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What does it look like to you?

I just "retired" from my corporate career last week. I don't have enough money to live without working, but I could no longer keep pace with a job as intense as the one I have had for the last 20 years or so. It affected my health and I had a pretty serious breakdown last year. I am recovering now, but it will take a while before I feel 100% if I ever even get there.

So for me it means I am throwing caution and conventional wisdom to the wind, raiding my retirement accounts to pay off my mortgage (with a heavy tax liability but no additional penalties), and then work to live rather than live to work. I am confident I got out just in time--that I am not too old and far gone to pull that off. I'm not going to do anything I don't love ever again. That's what retirement means to me.

And I am going to ski my brains out like I always have done. :crazy:

I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

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I know what you mean about being in a job you can't stand. I was in one for 15 years. I changed occupations recently and love my job. I could never see myself retiring. Not totally. I simply am not self motivated. I tend to sit around playing computer games or something unproductive. That is, until I get in the mood and start into poetry writing or composing songs or playing the piano. But I tend to need something to get me up and going and out of the house. Thus, I figure I will have at least a part time job until....my health deteriorates to the point that I can't.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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working less? yes

slowing down? never
 

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I'm so tired of the grind. Retirement is about 5 years away. I'll be 60. My parents retired in their late 50's & were much more active afterwards. I think I will be too. My job is ok, I'm just tired of the alarm clock & long commute in heavy traffic 5 days a week. I wake up at 5:45 am & get home at 5:45 pm. I have much more energy on weekends. I hope I can travel some after retirement. Go out & do more things I don't have time or energy to do now. I feel sad for people who stay on until they're 70+ & die at work. That has to suck. Working for a lifetime & never getting a break.
 

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I sometimes think retirement would be such a grand thing, I could write and draw and paint and garden and be home when I needed the repairmen to work on things, etc.,....but, work is not just my financial support and my very fulfilling career, it is also my social life. O.K., I have friends outside of work, but, I see them two or three times a year (none of them live close by). I am single, never married, no children. I worry sometimes that I will become a hermit after I retire. My family is all out of state. My work is demanding, challenging and absorbing enough so that I really haven't had a lot of time to think about that. Oh well. I have seven more years to think about it. I will put it on my schedule for June 12, 2018.

Hmmmmm, Scarlett O'Hara much?



(Scarlett: I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.)
 

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I'm looking forward to retirement in about 2-3 yrs. I would love to find a 'passion' to volunteer at just for the camaraderie. Family and friends are 200 miles away. So, I too have a social life centered around work. But when we get together the conversation invariably is office gossip. Well, during retirement I will not give a hoot about office gossip; not much interested now.
So retirement will be hobbies, reading, gym, chores/errands, visiting, traveling and hopefully, volunteering.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Posting back in here a few months removed from this sea change in my life. I am working in a mountain shop selling backcountry skiing and climbing equipment. I absolutely love my job and am excited to go in there every day. I work four days a week, take public transportation and walk to get there, and make less than a quarter of what I made in my old job. I am looking forward to getting my avalanche level 3 certification this March and AMGA Ski Guide certification next winter. Then I'll be able to do a little guiding work and teach avalanche courses. The extra money those bring in will be helpful but the bigger thing is that I am feeding my soul by doing the things I love most and do the best. I'm also working on a novel... or is it a screenplay... probably will end up with both versions. It's about the wonderful diversity of people in the American West and about identity and personal histories, family and friends, and this wonderful region called the Rocky Mountains. I play my uke and sing songs. I cook amazing, healthy meals on my days off.

I have to say that no sooner had I made the decision to take "early retirement" than things started opening up for me in the most amazing ways. I was invited to write the lead article in the the professional newsletter for the avalanche community. As a result of that I was invited to give a presentation to the advisory board of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Before I finished my presentation, I was made a member of the board. I met the owner of a mountain shop I was interested in working at and within two weeks I was hired. My book suddenly started flowing through me as I am writing non-stop on my bus commute and sometimes late into the night when I am off the next day. It's almost like I had spent my whole life up to this point preparing to do all these things that I never could have done before. I had to go through everything that brought me to this day to get here, so I have no regrets beyond wishing I could have learned some lessons a little earlier -- but that wouldn't have been me, would it?

I not wealthy but I'm rich beyond description. I'm getting stronger and healthier every day. I feel fulfilled every day by what I do. I'm happier than I've been for a long time. And I'm still young enough to have a lot of new success and accomplishments to look forward to in the future.
 

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I not wealthy but I'm rich beyond description. I'm getting stronger and healthier every day. I feel fulfilled every day by what I do. I'm happier than I've been for a long time. And I'm still young enough to have a lot of new success and accomplishments to look forward to in the future.
.Money is just a number until you spend it. And what could you buy that would put more meaning into your life that what you are doing? It really does not take so much to live on -
Good for you! Best wishes for a life of profound discovery!
 
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