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Unexpected retirements. Thank goodness for SS and pensions!
Old 07-12-2018, 10:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Chesterfield, MI, US
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Unexpected retirements. Thank goodness for SS and pensions!

My husband retired from public school teaching (Art) in 2009; I retired from teaching English in (technically) 2015. The plan was for me to work until 2018, but a motorcycle accident left me with a memory and speech abilities that weren't good enough to give my students what they needed, so I found myself "retired" at 57 (my husband was 63 at the time). We have five kids and five grandkids and have just purchased a 2019 Coachman Freedom Express Light when we traded in a catastrophe purchase of a 2006 Southwind motorhome.
We are lucky to have pensions (yay!) but had to take early SS since I wasn't eligible for my pension until I was 60 (July 31st of this year. Again, yay!) Altogether we have about $65K a year in income, few investments, and the typical expenses of a middle class lifestyle. I'm worried that we won't be able to travel as much as we'd like, not only because we don't have the cash, but because we have so many family ties. How do you all handle it? I know there's Facebook or Duo, but I always feel like someone is getting the short straw. Is this making sense? I'd appreciate any input you can offer on moving away (even temporarily) from family, making ends meet while traveling, taking care of the details - banking, mail, etc. So many questions!
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Diablo Valley (SF Bay Area)
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First, congrats on your unexpected retirement. Sorry to hear it happened that wayside

Yes it's complicated. FaceTime doesn't work for me and I'm not on Facebook (actually the grands Skype instead). But I still carve out short (2 week) trips a few times a year. Also my desire to do so is changing in my 2nd year of FT retirement. As to the 'mechanics' of it:
  • bank online
  • sign up for 'informed delivery' with USPS so I know what mail is being delivered / initiate vacation holds
  • use online calendar so I can keep track of it all on my phone, rarely use computer anymore
  • shift 1k per month into travel bucket which has been more than enough (3 cruises this year alone)
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:56 AM   #3
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Welcome! One of the blessings of retirement is that you don't have to worry about running out of vacation days. My only child and his family are 3 hours away by car. I see them every couple of months and it seems to work. My two granddaughters and I now have our favorite things to do- the 4-year old loves having her hair cut at a place where she gets to sit in a little pink Jeep and watch videos while they cut her hair and go with me to Starbucks where she gets a cake pop. (Little sister doesn't have enough hair yet.) I bring a load of books from the library and we read a lot. My widowed Dad and 4 siblings live in the Carolinas. I used to go once a year around Christmas but now go twice a year- life is finite. I'm headed there next week.

Mom and Dad never lived in the same county (generally not the same state) with their grandchildren but had/have wonderful relationships with them. It helped that they retired to Myrtle Beach so they had lots of visitors! So, you don't need to live next door or see your children/grandchildren every day to stay close.

I do use FaceBook. Fortunately, my relatives don't repost the really inane stuff out there and I do get to see pictures of great-nieces and great-nephews, and pictures of my granddaughters posted by DDIL and by her maternal grandparents. It helps.

Travel: whole 'nother subject. We have a Travel sub-Forum so if you've got questions on specific types of travel (looks like you're into RVs), you can get a lot of help there. Traveling among this group is all over, from "I like my home and why would I leave it?" to those of us still adding to our list of countries visited.
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So nice to "hear" friendly voices!
Old 07-13-2018, 08:57 PM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Chesterfield, MI, US
Posts: 4
So nice to "hear" friendly voices!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gayl View Post
First, congrats on your unexpected retirement. Sorry to hear it happened that wayside

Yes it's complicated. FaceTime doesn't work for me and I'm not on Facebook (actually the grands Skype instead). But I still carve out short (2 week) trips a few times a year. Also my desire to do so is changing in my 2nd year of FT retirement. As to the 'mechanics' of it:
  • bank online
  • sign up for 'informed delivery' with USPS so I know what mail is being delivered / initiate vacation holds
  • use online calendar so I can keep track of it all on my phone, rarely use computer anymore
  • shift 1k per month into travel bucket which has been more than enough (3 cruises this year alone)
The advice is great! I feel like there's so much to learn that I want to put the world on "hold" until I can find out what I need to know. I don't think I'm using my online assets to my advantage! I'm pretty computer savvy, but haven't really begun to implement all that it has to offer into my "real life". I really appreciate the advice and conversation. Thank you!
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Sounds familiar :)
Old 07-13-2018, 09:07 PM   #5
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Chesterfield, MI, US
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Sounds familiar :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Welcome! One of the blessings of retirement is that you don't have to worry about running out of vacation days. My only child and his family are 3 hours away by car. I see them every couple of months and it seems to work. My two granddaughters and I now have our favorite things to do- the 4-year old loves having her hair cut at a place where she gets to sit in a little pink Jeep and watch videos while they cut her hair and go with me to Starbucks where she gets a cake pop. (Little sister doesn't have enough hair yet.) I bring a load of books from the library and we read a lot. My widowed Dad and 4 siblings live in the Carolinas. I used to go once a year around Christmas but now go twice a year- life is finite. I'm headed there next week.

Mom and Dad never lived in the same county (generally not the same state) with their grandchildren but had/have wonderful relationships with them. It helped that they retired to Myrtle Beach so they had lots of visitors! So, you don't need to live next door or see your children/grandchildren every day to stay close.

I do use FaceBook. Fortunately, my relatives don't repost the really inane stuff out there and I do get to see pictures of great-nieces and great-nephews, and pictures of my granddaughters posted by DDIL and by her maternal grandparents. It helps.

Travel: whole 'nother subject. We have a Travel sub-Forum so if you've got questions on specific types of travel (looks like you're into RVs), you can get a lot of help there. Traveling among this group is all over, from "I like my home and why would I leave it?" to those of us still adding to our list of countries visited.

Thanks for the response! I'm so glad you're able to stay close to your grandkids; it gives me hope! We are a family of such traditions that I'm afraid I'll lose them as the kids get older if I don't stay relevant to them. They've just moved to Colorado and we're headed out to visit in about 3 weeks. I just don't want them to think of us as "far away."

We're looking forward to traveling. There are so many places we'd like to see. Hubby is less thrilled about visiting countries where he doesn't understand the language. I'd love to spend extended time overseas. We'll work that out! lol

I'll stay in touch on this forum. It sounds like I'll be able to learn a lot!
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Kay View Post
We're looking forward to traveling. There are so many places we'd like to see. Hubby is less thrilled about visiting countries where he doesn't understand the language. I'd love to spend extended time overseas. We'll work that out! lol

I'll stay in touch on this forum. It sounds like I'll be able to learn a lot!

There are a series of small phrase books called "Just Enough" that will help you. In all my travels around the world, I used one in Russia to get some cold medicine for my wife. Unless you are in a small out of the way place, you can get by with English, but knowing the key phrases for Hello, Goodbye, Thank You and Please will get you far.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:24 PM   #7
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
There are a series of small phrase books called "Just Enough" that will help you. In all my travels around the world, I used one in Russia to get some cold medicine for my wife. Unless you are in a small out of the way place, you can get by with English, but knowing the key phrases for Hello, Goodbye, Thank You and Please will get you far.
Great advice! I'll check it out.
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