Work No More, or What Next?
by Doyle Ranstrom on Jul 18, 2023
Like many in my age range, I have been working for a lot of years. I define work as getting paid for it, though sometimes not much. Also like many, I had lots of different jobs over the years.
Following are some of the most memorable.
- The the summer before senior year in HS, I got my first white collar job working at one of our small-town clothing stores. He told I would get paid an amount twice a month and what my hours would be. Once I started, he doubled my hours and since I was being a paid a flat rate, essentially my hourly rate was halved. And that’s when I first learned some employers take care of their employees, others take advantage of them.
- In college, my best paying job was working working at a shoe store selling shoes on commission. However, I almost got fired my first day. The store manager had a store policy that anyone who came into the store should buy a pair of shoes. I was barely 18 years old with less than an hour of experience and the store was busy with customers. I had been helping my first customer try on shoes when the customer decided to leave without buying any shoes. As the customer walked out, the manager from across the store looked up and said if another customer walked out, just walk with them, your’er fired. It was an inspirational talk. I sucked it up and and within a month I was a top salesman.
- My most memorable job during college was I took over the services at the two small sister churches in the town I was from when the minister was on vacation and after he left for a different church. Every Saturday night I wrote a sermon and then drove home to lead the service. This is one of the reasons I probably missed the sexual revolution because I was writing sermons on a Saturday night.
- After college, I worked in the Administration at the college I had attended. After a few years, I accidentally found out my boss, who was a friend, had lied about my salary compared to others and I quit. That's how I ended up in the financial service business.
I started what became my firm in the fall of 1984. I was blessed and my firm grew over time with great help from staff and eventually partners. I sold it at the end of 2016.
After a year or two, got bored and started a consulting company providing hourly planning and money management. There is a real need for this in the financial service, especially with my experience and credentials.
I recently decided I am going to close my firm down at the end of this year and try not "working" at all. We will see how it goes.
Years ago I read an article about a woman who when she retired decided she would do nothing but read and exercise for at least six months. This is great advice which I have given to others. Now I am going to take it.
Over the years, I saw a number of retirees who were not living their best life after retirement. They had worked hard for many years, saved and invested, but could not live the life they wanted as they were being told my family and/or friends what they should be doing or more often what they should not be doing. Let me give two opposite examples.
- After I biked across the US I was biking outside of Fargo and ran into a guy I knew who had just retired. He kept asking me about my trip and I said you should do it. He said he said he wanted to do it and found a very affordable camping tour, but his wife said he could not go.
- I worked with a couple who had invested well and when retired, she wanted to travel and he did not. So, she did a lot of international trips and he stayed home and hung out. He supported her and she supported him. Life was good apart and together.
We all have limitations, financial, family, friends and health, but one part of retirement is within those limitations doing what you want, when you want and how you want. And if that means biking across the US, awesome. If that means doing nothing how ever you define nothing, equally awesome. Doing nothing is actually doing something.
For me, in addition to reading more and increasing my play time, I have two objectives.
- One, I am actually working on two books. May never finish them and if I do, no one may ever read them, but that's ok. Its the journey, not the destination.
- Second, I plan to write on political events from the perspective of a life-time independent moderate who has never belonged to a political party. Our country is like two barbells [dumbbells?] right now with weight [often dead weight] on either end. However, it is all of us in the middle of the barbell that hold the country together. No one may be interested, but I plan to write about this.
I may return to the work force again. At this time, I am looking at a gig as a male stripper on the Senior Circuit. With the help of new meds, I am feeling pretty good right now, lost the weight plus some that I gained last year from my health issue, and have been pumping a little iron. The tips can be good and all the prune juice one can drink. If I get the gig, will post my schedule.
Finally, some years ago, my daughter gave me a magnet which said:
“If you did not hold you are, how old would you be?”
I am looking forward to exploring this question.