Thursday, September 12, 2013

What a Wonderful Life--Retirement Update

Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me.  I never had the time before to notice the beauty of my grandkids, my wife, the tree outside my very own front door.  And, the beauty of time itself.

Hartman Jule

I'm almost two months into my retirement, and I have to say I have enjoyed every minute of it.  Such complete freedom--freedom from that dreadful daily commute on the subway, freedom from office politics, freedom from office gossip. I received a text message from one of my co-workers.   The same nonsense continues.  This one still  gets paid for doing nothing, that one buys hundred dollar pocketbooks and then hits on  everyone else to treat her to lunch, and so and so hates it there and is looking for work.  Well, she's been wanting to leave for a year now.   What's new about that? Everyone is still stressed out...too many clients, not enough time.  Oh, my seat is still empty.  Everyone knows what I went through there, and no one wants to endure the same.  Even my bosses are aware.  They finally hired someone for my position, but seated him somewhere else.

I can get up in the morning and say, "I don't want to go," and I don't HAVE to go. Hey, if the weather is bad, I can just stay home and not  have to worry about someone getting on my case or becoming the object of office gossip. 'Oh, she always takes off in the rain, and we have to cover for her.'  I've never heard of anyone saying that about me, but I do know they say it of others when they are off.  What makes me any different? And, if I feel like sleeping in, I do so.  I can't remember what the alarm clock sounds like. Do I even know how to set it anymore? And naps!  If I feel like an afternoon snooze, I can curl up in bed for as long as I choose.

Retirement is wonderful. It's doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it.

Gene Perret

I am meeting friends.  Perhaps not the 'best' friends I had been hoping for, but I am meeting new people, going new places, and basically having a ball.  We laugh, we talk.  And I've noticed that no one gossips about another.  We are all the same.  Seniors who are enjoying this stage of our lives and living to fullest. Even cooking has become enjoyable because I am no longer cooking everything in one day. I have time now to experiment and create new recipes. Life is good. 

On the negative side, I'm still struggling with my pension.  It was due to begin on August 1st, but I'd not sent in a form stating that I am single...and it had to be signed in front of a notary public.  What the heck?  I sent in a copy of my marriage certificate and a copy of my ex's death certificate.  What more do they want?  See, there are five different ways to receive your pension and all pay differently.  Plan 1, which I finally chose, pays me the full amount.  The other ways involve a beneficiary, not for life insurance,  and each plan lowers the income you receive since they will have to continue paying after your death. And, all the other plans involve a spouse who has to sign a form that he has AGREED to the terms you have chosen.  What?  Why should my spouse be involved at all. it's my money, money I've earned.  It's my choice, and I should not need a spouse's permission. 

I'd originally signed it off to hubby, but since we are not legally married, they were putting me through the wringer...too much extra paperwork.  So then, I chose my son to be the beneficiary.  Guess what?  He's too young. Your beneficiary cannot be more than 19 years younger than you. That's because they want to pay out the least they have to.  Can't do anything but laugh.  Otherwise, my blood pressure would be rising.  I never heard of such nonsense, have you?  

Needless to say, the good news is that whenever they decide to send me my pension, I will be paid retroactively from August 1st.  Personally, I would think I'd be entitled from the date I applied, but one can't argue with the union.  They are always right, and this is their rules. Hmmph!!!

Not too long ago, I read about a study that showed that retiring is good for you because you feel ten years younger.  I can vouch for that. I am far more active, have more energy, and feel less depressed. In yet another study, it showed that the newly retired measured the most satisfaction with their lives, land although I do recognize that this is not true for everyone, that there ARE those who end up feeling lost and hopeless when they retire, for the main there is nothing like being able to do what you want when you want.  That is what the freedom of retirement is all about.  It is about living in the moment,  the joy of re-discovery, and a renewed appreciation about what life is all about.
I'm not retiring from life, just a job.


  1. Oh, the paperwork. They seem to set you up to fail. Good luck with that - you have a great attitude so it should go well. I have a theory that they hope you'll give up. Hahahahaha.

    Retirement sounds wonderful. I only work part time now, but I remember when I worked full time and remember the way it eats into every single day of your life - even weekends. I love being home and your tales of your new life gives me hope for an equally satisfying retirement.

    Don't give up on the friendships - these kinds take time to cultivate. If I lived near you I know we'd be good friends.

    Lottery Saturday so retirement could be closer than expected!!!

  2. You picked three wonderful quotations for this post -- especially the last one! I'm glad that retirement is proving to be wonderful!

  3. It isn't fair that you have to struggle with your pension like that. They have a lot of nerve that's for sure!

    I love these wonderful quotes you chose. :). Very appropriate! I always despised office gossip and politics too. I think it's because many people are deeply unhappy, unfortunately, so they want to find the negative about anyone and everyone. It turns them into petty, small minded children...

    So happy you're enjoying your freedom, Mary. You so well deserve it! Many hugs to you!