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It's Official: I'm Retiring!

Fredflintstone

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Congratulations Dave! Well earned!

At 55, I have decided to faze out. Starting in April, I am moving to a free lance part time practice. My only contract will be with the Federal Government. They were a long time client with my firm and my firm allowed me to keep them. This is actually the first time I am my own boss in a sense. I’m looking forward to it. I will play my exit by ear. I love what I do even though it’s a contract pusher. I can do the work anywhere I have wifi now with the odd travel requirements. I won’t miss one thing though...at times I would put in 16 hour days for long stretches.

I have to say my firm is wonderful. I am grateful to them and told them I will be there if they are in a pinch if they run into any snags with my corporate client case load. I will do my best though to make sure their files transition smoothly.

I have had a great Ride too. I went from High School teacher to law. Both careers were rewarding and I look back with pride. It sounds like you are the same. Although great work memories were had, it’s time to write a new chapter. May your new chapter be better than all the other chapters written.








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WinniWoman

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Congratulations Dave! Well earned!

At 55, I have decided to faze out. Starting in April, I am moving to a free lance part time practice. My only contract will be with the Federal Government. They were a long time client with my firm and my firm allowed me to keep them. This is actually the first time I am my own boss in a sense. I’m looking forward to it. I will play my exit by ear. I love what I do even though it’s a contract pusher. I can do the work anywhere I have wifi now with the odd travel requirements. I won’t miss one thing though...at times I would put in 16 hour days for long stretches.

I have to say my firm is wonderful. I am grateful to them and told them I will be there if they are in a pinch if they run into any snags with my corporate client case load. I will do my best though to make sure their files transition smoothly.

I have had a great Ride too. I went from High School teacher to law. Both careers were rewarding and I look back with pride. It sounds like you are the same. Although great work memories were had, it’s time to write a new chapter. May your new chapter be better than all the other chapters written.








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Congrats to you as well!
 

PrairieGirl

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Congratulations Dave! For me, once I finally did retire I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner. Transition time? Nano seconds. You don't recognize how sleep deprived you really are until you actually get some sleep! And I often find myself now saying "how did I ever find time to work"? because my days are relaxed. That is actually a bit tongue in cheek, because when you have to get "stuff" done, you just do. But I certainly do NOT miss doing laundry at 5:30 am before heading to the office. And what I really love is that no one is looking to me to make decisions any longer. Enjoy your new life!!!
 

geist1223

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Patti and I retired a little over 7 years ago. Shortly after retiring we did a month long trip to San Jose del Cabo. Felix gets me up between 4 and 6. He really does not need to go out. He is just lonely. So I get up. We walk around the front and back yard. He might do his business. Then to the TV room. Felix curls up and goes back to sleep. He now has company. Sometimes I nap sometimes I start reading the News online. Twice a day I read BBC, CNN, FOX, and at least one local news outlet. Patti gets up between 7 and 8 am. We work in the yard and/or house for 2 to 4 hours per day. I take Felix for a long walk every day.

A couple months after we retired I remember how a friend asked us where we were volunteering. I said no where. Did not feel the need. The friend volunteers so much she has to schedule her trips and arrange for replacements just like she was working. Now Patti volunteers 1 day per week helping take care of Bush Park across the Street. I help out twice a year helping set up their large plant sales. Patti also volunteers for St Francis. The only true family shelter in Marion County. This is mainly the last 30 days leading up to Christmas. I help out as needed. Such as recently they need to do a Dump run to clean out an apartment that had been trashed. It helps having a big Crew Cab Pickup.

So Dave kick back and enjoy. There is no rush. There is always tomorrow.
 

DaveNV

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A couple months after we retired I remember how a friend asked us where we were volunteering. I said no where. Did not feel the need. The friend volunteers so much she has to schedule her trips and arrange for replacements just like she was working.

I understand. A friend retired from nursing about ten years ago from the hospital where I work. He turned around and started volunteering two days a week at the hospital, helping people find their way, and answering questions and such. Now I think he volunteers four days a week. Just too much, I think. But then, he was invested in working there for many years, and I don't think he was ready to give it up when he retired. I plan to stay busy doing my own things. I know there are many projects I've been putting off till retirement - now I won't have any excuses. :)

Dave
 

SandyPGravel

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now I won't have any excuses.

