How to Retire in 7 Steps

August 10, 2010 05:21 by Jami

1.  Plan to leave your job when what it used to mean doesn’t mean that anymore.
2.  Accumulate enough money not to feel deprived, or scared.
3. Assess your energy and have ample left to begin new things and tackle the projects on the “to-do-in-retirement” list you’ve been making for years.
4. Start a couple of brand new things—Tai Chi, a writer’s group, piano lessons—and undertake at least one task each month from your “to-do-in-retirement” list. 
5. Have a two year old granddaughter named Ella:

Ella will take up the slack and tell you what to do.
“Sit, Jami,” she will say.  And you will sit.  Then she will say, “Ella read.”  She will open her mother’s graduate school tome, The Teacher’s Encyclopedia of Behavior Management, 835 pages of tiny text with no pictures, and she will begin to “read.”  Exuberant gibberish.  Page after page.  More gibberish.  Mercifully she’ll begin to skip chunks of pages at a clip, gibberish waning.
  Finally, she’ll slam the book shut and reach for a Pottery Barn Kids catalog.  “Oh,” I say, “look at the pretty . . . .”
“No, Jami, no touch.  Ella read.”  This time words sparkle out of her mouth—  “Baby crib.  Bed.  Pink ball.  Aqua.  Jammies.  Dog.  Yellow moon.  Circle.”  When it’s absolutely time to leave, you’ll explain to her that you must go home to cook supper for Poppi.
“Jami cook supper for Poppi?”
“Yes, but I will come again very soon to play with Ella.  OK?”
“OK.  I luff you.  Bye, bye, Jami.”
 Hugs.  Kisses.  Waves.

6. Count your blessings.
7. Count them again.  

Originally published in Senior Times