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Old 02-16-2016, 09:49 AM
13,325 posts, read 25,586,246 times
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I decided to retire in April 2018 even though it makes more financial sense to wait another year.
I had a back injury at work when I was 42- out of work for five months- shortly after I'd taken a month-long trek trip in Nepal, something I always meant to do, and certainly would not do following a back injury. I was glad I took that trip even though I didn't really have the money to do so back then. I feel the same way about not retiring in three years and making it two years and some change. My job and its stressors and hours are not conducive to living well. I am planning to sacrifice some security by going out at 65 and not the more secure age of 66, and moving from my money-making, very secure and safe life in eastern Mass. to retire to a small SW Colorado town that I have always wanted to try living in.

After working five nights in a row, I slept almost 30 hours with heavy dreaming, like a detox. This is routine after a work week. I think it's best to get out of it when I can and not when it's ideal, but when it's very doable. I haven't done anything hard in a long time with my life and I want to do it sooner, not later.

Plans: volunteer as vet tech at animal shelter (they've said a people RN could be trained and doesn't have to be licensed), volunteer in summer in therapeutic horseback riding (have a great local place to learn a lot) and volunteer wherever I can help out in a little Nepal-community partnering development organization that happens to be a five-minute walk from my new house-to-be.

I have to renew my RN license in April 2018. I think I'll worry a bit and renew it, and transfer it to Colorado, despite the real dearth of jobs I could get. I am not yet ready to face living only on my pension in a new life and there might be some on-call work in a speciality (detox) some 50 miles away, although I do enjoy a good snowstorm when I know I don't have to get to work. (Hence, a plan for a Subaru).

I worry about loneliness but not much more than here, where people seem to stop in to go to school or have careers and then leave for lower COL/retirement/warmer weather. I hope there are a few people like me in the new place for friendship who aren't getting ready to move "back" somewhere.

Of course, I plan to read on those long winter nights, with the dogs sleeping and the wood stove crackling. However, it's been colder in Massachusetts than SW Colorado most of this winter! And it seems to be almost spring-like there right now, after we've set the record of -14 F. the other day.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:32 PM
12,733 posts, read 14,097,737 times
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Originally Posted by seeriously View Post
I'm one of those coma people who just coast without expectations. ...
Like that "coma people."

I just sort of coma-ed toward the traditional age sixty-five...yeah, SS; yeah, a pension; yeah....really teensie-weensie savings, yeah, yeah, yeah and no more thought than that. It was all on automatic.

And then the roof fell in: After twenty years with the same employer I was bounced out in a widespread layoff, and three days before my last day of work I was injured painfully...I'm thinking I'll get better and maybe I can get a halfway decent job in my early fifties. Right. And then my doctor asked one day, "Where are you disability forms?" Huh? And then the baffled look on his face, "You don't think you're going to work again, do you?".....and six years of contending with the employer in whose workplace the accident happened, and no approval for surgery, and...and...finally it got done, not by hook, but literally by crook. Fortunately, I was not married.

Lots of time for retirement location research...then no interest in any of my final choices. Decided to go to Brazil as I had a younger cousin there, could show me the ropes...he suddenly, unexpectedly appears in town. He has been diagnosed with a rare, rapidly advancing cancer. Poor guy is dead in a couple of months. No Brazil on my own, for sure.

OK, visit Portugal....who knows? Never been, spent ten days - two weeks. Then months of do I wanna or don't I, did I like it or didn't I...? Then in a master stroke of lightening logic, I called my landlord and told him that I wasn't renewing my lease on my rent stabilized apartment. I could hear the ambulance sirens over the phone.

Coma over, now shock! My bridge is in flames, and I'm still standing on it. Got paperwork done at the consulate. Bought a ticket. Gave my stuff to charities and charity shops. Took off at midnight on 26 January 2000.

And since have been enjoying what feels like the best part of my life. In some ways it reminds me of early childhood, a time when just being awake and going outside seemed to automatically fill the day with satisfying things to do. My health has declined seriously over the past sixteen years, but the days feel like those days of more than seventy years ago - there is so much right outside the door - every day, or even just looking out the window.

Given my fecklessness, and then the nasty turns of events retirement could have been a hell. But I have been extremely fortunate in that it has been wonderful. Maybe it is because like in childhood where so much is new and unspoiled by repetition, moving out of my own country and traveling may have produced the same conditions at this opposite end of life.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:11 PM
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,565,977 times
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My ex and I wanted a house in the mountains, and to enjoy not being in a crowd. Then the marriage imploded, he died, and I said enough. I've had health issues all my life, not all of them huge but they add up. Working didn't work out. So I found a house which was cheap and moved half way across the country to my little house.

I live alone and have since he departed the scene. I rented an apartment and a room too and that was enough of sharing space for me. I have a lot of hobbies I do, and like the slow pace of things a lot more than fast paced socal. I like the people here too, more laid back and relaxed. I don't try to 'fit in' always, but then I'm by nature a loner.

My small house and peaceful life suits me well, and while I would like to figure out how to afford a car, I don't think I'd do a whole lot of traveling. I feel so much better than I did feeling cornered in the middle of a smoggy city.

I know for many this wouldn't work, but for me its paid off with so much more happiness than before. But if being in a city doesn't appeal, do check out the option of a smaller town and affordable cost of living.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:49 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,213 posts, read 1,352,704 times
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Originally Posted by NYgal2NC View Post
I was just thinking about this earlier today.

No, I guess it isn't what I had hoped it would be.

Money is short, working on fixing that, going to be hard work but I do believe in time it will be worth it. I am hoping I stay healthy long enough to enjoy some of it when money loosens up a bit.

