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Old 11-04-2011, 08:31 AM   #21
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I kept mine active for a few years after retirement, and even used it for a short-term job, but in that fast-moving field I decided that I really needed to be immersed in it full time to stay even reasonably current. So I let it lapse and didn't renew the certification when it expired.

Making the decision easier is the fact that getting a job doing that would demand moving back to the Washington, DC area or some other equally gridlocked city or spend four hours a day commuting. No way was I gonna do that!

And yes, it was a little bit difficult to let that part of life go. It was a great gig while it lasted but nothing lasts forever and it was time to move on. At least I had the sense to go out at the top of my game.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:38 AM   #22
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I will be in the same situation as you when I retire early. I have two different professional licenses. If I do not engage in part time work after retirement, or otherwise find a funding source for these licenses, I think I may have to let them become inactive. It is hard though, because I think about all of the time and money that was spent in order to acquire them in the first place.
You could consider it a retirement hobby. Would you do it for fun if it didn't make a profit?

I have a one-inch binder full of certificates proclaiming how good I am at killing people and breaking things. Once I retired, though, none of that seemed relevant to my new lifestyle.

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What is more significant to me is, what will I do with my library? Over 40+ years I have accumulated a treasure trove of references and personal files. I have been looking for a young engineer who would appreciate my books, if not other irreplaceable files, but the list is very short. I doubt that a library would be interested, even my alma mater. Mine is a dying art. Much of it will go to the trash I suppose, but I may be able to find a home for the books.
If you went looking for a similar library from a gypsy engineer of an earlier generation, would you find it at a college or a research facility? Or the Smithsonian? Serious question-- when I graduated from USNA I was able to donate some of my uniforms to the Smithsonian.

For the last couple years my spouse and I have been throwing out our "valuable" notes & files. Much of it is of the variety of "Someday scientists & engineers will put an astronaut on the moon" and the rest of it has been overcome by computing power & automation.

So maybe there's a reason that nobody cares but the historians.

The TogetherWeServed.com websites (Navy.TogetherWeServed.com, and the other services) have a "record your service" feature of interview questions that veterans post their answers to. It's valuable oral history and it's enjoyable reading. Maybe nobody wants your moldy ol' books, but some historical society might appreciate your memories...
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:54 AM   #23
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You could consider it a retirement hobby. Would you do it for fun if it didn't make a profit?

I have a one-inch binder full of certificates proclaiming how good I am at killing people and breaking things. Once I retired, though, none of that seemed relevant to my new lifestyle.
I have a number of certificates, pins, and so on showing that I have completed various programs and have certain types of expertise (not in killing people, though! Mostly oil spill response). I can't bring myself to throw them out, yet. But you're right - - when I look at them, I wonder what relevance they have to me now.

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What is more significant to me is, what will I do with my library? Over 40+ years I have accumulated a treasure trove of references and personal files. I have been looking for a young engineer who would appreciate my books, if not other irreplaceable files, but the list is very short. I doubt that a library would be interested, even my alma mater. Mine is a dying art. Much of it will go to the trash I suppose, but I may be able to find a home for the books.
During various downsizing efforts in the past two years, I got rid of about half of my old engineering books. Amazingly, my public library was glad to get them. I have no idea why they would want old engineering books on topics that are no longer technologically relevant but they took them. I kept the other half of my engineering books in case I should feel the need for some intellectual stimulation in retirement.

I threw out almost all of my research notes, hundreds of pages of original code, and also graphical representations of preliminary output since I will no longer need them. That was hard but I don't miss any of it a bit. I did keep research notes from some collaborations with my mentor, for reasons of nostalgia since he is now deceased. And I also kept copies of my dissertation, thesis, and other finished publications.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #24
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I appreciate the responses. For me it has mostly been an emotional hurdle that I have to cross . . . I worked hard for my license and it has been my "meal ticket" throughout my career. Letting it go, even if I no longer really need it, is not easy to do. Having heard from others similarly situated, however, makes taking the next step somewhat less difficult. I suppose it's all part of that grand "leap of faith" we all must take when we venture into retirement.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:08 PM   #25
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Geoffrey, it may be that your licensing agency may allow a dormant license at reduced cost.

