Sunday, December 29, 2013

Retirement. Yikes!

Yes, next month I will be reaching a milestone.  Next month, I will be 65 years old.  For a lot of people, this is the time when they retire.  Will I be retiring?  The answer to that is yes, and no.

One thing that most people in this country do when they retire is apply for Social Security and Medicare benefits.  I have done both.  I received my Medicare card this past week, and my Medicare benefits will start on January 1, Wednesday.  I will start receiving my Social Security benefits sometime in February.  To my consternation, it is not clear exactly when I will be receiving these benefits, but it will be within the next two months.  My point is I will start receiving these retirement benefits this year.

Another thing that retired people do is not work.  However, being retired does not mean that you only sit on your recliner, eat bon-bons, and watch TV all day.  Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning.  If you don't have a reason to get up in the morning, you will not last long in retirement.  You will die, literally.  A lot of retired people have part time jobs to help pay their bills and/or to have a reason to get up in the morning.  I already have a part time job.  I actually have two part time jobs.  I teach GED classes at the Adult Detention Facility in Manassas, VA.  I also tutor high school and middle school students in math.

I will keep these part time jobs for two reasons.  I continue to need a reason to get up in the morning, and I believe I am making a difference in the lives of my students in my part time jobs.  When I retire fully by not doing these part time jobs, I will still be doing something, maybe volunteer work of some sort, that will give me a reason to get up in the morning and hopefully will enable me to make a difference.

Thus, this year I will be retiring in the sense that I will be receiving retirement benefits, but I will not be retiring from work.  When will I be fully retired?  I don't know when that will be.  I may stop working within 5 years.  I may not stop working until the day I die.  That is an open question, and in a sense, that is exciting.  I don't know what is going to happen, and that means my options remain open.  I may end up doing something I had no idea I would be doing.  That has certainly happened to me with my teaching career.  I never thought I would be a teacher, and now I am doing just that.  Who knows what will happen next.