Retirement is better than childhood. You don’t work as a child, but they make you go to school — which can be as bad and sometimes, worse. Moreover, childhood is prepping for the work of your future. Other people set your schedule and tell you what to eat, drink, and wear. Now, retirement? No school, unless you feel like doing it. No one sets your schedule or tells you what to wear.

In your working years, you grow increasingly tired until one day, you look in a mirror. “Self,” you say. “I can’t do this anymore.”

“I could retire,” you point out to you. “I could pack it in, take the money” and as you think this, a little bell ding-a-lings deep in your mental recesses … a bell labeled “What money?” Have you sat with HR to find out what kind of money there is in your retirement fund? Do you have a retirement fund? 401 K?

“And anyway,” you continue, “There is Social Security, right? I’ve worked hard my entire life. Surely there’s enough in there to sustain life?”

So begins the intricate dance by which you detach yourself from the working world and figure out from whence all paychecks will come in the future. Ultimately, you slide into  a place where long-deferred pleasures await you. Hobbies are now your primary activity. You have free time that is truly free. Pity about the lack of a paycheck, but most of us feel that the insane freedom of retirement is a pretty good trade-off.

You get up when you like. Go to bed when you feel like it. Sleep late as often as possible. Read all night till the sun come up. Watch old movies until sleep pulls you into darkness. You can blog, read, and write your memoirs. Travel if money and your physical conditions allows. Most of us, after some initial confusion, settle down and discover that retirement is very good. With its restrictions, issues, and whatever … it’s very good. The best.

Barring ill-health — and don’t we wish we could bar ill-health — is far better than working no matter what your income because you don’t have a boss telling you what to do. Better than the years of raising children because you are no long a slave to the whims of your spoiled darlings who hopefully, have flown the coop and now nest elsewhere. With luck, they won’t fly back, bringing a birdie spouse and all the fledglings.

Would I work anyway if I had the option? Return to an office? Deadlines? Doing what I’m told or face the consequences? Schedules, on the job and off? Endless commutes? Taking ten minutes to get a sandwich, then wolfing it down while seated at the computer to the accompaniment of acid reflux?

No. I think not.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


  1. And what comes next? There was always something around the corner and suddenly there are no more corners. I was glad to get my working life behind me and can now do what I want to do, but there is a doctor appointment.which I must go to. Suddenly I notice that the obits in the local newspaper were born just before or after me, even the same year and I know quite a few of them. So stop, I can still do the housework, go shopping. I remember our parents when they were as old as I am now and they were old, ancient, a little old fashioned in their ideas. Is that me today?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m grateful for photography, writing, and on some level, the totally bizarre way the planet is changing. Whatever else is wrong with the world, it isn’t boring! I read a lot, I write a lot, and then … there are dogs. I have no goals, but I was never particularly goal-driven even when I was younger. Nor was I especially ambitious. I’m suppose I could have done more professionally, if I’d cared … but I didn’t. I did well with what I did, but I never pushed to be a boss or have my own business. I was always more interested in my personal life than my business.

      I loved writing, so I didn’t mind doing my work, but earning a decent living was enough.. I didn’t need to “reach the top.” Neither did Garry. We both found our levels and we were okay with that. We did well. I also think I got as far as most people in my profession get. There isn’t that much further TO go. So now, i’m not ambitious, but that’s okay. I never was.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. We also keep ourselves busy with our various hobbies. I always have a list of books i am planning to read, Mr Swiss still gets together with other golden oldie musicians for a jam session, but it is not the same. You and me will one day have the reputation of being the most senior bloggers here.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I thoroughly enjoy retirement and am thankful for every day. Those who say their schooldays were the best days of their lives, surely can’t mean they’ve spent most of their adult life not enjoying it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of people live miserable adult lives. That’s a different subject anyway. We enjoyed our work, but we were also glad to finish with it. We remember work fondly and often with hilarity, but it’s so nice to NOT be doing it.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I keep reading all I can about retirement (mostly about Social Security and Medicare) and it is amazing what they tell you: watch your money, have a plan, know how you will spend your day, etc. Hell, if I wanted to do all that, I would continue working. What a minute–I am working! I like your plan much better. Your retirement sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have to be much more careful about your money and that takes a little practice, but once you get a sense of what you can spend and what you can’t do, it’s okay. Some people are really REALLY poor, which we were for a while, but we manage to get past that, so now we are “typically poor.” You don’t have the money you had when you were working, but you also don’t have the same obligations. Your kids need to learn that they aren’t going to be getting their spare money from you — and you need to learn to say NO and mean it. There are lessons to learn, but they aren’t hard lessons, just commonsense.

      I think most of those “lessons in retirement” are intended so people can believe they will be able to live exactly the same way in retirement that they lived while working. That rarely works out well unless you were super rich to start with. There are always cutbacks. Still, we’ve managed pretty well (mostly) on a really tiny budget. You have to make decisions — do I want this or that? And recognize that you can’t have both.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Great advice, Marilyn. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. I am nervous about this whole retirement thing, but have come to realize I will never have as much money as I think I need, so just quit and enjoy life. But I do need to save a bit more….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a couple friends my age who are still working. One is a medical doctor and it is probably because of a certain amount of job satisfaction, but also, the money is enticing. Some other others just don’t have enough with what ever pension they do have.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I stopped working at the age of 46 for 8 years. I did all volunteer work, different places different days and loved it. Life changes, I wanted to get a paycheck again and went back to work part time- then a few years in I needed yo have health insurance(husband older than me on Medicare) so here I am working 8 to 5. I like being in a school with young kids and most teachers younger than me, keeps me current. But oh am I tired when I get home!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I hear you! The years I spent teaching were fulfilling but also the most exhausting of my life! Perhaps being older affected how tired I was. But I think I worked harder than most young teachers, too. Being a 2nd career for me made me super conscientious, like I had to try harder to prove myself. Having a pension at the end was well deserved!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the retirement village people! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    The thing you may not be allowing for in considering retirement v childhood is that for most of us childhood meant little or no responsibility – you largely were looked after and your expenses paid for by others. There were rules you had to follow – but isn’t there always someone or something you have to surrender to? Many of us had a fair degree (or felt we did) of freedom even if we did have to go to school or do gym or wash the dishes.

    Having said that, as one who is in somewhat of a similar situation to you guys, there is a heck of a lot to be said for no longer having to work and doing what the boss man tells you to do. (Or the bank/customers if you are the ‘boss’) 🙂 Sleeping in is definitely one of the greatest pleasures in my life – particularly on a cold, wet morning.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your childhood may have been carefree, but for many of us, it wasn’t. Depending on where you lived, many kids had substantial obligations in the home and on the farm … and in school. I always thought “carefree childhoods” were something made up by TV producers. Guess not 🙂


  7. Reblogged this on Wanderlust and Wonderment and commented:
    My sentiments exactly! I don’t miss the work world at all! I have a new set of friends who are retired like me. I can plan trips at any time of year. I know I am fortunate, financially, to be able to do all this. My husband and I ard both lucky to have pensions that support our monthly expenses.

    Liked by 1 person

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