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Hi From Upstate New York
Old 10-04-2008, 11:43 AM   #1
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Hi From Upstate New York

Hi.


I discovered this forum a few weeks ago through a Google search (don't remember what I was looking for). I've read a LOT of the posts here and have visited it pretty much daily since I found it.

So, I thought I'd introduce myself. Marilyn here, 47 years old, single retired USAF E-9, with no kids, living in upstate NY, with Mom as my roommate. I served in the AF for 27 1/2 years and enjoyed every minute of it. I got to travel, meet/work with great people and still get paid! I could have stayed to 30 years but (after finally figuring out why I left) - I got bored. Through the course of that 27 1/2 years, I got my fill of oh-dark-thirty wake-ups, paperwork, politics, deployments (to include Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) and general pettyness. I wouldn't trade a minute of it (actually had more fun on the deployments!) but sure don't miss it. Especially the part about time (early to work until late afternoon/early evening, day after day ... after day ... after day...). "They" sure are correct when they say (in regards to retirement): "You'll know when it's time to go."

I retired a year ago from the AF. Well, actually, with terminal leave, I left work at the end of September 2007 with my retirement ceremony in the beginning of October - my actual retirement date was 1 January 2008. I bought a house here in upstate New York when I retired. Currently, I receive a net annual pension (with annual COLA adjustments) of $40,500. My expenses are $27,000 (I have no debt but the mortgage - which is included in this figure).

Have a bunch of cash in savings for emergencies/what ifs situations. Should do well with that as the roof on the house was new in 2004, some minor kitchen upgrades were done sometime in the last 5 years (as were all the windows replaced) and I've replaced all the appliances (with the exception of the furnace and the water heater). I've also had vinyl siding installed on the house, added insulation (had NONE in the bedroom wing!) and replaced the 1950s era garage doors with new ones. Oh, and my car is a 2006. So, most stuff I'd have to worry about is new or near new. I'm still putting a bit every month into the savings and I've also got some investments in a ROTH IRA mutual fund- but I'm not paying on that anymore.

My current plan is to pay off the house (6.75% APR, 30-yr fixed). If everything works right and I stick to my schedule, that'll be in January 2014. After that, I am unsure what I'll do with the "extra" money. I'm giving serious thought to investing it for future long term care concerns (in taxed funds - as I won't be working to use the IRAs). I am open to any other thoughts on what I can do with this money ...

That's my story right now. I am enjoying the heck out of not working. I have long been used to puttings savings and investments first and then living on the rest, so I'm actually not living any differently than when I received a full paycheck (no investments/minimal savings = same $$s). I've always thought of it as "living within my means," but "beneath my means" will work too. This past year, I've been able to make 3 trips (in the states only - but have friends overseas for future trips!), visited friends/family, slept in, browsed the Internet and read as much as I wanted to and visited with my mom. Looking forward to many more years of this.

And, as I've read a LOT of the posts here - I want to thank you all for making me feel less "guilty" for not working after my "retirement" from the AF. And, an bit of extra thanks to Nords and his discussions about truly retiring after the military versus getting another job. Most (all?) people I've talked to cannot imagine not having a job once they've retired from the military. And, the transition assistance program has not changed - the program every retiree must attend still pushes "how to get another job" and was full of interview tips, how-to-dress tips and using your contacts tips. I spent those 3 days giggling to myself ...

But, I am still working on the "you're too young to not work!" guilt trips. Finding this forum, and a whole bunch of people who are young and ER'd, was/is a great help. With continued reading of this forum, and the great postings here, hopefully, I'll be able to work through the guilt of not working and be happily ER'd.

Thanks, y'all!

Marilyn
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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Congrats to you and welcome to the forum! It seems as if everything is going very well for you. Stick around here and you'll find plenty of folks that have cast away that "guilt" feeling.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:02 PM   #3
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Wecome ! It makes me chuckle .I think everything outside of New York City is considered upstate New York . I have a daughter who lives near Jamestown so I spend a lot of time in upstate New York .
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:44 PM   #4
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Wecome ! It makes me chuckle .I think everything outside of New York City is considered upstate New York . I have a daughter who lives near Jamestown so I spend a lot of time in upstate New York .
Long Island is Downstate.

Ha
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Old 10-04-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
 
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Long Island is Downstate.

Ha
There is no downstate, you have the City, the boroughs, the Island and upstate.
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Old 10-04-2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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There is no downstate, you have the City, the boroughs, the Island and upstate.
Tell that to the people at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center | Welcome

Ha
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:01 PM   #7
 
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Brooklyn (where I was born) is a part of NYC and no one in this area refers to NYC or it's environs as downstate.
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:38 PM   #8
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Brooklyn (where I was born) is a part of NYC and no one in this area refers to NYC or it's environs as downstate.
I guess those medical dudes just don't know where they are.
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:20 PM   #9
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I thought anything north of White Plains/west of the Hudson River was 'Upstate' (I grew up in the Hudson Valley, between Albany and Poughkeepsie).
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:33 PM   #10
 
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I thought anything north of White Plains/west of the Hudson River was 'Upstate' (I grew up in the Hudson Valley, between Albany and Poughkeepsie).
Absolutely correct.
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:39 PM   #11
 
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I guess those medical dudes just don't know where they are.
Obviously.

