Chapter 10 – Retirement

This post brings me to final chapter of my life — retirement.  As always, the purpose of documenting my life in this way is to accomplish the following goals:  (1) to teach you some English words, (2) to document my life for self-reflection purposes, and (3) to provide you some insight into how you can avoid the same mistakes I have made so that your life has a happier outcome than mine likely will have.

At age 65, I was able to enroll in Medicare, a very low-cost, US government, health insurance program.  At age 66, I officially retired and am now drawing a monthly social security payment from the US government that will continue until I die (and erroneously even after some people die).  As of July 2020, I am currently 67 years old and in relatively good health with all my major debts paid off.  Living a modest life, I can make it to the end.

In my view, the pros of retiring are many, as follows:
1. I no longer have to commute to work, which is glorious!
2. I no longer have to get up early.  I love to sleep until 11 am and stay up till 2 am.
3. I no longer have to march to the beat of someone’s else drum.  I have no boss (except for the wife).
4. I can do what I wish when I wish, as long as it doesn’t cost too much money.
5. I have exited the rat race and have minimal stress in my life.

The cons of retirement for me are nil.
1. Some people miss their social contacts at work.  (I am an introvert.)
2. Some people lose their identity because their work is their life.  (Not so for me.)
3. Some people are bored to death.  (I keep busy teaching English online as a fun hobby.)
4. Some people are lonely.  (I have a wife, son, daughter, and two dogs to keep me company.)

7 comments

  1. Hello T. Lee, 
    I am sorry to hear about your situation. I am also in a limbo because I have quit my job and finding (struggling) to continue my studies in a way which won’t cost substantial amount of money. If I had to afford my own living, I would also have very limited options. 
    However, I believe you will resolve your situation without much trouble because you are a good person.
    Best wishes,
    Thein Lin 

    1. We are all tested in different ways in this world, Vasanth.  How we respond determines the ultimate outcome.  We are responsible (mostly) for our own lives, lifestyles, and decisions in life.  As the song goes, che sera sera – what will be, will be.

      smile

    1. Pensions are paid by your employer.  If you worked for the government, then you may get a government-paid pension.

      If you work for a private company, then you may get a pension paid for by that company.

      Some pension plans are voluntary.  You can choose to put some money from every paycheck into one or not.  If you choose not to, you will have no pension payments when you retire.  I have no pension because I changed jobs too often.  It takes years to establish a sizeable pension fund via contributions from your paychecks.  For this to work, you have to stay with one company for a long time 20-30 years.

      Now separate from pensions, we have a system called Social Security (SS).  Everyone must pay an SS tax from every paycheck.  This money goes into a huge government-controlled fund.  When you retire, you can receive a small monthly payment from this fund proportional to how much money you paid into it via the SS tax over your lifetime.

      Generally, to survive in retirement, we say you need three components:  (1) Personal savings, (2) a pension, and (3) Social Security. 

      Like most Americans who retire, I will have only #3 so I will be living a more austere life than I enjoyed most of my life.

      1. I see. The pension is similar here in Myanmar but the government-paid pension is usually a small amount and we have no such thing as social security. Company-paid pensions are better but you have to work for them for a long time. I do not expect myself to stay in one company for three decades.

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