Retirement. All it’s Cracked up to Be?

So I had a lot of mixed feelings in the coming months of my retirement. All of which were terrifying. Everyone around me was very encouraging and excited for me; assuring me that the best times of my life were about to ensue. I just couldn’t get that voice out of my head whispering questions like these:

  • Am I going to be bored out of my mind?
  • Is my life basically over?
  • Am I going to rot away in a chair?
  • Is my family already researching which old person home I’m going to be going in?
  • HOW AM I GOING TO POSSIBLY FILL SO MUCH FREE TIME????

The voice in my head got louder as the day approached and even though I had been looking forward to that day my entire life and worked so tirelessly hard for. I kind of started to panic. I felt as though I had been given the death sentence and I was counting the days down til it was over… What is my last meal going to be? Is my family going to be in the viewing room as I am put down? Is this it?

Almost Lost it All

So before I tell you if any of these worries came into fruition, let me tell you about how I almost lost everything I had worked so hard for.

So as a union worker, I was given a pension when I first started and worked countless hours of overtime over the years to build it up as much as I could for my family. So as the economy started to tank about 7 years ago, fellow workers of mine that had been by my side for years were starting to get laid off. Now mind you, I was 3 months away from my retirement date as the guys started dropping.

I didn’t sleep at night. I couldn’t eat. I could not go one second in any given day without the thought of me being next in line for the unemployment line and the way our unions pensions were set up; next in line to see his pension being thrown away right in front of him.

I truly believe I had to have lost 3 years of my life from the stress that was building up inside me with each passing day. So long story short, I made it to my retirement date and the feelings that overcame me were indescribable. I made it and my pension was all mine and my family’s. To make it even crazier, the guy that took over my position after my retirement was laid off in the same month. Yes, I was less than a month away from losing it all and everything I had worked for my entire life. I don’t even want to think about what that would have done for my family. I still get the chills when I think about it.

So, How is It?

Well, I made it to the finish line and I know you’re wondering if it is all it’s cracked up to be. Well let me tell you; YES IT IS!!! 

Not trying to make anyone out there jealous or anything, but that picture is how I feel every day. Anyone out there reading this please if you take anything from my blog, have a retirement plan. It will be one of the smartest things you ever do; I promise. Check out http://money.cnn.com/retirement/ if you have some free time.

So it’s been over 7 years now and there has not been one second that I haven’t loved being a retired family man. I get to spend time with my beautiful children and wife. I get to work on our house. I can take a vacation with my wife whenever I want (that I can afford of course; I’m not any richer). I can honestly say that I have 0 complaints about retirement and I have never been happier with my life. I never thought I would ever say something like that when I was in my 20’s but there’s no doubt in my mind that I still have the best times of my life ahead of me.

So for anyone reading this, please put some consideration into your retirement. It was the greatest thing I have ever done.

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