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.