Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Beginning my FINAL YEAR! (Class of 2017)
Old 10-27-2016, 03:14 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
Indigo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Oakland
Posts: 94
Beginning my FINAL YEAR! (Class of 2017)

My Final Year...begins! Starting on Monday, I can answer all of my work frustrations with, "That's the last time you will have to do that in November (December, January, etc.)" The boredom and stress and anger and horror of this suffocating job are almost done, and I will emerge victorious, with my small but sufficient COLA pension and my subsidized health benefits through age sixty-five.

A few months ago, I somehow adjusted my work attitude and stopped taking everything personally. I realized that destroying my health in order to perform miracles in quantity of work and quick turnaround of work was not required--especially when I would look at higher-up management, and rank-and-file employees, and marvel at how little some of them did, and yet they kept their jobs year after year after year. I decided that turning in a solid B+ performance (instead of an A+++++) for this final year was more than enough, and stopped trying to "solve all the problems!"; instead, I am focusing on the issues that belong to my position, and refer the not-mine issues to the people responsible for them. I rationalize that this will be helping with the transition, since once I'm gone, the "Easy Button" will also be gone. (As in, "Let's ask Indigo Mule for help; it's not her job, and I've known about this deadline for a few months and now the deadline is here and I need it done this afternoon--so, help!")

This has been so restful, compared to before.

I work in a public agency, and have made no secret about my plans and the date (in order to be able to train some people in a few of my key tasks, and to give them the opportunity to get their own ducks in a row when it comes time to apply for my position). My boss did ask me what it would take for me to stay another year, and I told her, "Double my salary." There is no way that can happen, so it's a safe answer.

I've been actively counting down for six years, and hope that the work days and weeks of this final year will fly by. I am smiling right now, thinking, "This year's budget development will be the last time I have to sit down with those administrators and explain basic arithmetic!" These happy thoughts will sustain me for the next twelve months. When I have a bad commute (I spend two hours a day commuting via public transportation), I comfort myself that there are only N-1 more times that I have to do it.

I had to share my joy and delight with you all, and I hope it gives encouragement to others with multi-year countdowns that they WILL eventually make it to their final year.

(As a long-time lurker, I am curious whether I will be reading the forum less and less as my retirement date draws near, or if I will emerge into "Life After FIRE" and make periodic contributions. This forum is a valuable resource, and I look forward to finding out.)
__________________

__________________
Indigo Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-27-2016, 04:30 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 76
I admire your coping skills! Congratulations on your final count down.
__________________

__________________
bigcmagor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 04:30 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2017ish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,803
Congrats, and welcome to our class! DW and I have been experiencing the same emotions. Like you, we gave long notice (slightly more than two years, and slightly less) and the finish line is starting to appear in the distant mist.

(Pretty certain that DW is out as of 7/31; my exact date is still in the hands of a couple of judges.)
__________________
OMY * 3 2ish Done 7.28.17
2017ish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 05:25 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 1,956
Two of my best years were my senior year in high school--when we skipped school daily. And my senior year of college when I took a bunch of crip courses like Art 103--Basket Weaving.

Congratulations on you making it to your senior year. I hope you enjoy the 12 months because it's going to go very fast.
__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 05:31 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,578
I admire your new attitude and your confidence in counting down a retirement date publicly. I have much less confidence in my employer and will be telling them about my retirement plans as soon as the final check I want from them clears, and not a minute before. I've seen far too much bad behavior with people being laid off or disqualified from commission or bonus payments to put myself into a vulnerable position. I plan to give reasonable professional notice, but no longer than that.
__________________
growing_older is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 05:48 PM   #6
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Somerset
Posts: 43
Congratulations, Indigo Mule! I am new to the board, and have 18-24 months to go, but I am easily able to imagine crossing off all those milestones, even the small ones. (Just this week, I had an event where I was thinking, "only one more to go after this." Six year countdown! I barely raised my head above the water at 5 years, and plunged back in. But now I'm coming up for air multiple times a day. My attitude adjusted itself earlier this year when several pieces fell into place (I have three letters confirming these pieces up on my bulletin board downstairs!), and now I am combating impatience rather than anxiety.

