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1 year of ER complete!
Old 12-16-2011, 12:45 PM   #1
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1 year of ER complete!

This is the one year anniversary of when I left work. About 2pm on this Friday in December 2010. My retirement date is technically March 1st after I used up my 10 weeks of vacation. I have absolutely no regrets. I managed to achieve most of my goals this past year:


1. Learn to live on a budget. I've kept of my spreadsheet. Economized in several areas without feeling like I am depriving myself. I can actually still save money for bigger ticket items. I am looking forward to upgrading my computer system this next year.
2. Get Healthy. I've been working out at a gym and eating healthier. It's been an amazing transformation.
3. I've made sure I socialize with people a couple of times per week. Mostly lunches with friends while exploring new restaurants. I even meet up with my old work colleagues every month or so.
4. Got several big house projects done early in the year. New roof, new skylight, and had the house painted. Also, cleaned out the garage and refurbished my earthquake emergency supplies.
5. Went out to movies, museums, and plays. Scored $10 balcony seats for some good plays in San Francisco.
6. Drove from San Francisco to Chicago seeing National Parks along the way. Visited college buddies in Chicago.

7. Got involved with an adult education program associated with the University of California. I've taken three classes this year. I've put together my own class for this coming year.


Putting together a yearly plan is a good motivator to keep productive and busy.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
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Congratulations!
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
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Martyp,

Congratulations on your first anniversary of retirement. It sounds like you're doing everything you need to do in order to ensure success. You should be very proud and satisfied with your accomplishments.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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I've put together my own class for this coming year.
Attending or teaching? What's the subject?
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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It sounds like you are off to a great start!
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:22 AM   #6
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Attending or teaching? What's the subject?
The organization is the UC Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The members are generally retirees. I noticed that they didn't have many science classes so I offered to use my contacts in the Biotech research community to put together a class. The title is "Synthetic Biology and Social Ethics". I've lined up 4 speakers for six 2 hour classes.

Lecture 1. Basic molecular biology and genetics
Lecture 2. Synthetic Biology - what is life?
Lecture 3. Synthetic Biology - genetic engineering tools
Lecture 4. Applications - biofuels
Lecture 5. Ethics - use of genetic information
Lecture 6. Ethics of Synthetic Biology

The idea is to provide a slightly different science class. One that teaches science but also treats science as a practice in society that has practical and moral implications and consequences. Genetic engineering is a somewhat controversial subject. We are not taking sides here but we do want lively discussion and we want to give students some more sophisticated tools to have that discussion.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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The organization is the UC Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute....
I often go to classes through the Osher program affiliated with the University of Vermont through a cooperative arrangement with an organization called Elder Education Enrichment) and enjoy them very much.

Osher Lifelong Learning : University of Vermont
Elder Education Enrichment
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #8
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I've enjoyed taking some non-science classes this past year. Part of my decompression after 30 yrs of engineering. This past yr I've taken classes in CA Politics, Race, and Cross Cultural Communication. I walk to campus. Eat lunch with a friend that works on campus. Walk home. It's a great way to fill up a day.
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Way to go
Old 12-17-2011, 08:15 AM   #9
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Way to go

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Originally Posted by martyp View Post
This is the one year anniversary of when I left work. About 2pm on this Friday in December 2010. My retirement date is technically March 1st after I used up my 10 weeks of vacation. I have absolutely no regrets. I managed to achieve most of my goals this past year:
Congrats! Well earned I'm sure. Enjoy yourself!

How old were you when you hit the ejector handle?
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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Marty-

Congrats!

I love reading posts about successful REs; motivates me for mu upcoming retirement in a few (couple?) years. You also live in a great area. DW and I used to live in the East Bay, and also in The City, and loved it; especially living in SF. We'll almost certainly retire elsewhere, on a warm beach somewhere, but return to SF a couple times every year to visit friends and get our North Beach fix.

Hope your second year is as enjoyable.

Would like to hear what has/hasn't worked as you'd planned, and what has/hasn't surprised you in retirement.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:26 AM   #11
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Marty, you are my hero. I want to be just like you when I retire.

It is time for me to get the paperwork going and I have been dilly-dallying. Time to fill it out and send it in. Then, I will do my own version of your list.

Congratulations. May you live long and prosper!
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:06 PM   #12
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Congrats! Well earned I'm sure. Enjoy yourself!

How old were you when you hit the ejector handle?
My official retirement date was March 1st just after my 55th birthday on Feb 27th.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #13
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Then, I will do my own version of your list.
The list partly comes out of my project manager experience when I was working but the content was inspired by Ernie Zelinski's book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free".

It also helps to think of them as SMART goals:
S - significant
M - meaningful/motivational
A - achievable
R - realistic
T - Time oriented (within the year)
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:37 PM   #14
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I love reading posts about successful REs; motivates me for mu upcoming retirement in a few (couple?) years.
There were a few people (like my mother) who had doubts about how successful I would be at ER at 55 yrs old. I was determined to show people that ER can be great. I started posting my activities to my FB page to share the fun.

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Would like to hear what has/hasn't worked as you'd planned, and what has/hasn't surprised you in retirement.
I wish I could say that this was a planned retirement. Never really thought about it until June 2010. My assignment at work was ending and rather than starting over at work I chose to start over by not working. The whole thing was planned and decided between June 1st and July 4th. My wife and I both devoured Ernie Zelinski's book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free". That book help to put things in perspective. The non-financial things are as or more important than the financial things.

It is also important to have a life outside of work to build on.

You need to think about where you derive your self identity. Work is often how people define themselves. In some sense I am now mostly a consumer of society rather than a contributor. You need to think about if this is going to bother you.

Also, need to consider the home dynamic when your spouse is still working. I always shared the housework and upon ER I happily took on all of it. There is still plenty of time left over. My wife has work friends who are jealous of her because I do the housework and their retired spouses don't.

The biggest surprise was the realization of how much stress I had from working. I had no idea . . . I was unknowingly killing my self.

I was also surprised at how easy ER was for me. I expected to start getting anxious after the 1st month and then at 6 months. Nope. Didn't happen.

I was also surprised at how many people were happy for me.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:50 PM   #15
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Marty: happy anniversary and thx for posting. Helps to inspire me as I contemplate when to pull the trigger> I especially like your point about shifting the chores as my wife wants to re-enter the workforce after years of being the "domestic goddess."
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #16
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The organization is the UC Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The members are generally retirees. I noticed that they didn't have many science classes so I offered to use my contacts in the Biotech research community to put together a class. The title is "Synthetic Biology and Social Ethics". I've lined up 4 speakers for six 2 hour classes.
Cool-- thanks!

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I especially like your point about shifting the chores as my wife wants to re-enter the workforce after years of being the "domestic goddess."
Same here, and I know better than to complain about it...
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:22 AM   #17
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Marty,

Excellent project execution, congrats! Whats on you Microsoft Project Schedule for 2012
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:28 PM   #18
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Microsoft Project. I remember using that. Can't afford a personal addition but I'm keeping a Google Calendar.

Still working on the plans for 2012. So far:

1. Follow through on my Synthetic Biology class in April-May
2. Continue OLLI classes throughout the year
3. Continue lunches with friends
4. Continue gym workouts
5. Trips to Yosemite for some day hikes in the Tioga Pass
6. An overnight motorcycle trip up or down some of the CA coast. I'm leaning toward the south.
7. Have friends coming in during August for our annual college reunion
8. Cooking project: sausage making
9. Continue hikes in the East Bay Regional park
10. I will have to think about flying someplace.
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