Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Old librarians don’t retire, they just go home to obsessively rearrange their spice racks
in Dewey Decimal order. Or sit on the porch rocker waiting to be classified in that great big catalog in the sky, hopefully in 236.24, heaven, rather than 291.23, hell. Of course hell would suffice so long as it is furnished with plenty of books, though come to think of it maybe that’s the definition of hell, for librarians at least – a world without books.
Anyway, I’ll soon have plenty of time to spare on idle musings of this kind because, after 29 years of plying my trade as a librarian in Montgomery County, I am retiring at the end of this month. So I’ve actually been spending quite a bit of time in 646.79, the Dewey Decimal number for retirement, a topic well covered by the professional purveyors of advice and inspiration. If you are considering retirement soon, or even just dreaming about it, financial considerations come first, so check out the books on financial planning for retirement in 332.024. You Can Do It: The Boomer’s Guide to a Great Retirement
by PBS financial expert Jonathan D. Pond is particularly helpful, and
I found answers to many of my questions in Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions: get the most out of your retirement & medical benefits by J. L. Mathews. Planning to move to warmer climes or a quiet small town? America's Best Low-Tax Retirement Towns by Eve Evans includes detailed comparative tables of state and local taxes in towns across the country. If you are dreaming of foreign shores The Grown-Up's Guide to Running Away From Home: Making a New Life Abroad by Roseanne Knorr contains plenty of practical advice. On the web the AARP site is rich with information for the already retired and those hoping to join them. I know, I’ve been ignoring those mailed
membership notices for years too, but maybe it’s time to face facts and take advantage of the many benefits AARP offers. The Social Security Administration also has a very helpful website
including a benefit estimator and Medicare information.
Once you’ve made the big decision to retire, the question looms about how to fill all the free time you will suddenly have after years of 8 hour workdays. I must admit I’m getting just a bit irritated by all the people assuring me that I’ll be busier than ever. If I wanted to be busier than ever I’d keep on working! My idea is to slow down! But I know they are well meaning and are just trying to reassure me that I won’t turn into a batty old recluse at the stroke of midnight on June 30th. I will finally have more time to read! How else would a librarian spend extra time? After a lifetime of reading I still have some embarrassing gaps in my book list – Ulysses anyone? I won’t have any excuse now to avoid this Everest of literature, and I’ve printed out the Guardian’s list 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read to see what else I’ve missed. I’ll also be spending a lot of time interacting with my devices. They are so demanding! I have to get all my CDs into iTunes and finally get those shoeboxes full of photos scanned. Then there’s the neglected garden and somehow I’ll have to squeeze in time with my grandchildren. Yes, as I start to make my “to do” lists, maybe I really will be busier than ever. And if all else fails and I fall on hard times I have my sign all ready: