Should I stay or should I go?


That’s the rather off-topic question that occurred to me as I considered the intentions prompt for Kim Klassen’s latest “Start to Finish” class.1 Its emphasis on still-life, at-home photography appeals to me because, with my busy schedule, I would rather stage at-home photo opps than take time from too-short weekends to find suitable outdoor, scenic, or architectural opportunities. As usual, Kim is sharing her skill, creativity, and enthusiasm with us, and I intend to learn everything I can during these next few weeks.

But there’s another dimension to this. I’m nearing retirement. My current plan (my intention) is to work until I’m 65, a little more than 2 ½ years away. Another but…my boss and I are winding down one of his major commitments (as editor of a respected applied psychology journal). If all goes according to plan, we will complete the majority of our work by the end of 2015, just past my 64th birthday. I could go then, but…

As appealing as that option is, it’s opposite is equally attractive. Another year in the workforce, another year’s contributions to my 401k and to social security, a little extra cushion during retirement…

Too many people I’ve known have worked longer than they should have and then been denied their long anticipated retirement because of health problems or other issues. My husband and I are fortunate in many ways—family, friends, a comfortable lifestyle, two cats who love us almost as much as we love them—but we are both especially grateful for our good health. Should I join Art in retirement so we can do all the things we’ve talked about over the years, or should I work that little while longer?

So I’m thinking and thinking again…should I stay or should I go?

1Registration is closed for this session, but this video will give you an idea of the course content so you can perhaps register next time Kim offers the class.

5 thoughts on “Should I stay or should I go?

  1. Wanda, You know me, I am an advocate of you or anyone retiring at their eariest moment, so you can enjoy the spoils of your years in the labor force. Also as you know I have been fortunate and not so. But I have been retired 5 years, and they have been great years, So go go go, Run Forest Run, and enjoy all those things you and Art have talked about. Enjoy every minute. Take care, Bill

  2. Great image to go with your words. Time is so precious and in an ideal world I’d always go for retirement….but ‘ideal’ is they key word here! I don’t envy your dilemma at all but wish you well in reaching your decision. Enjoy Kim’s class, they’re always fantastic.

  3. Love this image – beautiful setup and focus. I’m afraid that I’m the wrong person to ask this question as I took early, early retirement at 55, knowing the impact of that on my retirement benefits as well as the financial impact on my eventual Social Security payout. There is still sometimes the fear that I will end up a bag lady, having run out of money in the future – but on a daily basis, I LOVE my retirement life and would make the same decision again in a heartbeat.

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