I Hereby Rescind My Retirement Decision
I tried, I genuinely tried to retire but I’m gonna go ahead and count this as one of my not-so-successful attempts. For the record, because I now realize this is a huge deal, I am not retired. This word evokes some goddamn sentiment, let me tell you.
Don’t go telling nobody you’re retired unless you plan to never work again, generate no income and for sure cut all ties from your work. And apparently you need a retirement party – if you didn’t have one thrown for you then you’re not retired.
I realize that it’s a sign of weak character to change your ways because of peer pressure, after all, if you want to retire and call yourself retired then fuck it, do it and don’t care what others think. Unfortunately I don’t have that kind of internal fortitude – thought I did but I was wrong.
The reason I wrote this post is because I have a few people reading this now who are in similar-ish situations, deciding when to retire and how to structure their own financial independence. It wouldn’t be right if I wasn’t accurate with my posts.
What actually transpired
My initial plan was to just pick up shifts whenever I felt like it which probably was gonna be every few weeks/months. Then I thought no way, I wasn’t gonna pick up any at all, I enjoyed the free time too much. But after my 90 day notice (which would have been around 10/2016) I wouldn’t get any income, no benefits, nothing. No problem, I had plenty of savings and my girl was gonna sign me up under her business’ health insurance policy.
Then it hit me that I’m about to move away from Portland, move in with my girl, be partially dependent on her, lose my Portland friends and no longer interact with my colleagues. I would not longer climb at the same gym, not walk the same streets during my evening strolls and I wouldn’t be sipping wine by my studio windows at night watching the crazies drunk their way from bar to bar.
Another mistake I made is that I didn’t stand my ground with my boss. I went to him and told him that I wanted to quit on the spot and resign completely. Instead he wanted me to stay on for the next few months, perhaps because he thought I would change my mind and definitely because he wanted me to at least get paid while I was in this 90-day window. Though he was kind enough to take me off all my shifts he asked that I at least help out with some virtual visits while waiting for these 3 months to go by. But all of sudden I got pulled back into doing a little bit of admin work (even though I resigned from it), helping with some restructuring, answering some work emails etc.
Just yesterday I had 1 more shift left that I simply couldn’t get out of. I got my mental shit together and braved it, actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I posted before how working in the urgent care was giving me mad anxiety, which set this whole early retirement thing in motion.
So I got some heat from friends because if I’m retired I shouldn’t be working. I shouldn’t be making money neither. And if I was then why use the word retirement?
I’m still gonna ‘stop working‘ but gonna approach it differently and use different terminology until I can build up a little more courage and not be so sensitive to external sentiments.
Retirement 2.0 will happen without anyone knowing (except you guys). I’ll simply drop down to per diem, then work less and less. Then I’ll start doing something else on the side and get to a point of barely working in the urgent care. By then I’ll have some volunteer gig that’s “taking up so much of my time that I barely have time to do any income-generating shifts”.
I don’t care how confident you are about your retirement at age 38, once you got through with it, especially if you announce it, there are gonna be some who will question you while you’re in the midst of questioning yourself. You’re gonna crave a clean break while some are questioning your commitment to your job and others your commitment to your decision to retire. It’s easy to get overwhelmed doing something that’s so outside of the norm.
For now I’m going to do some phone shifts but stay out of the urgent care in person, I need the break. I don’t even know how many of these phone shifts I’ll do, maybe a few, maybe a lot. But I’m gonna keep my position in my urgent care here in Portland and see how I will feel after a 3 month break from it.
In the meantime I am going to put in an application for a medical group near me in NorCal. A while back I spoke to the chief of their urgent care and he said I could get a per diem gig with them easily. I’ll be back among the employed… the universe will be at peace again.