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Do you remember your "countdown" to retirement?
Old 10-17-2015, 07:17 AM   #1
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Do you remember your "countdown" to retirement?

Hi everyone
My husband and I finally have a specific countdown to our retirement.
We are 3 yrs and 6 months away.

Do you remember your countdown? How long was it when you started (5 yrs, 10 yrs?) And did it go by fast? We both think about it daily!!

Thanks



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Old 10-17-2015, 07:29 AM   #2
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My countdown started at ~642, which is almost identical to the beginning countdown I had in the service.

I have the calendar that I started a bit over a year ago, and every month I wrote down the days left. As of today, it's 262 days left, 158 work days (I deducted vacation and holidays), and 37.4 weeks.

Excel makes it easy with date formulas such as NETWORKDAYS and normal date calculations.

I also track my investment balances everyday, making a note of any high water marks, which I am finally starting to have again after the recent rout.

It seems long looking forward, but looking backward it flies by. Remember, as much as you want it to fly, those are your remaining days on the planet moving just as fast.

After each month, it's a month I no longer have to work. After each holiday, that one is never to be a paid day off again. After each work milestone (max out 401K, bonus, anniversary, etc.), it is that much closer and one less reason to work.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:35 AM   #3
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Late winter/early spring of 2014 we started seriously talking about retiring with an initial date several years out. In late spring/early summer we decided the end of 2014 was the date. We did not use any count down symbols, just knew in our minds.

Tried to keep busy at w*#k so to leave them in a good place when I left and keep me busy so time went faster. The last couple weeks were difficult waiting and I did count those down.

So .... time somewhat counting down was 6, maybe 7 months?
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:44 AM   #4
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Check out the various "Class Of..." threads - they're full of a bunch of happy people.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:57 AM   #5
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I only had a general target date until 6 months to go. Then, once I knew the actual date, I literally had a monthly countdown for 4 months. Then I went to weekly. 2 weeks to go, I went daily. I enjoyed crossing off each milestone, knowing the glorious day was getting that much closer.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:01 AM   #6
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My goal was always to retire on the first day of eligibility for retirement (and small pension plus retiree health care). So, I knew the date although I had a backup date just in case.

Anyway, I think I started my countdown at about 2650 although I don't remember the exact number; 2652 maybe? I wrote the number in the lower left corner of my whiteboard at my office every morning, and I also crossed it off on a handwritten list of consecutive dates on the advice of a coworker friend. That was fun.

If that seems early to be starting one's countdown, remember that my original username here was "Want2Retire" and I really meant it.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:58 AM   #7
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I have a retirement countdown on my phone. It started at 1000 days and I am now down to 403. The date has changed 3 times, but is now set--I have already told boss and co workers!
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:13 AM   #8
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It's a gorgeous day today and I'm at w*ork. I have a countdown timer on my phone that indicates 338 days, 12 hours, 47 minutes and 27,26,25........ Yep I keep track.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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I didn't really have a countdown until I had actually selected a retirement date (last day of work) and officially announced it as my resignation date to my boss. That final day, October 31, 2008, became official when I announced it in the afternoon September 30, 2008. I was working only 2 days a week so my countdown included only the 9 more days left to work after I finished September 30th.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:16 PM   #10
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All to vividly unfortunately (perhaps it will fade as I only retired 5/15). Probably started countdown about a year before. The remembrance is vivid because of all the tricks I had to play on myself to continue working. Regarding the countdown, at work, I would mark the # of work days off weekly. I think it was in the last 6 months or so before I started using an electronic countdown working days calendar on my desktop.

Looking back, I really don't know how I got through all that. It's been one of the more amazing realizations now having left there.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:36 PM   #11
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How much I need vs. want has always been such a slippery concept that I've worked with a sliding scale for years. I've been saying "another couple of years" since my 40s, and could have (and maybe should have) survived had my job ended back then. Since about age 51 I've been in the OMY camp. But all of this has been a mental game to get me to 55 and retiree medical/pension. I just didn't have the mental stamina to tell myself I'd work 15 more years at 40 - but another 2, another 2, ad infinitum I could somehow manage.

