How does it feel to be retired?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by keokeboy, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. keokeboy

    keokeboy Member

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    I"m aproching that time when I have to ask myself , should I really retire and enjoy the rest of my life the way I like to do it. lot:s of people really don;t like to be forced into early retirement, but what are you old timers doing now to be happy and not drive yourself crazy?
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Keokeboy, I moved your post to the general discussion area because the Upcomming Event area does not allow replies; it is for posting announcements of upcomming events without having conversations about them.

    Here, you will get some answers.

    I can answer from my own personal experience.
    At 61, I was 'laid off' from my employer where I held a professional position for almost a quarter of a century. It had nothing to do, of course, with the illegal activity they were involved in which I brought to light with the corporate legal department. The fact that the corporate attorney who helped me expose this was also laid off at the same time is sheer coincidence.

    OK, with that off my chest -

    I was 61, and drawing unemployment for the SECOND time in my life. Unemployment ran out two months before my 62 birthday. But since I was not born on the first day of the month, they do not pay for that month, but for the NEXT month. And they do not send a check until half way through the month after THAT. Getting through four months with no income was rough - I sold some stuff, including the nice Xterra I really loved.
    Then I retired.
    I had a 401K which my daughter (a financial consultant and guru) helped me invest in such a way is to provide a suplemental income to SS.
    Not BIG by any means, nor anything CLOSE to what I used to earn as a design engineer, but sufficient to get by on.

    Now, I am 66 and could have been drawing FULL SS for some time now instead of the reduced benefits I took to reture at 62. Carefully considering the last four years, I have to say that, with absolutely zero doubt, I would do the EXACT same thing again.

    What do I do?
    Man, for the first time in my life I do exactly what I WANT to do!!
    I walk in the woods.
    I play with my dog.
    I play with the Mrs.
    I help moderate this most excellent forum.
    I help administer two other forums of great interest to me.
    I am sole administrator of another forum which I started.
    I manage half a dozen web-sites dealing with various passions of mine.
    I can devote more time to the old historic church which I re-opened 24 years ago and have been pastoring ever since.
    My wife and I have time to go to the YMCA in Clarksville once or twice a week now, where we work out, swim, steam, sauna, and socialize.
    We go out to eat at least twice a week.
    I am learning how to cook new dishes.
    I am interacting with wildlife at a level never before possible.
    I keep up with current events, politics, etc., at a level never before possible.
    The wife and I never miss Jeopardy at 6PM, where we strive to keep our minds sharp and active.
    I continue to re-model our old house, and repair things as they break. Back when I worked, I called a serviceman for this due to time constraints, but now do it myself and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when an ice-maker starts to spit out cubes in abundance once again after I replaced a very complex water valve.

    I enjoyed my job as an engineer.
    I got to work with several sciences, invent things, improve things, and keep on the forefront of technology.
    But as you and every working guy knows, there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect job.
    There WAS stress.
    In fact, when I called the wife and asked her to drive the truck to my employer so I could clean out my office because I was laid off, her response was: "Thank God! I have been so afraid they were going to KILL you with the stress they kept you under!"

    Keokeboy, I HIGHLY recommend retirement.
    Life is too short NOT to spend as much of it as possible doing EXACTLY what you want to do.
    Enjoy it!!
  3. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    My wife and I retired at 55 in 2003. I was an accountant/ financial manager for 33 years and she was a computer systems manager. She had a really good defined benefit plan and we had good savings and 401's so I put together a cash flow projection going out 5 years and said hey we can do this. We had no debt. Probably the most important element of a happy retirement is a good financial plan and good health insurance. If you have peace of mind on finances and health then you can enjoy yourself.

    As we hit 50 and began preparing for retirement we started to take steps for financial security. We paid off the mortgage on our house and started saving like crazy in a nonretirement account. I bought lifetime NH hunting and fishing licenses for us both, we started going to RV shows and looking at motor homes, I took up reloading, fly tying, played more golf. My wife took up quilting. We essentially were looking for things to do other than work 50-60 hours a week.

