My good buddy, Niles, recently retired. He surely deserved it. Niles was a union carpenter and worked hard for many years, but he finally took the tools off for good. It has been fun to watch him “adjust”.

Since throwing in the towel myself, I’ve sorta made a study of how people cope with retirement. It certainly varies with the individual.

What is singularly remarkable is the extent to which so many people ARE their job. Their job is the foremost consideration in their day, their week, nay, in their life . Some of these same folks, at career’s end, are woefully ill-prepared for retirement.

Sure, they may have accumulated a healthy savings, a 401-K or a pension, but one is reminded of Peggy Lee’s maudlin lyrics : “Is that all there is? Then let’s keep dancing.”

Niles, on the other hand, has melded into retirement without looking back. There’s been no pining over what on Earth he’s ever going to do all day. He was thinking about such matters a long time ago.

Right now, he doesn’t have time for that. He’s retired!

It is almost sad that some folks will work an entire career, 20, 30, even 40 years then not have the faintest idea what to do in retirement. It’s not that uncommon.

Then there is the person who doesn’t really want to retire because they love their job. Are there really that many of them? It doesn’t matter. To them I say “power to ya ! Keep working as long as you can. Your good health is fortunate.”

I was the exact opposite of this. I wasn’t exuberant about what I did. I mean, it was OK, but compared to being out on the farm… FUGETTABOUT IT.

I couldn’t wait to breathe air that hadn’t been breathed before. The day that I took my last step out of the office was 17 years ago, and, NO I haven’t looked back ! Retirement is bliss.

I wish the same to everyone I know.

Don’t wait too long .


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