Retired, But Working Part-time by Choice


Sheridan was a second home to me, a comfortable, friendly place to work with interesting colleagues and fresh-faced, eager journalism students, who for the most part, wished to be there. Before teaching, I’d worked in Canadian book publishing for 12 years and after working full time for 37 years, I convinced myself, it was time to launch a new career as a novelist.

Everything I required to retire from my full time job was in place: the defined benefit pension I’d contributed to, coupled with CPP, would pay out 50 per cent of my teaching salary. On top of that, I would continue to teach on a part-time basis at the college. With that, I reasoned, my standard of living would not decrease substantially. I’d downsized to an affordable condo where I believed I could control costs more efficiently than in a larger home. I was mortgage free, with only a pesky car loan to annoy me.

In The Globe and Mail, Joyce Wayne has a column about leaving her full-time job after working for 37 years, and what retirement means to her: Being able to pursue a dream of writing books, while continuing to work part-time for additional income (so she can continue helping her daughter pay for her college education; her partner was also recently laid off). She says retirement has never meant ceasing to work.

I envision my version of retirement to be similar—being able to continue to write and work, but not having to rely on the money I earn in retirement to live (the money earned would be for vacations and trips to Mars, or whatever places we’re visiting 40 years from now—I’d also settle for Italy).

[Thanks to Anne for the link!]

Photo: Max Wolfe

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6 Comments / Post A Comment

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

I assume that my retirement will be spent in some sort of Matrix-y virtual reality cocoon where society warehouses the old and infirm while slowly siphoning their life force. Basically I imagine it to be a lot like my current job.

Leigh (#5,399)

@EvanDeSimone I want to upvote this. This website stunts my constitutional rights to give a thumbs up.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@Leigh It’s the thought that counts

Marissa (#467)

My mom is so excited to retire so she can work part-time in a winery tasting room, the Napa/Sonoma retiree gig of choice.

ThatJenn (#916)

@Marissa Yup. My mom is really excited to start dogsitting and being a part-time real estate agent (she got licensed last year), having just gone down to 3/4 time at her job of 25ish years as a software engineer. I suspect she’ll taper to 1/2 time at the regular job and then retire within the next 3 years. She’s 53, and I know she is really excited about having the freedom to combine a part-time income stream with her pretty good retirement benefits.

This is what I hope to do, too. Maybe not exactly, but I’d like to make it so that sometime in our 50s, my husband and I can both go down to working part time at something we enjoy. I think we could probably keep our income coming in for a longer time on a part-time basis and overall do better both health-wise and financially with that kind of plan. You know… if it’s feasible, anyway. Dude’s gotta get through school first, heh.

Derbel McDillet (#1,241)

This is my plan, too. My husband is about 10 years older, so the plan is for me to hopefully work part-time (but benefits-eligible, so 20 hours a week or more in my organization) when he retires. I actually enjoy working, despite not having an amazing, creative job.

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