First of all I would like to thank the folks on this forum who for several years have provided great insight, useful info, and comforting assurance that I was not crazy all these years for working toward an early retirement.
I am 51 and DW is 53. I was planning on taking the jump in 2013 but when the folks at w*rk offered an early retirement package worth about 1 yrs salary and a couple yrs of health insurance I took it and ran. Our SWD rate of 3.6% to 3.8% will cover everything including an annual allocation for the eventual purchase of new cars until SS and a couple small pensions kick in. At that point, assuming the markets have at least some positive performance, our SWD rate should drop below 3%.
It's been about 4 months since my last day and it has been a very interesting experience. I have focused on exercise and diet as really my only objectives and have enjoyed it. The one thing I didn't really expect was how strong the need to decompress was. I have slept more than I expected and have been quite happy to avoid any new obligations while spending time at home. Even our vacation was more relaxed as it occured to me that I didn't need to maximize every minute of our vacation because if we wanted to we could just come back next month
. I feel like the period of decompression is starting to wain and my interest in travel and other activities is increasing. We have a few trips planned for 2013.
It seems that most folks find my retirement to be a thing outside their understanding of what is possible while generally responding to it graciously. I think most believe this folly will come to an end and I will go back to w*rk at some time. I started this journey in my mid 20's when I discovered the possibilities afforded by early and consistent saving/investing. I have been blessed to have a wife that supported my goals of FI without which it would have been impossible.
Thanks again to all of you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Let the adventure of 2013 begin!