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What Retirement is Like



November 04, 2014 – Comments (1)

Sadly, my current job of nearly a decade came to an end. I decided to take off a couple of months (which is also why my blog has gone dark: sorry about that) without looking for a new job. In today's employment conditions, this is probably a foolish thing to do. However, I needed to recharge my batteries and I also wanted to do a trial run of my retirement, which is now on the visible horizon (just barely). To be perfectly honest, I was not pleased with everything I discovered.



Even if you take into account things like sleeping in late, an afternoon nap, chores and errands, elegant meal prep, and the occasional ball game, you will still have to fill up 10-12+ hours of time per day. I watched Star Trek episodes, military documentaries on Youtube, and caught up on my reading. These things really old, really fast.



I researched the cost of these things. There are some in the $500 range per person, but these were for the shorter, more local cruises. The type of cruises that people imagine are more in the $2000 range per person. Keep in mind that these $$$ do not include things like premium dining, alcohol, shopping, and on-shore excursions.



I lived a very frugal lifestyle and kept careful track of how much I was spending. I then calculated my SSI payments and 4% rule from my retirement accounts. I was not even close. And this was without the little luxuries I have gotten used to, like buying nice sneakers or fancy restaurants.



I also read articles that the typical retired person has $200k in medical expenses, even with Medicare coverage. Then there is the problem of long-term care or nursing homes and how to pay for them (they ain't cheap). So, however much you think you need in retirement, you better add this amount to your kitty.



Already, I have noticed that my biological systems are not working as well as they did when I was younger. Impotence, wearing adult diapers, and needing a cane or wheelchair are not beyond the realm of possibility.



I am at the age where my parents, aunts, and uncles are dying off. When I retire, this could easily happen to my cousins and friends. I read that loneliness and isolation are terrible problems for the elderly.



Well, despite the disturbing things I discovered, I am still looking forward to retiring. My life and my time will be my own. If I want to do charity work or start my own (unprofitable) business, I can. At least now I know, more or less, what to expect. I can bravely face life when death becomes palpable. I had heart failure when I was 40, and have felt the cold hand of death on my shoulder before.

Cheers (or something like that).

1 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 05, 2014 at 10:13 AM, Teacherman1 (< 20) wrote:

Cheer up Jerry

I have been officially retired for 3 years now, and I am blind in one eye, walk with a cane because of two bad hips and disc problems in my spine.

I have found that life is still very much worth living, and filled with many wonderful discoveries and adventures.

I have no interest in taking a cruise, and much prefer to vacation at home (even though my wife doesn't care much for that), and it is just a matter of spending less than you take in.

You can look on the dark side or the bright side of things, and I choose to look at the bright side.

I am well aware that I have been in the process of dying since the day I was born, so I have no fears of that kind.

Hope you get a new job doing something you like, and continue to live life to the fullest.

JMO and worth exactly what I am charging for it.  

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