Please do share your year here, I am SO curious as to how it feels to draw closer and closer! Again, congratulations!
__________________
Pellice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2016, 05:25 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Senator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 2,738
Congrats. The last year will be the worst, be ready for any angst. And the last three months, even worse than the last year.

Mentally prepare yourself for walking out the door. Get any phone numbers and email addresses you need. Do not let small work matters kill your day.

Start working out now, if you think that is what you will be doing after you leave. Start looking at de-cluttering now, if that is what you want to do. Mentally plan a vacation after you leave work, sell the vacation days back when you leave rather than take them.

Take longer lunches. Come into work later. Leave earlier. When you hit the final date, you want it to be as seamless as possible. Make sure you are picking up any money that is left ion the table on your way out. Do not leave a week too soon to get more pension, 401K match, vacation, etc.

Often, a singe day makes a big difference in benefits. January 1 and July 1 are typically big ones.
__________________
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
Senator is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2016, 05:46 AM   #8
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Somerset
Posts: 43
Quote:
Mentally plan a vacation after you leave work, sell the vacation days back when you leave rather than take them.
Interesting that you say that, Senator. I think most people agree with you. And most that are REQUIRED to take their vacation days, use them to peel off days at the end. I *think* I will choose the other path, scattering my vacation days throughout the year to make the weeks go faster. I've noticed that when I take Wednesdays off, the week goes much faster! How are you playing it this final year, Indidgo Mule?
__________________
Pellice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 06:28 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Helen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Portland
Posts: 1,327
For my last year of work I made sure I had at least one three day weekend per month. Then I broke it down mentally to the number of weeks or days before a three day weekend. That gave me little jumping stones to focus on.
__________________
Helen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 06:34 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Senator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 2,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen View Post
For my last year of work I made sure I had at least one three day weekend per month. Then I broke it down mentally to the number of weeks or days before a three day weekend. That gave me little jumping stones to focus on.
I just "worked from home" at least a day a week the last few months. My work load was already being transitioned, so I had less to do anyway. And I really wasn't too worried about being an A+ worker. I was always online, and available for meetings and calls. I did attend many conference calls during my home days.
__________________
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
Senator is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 08:03 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 571
Congratulations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigo Mule View Post
These happy thoughts will sustain me for the next twelve months.
Since do not have the experience of retiring after a multi-decade career with an employer, I equate this feeling to those that I felt after I give 2-weeks notice. That magical period when you are leaving a job and haven't started a new job with its accompanying headaches.
__________________
broadway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 09:55 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 895
Oakland CA? City, County, State or Fed?
__________________
Another Reader is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 01:21 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
YVRRocketSurgery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigo Mule View Post
<snip>
I had to share my joy and delight with you all, and I hope it gives encouragement to others with multi-year countdowns that they WILL eventually make it to their final year.
<snip>
I've got about 5-6 years to go to hit the numbers I'm shooting for. Got to say, in some ways, time flies. I can't believe we're just about to hit November but I think back about events at the beginning of the year that seem like they occurred in the last few weeks.
And similarly, we typically try plan some trips months, if not close to a year, in advance. Even though we plan regularly, it funny how the departure date just creeps up on us.

All the best in your final year, Indigo Mule.
__________________
Target April 2022
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it."
YVRRocketSurgery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 05:18 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 464
I have 10 ½ months to go and am also starting to gleefully note the “last time I ever have to do this” moments such as the annual performance appraisal. Some events are a little sad like the last time I work a project with a favorite co-worker or make a trip to my favorite site. I find myself getting very introspective about how my career went and my successes and regrets. And I’m becoming more detached as if I am observing from a distance particularly when it comes to new management initiatives and personnel practices that I don't care for.

As people are retiring, we are hiring younger people who are very energetic and intelligent. While their work may not always be high quality, they seem to make up for it with quantity which pleases my management greatly and makes me feel a little unappreciated and want to retire even more. But I'm glad we are hiring good people which is not always easy to do in government work.

