Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Plan

Lacking a coherent plan, I've begun to take action. That has its drawbacks.

Let me explain by example. Let's assume your objective is to secure a top-level job in biochemistry. But your educational background is in archeology. Nevertheless, you want that senior job as a biochemist. You've even identified the specific job you want and that job is in another town. You move to that town, buy a house, and show up for work at the job you want. But it's already filled by someone else. They question why you've shown up for work at a job that is not yours...especially since you haven't pursued the education needed to be a biochemist.

You failed to plan the intermediate steps required to achieve that dream job.

Now, let's assume your objective isn't the dream job but is, instead, early retirement. But you haven't saved enough money to fund it. And you don't know how you're going to cover necessities like health insurance, let alone living expenses, before Social Security and Medicare kick in. Nevertheless, you make the decision to retire early. You decide to shut down your business and move on to "the next phase" of your life. Whoops. You forgot to plan this out. How's this all going to work? Is it going to work?

Not having the answer, and lacking the ability to even ask the right questions, you blunder blithely ahead.

Plans are so "corporate." So mundane. So necessary.


YourFireAnt said...

"The best laid plans....."

bev said...

Even if things aren't going as hoped, it's still good to plan and work on creative ideas for alternatives. For example, before things got totally wrecked by Don's cancer diagnosis and death, we had already decided to sell the farm and move to Nova Scotia as the disparity between property values in Ontario and Nova Scotia were so great that it would make retirement possible. We knew we couldn't afford to completely retire, but had already decided that we were both in good enough health that we'd probably do some odd-jobbing after moving there. The are we would be going to has a lot of seasonal work in agriculture - fruit pickers, etc... so we figured we'd probably both do that until our pensions kicked in - and in winter - close up the house and take off camping our way back and forth to Arizona. Basically, I've put most of the above plan into effect, except that I don't really have to do the fruit-picking thing. Anyhow, if it were me, I'd work out a bunch of different scenarios based on doing consulting working, finding some kind of PLEASANT self-employment -- for example, I had a good friend who got really sick of working in the car biz and did a bit of apprenticing with a shoe repair guy for a few weeks, then set up his own shoe repair shop in a small village. Similarly, back in the 70s, my dad was a corporate troubleshooter in Montreal. He took a nervous breakdown after several years of major stress. We moved to a smaller city and, after he got feeling better, he returned to his "roots" - he was a mechanic when he was a young man - and he opened a radiator repair company. A couple of years later, he sold that and then worked repairing marine motors for my uncles' sporting goods company. In later years, he took some computer graphics courses and did that kind of work as a freelancer, and then the last thing he did was to invent a grain mill for sparging barley for home-brewing and he built those in his basement and supported the household with that for several years until he became ill (he got cancer and I looked after him and ran his business building and selling mills for a couple of years). Anyhow, even now, I am tossing around the idea of starting some kind of biz that I could do for 6 months of the year while in Canada, and then take winters off and go south. I don't really need to do it, but I do get a bit bored, so it's something I've been considering. Just haven't figured out what I feel like doing. Need to do more creative thinking with a very open mind. Good luck with your plans. I have a feeling you'll come up with something.