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Staring at Retirement
Old 02-06-2006, 01:05 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Staring at Retirement

Hi folks. I am staring retirement in the face-33+ years in Fed Svc, Discontinued Service Retirement coming up 31 July so have been told. Haven't received letter yet. Will take a small cut as I am not at minimum age-straight Civil Service. Am anxious, excited, and just a little apprehensive. Have run all the numbers, should be ok (hubby still working, but don't know for how long), BUT . I guess I just need to find out how others managed the transition.
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Re: Staring at Retirement
Old 02-06-2006, 05:00 PM   #2
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Re: Staring at Retirement

Originally Posted by morganpics
I guess I just need to find out how others managed the transition.*
Welcome to the board, Morgan! I'm guessing that you're not planning to go out and find another job. It also sounds like you guys have the finances under control. In that case the best way to make the ER transition is to live the lifestyle.

I'd recommend browsing the topics here and seeing what interests you, especially the "What do you do all day?" questions. Everyone's ER is different and you'll find your niche.

Some of the better guides are Ernie Zelinski books, especially "How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free", a library copy of the Terhorst's "Cashing in on the American Dream", and Bob Clyatt's "Work Less, Live More". Another good resource is John Greaney's Retire Early Home Page, especially the book reviews found in the chronological index.

Well before your last day in the office, max out your medical & dental benefits. Get all the physical exams updated. If you have any symptom that's been bothering you, like a sore joint or a nagging pain, chase it down before you end up paying a bigger share of your medical costs. Get a dental cleaning. Check your eyeglasses prescription. Renew all your medication prescriptions.

Think about how you want to spend your last day in the office. A few here went for humongous ego-enhancing blowouts. Most just wanted to leave quietly and get started on the rest of their lives.

You'll want to take some time off, either before or after retiring, for at least a couple weeks. The longer the better-- but don't try to clean & paint the house, overhaul the cars, relandscape, cruise the world, or write the Great American Novel. Give yourself plenty of unstructured time for sitting & reading/thinking, exercise, and catching up on your sleep. When you're feeling bored or restless, make a list of the things you'd like to do (Zelinski's book has some good brainstorming techniques). Try to avoid spending all your time in front of the TV, and try not to spend all of your time reading this board either! Before a month is up your head will clear, you'll feel & think better, and you'll start figuring out what you want to do with yourself.

A year or so from now you'll wonder why it all seemed to be such a big deal in the first place.

Then you can start working on your husband's ER...

Co-author (with my daughter) of “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence.”
Author of the book written on "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement."

I don't spend much time here— please send a PM.
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Re: Staring at Retirement
Old 02-06-2006, 06:00 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
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Posts: 283
Re: Staring at Retirement

Morganpics - Welcome to the board!*

Your post reminded me that this past Friday was the third anniversary of my retirement... after 35+ years in DoD.* The last day was anticlimatic, got the final signatures, turned in my travel credit card, turned in badges and swipe cards, turned out the lights in my office, said goodbyes, and went to the personnel office for the final processing.* Next day featured a 6-8 inch snowfall that stayed around meaning that I was snowed in... I sure didn't miss the snowy ride to work on the expressway and the long lines at the gate.* I don't think that I put on shoes for the next two weeks as I unwound.* *It took me quite a while until I got over guilty twinges that I was skipping work.*

Got a final paycheck that included a retirement bonus and payment for vacation time - it was the biggest paycheck I ever got... with the biggest fed and state tax deductions ever, also.*

Pension started with the first of the next month, and it took 3 more months to finalize things at OPM.* *I retained my FEHBP coverage so there was no change in any of the family's medical care.*

Morganpics, I'm sure that you will enjoy your retirement!* There are some things that I miss but I've been delighted to fill my day with the things that I feel are important to me including being able to begin a task and pursue it till it is done!* *DW is still working part time;* I wish she would retire fully so that we can take further advantage of travel together year-round.

Best regards

Dad's Dream; to have enough money someday to live the kind of life my wife and kids do...
Life is what happens while you are making other plans... John Lennon...
the more you look, the more you see...
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Re: Staring at Retirement
Old 02-09-2006, 05:50 AM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2
Re: Staring at Retirement

Thanks for the replies. My first thoughts are to save up my annual leave until I retire so I can get a good sized check right after retirement. I've carried 30 days on the books for years and have the use or lose to add to it. I figure that way if my retirement check takes a few months to get squared away I'll be ok. I really thought that I would take the first six months (maybe that's too long) to just do whatever I felt like. I'm sure it will take a little while to get beyond thinking I'm just on an extended vacation! After that, I'm not sure. If I do pick up a job, it will be on my terms for hours, for sure! There is a possibility that my current position will be available as a term temp, half hours, half pay. Hmmm. Will entertain the notion and at least listen to what the actual decision is. I just don't want to complicate my retirement. Don't have any SS quarters to speak of-and really don't want to work until I do. Do I sound spoiled? Guess so. 33+ years and being home a total of 30 weeks with 2 babies never going off the payroll did it. I just want to be able to do what I want when I want. I'm really glad I found this website!
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