Easing into retirement could be compared to moving to another country.
Matthew Radz has been easing into retirement since he quit working seven years ago after 40 years in the newspaper business. He was an editor and arts writer on half a dozen publications, including The Toronto Telegram, the Montreal Star, Harrowsmith magazine and, since 1980, The Montreal Gazette. Post-retirement passions include nature/urban photography, long 19th-century novels, and he still dabbles in writing. He took time out from his busy retirement life to write this piece.
No visa or passport required, but there is the paperwork and the hundred and one details, to say nothing of the nagging questions. Will I have enough money to live on? – the most pressing and immediate.
“I miss the camaraderie.” The phrase quickly follows the “how-are-you” whenever we bump into someone with a shared past and now living on a pension.
Easing into retirement! “Easing?” Powered increasingly by the Internet, the always changing world of mass-media is transforming into something new on various “platforms,” with fewer workers needed to fill the gaps between crowdsourcing, the PR tsunami of infotainment, the central editing and production hubs.
“I miss the camaraderie …”
Easing the passage and arrival at one of life’s great milestones was one of the guiding thoughts when CWA/SCA Canada Retirees Council was launched last November by a core group of recent and not-so-recent retirees from Newfoundland, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario who met in Toronto.
From the beginning it was decided that the Retirees Council would be a lot more than just a go-to for financial advice or low group-insurance rates.
It was soon obvious that the years of experience in all things media, (the council includes not only journalists and broadcasters, but also interpreters/translators, information technologists, light-industry workers and social-services providers) represent an important resource that could be tapped and deployed as unions everywhere are expanding their traditional mandate to advocate social change.
The generation that watched their children deprived of the social, educational and workplace advantages that they themselves had taken for granted living in more equitable times, needs no lessons in economics or politics. But it does need to mobilize if they don’t want to see their grandchildren working several MacJobs to survive and soaring tuitions that put post-secondary education out of reach for all but the wealthy.
A tall order, certainly, considering our waning energy levels and health challenges that demand more attention. And yet the Council offers a chance to stay, or become involved in the social issues that have preoccupied us during our working years.
We have the experience and we have the time to press for change on a number of issues in a world where “private” concerns rule, where compassion is a dirty word, while the notions of common good and public responsibility are under attack, deemed “unprofitable.”
We are not just a bunch of superannuated, well meaning seniors with placards. We’re planning to party. Keeping up with our former colleagues through regular get-togethers and special events.
Our mission is to unite retired media workers to advocate for social change. The Council promotes democracy, free and independent journalism, public broadcasting, union rights and social reform to improve the health and well-being of all Canadians.
With this, our first newsletter, we invite you to join us. Annual dues have been set at $20, with two locals agreeing to pick up the tab for the first-year for new retirees.
To learn more about the Retirees Council look online.
Our Website is at: http://cwa-scacanada.ca/retirees/EN
Please “like” our Retired Media Workers for Social Change Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ret.council
And follow us on Twitter: #MediaRetire