Should I Stay or Should I go......

by Teresa
(WI)

I'm 73, thought I retired in 2005 only to find out not enough money coming in, and definitely not enough in savings.


I never had a career but ended up working 50 years. Like many of my generation college education was not an option, started working at 15 with a work permit, changed jobs as needed for better opportunities (more pay).

Some choices were better than others, married at 18, 4 children, divorced at 42 left penniless, had to start over once again, worked through it all.

With a miracle I landed my current position 9 years ago, started out 3 days every 2 weeks, within a year I was working 4 days a week, a blessing.

In the mean time the stock mark took a nose dive, lost a lot of my savings, then my house burned down and I had to move, took out a new mortgage at 70, not big, but enough.

Through all of that I never had to touch my savings thanks to having this job, plus collecting social security and a small pension, I finally found out how nice it is to live the good life or as close to it as I ever got.

Now I'm down to working 5 days a month. At first it was crazy, I didn't know what to do with myself, didn't have the money to do a lot of things on my list, physical limitations, health issues crossed off another pile of things I can no longer do.

It is disappointing to get to be this age and find out you are not once what you were, looks gone, money is always an issue, health is an issue and on top of that I feel darn lazy, wasting my days away, drifting all over the road, some what concerned about my lack of interest in life but not entirely.

The sad parts are so many of my friends passed while I was too busy working to do things with them, thinking I'd have plenty of opportunities to play once I got to retire which took much longer than I could ever imagine. Wendy Comment: It happens.. had to bold it here so others think about this...

Now there is hardly anyone left, so many have already passed, some got married, hang out with other married people, and a few have moved warmer climates, a few have a lot more money which leaves me feeling out of the loop.

I always knew but never fully understood what it means to live now, you can't keep putting things off for years and years because one day you wake up realizing you missed the boat, friends are gone, you didn't get rich, kids are gone and too busy for their parents, plus they would love for me to get my own life and stay out of theirs, health issues do not go away or improve as they did when I was younger.

At times I feel like I wasted my whole life, get a little panicky I'll be gone before I figure out how to live.

Now we are back into winter, I don't go out much, don't care much for driving or walking on snow covered ice ruts, I thought about moving to a southern state a few years ago but scratched that idea, would miss the kids, what if I got sick, I wouldn't know a soul, where do you go for extra care, have to start all over meeting people, buy another home, find a handy man that I can afford (easier said than done, and one I can trust) and I'm not as social as I once was.

Then I decided to get a pet, but want an older pet, keep getting turned down by the rescue organizations, I was told I'm too old to have a pet, if I want to adopt a pet it has to be over 10 years old, and they really would like me to consider special needs pets.

I don't think a dog cares how old their human is, they just want to be adopted in to a good home, I don't have a ton of money so adopting a special needs dog or a much older dog will not fit into my budget. Scratched that idea and move on to something else.

Problem is I can't find my passion, or my niche, and I'm so tired of being house bound and freezing 23 hours a day.

Once again I'm thinking of selling everything, moving to a state that is warm year round, I want to get a dog and I'll buy one from a breeder if I have to. A friend let me know a month ago she has a fast growing cancer, at this time she is not longer accepting visitors, her family said she's close to the end, the panic is stuck in my throat, it could be me, and I have not made one worthwhile move to start living.

Anyone want to share their thoughts, suggestions, advice, I'm willing to listen and ponder.

Up to this point I've heard my kids tell me to do what ever I want because my years are limited, maybe 10 or less, you never know, some friends have said the same thing.

The lady who does my taxes told me I could take a little money out of the bank each year now to live it up, or buy something special - what I want to hear is what people my age have to say about my on going "should I go or should I stay".

I did try a little counseling, she was so young I don't think she got what I was fussing about.

Comments for Should I Stay or Should I go......

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I am there now
by: Bonnie/Florida

I want to keep working, but they no longer need me and I am a determent, I worked all my life, for what?

Now I am short on savings and forced to retire later this year, I will be 62, all I can hope is survivors benefits and supplement with my savings which is horrid.

I built this house in Florida when my spouse died in San Diego, I couldn't stay because of memories, came to Florida for a Grand-daughter that can no longer help me, she has a child and a new life.

I am so screwed, should I sell, it takes all my income to support this place, and now that I no longer have that...have things to sell, but no ambition or help to do so. My life is chaos and I need help.

Go! Go! Go!
by: Charlene

Aloha,

You are a survivor as am I. I moved to the island of Maui in Hawaii seven years ago to retire. I just turned 65 yesterday.

Follow your heart and take a leap of faith. I have a feeling you will come out on top because you know how to pull yourself up and start again. This time do it for you.

It takes ingenuity to have survived the way you have and with that kind of sense you can definitely GO!

Be happy and I gladly lend you my ear if needed.

Mahalo
Charlene

Feedback
by: Teresa

Thank you for taking the time to read the post, I realize it was quite long. The responses have been encouraging and I'm thinking.

I am thinking more about moving, outside of a few errands our weather has been too cold, and way too slippery to venture out for much except necessities, at least in my age group.

Just going into December and I've already had cabin fever for at least 2 weeks, not a good sign.

Have a great day and if you are lucky enough to be in a state with more pleasant weather - enjoy!

