Retirement...what...when...if ever....

by • Member { View Profile }



Several years ago, I planned to retire from my part time position as Executive Director of a nursing association, a position that I’d held for 20 years. I tendered my resignation, organized the office, made preparations for orienting my replacement, advertised for my replacement and waited. In the following two months no one responded to our advertising, I got “clutchy” about leaving due to the economy and finally rescinded my resignation with the Board’s joyous approval. Now three years later I’m wondering….when will I be reasonably able to retire?


I should round out this scenario. My husband retired from teaching after 31 years, 10 years ago. Although his retirement income has remained stable, the health insurance portion has exponentially increased over the years. We have an independent adult daughter who lives out-of-state. Our adult son who has an intellectual disability lives in our neighborhood with supportive living assistance. We own and maintain his home in addition to ours. My 89 year-old mother lives independently in an adjacent city.


Last year I sought out an independent financial advisor who had provided programming for my nursing organization. She was clear. I could retire at 62 but not touch my Social Security (no employer retirement benefit) until 65 or later. What do I do in those “gap” years? I’m afraid to touch my savings as I lost about 30% of it in the recession.


Both my mother and husband have chronic health conditions. I would like to retire in order to focus more of my energies with them. I’m just too fearful of the future financially.


I’m finding myself envious of my colleagues and friends who are retiring early with full pensions and few worries. As I listen to their travel adventures I wonder…will that ever be me? 

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