if I can or work more than I had planned (if that is even an option for me). I was almost in a panic mood about all of this yesterday but no as much today. Too much personal information I know.
No particular message here. Maybe just that sometimes we don’t appreciate our work for what it is — survival!
I’m jealous of those who planned wisely for their retirement. But I could have done that. Like so many, I know, I always thought I could not afford to put back extra for retirement.
Okay, no more about that. I am in good health and am thankful for that. And did I mention? I’m going to Spain again.
This time I’m set to enroll in a Spanish language course there. I know some Spanish already — took three semesters of college level Spanish and have used it somewhat on my job — Spanish light you might call it. I can order a meal, do greetings, make light observations, so on.
Some people have sports; I have language — and politics of which I often write — as a kind of hobby or even avocation.
So I’m looking forward to how my form of retirement works out.
If you are younger than I and have not planned out your retirement income, take my advice: don’t make excuses. Also make sure you study up on Social Security. There are some pitfalls having to do with when to claim it, even possibly using a spouse or ex-spouse’s claim, and so on. While the folks at Social Security may help you it is up to you to understand it all and make it work for you. You have to read their booklets (available online of course) and then re-read them, and then maybe go to a secondary source for more explanation possibly. I made what may be a blunder, which I will not go into. But if you study all that before early retirement age and before full-retirement age, you will be in good shape. And it has to go without saying, you virtually cannot depend upon Social Security alone.
And don’t assume it is too late — I mean it might be, but give it a shot.