Careful DW has that in writing now!

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Luanne

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I've told this story before, but when dh and I retired we were literally on the road the day after he left his job. We drove from California to New Mexico to move into and settle into our new home. I was technically still working through the end of the year, but without internet at our home I wasn't able to do much. We were in a timeshare the first week while waiting for our furniture to arrive. So we were up early every morning to go up to the house and wait for delivery of appliances and such. Furniture was delivered on Thanksgiving day. We took the next day off to play tourist, then went back to "work" again. So for the first few weeks of retirement we were quite busy just getting settled.
 

klpca

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Many congratulations Dave! Enjoy!
 

Sugarcubesea

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Dave,

congrats I’m so happy for you. I’m going to take a play out of your playbook. I like the idea of living off your retirement money before you retire to ensure it works.
I’m hoping I can retire when I turn 65, but I will see how the finances are at that snapshot.

I have 6 years and 9 months to go
 
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DaveNV

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Dave,

congrats I’m so happy for you. I’m going to take a play out of your playbook. I like the idea of living off your retirement money before you retire to ensure it works.
I’m hoping I can retire when I turn 65, but I will see how the finances are at that snapshot.

Thank you! Feel free to take any ideas I've offered in this thread. I'm not an expert at this, by any stretch, but I'm a pretty practical kind of guy. This just seemed like a really good thing to try and do. When the retirement funds kicked in together, I figured it was a good test of my preparedness to live on my retirement.

I also feel fortunate to have the opportunity to do this. If something comes up, I'll have the regular income waiting in reserve. So far, it seems to be working, despite having to buy a set of tires for my spouse's car, after we discovered a major tear in the sidewall of one. The tires were ten years old, so it was best to replace all four. But even with that unexpected expense, I didn't need to touch that savings account, and I'm still on track with things. Life presents curveballs, and this was one. So far, I'm batting 1000. :)

Dave
 

artringwald

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Smart move! I still get up at the same time, but if I don't have any morning plans, I have a cup of coffee, read the paper, catch up on email, and take my morning nap. Sometimes there's an afternoon nap too. I started riding my bicycle more, and as my former coworkers saw how much fun I was having, they started retiring early too. In the summer, there's as many as 12 of us that ride our bikes on a different route each week, usually to a lunch destination with adult beverages. It the winter I take free classes from Coursera.org. Since I was a software developer, I enjoyed the Computational Investing class. Certainly, the most entertaining class was The History of Rock and Roll. They offer classes on a wide variety of subjects, mostly taught by university professors. Since it's free, you can skip the homework or even drop out if you don't like it.

Enjoy you're retirement, and I'm sure it won't take you long before you wonder how you ever had enough time to work.
 

TheTimeTraveler

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Hi DaveNW;

Congratulations on making the big "D" (decision). For some folks taking the time to make the actual decision to pull the trigger can be difficult.


A few things I have found;

1). Every day is a Saturday.
2). No rush or timeframe to do anything; stress is a thing of the past.
3). Take a nap whenever you feel like it.
4). Watch what and when you eat; always tempting to snack during any idle time (potential weight gain).
5). You may end up having less free time than you thought you would (lots of honey do projects).
6). The miles I used to drive have gone way down without my commute.
7). I make sure I am not on the road during "rush hour" times during the morning and afternoon; plan ahead.
8). You'll have plenty of time to go on TUG.....



My spouse did tell me that I snore a lot so my PCP suggested a sleep study, and determined that I needed a CPAP machine. Now I sleep better than ever and roll out of bed whenever I feel like it.

You have many years of retirement ahead of you; enjoy every single minute of it :wave:



.
 
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Luvtoride

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As you know I’ve not worked since Sept. 2018. I had no issues transitioning as my personality is such that I am always busy doing something, even if it is just reading. Then, of course, the whole selling, buying and renting house thing came along and have been in a flux ever since and not settled yet. I used to get up at 4 am each day before work to do stuff, including exercise, but I quickly adjusted to the seasons. Right now get up at 7am when the sun is up and go to bed around 10 or 10:30, though I do not sleep well at all. In the summer I know I will be up with the birds.

