Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why Retire? Or Why Not?

I was thinking about retirement today for two reasons:

1 - Grace Coddington has decided at age 74 that she doesn't want to be tied solely to Vogue anymore, but wishes to do other, varied, things;


2) Stan Lee. I was thinking of 90 year old Stan because he is still SO active in the Marvel Universe of comics, movies, TV shows and products.

In so many traditional occupations, there is an expectation that an individual "retires" from their work around age 60 or 65.

This is not necessarily the case in the entertainment business, where in-demand talent can work on for decades past their peers in more traditional work places - think Betty White, George Burns, and so on.

Lots of people are thrilled to retire. Now is the time for them to pursue long-buried hobbies (that can now potentially turn into careers), travel, spend more time with their families.

And yet I am intrigued by those who work until the day they die. My great-grandfather worked at his boot factory well into his eighties. Granted, those were the days before pensions, but still, from what I have been told, he loved what he did and going to work made him feel valued and valuable.

I once read a study that said the earlier you retire the longer you live. that no longer seems to be borne out by the facts.

There is research  now that indicates people who love what they do may in fact live longer.

The best decision I ever made was to leave my job. Personally, I was so young I do not consider it a retirement but a career transition.

My new job, writing between 30 and 40 hours a week, thrills me.  The worst days writing are better than my best days working at my old job (even though I sometimes loved that job very much!)

I guess the key to all things in life is to find something you love and DO IT. Do it hard and with purpose and embrace it.

I hope to live to be a very old lady and I hope to be working the whole way there.  Perhaps it won't be 30 or 40 hours a week, but it will be something, and it will make me happy.

Something to think about!

And for those of you on the east coast - hope you are all dug out! 

xoxo wendy



  1. We, my husband and I, took early retirement because we could. We both had enjoyed our jobs, teachers and before that my husband was in the Army 20 years, but decided the best gift we could give ourselves was the gift of time, so we retired. That was almost 13 years ago for me and 14 for him. They have been among the happiest years of our lives.

  2. We shall probably work as long as we can...will keep us sane. Of course, we have a much more flexible schedule than others so I do not see this as hard labor. My sis retired in September to help care for her ailing husband who had been sick for the past year. She was able to enjoy it for roughly one month before he ended up in the or death. He passed shortly after Christmas. Not to burden you with our issues, but I do believe she "knew" it was time and I am so glad she listened to her heart and was able to be fully present for him during those last few months.

    1. Oh my - so sorry for her and your loss! I am so glad she did that and I do think people know! I agree with you - now that Barry and I are self-employed, our time s much more flexible and 9 to 5 doesn't really exist here per se. I think when you have to go somewhere at the exact same time every day, over time it may get to feel like a straight jacket.

  3. Wendy, you're an inspiration and I think you share more than just your red hair with Grace Coddington! I'm still working on that work/life balance, trying to look for creativity and satisfaction in the little moments. Thanks for these thoughts!

    1. Thanks! Boy it is hard to find the balance and I really sucked at it! Now I'm trying to be more balanced - have even taken up knitting again to do things with my hands!

    2. My comment disappeared!

      I loved my career, but I was happy to have a transition, too. I have to pinch myself how wonderful it is to have Time; I appreciate every bit of it, as I know you do.

      Knitting-- I need to finish that sweater in the basket in the library. Buttonholes are my nemesis. DO you get the emails from Purl Soho? Sign up and you get some groovy free patterns; the best yarn, too. Although I try to knit "local".

  4. HI Wendy- So glad you are back to knitting! If you make it back to NY, I would love to see pictures!

    Lane- Leave a comment on my blog, and I will e-mail about those "pesky" buttonholes!

  5. Get her with simple tips like teasing,staring,and


Kindness is a virtue...