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Hold On, I'm Coming! New Friend on Board
Old 10-06-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
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Hold On, I'm Coming! New Friend on Board

I've been on the countdown for 10 years! Well it's almost my turn to finally come out and play. I'll be 55 on Dec 2nd and since that's the first day I can retire, I'm gonna do just that.
I'm CSRS and should get 67% as well as having ~ $90K in TSP (good for a few new cars). Have managed to save a few more bucks in the bank but nothing big. Still have a house payment (no other debts) but I also still have a house so no complaints here. (Too many people are suffering.) Have worked 35+ yrs at oldest naval shipyard, from apprenticeship to GS-12 and I'm OK with that. Have been a single mom for past 15+ yrs; 20 yr old daughter in 3rd yr college.
My health is great, I'm not too ugly, I'm not too fat, and I've finally realized that I'll never be able to sing very well. Have always enjoyed long rides to nowhere just to see what's going on over there. Still like to just get up and go. Plan to drive the country for a bit (just bought new 2012 Ford Flex) and see the national parks every chance I can. I hope to chase behind a few good blues festivals next year and maybe learn to play the guitar. One day I even hope to meet someone who can tolerate me long enough to want to hang around! For now though, I'm ok crossing the country by myself. Every town has a new friend waiting for me to meet them.
I'm still too new in the game of REAL LIFE to know if I have any questions. I'm holding on to that sentiment of "Ignorance is Bliss". I figure that if CSRS isn't enough for me to survive on then I'll make a choice about what to do when that happens. Time is too short and there is just so much to see. Hoping to begin my retirement with a 30 day hangout in Key West but not having any luck finding someone to rent to me on the cheap. (horrible thought here - Since I can't afford the hotels there maybe it will have to be the new car and a public sink?) I just need a bedroom with shared other spaces! I'd even be willing to give Couch Surfing a chance. Anyone ever do that? I want to forget about my former security clearance, my current age, and my better judgement. Beach it by day and dance and lounge away the nights. Did I hear someone offer up to go fishing? Sailing? Anything?
Enough said. That's my first official Retirement Blog. I'll be looking out for all of the friendships, comments, advice, knowledge sharing, and future invites to great cookouts that my new group of friends send my way. Looking forward to being in your club!
~ OldHippieChick

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Old 10-06-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board!

As far as cheap places to stay in Florida, there are a couple of options to explore:

1. -- I'd do it in a heartbeat, but depends on your comfort level.
2. hostels -- I don't know if there are any down in FL, but there ought to be.
3. folks -- maybe someone friendly on the board will volunteer to let you board with them.
4. -- People renting out spare rooms, etc. directly to you. Similar to #1, but less granola-y.


"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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I think you'll enjoy retirement. A mouth organ might give a faster way than a guitar to get nice sounding blues.
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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Check out Floydfest--it is a Virginia music festival every July that you would love--lots of different kinds of music and a great range of people. We go every year!
I'll echo the ideas for airbnb and couchsurfing. You have a security clearance, that probably means you are a pretty safe bet for them, and also probably not naive about personal security! I'd say you'd be fine. You might also check out Housecarers and other housesitting opportunities. A couple of us on the board have used folks we found through them for staying in our own houses while we were traveling.
I've got a couchsurfing friend staying at our place for 4 weeks in January while we are gone. You just have to start building a network of folks who like to travel, and who live in places you'd like to stay. If you've had experience with pets or plants, all the better!

And welcome, from a sort-of hippie sort of girl.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

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Old 10-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
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Don't forget Canada - a whole new place to visit. There are large sections where there is nothing but miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles. Or in our case, kilometers.

Congrats on the retirement!
Inside me is a skinny person crying to get out, but I can usually shut the b*tch up with cookies
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:06 PM   #6
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I know it's rather odd to post a video on the blues harmonica prompted only by you expressing an interest in the guitar and the blues. Still, I just ran across this neat wordless tutorial which I thought might interest you.

