My parents are retiring soon, and I’m thrilled for them!
The title says it all, my parents are retiring soon, and I couldn’t be happier for them. After years of hard work, opening businesses, closing businesses, and socking away savings they’re on their way to retiring in full within the next year.
I want to tell their story as I’ve seen it, as their son, because I think it’s relatable for not only people my age, but people that are my parent’s age and ready to move on from the working world.
My Dad’s Retiring (for real this time)
Technically, my father is a retired truck driver although he teaches truck driving part-time at JCCC, a local community college. I have loads of respect for the man. He worked as a contracted distributor for Little Debbie when I was growing up, close to 20 years. Then after losing his mother, my grandmother, he started his own ice cream store in Louisburg, Kansas, opening a second store in the neighboring city Paola a year or so later. After a few years in business, things slowed, and the Louisburg store closed with the Paola store closing a few months later.
I went to college around this time, and after working a few odd jobs for a food distributor and a business standards company my dad also went back to school. He got his truck driving certificate when he was in his early 50s and began a whole new career on the road. After a year or more on the road going for weeks-long driving jobs taking construction materials all over the country he was able to land a driving gig that allowed him to come home each night. He kept that job for about five years and retired last February only to pick up his part-time teaching job at JCCC the following summer. Boredom is a tricky thing.
Even as a part-timer he is finding ways to keep himself occupied in his downtime. He’s been working on their ’71 Cutlass, mobile home, and doing household maintenance like painting the garage. The guy knows how to stay busy, but now and hopefully for good, my dad’s retiring.
I remember even a few years ago before either of my parents had decided they were going to retire thinking, “I really hope my parents are retiring soon, they deserve it.” Finally, it would seem that day is on the horizon and boy are they stoked for the next chapter. What are their plans? We’ll get to them soon enough.
My Mom’s Retiring Too
Where my father has had a colorful road to retirement, my mother has had what we’ll call a more stable road to retirement. My mother has worked for the same company since before I was born. As far as I know, she has been at the company for just over 40 years. That’s so long. Over that time, she has risen in the ranks, and from the stories I’ve heard, has become a nearly irreplaceable asset. I think the joy she’ll have when she retires will perfectly contradict the feeling that her company will have when she leaves. I can’t fathom working somewhere for 40 years. The longest job I have held is 5 years and that’s a fraction of the time and effort she has placed into her job.
My mom’s retiring this September if all goes to plan. Her path to retirement couldn’t be more different than my dad’s, but together they’ll prevail.
It hasn’t always been easy though! My mom’s father, my grandpa, moved into my parent’s guest room just last month in fact. He decided he was going to sell his house, and until the retirement community he plans to join has an opening, he’ll be staying with my parent’s. I think this happens more often than is generally expected, and for many nearing retirement; having a parent move in with you for an undetermined amount of time might throw a hitch in your plans to retire. Luckily, this shouldn’t affect their plans and my parents are retiring soon regardless.
Their Post-Retirement Plans
Like many pre-retirees nearing the promised land of extended vacations and hobby exploration, my parents have a plan. They recently acquired a quite nice mobile home and have been on one pre-retirement vacation with it, it went well aside from an escapee pet cat by the name of Victor. They plan to take their mobile home on the road to car shows around the country with their classic ’71 Cutlass in tow. My mother’s former coworker and her husband do the same and they’re who they plan to travel with as a little convoy of mobile homes and classic cars.
I wish them all the happiness in the world. I think my mom will get bored fast even though the woman reads books like I browse the internet, constantly and with speed. Maybe she’ll find some more hobbies outside of books and Candy Crush, but I’m sure the traveling and planning for the traveling will give her some way to break up the newfound time in retirement. Oh, and I’m sure she’ll continue smashing pins with her Tuesday night ladies bowling team.
How Did They Get to Retirement?
Well 40+ years at the same company helps for sure, and being avid savers who still nit-pick about the difference in the cost of a store brand bag of chips versus a name brand bag of chips probably helps some too. Also, my parents are extreme planners. With only one of their parents left, they’ve seen the value in planning their future not only for themselves but for my sisters and myself. We have had awkward moments, like when they brought out my mother’s jewelry box and said, “Figure out who gets what when we’re gone.” They’ve made sure they amend their estate when they need to and are investigating their options for Social Security claiming in the future, all the while attempting to stay on top of their taxes in a meaningful way.
They’ve planned for retirement, and if there is one thing you should be planning, it’s your future. Just how I have plans to build my career and start a family someday, they have plans to grow into retirement and find what makes them happy outside of their work selves. That’s the end goal, be happy and live life to its fullest. My parents are retiring soon, and it’s an experience I can’t wait to watch unfold.
If you have plans to retire soon, it never hurts to have a second (or third) pair of eyes take a look at your situation. Barber Financial Group offers a complimentary Retirement Plan Review, where an advisor will sit down with you and discuss and evaluate your retirement standing. If this sounds like something you would like to try, feel free to fill out the form below or give us a call at 913-393-1000.
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