Member Since March 2016
As a 71 year old widow, I have not been able to fully retire. Throughout my life, I have baby-sat, bagged groceries, taught school, taught workshops in art and music, sold earrings, and had private piano students for the past 53 years. With a Master's Degree in Education, plus 80+ hours of credit in art, I have worked part time, full time, and all the time to stay financially afloat while going through college, raising two children, being care giver to a husband with leukemia, then widowed at 52. Believe me, it is extremely difficult to get back into a full-time position with education, experience, and gray hair! During my late husband's illness he attempted to train me in business procedures which would enable me to be self-supporting while doing things I enjoyed. It was round the clock work but what he taught me saw me through until Medicare and a small retirement income kicked in.
Because fixed income does not consider inflation realistically, I am continuing to teach students in my tiny cottage and peddle some of my creations. There are still unexpected expenses, along with car maintenance, health and other insurances, eye care, dental care and increasing food costs to deal with in addition to housing. These costs all seem to grow as one ages. I have lost my dog, but cannot add that expense back into my budget.
I live a happy, simple but fulfilling, busy life but have to cut corners in many ways as I piece together my income to live these golden years some folks call "retirement". Ushering at Court Square Theater enables me to see top notch movies and shows free. Playing dinner music occasionally provides a free meal as payment. I do a variety of Volunteer Services with the Arts Council, Sunnyside Retirement Community (where my mother is in Health Care), and my church. This provides cheap entertainment, mental stimulation, interaction with varied age groups, and the feeling that I am helping in the community.
This story is not unique. Many others don't have the skills or health to pursue part time work. I don't know how they maintain mental health or a fulfilling life style. As long as my health holds, my car keeps going, and it is safe for me to drive, I plan to continue being an active participant in my church and community.