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Semi-Retirement and other of Life's Jewels

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Posted 11-20-2008 at 03:34 PM by upthesaukee

Let's see...let's start with semi-retirement. In the summer of 2007, my wife and I looked forward to March 2008 and me reaching a point in life where I could file for retirement and start collecting Social Security (I will not start a debate or partake in one on that subject ). I was not in a rush to do so, and so I did not do much except go on Social Security's website and check out a few things. I already had my annual statement, and knew approximately how much I would be getting per month.

In February, a young fellow at work left the company, and the opening for his position was posted. His department was in deplorable condition and had been that way for a couple of years. Also, I was in a payroll cap (at the top of my payroll matrix), the move would be a lateral move with no pay increase, and my annual raise would be half what I would get if was not in a pay-cap situation. After two weeks, the store manager asked why I hadn't responded to the posting, and I told her why. She indicated to me that she wanted me to take the position, and I politely declined.

About a week went by, and she informed me that the district manager wanted me to take the position, which I politely declined and said if he had any questions, he should call me directly.

About a week or so went by, and she again asked me to take the position, which I declined (raises the old question about "what part of 'no' don't you understand? ")

Now we are in the middle of April, and I am again informed that it is desired for me to take the position, which I again declined, and I was then informed that due to a decline in sales, my full time position could be in jeopardy. I responded "OK", at which my manager then asked if I was taking the position. I said no to the position, the "ok" means I heard and understand you.

That evening, my wife and I again looked at our finances...what I was making vs. what I would get from S.S. and how much I could make each month continuing to work (part-time). Things still looked good, so I filed online for S.S., went down to Concord to the local office with the things they need to copy, asked how long (they said 4-6 weeks), and went home.

Next day I told my boss and said it looked like I would be going part time in about 4 weeks. Not that Saturday, but the following Saturday (a week and a half after filing) I received a letter from S.S. saying that in May I would get a check for April! Short month.

So, on that Monday I told my boss of the letter, and the very next week, the first week in May, I started part time, two days a week (Wed & Fri) dayshifts, generally 8-4:30.

Now being in a retail environment can be a little stressful, but knowing that I only have to be nice and helpful, smiling all the while for no more than 8 hours, twice a week, has enabled me to enjoy my job more. There are still days that aren't very enjoyable, but again, it is only a matter of hours until I am done, and it is not a week of aggravation.

So what has semi-retirement done? I have some passions that I enjoy. One of them is golf. We joined the Farmington Country Club in Farmington NH. It is a nice 9 hole course that is well maintained, very affordable, and close to home (17 minutes door to door). I get to play almost every day I am off, being joined by my wife on weekends and some evenings (don't feel to bad for her...she takes every Tues off and plays golf with the NH Woman's Golf Assn at some pretty nice courses all over the State.)

I posted over 50 18 hole rounds this year, but alas, the PGA's Senior Tour players are safe for yet another year.

Another passion is boating, and this year we moved our boat back to Parker Marine in Alton. It is minutes from our house and is on the way from the golf course to our house. It is not unusual to finish a round of golf and then hit the boat on the way home.

I got my first fishing license in several years, and enjoyed getting out a little this year. I had the pleasure of taking three grandchildren out fishing for the day. We got into some small mouth bass, a few large mouth bass and some sunfish. The kids had a ball, but I think I may have had more fun, just watching them.

At one point during that day, the fishing had kind of fallen off, and no one was getting any bites, so we started a game of "I'm thinking of something that begins with the letter ?? ". My granddaughter said it started with "F", and we had guessed a few things. (Don't worry, this is totally clean!!!!!) All of a sudden, my line goes tight, and I said "Fish". My granddaughter said "NO", I said "Yes" , she said "No Grandpa", and I said " I have a fish on" and that was the end of the game for a while as Grandpa had a really nice smallie on. Oh, and the F was for "flag".

I am also very active in my Masonic Lodge, and being semi-retired has allowed me to do more with my Masonic life. In fact, this Sunday Nov 23rd I am being installed as the Master of the Lodge for 2008-2009. I really enjoy the Masons and all that we as Masons do, and enjoy visiting other lodges and making friends that way as well. I generally travel from Laconia to Rochester and then north to North Conway.

The fingers are getting a little tired now, but I will continue the blog sometime in the near future.

I will leave you with one thought. The main reason I went forward with retirement as opposed to biting the bullet and taking a position I really did not want goes back to my Dad. Dad had a re-occurence of cancer in Nov 1987 and fought it for over a year, passing away on Dec 23rd 1988. Mom and Dad had planned to go to Australia in Nov 1988 for their 44th Wedding Anniverasary and in Nov 1989 were going to take my wife and I with them to Scotland for their 45th (our 20th, and our anniversaries were only 4 days apart). We could have done this earlier, but didn't. Of course, then we couldn't.

Dad told me literally while on his death bed, that we (wife and I) should never wait to do something if we could do it now. You see, my mom was born in Scotland and came to this country when she was three, and Dad was a first generation Scot in this country in his family, and they both wanted to go to Scotland.

So, I could retire, and rather than wait, I have done it. Thanks Dad !!!!
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  1. Old Comment
    trfour's Avatar
    Hi Dave.

    Just to let you know how much that I've enjoyed your many postings out here over the years, and that I think that you could very easily write at least one best selling book!

    I am now retired myself and enjoying every minute of it and looking foward to get together for a round of golf, maybe next summer.

    Take care and best wishes,
    Posted 12-15-2008 at 12:48 PM by trfour trfour is offline

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