Starting Over Sucks
What do you do when you reach the point at your life when you should be getting ready to retire to a life of leisure and you find that you’re probably not going to be able to? What if you’ve got every penny of your life’s savings in a small business that probably isn’t going to survive the next couple of months? Or maybe you invested your entire savings in some sort of Real Estate partnership that went “underwater” when the Economy tanked? What the hell are you supposed to do now?
Yeah, I know it sucks. Big time. Read my post titled “But What Are You Gonna Do?” and then ask yourself, “What am I gonna do?” There’s only one answer: you pick up the pieces and start over.
Still, it’s really tough for me not to be resentful when I see people my age taking early retirement. Many of these are people that have worked 30 years or more for the same company and are probably some of the last to be getting a full company-paid pension PLUS their 401K PLUS Social Security. One guy I know retired from a major chemical company in addition to having been in the Army Reserve for 20 years. Combined, he’ll retire with a 6-figure income. He’ll be making more money in retirement than some people make at the height of their working careers! Just doesn’t seem fair.
But “fair” has nothing to do with it. Although it’s hard for me not to be a little bit jealous, these people did something I could never do – they spent 20+ years working for the same company, some even doing the same job. They worked hard for their retirement and I can’t deny that they’ve earned it.
But I never could do that. For me, I had to have a job that kept me interested. I had to have a job where I felt that I was learning, improving, contributing. If I didn’t, I usually quit and went off looking for one that did. The end result is that I never stayed at any one company long enough to qualify for anything other than my own 401K – and we all know what the Economy has done to everyone’s 401K. And now that I’ve turned 60, time’s getting short.
But what the heck. You give life your best shot and if that’s not good enough, you go back to the starting line and start over. Simple as that. Some people can hit it into the bleachers the first time at bat and some just strike out. I guess you can count me in the second group.
Does that mean you quit swinging? Heck no. I’ve never been the type to roll over and stop trying.
One of my favorite motivational speakers, Jim Rohn, once said that it’s not what you do that’s important. It’s what you become that’s important.
I like that. So while other people my age spend their day watching Oprah or driving their Land Yachts on I-10 towards Phoenix, I’ll be starting over.
Who knows – maybe this round at bat will be “my time” to hit it out of the park. Whether it is or not, I’m calling my shot and pointing to the bleachers.
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