Down-sized twice within a year
by Irwin Lengel
No, I did not fall into a depression when I retired although it was close for reasons that will become obvious later in the article.
What kept my spirits up was a loving wife and supportive family.
It was an employer forced out (down-sized) move. I was age 54 and one-half with 25 years of service. They kept a much younger up and coming individual instead of me.
I wasn't thrilled as I had been hoping to work for them 30 years so that I would be able to receive full retirement benefits in lieu of the reduced pension I had to settle for by being let go with only 25 years of service.
I was fortunate enough to find another job at two-thirds the salary and a position I was way over qualified for only to be let go (another down-sizing) nine months later.
How did we handle that surprise - we took it as a sign that we were supposed to retire. My wife gave her notice that she would be retiring after 11 years and down-sized ourselves into a much more economical place. In reality and looking back, it was a good thing because my wife's mother had become sickly shortly afterwards and our retiring enabled her (my wife) to spend a few good years with her mother before she passed.
To this day, we never looked back and have no regrets. We have had our ups and downs but overall everything worked out for the best. Our positive attitude went a long way in keeping our spirits up. That and the fact I am married to an eternal optimist. While she is the optimist, I am the realist and I keep her grounded.
Life is good!