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Old 02-18-2009, 10:56 PM   #21
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SarahW - I understand about your hubby. My really close friends/family that I have shared with feel the same. I think that is one of the draws of this forum for me. So, thank you.

Yakers - I'd like to travel - I've done only a little and that's a shame. I spent 20 years living in Alaska. 4 on a boat in Juneau. My daughter spent her first 3 years of teaching in the Alaska Bush. I was very fortunate to get to visit many parts of the state. Where'd you two get to?

Grep - I read the free 437 Best Things Ever Said About Retirement by Zelinski so getting the Retire Happy book is on my To Do list. Mazda is the only one who calls the Miata an MX-5! None of the men I know are concerned with driving a 'chick magnet' car .

Amethyst - I got up to a hundred on a highway out in the middle of nowhere - does that count? Regarding my mortgage, I am fine (mentally and financially) with having one ... which is good since I'd never get to retire if I waited to pay it off !

freebird5825 - Bad idea. If I was pretending to be retired I'd have to start sorting out all the stuff in the garage ... then I'd have to live with mess til I really did retire! KISS sounds the way to go.

Janetvj - Thanks. I'm going to watch for your future posts and see what, if anything else, you experience. I can live vicariously through you for the next 4 or 5 months.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:50 AM   #22
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TopDown, go for it.

What RE means is that you can do what you want to do, or not do, as you see fit, when you see fit. I had many of the same concerns, but what made me certain that we made the right decision was when, six months after retirement, both of my sisters said "You look a lot more relaxed that we've ever seen you".

As it turned out, I got myself another job, others retch at the thought. Some volunteer, some found part time work/hobbies that fit, some are happy to watch the flowers grow. See the thread "What did you do today?" Retirement is as individual as you are. Do what you want to do, not what others think you should do.

When the weather turns better (snow flurries at the moment, rats!) I'm gonna thoroughly enjoy the motorcycle I bought last December.

And I'm only working until I don't feel like working anymore. That makes a huge difference.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:58 AM   #23
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LOL! A little far for me. Mainly that I always see women in Miatas, and I wondered if that was happenstance or a market fact.

Ha
Ha's really hoping to see women in Miatas with their tops down
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:17 PM   #24
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freebird5825 - Bad idea. If I was pretending to be retired I'd have to start sorting out all the stuff in the garage ... then I'd have to live with mess til I really did retire! KISS sounds the way to go.

It is very normal to question such a life change as retirement.

If I may suggest an excellent exercise to help your decision process along...I learned this years ago and it has helped me immensely with all sorts of decisions.
Assignment: Take a sheet of paper and pen in hand. Draw a line right down the middle of the page. Write "Reasons to Stay" in one column, and "Reasons to Go" in the other column. Carry it around with you.
Do this for 2-4 weeks as things pop into your mind. Make changes, additions, whatever. Have fun with it!
For example, "if I were retired, I could take that daytime bus trip to ____" you see advertised.
Or, "If I am still working, I still have to set my alarm clock every day"
Depending on which column these thoughts end up in, you will then see for yourself what the best thing to do for yourself is.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:06 PM   #25
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TopDown
Welcome to the board. I also live in NW DC. I FIREd 2 years ago at 56 but got lured back to working 3 days/week. I completely get your concerns about interactions and making a difference. I've delayed that a bit by going back to work part-time. During the months when I thought I was really retired, I researched a variety of part-time volunteer activities that would provide the stimulation and purpose I feared would be missing. My plan was/is to combine that with exploring the wide variety of free things to do in DC.

If you do decide to retire, PM me. Maybe we could get together and push each other to try new things now and again.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:24 PM   #26
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Congrats, Janet! I'm thinking August...maybe. Arrrrgh.
Thanks Sarah! August isn't so far away. They say you'll know when it's time to go, and I think that's true. You can just feel that it's the right thing!
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:59 AM   #27
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Ha's really hoping to see women in Miatas with their tops down
Which top? The car's or hers? Or in the best of worlds, both.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:49 AM   #28
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Which top? The car's or hers? Or in the best of worlds, both.
I'm more likely to encounter another dead man at the wheel than a bare-breasted woman in a convertible. Demographics and social change gets us all in the end.

Ha
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:55 AM   #29
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TopDown... One sentence told me you will have no problem with retirement:
"I'm a lazy procrastinator and have been successful at work because I had to. In retirement I don't have to be successful at anything. Maybe that is what really scares me. But that pine box scares me more."

I retired at 54 and if I had to admit it, my reason was because I was really tired of the usual rat-race routine. Don't get me wrong, I was a Registered Civil Engineer, so I had a great job and good income. But I was ready for a change. I was single and tired of playing by American society rules. I got really tired of the single's club, the gym and match.com. I am fundamentally lazy and love the company of pretty young women. I couldn't find that in the good ole' USA.

You can read my solution at:
What'll your retirement look like?

Somehow you will find a great way to fill your time when you retire. And forget about the pine box. If you are that poor that you can only afford a pine box, then you will suffer a lot more while you are alive than when they pack you 6 feet under.
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:20 PM   #30
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Amethyst - I got up to a hundred on a highway out in the middle of nowhere - does that count?