Pets are wonderful
by: Ellie from Colorado

Hi Teresa,

I have my health problems like everyone else but work around the, One can, if one wants to.
I am 85, still going, still driving and getting
around, but no long auto trips anymore.

When I was 78 I adopted a little dog from a rescue place. Was sure they would turn me down but they didn't and he has been the best pal for 7 years.

We walk every day..good for him, good for me. He rides with me whenever possible
It opened up a new world of dog lovers and so often stop to chat with strangers who ask about him because he is friendly and cute.
Also have 3 kitties that I can fuss over as well.
I would be lost without my pets.

Do you have any senior centers or resources near you? They are great for people who have time on their hands and offer lunches as well as many activities.There is something for everyone but they don't come knocking on your door, you need to reach out and go there.

Besides cooking and keeping up with my small place, I have some e-pals to stay in touch with and have enough hobbies and interests to keep me busy.

Get up in the morning looking forward to a new day and next thing I know the day is over. How fast it whizzes by.

I've been retired 23 years, never regretted it for a minute.

In Colorado, when it's cold and or snowing, I just stay inside. My small family and friends are here, wouldn't dream of moving but then that's just me.

Best wishes to do what helps you the most.

Should you Stay or Should you Go
by: Liz in Georgia

Teresa,

The question of should you stay or should you go is certainly a big one and only you can figure out the answer that is the best one for you.

I'm 76 and I retired ten years ago. I am originally from Southern California and moved to Georgia 40 years ago with a husband and an only son. My husband passed away over 20 years ago and my son moved back to California years ago also.

Several years before I retired I started thinking about moving west again. My son and his wife live in San Jose, CA and knew I couldn't afford that area and so I kind of zeroed in on Arizona.

A friend from high school lives there and I actually made two trips out there and she went with me looking at retirement communities. I did like very much what I saw and found houses that would be ideal for me. I was a couple of years away from retirement and so that gave me some time to think about it.

After much thought, I thought the only person I knew out there was my friend and knew I would have to make my own life out there though because she had her own family.

I started thinking about the friends here in Georgia I would never see again, am very active in church and would have to search for a new church and just start my life over again. I finally decided that the changes were just too many and too overpowering to try and start over again and I decided to stay where I am and really have not regretted the decision.

Of course, I didn't have the winter and snow to deal with that you have and that would certainly be a very big consideration.

I did read one of the posts to you and she suggested Florida. I do think of all the places to go where it's warm Florida would certainly be a good choice. There are many, many senior villages down there and prices are not too bad.

There are many, many widows in those areas also and the senior communities have many activities to participate in and enhance the opportunity to get acquainted.

I'm sure a lot depends on how close you are to your children and how much interaction you are able to have with them. It would be very hard to leave if you didn't have the funds to visit them.

I'm sure they really do not want to have too much input into your decision because it is
certainly something you are the one that will have to make the final decision and they can't make it for you.

Don't know if this has helped much, but the other alternative is to try and get involved in some kind of activity you enjoy there where you live and try to stay as active as possible. I'm sure that snow and inclimate weather can certainly have a big affect on how one feels and even one's state of mind.

Good luck to you, Teresa, with whatever avenue you chose to do.

Get the dog
by: Anonymous

I am lucky that my mom is still active at 83 and one thing that keeps her going is a beagle she couldn't live without! She walks the dog and lives in a neighborhood of young hippies that really turned the neighborhood around to a real family setting.

Winter approaching is hitting us all harder due to the dread of repeating last years winter. Get the dog, get out by walking him, go to dog parks to meet other people and I agree with the other post, communicate with others online to form your own community and feel less alone.

Good luck to you!

Dog from shelter
by: Anonymous

I would think you could adopt a dog from your local animal shelter--there are so many who need a good home.

Moving
by: Anonymous

Ms. Teresa:

If moving to Florida, you may want to checkout Cypress Lakes - in Lakeland, FL.

It is a very nice community with a ton of things to do everyday and homes can be rented or purchased. I have a friend living there and he and his wife really like it.

Randy

Should I Stay or ??
by: Joe from California

Hi Teresa,

I found your article very interesting. I'm sure many seniors can relate to your story. Thanks to the internet, you are able to reach out and connect with people throughout the country.

I retired at the age of 68 and now work very hard to keep busy. Never thought that keeping busy would be such a challenge.

As I meet people, I ask them how they spend their time. At times I get ideas that I find interesting, and try them out.

For me, keeping busy is extremely important. If one sits around waiting for something to happen, you might be waiting a long time.

I encourage you to keep searching, writing, reading and asking questions. The answer to your challenge is out there. Keep an open mind and stay positive.

To Move or Not To Move....
by: Wendy

I'm not sure thats really the question...

Life is not over... you could have many more years to enjoy!

Moving is a big change -- it would be better to spend a month where you MIGHT move, in the winter, and rent an apartment, mobile home, whatever... to try it out.

I am a Retirement Coach -- I would love to chat with you simply to see if I can help you past the thought you worked too long. Everyone is different and you could have been in anxiety for the past 10 years thinking you retired too early... right?

Life is all up to the User, and we all need to live our own Lifestyles.

If you'd like to chat, write to me using the Retirement Coach link to the left!

Best Wishes! Wendy

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