"Upstate, Downstate
Exploring a New York state of mind
When I went to university, I learned something I hadn't expected: I didn't grow up where I thought I did.

I grew up in a small town in southern New York. It's in the middle of Orange county, west of the Hudson river, about an hour and half's drive from Manhattan. We didn't visit New York City often; my parents didn't like driving there. Instead, I spent my days in a picturesque town in downstate New York.

Whoops, I did it again: I called Goshen "downstate". That's how I considered it when I was growing up. Look on a map of New York state and you'll see that its capitol, Albany, is just about halfway between the state's southern and northern extremes. So anything north of Albany must be "upstate", right? My unchallenged assumption made perfect sense, at least to me.

Then I went to a university whose population was dominated by students from Long Island. To my surprise, I learned that my sleepy little hometown, a hundred miles south of Albany, was "upstate". How in the world did they figure that?

Just for a little visual enlightenment, here's a map of New York, with the counties of NYC & LI colored. (They're the tail that's wagging the state.)

Here's the scoop. To the residents of New York City and Long Island, the rest of the state is upstate. Wait, that's not right. It's not "the rest of the state"; it's "everyplace else". There's a subtle but important difference between the two definitions. The former considers a specific area, even if it's only vaguely defined. The latter treats upstate NY as the negation of downstate: "anything not here". It doesn't matter that by this definition 92.7% of the state is upstate; downstate vs. upstate is a matter of culture, not geography."

Upstate, Downstate
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:02 PM   #12
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Here's the scoop. To the residents of New York City and Long Island, the rest of the state is upstate. Wait, that's not right. It's not "the rest of the state"; it's "everyplace else". There's a subtle but important difference between the two definitions. The former considers a specific area, even if it's only vaguely defined. The latter treats upstate NY as the negation of downstate: "anything not here". It doesn't matter that by this definition 92.7% of the state is upstate; downstate vs. upstate is a matter of culture, not geography."
And that's why I introduced myself as being from upstate (even though I'm actually from the middle of the state - near Rochester).

I just got tired - during my years in the AF - of having people ask me "so what part of the city are you from?" Every. Single. Time.

Answering the where-are-you-from question by saying "upstate New York" saved that trouble.

'Sides, we non-NYC folk don't really want to claim them there city folk ... and vice versa!

Marilyn
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:31 PM   #13
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And that's why I introduced myself as being from upstate (even though I'm actually from the middle of the state - near Rochester).

I just got tired - during my years in the AF - of having people ask me "so what part of the city are you from?" Every. Single. Time.

Answering the where-are-you-from question by saying "upstate New York" saved that trouble.

'Sides, we non-NYC folk don't really want to claim them there city folk ... and vice versa!

Marilyn
It's amazing how many people think New York State consists only of New York City.
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:43 AM   #14
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Interesting. In Minnesota, everything away from the twin cities is called "outstate" by those who live in the "cities."

Nice to have you Marilyn. We have a number of military retirees around here.
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:23 AM   #15
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Hi Marilyn,

Thanks for your service to your country. I'm @ 22 yrs in the Army. Will retire inside of 10 months after taking probably 90 days of terminal leave and some permissive TDY (20 days).

I got a kick out of what you said about the ACAP classes (mandatory) - I'll be doing the same thing (not worrying about resume, interview techniques, etc).

Curious if you find the taxes high in NY? Are military pensions taxed in NY?

Had the opportunity to travel/visit Watertown last Summer. Had a very good time during June. Not sure it would be where I'd like to be in January or winter months.

Good luck. Hope you find contentment in your retirement years.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:26 PM   #16
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Hi neighbor!
congratulations on your retirement and thank you for your service!

i'm at 42 degrees and some minutes (LOL) north latitude in central NY in a rural community that is rapidly expanding, at least as far as housing goes. we probably have similar cost of living expenses.

upstate vs downstate? easy answer: if it's south if you, it's downstate. if it's north of you, it's upstate.
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Old 10-05-2008, 02:07 PM   #17
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Marilyn,
Thank you for your service. Sounds like you are SET!!! Congrats and enjoy.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:16 AM   #18
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It's amazing how many people think New York State consists only of New York City.
I'm looking at the giant reprint of The New Yorker Magazine in my office: 72 - The World As Seen From New York’s 9th Avenue « Strange Maps
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:20 PM   #19
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albany is upstate
rochester and buffalo are western NY

born in Buffalo, raised in Rochester and w*rking in Ohio. If I wasn't married I would move back to western NY in a heartbeat.

Just can't get beef on weck anywhere except WESTERN NY.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:52 PM   #20
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Agree with jIMOh. Rochester is still Western NY. Syracuse, though might be too far east for Western.

Born in Buffalo, raised in Darien (middle of nowhere town with a lot of cows and, oddly, a large amusement park). College at the University of Rochester. Mom lives in Attica, several miles from Attica Prison. Sister lives in Fairport, outside of Rochester.

I would not move back to Western NY. Winters too long, days too short in the winter.
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