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Anyone close to retirement? / when do you start counting the days?


Look2Sea
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Retired 2 1/2 years ago at 55 and don't regret it at all. I don't know how I ever had time to work!

 

My husband who is a few years younger has been counting down his days to retirement since I retired. His retirement date is July 23, 2011, when he turns 55. He tells me how many days he has left every day, now that he is less than a year away.

 

He has quite a lot of leave time he has to use before retiring (poor baby), we have been practicing with several longer cruises a year for the last 2 years.

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I was fortunate to land a very difficult job with a great retirement plan. I started in 1968 as a Probation Trainee working in Juvenile Hall. Due to budget problems the County has revised its retirement benefits three times since I was hired. This was a prudent move since most municipalities and states are facing bankruptcy due to unsustainable retirement systems. Planning brochures had graphs which indicated the benefit-age formulas. I put in 37 years. I had planned to retire between ages 58-60. I made these plans 20 years prior to retiring. It's never too early. We stayed in our home which we purchased 34 years ago thus avoiding the higher taxes which acompany moving to a more expensive property and we paid off our mortgage. Once you do the math you can set your date. I retired 4 months after my 59th birthday. 6 cruises so far.

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I retired June 2010 after counting the days for two years.

It was a great relief to stop working; I feel relaxed, have time to take walks, and cook/eat good meals.

 

At times I feel a little lost but I guess it takes some time to adjust to retirement.

 

To my surprise, when I look back, it seems that the years of working went by so quickly.

For me, it was kind of like looking back on raising my kids (it went by so quickly), and I tend to remember only the good parts.

 

My words of encouragement to people who are counting the days:

Enjoy it (work) as best you can; it goes by so quickly.

Edited by Look2Sea
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Look2Sea, I know what you mean. Six months after my original post, I consider myself well-and-truly retired. And very happy about it.

 

But still a bit lost. A colleague of mine recently got a contract job after being jobless for almost a year, an I admit I'm a bit jealous. But only a bit--when I think about the industry I was in (IT), I shudder.

 

Long walks are getting a bit boring, I need to connect with more people I think. I'm tutoring ESL, but that's only one person, need to find more things like that. I live downtown in a very accessible city, so I have no excuses. Travel is limited yet, because my spouse won't retire for another 2 years.

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In addition to financial security two other factors must be considered. Do you view your occupation as part of your identity? If so you may need to find similar volunteer or part time work for self fullfillment.

 

Also consider what your spouse wants out of retirement. Some men see retirement as a second honeymoon while their wives say "what the hell am I going to do with him here all the time?".

 

If you expect some conflict and adjustments then you will not be shocked or disappointed when it occurs. Taking cruises tends to even out the rough patches.

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Wendy,

Fellow retirees (from the company that I worked for) said that it can take about one year to adjust.

I've reached a point where I realize I need to venture out, explore interests, extend and accept invitations, etc.

Yesterday I went to a local museum that offers free admission on the first Sunday of the month.

I recently started using a spreadsheet to plan potential activities, tasks, TV watching, meal planning, books to read, etc.

This seems to help with providing some structure but with the beauty of still being able to do as I please.

Former co workers tell me that the job has become even more frustrating, and I delight that I no longer have to endure the frustrations.

 

Best wishes to you,

Annette

Edited by Look2Sea
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Thank you Annette, and all the best to you too.

 

Our main museum is a 10 minute walk from us, and has a free *hour* once a week. I've done that a couple of times, and now that you have reminded me, I will go tomorrow! One hour is perfect, given that it's so close.

 

Oh, and I've also started spending a lot more time exercising--I figure this is all time in the bank against future infirmity.

 

I'm also studying Spanish, and attempting to practice my long-forgotten piano skills--just scales and exercises so far.

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I hope no one at work knows my username here and is monitoring these boards because if everything works out, my last day, will be December 21, 2010. I work for a school system and it all depends on what my retirement benefits will add up to.

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I started counting at 1020 days (November 2007) and my target date was September 1, 2010. Early this year I found out that my company was the target of a buy out, so. . . I am still hanging on with the hopes that once the sale goes through a "package" will be offered. I didn't want to retire and find out that if I had just hung on a little while longer I could have gotten an enhanced retirement. Hopefully I will know more by the end of this year.

 

I am now at D-day minus 39 and let me tell you - it has been really hard to get up in the mornings since the original D-day has passed. In my mind, I quit on September 1!! I have an Outlook task that pops up on my computer every morning when I log on that counts my days (which are now in the negative). I sure hope that I will get something extra to fund my travel plans. DH is several years younger (I was one of the original cougars ;))and we are trying to figure out a way for him to retire a little earlier than he had planned. It's the insurance issue that concerns us at this time.

 

So happy to read that all those who have taken the plunge are happy with their decisions.

 

G

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Look to Sea........Here's what worked for me

 

Find something you like to do....whether its a part time job or volunteer

work. I was an athlete in college, and a coach in my spare time while my kids were growing up. I love sports. I got a perfect part time job monitoring

athletic fields in Northern Virginia. My job is to make sure that the youth groups and adult users who have applied for permits are not squeezed out of usage by "walk on" groups, and that the fields are well maintained, and the groups are happy. It doesn't pay a whole lot, but it's basically a PR job that allows me to interact with groups I really like. In my mind, that's the key. Do something you actually like doing. Do something that keeps you relevant and meaningful.......work in a community center, a library, a hospital, whatever! The nice thing is you can walk away if it's not right for you, because you're not in it for the money, and your family's well being doesn't depend on it.

 

By the way, we put my earnings in a special account and use it for cruises and Christmas ...what could be better?

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I hope no one at work knows my username here and is monitoring these boards because if everything works out, my last day, will be December 21, 2010. I work for a school system and it all depends on what my retirement benefits will add up to.

 

Why the secrecy? When I finally transfered to the office I realized would be my last assignment I would walk down the hall declaring "only 20 more years to go." Everyone laughed. By the time I was at 18 months from retirement I wondered "where did the years go?"

 

After some years had passed prior to retirement I would run into friends from other offices. Initially some would say "Are you still in the Valley office." Some years later they would say "Are you still with the department?" When it progressed to "Are you still alive?" I knew it was time to go.

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Anyone close to retirement? :)

 

When do you start counting the days?

 

Let's see...I started my first job on June 12, 1965.......so I started counting the days, oh, probably on June 13, 1965. So that would have been....counting on fingers....taking off the socks so I can use my toes....where's that darn calculator?.....Oh, who cares? I retired in May and have been enjoying life to the fullest since then. Unfortunately, you know what they say about retirement: "Half the money and twice the husband..."

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Really interested to read this thread as I made it official last week that I would be retiring next Summer, I have pretty much loved my job and have worked without a break - although moved from place to place for promotion - for 35 years. But I work in education and I am fed up of everyone thinking they know better than the professionals. Everyone thinks because they went to school hey have all the answers and nothing should ever change!! This might not be the case in the US but it's how things are in the UK so I have been counting the months for 2 years when I decided to go Summer 2011 but I'm now counting the days. And of course counting the days until my next cruise in April 2011!

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I had a quick count down I decided and four weeks later I left . My boss could not believe it but I was ready . I've been retired almost four years and it has been great except for losing a lot in the melt down . I joined a gym , updated my house ,travelled and started selling on ebay .

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  • 5 months later...

I'm a partner with an international law firm, with a great practice and great clients. Been at the same firm for 33 plus years. But see people retiring and passing away all around me. May be at the peak of my career but all I really want to do is cruise. No pension of course. So when do you say enough? What life style will you be happy with? Too serious questions for a cruise board but the OP got me thinking. Age 59.

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