Hello, my name is Sandra Meo and today I will be speaking to you about early retirement. I have been asked by Learning English Matters to answer the following three questions.
First question, can you give us a quick professional summary?
My first job was when I was 14 years old. I was working as a waitress one day a week at my uncle’s pizzeria. It was lots of fun but I knew it was not going to be my career. So, after I finished school I started working in an office. I worked for two different companies, the last one being the one that I retired from after having been there for 21 years. Throughout that time, I worked in various departments, from being a customer service representative, to becoming an inventory analyst. I was also very lucky to have made some wonderful friends at this workplace, friends that I am still very close to.
Second question, How old were you when you retired and when did you start thinking about early retirement?
Retiring from our job is something that most people look forward to but rarely consider doing early. I always knew that I did not want to work until my mid 60’s which is the standard retirement age in our North American culture, but I was not sure when exactly I would be able to retire. There was so much more that I wanted to do with my days and this was something that I was thinking about more and more, especially after I turned 40 years old. Then around my 45th birthday, my husband and I seriously discussed the matter and we decided that I would retire. I was a little nervous at first. I wasn’t sure if this was the right decision. I had questions like how would I fill my days? Or would I be sad at not seeing my coworkers on a regular basis? These questions were making me doubt whether it was in fact the right time
for me to retire. But, I also knew that this was something I thought about often before so I made the decision that I would no longer go to work. I was going to take an early retirement and for the past year I have been very happy with my decision.
Third question, what new habits/activities have you developed now that you don’t have to go to work everyday?
Well, since I no longer need to rush out of the house every morning to go to work, I can now fill my days with activities that make me happy. For example, I love discovering and learning new things so I’ve taken different courses such as painting, yoga and learning spanish. Also, now that I have more time, I enjoy planning lunches with friends, spending more quality time with my mother, who is also retired, and even sometimes cooking a special supper for my husband. By being able to retire early I was given an amazing opportunity and although I still have the responsibility of taking care of our two homes, I make sure to take advantage of this freedom I now have by keeping busy and learning new things. For me, retiring early was a once in a lifetime opportunity for which I am extremely grateful.
This is Sandra Meo for Learning English Matters…Thanks for listening.
Words in this story
Early retirement: ending your professional career sooner than normal
Throughout: from the start to the finish
Various: referring to multiple things
Being close to someone: having a very friendly relationship with someone
Turned 40 years old: to turn + age; to reach the age of
Nervous: having or showing feelings of being worried and afraid about what might happen
Fill my days: staying busy
Doubt: being unsure about something
For example: showing how something is done or how a word is used
Take different courses: choosing to attend multiple classes to learn
Quality time: time that you spend giving all of your attention to someone who is close to you
Supper: a meal eaten in the evening
Take care of: keeping something nice or in good shape
Once in a lifetime: an opportunity that you only have one time to do or to take
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