More than that, I can't help. Our situations are too different. I do not need a license anymore.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:10 PM   #26
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I would like to pass the baton, though. When I find a kid who has the same wires, I will be happy. If not...dust in the wind.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:23 PM   #27
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Not knowing what kind of licence Geoffrey holds it is difficult to do anything but speak to our personal experience. I have friends who are retired physicians. One I believe has maintained his licence because he goes on charitable medical treatment trips and performs surgery. The other surgeon I think has let his licence lapse because his practice would require being on the top of his game every second, evidently he lectures from time to time.

Were I Geoffrey I would maintain my licence for a year or two and explore whether or not there are opportunities to use my skills for a cause I cared about.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:21 PM   #28
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Looks like my PE license has a grace period of six months after the renewal date (December 31, 2011, for me) and after that it is expired and I need to reapply and pay all the fees, etc. I don't plan on working and am almost looking forward to having it expire. I worked hard to get it, used it while I was working, but now it's just a reminder and I feel like I've moved on. I have zero desire to get the development hours. I had a plan in case I ended up working in the field part time, but with the economy that never materialized. I'm happy it didn't.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:05 PM   #29
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I had a plan in case I ended up working in the field part time, but with the economy that never materialized.
Something different than your brief post-career adventure as an expert witness for hire, correct?
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:06 PM   #30
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Something different than your brief post-career adventure as an expert witness for hire, correct?

Expert witness always struck me a great second career. My friends dad has had a long profitable second career as expert witness in material science. I am betting that maintaining a professional license helps land those gigs
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:26 AM   #31
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I worked many years for my license and certifications in a field that I love. I plan on renewing every two years. I give seminars, offer continuing education classes, and can set up a private practice if I want to. I consider these years to be my "encore presentation" for my life.

My "work" feeds my soul, and I hope to keep on doing what I love - just like Andy Roony
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:52 AM   #32
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I also plan to keep my license and certifications for a little while after I FIRE, just in case. Plus, since I intend to volunteer abroad more often, they may check my quals online....
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I plan on renewing
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:34 PM   #33
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Something different than your brief post-career adventure as an expert witness for hire, correct?
Yeah. Actually I just talked to a friend and he talked to the guy that was going to hire me part this last summer. He reminded me that Nevada passed a law that forbids me from working for companies that contract with the State fro two years. It was retroactive, too. The guy who was going to hire me told my friend that was the reason he didn't call me.

I wouldn't mind that expert witness gig. $150 an hour is almost worth going to work, you know?

I also just talked to my wife, like half an hour ago. I'm not renewing. I don't want to work in that field (heck, I don't want to work at all), so what's the point. I almost write in my post that if a firm offered me a boat load of money I would consider it, but I didn't because halfway through the sentence, I knew that wasn't true. I wouldn't. I've got better things to do.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:59 AM   #34
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I was just thinking about whether or not I had any licenses, other than my trusty driver's license. The only thing I could come up with is a stack of annual reports showing how well I've run a business. Then i reminded myself: "you're only as good as your next game". So that stack of annual reports is pretty worthless. When I go, I'm tossing them (anyone can see them online anytime they want anyway...).

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Old 11-07-2011, 07:09 AM   #35
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Teaching license here and, after reading the responses above, hmmmmm. It would come in handy if I ever decided to sub in the libraries, but it would mean 60 hours of professional development each year. I doubt I will want to sub, but it would be nice to have as an option if I start missing it a lot.

My idea of retirement is freeing up my life. Have quit coloring my hair and wearing makeup in anticipation, lol. So, keeping my teaching license current would go against a I'M FREE mantra.

Guess right now, I'm 50/50 on the whole idea.
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