First Entry…

1 Year, 7 Months, 3 Days to go…

I’ve decided to retire.  More accurately, I’ve decided to announce my pending retirement. I’ve been thinking about it for a while (I wrote my Excel retirement countdown spreadsheet almost a year ago), but I only announced it to my boss a few months ago. There was a bit of risk involved, but I figured not much. My company doesn’t (or at least doesn’t yet) abandon senior staff so I don’t fear any age-discrimination-disguised-as-down-sizing backlash, and my boss was describing the recent frustration of getting two weeks notice for a senior employee’s pending departure, so I took the risk.

My wife and I have been planning our retirement for a while.  She has had a plethora of jobs over the course of her career; bank teller, micro-assembly technician, substance abuse counselor, nanny, quilt-shop clerk, and quilting teacher to name a few, and she stopped working a few years ago but didn’t apply for her social security yet so technically I guess she’s voluntarily unemployed rather then retired.  I’ve had three jobs in my working career since undergraduate college; high school physics teacher (5 years), intelligence systems analyst (8 years), systems engineer (30+ years).  We realized retirement was closer than we thought about eight years ago, so we bought a 2nd house in the area where we wanted to retire, and began acclimating to that new area (mid-coast Maine) on weekends and vacations.

Owning our retirement home early gave us eight years of data about “operating costs” for the house, which allowed us to feel more comfortable that our living expenses would not out-strip our retirement income.  We’re not moving to Manhattan, so our cost of living should be affordable.  My math – and our broker’s math – tells us we should be okay.

We didn’t choose our retirement location based solely on getting our dollar to stretch as far as possible, though.  We value quality of life a bit higher than cost of life, and we are lucky enough to be able to make that choice.  We were not drawn (fraudulently, I claim) to the elderly-tax-haven and no-sales-tax states.  We wanted to be where we were happy, both with our life-style and our surroundings.  Mid-coast Maine it was.

So now we begin seriously planning for retirement.  We’ll make decisions on topics such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, house mods, senior living, assisted care, long-term care, insurance, etc., and we’ll write about the process and the decisions, and the reasons for those decisions, here.  Join us for the ride!  It might get a little bumpy in places, but we’ll learn a lot together!


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