Hello everyone! I am looking forward to this week as the only full day of work I have is Monday! Like most, I am off Thursday and all the other days my bosses graciously decided to let us leave a little early.
My Mom Has “Retired”
This post was inspired by my mom, who just had her last day of work on Friday. Since my parents are moving quite a distance away, she put in for her retirement a few months ago and has been counting down the days since.
On Wednesday, her former boss took her out for lunch, and her two coworkers took her out to dinner, so she had free meals galore. On Friday, her workplace had an office party for her, and even invited old coworkers she hadn’t seen in a while.
The reason I have retirement in quotes is that my mom is most likely going to continue to work once they get settled into the new house, but only part-time and on a schedule she enjoys.
As I’m hoping to aim for early retirement, this had me thinking about what it must feel like to work your last day. It must be kind of crazy to reminisce on all your working years: the various jobs you’ve held, people you’ve worked with, and companies you’ve worked for.
It is incredible to think that my mom (along with most others) has been working for thirty-something years straight in essentially the same job. While her work places may have changed, her job duties essentially stayed the same. If that were me, I’m sure I would have grown bored long ago, but what works for some people doesn’t work for others.
It wasn’t an easy journey considering my dad lost his job several years ago, which meant her income was all we had to depend on.
It was stressful for her – neither of my parents attended college, and while my dad had a better paying job at the time, they never came close to $100,000 combined. I had been contributing where I could since I started working, and somehow we managed to make it through.
As it stands though, I’ve only been working full-time for a year and a half and I think of all the years I have ahead of me being “chained” to a desk…not pleasant. This is where the idea of early retirement or financial independence comes into play.
I’m Just Starting Out
I felt pressured into getting a job right out of college to help out my family, and I had to take what I could get as soon as possible.
My first job didn’t pan out at all – I left after six months when I realized the job I had originally applied for wasn’t the job I was going to be doing.
I had a job lined up that also didn’t work out – nothing like it was advertised, and the department was so overworked that they didn’t have time to train anyone, which didn’t help.
After I left there, it took about a month of emailing resumes out and interviewing for me to land my current job. It was a basic receptionist position, but I had to start somewhere. I was promoted after three months, which I am grateful for since I’ve been able to learn a lot more about the company and industry.
However, after seven months of doing the same thing, it’s gotten to be kind of routine. I love being challenged and I love learning new things, and that hasn’t been happening lately, hence the start of this blog.
Reading about extra income and side hustles got me thinking that my day job isn’t the only opportunity I have, which is why I started this project! Now I get to learn about the world of blogging, while meeting great people and writing about the journey I’m taking. I am excited to see where this will take me.
My loose plan for now is to continue working in my current position until R is eligible for a transfer elsewhere, and save, save, save for the move so that we will be okay if I don’t find a full-time job right away.
I would love to move right now, but going to a different state with neither of us having a job is a risk I am not willing to take. It took R about a year after he graduated to find an “actual job” and it ended up being seasonal; it was another four months after he started looking to find his current job.
Ideally, I would like for us to be able to live off of his salary so that I could get a chance to work on freelancing and blog income, but I know these things take time to build, so it will be a gradual process. I am prepared to practice living off of his income alone when the situation arises – I’m curious as to whether or not we can do it. It will be an interesting challenge!
The Next Chapter
In any case, I am looking forward to my parents being mostly worry-free as they embark on their journey toward retirement.
My dad is planning on doing what he used to love: woodworking. Whether or not he will make any income from it is up in the air, as he needs to get back into it, but it’s something I would encourage him to consider after he is done with all the projects in their new house. Hopefully it will be fulfilling as it seems he’s given up hobbies over the years (the other being photography), which is never a good thing. You need to find time to do what you enjoy!
Watching my parents in their last stage of retirement planning is definitely inspiring me to appreciate the journey you have to take to get there, as all the hard work will pay off in the end. You just need to keep the end goal in sight and have a positive attitude throughout.
Trying to enjoy the journey as it is happening has been a little difficult for me, though. Sometimes I find myself too focused on the next chapter. I get caught up wondering where we will find ourselves in a year: if we will be happy with relocating, better off financially, and what opportunities may come our way with these changes.
I need to keep an eye on the present and be happy with what is happening in our lives right now, otherwise things might start to pass me by! I plan to write another post expanding on why I’d like to retire early and what being financially independent would mean for me.
What are your plans? Are you hoping for early retirement/financial independence, or are you currently focusing on other things? If you love your job too much to leave, please share!