Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Decisions, part 2

While I've been agonizing over the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go decision these last 12 months, an unexpected decision presented itself shortly after my mom died at the end of February.

I was on the phone with my broker, getting some answers about tax withholding rates. It was a particularly frustrating day at work and I offhandedly mentioned, "I'd retire in a heartbeat if I thought I could." He said, "Well, let's run the numbers and see if you can."

A few days later, he called and said, "You can." To which I said, "NFW! REALLY?" I made him run the numbers again, and again, and again, using every worst-case scenario I could imagine. The answer was still positive. Then he left the firm abruptly and I died inside, assuming all the numbers he came up with were wrong.

Then a new team at the firm was assigned to my account, and we started over with the number crunching, with the same happy ending. I could retire from the job I've held these past 22 years at the end of 2017, live modestly yet comfortably until my presumed death at age 95, and still have a balance in my account to leave to my imaginary heirs.


So 139 days from today, on January 2, 2018, I will officially retire from my paying job and have five extra days a week to live and be happy. Freed from the shackles of my desk Monday through Friday, I'm most excited about being able to spread my ranch chores and projects over seven days instead of cramming them all into the weekends. But I'm equally excited about having time to do whatever I feel like doing, whenever I feel like doing it.

I'm envisioning lots more riding and picture-taking, some freelance work here and there, a garden to tend to, perhaps an Etsy shop to stock with crocheted pillows, time for more houseguests, time to clean and cook on a regular basis, time to learn to play the ukulele (I'm serious), maybe I'll even get back to regular blogging. Every clickbait retirement article I read mentions the importance of social interaction. Who says it has to be in person?

Which reminds me, I can't thank you enough for the comments you left on Monday's post. You reassured me that even though I'm alone out here, I'm the farthest thing from it. It appears many of us are 60-somethings facing similar decisions, and what a comfort it is to be in this together.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to practice being retired by taking time to watch the sun go down.




31 comments:

  1. Hurray for you Carson! Retirement is wonderful ... wonderful! At first having 24/7 all for yourself is a little overwhelming, but it doesn't take long to settle into the luxury of doing what you want to do, when you want to do it. Enjoy ... yes, ENJOY!

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  2. How exciting for you. We are in a 3 year count down for my husband and 5 years for me. It will go so fast.

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  3. I'm so happy for you. I have several friends who've retired and each have handled it differently...one eased right in, another took a part-time job, others are traveling. Looking forward to your retirement adventures. Congratulations!

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  4. YAY for retirement, I have loved every second of mine, all 11 years. go for it

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  5. Wonderful that you have that countdown date! Retirement IS wonderful, though not the relaxing, read-a-book-all-day state I'd thought. We're busy still, but it's mostly doing things we've chosen to do. It's great you have those (reiterated) assurances from your financial peeps too. I'm very happy for you too!

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  6. Awwwwwwww, this made my heart smile this morning!

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  7. Time flies and you're going to love retirement! So many things to do and enough time to do them. Love the sunset. You could frame them and sell them with your pillows on Etsy.

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  8. Soooo happy for you! I'll be here for ya, chained to my desk, in case you want to chat about work next year. LOL More pictures sounds good to me! love the sunsets you have.

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  9. Congratulations on this wonderful news! It will be exciting to see all the wonderful projects you will be doing in the future. Your babies are going to enjoy even more scritches and hugs...and you have an attentive audience ready for the gentle strumming of strings. Maybe they will sing along!

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  10. You'll have to start crocheting immediately, I want a pillow or two.

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  11. Congratulations on your decision! I'm retiring at the end of October. Looking forward to just doing what I want to do on my own time...at least until after the holidays. Then I'll decide whether or not I want to do something else, maybe part-time, but I don't live 7 miles from the middle of nowhere!(Sometimes I wish I did, though.) :) Have 2 grandchildren, a soon to be 4 and a soon to be 2, who I would like to be able to take off and do fun things with, spur of the moment zoo visits, etc.

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  12. What great news! I'm so happy for you!

