To Retire or Not To Retire?

Posted on April 11th, 2012, by iMinerva

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The Wall Street Journal had an interesting perspective on the conflict that often occurs between spouses over the “right” time to retire.

Finances are always an issue.  Have we saved enough to support our lifestyle in the future?  Investments took a major hit starting in 2008 and could (will) lose again over the next 20 years.  Are we secure regardless of the economic environment?

Do? What do we do once our time is our own.  Typically, men have more of a problem with this especially if they have devoted their lives to their careers.

Passions.  If a career has been the fulfillment of a lifelong passion and commitment, how do you walk away?

Can’t quit now!  Just getting up steam.  This is often the case for women who delayed careers to raise the kids then re-entered the workforce in the 40s or 50s.  Life is good and full with work.

Where?  Do we sell the house and downsize?  Do we go to Florida, Arizona, Seattle to be near the grandkids, Arkansas for a better cost of living?

The article points out that couples rarely discuss retirement planning and their very different viewpoints.  As a result, the decision hangs with no resolution.  As one of the husbands interviewed observed, their discussions are like a “ball that’s kept in a closet. ‘Every once in a while you take it out and throw it back and forth… Then you put it back in the closet.'”

As a single working woman, I’m having the same debate with myself.  Unfortunately, I have no spouse to blame for my lack of decisions.  The ball just keeps bouncing back to me.  Because I own my business and have a terrific senior team, I can be flexible with my schedule – and pretend that I’m retired.  But how flexible do I want to be and do I want to be permanently flexible?  Would I just lay around the house all day – much as I’m doing today?  Would I find meaningful endeavors where I could make a difference and not just “keep busy?”

I guess that’s a lot of what iMinerva is all about. When I started this online outpouring, I was hoping to connect with other women who are facing the same questions and challenges.  I was hoping to find role models and inspiration.  I’ve done that but, late at night, I still ask many of the same questions.

So, I’m tossing the ball out to the Universe and waiting for new answers to come flying back at me.  How do I want to reinvent myself for the next chapters in my life?  What is most important to me as a being? What will fill my vacant spaces?  What is the most exciting way to make each day have meaning and happiness.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!



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