Uploaded by rebeccajwenger on Sep 23, 2008
it's all in the rhythm baby
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
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Congrats! By the way, 55 is not old! You're just getting started.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:53 PM   #8
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Give me a forum ...
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I love this thread title.
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You Tube Blues and 1st Day Greetings
Old 10-06-2011, 09:02 PM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
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You Tube Blues and 1st Day Greetings

Thanks to everyone who posted and made me feel the warmth on this, my first blogging! Already I feel at home with real people. Guess that's why I launched into the same space with the rest of you.

Shout out to Greg ~ I really enjoyed the posted You Tube. I spent past 20 minutes, with no luck, trying to locate harmonica in my kid's room (finally called & she took it to college). I was going to give it a try. It will wait. Anyway, it was great. You Tube - what an absolute treasure. I've reconnected with so much of my early tv, old movies, and concert years, watched all things Stupid and FUNNY until I cried from the laughter, seen things I wouldn't ever post about, and generally enjoyed the thousands of people who post there. It's the people's encyclopedia on life.

Hard to believe how, in one day, I stumbled upon this site, hooked up with folks who are living it real, finally blogged, and now feel so much of a positive charge about this wonderful place in my life.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:18 PM   #10
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Welcome !
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #11
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For travelling and meeting interesting people you might like
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:13 AM   #12
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Welcome. Sounds like you like to travel light. Consider tent camping (with a good pad under you) every 2-3 days with every 4th stay in a motel. A decent 8 x 8 tent can be had for under $100.

Maybe only do Key West for 1 week and SW Florida for 2-3 weeks.

I used Couchsurfing to set up a ride 2 summers ago but it fell through.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:45 AM   #13
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Another welcome from Canada Land. I think I counted down for at least ten years. Maybe 8 because I sprung myself at 53 instead of 55. Made no difference to my benefits and cost me about 6% take home which I figured I could handle and gave me two years of free life. Sounds like you travel like a friend of mine. She is presently in Katmandu on the cheap and has been all over Central and South America and some parts of Africa. (although the Kilimanjaro climb was pricey). Retirement is doggone busy. It is 9:30 AM I have been up for 3 hours and there is no hope of a nap for about another 14 or so. Tomorrow I can sleep in till 7 or so.
You will find your own thing.
I wish I was half as good as my dog thinks I am!
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:28 AM   #14
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Welcome aboard, OHC!

With your friendly, positive attitude, I'm guessing you'll have a lot of fun on your travels.

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I love this thread title.
And welcome OHC!!
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:40 AM   #16
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I've been playing harmonica ( and country western guitar ) for many years, so was very amused with the video.

OldHippieChick, suggest you spring for the big bucks and get yourself the Cadillac of harmonicas - a Chromatic model. When the instrument is capable of producing sharps and flats, a whole world opens up anew.

And congrats on your upcoming retirement! You'll have fun, and you know you earned it!
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:13 PM   #17
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Hello OldHippieChick! I'm also a CSRS guy, have 15 months to go. I'm only a GS-11 though, although I have been looking around for a GS-12 position. I work for DCMA, if you know what that is. If I do happen to find a promotion, then I suppose I might have to consider working an extra year due to the boost it would give my hi-three but otherwise, if that doesn't happen, I plan to retire on January 18th, 2013, which is my 55th birthday. That will give me just under 36 years total service, including my 4 1/2 yrs active duty. Fortunately, I stuck around in the reserves and will have a military retirement to begin collecting at age 60. Sounds like you have some good plans for your after-work time. I welcome you to this board and look forward to hearing about your travels and how retirement from the fed is working out for you in general.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy

“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” - Edgar Bergen
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:50 PM   #18
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Key West for a month? Are you eligible to stay at one of the BOQs? Maybe make the reservation before you retire? It's one of the cheapest places to stay there.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #19
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Hi OldHippieChick. Love your userid! Your retirement plans sound great!

My partner and I plan to do something similar. We are going to buy a van and hit the road when we retire in 2013.

I hope you keep us posted on your plans and adventures!

Welcome to the forum,

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:07 PM   #20
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Welcome OHC!

I'm relatively new too, and have found some great info on the forum. With your attitude, you'll fit in easily on the forum and in your travels. All the best!

You may be whatever you resolve to be.
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