Thank you all.
I retired from the government as soon as I was eligible - at 55 with 33 years of service. My agency was downsizing, offering buyouts, management had changed and work life was getting unpleasant - all the signs of "it's time to leave." I would have tried to move to another agency, but, way back in 2003, the local economy was booming for consultants and I figured getting a job telling the government how to do things would be no problem, and it wasn't = lots of offers. The funny thing is that, as a consultant, somehow, advice that had previouly been ignored, was now considered brilliant by the very same federal management
. It was like I had a brain transplant and was now all knowing.
The hardest thing about cutting back now is actually having to live on a pension and savings
. At least for my wife - Nordstroms to WalMart is a heck of a change
. I'm actually 3 1/2 years past my original planned retirement date. The deal was to work until 60 - either as a fed and then never work again or retire from that and work for industry for 5 years. So I don't feel bad about moving to full retirement at all.
Yes, we still have our home in VA along with over 30 years of friends. If it wasn't for the fact that our kids live in the Phoenix area, I don't think we ever would have considered living here - just too brutally hot in Summer. We are taking a test drive for 4 months in an over 55 community literally in the middle of nowhere. Quite a change from suburban VA.
More as we experience it. A down day in AZ - it may not even hot 70 today and there are light clouds in the sky