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Old 07-25-2014, 06:41 AM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,141,087 times
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I have found this inspirational, too -- and appreciate the heartfelt stories everyone has relayed. It reminds me that the human spirit IS resilient and we are all capable of re-inventing ourselves as needed -- and reassessing, taking stock, seeing what is working and what isn't -- and moving forward in a positive way, with HOPE and FAITH.

I do a lot of praying these days. I pray in Thanksgiving, out of gratitude for how fortunate I have been. No matter what the challenge, there has always been a good resolution. As others have mentioned, sometimes the new path we find ourselves on is something we would not have dreamed about -- and in the end, we find good things as we navigate our way in new circumstances.

Nothing is guaranteed, but I do believe by the time we are in our 50s, we probably have figured that out. Our jobs/careers don't always go as we planned, our relationships with our children (and their choices) don't always go as we had envisioned; our health, our wealth, our relationships can throw us for a LOOP!!!! We can end up being caretakers for our parents and our kids can experience a failure to launch. :-) It happens.

Being resilient and flexible and open-minded to the universe and the possibilities is key to finding solutions. It can be a real challenge to give up our dreams, or to reconstruct after a personal tragedy but - we manage to do it!

And that is what I am hearing here . . . carrying on with grace and dignity and hope.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:15 AM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,967,079 times
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Originally Posted by saralvr View Post
I agree that this is a most inspirational thread. Thank you for posting Alfani and thank you to all who responded with heartfelt stories.

My husband was forced into retirement when he got laid off unexpectantly in 5 months ago. The biggest shock is health insurance. My employer doesn't offer health insurance. And the reality is what others have said. No one is hiring a 61 y/o man. He is willing to do anything if it paid benefits. Thankfully we did save during our lives, but we don't have a pension and our money just won't be able to last. So, we are moving to a less expensive area. I will be also trying to find a F/T job. It's going to be a huge transition. The biggest change is leaving my youngest daughter here. She was going to relocate as well, but changes in her job and personal life are going to keep her here. We are very close and both are sad to be separated.

I am hoping and praying that we are ok once the dust settles. If we can't find work I'd just hate to see all of our hard work of saving just can't last. We meet with our financial advisor in a couple of weeks and hopefully he has a new plan for us. He'll help us with decisions as to what money to use first, when to take SS, etc. And to protect as much of our principal as possible while also investing for the future.

As my mother always says, "Man plans and God laughs". Yes, you can plan. But with the realization that anything can happen at anytime to change your plans. You need to change courses and get back up and into the game.
This echoes what so many boomers have gone through, while those who have not experienced it do not understand how those who have did not gain as much $ as they did in retirement.

Yesterday a dear friend, who has had a high-paying tech job at a well-known college here, called to say she was just laid off. She had had the job for something like 15 years, after getting her masters in the field in her 40s. She is now 59, and after having put all these years into her job (she is excellent at what she does, even taught me HTML tech in the early days of it), she is without pension and health insurance (unless she gets cobra, I don't know). She's single. How is she going to get a job in her rapidly changing tech field at age 60? Her entire situation has been downgraded overnight ("departmental restructuring").

So you are not alone by any means. As anifani says, we boomers are resilient and somehow manage to land on our feet with a little luck, the grace of God, and perseverance toward recovery. Transitions at our age can be challenging but we have the spirit to take them on. Best wishes.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:25 AM
Location: SW Florida
9,743 posts, read 7,022,649 times
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Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Thank you for the good wishes, TRAVELASSIE!

There are several things going on with Hubby. He has two modes: ON and active and OFF and asleep. Nothing in between. Now, that in itself can be bad enough, as when his stamina declined and he was diagnosed with heart failure, he could no longer physically do the things he loved doing. But the hidden part of this equation is that when he can't be active, he takes the role of supervisor and micro-manager . . . and that has meant standing over me (and our sons, when they were around, lol).

We all knew we were going to have a "situation" when Dad retired. So Dad decided never to retire, since he gets so much satisfaction out of untangling corporate knots. His heart didn't agree.

