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When Should I Retire? My Struggle

Nurses Article Magazine   (2,491 Views 27 Replies 1,645 Words)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

17 Followers; 99 Articles; 233,113 Profile Views; 1,981 Posts

When Should I Retire? My Struggle

Usually when I write an article, I hope for a lot of views. But this time I’m not so sure. It’s because this article is way more personal than what I usually write. You may think me shallow or worse after you read it. But if I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that I’m not, you’re not, we’re not alone. Nothing is new under the sun and maybe you are going through the same experience as me. You are reading page 2 of When Should I Retire? My Struggle. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

AutumnLeaves has 35 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in acute care, icu, surgery, vasc.surgery,trauma.

15 Posts; 306 Profile Views

I am in this group too. I am actually too young right now to collect SS and I need 4 more years at the VA to get enough from them to pay my insurance and have a few bucks left over. However, I AM getting tired and am having some health issues. I would like in a perfect world to find a part time job as an NP but there just aren't jobs here. I have a million plans for retirement and can't wait to start it.

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3 Followers; 4,531 Posts; 35,476 Profile Views

Retirement on one's own terms is probably great.

When forced out, it's probably terrible, although one can get used to being free of all the misery of work - when you have awful bosses, coworkers, and policies.

I don't know what is right for you, Beth, but I do wish you the best.

One thing for sure - keep your certs, PPD, and CPR up to date.  Don't get rusty, don't give up any licenses.  you never know when you might want to go back to work.

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3 Followers; 36,950 Posts; 98,113 Profile Views

I have to repeat the story about my former supervisor who returned from retirement three times at the pleading of her last employer.  After the last time, she told me there would be no fourth time because she physically returned her license to the Board and was well on her way to putting her home on the market and making plans for relocating across the country.  Now that is what I call, knowing when it is time.

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J.Adderton has 26 years experience as a BSN, MSN.

7 Followers; 96 Articles; 345 Posts; 30,993 Profile Views

Thanks for candidly sharing your experience.  Enjoyed reading.

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GrumpyRN has 37 years experience as a NP and specializes in Emergency Department.

1 Follower; 668 Posts; 16,959 Profile Views

"When Should I Retire? My Struggle."

I retired 2 years ago - best decision of my life. You will know when it is time to go. Something will happen and WHAM the decision is made. In my case I was sitting on top of a 20 year old holding him down while he was being sedated and I thought, "I'm too old for this c***. I am 40 years older than you, what am I doing?" And with that my decision was made. Something similar will happen to you - not necessarily the aggression part but something.

I had prepared for my retirement by working out my works pension and living on that for a year to see if I could. I get a state pension in 2 years so extra money.

Think about it long and hard, look into what you will do with all the extra time and then embrace it when you are ready.

All those people who work into their 70's and 80's have spent their lives sitting at desks or other low physical jobs. Nurses are knackered by the time they hit their 60's and everything hurts.

I do agree that it is a grieving process as what you did defined you for all those years but console yourself that once you are gone no one will miss you - perhaps 'console' is the wrong word there. I do not miss the work but I do miss (some of) the people. I have written in other threads here; no more drama, no more nonsense. Another part of the process is dealing with the fact of your own mortality - you are now no longer working so you are old. What is the next step?

Good luck with your decision but your husband has a point. If you love what you do, then keep doing it.

 

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Dimple58 has 31 years experience and specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Trauma, Clinic, School.

322 Posts; 6,808 Profile Views

I haven't been on this website since I lost my husband Jan '18. But I too have been thinking about retirement and I'm only 61, 62 in April. The sudden loss of my husband weakened me a little in my love of working and my striving for my future enjoyment.  Nevertheless, I still have the divided and reluctant gaze at getting older. My past drive to store up a golden nest egg went out the window with surviving on one income and with 2 college sons still at home trying to find their niche. I agree that your job gives you a certain identity esp if you lost part of a big one, the wife. But, I do realize many didn't get this far and some won't.  So as in my own journey I would say, we take each day at a time since tomorrow is not promised. Enjoy and live while you are able-bodied. We as a country don't like talking about the circle of life.  I'm not talking about Lion King, either, lol. We all have our own circles of life that we can and have to make the best of.  I want to wait until 66, which I hear, is good enough if you don't wait until 70. Mine may be a little complicated since I have 14 yrs in the Teacher's Retirement System and 23 yrs in SS and I am currently still in the school system and they say you can't get both, but a reduced blending. We shall see.

