Back when I was working full time I occasionally fantasized of that day in the not-too-distant future when I would no longer be chained to “the job.”
It’s not that I hated what I was doing. Far from it – over my working years I met wonderful people, some who have become lifelong friends. I was fortunate enough to play an important part in the growth of numerous small companies where the camaraderie and esprit de corps were as important as making money, sometimes even more. I was inspired by talented bosses who took the time to guide my development. My memories of the working world are for the most part positive.
But never working again—that sounds pretty darn good.
Start your day when you want. Spend time doing what truly interests you. Live at a pace that fits your mood. Read…walk…nap…rinse and repeat. Having control over what you do when you do it is something I could get used to.
My plan was to retire somewhere close to 65, maybe 62 if I was lucky. At the moment that was more than a decade off, but at least I could see light at the end of the tunnel. Then at the tender age of 53 I became what I call “technically retired”. The company I worked for was purchased, my role was no longer required, and despite scrambling madly for the next year I was unable to find a position anywhere. Welcome to retirement!
Fortunately my wonderful wife continued working which covered our medical insurance and paid the bills. At least we would not be destitute.
I believe retirement is something you need to create. Since you are free to do as you choose it’s ultimately up to you to make it happen. We all have different interests, passions and dreams. What works for your retirement may not be close to what I want. And that is a great thing – we have the ability to create our own retirement-- custom made to fit who we are.
When I first exited the working world I knew for a fact I would not go back to work – ever. My dues were paid now onward to bigger and better things. On the other hand I never faulted those who choose to include work as part of their happy retirement. If it makes you happy, why not add it to the equation?
Who could be more surprised when one day after five years retired, old hardcore never-work-again-me found the perfect part time gig. Our favorite winery, Mercy Vineyards, needed some help in their tasting room. Two days a week sharing with happy visitors wonderful Pinot Noir and Chardonnays lovingly crafted from grapes sourced solely from unique local vineyards – not too shabby. My wife and I felt the owners were great people from the first day we met. Visitors to the tasting room are invariably happy and having a good time. And I can walk to the job site in about 15 minutes.
When the owners Mike and Mark proposed I join their team they did not have to ask twice! I have been at it a few weeks now and love it. The job adds variety to my days, I meet and socialize with fellow humans, plus I get out of the house and continue to learn more about a passion I have had for decades: wine.
If a part time gig in retirement sounds intriguing, here are a few considerations to help make it a good experience:
- Do something you are interested in - better yet, passionate about!
- Work with people you like.
- Don’t do it if it stresses you out – you did enough of that before retiring.
- Remember part time is part time – don’t take work home with you (unless you really love it!)
- Try to minimize your commute, ideally traveling during non-rush hours.
- As long as you do not need the job remember you can call it quits if it does not work out.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to part time work. My wife signed on with a temp agency that finds her short term gigs at a variety of local companies. She gets to meet new people, learn new things, keep her mind engaged and leave the stress behind. Her biggest challenge is since she is so good at what she does companies quickly end up offering her full time employment which is not the plan.
I have come to believe there is no reason your retirement cannot include some sort of work. The trick is to enjoy what you are doing. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the right fit. But what is the hurry? After all, you are retired.
And should you ever find yourself in the neighborhood (Pebble Beach, CA), stop in for a taste of some truly wonderful wines. As our tasting glass so appropriately says, “Have Mercy”. Cheers.
This post originally appeared on LoveBeingRetired.
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