Monday, January 2, 2017


HAPPY NEW YEAR and HAPPY NEW STATUS!!! After working since 1980 as a behavior specialist, behavior analyst, behavioral health worker, substance abuse technician, mental health worker, caregiver, and now a relief intake coordinator/behavioral health worker, I have decided to cut down on my work hours and try my hand at semi-retirement. Prior to that, I was a physical fitness instructor in the Philippines for 2 years. If anyone is counting, that would be 38 years of working full time except for a brief 6 month stint of being unemployed after being laid off in 2013.

Why just semi-retirement and not full retirement? Well, there's this thing called medical, dental, and vision insurance that I still need from something called a job, and I am reducing my work hours to the most minimum required to still obtain the insurance benefits, although I have to pay more for them. By the way, if it at all matters, I'm 59 and a half years old and 5 and a half years away from qualifying for Medicare.

Since November 2016, I had been considering cutting back on my work hours. Our full time schedule calls for three 12 hour shifts a week, and in the past 5 months, I particularly, had been assigned to work 2 nights a week on the psych units as a behavioral health worker with the patients, and 1 night a week as a relief intake coordinator in an office (which pays slightly more). I had been waiting to see how much of a pay increase I would get which I found out at the end of November. It was decent enough so I started calculating my monthly expenses against my possible income based on the lesser working hours, taking into account the taxes which would be taken out automatically from my paycheck. Based on this, I figured I might be able to survive with still a little leeway for unforeseen expenses, without dipping into my retirement nest egg.

Finally, a month ago, I emailed my Nurse Manager with a request to change my status from full time to part time, effective New Year's Day 2017. My last shift working full time was New Year's Eve.

I haven't figured out what to do with my free time between nights off yet and that's something I'll have to ponder. I've been having insomnia lately so maybe I'll be able to maintain better sleep patterns. Whatever happens in semi-retirement, it's going to be a new journey.
New Year's Eve at work