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Fifteen Years RE'd
Old 12-05-2020, 06:12 AM   #1
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Fifteen Years RE'd

Well, today (12/5/20) is my fifteenth anniversary of being retired. Retired at 53 after a fun, long, career in high-tech. On my 10th, I wrote up a long-ish note here on what I discovered in ER but oddly, I don't have much to add to the past five years!
Here's my original post at 10 years: https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ate-79735.html

We've had a few hiccups: I'm now legal guardian of my brother after he had a life-threatening stroke...learned a ton about strokes, hospitals, rehab centers, therapy and nursing homes. He's much better but unable to speak and I spend about 2 hours every day taking him to breakfast/lunch or dinner/doctor appointments and therapy.

We also had to sell our beloved ocean front home north of Boston. It was my grandfather's house and where my mom grew up but the neighborhood had changed a lot over the past several years and the environment suddenly became untenable. We had hoped it to have been our forever home but...after living there for 30 years we decided to sell over one weekend.

We 'upsized' and built a brand new house on the other side of town, moved in a month ago and love it! Everything is new and works. No more compromises living in 150 year old houses! Who knew that windows are easy to open!? We also now have four extra rooms to find furniture for!

I had a few health scares (near death from sepsis) but both DW and I remain active and healthy now and we still winter in FL (although this year doesn't look promising)

On the finance side, our original trepidation on not having an income has faded far into the past. Despite some serious spending (~5%-6% WR some years...10% this year) DW and I have nearly doubled our original nest egg, so if there's any advice here it's to be watchful and thoughtful but for us "the market is your friend". Plus DW just got her first SS check two months ago.

So now, I'm 68 and the main thing is that I keep obsessing with the idea that in 11 1/2 short years (if I'm lucky) I'll be 80.

I continue to learn a lot from this forum and must credit a lot of our RE success (both financial and personal) to the things I've learned here.

Maybe the short story is that at least for us, despite our best laid plans, life throws you a lot of curve balls and what you envisioned your life to be doesn't always go that way. "Man plans and God laughs" sort of thing. You just have to roll with it.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:04 AM   #2
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Congrats and nice story! Carpe Diem!
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:08 AM   #3
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Nice post.
We take care of my brother who has a form of Asperger's syndrome, but is somewhat independent. God bless.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:22 AM   #4
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Congratulations. Leaving a family home fronting the Atlantic must have been a huge wrench, but Im glad you have found a new castle! The struggles with your brother sound incredibly difficult and painful; the fact that you can be so useful and close to him is wonderful.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:41 AM   #5
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Congrats ! Hit my own 15 year FIRE at age 69 in June of 2020 and I'll second that emotion about the "market being your friend," as well as learning a lot from the sage folks on this forum. Wish you nothing but long life and happiness.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:52 AM   #6
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Congratulations. Leaving a family home fronting the Atlantic must have been a huge wrench, but I’m glad you have found a new castle! The struggles with your brother sound incredibly difficult and painful; the fact that you can be so useful and close to him is wonderful.
Thanks. After our mom (age 91) I'm his only living relative. His girlfriend of 31 years died earlier this year as well.

He lives with mom now but that can't last long term.

His main handicap now is his inability to speak, however he communicates very well with his own form of sign language.

He's "semi-independent" and he's come a long way: four years ago doctors sat me down and said that he'd never walk, feed himself or be able to sit up. They were all soooo wrong! Speech aside, at 65, he's about as physically limited a normal 85 year old.

Yes, leaving the family home was a bit painful but it had got to the point where we just couldn't stay. The rental house next door converted to Section 8 housing and, well...you might imagine. Police coming every other day/night, drug busts etc.

It had been a fun neighborhood: a small enclave where everyone there was living in their grandparent's or parent's home, everyone knew each other since childhood. At 4PM everyone went house to house to get a drink; by 8PM everyone was smashed and hated everyone else but by 8AM all was forgiven and we were helping each other put our boats in the water.

Now, we're out in the woods and the neighbors are quiet!
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:55 AM   #7
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That is a great review! It also solids up the questions, that come up with every new retiring person including me. The hardest part of retiring is just doing it, when you know you have the numbers that work for you.
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:14 AM   #8
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... We also now have four extra rooms to find furniture for!
Nail those doors shut, otherwise we'll see a de-cluttering post from you in another 5 years!
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:18 AM   #9
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I also hit my 15 years of retirement in June 2020. I actually forgot about it until seeing you thread. Congratulations on 15 years !!
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:40 AM   #10
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Great post. Thanks for sharing.


I ER'd 5 years ago and find it encouraging to hear others success stories.
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:43 AM   #11
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Great post! I really love hearing update stories.
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:03 AM   #12
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Marko,

Excellent update. Enjoyed it immensely. It seems like you have taken those curve balls and batted them rather cleanly. Certainly a testament to how our lives can and will change over time and we must find our own better place.
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:23 AM   #13
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Great update, always very enjoyable to read.
congratulations on 15 years!
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Old 12-11-2020, 06:16 PM   #14
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So great thank you. I’m 53 and still on the fence about pulling the trigger. Great to hear your experience.
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Old 12-11-2020, 07:10 PM   #15
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Nail those doors shut, otherwise we'll see a de-cluttering post from you in another 5 years!
One of the downsides of living in your grandfather's house is that he didn't move out, he died. In order to sell the house, we had to pay $2,000 in junk removal for clean out before the sale; most of it his stuff. And that's after 30 years on our part of methodically throwing his stuff out. Two dump trucks full! As DW said: "We had to pay two grand to get rid of someone else's junk!!

So, we did get rid of a lot of our own stuff before the move and we're hopeful not to leave anyone with the bill.

My brother lives in our great-grandfather's house...again, nobody moved out, they just moved 'up' (so to speak). Four generations of accumulated things.
That should be fun cleaning out that attic!!
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Old 12-12-2020, 03:11 PM   #16
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Congratulations on your anniversary and new home!
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Old 12-12-2020, 03:56 PM   #17
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Such a great story. Cudos to you for the time and care you devote to your brother.

It's
hard to imagine that ocean front property could ever become undesirable, not that I'm questioning your description of the neighborhood.
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