Hubby has received permission from his docs to return to work next month. He retired from his job (should have taken a leave but that wasn't going to work out - too much time off needed) . . . so he is again applying for jobs, and hopefully he will find a teaching job in the near future. There are many colleges and universities in the area, plus there is always distance learning. He has taught (adjunct) in the past.

So . . . part of my husband's need to control his environment, and ME, has always been there and part of it is his frustration with his current circumstance (no job, physical limitations). His ill temper is partly medications and partly his own issue that he is going to have to learn to handle better. He has been granted a second go at life. Now, I hope he will settle down and learn to ENJOY his life rather than focusing on what he can't do -- and expecting me to somehow be his surrogate. I have a life, too, or USED TO - and I intend on reclaiming it, lol.

Thanks for the explanations- I understand, seems as though his is a controlling personality in need of something to control! Hopefully he'll get that job teaching, even as an adjunct position- which can be pretty good at this stage- no need to get into the university politics and rat race!

Looks as though you handle the situation with style and grace- I guess knowing your hubby so well helps a bit in that regard, although I'm sure you must be ready to pull your hair out sometimes.

Hopefully he'll either be able to get off the meds or the side effects will diminish, and he'll find enough good outlets for that need to control. And you can get back to enjoying your retirement too.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:48 PM
Location: SW Florida
9,743 posts, read 7,022,649 times
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Originally Posted by Sunnydee View Post
Being planners, we both planned for retirement before we even met each other. Once we got together we merged our plans and did a great job of continuing to save for retirement, along with having and raising kids, and pursuing our careers. What we didn't plan for was the stock market crash, which took a huge bite out of our retirement savings, but we decided not to panic and to just roll with it.

In preparation for my retirement in June of 2009 and our relocation to Florida, to be closer to my aging parents, we bought a home in Florida in the fall of 2008 and rented it back to the original owners. We'd never been landlords before, but it was our best option and it was only for eight months, so how bad could it be? Lol, we found out how bad it could be pretty quickly.

I then was diagnosed with breast cancer and my health insurance was tied to my job, so I could not retire or relocate until I was cancer free. In the meantime, my father began having TIAs, mini-strokes, and was diminished a bit with each one and the renters became more problematic. Finally, after a mastectomy, reconstruction, etc. I was declared cancer free, so I retired in February of 2011. I spent the next six weeks dejunking, cleaning, painting, organizing, and staging our house. The housing market had crashed and not much was selling in our area, but our house looked the best it ever had and we priced it aggressively just to get rid of it. It sold in five days, which was a blessing since our renters decided to break their lease on the Florida house and leave early.

We then had a series of garage sales, Craigslist sales, giveaways to friends, and Goodwill donation runs to get rid of our furniture and most of the belongings we had taken a lifetime to acquire. My husband got laid off and we decided to get to Florida before anything else went wrong. We became Florida residents in June of 2011. It was two years after we had planned, but we made it and my parents and I were still alive - yay.

We thought my husband would land a job once we got to Florida and we'd recoup some of the money we had lost in the market, but after a year and half of daily job searching and applying, it became obvious that he wasn't going to get a job because he was too old, too educated, and too experienced, so he finally gave up and retired early. As you can see, it hasn't worked out as we planned, but we made it and are relatively healthy and happy. I guess what we learned is life doesn't always work out the way you plan, but it does work out if you are flexible and are able to roll with the punches.
What's the old story about life happening while you are making plans? Yours is a great story and it sounds as though you prevailed through the tough times you had. So glad to see that, and I wish you and your loved ones smooth sailing and a good life from here on out.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:55 PM
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,294,298 times
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Like I always said, when you think you life is in the crapper, you don't have to look very far to see someone in a lot worse crap than you.........<3
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:01 PM
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,427 posts, read 1,663,961 times
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We returned yesterday from visiting our parents, they live 3 hours from each other. Here's a tale of two retirements:

My parents have each other and a good pension and are doing okay. They watch a lot of TV, Mom has slight dementia and Dad has macular degeneration that limits night driving, so their world is shrinking, but they've always been loners and independent. Our visit was a high point of their week and I felt sad leaving. They planned well for retirement, achieved their goals and are living well beyond what they expected to. Their house is quiet and you can hear the clock tick.

