We read a lot about downsizing these days as Baby Boomers are actively pursuing new ways of life as they consider retirement. “Rightsizing” is a process that implies a less than a cutthroat approach to restructuring than downsizing.
I have been following Kathy’s blog SMARTLiving365.comand recently had the opportunity to write this guest post while she was enjoying some travel. Kathy and I met in person at the BAM 2016 conference in Las Vegas. We found each other to be kindred spirits as well as neighbors living in California!
After reading Kathy’s book Rightsizing: A SMART Living 365 Guide To Reinventing Retirement, I also identified the ways I have rightsized my life. A big key for my semi-retirement was being able to retire from my day job of 32 years at the relatively young age of 55. After paying into the CalPERS (public employees retirement system) for years, I now receive 65% of my income as a pension.
Three other reasons factored into my semi-retirement decision:
1. Dissatisfaction at work. The economic downturn of 2008-2012, which acutely affected California, caused many folks to retire “early” (read: younger than if they had waited until the traditional retirement age of 62-65) from the public parks and recreation organization for which I worked. As a result, too many new people started making swift (and poor) decisions that affected best practices which became too much to bear. When I was passed over for promotion for the third time over a 10-year period, I knew it was time to go.
2. Being able to teach part-time. The ability to retire hinged upon the continuation of my teaching job at a university, where I am a part-time lecturer enjoying sharing my 35+ years of experience in the field with parks and rec majors. As a lecturer (and now “Retired Annuitant” I am able to teach 15 units per year). The money is GOOD and nicely supplements my pension.
3. My husband got hired with my former organization in facility maintenance. He now carries the health benefits, and he has the potential for moving up in the organization while still experiencing job satisfaction.
All those added up to my semi-retirement.
Best. Decision. Ever
These are the three areas where I rightsized my life: Read the original post to find out what they are.
Don’t you hate it when your mate comes home from a hard day at work, or your boss comes up to you and says those words? Moms do this to their kids all the time.
When it happens to me, my mind immediately goes blank. I am programmed to answer something, so I do a quick mental scan. I made the bed, I think. Maybe my husband did it while I was typing on the computer. I posted two articles, one for Manny and one for me. That’s fun stuff, so it doesn’t count. I shouldn’t even mention it.
Kalev and I walked two miles. That’s impressive. I made lunch. It was good, but hardly noteworthy when expounding on what I “did.” Here’s the most time-consuming, “I answered emails.” Again that activity falls into the ho-hum category. Let’s see, I edited an article or two for “What’s Happening in the Foothills.” That might be impressive if it hadn’t taken me two hours to tweeze out 75 words with the help of a Style Writing program that keeps shutting down. I posted the assignment for my writing class online. My last assignment didn’t get award-winning stars and A+ remarks from the teacher, so that took a while, too.
So when my husband came home and asked me that intimidating question, I knew he would not be overly impressed with my morning’s work. But now you know, I worked really hard yesterday morning, and accomplished quite a bit. It just didn’t look impressive.
Over 20 years ago I wrote these two poems which I think actually were published at the time.
Vacation Cleaning Schedule
I want a show case home, small, but neat as a pin. I wipe the kitchen counter, and notice messy drawers within.
So I clean a drawer or two, put things in proper places. Gosh – something from the garage – I walk a few more paces.
Hmmm. Guinea pig saw dust bag, I really should clean their cages right now before I forget. I was right. It’s been ages.
It’s my garden’s fertilizer, but look at the weeds out here! I’ll stop right now and pull them up, or they’ll take over, I fear.
Weeds remind me of my yard. It really does need trimming. I’ll get the weed eater started at least get the front before swimming.
The spa needs chlorinating. It’s been three days at least. I’ll just turn it on and come back. Whew – I’d better first take my yeast.
Let’s see, what was I doing? Getting yeast and vitamin B in the cabinet next to the sink. Toast crumbs and dishes I see.
I want a show case home. I know just what to do. I’ll make a list and check things off until it’s cleaned all through.
Now where is my paper? Back towards the office again, my showcase home is just in sight, it just looks a bit lived in.
The other poem was an experiment in simple rhyming verse. I tried all kinds of styles of poetry mostly haiku, pantoums, rondels, and limericks. I’m going to type the verses here all together like I did the top poem because I don’t like the way they are spaced otherwise.
When I have too many things to do, I only want to read. And when I have a deadline, too, even chores will supersede.
My list will say grade math, and do my lesson plans, but doesn’t doggie need a bath, and my trash put into cans?
My cupboards will be spotless. My computer will be bare. The dust that causes such a mess floats once more in the air.
But will my math be graded? Term papers done on time? Or will my flowers be shaded by that just-planted spindly vine?
What I really mean by that is that Manny is in Spain, and is so busy, I haven’t heard a peep out of him since the explosion between Ralph’s legs. (His computer erupted along with many other electronic devices when the town carpenter drilled through the town’s electrical connections.) oops.
Manny is quiet there, and therefore I’ve been getting a lot of work done here in California. Now isn’t that interesting? You will be happy to know that our CCSS website has some new pictures complete with Photoshopped labels. I have sent 247 emails to teachers requesting their help viewing a history video, and have answered each person who has responded with an individual email or two. I’ve gone on LinkedIn and Facebook and told the faithful followers of California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) everything I know and then some, mostly about our new Social Studies Review, the CCSS journal that just hit the streets running. This morning I met for about an hour with my Kiwanis friends and we divided up the businesses in the area to call about advertising in our upcoming Kiwanis magazine. And the new CCSS Executive Secretary is coming for 3 hour working lunch meeting in 45 minutes.
I’m heating up Vince’s authentic Italian sauce with meatballs, hot, spicy sausage links, and pork, cooking some pasta, and whipping up a carrot salad, using garden-fresh carrots, and not so fresh boxed raisins. Finally I made a caprese salad with 2 varieties of home-grown tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and a balsamic dressing. A slice of olive bread completes the luncheon.
So as you can see, I can get quite a bit of work done with Manny gone. Vince, is out winning a poker tournament to practice for winning the big $250,000 tournament he’s entered in on Sunday. If he wins – Let the Adventures Begin! 🙂 If not, I’ll keep working because, being boring me, I love to work! 🙂 What’s up with that?
What adventures are you having today?
Would you like Vince’s special sauce recipe? It’s yummy! His dad taught us. 🙂
Today is cleaning day. Working together makes the job so much easier. I don’t want to throw away his trash. to him it’s not trash. He would love to throw mine away – to me it’s not trash. So it sits. And more piles in. I moved my office home a year ago. The books went in the office along with the new furniture. The old office furniture and whatever else we didn’t want out in the public eye went in the weight room – now junk room. Today we found the perfect solution. Move most of it to the garage. I wonder how long it will be there? The house looks better, though! 🙂 Better yet, no fights over throwing out Great-grandpa’s best fingernail clipper that he gave me to remember him. (Seriously, I have Grandpa’s pocket knife still.) What kind of junk lurks in your junk spaces?