Aida Fuentes Thoughts on Retirement

Aida Fuentes Thoughts on Retirement

By Varian Salters

Aida Fuentes and Varian Salters

“1998-2021 I worked as the receptionist for the DDS Willimantic Office signing people in and out at the front desk, from 91-97 I ran the broiler at Burger King, before that I was a dishwasher at Friendly’s that was a lot of shifts. I would get home sleep and have to get up all over again. I liked DDS best.”

Although she enjoyed her time with DDS, she says she doesn’t want to go back. 7/30/21 was her actual retirement date.

Aida says retirement is okay, “No trips yet, no vacations yet. “I do walk every day, people in town know me.” An aide Shenise McClellan helps her in the community “No not really, not sure what would make my time better.”

Some of the things they do: Daily walks in Willimantic, “I do cook at home some, I like to make rice and beans. I listen to Motown everyday”
Other activities include:

“I do gift wrapping at the East Brook mall. People bring me their purchases and I wrap them for gifts. I collect sturdy boxes through the year.” Aida enjoys making Afghans and Hats that she wants to sell. She volunteers to do Christmas wrapping at the East brook Mall and for the Mill Museum.  “I like to go to the street Fests and walk through the gardens.” Going out to eat at Blondies, her favorite place “They know my name there. I don’t come as often now that I’m retired-not as much money. I used to like to spend money, you can’t take it with you when you go.”

 Aida feels like she belongs & feels included at Blondies where they know her name and knows what she likes to order. She feels like she belongs & feels included wrapping for Christmas at the East brook Mall and with the Mill Museum.

“I lost two of my siblings last year, Linda and Benji I never really got to know them”

Sometimes it’s hard to make ends meet “Yes, I have to watch my pennies”. I’m retired-not as much money.” She says she doesn’t always have enough to do everything she might like to. “Not always.”

Aida used to go for overnights with the Rock and Roll Advocacy Group at Camp Harkness but hasn’t since the pandemic. “No, I haven’t been”.

Retirement has some perks; “I like relaxing, and I don’t have to get up as early, I get up between 8:30 and 9 or whenever I want to. I make my own schedule”

She has a few places on her bucket list for the future:

“I want to go back to the place I came from, Puerto Rico. Maybe an overnight at Foxwoods.”

Her advice for those thinking of retirement “Depends on the person and their circumstances.”

Aida Fuentes