Retire or Not Retire - Everyone has a choice!
One day there were too much ice on the road, a friend of mine, who is one month older than me, who works in a dangerous job to fix the gas line, who is an old friend in the Navy who made a bet that whoever not retire this year will pay for the retirement party, he called his boss and said good bye.
Now because of afraid to lose a bet, I stopped by my manager's office one day in April, 2007 and told him that I had enough in the IT field and will call for a quit in October 2007 when I am 55 years old and will be qualified for a small pension.
The thought of not working no more, no longer to be called 2 or 3 times a night to fix computer problems, no more stress from working with morons and bad boss, make me feel a lot better. Now I will have time to do what I love to do: Playing the piano, guitar, taking care of mom (78), fishing, gardening, fixing things around the house...
Can I live on my small pension plus some interest money from savings? That is the question that I have read from people in this forum asked. The answer is only I will know if I can live on small pension or not. That is the price that I am willing to trade: nice things for a peace of mine. Life is too short and I hope i can enjoy it for few more years...
Some of the posts in this forum did make me nervous. I read that people got million of dollars in 401K, equity, savings,... and still worry about not have enough to live. So how can I manage to retire while losing a big chunk of my very good salary and will try to manage to live on small pension + savings. Well, there will be a big adjustment has to be made but the thought to be FREE after 32 years of working made me feel so great.
Luckily my wife will work for few more years to help the health insurance, then may join me with her small pension from work, then we can draw on my small 401K until we can collect from uncle SAM when we are 62. So if we can manage and cut back unnecessary expenses and luxury things -- we can survive and starting to enjoy life.
Does enjoying life need to have a big yatch, a yearly trip to foreign country for vacations, golf everyday,... I believe it is up to all of us and we all have a choice. To spend time in the garden, to walk along the park with your spouse, to play, learn, practice any musical instruments, to write a book, to volunteer charity work,... all of these are perfect for whoever wants to enjoy life... AND you do not need to have million dollars to do that.
I hope to hear from people who did retire and who manage to adjust the finance so he/she can really have peace in mind, and enjoy life when it is too short.
Also, I hope that their stories and advices will encourage more people to join the retirement club without worrying too much about money and material.
If we all can keep this thread alive until more and more people joining us. Again, Life is too short as I did see it from my life -- my sister died at 32, my sister-in-law also died at 32, my wife's brother-in-law died at 42, and recently a co-worker who is very healthy (that what i thought), who is very smart, who is very nice, who is never complain and said bad things about people, all of the suddenly, came down with a serious cancer and died within 4 months.
We all have a choice and let's us make a good one.