The Unexpected Retirement – Part I

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 I Was Laid Off!

This is the first installment of my blog, the unexpected retirement.   May you find the information useful in getting you to a wonderful and happy retirement. We all want to retire well! You can find related blogs below this post.

Most of us hope and expect to retire. In fact, many of us can’t wait for it to happen. Some of us can retire in their late 50s due to a generous pension plan, or a stroke of luck.  For others not as fortunate, we typically know we’ll be retiring sometime between 62 and 70 years old. It really all depends on our financial situation.

a frustrated worker - Retire!

While in my mid-fifties, I started thinking about retirement. How much should I save? Should I take early retirement at 62, especially in light of the fact that I had grown weary of the corporate world? I reviewed literature on what to do when you retire.  There was a ton of suggestions about how to spend your time.  Everyday can’t be like Sunday. We understand that weekends are all the more pleasurable because we work so hard to get there.

So there I am, at 58 years of age, toiling along in my corporate job (sales job) when one day I was told I was being “restructured out of the company”.  I was shown the door.   Even though I had achieved top sales in 2 of the 3 years I was in that position.

Not Ready to Retire Yet

At that time, the layoff was one of the happiest moments of my life. I received a nice severance package which would last for 3 months, and if the employment situation looked bleak, there was unemployment money for an additional 6 months. I really had grown tired of all the hard work and little reward my company offered. Sure, the money was nice but that was literally the only nice thing about the job. And, I’m not sure about you, but as I get older, my priorities shift. Money doesn’t seem as important as health, family, experiences and activities too long neglected.

a glorious new day - Retire!

I wasn’t terribly upset, and even had to console the HR Manager who had known me for over 13 years. “Don’t worry”, I said. “I have a degree, sales and management experience, and I actually am looking forward to this little hiatus.” Don’t get me wrong.  I was angry at the company for sure, and promptly “unlinked” everyone who worked there, but I wasn’t really troubled.

It was a beautiful late September day when this happened and, I immediately went home and made a list of outside projects I could tackle. The plan was to spend the month of October painting the decks, the stairs, and the retaining wall. I would get ready for winter. I’d cover the summer furniture, cut down the garden, and prepare the lawn. And, that’s what I did. I was happy to be outdoors instead of trapped in the office. Happy to be enjoying my own home instead of sipping wine in a Hilton Hotel lobby as I anguished over the next customer visit. Happy, happy, happy!

happy, happy, joy, joy- Retire!

 

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