Originally Posted by morganpics
I guess I just need to find out how others managed the transition.*
Welcome to the board, Morgan! I'm guessing that you're not planning to go out and find another job. It also sounds like you guys have the finances under control. In that case the best way to make the ER transition is to live the lifestyle.
I'd recommend browsing the topics here and seeing what interests you, especially the "What do you do all day?" questions. Everyone's ER is different and you'll find your niche.
Some of the better guides are Ernie Zelinski books, especially "How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free"
, a library copy of the Terhorst's "Cashing in on the American Dream"
, and Bob Clyatt's "Work Less, Live More"
. Another good resource is John Greaney's Retire Early Home Page
, especially the book reviews found in the chronological index.
Well before your last day in the office, max out your medical & dental benefits. Get all the physical exams updated. If you have any symptom that's been bothering you, like a sore joint or a nagging pain, chase it down before you end up paying a bigger share of your medical costs. Get a dental cleaning. Check your eyeglasses prescription. Renew all your medication prescriptions.
Think about how you want to spend your last day in the office. A few here went for humongous ego-enhancing blowouts. Most just wanted to leave quietly and get started on the rest of their lives.
You'll want to take some time off, either before or after retiring, for at least a couple weeks. The longer the better-- but don't try to clean & paint the house, overhaul the cars, relandscape, cruise the world, or write the Great American Novel. Give yourself plenty of unstructured time for sitting & reading/thinking, exercise, and catching up on your sleep. When you're feeling bored or restless, make a list of the things you'd like to do (Zelinski's book has some good brainstorming techniques). Try to avoid spending all your time in front of the TV, and try not to spend all of your time reading this board either! Before a month is up your head will clear, you'll feel & think better, and you'll start figuring out what you want to do with yourself.
A year or so from now you'll wonder why it all seemed to be such a big deal in the first place.
Then you can start working on your husband's ER...