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Monday, August 24, 2009

Retirement? Who ME??

Where did retirement go? My mom and dad worked at the same job for most of their lives. Mom in one office for 30 years and Dad at a newspaper for 40. They both counted the days until retirement. Ah, retirement. Sweet, retirement. Age 65. Social Security, pensions, savings, house paid for. Kids educated and on their own. That was the reward for their 40+ years of work.

One question: What happened?? Today's Baby Boomer is faced with working until at least age 66 and beyond, plus, more and more of us are putting off retirement for various reasons. The best reason is that we are in great health and love our careers so much, we don't want to give them up. The worst reason is that we can't afford to retire! Many of us are somewhere in between. Why not work as long as we're able to bring in some extra money and stay involved in world/community affairs?

In addition, health insurance is on the line. I've heard from many of my friends that they're afraid to leave their jobs because of the fear of losing health insurance. How did we get in the position of being held hostage by health insurance companies? But, don't get me started on that.

So, let's hear your opinions/stories/solutions. Are you working toward retirement, or working toward working? Have you discovered a rewarding 2nd career? Many have. Just ask three saavy authors! (ahem) Spill your stories!

Mary Cunningham (Milkbone)

And, if you're looking for a good laugh, check out WOOF on Amazon!

Mary Cunningham is also the author of the award-winning 'tween series, Cynthia's Attic. She's proud to announce the release of the 4th book in the series, "The Magician's Castle" in DEC 2009 (Quake-Echelon Imprint) Available on Amazon!


Janet Hill said...

Retirement? What's that again? I'm 67, and I don't see quitting work anywhere on the horizon. Why? For two of the reasons you mentioned. I can't afford to quit and I love my career so much I don't want to. I was 59 1/2—just old enough to draw from an IRA without penalty when I started my commercial publishing company for middle-grade children's books. I began writing children's books years before that. I have published eight of them plus five novels from other authors, and the ideas for new books keep flowing faster than I can write them. Queries for wonderfully written, important novels that fit my publishing goals also pour in from other authors. These are novels that fit my definition of "True Fiction," books that confront real life problems, portray human emotion, natural reactions and consequences in a page-turning adventure through sympathetic fictional characters. Any thoughts of retirement are kept at bay by the thought, "so much to do, so little time."

My books can be seen at www.ravenpublishing.net

Thanks for introducing this subject, Mary.

Mary Cunningham said...

Thanks, so much, Janet for your thoughtful response!

We've "chatted" for several years and I know what a hard-working dedicated author/publisher you are.

Since neither one of us can afford to retire, isn't it nice we're doing something we love?

Wishing you all the success in the world!



Katie Hines said...

My husband has a physically demanding job, and would love to retire at 65. With our household, we're not sure that is feasible.

As a writer, the age 65 doesn't mean anything to me other than another birthday. I plan to continue writing as long as I am able.

Mary Cunningham said...

I hear ya, Katie. My husbnd would love to retire, too, but don't think that's going to happen for awhile.

But, isn't it nice that we can write forever?!?

F. M. Meredith, author said...

My husband retired three different times--from 20 plus years with the Seabees, 15 from Sears, and together we retired from owning, operating, and living in a licensed residential facility for 6 developmentally disabled women. (We still live in the house.)

He's going to be 79 and is still up and running--mostly now after me. I am still writing and promoting. I can't imagine retiring in the true sense of the word.

We just got back from a weekend with author friends where we helped them do the set-up and take-down for a Fine Arts Festival and the same the next day for a book launch at their home.

In between we had a great time visiting, going out to eat in fabulous restaurants, taking a tour of the beach community they live in.

Must confess, we did go to bed early the three nights we were there, but so did they.


Mary Cunningham said...

What an inspiration, F. M.! We've talked about selling everything, buying an RV and going around the country peddaling books and working festivals.

Being able to visit friends and family would be an added benefit. Sounds like you're doing it right!

Eileen Williams said...

Your piece is so timely for me! My 62nd birthday is looming ahead (WOW!) but the good news is that I can still earn a small wage AND apply for early Social Security. So, yesterday I got on the phone and set up my application appointment.
Actually, I've always done a combination of part-time jobs and now I want to focus more on my writing, so this is the time! I don't consider it retirement, I consider it following your bliss when you finally discover what it is!

Mary Cunningham said...

Good for you, Eileen! So happy to hear you're able to focus on your writing.

We're still struggling with the social security debate.


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