Thank you, Jack! Is Deb fully retired? I thought she had to return to work because her replacement quit.

I can’t think about retiring until I can get full social security. But, even then, I would still work part-time. It’s being able to get to a part-time status that’s the problem. I have a financial plan for the next year that will put us in a better position.

I wanted to slow down last year but my biggest client was so busy, I worked even more hours! And, another client lost a long-time employee and moved locations, causing me to pick up more hours there. Fortunately, the employee has been replaced, and I have decreased my schedule from 3 to 2 mornings a week there. Unfortunately, that extra morning went to my biggest client, so my actual hours didn’t decrease — simply changed from one place to the other.

I figure I’ll be working full-time for at least 2 more years. Then a slow-down for two years.

It will take a least one to two years for me to train someone for the job at my biggest client. Even then, I doubt if one full-time employee can handle it. I do a massive amount of diverse work there — not just bookkeeping. They could hire a very experienced bookkeeper and she/he would not know how to do about 30% of my responsibilities. Also, they use an attorney-specific accounting and client-management program that no one else in town has. To learn the intricacies of that program will take months and I am the ONLY person in the office that knows ALL the different modules and tasks of the program. Honestly, when I think about training someone for that job, I realize it will be easier to just stay! Of course, someone has to learn it sooner or later. I won’t last forever!

One of my attorney clients is in the retirement mode. She’s a litigator and it takes a while to clear up her cases and close the doors. I’ve gone from working once a week there to once a month. That helps.

Another client, who I only work for in January, told me two days ago that she is retiring this year. That will free up a few hours every January but doesn’t help the rest of the year.

I have another client who owns/manages several businesses. I plan on sticking with him for the near future. For him, I work alone — no one to bother me — come in, do my work, and leave. And, he is moving his home office from the second floor accessed by a long winding staircase that aggravated my back to the first floor to accommodate this old lady!

And, I have another client — a small manufacturing business — that I put on notice last year. They haven’t found anyone to replace me, but I’ll probably give notice and leave this year regardless of a replacement. The owner is capable of doing what I do, though he doesn’t want to!

It is what it is for now. Hell, we may go to war soon and be blown to bits, then all this worrying and planning will be for nothing!

Hugs to you and Deb!

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