Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Here's what I learn about retirement every year during my two-week holiday break

I'm writing this post about two weeks in advance of when it will actually publish, so I'm still in the middle of a 16-day holiday vacation from work.

I used to take these two weeks off mainly to spend more time with the kids, put their Christmas toys together (and play with them), and generally just rest and recharge.

I still use the break to rest and recharge, but every year I also see it as a small dress rehearsal for the part of my life when I will no longer work full-time.

The way things are shaping up, retirement is likely a good decade-and-a-half away for me. Our financial advisor asked me when I wanted to retire, so I randomly picked age 67. And that's very much a possibility.

Many of the people I know around my age are closer to walking away from the 40+ hours a week routine than I am, particularly those who work in government jobs and teaching, and/or those who have spent most of their careers with very generous companies that have padded their 401(k)s.

For me, though, retirement is still pretty far out on the horizon. In preparation for it, these two-week vacations have taught me a few things I'll need to know when it finally gets here:

(1) I'm going to need a part-time job. I can't just stop working. I will get too bored too fast. My dad drove a delivery truck and worked as a school janitor in his retirement. I don't know what I'll do, but I'll have to do something. If nothing else, it will keep Terry from killing me as I wander around the house wondering what I should do.

(2) I'll need to have defined hobbies. I wrote about my leisure-time activities recently. They will be especially important in retirement when it comes to providing fulfillment and some sort of purpose in life beyond career advancement.

(3) I would rather not cut grass or shovel snow in retirement, if I can help it. Terry and I have talked about being snowbirds in our golden years, and that may happen. But if we're spending any part of the year in Northeast Ohio, we're either going to have to live in a condo or hire a landscaping/snow plowing service to fulfill this desire of mine. I'm down for anything, just as a long as I don't have to push a lawn mower or wield a snow shovel anymore.

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