Edited by Dimple58
spell check

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by Sdee New

6 Posts; 233 Profile Views

42 years an ER nurse. I presently work per diem, cut down to 2 days per week about 15 months ago and found that, financially, it will work.  I like my job but hate the useless, feeble clipboard carriers who can’t do my job, love the flexibility, and have great coworkers.  I’m happy to let the kids do trauma and STEMI’s, and spend most shifts in triage running protocol for those waiting.   Tried urgent care but was bored out of my tree.  I think I may have just retired since the hubs just had open heart surgery unexpectedly.  Ww shall see.  Where I am in tne internal “oh how can I ever retire” debate is a completely different dialogue than it was 12 months ago.  I am the last old fart standing.  It’s a process as you say.  We will know when it’s time

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Calm and collected specializes in Psychiatric, hospice, rehab.

2 Posts; 15 Profile Views

I retired 3 years ago this month. I loved my work as a hospice nurse but felt I was missing too much time with family and a newborn granddaughter. No regrets at all.

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Lorri Cook is a ADN, RN and specializes in ER, Psych, Chemical Dependency.

9 Posts; 67 Profile Views

The nice thing about this decision is that it's not all-or-nothing.

If you're tired of what you're doing, do it less or do something else.  Try something slower, or outside your comfort zone, a little.

Lots of options, including just packing it in.

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KalipsoRed21 is a BSN and specializes in Currently: Home Health.

209 Posts; 4,523 Profile Views

“I lack enthusiasm for the Flavor of the Month. I zone out if someone starts saying they want to “move the needle” or do or don’t have the “bandwidth” to “pick the low-hanging fruit”.  Just don’t admonish nurses to be “more resilient” when taking away resources. It’s not an opportunity to “do less with more”, it’s short-staffing”

Quote

 

I loved that statement! Anyway, I think retirement is a USA problem. We are an ageist society. Why isn’t it beneficial for employers to allow elderly to work at a slower pace with less expected hours? Why can’t they see the value in their experience as something worthy of the pay even if they aren’t the most ‘efficient’ part of the work force? I feel that experience is something sorely undervalued and the reverence for it has been in steady decline along with union labor and the rise of ‘right to work’ standards in the US. Us younger people need very experienced mentors more than we realize.....not the RN who is your senior by 9 months.

Also this problem is more related to work culture in America because we work all the darn time. We do not cultivate ourselves much out of our work identity which leads to such a feeling of loss when you no longer are going to work. We are terrible at realizing how short our time is on this planet and believe that the whole idea of, “If you don’t like the time requirements of the job then get another one.” Instead of a more practical, “This is my life, how do I fit this job into it.” Such a lack of flexibility in US work culture, but I do hope that millennials fix that. Everyone complains about how they don’t want to work. I feel they want to live and do some work, but our work culture isn’t set up that way, although most employers could make it that way if their profit margins were smaller.

Good luck to you on your journey.

 

Edited by KalipsoRed21

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llg has 42 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

6 Followers; 13,213 Posts; 59,122 Profile Views

I've been lucky in that I have been able to decrease my work hours a bit in the last few years.   It has helped me to prepare for decreasing them even more in the future and would recommend it to a lot of people who are approaching retirement age.

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by dij New Nurse

dij specializes in LTC, PSYCH, ALF, POST-ACUTE.

4 Posts; 22 Profile Views

I've been nursing 13 years and have worked so much that I am headed for a burnout.  The increasing amount of work that is placed on nurses today has been overwhelming.  I agree with most of the people who find themselves lost in their jobs and have no sense of who they really are.  I'm a nurse who strives to be thrown into different settings and enjoys mixing it up with different jobs.  Spent almost 20 years in the military but never find myself staying more than 2 years in a position lately.  It used to bother me but it is better for my health to not get stressed out in my job.  I would suggest working outside of your specialty and decreasing your hours.  Don't give any thoughts to listening to what others think about when you should retire.  The choice is yours.  Hopefully you can focus on yourself and not just finances. 

Your journey has been unique.

Be kind to yourself.    

Lots of luck in your decision. 

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