Friday, August 14, 2015

Let's Talk Self-Employed and Retirement

I'm tired of working.  Yes I know I've had it kind of easy in the working department.  I've had flexible time ever since we started our business in 1979 but I'm tired of it and lord knows The Hubby is hitting the wall in that department.  Sometimes I think it would be easier at a 9-5 kind of job with no worries after you go home but then you are stuck under someone else's thumb.  I like being self-employed with the freedom we have to get away when we want, we are the boss.  But, sometimes we aren't the boss.  Really our customers, clients are our boss and they can dictate our hours.  Especially in the early years when we were getting the company off the ground.  The Hubby worked 7 days a week 10-12 hours a day.  Then we got employees and that was another kind of headache for him to manage.  There were times that I really considered myself a single parent because of all the time he spent working.  I did resent it at times but I understood it.  You see, I come from a long line of self-employed family, my parents, both sets of grand parents, etc.  It is just kind of part of my DNA to be a self-employed person.  While The Hubby was working in the field, so to speak, I was managing the household, raising children, and the book work stuff.  At night when the girls were asleep and he was finally down I would be up working on spreadsheets, paying bills, invoicing, all by hand at the time.  I did/do my share of work, just at different kinds of time frames.  Where his is from the time he gets up in the morning to the time he sits down for dinner and after, mine is in spurts.  It was a struggle for sure to make ends meet.  Going to the grocery store with a calculator watching every single penny we spent.  I managed the money, still do and I think I've done quite well.  We started with absolutely NOTHING and look what we have now. We are comfortable in our lifestyle and so are employees, I think.  

Now all The Hubby talks about is retirement, ALL THE TIME!  Since we are hitting the 60's now it is just part of our everyday thoughts and talks with each other.  We've put a lot of time and energy in making our business very successful but it does take a toll and now we want to play more.  I'm ready to sleep in, paint, read, relax, garden, play with Rio, travel, etc.  Yes we've certainly been able to do a lot of this stuff but I think now it's the grind that is getting both of us down.  Being self-employed and especially with employees relying on you, keeping the business running and profitable is a challenge.  This past spring and summer was challenging with the oil and gas prices down a lot of our customer base is in the business and they just didn't spend any money on what we do.  The phone was silent A LOT to the point of a lot of worry.  We weathered this kind of downtime in the early 80's during all the oil crash and came out of it successfully when other companies in our field that had been around for a long time went belly up.  This time I was getting a bit worried, but all of a sudden, YEAH, we are busy.  Whew...that was a bit hairy, especially since we have this building loan hanging over our heads for the new building.  The Hubby was absolutely in a panic but now, finally, a deep breath and we can see light at the end of the tunnel.  Now if we can just hang on a few more years to get the most out of our retirement.  

I watched my parents business in the 80's faulter and die as ours built strong.  It was hard to see all the years Daddy put in in making money to have it just dry up and cease.  He had a machine shop and they majority of what he did was for the oil industry.  They had money built up but to stay afloat they used it up, closed down, sold everything off.  The money they saved they spent.  It was probably not enough to retire on but they did spend it.  Then Daddy just RETIRED.  He did it very early with not much to live off of.  Momma decided she had to get an actual job.  She went to work for MetLife in the mail room and loved it.  It got her out of the house and kind of away from Daddy.  It also provided them health  insurance which they didn't have.  Back then saving for "retirement" was just not part of their vocabulary.  Back then I guess they thought that social security would be their retirement as that is what he lives on now.  Daddy struggles to live off of social security and we DON'T want to struggle to live comfortably.  


Linda Kay said...

Jill, an interesting blog post today. I have been self-employed and have been in management. After we retired, I thought I would love to work just a few hours a week, but found that I'm not good at being an employee for someone control. Good luck with all your decisions. Maybe you could find someone interested in buying you out while the business is up, but do get a good financial advisor and attorney to make sure you are set up correctly.

20 North Ora said...

I say retire as soon as you both can afford to and enjoy life. Retirement is such a drastic change in lifestyles but it's amazing how much enjoyment you can get out of being free to do what you want.

Where do you live in Oklahoma?