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Independence Day - I smell freedom
Old 06-22-2015, 10:50 AM   #1
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Independence Day - I smell freedom

1. First, a BIG thank you to the fine folks on this classy, helpful, and informative forum - to the founder, owner, contributors, and the professional volunteer moderators.

2. I remember many "stages" or feelings after finding this forum: The dawn of realization that there could be a different path; being simultaneously excited about that realization, yet being discouraged that I wasn't further along; getting more momentum by paying attention; talking with spouse about a plan to get "out" and what would that look like; being delayed or at least slowed down for a couple of years by some life issues; seeing words lead to actions as in putting pieces of the puzzle into place; still having questions and lots to learn and do in the transition...

BUT the point is...

3. Spouse gave notice in April. I finished my latest consulting contract in May and spouse's responsibilities end in TWO WEEKS! Last day as a director is JULY 4th (Okay, some random appearances over the next few months to keep benefits going while using up vacation time, but we're calling it).

The RV is bought and we're working to put the house on the market. Will travel for awhile and eventually relocate. Downsizing and storing stuff to take to the next house (very little furniture will be saved).

It feels more than a little surreal.

Suggestions for the transition are welcome (I've read the FAQs).

4. Mostly what I'm curious about are things not covered in the FAQ such as: What did this stage feel like to you and what helped?? For a long time, hugely demanding jobs have made it seem like all we do is work and collapse in exhaustion. Not much time for fun. Now the push to get the house on the market feels much the same, though we are seeing progress.

Kindest excited regards!
spncity
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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Congrats, no suggestions, just enjoy your new found freedom.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:06 AM   #3
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Congratulations, spincity!

For me, there were only about 4 months from the time I seriously started planning an ER date and when it happened, and only two months from the time I made my final decision. (I had planned to retire at 58 for many years, then suddenly realized 5 years earlier that we were FI and the good folks here helped me pull the trigger.) The entire 4 months was somewhat surreal. I didn't tell anyone until the last 6 weeks, so that's when it started feeling more real. I definitely had some second thoughts/chilly feet days, but the fact that I knew my retirement was saving a job for someone else in the round of layoffs that was going on helped a lot.

We didn't do a major downsizing after ER (we actually did it right before, and I was so busy w*rking 50 hours/week and managing a major remodel of the new house that I didn't have time to think about it much.)

I do remember that the first few days after ER felt wonderful, and that two weeks later I felt a bit disappointed that folks from the office weren't calling me for information anymore.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:38 PM   #4
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congrats on the impending adventures.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:40 PM   #5
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Congratulations spncity. As one who just retired 5/15, I can tell you what my experience has been. In a word: wierd. While I've been amazingly productive having completed a lot of pent up projects, I've been just as busy, if not more, than when I was working. Wednesday I start the house remodelling project that I've been putting off while working. I am getting to do some of my favorite things, like studying at my favorite outdoor cafe in the morning, and then reading at another outdoor cafe in the afternoon. Another huge difference is not having to rush to go to the gym before work. My gym is within about a 10 minute walking distance and it feels great walking there and back.

I went to lunch with my ex-boss and a colleague today which was quite a wake-up call. Very strange driving to the old job knowing I wasn't going to work. Even stranger seeing the front of the building, seeing the old office, even using the bathroom there. Everyone commented on how relaxed/refreshed I looked, how much younger I looked, how tan I looked (was in the sun last weekend). It was surprising because I haven't noticed, but upon reflection, they probably also picked up how much happier I am.

Finally, what was really suprising was how they only had an hour for lunch, how my boss couldn't finish her meal because she had to rush off to a meeting, and how she had to take her unfinished Thai iced tea with her. I felt sorry for her. It really brought home why I wanted to retire early: because I sensed I had no life, just as I see they don't now.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:43 PM   #6
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Congrats on ER. And on the RV too.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by spncity View Post
4. Mostly what I'm curious about are things not covered in the FAQ such as: What did this stage feel like to you and what helped?? For a long time, hugely demanding jobs have made it seem like all we do is work and collapse in exhaustion. Not much time for fun. Now the push to get the house on the market feels much the same, though we are seeing progress.

Kindest excited regards!
spncity
Congratulations, spncity!

We had planned to downsize and move from New Orleans to Missouri as soon as we retired. We were not able to leave after Katrina like so many did, due to golden handcuffs, but we wanted to! We wanted to get out of here as soon as we retired, and could.

However, right after we retired we felt the overwhelming need to wait a while and decompress, first, so we did that for a year. We napped a lot.

