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Getting cold feet
Old 04-18-2016, 01:05 PM   #1
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Getting cold feet

I have been planning to early retire and move from CA to GA for a while. Now that the time has come, I am getting cold feet. Is this normal? I think my feelings stem from many changes coming at the same time: stop working and end of salary stream, moving to a new state, missing the familiarity of the current location. Any advice for me?
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:24 PM   #2
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It is natural, as for most of us it is one way door.

If you have the financial side covered, for most of us the "what do you do all day?" question answers itself. If you can't figure out how to entertain yourself there are lots of volunteer opportunities and low stress jobs to act as a time sucker.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:47 PM   #3
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Everything I've ever read advises against making large scale life changes such as a major move within a year of retirement. Retirement alone is a major life change, with many moving parts (i.e, financial, psychological, emotional, identity, activity, etc.). It's disorienting for most, and downright disruptive for others. Adding another major change such as a move (let alone moving to another states) complicates things and dramatically adds to stress.

If you've done your research (and I'm assuming you have), you must already be aware of how different Georgia is from California (lifestyle, climate, culture, etc.). I would personally never make such a dramatic change immediately upon retiring. If it turns out you later feel you made a mistake, it will cost you financially to relocate yet again.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:00 PM   #4
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Retirement and relocation are both considered stressful events, even when it is our choice. I agree that there is no harm in postponing the move to GA for a while. Settle into RE first and make sure you still want to go.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:03 PM   #5
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It's perfectly normal, [I suspect most here who have] retired felt it to some extent.

I think Options gives good advice too. In the year before I retired, I spent a lot of time researching where to relocate for retirement, with my retirement date as a deadline. We even made a couple of trips to two different cities under consideration. In time I realized I could relocate any time, there was no reason we had to move right away - the deadline I has set was artificial, my own silly mistake.

When we do move, we'll rent for 6-12 months in the new location to get to know the area and make sure we still want to proceed. Only then will we sell the current house and move to a new home.

And who knows. Where you live now may look and feel different as a retiree, than it did as a worker.

Best of luck, perfectly normal.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:10 PM   #6
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It's perfectly normal, everyone here who is retired felt it to some extent.
While it may be 'perfectly normal', everyone here who is retired did NOT feel it.

I was so ready to pull the plug that my feet were warm all the way up to and including the day of my retirement - when I hot-footed my way out the door!
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:15 PM   #7
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While it may be 'perfectly normal', everyone here who is retired did NOT feel it.

I was so ready to pull the plug that my feet were warm all the way up to and including the day of my retirement - when I hot-footed my way out the door!
My hot-footedness left a (very long) burn streak in the carpet...
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:21 PM   #8
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Zanax.

Well it's an idea. Too much too fast, even if it's all good, is stressful.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:35 PM   #9
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I would wait a year before moving to settle in. Too many big changes at once can be overwhelming.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:39 PM   #10
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While it may be 'perfectly normal', everyone here who is retired did NOT feel it.

I was so ready to pull the plug that my feet were warm all the way up to and including the day of my retirement - when I hot-footed my way out the door!
I'm hoping to feel that way too. 11.5 months to go.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:10 PM   #11
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catotx,

We will be retiring this year and doing the same thing. Selling our house, our business and moving six hours away to our vacation home. In the beginning, the process of doing so much seemed overwhelming so we decided to chill out and travel for 3-4 months before the move. After that time we will decide whether to buy a house, build a house or travel a few more months.

This seems to be the best decision that will allow us to clear our head and determine the best course of action. We finally realized we should not be in a hurry to get to our retirement destination.

Another thing that made the anxiety fade was the decision that we could go back to work part time if we felt the need to fill the hours.

We have learned that being more flexible in the next year(s) instead of structured will make our retirement more enjoyable and stress free.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:31 PM   #12
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I have been planning to early retire and move from CA to GA for a while. Now that the time has come, I am getting cold feet. Is this normal? I think my feelings stem from many changes coming at the same time: stop working and end of salary stream, moving to a new state, missing the familiarity of the current location. Any advice for me?
It's completely normal.

