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Old 01-04-2016, 01:55 PM
 
5,340 posts, read 5,300,572 times
Reputation: 12489

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OP is nuts. The world is your oyster OP, sink your teeth. SINK 'EM.

Learn an instrument and play at dive bars
Take up gardening or bird watching
Take up an activity like adventure cycling (riding around your State and then expanding) – tons of fun and very interesting.
Learn about and partake in an art (painting, drawing, printmaking, etc.)
Get an easy but fun part time job. Be a Walmart greeter and do fun stuff with the gig
Teach the grandkids about whatever
Learn a skill or trade that really interests you (I can think of a ton that I’d like to try)

I have a flood of things I would do. But hey OP, if you are questioning it then perhaps you should stay on the job? No shame in that – keep contributing towards the Social Security Trust Fund...I’ll need it!

Congratulations and best of luck.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:08 PM
 
3,944 posts, read 3,261,008 times
Reputation: 11313
The OP's dilemma is not an altogether anomalous thing, we're conditioned to work, and that conditioning begins early in life, with everybody's asking you whaddya gonna do? It seems odd that we seldom if ever ask that question of ourselves after we figure out what our career is going to be. Retirement is our time to be asking that question of ourselves that we were asking when in high school and often into the college years. Hurrying, worrying, commuting, dealing with the difficulties, it's all challenging but---so is figuring out your future, by yourself, for yourself....

I laughed at the notion of self employment, or the myriad of responses that advocated for a type of "busyness" that includes a list of tasks, this is the last of your life, live it well, and live it as though you are at the end of something, and the beginning of another adventure. Let yourself become inspired, don't rush into anything just to be "busy", it isn't what this is supposed to be about. Relax and let go, you'll most likely love the freedom, embrace that first and then begin the slow lifestyle of deliberate goofing off, go ahead and "waste" time, it's good to have more than you need for a change...
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:48 PM
 
536 posts, read 631,536 times
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Freud observed that work was a great boon to sanity. I agree with that. Depends on how congenial the work is, of course. I've had a few jobs that made me miserable for sure. Not my present one, though.

I am not talking about other posters on this thread who love their retirement; but speaking just for me, I would face a number of challenges in retirement just as I have in working. They are untried challenges, so I can't know how large they will loom. Boredom, solitude, and poverty do sometimes accompany retirement.

As someone who worked through the PhD level and has published five books and still enjoys teaching, I like to feel I am helping out and making a small difference. I enjoy a focused kind of life. I am from a factory town originally and used to work in a factory during summers. I am grateful for where I have gotten in life. Teaching isn't like most other jobs in that often you get better at it. You know more and also maybe (just speaking for me) listen more to others.

Teaching is a whole-life activity, just as swimming and tennis and golf and walking are sports for life. I'll do it for a while more. Disability can change things in a heartbeat, of course, but I was sickly in my 20s and feel that well-being at any age is a gift pure and simple, to take and enjoy while one can.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,170 times
Reputation: 1859
I am 53 and have been retired for 10 years. I am someone that does better with *some* kind of schedule, otherwise I get bored and depressed. But that schedule usually means that at night I make tentative plans for the next day - to pick berries (in our garden), to do laundry. Sometimes "stuff" gets in the way, so I don't accomplish what I'd planned. And there are days when I don't plan to do anything. And that's okay. It's wonderful to not have someone telling me what I must/must not do.

Today I slept late, built a fire in our wood stove, and watched it snow. A cozy, relaxing kind of day!
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:45 AM
 
186 posts, read 117,480 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbythecat View Post
I am 53 and have been retired for 10 years. I am someone that does better with *some* kind of schedule, otherwise I get bored and depressed. But that schedule usually means that at night I make tentative plans for the next day - to pick berries (in our garden), to do laundry. Sometimes "stuff" gets in the way, so I don't accomplish what I'd planned. And there are days when I don't plan to do anything. And that's okay. It's wonderful to not have someone telling me what I must/must not do.

Today I slept late, built a fire in our wood stove, and watched it snow. A cozy, relaxing kind of day!
How is this possible? Retirement at 43?

I keep wondering how this is possible?

Do people make so much money in the USA they can retire at such a young age?
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,460 posts, read 5,924,770 times
Reputation: 16151
Quote:
Originally Posted by koeken View Post
How is this possible? Retirement at 43?

I keep wondering how this is possible?

