In 1980, at the age of 62, Dad retired from a long career with Lockheed Martin as a “non-college-graduate” rocket engine propulsion technician.
For many years his identity and self-value was maintained by this position.
In the Spring of 1980 I was a junior in high school, so it was actually nice having Dad around; however, the long walks with our dog and yard maintenance were not enough to keep him from becoming idle.
Soon enough he became an indispensable fixture at St. Michaels church; maintaining the grounds as well as internal maintenance issues that would arise. He was an all-around handyman and this was a perfect opportunity to utilize his skill set. (useful purpose)
Sometime around 1990 Mom’s health began to deteriorate with a couple heart surgeries as well as a shortened bowel and all that goes along with that process. Dad instantly became the primary care giver, managing absolutely every aspect of Mom’s care for the next 4 years. (useful purpose)
After Mom passed, Dad moved to be near his children. He lived for another 10 years; however, he never again found his groove.
Life without meaning is empty. (no useful purpose)
Of course retirement financial planning is important; supposedly, we all do it to some degree.
More importantly, IMHO, is planning for what will bring meaning and value (and useful purpose) to our life in retirement.
#useful #retirementplanning #meaningfullife