I also had plans to read a lot. So many books I want to read, never read any of the classics. For some reason they were not required when I was in high school. But now I have eye problems. My right eye is weak and problematic. So I can't read for very long at one time. Even with readers, strength 300.

So it would seem it won't be the delightful enjoyable time it could be.

Free audio books from Library of Congress. This is a long standing program. My mom used to get tapes from them by mail.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:57 AM
1,316 posts, read 1,737,473 times
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I was on autopilot just existing in my own bubble and, being away from that mentality is like having sight after being blind for years.
I retired two weeks ago so I feel like I am just sort of waking up or reclaiming the part of my brain that wants to create, explore and have fun. DH is still working but getting the itch. I notice he comes home earlier since I am here. Our retirement "plan" is to sell our house and move to a slower-paced, more affordable locale within the year. I actually have very detailed descriptions written down and tucked away (and corresponding photos) of how I envision our lives if and when we pull it off. One big scary adventure after so much status quo but I hope it works. I know all about monkey wrenches but sometimes that little edge of fear about change is energizing.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:00 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
5,798 posts, read 4,851,439 times
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Gosh, I really do feel awful for people who have had such serious health issues turn their plans on end. I wish you strength to meet those challenges.

I asked DH this question and he says it's better than he thought it would be. I agree. I wasn't sure exactly if we would be happy moving across the country to find a lower COL, but we did our research and found a place where we are very happy. It was my idea and I was the main planner, but DH was up for it, enthusiastically participated in the process, and I think he is thrilled with the results. Our lifestyle is the same or better than before. We have made new friends, and even found some new hobbies. I don't regret the move for a minute. We were hoping to travel more, and we are starting that this year. Previously we had elderly, sick dogs that limited our freedom to travel. We lost them both this year, and it seems like we haven't figured out how to just take off and not feel weird about it.

I wish we were in better health than before. I always said that I would be able to lose weight when I had more time to work out and be more active. So now I work out, but not often, I'm active, but apparently not enough. So once again I will make the promise to lose weight before the summer. In truth, I am lazy and probably need a work out partner who won't let me flake out all the time.

We have always been each others best friends and spent pretty much all our free time together, except for a few hours a week to hang out with our individual buddies, so we don't get on each others' nerves. Our marriage is probably better than before, because we collaborate more on things we might have done alone before. We are physically isolated from most of our families, except for DH's mom. She moved with us but is in AL now due to dementia. That's been hard, but I believe that DH is happy with the way we've handled the situation. DH doesn't mind if I travel to see my family without him. So, for us, life is good.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:19 PM
Location: In a daze
244 posts, read 219,439 times
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Both my wife and I retired 4 years ago at 60 and 56. I started planning for retirement about ten years prior to actually retiring, and re-evaluated every year. All the planets aligned and we both decided to pack it in. Currently, everything is going as planned, and we are very happy with our decision. We have traveled to some places that were on our bucket list, and are fortunate to have escaped the NE cold by spending two months in FL. We continue to be debt free. Thanks to defined pensions, retirement incentives, and extra $$ from working two jobs most of my adult life, at this stage, we are fine financially. And neither of us has any serious health issues (knock on wood).

DW loves not having to set an alarm each night, and enjoys each day of retirement. I continue to work part-time, but I am fortunate to set my own hours. I can work remotely (for the most part), so travelling is not an issue. We were/are very compatible and remain so after retiring. Actually, now that I think of it, without the stresses of work, we are even more so. Up to this point we have been very fortunate, and are very thankful.

However, as some people have noted, serious health issues, death of a spouse, or unexpected happenstances can derail even the best laid plans.

We will continue to enjoy our retirement, doing as much, or as little, as we want. We don't know what our future holds, so we will follow the advice of Admiral Farragut - "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:30 PM
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 992,839 times
Reputation: 6995
it's dustier
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:00 PM
1,194 posts, read 666,344 times
Reputation: 4130
I always thought we would buy an RV and hit the road for weeks or months at a time but somehow that has lost its appeal. We had a VW camper back in the day and traveled all over the East coast from Maine to Key West. When the kids were at an appropriate age, we rented RVs over school vacations and visited the national parks out West.

We still love to travel but two weeks is the longest we enjoy being away. Then we just want to get home! We have done a lot of updating around the house, love our area and are never bored with various activities. We enjoy visits with the kids and revel in the lack of work stress.

Now we are planning an anniversary cruise to Alaska followed by a week in the Canadian Rockies. As long as we remain healthy, life is grand. My heart goes out to those who have had their plans dashed through various issues. I realize how quickly things can change so we try to enjoy each day.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:13 PM
1,477 posts, read 5,042,229 times
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Love being retired and it's better then I ever thought it could be. I'm 57, wife is 55 and we called it a career 6 years ago and never looked back. Our retirement goal was to buy an RV and travel until we became tired of doing that and then settle down at a unknown location. l am happy to say we are still on the road having traveled to all 49 states and also Canada and Mexico.

We both absolutely love this lifestyle traveling wherever and whenever we want and traveling/living in a RV has allowed us to live a much more luxurious lifestyle then what would of ever been possible if we had stayed in our home and its allowed us to save money at the same time.

We have no plans of slowing down but like everyone we know sooner or later health issues seem to catch up with us all...We are still what I condider young but we do have a exit plan in place if we need to come off the road for heath reasons or just because we want to do something different but even if it ended tomorrow it's been a heck of a ride. I look back now and am so proud of myself and my wife for taking that chance and retiring as young as we did.

Why? Because in the past six years I have lost two of my best life long friends to untimely, unexpected deaths who could of and should of retired years ago but they just had to chase that one last dollar...now they will never know how much fun it is to spend it over making it...I now truely believe, understand and follow the motto, tomorrow is not promised so live today like it could be your last.

Last edited by rtandc; 02-18-2016 at 03:03 PM..
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