Meet our writers

 







Reflections August 2016

What Do You Want to Do When You Grow Up?

By Jim Cotsana

I also gave some thought back to my much, much younger days to try and remember some of the things I wanted to be when I grew up –  like a professional wrestler (until I realized it was fake), professional football player, jet pilot, doctor or veterinarian, and rock star were a few that came to mind. Needless to say, these are non-starters for a 68 year old.

You probably never thought you’d get there, but time is nearing and you’re no longer just thinking about retirement  –  you’ve set a date. Now the nerves and stress tend to set in; not so much about retiring but what you will do next. If you’re one of the lucky ones and have a plan and feel you’re financially comfortable, great. You may not want or need another paying job to get by. However, others may have set some of their income aside but feel it may not be enough for the lifestyle they want.

If you’re the former, you should not expect to just sit home and wait until something of interest comes along to engage your time. Similarly, if you think you will need some extra income, don’t jump from one frying pan into another. Take some time and think things through.

In my case, I was able to save and invest and feel I’m financially comfortable and don’t need or want a paying job. However, I know I didn’t want to sit home and just putter around. Consequently, several months prior to my actual retirement date, I started to write things down I really liked doing in the little spare time I had while still working; things I really enjoyed doing that made me happy. Do you notice when you are involved in certain activities, time seems to fly by? You hate to stop doing it.

I also gave some thought back to my much, much younger days to try and remember some of the things I wanted to be when I grew up –  like a professional wrestler (until I realized it was fake), professional football player, jet pilot, doctor or veterinarian, and rock star were a few that came to mind. Needless to say, these are non-starters for a 68 year old. In addition, I jotted down things I felt I was rather good at (although others may think otherwise) to see if any of these would be a fit.

In any event, this list really got me thinking. I know being a veterinarian or doctor at my age is not realistic. However, I decided to volunteer at the local SPCA which gives a great deal of enjoyment, especially when I see an animal adopted to a good home. I also adopted a four-year-old black lab from the SPCA which, living alone, provides me with daily responsibility for his well-being and mine as well. I also had familiarity with hospice care when my wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. As the result of the excellent care she received, I now volunteer at the local Hospice House. In addition, to give back to my community, I’m on the city’s Public Safety Board.

For those that feel they need the extra income, study your local paper which most likely has part-time jobs. A friend of mine in this category, loves driving and now has a part-time job at a local car dealership providing a shuttle service and also travels to other dealerships to pick up and drop off cars for buyers. Another delivers medical supplies and prescriptions for a local drug store and another works in the mail room at the local hospital. Still another is a substitute teacher in the school district. These are just a few of the opportunities found in the local paper. Don’t forget to network with your colleagues and friends since many opportunities are not advertised and positions are filled via word of mouth.

Keep in mind there may be times when the things you thought you would enjoy doing don’t turn out be as much fun as you expected. This is OK, just move on to the next idea. You may find something you never thought about before. In any case, you’ll know it when you find it. Who knows, it may turn out to be something you always wanted to do when you grew up!

 

Meet Jim