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June 28, 2009


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I have to agree. As I will be working for several more years, I was lucky enough to be able to change jobs and find one that renewed my passion for my work. The money is not as good, I have to be up in the middle of the night sometimes and there are some menial tasks involved. But you know what, I love it because I'm actually doing good for families. And if the politicians, health policy wonks, and insurers were serious about real healthcare reform, they would be touting this model to the high heavens. (this is midwifery care in a freestanding birth center staffed by RNs and CNMS)

S. B.

Hey, Syd, thanks for the link! Like your own story, I also don't find much passion for my chosen profession. Ironically, I received degrees (and did graduate work) in two entirely different fields, and ended up working in the one which paid far more. The money and the stability has been good and has enabled me to do many nice things, but sometimes I wonder whether I would have been happier with the other profession. But unfortunately you can't re-do your life and find out the answer to that. :-)

Savvy Working Gal

Syd, thanks for continuing to write your blog. I find your posts interesting and informative; always providing me with something to think about.

I also work as an accountant and have been feeling unfulfilled and bored with my profession for the past couple of years (I am in my 24th year of work). The thought of working another 18 years as an accountant literally makes me ill and seems like such a waste of my life. I’ve been considering my options and thinking about what I would do if I were retired. I agree with S.B.’s comment on your previous post, “Everyone tires of lounging and vegging out after awhile.” I know myself well enough to know I would not be happy just sitting around watching TV.

Last week, my husband and I met with our financial planner to discuss whether we could even consider retiring early. The subject of what we were going to do in retirement came up (he needs to know what we plan on doing in order to determine how much money we will need.) He recommends both my husband and I do something part-time; either work or volunteer, from the stand point that while we are working or volunteering we will not be spending money. I told him about a couple we know who retired early; (I blogged about them here: http://savvyworkinggal.blogspot.com/2009/05/early-retiree-laments-was-it-all-worth.html ) she took a part-time job working in retail just to get out of the house (she’s very social), her new job ended up being so stressful she now wishes she would have delayed retirement and continued working at her previous job. My husband began telling him how much money this couple lost last year in their portfolio. Our FP responded by saying their diminished portfolio is not their real problem. Their problem is she wasn’t mentally ready to retire. He rattled off a statistic that being ready to retire is 30% financial and 70% mental. He went on to say he meets with clients all the time who are not mentally ready (some are retiring by their own choice some not) and finds the ones who are not mentally prepared never really recover and are unhappy in retirement.

In thinking about all of this, in order not to be bored in retirement I will have to be mentally prepared. I am not there yet. I know if I will be worried I’ll run out of money when retired I won’t allow myself to spend much money and will end up just sitting around unhappily watching TV. So for me, part of being mentally prepared for retirement will also mean being confident that I have enough money.

Syd, you have such a positive attitude in your retirement, you most definitely must be mentally prepared. I look forward to reading more about your second year of retirement.

Retired Syd

@Savvy WG: Wow, I think you are really onto something here. I never really thought about this, because I LUSTED after retirement SO MUCH my last few years of working. As a consequence, I assumed everyone in the whole wide world lusted after it too--so I think you've hit it on the head! You shouldn't retire until you experience this near obsession lust for retirement! Of course everyone doesn't feel exactly the same way I did--no wonder they are not all happy about it!

I was so mentally prepared because it's all I thought about all the time. Your financial planner sounds wonderful--kind of a holistic approach that isn't probably typical for that profession--usually they are just focused on the numbers.

He's right, and for those that really do lust after retirement and are worried about the financial, I agree, the financial is really only part of the equation, and if you lust after it like I did, you can find a way to retire even if you don't feel TOTALLY financially prepared.

Thanks for your comment, you have provoked MY thoughts now!

Retired Syd

Oh, and I meant to thank Judy for her comment. I think that's an important comment for both SB and SWG. If retirement is even a possibility financially, perhaps a try at a job that makes you happier is worth the effort first. Maybe the money's not there as it turned out for Judy, but you can sure go longer (and enjoy life more) if you are happier in your job.

Rather than an all-or-nothing choice, there are many in-between choices like Judy found.

Ann Alka WorkingBoomer

This is a very good post. I agree all the way!

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