Thursday, February 13, 2014

Semi-Retired





I went and talked to my boss about the possibility of retiring.  I gave him the whole song and dance about how grateful I was for this job and how much I’d learned and the wonderful people I  have met and the feeling of family I have here and how it was a difficult decision for me but then, you know, the cancer really began to laser focus my awareness of how I spend my time and that I think I would like to pursue other interests, but oh, I really love it here, and on and on and on.

He sat very patiently through it all and then said “you cannot retire.”

What?

He went on about how we have have a rash of retirements in the past year and that it would be hard to lose all my historical and institutional knowledge (I think he was saying that I’m the oldest person in the building)  and since I am a one person department, there is no one below me who can step up or even anyone who can be trained to do whatever the hell I do.  Yes, that’s what he said  “whatever the hell you do.”

But, I said, with all due respect, I cannot be expected to work here for forever.   I would stay and help train someone else, but I need a finish line.  

Then he asked if I would consider retiring and then coming back as a consultant.  

Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner!

Under this arrangement I will retire and then work part time.  Yes please!

I am now retiring at the end of February.  I will then begin to collect my very generous pension and then I can then set my own hours and work on an as needed basis for an hourly rate.

Everyone wins!  My employer will save a bucket load on my salary and no longer have to pay into my retirement fund.  My medical insurance is already covered for life.  Martha was concerned about reducing incomes before the girls are done with college but I will now be making MORE money than I do now.  And I can have the best of both worlds - a lot more time to do other things while still maintaining my social and professional ties at work.  Plus, I avoid having to go through that awkward retirement party thing.  (I know that last thing seems petty, but it was a huge concern for me)

The only negative is that under our state pension retirement rules, I can work for the government, but there is a cap on how much I can make and this cap is rather small.  So this will translate into me working an average of 12 hours a week.  Which sounded awesome at first, but then I began having night sweats about how I can possibly do everything at my job in 12 hours a week!!!  Of course, it is an average so that on light weeks I could work 4 hours and then when things are busy, I could work 40 hours.    Plus, I can work from home, and I am only a couple of blocks away should anything weird come up.  So I have a lot of flexibility.  Still, it does concern me.  I was the originator of this department and I take a lot of pride in it.  I really don’t want things slipping through the cracks.   And while I don’t mind occasionally working unpaid hours,  I don’t want it to become a habit.  So we’ll see.

To start the experiment, starting in March my hours will be Tuesday thru Thursday from 9 to 12.   
Nice, huh?  The rest of the time you will find me preparing my gardens, working on the honey-do list Martha is already starting for me,  and trying to figure what just what I want to be when I grow up.


Decision #3 resolved.  I do believe I am going to post about every decision bouncing around my mind.  As soon as I post it here, the universe shows me the answer.  Very cool.


16 comments:

  1. Oh, this is SO wonderful. I love hearing about people who are retiring since I know that as a 30 something who has never had a pension and never will, I will most likely never get to retire. I am SO happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Public service doesn't pay well but it does have some great benefits.

      Never retire??? That makes me shudder!

      Delete
  2. I am supposed to be feeling happy for you right? Then why am I only feeling envy?

    Seriously, congratulations. Couldn't happen to a nicer, more deserving person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. And your opportunity is just around the corner, yes?

      Delete
  3. I am so glad you are recovering from your surgery and that your semi-retirement worked out for you!
    So nice when a plan comes together!

    Good luck on the honey do list. Ours seems to be unending!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the list that never ends . . . : )

      Delete
  4. I hadn't heard the hours yet, Four day weekends will make for some sweet time in the mountains. Are you still going to do all the night meetings?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't figured out night meetings yet. Certainly I will cut back. But my general rule is that if they will feed me, I will meet.

      Delete
  5. Been there, done that: congratulations!

    A caveat: you cannot do your job with reduced hours. Be realistic about that. Perhaps your effort may be best training someone to begin to know what you know

    Another caveat: you may want chunks of time off. my JB is a consultant and we've finangled her time and income based on 42 weeks a year so she/we can gallivant

    Honestly, 12 hours a week sounds very lovely! Yay!

    Love
    kj

    ReplyDelete
  6. Perfect solution! That is absolutely wonderful news!

    I agree with you and kj that you can't do whatever the hell it is you do in 12 hours and you do NOT want to donate all of your time to the town. However, you will find the balance. I'm sure of that.

    And, wow! So soon! You basically have two weeks of full time before you are making this change! So very, very wonderful. I am so happy for you!

    xoxoxox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks e. I am very excited/scared about it myself. But if it doesn't work out I can always leave. I am very fortunate that it is really not a financial decision.

      Delete
  7. Congrats! It's nice to know your "historical and institutional knowledge" for whatever the hell you do is appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I obviously command a lot of respect : )

      Delete
  8. This was my vote! Yay! I do think it's a good idea ... the trick will be to make sure everyone understands that there HAS to be someone who is taking over the bulk of your job and that you have a serious cap that is immobile.

    Otherwise, I think it's good all around. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete