Passages of Retirement: Personal Histories of Struggle and Success

By Richard S. Prentis | Go to book overview

23
Spousal Relationships

Male, 68, married, two children Education: college graduate Job Status: dry cleaning business, for 30 years Retirement Income: $60,000 Health: reported good Retirement Category: early-voluntary, retired for six years

Our work was our main interest because we had to work at it full time to make a living. Up until the last five years it was a big struggle, but we worked hard and our business was successful.

We had never given much thought to retirement. We thought at around 65 we would probably retire, but we had never given it any serious consideration. I didn't worry about it.

My health was a concern. I had known for about 12 years before I retired that I would have to have heart surgery to replace a valve. I knew if something went wrong we'd be in serious trouble. But the years passed and it was close to the age of retirement when I went into the hospital.

Our social activities were limited because of our work; our energy had to be devoted to the business whether we liked it or not. We had a nice group of friends and usually went out on Saturday night. I ran the business for the first 10 years or so. We had two children and my wife was confined at home with them and caring for her mother who lived with us. Once the kids were in high school we worked together full time.

-103-

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