Tag Archives: retirement

Transitioning to Retirement

I haven’t done much on this blog lately. I’ve been busy writing. I have finally finished all the books I had started. Twelve novels is enough, I think, to determine whether I can get them commercially published.
I can’t. I’m an artist and a writer. I do my best work in a room on my own. I am awkward in any social situation and thus totally unsuccessful as a salesman. Unfortunately for those of us who love literature, we seem to live in a world where the most successful books are written by the best salesmen, and quality authors often cannot get published. This is even more so for self-publishers, but I have no choice. I have exhausted all other options, so I have to self-publish. That is my project for 2018.
Although I already have four books online it is unlikely that I will get the other eight up in one year. I am, after all, transitioning to retirement, and I have no wish to make a rod for my own back. I’m sixty years old now. I was always told that I could retire at sixty. Now I have to keep trying to find work until I’m sixty-seven, despite the fact that I’ve been no more successful at selling myself to employers than to publishers.
You might think that going from unemployed to retired would not require much of a transition. It might not, if I hadn’t been working all along. I have been working. I have written twelve novels and held regular exhibitions of my paintings. All with the intention that one day I could make a living out of it. And retirement should not imply total idleness either. Retirement should be an opportunity to do the things that you always wanted to, but couldn’t justify against the need to make money.
For me retirement will still involve writing. I have an idea for a family history. They are notoriously hard to sell, but that shouldn’t matter once I am retired. I will also continue to paint occasionally, but with less of an eye to what the public wants. Retirement will not involve deadlines or regular hours of work. I need some spare time to devote to gardening and to fishing and possibly to picnics. I can’t remember even half a dozen picnics in the past thirty years, and nothing that might be called a holiday. I think I am ready to retire. I feel that I have earned it.



Again, it has been a long time since I wrote anything in this blog. So what has been happening? My real job gave up on me. This was no surprise. The hours had been getting less and less for months until I couldn’t survive on what I was getting and had to go on the dole to make ends meet. It was almost a relief when it finally cut out completely.

So now I am on the dole fulltime. Fortunately, as an over-55, I don’t have to jump through as many hoops as the youngsters. I do have to volunteer twice a week though so I signed on with Conservation Volunteers Australia, (CVA). On Wednesdays I go with the creekwatch team to local waterways to test water quality and do fish and invertebrate surveys. I’ve always had a soft spot for aquatic life so I’m really enjoying that. Then on Fridays I work in the nursery growing native plants for revegetation projects. I feel that I’m doing something worthwhile and both days begin and end on the beach so that is a real bonus.

We have both had the flu too. Anyone who thinks the flu somehow results from cold weather will be disappointed to learn that our daytime temperatures are still 30degrees and over. Pretty impressive given that winter is due to start tomorrow and we’re still having summer conditions. I don’t know what’s happening to the climate but it can’t be good.

Once I manage to throw off the flu I should be able to settle into this new routine. I might even start writing regularly again. I need to finish the Ninox Saga. I am 20,000 words into book 5 of a 5 book series and I have stalled. I have never known writers block to last longer than a year. I will have to do something about it. It would be a terrible shame to lose that much work for the sake of a little bit more.



Thoughts on approaching sixty

It’s interesting the things I have been thinking about as I approach sixty. I always thought I would be able to retire at sixty. Now suddenly I have to work another seven years before I can get a pension. People are living longer, I’m told.

Sure, there are more older people now than when I was young, but there are fewer children and far fewer stay at home wives. I would be prepared to bet that there are more people in the workforce as a proportion to the total population than ever before. And this does not take into account the improvements in technology that we are constantly being told threaten to put us out of a job.

I could understand the need to work longer if we were even close to full employment. We’re not. Unemployment is high and youth unemployment is way too high.

How will it help the economy if I work an extra seven years and a young person never gets a job at all?