My father was 59 years old when he was given the “Golden Handshake” from his executive position as a General Manager of a drug wholesale company. He was an accountant by trade and worked very hard climbing the corporate ladder. He was well liked but became “old school” when computers were introduced and he was still doing calculations by hand on a huge paper spreadsheet. He was shocked and totally unprepared to retire. He thought he had several more years until aged 65 to continue working. I honestly don’t think he gave much thought to retirement.
I am 59 now. I vowed that what happened to my father would not happen to me. I’ve stayed current in technology and kept up with training and workshops. I’ve also developed many hobbies. I don’t like the thought of retiring and having nothing to keep me occupied and engaged. I’m looking forward to retirement. In fact, I can hardly wait until October 31, 2017 when I will officially retire after 30 years with the Durham Catholic District School Board.
I do understand becoming redundant however. I’m at the very top of the seniority list with my school board, ahead of hundreds below me. Am I treated as a professional? Do my colleagues respect the forty three years experience I have? Does anyone appreciate or respect what I do? I sadly have to answer “no” to all those questions.
Fortunately, I have many hobbies and outside interests. I write, I paint, I belong to clubs, I garden and have a grandson who brings great joy to my life. I have a wonderful family and many friends. I’ve always loved my work but I’m ready for my “Golden Handshake”.