    As the time got near (2 months prior) we bought a 33' brand new motor home and upon retiring in May we packed it up and went to Alaska for 3 months. It was a wonderful trip as we saw awesome sights, caught awesome fish and it was a trip I had dreamed about for many years and it lived up to expectations. Once the weather in NH turned nasty, after deer season of course we packed up again and headed south. The first two winters we headed to the Fl Keys and when the RV park sold out and they were planning on building condo's there we started looking for another place. We headed to Texas and this coming winter will be our 5th year on Baffin Bay.

    In 2007 our motorhome broke down in North Dakota as it had done so many times and we decided that we made a mistake in purchasing a motorhome as we now had some experience with RV's and our needs. We traded at Lazy Days in Tampa for a new 38' 5th Wheel and I traded my little pick up for a new chevy one ton diesel. Much happier. This spring we also picked up a used Lance Camper for short money and it has become our summer RV and the 5th wheel our winter condo.

    Next summer we will take the little camper and hit several National Parks and the following summer back to Alaska. We love to travel and see new sights and we both love to camp. We have maintained the home, and the summers we don't travel we then work on the house and put in a veggie garden. I have replaced both decks and the front steps with Trex and Fiberon railing so they will last longer than I will. There is always something to do and if not then the range is only a couple miles away.

    Final note if you don't already have an exercise program then start one when you retire. Let your Doctor know and once you get on it stick too it. You have to keep the joints moving and keep the muscles strong so set aside time everyday for your program. I walk everyday I can as the weather holds me back somedays and do a weight workout 2-3 times a week. You will feel better and inspite of being older will actually become healthier. Good luck and if you have a job with any stress once you retire it will feel like a weight has been lifted from you.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  4. Road America

    Road America Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread, it's a good one. I will be 63 next May and am thinking about retiring then, but it's really a tough decision. I keep thinking - that's something you can't undo once you did it. Davy Crockett said "be sure you're right, then go ahead" - I'm still not sure I'm right. I have enough in savings and 401k, but it's that health insurance that worries me. My investment guy says yup, you can whenever you want to. Maybe I'm just being a chicken, it'll be a big change after working for so many years.
  5. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I spent almost 2 years in the A.F. back in the early 70's. I was discharged with a medical due to bad legs, before the pullout of VN in 75. I eventually went to work for the U.S. Postal service, and was forced to take a medical retirement, back in 97. For the first four years we traveled the U.S. on the saddle of a motorcycle, with a trailer behind us. We wore out one, and started on another. Sold it in 06 due to the wife's 4th back surgury, witch rendered her unable to ride any more. Went on full disability in 07 myself, the wife was already drawing full disability. Since then I have spent my time trying to turn the little old 7 acres that we own into a park, and shooting range, of my liking, hunting, fishing, reloading, and buying guns, and ammo. Not to say that I didn't have enough already, if that is possible, just needed some toys to play with. I agree with trying to find some sort of physical excersize program to be involved with. Will be 61 on my birthday in Dec., and am getting good health reports from the doctor at each check up. If God is willing our next venture will be to purchase a Van, and customize it for camping. We looked at motor homes, and we really don't want the headaces that come with them, trailers, and such are out of the question, as the wife needs a place to lay down when she needs to. Maybe see a little more of the U.S. Looking into getting back into diving down along the Fl. coast. Hooking up with my brother, and getting in a little more salt water fishing. At the present we are heavely involved in the local Tea Party movement, and were fourtunate enough to make the march on D.C. back in Sept. Look forward to every event, and meeting with like minded people.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  6. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn New Member

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    Great thread. I am 45 and looking at retiring at 67. The way it's set up for me, I can retire at 62, 67 and 70. Terry, you're retirement is exactly what I want and have been planning for. Travelling here, there and everywhere. Fishing. This. That. The other thing. Excellent......
  7. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    You have two years to bridge your healthcare to Medicare. You have a couple of options: you can COBRA your current insurance with your employer for (usually but check first) two years or you can get a high deductible plan for two years and pay most costs out of pocket. That will protect you and cost in the $700 a month range depending on where you are and your medical history. If it were me I probably would COBRA my current plan as I am familar with it and look to get any issues "cleaned up" before you get to the Medicare run around.

