When abstract becomes real
That happened to me last evening. I was resting at home, reading a book, not (an immediate) care in my head. Suddenly, I realized that I am 48 years old. And in 12 years I can start my retirement. And that start of retirement, which for a long time was rather an abstract concept, in just 12 years, was no longer an immaterial notion but a seriously real and very tangible fact. I mean, it’s only 12 years. I can probably do 12 years standing on my head. Ok, not really, but you get the idea — it is happening. A bona fide certainty for real — and this time it is personal.
That mocking, would-be funny last sentence only goes to show how serious it is for me. Every time I turn for a comical sardonic tone in my writing (or in my talk) it is always to cover the weighty meaning of something very important under the (usually) poor jokes or (usually) poor word-play. And now I am still doing it, just to have a quick chuckle or a cringing grin, to postpone any deeper analysis and thought about it.
So, seriously now — I got 12 years. I don’t plan to work any more than is absolutely necessary or legally required for a pension. I mean, I could retire right now if that would be possible, or if I won a lottery (which is unlikely but can happen). At 60, I will start collecting my 401K pension from my previous work in the USA. At 62, another pension from another place I worked will be available. At 62 or 66 I will start collecting my social security retirement (not much if I was in the USA, but quite comfortable living in Poland). At 67 my Polish retirement pension will start. Altogether, it seems like I will be comfortable. My health is ok, and I keep up with checkups and preventive care. I am active physically and mentally. I have a nice home and garden. I have no debt of any kind. It seems like I am ok and set and already aware of what is coming in 12 years. But, there is some doubt as well — there are things that cannot be predicted that can happen. But since they are unpredictable, there is nothing I can do about it, and cannot make any preparations. There is also some faint hope that maybe if I play my cards right, I can retire even sooner. But that may require a lot more work now for a possible result in the future. So — there are decisions to be made, things to check, double-check, and triple-check.
But anyway, I know that right now it is 12 years I am looking at. 12 more years of work before sweet, and hopefully long and peaceful retirement.