No Retirement Plans - Why Not?

Some People Want to Retire and Others Don’t

People who have no retirement plan are puzzling to me, and have been for a while.

As I prepared for an early semi-retirement, I wondered why some people around my age didn’t seem to be thinking about reducing their work schedule. They talked as if no end was in sight for them.

I'm amazed at those who have no plan for retiring in the works. My impression from some people I knew at work was that they will continue the same career model well into their 60’s.

I heard a comment from someone who had been out of work due to an injury.

What she said may explain a little about the difference between people like me who want to stop working and the people who plan to work until their mid 60’s or later.

She said she was really glad to be back at work and busy again.

This was interesting to me because it implies that she was bored without her job.

I have never ever been bored with time off from work, even though I enjoy my work!

Perhaps she has no hobbies or interests outside of work.

My guess is that she is someone who has no retirement plans.

Does this sound like anyone you know? I would really like to hear stories from people who don't dream about retirement. If you could share a story, you can do it on Facebook, or on this page. Thanks!

Some People Have Many Retirement Plans and Can't Wait to Retire

That has never been a problem for me! I have so many interests and pursuits in my spare time that I can hardly fit in time for my job.

I love to read and would love to have time to read classic works that I haven’t read yet. It is unbelievable to me that others my age have no retirement plan.

Currently I am filling my spare time with writing for fun, and for the challenge of developing a passive income to replace my job. This is very much like working, and I feel driven to do it as I was driven in my career.

It is fun to analyze the traffic numbers and other aspects of working on the web. The biggest difference is that I am in control of my schedule. The downside is that there is no income to speak of, yet.

Fun Hobbies and Developing New Skills

I also enjoy making pottery in my home studio. It is a treat to spend more than a couple of hours at a time developing and improving my throwing skills and there never seems to be enough time for it. I enjoy taking “dirt” from the earth and transforming it into a functional piece of pottery.

This too is a lot of work, but more physically demanding. In preparing the clay, there is the wedging process. In throwing and centering the clay (placing it on the wheel and shaping it into a form) there is a lot of focus, physical control, and concentration.

Once centered, more concentration is needed and it becomes more like a state of meditation for me. If you can’t get in sync with the spinning clay and keep a gentle guiding touch, you will lose the piece.

What keeps you centered?

Few Interests versus Many Interests

Pottery urn on wheel

Do other people have fewer interests in things outside of work? It seems to be the case from what I’ve observed so far.

I have a good friend of many years who is not ready to stop working because she can’t find a hobby she has passion for.

Another friend is worried that she and her husband won’t get along if they are both at home at the same time. She also doesn’t have hobbies she loves.

Is this a personality difference? A work ethic difference?

During my 20+ year career in IT, my work ethic has been as strong or stronger than that of my peers. I’ve been a natural leader for my peers in every job I’ve had, so I don’t think it’s a lack of work ethic in my case.

Maybe an urge to create (write, make pottery, paint, etc) competes with the need to work for a living. Perhaps that's the difference.

What do you think about this question?

Do you have trouble finding time for your job, too?

Are you one of those people who has no retirement plan and no desire for one? Please tell your story!

(Update: I took early retirement in December 2011 and am thrilled to have my freedom to enjoy family, write, read, and make pottery!)

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