The Realities of Retirement

Retirees reveal how retirement is not what it all seems to be…

By Brandon McIntyre

The traditional life of an American is to go to college, get that degree that’s within the desired career path, and enter the work field.

And from there on, it’s expected that for the next 20, 30, or maybe even 40 years, work is mandatory. And after years, or even decades of constant work, the opportunity to retire becomes a reality.

There are many people who are in the midst of their career, and are slowly dragging themselves to work everyday, with retirement being one of the few things motivating them to make it through another week of work. On paper, retirement seems like reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, free from the wretched shackles of labor.

However, many people don’t ask themselves what’s next after they’ve reached retirement. Most people’s intentions are to spend the rest of their time being more lucrative with their spendings. But in most situations, these hardly ever come true.  

Delaware State professor Dr. Daniel Awodiya gives his reality on retirement, “2 things you don’t expect after retiring: You’re old and you don’t have a lot of money because you’ve spent a lot of it before retiring”.

Thomina McIntyre, a  former middle school teacher that served 15 years at William Henry Middle School, talks about how finances and family situations have affected her retirement. “Retirement for me hasn’t exactly been retirement per se. I don’t really have the chance to relax due to the fact that money doesn’t come in as much as before.” 

Thomina McIntyre, former Middle School English Teacher @ William Henry Middle School/ via Facebook @ Thomina McIntyre

Since retirement, McIntyre only receives a monthly check, but as a teacher, she earned biweekly checks that paid much more than now. “Bills still need to be paid whether I’m retired or not”.

Family has also played a factor in her decision to retire as well. “I have to watch my nephew every day when my daughter has to go to work. The funny thing about it is that the hours watching him are just as long as the hours I had working at school, and my daughter doesn’t pay nearly as much as the school.”.

However, this issue obviously doesn’t apply to everyone. George Roach, a Dover native who was a supervisor with the Division of Family Services for 40 years, shares his struggles once he retired. “The first thing that really shocked me was how much free time I had. I spent over 4 decades just working all day, and when I wasn’t working I was taking care of my kids. Since retirement, I’ve had so much time to myself not knowing what to do with it.”

George Roach [Left] taking a picture with his daughter, Adrienne Gomez/ via Facebook @Adrienne Roach Gomez

Roach realized that keeping himself busy with doing things he finds enjoyable helps the days go by. “I started to embrace my freedom, realizing that I can do whatever I want.  I’ve been coaching the local High School’s Women’s basketball team, I’ve been able to spend more time with my grandkids, I can catch up with old friends and families in person and not through the phone, and I spend some me-time watching TV.”

Categories: Features, Finance, Health

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