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Three years of retirement after the "Glide Path"
Old 07-08-2021, 03:10 PM   #1
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Three years of retirement after the "Glide Path"

It has been 3 years since my glide path to retirement ended and I joined the Class of 2018 (https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ans-81406.html). In general, these have been three wonderful years. This is my random “bullet” summary of results and observations, in no particular order, of these 3 years:
  1. As of the end of June our investments are up 24% since my retirement, with a very conservative AA.This more than fine by us. At the worst of the pandemic market, We were still at 95% of our retirement investment level. I know we could have done better buy investing more aggressively... but we do not feel we need to do that.
  2. Our cash is down only 12%. We did receive a larger than expected inheritance from my parents estate after retirement, but taking that out of the picture it is still down only 24%, which includes buying a third car and paying off the mortgage. My plan forecasted our cash being down 60% at this point. We are “failing” the “Blow That Dough!” test .
  3. Our 3 years of retirement expenses, compared to the 3 years prior to retirement, are down 30%. Not all of that is due to the pandemic. There are some expenditure we deliberately chose in those prior 3 years before retirement (like home improvements). But there are also expenditures we have increased much more in retirement (like vacation).
  4. So far my medical expenses forecast has been overly conservative. To date we have only seen a $5K increase compared to the pre-retirement 3 year period. With less than 2 years to go to Medicare, it has been less than half of what we thought we would need to this point.
  5. My health so far is very good. My weight is down about 20 pounds since retiring and staying that way (I do not want to lose any more than that to keep my athletic build (HA!). Some better eating (like swearing off all sugar sweetened drinks), much more physical activity ( at least 2 hours every day of gym/walk-the-course golf/biking/bowling/hiking/yard work/HIIT workouts/etc.). My last 2 annual physical exams showed all of the numbers in the normal range. I only have to take 3 inexpensive medicines and take several vitamin supplements. I do not take health for granted; I am simply enjoying it while I can.
  6. Though naturally more of an introvert, I like to socialize, if for nothing else to “people watch”, observe, and listen. I have been able to strike a good balance of socializing vs. alone time that works for me and DW (who loves to socialize).
  7. Speaking of DW, she is thrilled that I am retired. She says it feels like the early days of our marriage, before the children arrived . She enjoys me being around the house (even when I am in the man cave blasting music or watching movies containing lots of gunfire and explosions), especially since my career had me traveling so much. After seeing how much fun I was having she has decided to retire from her teaching career as well. As of the end of May is no longer teaching either college or high school courses.
  8. Retirement has enhanced my generally laid back attitude. I enjoy each moment. I try not to have any “pet peeves”. I take myself much less seriously. If I disagree with you in a conversation on this forum, I’m smiling while I am typing . I challenge myself to listen to others and not turn into the “old man that yells at clouds and chases others off his lawn”. While there are things and situations in my personal life I wish were different – such as wishing our grandkids lived being within a couple of hours vs. having to take an overseas trip to see them – I am still very content.
  9. I have currently zero desire to work. At retirement I planned on seeking some IT consulting work after 6-12 months, but that feeling quickly dissipated. I still get full or part time job opportunities to consider, but I am not interested. I never say never, however. Offer me a job that is no more than 8 hours a week, can be done from home, does not require any physical labor beyond reading and typing (okay, maybe playing with computer hardware and software and spreadsheets) and pays at least $60/hour, and I might consider it .
  10. I enjoy "fading into the background” these days. Many former co-workers have expressed surprise that I have not continued my “public” activities (speaking at tech conferences, publishing white papers, giving workshops, etc.). They are surprised I do not “tweet” or “blog” anymore to share my “knowledge” and “wisdom”. However, just knowing that I was able to do that before successfully is enough for me. Those actions were a means to an end that I am now at, and I do not need the “benefits” that might come with those activities.
  11. Every hour I realize how very, very, blessed I am. The ability to wake up every day and have a choice of what to do, “first world” money issues that do not impact our desired lifestyle, family that is happy that I am retired – I do not take these things likely, or as an entitlement.
As much as I am enjoying this time of life, I know none of this is guaranteed for tomorrow. I think of my Dad, who retired at 70 and had just 2 years of a healthy retirement before a six month cancer battle took him. Our oldest child is now the age I was when my Dad died. My mom fared better, after Dad’s death she had almost 20 years of an active life before her health starting failing and she died at 86. I am so glad they chose to migrate to the U.S. They left a situation that was treating them well, but that they felt would not be good for their children in the long run, for a very difficult U.S. situation that they felt would be better in the long run.

