Monday, March 19, 2018

What if....Unexpected Retirement?

My friend and fellow blogger Reverend Paul over at Way Up North mentioned, almost in passing in a post, that he had suddenly retired - not something he had planned for, but something that had just happened.  Which got me to thinking, of course (lots of things get me to thinking) about retirements that you do not plan to happen so early but happen any (as with my pal GPS at Act 2 Ministries, who is having to retire due to health reasons - and he is a mere 3 years older than I).

Oh, we are planning for retirement in all of the usual ways.  But those ways are all based on the concept that I probable have a minimum of 10 more years of work or so (the minimum I would need to reach the lowest rung of Social Security).  So what if retirement comes in unexpected and early?

Let us have a moment of honest clarity, shall we?  In a lot of ways I am precisely the sort of person that at some point, it makes sense to move on down the road:  I am older, I am a higher end salary earner (due to 20+ years of industry experience), and at some point my job can be done by people for less money (less experience of course, but that is always not a consideration).    The best case scenario is, of course I would be able to find a job - maybe not at my level and not where I want to be, but a job.

But I am a realist as well.  And I know (at this point in my career, all too well) what people tend to think looking at a long timer for a position: Why were they fired?  How long are they really going to stay?  Can we afford them?

And so, as an afterthought, the resumes go unanswered and the call stop coming.

I could find something in that case, I am sure of it.  But will I be in a place that I want to?  Re-entering on the ground floor of anywhere at my age is hardly the sort of thing that makes one jump for joy or get excited.

To be clear, I am not (so far as I am aware) in danger of being let go or suddenly retiring by force.   But I am also at a point where if I do not consider this an option and act accordingly, I am ignoring at least one possible outcome.


  1. I think about this "what if?" almost daily. If I lose my job, there's NO WAY I'd find another position that pays what I'm making now. A this point, I'd be doing a dead-stick landing into my retirement years. My uncle was medically retired due to something as simple as slipping on an ice-covered parking lot and damaging a nerve in his arm, to the point of disability. My mom was medically retired after a car accident destroyed one of her knees. They had one thing in common; they were "close." Both were able to ride out the times between when they got hurt, and when they could draw on their pensions. The way I see it, every day I come to work, I'm one day closer to when I would normally retire, and that's one day less to worry about getting through. What else can we do, except trust in God, and steward our finances with the possibility of an unplanned unemployment accounted for?...

  2. Nothing wrong with thinking, TB.
    All interesting. Age is one of the reverse discrimination things, amongst others, I think.

    Hope you all have a blessed week, TB!

  3. It is funny you bring up the health issues Pete, because that is a whole area I had not really delved into - but yes, something as simple as a slip can cost you your career.

    I had not thought about approaching it as a countdown. You are aright - one day over is one day closer (hopefully, if I plan right, which is another good point).

  4. We had age related discrimination mentioned in our recent general discrimination training - but yes, I think that would be especially hard to prove.

  5. It happened to me. We are in an oil bust up here in Alberta. Out socialist gubbimint is starving for funds and has settled on carbon taxes as a way to recover cash from our failed oil industry. Yes, seriously.

    We lasted longer than most; but eventually we had to face realities too. The management started treating the employees like dirt trying to get them to quit. A year ago half our front end people walked out. And - half of them started a company to compete directly against us.

    A year later my national sales manager was furious. I saw him every couple of weeks and we had shouting matches. He accused me of incompetence, malfeasance and misconduct. I told him to grab some balls and fire me and we'd let the lawyers settle it. Eventually I quit because I saw the writing on the wall and called the lawyers with what I had. We'll see how that shakes out. The guy that I had trained and was supposed to replace me - he quit a week after I did. A month later, the branch manager I had tried to train for the last two years got his pink slip. We're all 50 somethings.

    I have no debts, I have savings, but I can't retire. I will get what I can and do the best I can - the rest is up to God. In fact, after I finish this I am going into an interview.

    Wish me luck! :)

  6. Good luck, Glen!

  7. Good luck Glen!

    Yes, that is my fear as well. My industry in this part of the country is small and there are simply not a lot of jobs around here - but, I suspect the longer I am here, neither will there be one's elsewhere. And, of course, the higher you go up the less there is to go around.

    We are still trying to make progress in the "Debt-Be-Gone" and Savings department. And I surely do not think I am in a position to retire anytime soon as well - but honestly, I am at the point that if I had no debt, a simple job with minimal decision making and responsibility would not be an unwelcome thing.


Comments are welcome (and necessary, for good conversation). If you could take the time to be kind and not practice profanity, it would be appreciated. Thanks for posting!