Now that I've finally reached 55 the timing has become much more explicit - gone in another 9 weeks.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Options View Post
The remembrance is vivid because of all the tricks I had to play on myself to continue working.
+1. By the time I realized I was financially all set, I already had the date picked. I knew I was making more outside my regular job, but I didn't stop and calculate it out. Looking back, I could have quit back in early 2013. I have been saving ~150%+ of my gross pay at work for 3+ years.

Now, it's just continuing to the date that I picked. Making the goal, for no other reason that to make the goal. I guess it does give me a slight amount of additional insurance money, just in case.

I am playing all the tricks in my head 1000% over. 11 days of vacation to take this year, plus 3 holidays.

In 2016 comes the 401K matching in January, then bonuses in February, maxing out the 401K in March (or April), the pension add in June, then the last 10 days.
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:19 PM   #13
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I remember it well. I used an Excel spreadsheet that would automatically calculate the days, weeks and months I had left to work every time I opened it. I think I started it about a year before I had originally planned to retire. Unfortunately I had a couple of OMY's kick in but it was easy to change my retirement date on the spreadsheet and everything would update automatically. Once I got down to about 4 months I knew I was finally going to go.
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:26 PM   #14
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Anticlimactic for me - got an early out offer in October with actual last day February 28. Four very boring months .....then freedom!
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Old 10-17-2015, 02:45 PM   #15
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I kept track of the remaining weeks on my fridge. Started at 77 weeks. Got down to single digits, then had a medical crisis. Reset! A little over a year later, I'm at 44 weeks.

Sometimes I found it encouraging, to see that countdown. Reducing it by one every Friday was nice, and I enjoyed when I would reach a new decade (go from 30 to 29, for instance). Other times, though, it got a little tedious, because it was a constant reminder of the work weeks still remaining, and the countdown moved so slowly. Occasionally, I'd erase the whole thing and try to put it out of my mind, thinking, "a watched pot never boils." That helped, although I'd always end up putting the countdown back up. Overall, it provided motivation.
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Old 10-17-2015, 03:59 PM   #16
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This is on my white board now- 93/237. I worked for 237 months so far; got another 93 to go.
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:25 PM   #17
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In October 2010 I took a week long vacation and made a road trip from Santa Fe to L.A. We didn't get much vacation time at my company, but I wanted to do some thinking.

I drove alone and made some stops. While hiking in Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly I worked out the math in my head and decided to retire 18 months later, in March 2012, right after bonus time.

As fate would have it I was instead packaged out just 12 months later. They had no idea I was planning to leave anyway. With the package they gave me the numbers worked out about the same.

The day I walked out of that building for the last time was one of the best days of my life.


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Old 10-17-2015, 04:48 PM   #18
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It was a 7 year plan. At 3 years out I really started obsessing over it, running the numbers in my spreadsheet almost daily, sharing my plans with my coworkers who were supportive but dubious... At about a year out I made the final adjustments and pushed the date back a few months to gain a few hundred dollars more (per month) lifetime. It was my favorite topic of conversation at the workplace. I became the go to guy on the subject of early retirement within our "system". Very very few took as radical an approach as getting out at 50 years old as most couldn't stand the hit to lifetime payout, but there it is, this is the group of folk that want or wanted to retire early! It made those last three years so much more bearable, I was bulletproof!
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:56 PM   #19
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I never started really counting down until this past May when it became "just OMY". Now, as each month passes it's simply "no more Augusts, no more Septembers, etc..."

I can now get out without penalty in March, so I'll probably calculate the exact number of days in January when the holiday season is over and I know exactly how much vacation time is remaining.
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:55 PM   #20
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I was just like W2R, and had set my sights on the first day of eligibility for retirement years before I was eligible. I started to seriously do my count down two years before liftoff. The shorter my time to retirement, the stronger I felt about retirement. It was a long thought out plan. I have been retired almost two years now and the past feels like a dream...
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