We practice for retirement but when the time finally arrives, it’s a whole new ball game. After working for nearly 50 years, you are suddenly overcome with a surreal sense that Mondays do not mean going back to work and Fridays don’t signify the relief of a few days off.
The reality is that retirement is not the end of hassles – only work related hassles. In my first week of retirement, I lost a crown to a piece of caramel, had the water heater go out twice, twisted my back trying to stretch more, and had a tree fall on our patio. These types of things happened all the time when I was working, but they seem to take on a greater magnitude in retirement. One of my grandfather’s retirement obsessions was to monitor the electric meter. He was too busy to do that when he was working. My guess is that he just didn’t want to be surprised by the bill, as he kept a watch out for the mailman each day.
There seems to be a force at work that tends to keep us busy when we’re not working. As I begin the adjustment to retirement, I have this feeling that these forces are doing everything they can to get me back to work. The slightest thing that goes wrong at home tends to grow into a major undertaking, and the next thing you know the day is gone. I’ve already piled up repairs that will cost me thousands of dollars in just the first week of retirement. Believe me, a generous pension and social security will not cover these dental, doctor, plumber, and tree service expenses. Hopefully, the next week of retirement will be easier, and it doesn’t lead to re-hirement.