In January, I began working only three days a week as part of my transition to retirement. The main reason for this schedule is to use up 45 vacation days I can’t be paid for if any of it remains when I retire because I was already paid for the maximum (six weeks) when I entered the deferred retirement program in 2010.
But I also think it’s a good idea for both me and my co-workers to become accustomed to my not being around the office. Working every day right up to retirement and then just suddenly disappearing (which a co-worker retiring in March is doing) would be a form of “cold turkey” when gradualism is usually more successful.
I didn’t even consider taking Mondays and Friday off for a four day weekend. What would I do with all that bunched time?
I’m taking Tuesday and Thursday off. That makes every work day a “Friday” since I’ll have the next day off. Since my workload is coincidentally decreasing as well, I’m not having to work harder to “catch up” on the days I am at work.
And I sure am enjoying partial retirement! Before my reduced work schedule, my Saturdays were busy because I like to stay home on Sundays. Now that I have two days during the week to do things, my Saturdays are more laid back.
Taking care of personal business during the week has many obvious advantages. Less traffic. Easier parking. Shorter lines.
And there are some discounts to be had. Many restaurants have special lunch prices but are crowded with working folks between 11:30 and 1:00. Since I don’t have to get back to work on Tuesday and Thursday I can avoid the hassles of a crowd by taking a late lunch and still get the special price.
Also, I can see a movie for $5 during the week. I don’t have to worry about finding a good seat; and fewer folks in the theater means a reduced probability of sitting near boisterous types or easily moving if I do encounter them.
We’ve not started grocery shopping during the week yet but plan to start doing so. That should address the “temporarily out of stock” issue I sometimes experience with popular sale items. I don’t want a rain check; to borrow from the TV commercial, “It’s my sale item and I need it now!”
At home, I like being a little productive without turning my day off into a “work day.” There’s always some “manly” outside job I can do for about an hour. Recently, I got on the roof and swept off all the pine straw that somehow accumulates even though no pine trees overhang the roof.
I also like to spend some time on “inside” projects, many related to the Internet. The draft of this post was composed on Thursday and I let it “percolate” until Saturday before finalizing it. I’m webmaster for my high school alumni organization and an alum from the late 40’s sent me a good two dozen student newspapers from those years to scan for the website.
After just a month of Fridays, I know I’m gonna love being fully retired…!