Do people make so much money in the USA they can retire at such a young age?

Not many of us. I don't expect them to reveal their personal situation on the internet but inheritence is probably the reason in many instances.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Bonita, CA
1,174 posts, read 1,543,753 times
Reputation: 1443
Some people might think that 50 is retiring early so I will elaborate just a bit and i don't want to go too deep into my finances:

I work for the Fed Government and will be eligible to retire this year with a pension. This is a law enforcement and firefighter pension. Otherwise, I would not be eligible to receive a pension this early in life. I also served time in the military that counts towards my pension, I had to buy that back from the GOV. I have contributed religiously towards my TSP account, which is the GOVs 401k program. There is a an exemption for law enforcement to tap into the TSP early since they tend to retire early. My retirement affords me the opportunity to keep my existing healthcare plan.

I moved several times in my career and instead of buying and selling a house, i kept one as a rental, so that helps as well.

The wife and I have two cars that are paid off and in my opinion reliable and should last another 5-10 years. The only debt we carry is our primary residence, which is also a wonderful tax shelter.

My wife is going to keep working for at least a few more years so we will have that income as well, although her job is part time and on call.

Our tastes are not extravagant. We live in San Diego so we don't spend a lot on vacations. Maybe a long weekend to Vegas or San Fran here and there but no blowout excursions. Although I would like to get a small trailer and see our beautiful country more.

I'm happy at the local taco shop or grocery store. I tend to play golf at local munis or public courses. Luckily, Torrey Pines is a city municipal course and i can play that without paying too much. I cut my own lawn and split my time cleaning the pool with a guy that helps me with the water stuff sometimes. I am thinking about cutting the cord on cable-we just got a netflix account....I don't even watch that much TV to begin with. We are not over the top frugal but are content with our lifestyle the way it is.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,170 times
Reputation: 1859
We live in the country. About 1/2 hour from any work that would pay more than minimum wage.

If I were to work it would be half time so tht I could take care of "home" stuff - not have to spend evenings and weekends doing laundry, etc.

Working half time wouldnt do much more than put us in a higher tax bracket, given the cost of commuting, work clothes, etc.

So I dont work outside the home. Am I retired? I suppose - or maybe not? What defines "retired" anyhow?

In a few years when dh hits 60, he will retire. Investments, salary, pension. We do not live "rich" now and do not expect to do so in the future. But we are comfortable.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,170 times
Reputation: 1859
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Not many of us. I don't expect them to reveal their personal situation on the internet but inheritence is probably the reason in many instances.
Okay. So I have left out a few minor details of our situation.

The other thing people from other countries might realize: in the US, people tend to work more hours. Longer work weeks etc. So maybe that means we can retire earlier? But then I am no economics expert....
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,752 posts, read 1,653,911 times
Reputation: 5951
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbythecat View Post
I am 53 and have been retired for 10 years. I am someone that does better with *some* kind of schedule, otherwise I get bored and depressed. But that schedule usually means that at night I make tentative plans for the next day - to pick berries (in our garden), to do laundry. Sometimes "stuff" gets in the way, so I don't accomplish what I'd planned. And there are days when I don't plan to do anything. And that's okay. It's wonderful to not have someone telling me what I must/must not do.

Today I slept late, built a fire in our wood stove, and watched it snow. A cozy, relaxing kind of day!
Quote:
Originally Posted by koeken View Post
How is this possible? Retirement at 43?

I keep wondering how this is possible?

Do people make so much money in the USA they can retire at such a young age?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Not many of us. I don't expect them to reveal their personal situation on the internet but inheritence is probably the reason in many instances.
Don't confuse a Donald Trump/George Soros/Bill Gates type lifestyle retirement with an actual retirement.


My daughter is in her late twenties and has 9 years active duty service in the military. She owns a home that she will have paid off before she is eligible to retire at 41, has/owns some raw land she vacations on, and drives older, but reliable vehicles. Besides her mortgage of $125,000, she has a grand or two in debt.


She currently makes a little under $50,000 per year, and given promotion tracks and timelines, she will likely retire with an income somewhere close to her current income level.


With a paid off house, a reliable vehicle, no debt, health insurance coverage, and a $50,000 per year inflation adjusted income, she could easily retire at 41 if she so chooses. Not rich by any stretch, but certainly comfortable and secure.


So, that's one way people retire so early.
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