For my husband, who just retired before the holidays, it’s been hard because we are in limbo in the rental house and he does not have much to do- and that is an understatement. We both are just “ waiting” around to move. This said, for us it has been too many life changes at once. The downsizing of a majority of our earthly possessions, house selling and buying thing, living in this rental out of boxes and the huge expense of it, his retirement and all the logistics of that process with his company, no livable pension coming in and not taking SS yet, dealing with the heath care insurance system- Medicare for him and regular insurance ( and maybe ACA soon) for me. Major overload for me who handled the majority of all of it while hubby worked.

For a person with OCD like me where I am super organized and always have a plan and in control, and lived in a beautiful home before this rental house, this has really aged me.

For my husband so far he has not had any enjoyment out of being retired yet other than that he doesn’t have to wake up at 5 am and commute. Me- I’m still waiting for the fun to begin.

Hopefully will be moving in 2 weeks ( please pray for us that it doesn’t snow) and we can begin to work towards having some kind of normal life again. Will take a long time, though.

I am worried about finances big time. Not having a paycheck coming in each week is scary. I still am not sure how we are going to live. I have a good idea of what expenses will be for our budget, and in the Northeast they ain’t low. Plus the new house needs a lot more money put into it. That’s why we need the FA.

Anyhow- through everything I don’t see how I could have worked. It was more than a full time job doing it all.

Anyway, despite everything, I never want to work again. My husband might consider a per diem type thing like at Lowe’s or something in a year or two, but since we have so much to do at the new house in the meantime, I venture to guess he won’t want to when the time comes.

Anyway, to me, it’s all better than going to work everyday, though a lot of it has been harder than my actual job was.

WOW, WW that’s a lot of things to consider and think about. May I ask what prompted each of your retirement timing decisions if you didn’t feel financially secure yet and ina position tobcollect SS yet? Hopefully Its not health issues (sorry if i haven’t followed your previous posts).

I’m obsessed with thinking about and planning if I can retire in the next year or 2. My wife and I are both turning 63 this year and she retired 6 months ago. We are fortunate that we both have pensions but still filling the GAP in income from 2 salaries and before SS is a bit scary.

Another important point that many have raised here is about having a plan as to how to spend your days in retirement. That is not a minor consideration and needs almost as much thought as the financial side.

This is a great thread and I am envious of most of the members here touting their happiness in retirement! Great for all of you and Congrats Dave on pulling the trigger after much thought!

Brian


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slip

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Congratulations Dave!! I know it was a long time coming and with a couple of hiccups but you made sure it’s right now. Well Deserved!!

If your wife retires early too you will have some travel threads to post. Enjoy!!
 

heathpack

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I am jealous.

:D
 

A.Win

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I find the financial part of retirement to be stressful. I am too greedy to accept a safe 2% return. And I would be angry that others are making much more than me.

On the other hand, a bear market can bring losses of 20% or more, which would represent several years of wages lost.

As few people have pensions and social security is not a certainty, managing money is such a gamble these days.
 

artringwald

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Thanks very much. Those who work in IT can understand and appreciate all the afterhours work that happens, with system upgrades and server failures and so forth, where "9 to 5" is a dream for a perfect working world, which rarely happens. I will not miss those 2:00AM phone calls, and all the times I carried a pager so they could reach me anywhere I happened to be.
Back in the 80's, I was the systems manager for a VAX 11/780, in addition to my job as a software developer. My wife still grumbles about the affair she thought I was having with VaxAnne. She wasn't sad at all when the lab hired a full time systems manager.
 

artringwald

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WinniWoman

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WOW, WW that’s a lot of things to consider and think about. May I ask what prompted each of your retirement timing decisions if you didn’t feel financially secure yet and ina position tobcollect SS yet? Hopefully Its not health issues (sorry if i haven’t followed your previous posts).

I’m obsessed with thinking about and planning if I can retire in the next year or 2. My wife and I are both turning 63 this year and she retired 6 months ago. We are fortunate that we both have pensions but still filling the GAP in income from 2 salaries and before SS is a bit scary.

Another important point that many have raised here is about having a plan as to how to spend your days in retirement. That is not a minor consideration and needs almost as much thought as the financial side.

This is a great thread and I am envious of most of the members here touting their happiness in retirement! Great for all of you and Congrats Dave on pulling the trigger after much thought!

