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Old 02-16-2014, 11:02 PM   #21
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It is really helpful to hear what your experience was. If we could only peer into the future and see what it holds, these decisions would be a lot easier. BTW, does your DH also wish he had retired earlier?
No, I don't think so. He truly liked his work and (as a former athlete, competitive skier, and night-and-weekend-handyman/"do-it-yourselfer") REFUSED to let his health determine when he would retire.

Despite his stalwart fight, there did come a time when he truly needed stay home. But, because he had turned 62, I think he felt he was leaving on his own terms at a "retirement-appropriate" age. Once he decided to do it, he has never regretted it, and has been freer now to take good care of himself. (Though he always was a most compliant patient, doing everything doctors told him to do.)

To me, it's just a relief to see that he doesn't have to fit in "taking care of himself" with the work schedule anymore. Plus, he still has other hobbies that he now has much more time to enjoy.

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Old 02-17-2014, 07:52 AM   #22
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Meanwhile I just learned of the sudden death of a good friend at 60. He was someone I was going to visit "when I retire".
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:16 AM   #23
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"If we could only peer into the future and see what it holds,these decisions would be a lot easier...."

A provocing forecast: If your progressive health condition has become worse during the last 5 years it is unlikely that this will stop or turn around in the next 5 years.

If the progression continues as in the last 5 years, would you still be able to do the things you want to do after your normal retirement date?

Would you want to give your kids the example of a person who fulfilled his dreams while he had the chance to or rather leave them some money?

My personal experience: DH has a cronic / progressive health issue as well as spinal issues. We retired in Sept. 2013 at age 61/55 on his pension and our nestegg so that we can do some of the things we want while we both still can.
And even if we cannot travel in future as much as we want, we will be happy that we have already made some of the trips that were important to us.

Happy memories are good investments!

All the best to you and your family.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:30 AM   #24
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You don't get a chance to do over in life. You said health issues may prevent you being able to do some of the things you want to do (travel) in future. Think of all the people that miss an opportunity and have regret later. Don't be one of those.

Health always comes first vs work in my world. Your doctor even said, do it now or not be able to in future. You state that retirement gives you the same std of living you have, so this is not a financial decision. You will still leave plenty for your children.

No question in my mind, take the 1 year salary incentive and retire. Go travel and spend on luxury items you want to. As the Nike commercial says, just do it.
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How to handle the transition?
Old 02-17-2014, 12:44 PM   #25
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How to handle the transition?

I am still in the process of transitioning, but I did make some plans ahead of time. One biggie was to feel my feelings and work through them. I was an educator for 37 years, over 20 at the last location. I had the children of former students....so I had lots of history with the families and many ties to the community. Tears were shed all around especially by my former colleagues and me. The retirement party they threw me was wonderful and gave me closure. My feelings have been mostly positive, but I have had a few moments that were hard. Shedding my work identity of many years is a process. I am working through those feelings. At first i took it easy, slept alot, read, watched videos, etc. After about 3 weeks my body and mind seemed to adjust. I set up an exercise plan to keep active and found it provided some structure to my day. I have expanded my volunteer time to a couple of times a month. Joined a book club, became an officer in another club, etc. I have plenty of time to pursue interests like cooking, gardening, reading, travel planning, etc. I have travel ideas for 2014 and into 2015. The first trip is in 2 days. Itwas actually very hard for me to spend the money on myself after years of save, save, save. I think that is very common. I find I am much more open and flexible. I am a dominant introvert....INTJ and that is who I am....so I must make plans to be social. One of the most surprising joys so far is meeting an exercise buddy twice a week. I would suggest reading the Ernie Zelinski books and doing his Get A Life Tree activity. Others here who are more experienced at the transition process, will have more ideas for you when you do decide to take the leap. I find as time moves on I look to today and the future more and more ..and don't look back so much. Dr. Seuss once said. "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened". I read that frequently and it helped me in the months before I actually left work. Good luck.... on your journey.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:32 PM   #26
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Navigator, after watching a couple of my peers die without warning, a couple of others faced with your sort of situation, and the general tendency of people to become less able as time goes by, I'd opt for the lump sum and go do the traveling you so desire to do Now. You know you have a short window of opportunity, a lot of us are dealing with it as a 'what if'. It would be slam-dunk to me.

I don't know what aspect of 'proffing' you like most, but when I did it, the most enjoyable part was the classroom teaching. If that's your sweet spot at work, part-time adjuncting (as opposed to the recently villified full-time version) is very rewarding with none of the office/academic politics. I spent a year as dept chair, and I had a stable of reliable folk who did specific classes, and some were retired and using the teaching gig to support the travel habit.
Thanks for your observations, ggbutcher. One of the great things about being a professor is that one has a lot of options. It is possible to teach in an emeritus position or as an adjunct. It may also be possible to keep teaching and take summers/ winter break/spring break off and travel. I usually worked through these periods, but that doesn't seem so important now.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:54 PM   #27
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"If we could only peer into the future and see what it holds,these decisions would be a lot easier...."

A provocing forecast: If your progressive health condition has become worse during the last 5 years it is unlikely that this will stop or turn around in the next 5 years.

If the progression continues as in the last 5 years, would you still be able to do the things you want to do after your normal retirement date?

Would you want to give your kids the example of a person who fulfilled his dreams while he had the chance to or rather leave them some money?

I must admit, you make a lot of sense. Thank you for giving me the benefit of your experience. I wish you the best in your retirement.
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