How To Make Blue Collar Retirement A Rewarding Experience

Blue Collar Retirement can be like any other life event that can modify or change you.

It doesn’t automatically dissolve unwanted or leftover parts to enable you forge ahead.

In other words, retiring from your blue collar job or career won’t necessarily make you happy, feel closer to your spouse, more motivated to take care of your health or slow down your drinking or use of pain meds.

In fact, more time and fewer distractions (which tend to come with retirement) might actually make them worse if you did not invest or plan for this period.

Wikipedia defines. “A blue-collar worker as a member of the working class who performs manual labor.”

My definition is someone who labors to fix something, make something, clean something, build something, or service something (or someone).

I have many friends who do blue-collar jobs. And, for anyone who’s ever engaged in this line of work, I usually see a certain satisfaction in a job well done.

But here’s the big question : Does blue collar retirement come with the kind of rewarding benefits equivalent to your years of hard work? The obvious answer is no. Sure, it can deliver on some of the attributes.

You might have a great product acquired or set up at a low start-up cost or any number of other individual items on the list, but if you really look at it, blue-collar just can’t get you where you want to be.

The benefits usually end as far as your physical input can take you.  Quite a risky Career to depend on if not turned into a going concern. Best advise is to manage your job alongside a part time investment.

Real Life Scenarios on why the need for a blue collar retirement plan.

I had a chat with a friend of mine who grew up in a family that's been cutting trees and hauling timber in the Pacific Northwest for more than a century.

The Spanaway, Wash., resident says he has worked as a logger since he was a kid — it's just what an able-bodied youngster was expected to do.

Now, at 53, with business in a slump and little money in savings, he's pessimistic about his chances of retiring for luck of a blue collar retirement plan.

"It's never going to happen (he says). By the time I reach retirement age, there won't be Social Security. There's not going to be any money," Edwards said. "I'll do like my father did: I'll work 'til I die."

According to an article in the associated press such concerns are common among blue-collar baby boomers across the US in particular — the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

Many have jobs that provide paltry pensions or none at all, as many companies have been moving toward less generous retirement packages in the past decade.

Many boomers expect to work the rest of their lives because they have little cash put away for their old age and they worry Social Security won't cover their bills. Some hope to move to jobs that are less physically demanding.

The share of U.S. workers who are 55 and older is expected to continue growing, according to the "The Oxford Handbook of Retirement 2013." The group comprised 12.4 percent of the workforce in 1998. The share jumped to 18.1 percent in 2008 and is expected to be almost 25 percent by 2019.

In another interview I watched on CBN, People who've worked low-wage jobs for decades, such as 46-year-old Catherine Bacon of Durant, Miss., say they have a tough time envisioning an affordable blue collar retirement plan, even if that goal is decades away.

Bacon worked 21 years in a catfish processing plant, cutting filets and hoisting bags of fish to make sure they weighed 15 pounds, never earning more than $16,000 a year.

 To supplement her income for nine of those years, she also worked weekends as a convenience store cashier. The seven-days-a-week routine meant she rarely saw her two oldest daughters when they were young.

Bacon is a single mother with two grown children and two younger children still living at home. Sitting at the kitchen counter of the double-wide trailer she rents from one of her sisters, she sighed.

"I haven't given up on living," Bacon said. "It's just, certain things I want to do, I know I won't do them. Traditional retirement — I won't have that."

"To plan for retirement in today's economy is very, very hard because people who started planning for retirement years ago put money on the side in IRAs and stuff like that.

The way the economy is and the interest rate is, they don't get anything anymore," Boudreaux said.

Boudreaux said he opened his net shop in 1980 and has also been a part of a family boat-making business since 1981.

He said he invested thousands into IRAs that today are worth very little. It's disappointing, he said, but the good news is that he loves what he does and probably wouldn't retire even if he had the means.

The kind of retirement many of us envision includes— travel, hobbies, leisure time without financial stress . But this will remain just a wishful fantasy unless we embrace and grow a part time investment.

Now lets compare blue collar retirement with white collar jobs or return to retirement investments.