Passages of Retirement: Personal Histories of Struggle and Success

By Richard S. Prentis | Go to book overview

39
Advantages of Pre-Retirement Interests

Male, age 70, widower, three children

Education: college graduate

Job Status: product cost estimator, 46 years with former employer, an automobile manufacturer

Retirement Income: $25,000

Health: reported good

Retirement Category: early-voluntary, retired for 7 years

I had though about retiring at age 60. When my wife first became ill, we had talked about it. She contracted cancer, and I decided that it would be the worst thing in the world to retire at that time for her sake and mine. She had a five-year battle and I thought it would be better for both of us to have an interest rather than staring at four walls.

My feelings about my work had changed gradually in the three- to five-year period before I retired. I wasn't having fun anymore. I used to enjoy my job and the associations with the people, and I still enjoy seeing some of those same people. Industry was changing. I was having more and more problems selling my programs to management. I come from the old-fashioned school of management; you do a job, take it in, and sell it. The type of work that we were in started with our estimates on a specific body line after the stylists had worked up the job in the styling section with a rendition or proposal. As best we could, we would tell them price-wise whether it would fit in the program they wanted to sell. To most of us, that was an extreme challenge. It usually took a five-year

-177-

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