We went to my MIL's next. My FIL died eight years into retirement. MIL has a good pension and did consulting for 5 years before fully retiring. Her one wish would be to have those 5 years back to spend with FIL instead of working. Hindsight is 20/20.

So much for sadness. MIL had a list of little things for DH to do, only if he wanted when we got there.. First was to cut up a huge branch that came down in a storm. No problem, got that done and DH noticed some sucker branches growing on another maple and got the ladder out to to take care of them. One thing lead to another and we ended up pruning lower branches on five huge maples. These 'branches' required a chain saw and ropes to guide where these monsters fell. All through this MIL has pruners and loppers working side by side with us to trim things down to size. She did leave to pick up and drop off a great-grand at band camp both days we were pruning. She also left for a couple of hours to drive a friend to the grocery store and read labels to her since her friend has extreme low vision. When she came back she changed clothes and jumped into the fray again. All the grands and great-grands came over to visit and she made a huge dinner for all, with just a bit of help from me. The weekend before we arrived, she helped one of the grands move into a new house with other family members. She is the original energizer bunny.

I've been retired for two years and DH plans to in 5. We've done the financial planning and are letting the rest happen at this point. I don't think the who, what or where matters as much as the how does with retirement. I so want to be like my MIL and not my parents, as much as I love them. I want to be vital, connected, involved and always learning just like my MIL at 83. I love, admire and respect that woman, even more every time I see her now.

Last edited by jean_ji; 07-25-2014 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:46 PM
Location: Connecticut
8 posts, read 8,712 times
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It is true that life happens when we are making other plans. I have been intensively researching retirement locations for the last six months and still can't find the perfect destination. But after visiting Naples, Florida and Asheville and Wilmington, North Carolina this year, I have come to realize that Connecticut is a wonderful place and I have lived here 22 years. Bloom where you are planted! I actually had to travel thousands of miles to realize I live in my own personal paradise. I practice mindfulness and living in the moment and also practice The book The Secret with positive thoughts throughout the day. I find these two techniques keep me positive and calm. Did you ever see the movie Under the Tuscan Sun? The women is always looking for things that are missing in her life and then she realizes she has everything she has ever wanted and has a great life! That is me!
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:56 PM
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,577,100 times
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Originally Posted by boater1 View Post
Not retired yet, but am a couple years away,
made some plans and beginning to look for that day

then my wife passed away 2 months ago, suddenly / unexpectedly

Now single, first time in 30 years,

Have to make all new plans for the rest of my life ....
Maybe I shouldn't plan ...
Sorry to hear of you wife passing.
Time will help at least that's what I hear.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:29 AM
Location: SW Florida
9,743 posts, read 7,022,649 times
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Originally Posted by CCc girl View Post
Like I always said, when you think you life is in the crapper, you don't have to look very far to see someone in a lot worse crap than you.........<3
Well, sometimes I think it amounts to being able to smell the roses through the crap.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:14 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
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Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
Hopefully he'll either be able to get off the meds or the side effects will diminish, and he'll find enough good outlets for that need to control. And you can get back to enjoying your retirement too.
or not... Need to know how you will deal with plans Z and beyond.

I went from 32 yrs of very intense care-giving responsibility (disabled, combative parent). to early retirement (Pre age 50, I was ready!!!)

I got a 7 yr 'holiday', (and went back to college) and now back into care-giving for an ill spouse. Probably for many more yrs and certainly for all my few remaining yrs.
So you planned;did it all fall in place?
Not in my life. Best not to be disappointed in YOUR plans... Our plans / perception of what is good for us is pretty trite. I don't remember growing up much ACCEPT via adversity. (I'm a Slow learner)

For those spared the agony. Good for you! Spread some cheer!

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 07-26-2014 at 11:23 AM..
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