Luckiest Guy in the World
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.