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10 years retired
Old 01-06-2019, 11:50 AM   #1
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10 years retired

Today is the 10th anniversary of my retirement. I only waited long enough in January 2009 to be sure my profit sharing (7.5%of my salary) was deposited to my 401K. The next day we were on an airplane to Santiago, Chile for 14 day tour of South America.

It has been an exciting 10 years, mostly due to my new wife, who was also widowed.
She said she wanted to travel, to see things she had only dreamed about. Our first trip together was to Tahiti, which she had dreamed about from the age of 17. In fact, we were married on the island of Santorini, Greece while on another cruise. Well, after 51 trips, 17 cruises and 500 travel days, our bucket list is just about complete.

We recently upgraded our cars from a 1998 and 2003 to a 2017 and 2016. Being FI, we paid cash for both cars. NO car payments, and no debt of any kind.

Other than traveling, you might ask what have I done to fill the time. I renewed my pilot’s license, and dedicated myself to flying for 2 charitable organizations. The main one is Angel Flight West, flying patients to and from their appointments in distant cities.
This gives the patients the opportunity to receive advanced treatment at no transportation cost to them. Some of the patients have conditions so rare I have to Google the condition to just to see what it was. The other is Pilots n’ Paws, flying rescued dogs to new forever homes.
I have accumulated over 400 hours doing these flights, paying for them out of my own pocket,
For fun, I have also had the opportunity to pilot a Korean War MiG-15 jet as well as three WW2 aircraft, an SNJ trainer, a B-25 bomber, and to celebrate my 80th birthday, a P-51 Mustang. I also joined the United Flying Octogenarians which is an organization for pilots over 80.

I volunteered with the IRS/AARP doing tax preparation for seniors and low income clients. Recently I started volunteering at a local Hospice repairing their wheelchairs and walkers.

I also volunteer for a local railroad society and act as a car attendant on a local tourist railroad, helping passengers get on and off the cars and punching tickets. I am also in the process of restoring a 23 Ton switch engine, which is almost as old as me, but I am in better shape.
As you can see, I have been busy and productive for the past 10 years of retirement, and it has made me a happy man.

I have to thank my parents, who lived to be 93 and 102 for giving me the genes that keep me going. I am blessed with good health and hope to celebrate many more anniversaries with my wife.

Life is good!
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 60/35/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% with 2SS & 2 Pensions
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:59 AM   #2
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Amazing story, Souschef! You truly are living a full life. Congrats to you and your wife.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:03 PM   #3
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You sound like an exemplary retiree. Good to see that you're enjoying your retirement to the fullest. I'm so happy for you and your wife!
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:06 PM   #4
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What a great story!
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:22 PM   #5
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Great story and as mentioned before, a true love of your life and wife.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:47 PM   #6
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WOW! That really has been a great 10 years. Thanks for sharing your journey.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:22 PM   #7
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Wonderful story. Congratulations to you. Enjoying life!
You are no longer in a savings mode.
You are now in a slow spend down mode.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:41 PM   #8
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Loved reading this. Thanks for sharing!
W*rking hard, enjoying life.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:37 PM   #9
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Thank you for sharing and Santorini is gorgeous! Great place to get married - I also loved Chile. I am a 99 and know you are doing great work with your flying. You are an awesome example and mentor!
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:16 AM   #10
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Thanks for sharing - it's a great life and one many of us can aspire to.

We did our first cruise last year and are looking forward to many more ... unfortunately DW loves her job and we have a number of travel related family priorities so it will have to wait ...

Hope the next ten years are just as good for you.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:25 AM   #11
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Congrats on 10 years, and thanks for the story. Thanks for your dedication to your charitable organizations and get that switch engine running!
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:08 AM   #12
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Wow! Great story and you are rocking your retirement. I retired three years ago and, like you took the family to live in Chile for a couple of months. Also in the last three years I took a motorcycle tour of Patagonia, three bucket list hunting trips to Canada and Wyoming, I am a volunteer football coach at the local high school where I also substitute and mentor kids, and I still do some professional mentoring/consulting to stay abreast of developments in my old profession. Not trying to take over your thread, just adding to your point that retirement is not about sitting around the house doing nothing. It's about living one's best life.
FIRE'd and loving it.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:11 AM   #13
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I love this additional perspective of looking at FIRE from 10 years out!
July 12, 2018. On safari to stay!
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:18 AM   #14
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Amazing... You know that I have followed you through your website. Both jeanie and I take one adventure at a time, and enjoy every minute of your commentaries. It seems as if your life is being choreographed as the pictures follow the experiences.

When I look at what I believe to be varied interests, and explore them one at a time, it's fascinating to see the energy that drives you to not only watch, but dig in and initiate or be part of so many varied dives into life.

Doubly important is the willingness to share your joie de vivre with others, not only though your writings, but your actions to help others.

We look forward to many more years of vicariously joining you and Kathy on the coming journeys.

Best wishes, and regards,
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:57 AM   #15
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Love the great retirement life that you are living! Traveling and volunteering are fantastic endeavors. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:55 PM   #16
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Fascinating, Souschef! I retire on November 9th, 2009, the same year you retired, so it is especially interesting to me to compare the differences in our retirement experiences and desires.

I didn't fly any planes at all! In fact, I haven't even been a passenger on a plane since I retired. I didn't travel, or marry, or volunteer, all of which you did.

But I feel very satisfied with how the first ~10 years of my retirement has evolved.

I figured out what material possession I *really* wanted in life that I didn't have, and consequently, after four years of searching, found and bought my Dream Home and have been enjoying it every day. Not the least great attribute that my Dream Home has, is that it is right next door to Frank's house. I had a gateway put into the back yard fence between our homes, making it so easy to go back and forth as desired.

And of course, it is wonderful to live so close to one's beloved, and to be happily interacting during most of each day, yet having our own homes to return to as well. We are both relatively healthy for our ages, and we are both over-the-moon happy to be retired.

Having previously been more or less a vagabond, living in many locations and nearly constantly traveling for work or other reasons beyond my control, I finally feel like I have a home here in New Orleans. A home is nothing to take for granted, IMO; it's wonderful and has added so much richness and depth to my life. I have been in south Louisiana for 23 years now, and in New Orleans for 20 years (I was on the faculty at LSU in Baton Rouge for the first 3 years, ~50 miles from New Orleans). I have not been more than 5-10 miles from my present home for 7 years and I love being settled down in one spot like this.

As for cars, I thought I was going to get a new SUV last year. Like you, I am debt free; I have the $$ to buy the SUV in cash, and I am ready to do this. However it seems that I like my present 2009 Toyota Venza better than any other car I have looked at. Oh well!

Two versions of the first 10 years of retirement - - so different, and yet so much the same!

Originally Posted by Gunny View Post
Not trying to take over your thread, just adding to your point that retirement is not about sitting around the house doing nothing. It's about living one's best life.
+1 and Frank and I believe we are doing exactly that. So far we are loving retirement and boredom has not been a problem for us. We have active minds and are always getting into one thing or another.
Happily retired since 2009, at age 61.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:06 PM   #17
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Wonderful! Congratulations.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:10 PM   #18
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Great story!

Retired at 42 and I have been enjoying retirement for 18 years [so far].
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:20 PM   #19
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Great story for your life after working. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:43 PM   #20
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Awesome story! I hope I have half the energy and get to accomplish half the travel you have! Nice that you can give back in so many meaninful ways! Inspiring!
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