My advice to you is to try to appreciate the fact that nothing you're about to do can't be undone. You can move back to GA if you want. You can re-enter the workforce, too. If everything you've planned turns out not how you expected, it will still be possible to reconstruct your old life.

My guess is you won't have to, or want to.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:42 PM   #13
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Let me also add this contrary opinion: it's not necessary to "settle in" to retirement before making other major life changes. We didn't.

I left my job and almost immediately started traveling full-time. More than that, we started by moving in to a motor home having never camped a day in our lives. The first time I even drove the first RV I ever owned was when I moved it from the dealer to the campground where we intended to spend our first two weeks.

We spent nearly every week of the next four years driving that thing around the country. Never once did we think we made a mistake or moved too quickly.

If you know what you want to do, and if you're willing to make changes along the way, there's no reason you can't go gangbusters right out of the gate.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:54 PM   #14
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I was in the totally ready to retire camp. My last day was the end of June. I used a few days of vacation so my last work day was a week before. I was packed in a Penski truck and headed from Virginia to Colorado on June 29th, 2013. The only thing I left in Virginia was my adult son. He is still there. As for me, no issues with the move. I had a house to build in Colorado and I am still at it. Retirement was more just a change of jobs for me. Although I don't earn a pay check in this job, nobody tells me when to work either. I have never had a day or time that I wished to be back in Virginia. I keep up with friends in Virginia via Facebook and see them when I go back there to visit DS.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:41 PM   #15
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I've had hesitations in the back of my mind before every major decision. I don't think this is unusual. I had hesitations before taking jobs out of state; before marrying; before retiring... Did it prevent me from doing what I was 99% sure was the right choice? No... but there's that fear of the unknown, fear of change that many of us feel before a big decision.

Once I took the leap (in all the cases listed above) I didn't look back.... well, once I did (took an out of state job that sucked, and moved back to my former state.)

From the other side of the retirement cold feet.... It's very nice in retirement... not sure why I hesitated at all.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:52 PM   #16
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I have been planning to early retire and move from CA to GA for a while. Now that the time has come, I am getting cold feet. Is this normal? I think my feelings stem from many changes coming at the same time: stop working and end of salary stream, moving to a new state, missing the familiarity of the current location. Any advice for me?
Just realize that when you are retired, you can do what YOU want to do. You can even watch paint dry and do nothing at all if you feel like that. You're not locked in to moving, or to not moving. Don't push yourself any harder (or less hard) than what feels just right to you. You can play it by ear. The pressure is OFF, life awaits, and you have the helm.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:06 PM   #17
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I sort of eased into it. Married 11/2007, bought retirement home 12/2007. Stayed in my condo during the week-much closer to work, spent mid week and weekend with DW, retired 1/2009 and moved to retirement home permanently.
The reason I did not retire earlier was I was waiting for my profit sharing in January-7% of my base pay.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:56 PM   #18
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Thank you everyone for sharing. It sounds like "easing" into ER is less overwhelming, but there are also those who go all in and have no issues with it.
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Old 04-19-2016, 02:19 PM   #19
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Everyone is different, and what is right for one may not be right for another. I would be careful following any advice recommending you jump into anything. The only thing that is "perfectly normal" for you is what you are feeling. And it would appear you are feeling something isn't exactly right. The fact you are getting "cold feet" (as you say) demonstrates that at least some part of you is uncomfortable with your plans. Entering retirement, you have all the time in the world now. It might be a good idea listen to yourself and take the time you need to do what you need to do in order to feel comfortable with your next steps.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #20
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DW and I have thought about retiring to the Mountains and living an outdoorsy lifestyle - hiking, trekking, canoeing on the big lakes near the mountain, etc. Thinking about having our retirement home in the mountains and breathing fresh air, seeing the mountains while sipping your morning coffee, is like a dream come true. But it would be farther away from things we are familiar with in the city - no Costco, no good chinese restaurant, and it's 3 hours from the airport (and what if we want to travel and take off to somewhere else). We decided that we may just stay where we are. Although we had experienced mountain living for 5 years having a previous vacation home in the mountains, we only spent a few weeks there each year (maybe like 6 weeks scattered through the years). We love the vacation, but it still lacks the city amenities we may need. It's hard to rush things.
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