Marriage and Retirement
My wife and I have been married since 1965. We both grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We met in high school, George Washington High School, in Northeast Philadelphia. After graduating from Temple University in 1964, my degree was in education, I taught in the Philadelphia School District until 2006.
I taught science, biology and physics for 42 years. My wife also taught in Philadelphia for about 30 years, she took some time off to raise our three children. She retired in 2003.
We never really discussed or actively planned for retirement. We both had the philosophy that we wanted to work as long as we enjoyed doing our jobs. Money was never a driving force in our relationship.
e live a relative uncomplicated, middle class life. We enjoyed our years as teachers. We had the summers off to travel with the children. Our work schedules matched our childrens so we didn't have any significant day care issues to speak of.
We both have good pensions, about 65% of our yearly salary. In addition, we invested well and lived below our means. We didn't retire at the same time. My wife retired 3 years before I did, because she didn't like her principal.
In addition, the school conditions had deteriorated. It was becoming more dangerous for her to travel to the school. North Philadelphia schools are very crime ridden.
My wife has many friends who had retired. She filled her time well. She is never
bored. She's involved in many activities, volunteer organizations and charities.
I, on the other hand, have not enjoyed retirement. I find that I associate work with usefulness. I seem to have too much time on my hands. The kids are grown and are out of state, so I don't see them as often as I would like. I don't have as many friends as my wife, nor am I interested in doing volunteer work.
I spent the first 2 years of retirement fixing up the house. Getting to projects I didn't have time to complete. I find myself easily bored, and I'm contemplating getting a part time job, just to keep busy.
Thank God, my wife and I don't need to work, but I feel that working is healthy. I just don't understand how people enjoy not working. I've been working since I was 13 and I've always enjoyed it. True, work can be annoying or difficult, but it keeps me regimented. It gives me a purpose to wake up in the morning. Having interaction with a variety of people is a joy in itself.
I have helped out my wife with the household chores in retirement. This is practically unchanged from when we were both working. It's always been 50-50 in doing household chores.
Retirement was never something I was looking forward to. It just snuck up on me. I've got way too much energy just to sit around. I'm not old I'm just 66!