The last 5 months have been tough with high priority projects on an accelerated schedule. I want next year to be a more relaxed pace – a few projects but time to clean out my office and files and complete all the retirement preparations and paperwork. Management knows when I plan to leave. I am also debating as to how to use my 10 remaining weeks of vacation (e.g., will include carryover from previous year). If the last year is the worst, I would definitely want to use it make the weeks go faster.
__________________
ABQ2015 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 06:20 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 137
My retirement date is also a year out; 20 Oct 2017 to be exact. At the one year point, I sat down with a very nice scotch and relaxed on the porch. I am going to relish each milestone in this final year.

Marc

PS 20 October was also the day that I maxed out social security for 2016 so I now have 35 max years.
__________________
"Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero"

Horace
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2016, 09:11 PM   #16
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: San Antonio, Tx
Posts: 11
I am at 2 months exactly, to go. I gave 4 months notice, and thought that would be a relief, but the stress level has not changed much. I actually gave 4 years notice to my boss. At our first annual meeting (he is new, I've been here for 23 years) I told him I planned to work 2-5 more years, depending... So, 4 years is right in there.

As the date gets closer, he is beginning to realize all of the stuff I do that isn't in my job description, that no one else in the department can do, and that even he won't be able to do. I'm expecting the offer to stay on part-time any day now...
__________________
NavAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 10:02 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
Indigo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Oakland
Posts: 94
How supportive and empowering to be standing in this group of people! Thank you. I think the year is going to fly. Coming in late and leaving early and/or taking long lunches--these would not work in my job, where many judgy-mcjudgypants' eyes are watching you and the clock. What I *can* do, though, is work at a slower pace, and enjoy leisure moments at work where they can be slipped in. (Right now, for instance.)

Regarding vacation and work from home--work from home is not an option with my employer; however, I was in a serious car accident two years ago, and sustained a moderate concussion. I was back at work much too quickly (within a few days), and for a year and a half I tried to figure out what the deficits to my brain were, and how to work with them and still perform my job up to my exacting standards. Long story short, in July of this year, my boss let me try working four ten-hour days (with Wednesday as the nonworkday), and I now have an official ADA accommodation (Americans with Disability Act). Now, instead of having to hold back enough energy to make it through four more days, I can "sprint" if I need to, because at most, I have "tomorrow" to work before I get a day to rest my brain.

Any unused vacation will be paid out at my then-current rate. The payout is subject to the usual deductions and contributions--except it is NOT subject to the 7% contribution to PERS (Public Employees Retirement System). I plan to take vacation days as I need them, mostly as "bridging" days (so if Monday is a holiday, I see if I can schedule Tuesday as a vacation day, and I get a full stretch of Saturday through Wednesday as nonwork days).

I have been using the Wednesdays as "practice retirement" days, and I have, indeed, begun a massive declutter/purge of my things--at a leisurely pace. I have also been diagnosed with Stage 3 Osteoarthritis of the knee (and am following those surgery threads with great interest), and the first priority is to decrease my weight by ten to twenty pounds. So far, my pattern on Wednesday has been to spend a couple of hours at a stretch doing whatever, and then switch to another whatever for a few hours, then to another, all at a relaxed pace. I am soooooooo ready to have this be my for-real all-the-time life.

(And, to answer one question, yes, Oakland, California; I work in the hot suburbs, inland from there.)
__________________

__________________
Indigo Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Class of 2017 Bryan Barnfellow Life after FIRE 358 Today 05:01 PM
Hi, I am Class of 2017 ............. Maybe???? eastnortheast Hi, I am... 9 09-24-2016 06:14 AM
End of the Beginning - Year One of 'Three more years' wingfooted Hi, I am... 1 06-25-2013 05:07 PM
100% to 401(k) at Beginning of Year? GalaxyBoy FIRE and Money 19 12-05-2012 01:04 PM
33 year old single mom of 2 kids...beginning her journey! Freedombound Hi, I am... 12 03-25-2008 08:35 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:02 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.