Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Work as You Age

I found this post dealing with working past 'retirement age'. The blogger, The Science Goddess, extolls the value of continuing to work even past your 60's.

Now, she does point out that her work - writing - is not dependent on a strong back or young joints. As long as her mind holds out, she can continue her work.

But, physical stamina is not all that counts. Many jobs are emotionally stressful - stockbroker, call centers, and teaching, to just name a few that can reduce quality of life even in the time off the clock. To leave such a job, and switch to another, might be both life-lengthening, and conducive to improved mental health.

I retired from teaching at 66. I could probably have worked a few more years. I was making good money (yes, teachers at the BEGINNING of their career make lousy pay, but - with advanced degrees and years in the classroom, the pay is not bad). The kids I taught were some of the best of my career (little secret - Honors classes, particularly upperclassmen, are a breeze compared to middle school and 9th grade).

But the demands of the administration for endless meetings, 'training' on new initiatives, meaningless paperwork, and jump-through-the-hoops evaluations drained me, and eventually led me to put in for retirement.

I had good bosses, great colleagues, and supportive staff and parents. But, the lengthy, and almost completely unnecessary paperwork ground me down.

I planned to write. I am writing - less on the blog, and more on short stories, and books. I chose to pick up substitute teaching, as the schedule was flexible, it had little B$ paperwork attached, and the pay was fair for a day-to-day job. In addition, I'm increasing my Social Security years, which will pay off in higher benefits.

To be honest, it's probably easier to write with the structure of a part-time job. I am more focused, and less likely to blow off the day reading and goofing off.

I'd suggest that you read the retirement post. The comments, too.

What's your plan? Where do you see yourself fitting work into your senior years?

If you do decide to work beyond 60-something, be aware that finding employment may be the most difficult part of the process. Keep your professional networks up to date.

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