Then we put our houses on the market. That was a LOT of work and we felt exhausted by it, just as you do! Slowly, we came to realize that for us, the desire to move had lessened compared with how we felt before retiring. We decided to stay here for the rest of our lives.

I still sort of wanted to move, for some reason, although he didn't. I guess I just wanted a nicer house more than a different location. So, instead of moving away, I am moving to my dream house here in the city. It's exhausting just to move even if the move is only 3 miles!
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:45 PM   #8
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Ha! I hear you about missing the bustle and being the go-to person. But for DH it will be the opposite! He's had to keep his phone on 24/7 because he's the backup when any on-call person can't figure something out. Too many weekends and nights require him to go in and help diagnose/fix. He can hardly wait to turn his phone off at night, and opt to let calls go to voicemail to return at his leisure!

And the downsizing / moving thing is probably worse because we have no deadline.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:41 PM   #9
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I just retired June 5th and I am so relaxed. I spent many years anxious and tired. Several times a day, I say to myself with joy "I am SO happy!" I know you will be thankful and happy to hit the road in your RV and do exactly what you want to do when you want to. Congrats!


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Old 06-24-2015, 12:03 PM   #10
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Congratulations Spncity !!! I retired a week ago. I can't believe how quickly I was able to put "that place" out of my mind! Traveling by RV for awhile sounds like alot of fun and adventure. Enjoy it !
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:36 AM   #11
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I don't quite smell freedom yet, but I do plan to smell some smoked ribs.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:14 PM   #12
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Congrats for making a FIRE plan and going for it! Today was my first day of retirement! Couldn't be happier or more relaxed. I may be wrong...every day after today may be even better😃


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Old 06-26-2015, 07:25 PM   #13
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I don't quite smell freedom yet, but I do plan to smell some smoked ribs.
That reminds me. Since our independence day is July 4th, we're planning a big celebration with nationwide fireworks, a big concert on the lawn of the national mall with a quarter million of our closest friends, and picnics everywhere!

Feel free to join in right in your hometown!

Kindest regards.
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:22 PM   #14
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Congrats! It has been 1.5 years for us and would never go back! Enjoy your freedom!


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Old 07-08-2015, 09:09 PM   #15
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That pesky phone is now OFF at night!

Although he tried to quash it, they insisted on a farewell party which turned out to be very fun and very personalized by way of decorations, menu, program, and gifts. The remarks were lovely, funny, heartfelt, and well-deserved.

Still lots to do to get ready for the inaugural voyage with the RV.

Let freedom ring!
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:27 AM   #16
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Back from the maiden voyage in the RV. We love it!

We are on a learning curve and it's been awhile since our orientation to the rig from the previous owner. Like - Wait, where's the fresh water infill again? Wait, the kitchen sink won't drain... I think there's another grey tank somewhere that needs to be emptied - etc.

Very happy with the smooth-pulling fifth wheeler. We were up helping FIL for awhile and celebrating his 95th birthday. We were parked on the property and connected to power and water. For DH, working 40 hrs a week helping his dad by trimming, mowing, cutting wood, fixing things - and in the heat - "almost" felt like a vacation since he could turn his phone off at night and he got weekends off!

Can hardly wait for the next trip - but must finish getting the house ready to sell.

Any comments welcome on those first months of ER, getting a house ready to sell, on RVing, etc., etc.

Kindest regards.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:41 AM   #17
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Congrats! What an exciting time in your life! I still long for an adventure like this....but, live in my dream location already. The thought of freely roaming the USA with thoughts of where to set roots is very appealing.
I did that the summer I graduated from college. A couple friends and I rode motorcycles all over the states (14,000 mi.) and ran out of money in SoCal(this won't happen to you!). We all still live in Ca - they are still south, I'm near Lake Tahoe.
Enjoy your second childhood
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:05 AM   #18
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I'm near Lake Tahoe.
Enjoy your second childhood
Sounds like a nice trip!

My first job out of high school paid for a new Honda motorcycle for moi!

Nevada, not far from Lake Tahoe, is where we found our rig! I was designated to check the potential purchase as DH could not get away from w*rk, so now it's on the list to visit there again someday (this time with DH) so we can stop by and see the lovely new friends we made (the sellers).

This is the longest we've lived in one place, so I guess I should have realized it would take the longest to do the downsize/declutter/make-ready. Made a lot of progress this week.

Must. Keep. Going...
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:04 AM   #19
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It happened for the first time.

That funny feeling that makes you say out loud: "Hey, what day is it?"

How many ER points is this worth?
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:09 AM   #20
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It happened for the first time.

That funny feeling that makes you say out loud: "Hey, what day is it?"

How many ER points is this worth?
About 3 gajillion! Congratulations.
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