Took the first step - next is the leap!
I discovered this wonderful forum years ago when I was starting to think about retirement, have been reading here regularly and want to thank everyone for the information, inspiration and insights. (w2r, you are my inspiration!) At first I zeroed in on the ďFIRE and MoneyĒ section because that was the focus of my calculations, but eventually I realized that for me, the financial considerations are the easy part. Iíve read many of the books recommended here Ė hey, I think I could now write a book on the subject. But ďditheringĒ has been my middle name, and posts on this subject always resonate with me.
So hereís who I am: late 60ís and still working (I know, I know!). My long-time employer is a government agency, so thereís a good pension waiting (along with SS at 70) and Iíll be in good shape financially, even in a high COL area. In fact, Iím actually w**king for peanuts since my after-tax pension income will be almost what Iím making now. Iíve always practiced LBYM so thereís a nest egg too. Bottom line: probably much more than I will ever spend.
Iíve w**ked really hard for a long time, went to law school at night and have accomplished a lot professionally Ė really, nothing left to prove in that area. Iíve been fortunate to have a professional niche that suits me and was interesting and satisfying. The first 25 years or so were blissful Ė lucky to w**k with brilliant people with high standards who challenged and made me better. Then, with new regimes things became, well, letís just say different. I have influence and can keep some bad things from happening, but itís like holding my finger in the dike. Itís harder every day to get myself to the office.
So I know itís time.
I know everyone is yelling: Go!!!
And Iím lucky that I can do that when I want, on my terms.
Whatís held me back: (1) relationships with a few smart, good people who appreciate what I do; and (2) fear. Who will I be when Iím not identified by my job? How will I adjust to the loss of status and structure? I have vague ideas of what the future might be like, but itís hard to envision it when my mind is on w**k 24/7. Iíve been working on this though.
And hereís the good news: I took a big first step last week: I announced that I believe I will retire next year and that when I figure out the date, Iíll give ample notice to allow for a good transition. That was it Ė I decided to do it in 2 steps since the R-bomb was huge. But I think each step will be much easier now. The results were very positive. No one is going to push me out, and I can do it on my terms, and nothing will happen till I give a date (ďyou might change your mind,Ē they said). There was some talk about ďwhat can we do to make you stay?Ē but I donít even want to go there. With some changes, maybe I could eke out a few more months, but I want to make clear this is not a negotiation.
Incidentally, I do not think that cutting back to part-time status is a feasible transition Ė not financially feasible for my employer, who has to pay my replacement, and probably not desirable for me either. When I go, I want to cut the cord and not look back.
Because of the nature of the w**k, itíll be several weeks till I can meet with the group again, so that may be a time to announce a date. No reason, really, to drag it out further. Training my successor will take a while and I have vacation time to use, but Iím determined to make this happen and be retired next year.
I know there are no magic words that will make the transition easier and at my age I shouldnít need a cheering section, but I welcome your thoughts and advice.