Why You Should NOT Retire
To maintain your health and quality of life, continue to clock in
I'm never going to retire. And not for reasons you may think.
Yes, the recession went at my investment portfolio like Freddy Kreuger. You probably know the feeling. After decades of doing the right thing saving and investing—maxing out on my 401(k), paying myself first, dollar-cost averaging, and just about every investing cliche you can name—I woke up one morning feeling like I'd been robbed by a heartless thug. (I had, of course, many of them, actually; but that's another blog.)
Not long after (like instantaneously, really) I knew my retirement plans were kaput, inextricably altered by forces of which I had no doing.
Then there are my kids; they're 16 and 13. Though I've put bucks aside for college since before they were born, can you ever really save enough for that bill? It'll be another eight years before they're done with their undergraduate degrees (God willing). By then I'll be approaching that magical age when Uncle Sam says I can begin to receive "full benefits" — yet I'll likely be in debt up to my, uh, navel. (Not even entertaining the notion of graduate school, at least not yet.)
But even before the recession kick-in-the-gut, and the realization that the cost of educating my two children could feed a mid-sized nation, I knew I wasn't going to retire. Not like financial storybook retire. I wasn't going to wake up on some birthday, toss my briefcase into the recycle bin, and head to the first of what would be daily tee time for the rest of my life.
I wasn't going to move to a retirement community (or whatever they're called now) in some remote, warm-weather city and embrace a schedule that would actually be no schedule at all. Maybe some golf. Maybe some reading. Maybe a movie. Maybe some shopping.
Maybe . . . I'll die.
Don't get me wrong. The idea of reaching a point in life when I have the choice of working like a dog or being dog lazy is appealing. Very appealing.
But I'd never stop working. Never stop writing. Never stop thinking. Never stop pondering new ideas. New tales. New ways of telling a story.
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Roy S. Johnson
Editor In Chief