For Some, Retirement Is Simply the Luxury of Time
|March 14, 2013||Posted by Marcia Mantell under Boomers in Action|
So, it was refreshing to see another view of our town. Here was a sea of well-lived faces all of whom looked happy and engaged. They were all interested in supporting the needs of those less fortunate, many of whom are retired folks on tight fixed incomes.
We sat at a table next to a couple who looked to be in their early 60s. He is a doctor and she built a career as a school teacher. We talked about a variety of topics, including health care and retirement. Susan retired a couple of years ago after teaching for the better part of three decades. Joe isn’t quite sure when he is going to retire, but he’s moving to “part-time” status later this year. That translates to cutting back to a mere 40 hours a week after working some 80 or more hours each week for the past 35 years!
They talked about some of the things they were hoping to do in retirement. The main goal was to spend more time together. This didn’t mean hanging out together for hours and hours every day, but rather they wanted to enjoy more dinners together. Susan has a small vegetable garden and enjoys making dinners that feature the bounty. She also does some canning so they have home-grown goods during the long winters. They wanted to stay in their home here in town where they felt comfortable and had a good group of friends. They are also involved in activities in their church and want to continue to participate there.
We talked about traveling during retirement, but neither was all that keen on it. They may make some trips, but traveling the globe was not a priority. Frankly, they said that they are tired. Joe, especially, is very tired and feeling worn out from all the years of getting up before the sun, spending countless hours at the hospital, and dealing with the extremely raw emotions of families whose loved ones are in distress. He just wants to have an easier schedule, have time to do some writing and create a new schedule for himself that is less demanding.
They ended the conversation saying that they thought of retirement as a luxury. Not in terms of big spending or extravagant activities. It was simply a luxury of time when they needed it most. They feel they have enough money, but will have to budget and be mindful of their spending. They are particularly concerned about the cost of health care. The house is paid off, but needs some ongoing repairs.
Yet, at the end of the day, they simply want to own their own time and they can think of nothing more luxurious than that.