Heh heh...husband pulled that stunt in the MR2, someplace between Binghamton and Watkins Glen, many years ago. He's still glad he dared to do this for once in his life and I'm still glad there were no radar-equipped cops around. The car, for its part, was probably the happiest it's ever been.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:09 PM   #31
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Walt34 - I think I was born with the worried frown lines. Maybe I should take a 'before' pic ...

Bestwifeever - Well, it won't be this one (driving top down with the 'top' down)

FurBall - I live in the State of Washington. I did visit DC for a week back in 78 I think it was. I was married at the time and the husband was there for work. I spent my days touring all by myself and felt very brave. It was my first plane trip too. A week wasn't long enough. So, you never know, I'll PM you if I make it that way again.

Hobo - I'd ask about handsome young men but I'm not looking to mother anyone

Amethyst - I like the curvy roads better than the long straight stretches. And I like night with the top down - it's kind of eerie.

Thank you all for your words of wisdom and welcome.

There is this huge part of me that is counting the days (approximately 314 or 224 workdays) until I go, and just the little annoying voice whispering 'but, what if, oh no'. I find that I enjoy and agree with all the advice to 'do it' and mentally argue with anything else.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:44 PM   #32
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...at the wheel than a bare-breasted woman in a convertible...
Remember my original avatar? Been there, done that.
Summer is on its way
Topdown...double dog dare ya to go for it!
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:39 AM   #33
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My top doesn't go down...it stays right up there where it belongs
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:58 PM   #34
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TopDown, I discovered after I retired I would have bad dreams about situations at work that were bad and getting worse - no matter how hard I tried to fix them. It was kind of like a soldiers version of post traumatic stress syndrome - flashbacks to the bad times of the past.

The American workplace trains you to stress and go through mental gymnastics. Worrying about things is part of your job. And you take this same habit home with you and apply it to your personal life as well. I think that is what you are going through right now.

After I retired and even now I find myself thinking - "God, I feel good, I am happy and life is wonderful." That is really true... I consciously think about how much I am enjoying life. I never felt this way when I was working. Then, if I didn't have a crisis to deal with, I would worry about something else.

You make me laugh because all your posts seem to end with "just the little annoying voice whispering 'but, what if, oh no'." TopDown, you are a trained all-American worker, born, bred and trained to worry. People like you have made America a super-power, but it takes a hellava toll on your pysche.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:44 AM   #35
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Topdown, if things go as planned I will be retiring at 54 to Spokane (I grew up in SW Wash). Some of the same problems you and others have mentioned get me worried as well. I will get the immediate pension (if they offer VERA) but it will take a pretty decent hit before I get to 62....and being a school teacher it won't be much of a pension anyway (figure about $17k a year which I hope will cover our basics). House is paid for though although it will take a bunch of fixing to make my wife happy. But 1 car for the two of us.....keeping things pretty simple.....hoping the pension/SS Supplement/SS/$500k in the bank will give us the $45k a year to live on that we are planning. Dragging my UK wife out of England at that time, so it is a LOT more scary for her. I have seen too many people work until they have "enough" money to do everything they want and then drop dead within a couple years of retirement. I would rather be retired and living fairly cheaply now.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:03 AM   #36
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I have seen too many people work until they have "enough" money to do everything they want and then drop dead within a couple years of retirement.
Surprising how often that happens. And that is the penalty side of 'just one more year'. That is one reason I took a fairly early (57)M retirement and set out to do things in life that I have put off. Money is nice, time is even more precious.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #37
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I'm fifty and plan to go in September of this year. However it is a difficult decision because the 'what ifs' keep attacking me. I'm having the same sort of feelings. What if the economy tanks and they somehow diminish my pension. What if I can't get health insurance? What if I'm making a big mistake? Maybe I should stay till next year. I think the responders hit it on the head. Most of us haven't made any major life decision in many years and this is a huge one. That's why I'm here.,to find out how cold the water is and the consensus seems to be that the water is just fine and we won't drown. Good luck, your're not alone.
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:58 PM   #38
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I have seen too many people work until they have "enough" money to do everything they want and then drop dead within a couple years of retirement. I would rather be retired and living fairly cheaply now.
I suppose it has occurred to you that there might be several ways to interpret that information?

ha
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #39
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:21 PM   #40
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TopDown, There are a number of both retired & actively working feds on this board, as you can tell. I'm 51, CSRS currently with 32 yrs, and will absolutely retire at age 55 in 3+ years. No having to think about it for me. I don't have much else to offer above what some others have already said, but feel free to bounce any thoughts you have off the folks on this board, they're a great bunch and I've learned, a wealth of knowledge about pretty much anything. PS, I currently have no idea exactly where I'll be living once I do retire, EXCEPT that it will be someplace in the south. I've lived my entire life in the southern US (NC, TX, LA) but my current job is in Wisconsin. Talk about a change! It's nice, when it's not -20 degrees, but my heart's in the south and so's the rest of my family, so that's the direction I'll be heading when it's all said & done. See you around!
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