My Retirement - both working and volunteering
by Sandy E...
When I decided to “retire”, I was sixty-two years old, ten years ago.
At the time, I had been laid off from a full-time job as the front desk clerk in a small hotel.
I received unemployment insurance for a short while and then got hired as a full-time receptionist and office worker at a bed and breakfast. That position only lasted a short while before the owners sold to a large chain that changed all the positions, so I was out of a job again.
That’s when I applied for my Social Security. I was a bit nervous about both the financial ramification and also the fact that I’d have so much time on my hands.
My advice to retirees is to try to find part-time work and to do volunteer work. Not long after receiving my first check, I found out from an acquaintance I had worked with before that there was an opening for a PBX operator one day a week at the hotel she was now working in. The salary would supplement my retirement income.
Senior citizens can find work but I found that many of the available jobs are ones that younger people might not want. For instance, they offered me the Sunday shift. However, with no family obligations, it did not matter to me that I would have to work every Sunday. A few months later, the Saturday operator quit and the manager asked if I wanted to work both Saturday and Sunday, which I did.
By the time I was sixty-five and could work as many hours as I wanted without having to pay back the government, the hotel’s wedding and catering manager asked if I wanted to assist her doing office work on Mondays. I accepted and have now been working Saturday, Sunday and Monday each week.
This schedule keeps my mind from stagnating and helps me meet and greet people and occasionally socialize with co-workers. For instance, I joined their book club which meets each month at a different member’s home to discuss the book we decided to read that month.
Volunteer work was something I had never found time for before retiring from full-time work. Being partially disabled from an old ski injury, I could not volunteer for many organizations that require any physical labor or exertion. So when I read about an opening on the city’s volunteer Citizen Review Board, which reviews complaints about the police department, I decided to apply for that. A city commission appointment was required, so I had to appear before them, along with other applicants, and was the chosen applicant. The position requires reading and investigating complaints and meeting twice monthly with the other board members, hearing citizens present their cases and making decisions as to what, if any, penalty should be imposed to the law enforcement officers involved. Always being interested in law enforcement and legal issues, this appointment enthuses me, keeps me busy and also allows me to mingle with interesting people.
So, it is my advice for retirees, both wealthy or not, to try to get a part-time job and to use volunteer positions to keep busy.