Saturday, January 15, 2011

looking forward to retirement 1

You might recall that I’ve previously threatened to “commit some of my retirement thoughts” to computer. Although I feel sure that many of these thoughts will change over the coming weeks/months/years, it will be interesting (for me!) to see how the anticipation and reality of retirement compare (and, in a way, this is one of the principle reasons for writing this some six months before my retirement). On the face of it, my retirement should be fairly straightforward – because I’ve already “retired” once (from my architectural practice in 2005) before working in a secondary school for six years.
It’s probably easiest to start with my anxieties.
Having been self-employed for the vast majority of my working life, through the financial ups and downs of running an architectural practice, I haven’t got a healthy nest-egg to fall back on. Will we have enough money to last into our old age? We live relatively simple lives but, even so, it’s a big concern. In the past, I’ve often joked that we can only afford to stay alive until we’re 70. In many ways, I still feel that this is the case!
Will I be bored by retirement? Will I just fritter away the days and end up feeling depressed by my inability to enjoy my new-found freedom?
I would love to be able just to sit and read for hours on end (just like Moira) but, apart from relatively short periods on holiday, I’ve found this almost impossible in the past... although I have improved over recent years.
I’m definitely not someone who would find the prospect of staying in bed until mid-morning at all appealing. I imagine that I would continue to be an “early-morning person” - although perhaps not getting up at 5am?
I’m in good health, touch wood. In fact, thus far, I’ve never spent a night in hospital and am well aware that I’ve largely taken good health for granted. I’m also conscious that most of the things I enjoy (walking, cycling, drawing/painting, photography, reading, music etc) depend on a continuance of this state of affairs. Obviously, this also applies to Moira. Ironically, I’ve recently been troubled by a painful hip (my mother and grandmother both had hip-replacements!) and suddenly fear that my days of walking and cycling may be somewhat curtailed! One of our joint fears would be to end up in an “old peoples’ home”.
Having spent nearly six years working in a school environment, I know that I’ll miss the daily exchanges and banter with lots of other people.
Right, that’s enough for starters!

1 comment:

just Gai said...

As long as your health permits it (hopefully many years to come) you will be free to work on a voluntary basis. This may not ease your financial anxieties, but it will prevent you for boredom, enable you to make new friends and will be good for your spirit if not for your body.

I'm sure there are dozens of opportunities for a person of your calbre (no, seriously!) to continue to make a contribution to society, and to be personally enriched by the experience.