Wait, what? Retirement option already?
(Conway, AR US)
About a year ago, I told my husband that we needed to get our finances in order just in case an awesome retirement package would come my way.
Well, it did...only it was about 5 years before I was ready.
I am 58 years old. I have been in this career almost 24 years. It's who I am. I work too much. I enjoyed it for about 20 years. Now I am tired. I don't want to learn the new technology. The stress at time is almost unbearable.
About 3 weeks ago, an awesome package presented itself. Looming layoffs down the road won't be as generous. I am in the demographics that the company is looking to reduce. I really need to go with this voluntary layoff option and take the retirement.
I will get a pension. My 401K is almost there.
Yet I am almost dreading the day, but also looking so forward to it at the same time. I don't know how to feel. I have been so proud of my position. I worked hard to get here.
Who will I be when I leave? Yes, I want to volunteer, and travel, and do the things that I felt that I couldn't due to working so many hours these last 24 years.
I am just not so sure that my 401K will last if I do everything that I want to.
I am already grieving the loss of my 24 year identity, and I don't even know if I will be accepted in the voluntary layoff.
I don't even know for sure when my last day would be. It could be as early as 4 weeks from now, or 6 months from now. I am already crying.
How am I going to be when I am actually sitting at home without my career. There are no jobs that will provide the income that I have gotten used to. Financially, I believe I will be ok. I just know that I will blow right through my 401K in a few short years, if our spending isn't altered.
I haven't handled changes too well in the past. I think it has to do with being a military brat. I can adapt. I just don't like it.
I am terrified of not knowing the future. If I leave, then who will I be? If I stay, what will the work environment be like? The stress will be worse. There will be involuntary layoffs in the near future. What if I stay and I am hit with a less lucrative layoff package?
I am terrified, with moments of excitement for the future. How does one process all of these mixed emotions? I am afraid of getting lost mentally, after I am retired.