    Pharmrjohn:

    I planned for it for a long time and we were both savers. The key is to pay yourself first and put a big untouchable chunk aside. I went early because we could and haven't regretted any of it. I started collecting social security this year at 62 and unless the politicans screw things up royally we should be all set. I still run the cash flow (by month) spreadsheet and have it out through 2012. It acts like a budget and an early warning device. Some people hate to work with the numbers but I find that knowing where we stand keeps me sane and having fun. We budgeted a lot of home improvements this year and next year will be travel.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  8. rentalguy1

    rentalguy1 Former Guest

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    I was medically retired last year at the age of 35. It completely sux. I have stuff to do, and money to do it with, but it still sux. I would much rather have a purposeful job to go to every day.
  9. wingspar

    wingspar Member

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    I’ve been retired since September 2005, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. You could not cram a job down my throat right now, no matter how much it paid. I have a decent pension that allows me to live comfortably, and buy the toys I want. Well, most of the toys, and my home is paid for. I just wish I could have retired about 10 years earlier when I was young enough to do keep on riding my motorcycle. Unfortunately, that never happened, and I sold it well before retirement cause my back wouldn’t allow ridding anymore. I wish someone would have forced me into early retirement, but unfortunately, the opposite happened, and I was forced to work longer. However, my time is now MY time, and I do what I want, when I want, and I don’t have to plan vacation time months in advance with signed approval. If you’re not ready to retire, then don’t. Retirement isn’t for sissies. :D :eek:
  10. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good point on the medical insurance, guys!

    I am a vet, and qualified for medical that way so bridged the gap to 65 and medicare.
    My wife, however, had to go private after Cobra ran out.
    That really hurt, as her premiums were over 400 a month for a policy with such high deductables that it was in essence only disaster coverage.

    BUT - all major medical insurance companies have 'discount' deals with medical providors.
    These discounts apply even though you may NOT reach the deductable.
    A $1500 out patient surgery became $217 for us JUST due to the discount from BCBS.
    So, even if you can only afford medical with an ASTRONOMICAL deductable amount, GET IT.
  11. jim summers

    jim summers Active Member

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    I retired in 2006 after nearly 30 years with the Department of Correction, i am 61 and had no idea i would retire when i was 58, but things have a way of working out for the best if you give it time. I love retirement but i have things that keep be busy and things i enjoy doing. I think a lot of people get bored with retirement because they have no interests outside of their career NOT ME. MY plans are to stayed retired and enjoy it if i don't do anything but set on my deck and enjoy God's creation.
  12. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    They named it properly, in my opinion. RE-tired. :D

    I had not planned on retiring until 72, but my Asperger's Syndrome caught up with me and I had to pull the plug. The symptom which caused me to retire was the hyper focus.

    Then I went back to work for that SOB I swore I'd never work for again. (me) I went back into photography. However I had learned when I closed my first studio in 1958 that I don't play well with stupid or demanding people. So, I'm not taking pictures of weddings, bar-mitzvahs and other people's cute kids. I take pictures of what I like. Look at my pictures and see if you like one well enough to buy it. If not, come back later, as there will be more.

    I'm also teaching a bit, as a volunteer and loving it.

    Pops
  13. Win73

    Win73 New Member

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    I am not retired now but am looking to retire in 2 1/2 years. I will be 66 then which is the age I have to be to get full Social Security. I figure that between SS, my pension, and my 401k I won't have to eat sardines the rest of my life.

    What I will do is whatever I want whenever I want. One thing I will not be is a slave to the clock. I will love to have more time for hunting and fishing. Also travel and my genealogy research.
  14. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I retired from the Army at the age of 45. I had kind of gotten used to eating regularly so after a couple of weeks, I went out and found me another job. I am looking forward to retiring from the Post Office in about another 5 years. I have been practicing eating less so that next time, I will NOT go back to work.
  15. TedP10

    TedP10 New Member

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    I retired at 60. Lived off my pension until SS kicked in and I don't regret one moment of my decision. When you retire you sort of wonder where you found time to work. There is so much to do. I have volunteered my services for disabled vets and this has to be the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Not one regret.
    Ted
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