Brian


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Well for me I had planned to work until age 65 so I could go on Medicare. Either that or hubby would have maybe stayed on his job until he was 67 so I could be on his employer health plan and also continue to bring in a paycheck. Not that I wanted to work until 65- I really was burnt out and tired of the schedule of work, though there were certainly some things I liked about it.

Unfortunately, there were changes in management in the workplace and to make it short- I and other long time employees were forced to resign, with no severance packages or anything like that. Small company- no pensions. Meanwhile, hubby was more and more expressing each day how he wanted to retire. He was getting tired of the commute and again- the schedule of work day in and day out. I am 63 and he is 65.

Soooo...last February I interviewed several financial advisors and chose one- an independent that is a fee only and does not manage your assets- just is paid for his advice and planning. We had decided at first that hubby would retire at age 66 (his FRA for SS), which is this upcoming April. But the FA said that of he wanted to, he could retire sooner.

Meanwhile, we had intentions of moving out of state at some point (and were considering a lot of different options for that) after my husband retired and the FA told us to check with some realtors to see what we could get for our home, so we interviewed a few of them also. After the long winter last year, we also made a couple of appts to go up to our state of choice- NH- to see some real estate and take a mini break for a few days. Checked out independent living cottages way up north there and a development in the lakes region, where we preferred to live.

But we were not ready yet, of course. That said, it really bothered us that we could not move forward. We felt we were getting older and were tired and, living in a very rural setting in isolation, we were ready for a change of lifestyle. We really liked the new construction development and location that we had seen in NH (nothing else like it in the state and at our price point) and I was very sad that we were not in a position to buy yet- or so we thought.

Thanks to TUGGERS when I expressed my feelings about the situation, on THEIR suggestions, I called our FA a week after that visit to NH to see if there wasn't some way we could buy the new construction home before our current home was sold. To our surprise he said to go ahead and buy it and not worry about our house selling as it eventually would and we could float some of our money or maybe even get some kind of temp. investment loan or something like that. Elated, I contacted the realtor for the new house, contacted a chosen realtor for our current house, and the following weekend we were up in NH signing papers and our current home was listed the same day. The next day on our way back to NY, the people who were to become the buyers of our house were there looking at it!

I immediately- that same day we got home from NH- started the downsizing process- listing our possessions on Facebook Marketplace. Our porch furniture was taken that very night we got back! We accepted the offer on our current home two weeks after the buyers looked at it.

We closed on our NY home on 9/30, moving on 9/27 into the former home of the people who purchased our home! They needed renters in order to qualify for the mortgage and we needed a temporary place to live until hubby retired so we in essence swapped homes! Costing us a fortune to live here but at least we have a 6 month lease- not easy to get. We have paid through February and unless they can get another tenant will be responsible for March as well. Money flying out of our accounts like crazy. But it is a 900 square foot home from the 50's and we are living out of boxes and really tight quarters. We joke how it is good practice for living in our small retirement cottage, but at least our new home has a small driveway to shovel/snowblow snow. Here there are two driveways (one a 4 car and one a 2 car) and half a steep private road that we are responsible for the snow removal! UGH...

Because the new house was supposed to be done by 11/1 (which it turns out it wasn't and we didn't close on it until 12/31 (and it is still not totally done- but that is another story)), we wanted hubby to retire sooner, like in the Fall, but the process was very overwhelming. He had Medicare Part A, but now needed B and SS needed a certain form from his employer to get him on that (another process when you work for a large national company), so I had to bring it to the SS office 45 minutes away for that, and come to find out if he retired the end of the year and receiving the money in January (which he did officially retire on 12/31) he would get more money (due to an interest rate change or something?) in his lump sum pension (which was cut off at the knees years ago as the company went to a stupid cash balance plan- even after promising older employees that would not happen). Him taking the annuity monthly pension amount would be nothing to live on, which is one of several reasons why we chose the lump sum instead. There was a process for the rollover for that as well, as our FA wanted a Brokerage IRA set up for hubby (for more flexibility with investments) and he only had IRA mutual funds with a mutual fund company. So I had to get that set up for him as well to accept the money.

We are leaving his 401k at the company for now as he gets a match in February and we will deal with whether to roll it over to his IRA account or not later. It is invested in a Stable Value Fund which is not available in the private marketplace, but I am certain there are probably big fees involved in a 401k as is usual, so will have to investigate more when I have the time.

