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Retirement Unknowns
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Retirement Unknowns

I wonder how many of us give much thought to what our life will be like after we retire. I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I just assumed one day I would be working and the next not. I hadn’t really thought about the adjustments that might be necessary.

Most of my working life consisted of me getting up between 4:30 AM and 5:00 AM. I used a separate bathroom so as not to disturb my wife. I was gone by the time she got up. I rarely got home before 5:00 PM and sometimes a lot later. I know that is fairly normal for a lot of working people. The point is my wife and I only interacted for a few hours before it was bedtime.

In my first go around with retirement I had just returned from a three year job at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It had been a stressful and demanding three years and I thought it was time to retire. My Mom was in her eighties and living alone so I figured I could just take it easy and look out for her.

Well the reality was quite different from what I expected. I had a favorite chair I sat in for my morning coffee and always had Fox News on. My wife liked the same chair and loved to watch Good Morning America. Now that we were getting up at the same time it suddenly became a problem.

The rest of the day was not much better. I was at a loss as to what to do with myself. My wife had the honey do lists from hell which aggravated me a lot. I’m not blaming her because she is a great wife. The problem was that we had never spent that much time together so it was a big adjustment.

Fortunately at the end of four months I received a call from a company to run a job at the Naval fuel facility in Point Loma, California. I took it without hesitation. I figured I needed to get out of Dodge before I drove my wife crazy. The job went well and my wife visited twice in the four months I was gone. I had driven my van to the job site and at the end of the job my wife joined me and we drove from Point Loma back to our home in Ohio.

We had a lot of time to talk on that trip and worked through some of the things that had been a problem on my first attempt at retirement. Things were much better this time but there were still a lot of adjustments to be made and not all of them were personal habit type adjustments. By that time the economy had started to look a little shaky and it was obvious that our money would not go as far as planned.

I will address the needed adjustments for this phase of my retirements in a future article.


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