Home for Retired Typesetters

Ahh retirement! Comforting thought. But is it a reality for all? I’m blessed in this respect. Been working in many roles for several companies for over 35 years, the baseline for Social Security computations on benefits. I have a couple of meager IRAs and 401ks. And I’m married to someone who is employed in a more lucrative occupation.

Forty years ago I joked with my peers about hanging out together in the distant future in our home for retired typesetters. I don’t know if there is much call for typesetters any more, but it illustrates how uncertain the future in our business is.

Like I said, I consider myself lucky to be able to retire soon. I think I’ll be able to remain self sufficient for the rest of my days, but you never know. So I especially wonder about those design/graphics/print people who still have a long way to go and those who are self-employed and how they prepare for their possible retirement. Is this the proverbial 600 lb gorilla? I wish you all long, productive careers with a well deserved rest following it’s conclusion!


I either have 2 more years or 7. Depends on how things shake out.
I did not plan properly but can make ends meet

My opinion on 401k is mixed. Considering how much of a haircut mine got in 2008 and again just last year, I’m not impressed with having some third party gambling my retirement on the stock market. Wish there was a better way. And I figure whatever year I do retire, the year before that is the year Social Security goes bankrupt, so I just look at working until I die.

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I’ll likely be easing into retirement over the next year from my solo design business. Doing so all at once seems like too big of a shock, but cutting things back to only those jobs I want to take is beginning to seem very attractive.

I might be luckier than most with pensions, social security, 401ks, royalties, and investments. For me, it’s not the money I worry about (thankfully) as much as it is not having anything to do except pointless (for me) hobby and recreation sorts of things. I’m not exactly a puttering around-the-house sort of person. I keep remembering back to when summer vacation would come around when I was a kid. The endless summer of fun was great. Somehow, I need to duplicate that feeling, but building tree houses and playing with the neighbor kids isn’t viable any longer. :wink:

I have friends not much younger than me who have saved nothing, didn’t sign up for 401k deductions, don’t have pensions, and have no significant savings. They’ve spent their whole lives living paycheck to paycheck. If I were them, I’d be panicking.

I also worry about all the people in their 20s and 30s who bet their careers on fields like ours. Typesetting is already something that’s mostly disappeared, and I’m not sure that graphic design is all that far behind — at least as we know it.

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Yeah, 401K can go either way. I appreciate company contributions as a perk, but never invested heavily into it or chose the “aggressive” strategy. I guess if you play it right, it can work out the way it’s promoted.

As for Social Security, that’s a promise from the Federal Government that we all count on. We all get dinged regularly as deductions in our paychecks. Even though my dad started benefiting at age 65, I can accept waiting until age 66 yrs 4 months in order to save SS. And now they add on another month wait for every year older you get. That’s not going to work long term.

I’m really not in the habit of protesting stuff, but if they did go belly up, I’d be out in front of the Capital fence in my tent with signs up and a tin cup out, if I could find room.

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That’s awesome! Glad you thought ahead to make retirement a reality. I’m sad for the ones that choose to ignore this issue, cause time passes faster as you get older. I’m like you in that I cannot just chill and enjoy doing nothing. It’s great to continue in your field on your own terms, but I believe in hobbies. So I just passed my amateur radio exam and now roam the frequencies as a HAM operator. It offers a whole new world of different modes of communication and gets me offline. Next thing, I’m getting an active dog that loves to walk and play.

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This is a topic that is near to my heart right now. I have a good few years left until I hit retirement age, but I’m certainly old enough that this is on my radar.

I’ve spent basically my entire career as a self-employed creative. So any retirement planning, saving, and investing has fallen directly on my shoulders alone. While I’ve never claimed to be the sharpest tack in the drawer, my wife and I have been smart about saving for the future. We might not own a winter home in Florida and a summer home in Michigan, but we should be able to take vacations to those places.

As far as what I’ll do in retirement, if I’ll ease into it, if I’ll still take on select design projects? Tough to say what the marketplace will be like when that day comes. But I’m fairly certain I won’t let the grass grow under my feet (is that an expression?) while I sit around and do nothing.


I’m closing in on retirement age but I don’t plan to retire. Two reasons; one, I can’t really afford to and two, I love what I do and I’d miss it. Working from home the last year or so makes it even better.

Besides, this forum serves as a ‘Home for retired typesetters’ in many ways - we can reminisce about the old days and bitch about how they do things now. I’m sure I’ve seen that kind of thing going on …


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