In one sense, it’s easy to retire. Just stop working. Then stop looking for work. Which is also what discouraged unemployed people do. So how can you tell an unemployed worker from a retiree?
1. No pressure to work. A retiree doesn’t feel the pressure of looking for work. He or she may later learn that, after their pension fund takes a pounding, that they will need to work – but at the moment they don’t feel it.
2. Safety net. Could be Social Security. Could be a spouses’ Social Security. Could be rich kids. Or could be delusional. But the retiree feels there is enough money to pay the rent and eat.
3. Medicare. Knowing that the government will help pay for your treatment if you’re sick makes you feel a lot healthier – and willing to retire.
I had all three in place. I didn’t feel my life depended on going out and getting the next contract. I was old enough to collect Social Security. (And I don’t mean “early retirement.” I had reached the “official age” retirement.) And I had been using Medicare for a year already so I was already part of the system.
With my 3 strikes in place, I was ready to retire.