The Gift of Unretirement

What if I had retired, secure, and prosperous?

The bell tolls for many.
The bell tolls for many. | Source

I am thankful for my blessings, and this is one of them.


Had I stuck to my original career path, I could have retired secure and, in a measure, prosperous at age 50.

In all likelihood, however, I must admit that I probably would not have chosen to retire then, even if I had kept that career on track. I would have risked being "a one string guitar."

Now, those 27 years later, I have chosen to look back with what I hope will be the 20/20 hindsight that many before me have been given, in order to seek to understand why I did not continue on that original path, while weighing the benefits of what I did choose to do.

At the time I veered off that path I was content to start a new career, even though advancement seemed assured had I stayed.

I started two newspapers as owner/editor. Good experience for a writing/editing career as a freelancer.

I headed a syndicate for freelance writers, photographers, cartoonists. Good contacts with a wide variety of folks in those professions.

I wrote a book that two authors stole and found out that a friend who owned a large law firm didn't see his promise through to conclusion.

I learned about life insurance and financial planning, co-owned a restaurant with my wife where we taught our children to choose between hard work under someone else, or learning to do something they were interested in well enough to be their own bosses.

I learned the joys of gardening and planting fruit and nut trees for future harvests, and turned to writing elsewhere and here on HubPages.

Would I have made more money, found more security, and still have enjoyed what I once enjoyed? Yes.

Would I have missed out on all the rest? Yes.

Did I make the right decision then, and others thereafter? One day I will ask my Heavenly Father whether or not He thinks the answer to that question has any eternal significance.

For now I am where I am, doing what I am doing....until something else excites my interest, or circumstances force me to go in a particular direction leading elsewhere.

One thing I have noticed concerning writing about what interests me: I can choose any topic, of any length, write at any hour, stop when I want, resume when I please, speak to and exchange texts with other kindred spirits, receive comments on my work, and please a few other people, all while being productive enough to fend off charges of being "lazy"....although "indolent," its sister word, would surely apply at times, except for covering that accusation by maintaining that "I am thinking about what to write next.")

Will I ever find the same security and potential prosperity I abandoned for all this? Only time will tell, but aren't there more important things in life?

_______

Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


Once upon a time there were other choices, and now there still are.
Once upon a time there were other choices, and now there still are. | Source

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Comments 22 comments

TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

Agreed, agreed and...oh y es...agreed! I, too, followed a life path that led me to adventure and variation and I have never regretted it! If you don't really live your life, what good is it? Money is nice, but it does not buy happiness or stress free living. I applaud you, sir...keep up the good work!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

I could not agree more. I was offered and accepted a early retirement package from my corporate job at the age of 52. I gladly accepted this offer and went on to start my own business. After a couple years of self employment, I sometimes wished I had not wasted all those years in the corporate environment. I ran this business until physical limitations forced me to sell at the age of 74.

Not everyone is suited for self employment. Many view working for someone else as a form of security. They don't understand the risks and rewards that come with being your own boss.

This was a great hub by the way.


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 3 years ago from usa

You had some interesting careers and you really look young for your age. I will be waiting to see what you will write next.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

flashmakeit: I think I will measure my age by being the son of a mother who is alive and well at 104. My next Hub is already posted. Thanks for your close friendship.


jaydene profile image

jaydene 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Hi, this is a great hub. Thank you for sharing your journey. at this time

I am in a most confusing time in life, am 52 with no corporate payouts. have taken time out in the work life, after being self employed for 15 years. Now I am lost as to what to do. what a scary time it is. I have to recreate a source of income. It's encouraging what others have done , I am finding it mentally exhausting to come up with a l5 year plan of what to do. I know my life is dependent on these . thanks for this hub. :)


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

A really interesting and encouraging hub. Thank you.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I think that you did the right thing. Do you harbor doubts at this juncture?


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

jaydene: Take a class, meet some like-minded people, and pray a lot. It can be a scary time, but God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but one of love and of a sound mind. You are in your second prime. Be proud of your 15 years as your own boss. Consult, even if you do it for free. It fills in your employment status, and meanwhile you can be helping others.

It will work out. You and I know it will.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

aviannovice : Any time spent questioning past decisions is time lost from making good future ones. There have been times, but I try to keep that expenditure to the bare minimum.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

BlossomSB : Obama's theme was "Forward" and there is nothing bad about good forward thinking. We cannot make the path ahead, but we can choose which one we take.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Very interesting, I agree with you, it is better doing what one loves.


jaydene profile image

jaydene 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank for the encouragement, I have worked very hard this year trying to get going again, with two false starts, I am tempted to get a business going , fear is of loosing the finances i have. a common fear no doubt.

going solo, is scary so i'm keeping ears out for a like minded business partner. I know it's my last 'prime' shot' at it. I have prayed long and hard. and now i am seeking like minded women, to get a group going or something to help.. onwards no matter what the price, is all we can do .


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

jaydene: What type of business? Good location? Low start up costs? Good interest rates now. Failure rates for that kind of business? Why limit to a female partner? Venture capital interest? Lots of questions aren't there.! Business plan ready? Prior experience for the same sort of business?


jaydene profile image

jaydene 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Hi, well doesn't have to be a female partner, just someone who wants to work to invest with business experience. Maybe a Tim hortons kiosk, or thrift store. I'm just writing down all i can think of. won't leap for a while. I have lots of due diligence to do before it falls into place. :)


Janhorner 3 years ago

Loved your hub, entertaining and interesting. I now realize (at 61) I should have been a reporter! Too late so I write on hubpages! Voted up,

Jan


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Great hub and quite inspirational. I too often wonderful if I would be happier any other way but then I know that I couldn't live without writing. So there you have it not too rich but incredibly happy. Now if only Santa could get me an ideal freelance job with steady pay.


mizjo profile image

mizjo 3 years ago from New York City, NY

I retired two years ago and tried for a year to get an internet affiliate-marketing business going. Lots of roadblocks along the way, especially the way the website kept breaking down and not getting any help from the hosting company. Didn't help that I have no knowledge of html and all the other languages you need. So I scrapped that site and decided to concentrate on HP for the foreseeable future. I will probably start up again within a year. In the meantime I shall have to study computer language.

As for the question of whether I am happier now than when I was working? Definitely. I sleep and wake when I want to. I write for HP. I have lots of time for family and friends. All with a lot less money than I was used to, but, as you all know, it isn't everything.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Shyron E Shenko: How much better off are the young adults who can start off doing what they love, and then make a whole career of it!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Janhorner: Unless you are "at death's door" I don't really think age 61 means it's too late to be a reporter. Take a correspondence journalism course and see how it feels, in the process you will write some "reporter stuff" and take it to an editor and tell them of your interest in looking for a mentor. See what happens!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Gypsy Rose Lee: Most freelance jobs don't have steady pay, but a hustling freelancer can still make good money. Hustling just makes it more exciting!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

mizjo: It sure sounds as if you got poor service from the hosting company. There is ample good advice here on HP about what you were in and may return to. So, I know you will be "once burned, twice cautious" and successful the next go around. Dig deep in the HP trove of computer knowledge. It's here for the searching, and you can always ask questions for answers from the experts who just dabble here. (Anyone with deep computer expertise is affluent enough without doing more than republishing here.) Thanks for your two recent views.


mizjo profile image

mizjo 3 years ago from New York City, NY

Thanks for the advice, Perspycacious. I'll look into it.

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