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  13. I LOVE your posts about your farm & critters. You remind me a lot of myself...I would spend all day with my horses if I could. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. We always put things off for "later" when we have more time. When we are not so busy. Or for when we retire. What we come to realize, often too late in life, is that our later is right now.
    I am so glad you are retiring and enjoying the things you love...a whole lot more.

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  14. My hubby of 34 years died on 15th JULY 2016....too early to retire, and
    younger than me...I can't get ss as they say I haven't worked enough...I
    never took a paycheck from our small repair business..We had 4 kids and weren't able
    to pack away money...I get his benefits and my percentage from our(now my) small business
    Now the punch line: I am now 69 and still am running our
    small repair business with sons doing the subcontracted work...UGH...Retirement is
    dying at my desk with no fun involved, as I can't afford to retire...So, Carson, CONGRATS
    on your upcoming retirement and for blogging these wonderful photos so I can live in my fantasy world...LOL
    Love from NC

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  15. So happy the first broker dude didn't F up!
    You will love it! Just think, to be able to walk past that desk unless you are blogging or looking at photos!

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  16. Retirement... Nice work, if you can get it. ;-)

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  17. Congratulations! How exciting, and almost unimaginable to think about all that time - to do what YOU want! My hubs and I are doing estate planning right now, yuck. But it's got me thinking about my retirement in the not so distant future. I'll soon be 58 and full retirement age for me is 67 - less than 10 short years off. Spooky how fast time goes by, so I'm starting to plan now because I have no retirement other than our home and SS. Very happy for you.

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  18. That is great news. We face the same questions out here where we raise cattle and sheep for beef and lamb. At 74, we are asking ourselves how much longer we can do it. Living 25 miles from town, even though it's all paved except our own gravel road, gets difficult the older a person gets. The big thing is to try and find handymen who can come in and work when we have health issues. That's tough but good to find as it enables getting past a time like we are facing where my husband, who does the bulk of the work, has either a torn leg muscle or deep vein thrombosis (he'll find out later today). Backup labor is critical for rural living folks with livestock.

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  19. So happy for you! Looking forward to more blogs ;)!!

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  20. Awesome! I love your countdown. I've got one too, although my number is much bigger than yours - 3824 days til retirement. I'm jealous.
    ~ Linda K.

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  21. We came to retirement late last year quite unexpectedly, when my husband's employer was acquired and he was deemed to be expendable. (I'm the support staff here; stay at home mom, now a professional volunteer since the girls are grown.) Had similar conversations with financial folks, and a similar conclusion was reached. He can be retired if he wants to be and we will be fine till I'm at least 98 ... at which point I could sell the Manor and use the proceeds to be comfortable for a while longer. It's scary, but the rewards are many. Congratulations on reaching this milestone. It's a big deal.

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  22. I haven't read other comments, but has anyone thought to mention putting your stunning photos in you Etsy shop?
    Glad to hear you have made your mind up. One less thing to think about - a new name for your blog!
    Linda D. in Tucson,AZ

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  23. Same thing happened to me a year ago. On the way to work I called my financial guy with the same question. Best thing I ever did! My health improved from leaving all that stress. I'm still learning that it's really ok to not be productive. Don't know what's next for me, making it up as I go along, but it's all good. Congratulations to you on entering the next phase of your life!

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  24. You had me at 'back to regular blogging' :-)

    Well done Carson, for looking the beast into the eyes, doing your research and reaching the perfect answer. Way to go girl!!!
    love from Amsterdam

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  25. An American in Tokyo8/17/17, 6:54 PM

    Woo hoo~!!
    That's all I can say!!
    Woo hoo!!!!!

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  26. Congrats on your impending retirement! And very sorry to hear about your mother passing away. I must've missed something because I was surprised to read that so please accept my condolences on the loss of your mom. xo

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  27. Good for you! You're going to love retirement. I quit at the end of December 2016. Luscious days where I have no schedule at all.

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  28. I've just been catching up on all your news! Retirement sounds like a really exciting adventure, I can't wait to read what you get up to next! 😊

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