Luckiest Guy in the World

by Bob

You know, after I read some of the issues retirees are struggling with, I feel like I am the luckiest guy in the world!

Everyday I wake up I am so glad I don't have to work anymore. And I have enough resources to make it for the next 20 years, perhaps, maybe, hopefully, fingers crossed!

At age 44, I lost my job, company closed its doors, literally. And I was thrust into the world of being a temp worker in my field for 10 very difficult and lean years.

My first six months in the world of temping was a shock. The staffing agencies didn't give me any work assignments. Then the only assignments I received were very far away, meaning around 50 miles. I had to take those jobs to live. So for the first 5 years as a temp I did ok, not great, but ok. I managed. I did what I had to do. Not fun.

Then the economy bit the dust again, and for the last 5 years of my temp life, I worked on and off as there was no work and my age was working against me.

The last two years as a temp I only worked about 6 months. I found myself many times kneeling on the floor in desperation praying really hard!!

The little money I rarely had was gone. And I was wondering how to pay the rent and buy food. I wasn't able to get unemployment as the temp agencies fought it. I sold my stuff on Ebay to make money!!

Fortunately, I finally got a temp job assignment and after a year they hired me. They had a great retirement program. And, lo and behold, after working there for about 11 years, I retired!

Although, they gently showed me the door! Hahahaha! They hired a new manager. Fired my boss, made my work life very difficult. The writing was on the wall. And I took my retirement.

They hired 2 people to replace me! That makes me feel good. Shows I worked hard!

Luckily, for me, the money I had in the retirement program, doubled! Wow! Shock! And to top it off, the company was sold after I left, and my retirement fund grew some more! OMG!

But to put this into perspective: I was 53 years old when they hired me, and I didn't have a penny to my name!! Nothing at all, except some debt. And I was helping my elderly mother giving her money. How I managed, I don't know!

I am very fortunate, I know it! I realize it every day.

To put even more perspective on this:

I didn't like the work I did. My parents chose it for me. My true passion was music, which I pursued at night, studying it, playing gigs, etc. Hoping it would turn into a full time career. But as fate would have it, my hands gave out.

Repetitive stress, inflammation, etc. No help from the doctors. So I had to stop playing music. Stopped for 10 years. That was during my time as a temp worker.

Now able to play again. Another story.

So to cut to the chase, and keep this story from dragging on endlessly, my time in retirement is great. Seems to be a more natural way to live than the world of work. At least for me.

I am spending my days doing what I love, music and art, walking, thinking, youtube, road trips, learning. And when things get safer in the world, as they are beginning to, I want to hit the museums and stroll downtown in the big city I live in.

The other part of my 5 years into retirement that I didn't expect: death of mother, no more family - all dead - alone in the world, 2 years in depression, hernia operation, gout, kidney disease, arthritis and bone spurs, ED, prostrate, bladder, stomach and back problems. OMG! They didn't tell me this was going to happen! :)

But still, I am so grateful that I don't have to work anymore doing a career I did not enjoy, was chosen for me, and drained my energy. That makes it all worth it for me. And I get to do what I enjoy everyday.

Everyday, I wake up and can't believe I don't have to drive 25 miles to the job I retired from in heavy city traffic! And I can play music, paint, and take long walks, and much more.

I am not married, and almost feel lucky about that, as I read the stories of some married people having tough times with their spouses.

I know nothing lasts forever, and somewhere down the road, fate is waiting for me. In the meantime, I'm having a good time doing what I enjoy most.

I am very, very fortunate to be able to be retired, still walking and having fun!

PS: The valuable lesson I learned from being a temp for 10 years is that keeping a positive outlook and expecting good things, attracts those good things into ones life. I learned that the hard way. It was a tough lesson.

Someone, I am sure, once said: Springtime follows winter, and good times follow bad.


Comments for Luckiest Guy in the World

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A note of appreciation
by: Ruth /Uganda

Thanks for that inspiring story. It gives hope that no condition can remain for ever. Thank you very much.

Words of Wisdom
by: Anonymous

Your positive attitude is so great to hear! Too often people post how awful, boring, and sad life is once they retire. You are an inspiration to many!

As long as we live a grateful life, and are willing to keep moving, try new things, and keep learning, life will bless you.

Thanks for sharing your outlook with us!

by: Anonymous

As for my love of life, I guess I am painfully aware that time is slipping by and try everyday to accomplish something and enjoy my time. I have no illusions (well, some illusions or delusions) that the road ends.

As for being a temp worker, oh yes, it is very difficult and yes, it makes you feel sub-human at times. One assignment I had, for a very long 2 weeks, the desk I sat at had the word "Loser" laminated to the mouse pad! I tore it off! But still felt like an outsider.

Well, anyhoo, that's the way it goes. Nothing is forever.

And I wish younger people would be taught by their parents, or school, about the things that will happen in the workplace and things to expect as we age.
But I doubt anyone would believe it. :)

by: Sherry/ NC

Bob, I have respect for you. You went through bad times and figured it all out yourself. You endured it all and it made you a stronger and better person for it.

You are a very good person to have taken care of your mother until her passing. I did the same thing for my mother. She was a good
person and helped me along the way and then is was my turn to help her.

You are religious and prayed and yes, God answers prayers.

Good karma came your way through an increase in your finances.

I hope life will be good for you now.

by: Anonymous

Lucky Guy,
Thank you for your story. My working life was pretty much a hard road, to arrive at the end of it without much to show. But I am grateful also so much to not have to try and earn a living. So difficult now. I am 68.
I do want to get a little job for extra expenses but I don't know if that will come or not. Mostly I don't have the energy.
However, thinking positive is indeed the best way. And I also LOVE my free days. I have many interests. I am also not married so I don't have to deal with all of that, which may be a blessing.
I hope you continue to enjoy your time to the fullest extent possible. I do appreciate every day of this freedom. I am quite poor but very lucky too!

Lucky guy
by: Beatrix / Australia

Thank you for sharing your story. Like most people, your life has obviously had it's ups and downs. But what really got to me was your acceptance of what is and your obvious love of life, even with your lossess and illnesses. I hope that you continue to enjoy your retirement and rest of your life. Again, thank you

Two thumbs up
by: Wee-zer

Bob, I enjoyed reading your story! I admire the fact that you put your nose to the grindstone those last 11 years and was able to put together a good nest egg for retirement.

I too lost my job in my early 50's. Fortunately it was a super excellent company and I had saved a lot over the years but it still didn't seem enough.

I also was a temp for a while and that is the worst. You are always known by coworkers as 'the temp'. Like you are a sub human being. I hated every minute of it coming from a company that was a class act.

I finally got a second chance at another pretty good company. I saved in the 401k although there was no match from the employer. I saved a nice nest egg and 4 years later was laid off. UGH!

It was my last job and I have been retired 10 years now. I too am thankful to have had some extra time to save and now can enjoy a decent retirement without too much worry about money.

People need to start saving for retirement from the first job to the last job. Too many people live from paycheck to paycheck and blow all their money on junk. Like they say, 'pay yourself first'.

Good luck in your retirement lucky guy!

Turning 70
by: Jeff /Ohio

Like you, I have wopart-timend off depending on the needs of our customers. I have been part of start ups and have worked to close plants and wrap things up.

I am still working part-time to keep busy, but like you i want to get back out and enjoy life.

So for a birthday gift for myself, I found a nice drop top Benz and look forward to running the tires off of it this year and a few more.

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