I had a 401K also, but I did roll it over to my IRA. It was not that large as I only contributed like 5% to it, (my husband also contributed just 5% for most of his working life- bumping it up a bit more in the past couple of years) and did Roth contributions as well. Both hubby and I were not high earners- just average - below 6 figures- but we saved as much as we could - in Traditional and Roth IRA's-and consider ourselves pretty frugal- but not crazy frugal. I inherited some money from the sale of my parents home- split with my brother- and my mom's IRA account- which I have to take a small RMD's out of every year.

The next step was getting hubby on a Medicare supplement and Part D plan, which he had to go through a broker his company uses to qualify for a $60 monthly HRA employer contribution. A nightmare in and of itself and too long a story. And then, of course, there was the issue of health insurance for me, which right now I am on his retiree medical at $545 per month for a high deductible plan! The FA wants me to go on an ACA plan when we move as we are currently living on our cash savings, which is freaking me out.

When I tell you dealing with all this involved more time and logistics than you would think would be an understatement. Plus building a new construction house long distance. I handled it all as my husband was commuting and working all day. Getting used to being renters for the first time in our lives and living out of boxes in our 60's. I have been crying for months.

To think, we have to go through this whole process again in 2 more weeks when we finally move to our new home. Changing addresses took me 6 hours to do on this last move. Then we have to get new health insurance for both of us. Not easy. I dread it.

I have also worked on getting medical records sent to the new state- where we had to immediately get a doctor for hubby who is on high blood pressure meds. Not as easy as it sounds. Lots of docs not taking new patients or Medicare or even my insurance. Try to get a recommended doc- oh well- no new patients. Ended up taking a crap shoot for a new doc in a practice. I am still trying to get my records sent from my current doc in NY, who just merged with another practice and his office is in a flux. So I have yet to get an appt with the new doc in NH for myself.

So back to the financials- our FA told me to use our cash savings for now to live on until we move and the dust settles. Right now I figure we are good until June at least. We have a signed agreement with him for this year so he will work with us to get us through. He insists we do not take SS until age 70 and he insists we try to get our tax deferred account balances down (with some Roth conversions) as much as we can as to avoid at least a little bit of the tax torpedo that people incur when they are required to take RMD's at age 72 (or if they need to before). He is taking taxes into account and wants me to go on an ACA plan with subsidies which would involve keeping our income very low on paper. I am still nervous about everything with not having a paycheck coming in and watching our savings account dwindle is so scary to me..

Not only using the money to live on for everyday expenses, but we have so many other expenses with the new house- this little cottage didn't cost that much less than what we sold our home for so we have limited funds left from the former house sale to play with. I just keep withdrawing money and writing out checks and I cringe when I have to look at our savings and checking accounts. But- I have to have faith in this FA we hired to get through it.

So- this has been my- our life so far in retirement. We did get to go to our timeshares this summer and Thanksgiving week (where we got to see our house in person for the first time!) and we were able to squeeze in a planned trip to Utah in Sept. right before we moved into the rental and closed on our NY home, thankfully.

But very little-social life since I retired. Maybe two or three lunches with a friend since 9/'18., and a dinner with 2 former coworkers- again in 2018- and 2 annual friend reunions. 2018 Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. You can see there were so few of them I can remember them easily.

That is why we chose the development to live in in NH. It is not a 55+, but it is like that. Not an ACTIVE adult community with endless activities scheduled, but the residents do plan some parties and activities throughout the year. Some evenings they might get togather for a card game. A senior daytime bowling. Stuff like that. There is a clubhouse and a pool and as I mentioned this is in a tourist area so a lot to do right nearby and we can also walk to the boardwalk/beach/lake. It is quaint and very New England, yet like something you might also see in Florida. HOA does the tiny lawns and plows the private road and covers trash.

So this is just what it takes I guess, but certainly not how I envisioned retirement to be so far. It has been a long drawn out process.

The good news is- we ARE retired and we did get our little retirement cottage in the area we wanted (which is near where our only child lives as well) and ,God willing, will be moving there in 2 weeks! And- we are so far healthy for the most part and that is priceless.

At some point hope we will look back on this all and laugh, but right now not so much. Sorry this is so long but I wanted for you to get the whole picture. The retirement process for us has not been easy but we are hanging in there.
 
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bbodb1

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