Passages of Retirement: Personal Histories of Struggle and Success

By Richard S. Prentis | Go to book overview

31
Widowhood and Retirement

Female, 78, widow, one son

Education: high school

Job Status: business owner

Retirement Income: $40,000

Health: reported good

Retirement Category: early-voluntary, retired for 17 years

My work was my main interest, but it was really my husband's business. When we got married he wanted me to stay at home, but I told him, "You can't keep me cooped up in a house." So, one day I said, "Honey, I've got something to tell you." He didn't bat an eye, but said, "You were out looking for a job today, weren't you?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Why work for a stranger, work for me." He said I should go back to school to brush up on bookkeeping and then we could work together. That's just what happened.

When the war broke out he decided I would run the business and he would get a job in a factory. We worked that way for four or five years.

We put his money in the business and we lived off mine. After the war my husband said to me, "Do you mind if we put a tool and die shop in the back of the building? I've got a few ideas I'd like to work on." I was agreeable since I had been running the business, and I thought this was a good way for each of us to keep out of each other's hair.

-145-

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