Passages of Retirement: Personal Histories of Struggle and Success

By Richard S. Prentis | Go to book overview

37
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Male, 69, married, 4 children

Education: high school graduate

Job Status: cabinet maker, 35 years with equipment manufacturer

Retirement Income: $35,000

Health: reported good

Retirement Category: early-voluntary, retired for 6 years

My father used to say to me, "When you go to work for somebody, you have to work for that person as if you owned the business yourself." This was my attitude about my work. Looking back, I felt I was successful. I found the work interesting because I was doing something different all the time; it wasn't a monotonous factory job.

In the beginning, when I first started, I got along with everyone with whom I worked. Later, when I was more or less in charge, I didn't get along as well because my ideas were different from the younger workers. I had a lot of pride in our work; others were not so particular.

When I was working, I was frightened to death at the thought of retirement. I was really afraid of what the future would hold since I had been an active person all my life. I wondered what I was going to do when I retired; it was a fear of the unknown.

The main thing I thought about was my financial position. I had always been taught that a certain amount had to be put away for the future, and we always managed to do this. I didn't give too much thought to what I

-169-

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