Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Retirement Advantage #1—Inclement Weather Strategy

I’ve only been officially retired for about a month, although I’ve been heading in that direction since July. That was when my job position was filled by someone else, and I focused on a special project. Although I didn’t go to the office every day, I still felt a sense of having a day job.
Now, I’m cut off from the payroll that has sustained my standard of living for more than three decades. That is something that warrants serious thought and well-thought out strategy. Retirement is not good without financial security, and now I’m glad that a large part of the equation was figuring out how I could afford to retire.

For thirty-three years, my life revolved around another day at the office. An office with a lot of responsibility and a darn good paycheck. I thrive on responsibility and appreciate a steady income, so why on earth did I retire?

Part of the reason is that I wanted to enjoy the things I’ve put on hold for the greater part of my life. Retirement is my reward to myself. I want to spend more time with family and have time for activities that bring me enjoyment. I’ve spent years running on adrenaline and stress. I want to stress less and relax more.

First, part of stress reduction is to not worry so much about the weather. We’ve had snow on the ground heading toward the second week. I did not have the anxious feeling that has been the norm during wintertime since December 1980.

Now, I can sit around drinking coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the beauty of the snow. If I don’t want to go out, I just cancel everything and stay snug and warm. No scraping ice or slip sliding on the road.

Today, I trampled through the snow in exhilarating freezing weather to get my newspaper and mail at one o’clock in the afternoon. I couldn’t help but think about how different this is from past winters when I had to be out and about by 6:30 a.m.

So, for me, the first retirement advantage is not having to get up before daylight and making a death-defying drive into work. No more looking out the window at work wondering if I’ll be able to make it home before the roads drift.

Yes, grasshopper, age has its privileges.

Copyright © February 2014 by L. S. Fisher