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.