Retirement, as a concept, sort of baffles me.
First of all, it sounds boring.
I know, I know. You can be active and interesting and involved with things. But I already have chronic fatigue, and the aging process can take its toll on healthy people. So there’s that.
More than likely I’ll be doing what I was doing when I was on disability. Which is a whole lotta nuthin. I read three or four books a week, I watched far too much TV and I was still bored out of my mind for most of the day.
That reason alone is enough to make me lukewarm about the idea of retiring.
Second, I like having real income.
I’ve tried to live on $800 a month while I was on disability. Now that I’m working again, any future Social Security benefits will probably be higher. But it’d still be dicey.
Yes, the house will be paid off. But remember that $500 utility bill this past month? I do.
Third, retirement really isn’t something my family does. We work until we can’t — whether from age or disability.
My grandfather finished his career as a teacher and, within a couple of years, became a country line dance instructor.
My mom will be blogging until they pull the keyboard out of her hot little hands. (Or, as she added, “my cold dead fingers.”)
And finally, I have an amazing job. Well, not the job itself so much as the boss. I work from home, I can take breaks as needed, and quite frankly I’m paid far too much. Not that I feel the need to tell him that.
I don’t love the actual work. Few people in customer service do. No offense to you guys, but people can be mean and/or dumb, and they really enjoy accusing us of unfair practices rather than admitting to a mistake on their part. (To be fair, about 80-90% of the people I deal with are very nice and reasonable. But the bad ones stick in the mind.)
Still, my job comes down more to the hassle of angry customers than actual work.
So, as far as I’m concerned, I will be working there until I’m unable to type. Then I’ll go buy that Dragon software stuff. Or maybe by then they’ll have something that lets you transcribe directly from your brain. Whatever.
But I hear about all these people retiring early. I’m not really sure what they do with themselves all day. Those with kids… well, they have kids. That takes up a sizable portion of the day I’d imagine.
And most of them talk about retiring young because they have a blog that they devote a lot of time to. I don’t know if that’s retirement so much as switching careers.
Point is, I don’t want to be retired at 35. Or even 40. Of course, I should point out that it’s not even an option. Last year was the first time we made over $40,000. We don’t have 401(k)s, and my IRA is woefully underfunded. (I’m working on it.)
Maybe if it were more of a possibility it would seem tantalizing. But I don’t think so. My mom, though somewhat paranoid about “bag lady syndrome,” mainly works because she’s good at it and she enjoys spilling thoughts onto (virtual) pages.
Personally, I like having the security of a paycheck, and I like having income that isn’t predicated on the stock market being predictable.
How about you guys? Anyone know someone who can retire early? Or at all?