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Sad story motivates me more
Old 02-22-2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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Sad story motivates me more

There is a kind, gentle soul at work, he is well into his 70's. I always wondered why he hadn't retired yet. Found out he hadn't really planned early on, and had to work longer. Just when he was ready to retire, his wife passed away. Now he works because that's the only place he gets social interaction. This guy will make a 2 minute conversation into 20! Tonight I was learning sign language with my 5 month old daughter (o.k., I'm not sure how much she was retaining, but they say start early) and I realised how sad it would be if coworkers were the best human contact I had to look forward to during the day. Retire early folks, don't waste that time....
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Re: Sad story motivates me more
Old 02-22-2005, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Sad story motivates me more

If your spouse and friends are gone when you're 70, getting paid to socialize doesn't sound so bad. I'm not sure how retiring early would help, unless you think you can establish some relationships with long-lived people more easily when you're retired.

BTW, we waited until our kid could wave bye-bye before we started sign language. I just couldn't see much point in it until she had the motor skills to make the signs.
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Re: Sad story motivates me more
Old 02-23-2005, 03:04 AM   #3
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Re: Sad story motivates me more

I guess if he had retired early, he would have more opportunities to spend more time with his wife. However, he would still end up the same. He should have developed other realtionships and other interests.

It is sad that the only place to socialise is at work. It shows that we need to have more friends and to take on more interests in other things other than work.
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Re: Sad story motivates me more
Old 02-23-2005, 03:10 AM   #4
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Re: Sad story motivates me more

My mother-in-law will be 75 in April and still works full time. Most all of her friends her age have either passed away, are in a rest home or have moved away. She works for the social interaction although she hates her boss and things have changed dramatically at work (for the worse).

She probably doesn't have much saved so that's another reason I think. She will not confide in my wife on any of her financial matters even though they are pretty close.

We bought a retirement home in FL last year and plan on doing 7 months a year there and 5 here in CT where she, my kids and other family members live. We've asked her to move down with us but that won't happen and in a way I'm glad. We brought here on vacation with us for 10 days in October and couldn't wait to get her back to CT. She's been living on her own (divorced) for the past 35 years and is really set in her ways.

I'm not sure if she were FI she would have retired earlier. She might have been in a worse situation now that no one is around and she was all alone (except for her immediate family). I guess continuing to work was the best thing to do.

I just can't see her dying at her desk. There is more to life. I'm sure she could volunteer somewhere because she loves interacting with people but she won't confide in us about her financial matters so we can't tell if this is what's driving her.

Anyone else in this situation and are there any recommendations?
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Re: Sad story motivates me more
Old 02-23-2005, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: Sad story motivates me more

Yeah, all I was getting at was he missed a lot of time he could have been spending with his wife at work, and could have built a life beyond work so that if his wife did pass away untimely, he had a social structure......

.....as far as sign language, my wife and I have to learn it first if we are going to "speak" it to her! My duaghter has Down Syndrome and often kids with Downs are speach delayed. But kids understand a lot sooner than they can communicate, and we figure if we can build up a 100 word vocubulary in the next few months, we can cement concepts in her for when she is ready and does have dexterity. It's certainly the road less travelled, as Robert Frost said.
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Re: Sad story motivates me more
Old 02-23-2005, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: Sad story motivates me more

Quote:
I guess continuing to work was the best thing to do.
I just can't see her dying at her desk. There is more to life. I'm sure she could volunteer somewhere *because she loves interacting with people but she won't confide in us about her financial matters so we can't tell if this is what's driving her.
Anyone else in this situation and are there any recommendations?
My parents are both dead. But extrapolating from our experiences when they were alive, I would say the situation you describe is pretty good and you are better off not pushing for change. If you push and lose, there will be bad feelings. If you push and win, even more bad feelings.

If she is getting out to work everyday she is grooming and eating reasonably well. People can go downhill fast when change comes along, especially change that they don't want.

She may appreciate the daily contact with younger people. After all, if you work you are doing the world's business; you are a player however small rather than a spectator.

What I would do is make some social visits, keep my eyes and ears open, and let it ride if you can. Put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself how much interference you would be wanting?

Mikey
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