Whatever years left I have, that is what I have, and more than I deserve. Regardless, I hope to continue enjoying my retirement in them as much as possible, including still being a troublemaker in this online community .
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Old 07-08-2021, 04:19 PM   #2
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Amazing post. I really enjoyed reading it especially the part (#10) about not needing to stay active in a professional context to recognize that you have value in your daily existence just by being alive and present.
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Old 07-08-2021, 05:24 PM   #3
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Nice post.
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Old 07-08-2021, 05:25 PM   #4
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Excellent. It sounds like retirement has been everything that you hoped it would be.
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Old 07-08-2021, 06:20 PM   #5
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Congratulations. I stepped away from work at 55. Never had any desire to work again. I still don’t. I get particularly bored listening to other people complain about work. I did do some part time teaching as a volunteer activity but it was strictly on my own terms and occupied a few weeks each year. Now I don’t even do that. I made it a habit to socialize once a week otherwise I am happy doing my own thing. N
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Old 07-08-2021, 06:55 PM   #6
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Jollystomper: It's so nice to hear from someone that's getting so much out of life in their ER. That's what life's all about. Going into retirement takes a certain amount of preparation mentally, physically and fiscally, and it's nice to fully execute a plan.

None of us know how many days are left on this earth, and we need to grab all the gusto we can the first time around.
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Old 07-09-2021, 09:14 AM   #7
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Here is hoping for many, many years of happy, healthy retirement years. Sounds like you will make good use of every day granted to you.
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Old 07-09-2021, 10:10 AM   #8
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I love your post! In particular, I love this part...

"Every hour I realize how very, very, blessed I am. The ability to wake up every day and have a choice of what to do, “first world” money issues that do not impact our desired lifestyle, family that is happy that I am retired – I do not take these things likely, or as an entitlement."

I read it to my DH and he and I agree - we are so blessed to have this opportunity to choose what we want to do every day, and the money to be housed and fed.
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Old 07-09-2021, 10:36 AM   #9
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Loved reading your post. Good luck!
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Old 07-09-2021, 10:57 AM   #10
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I really enjoyed your post too!
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Old 07-13-2021, 05:02 AM   #11
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5 years in for me now, similar experience. 61 now and we have been living on Cash & Dividends from our non retirement accounts. Growth in retirement accounts has outstripped spending significantly. Came from a high profile, high stress, high $$ career and don’t miss it even slightly. My assumption is I would be 6 feet under by now if I had not retired. My wife stopped working in 1988 when pregnant with our middle child, so her routines were well established. I stay busy with things I enjoy including kids, grandchild, golf boating, reading, camping and…….home / auto/ boat repairs. Since I had a white collar career, I did not work with my hands and hired out any labor. Now with adequate time & YouTube, I at least attempt most stuff on my own and enjoy it.

I lost about 30 lbs via increased activity. I am naturally introverted, and my work life was quite the opposite, so I really enjoy getting to pick and choose my level of social activity.

Finally, like the OP, I am grateful for the good fortune that has allowed this opportunity. Many folks pat themselves on the back for what hard work and disciplined execution of a plan has provided them. Far greater an influence, are the external factors we cannot control. For anyone who retired in the past 10 years, the stars aligned for them.
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Old 07-14-2021, 07:43 PM   #12
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your post is very encouraging for someone who is about to retire. Thank you for sharing
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:09 PM   #13
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Identical experience. Ten year have passed. Never regretted the decision once.

I have lived a charmed life in all respects. Very thankful for what we have and for the good health.
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Old 07-15-2021, 05:03 AM   #14
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Great post! Reassuring for many of us who need a little extra push into the pool. I have chosen a slow "wade into the pool" over the last 2 years, which I think has been right for me, but expect to be swimming naked at the end of the year!
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Old 07-16-2021, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanky View Post
5 years in for me now, similar experience. 61 now and we have been living on Cash & Dividends from our non retirement accounts. Growth in retirement accounts has outstripped spending significantly. Came from a high profile, high stress, high $$ career and don’t miss it even slightly. My assumption is I would be 6 feet under by now if I had not retired. My wife stopped working in 1988 when pregnant with our middle child, so her routines were well established. I stay busy with things I enjoy including kids, grandchild, golf boating, reading, camping and…….home / auto/ boat repairs. Since I had a white collar career, I did not work with my hands and hired out any labor. Now with adequate time & YouTube, I at least attempt most stuff on my own and enjoy it.

That golf boating sounds dangerous!
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Old 07-16-2021, 12:59 PM   #16
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Seven year retired, more dough than ever, house is looking great, gonna buy a boat -
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Old 07-16-2021, 02:00 PM   #17
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Great post showing how well one can transform their life and be happy in retirement. This could be a sticky!
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:15 PM   #18
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Nice. Thanks for the summary update. I like to read people's condensed reflections on retirement.

Sounds like things are going well for you. I'm 2 years in, and I can say the same (although not in all the particulars). I especially liked your comment about how retirement has made you more laid back, and you take yourself less seriously. I've noticed that in myself, too. It's a more relaxing and pleasant life, less stress, less aggravation, more laughs.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Romer View Post
your post is very encouraging for someone who is about to retire. Thank you for sharing
Agreed! (like me)
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:51 AM   #20
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Outstanding thread and happy for your success in retirement. I also like #10 and I also found my way don't miss flying under the radar.
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