Bob Lowery's blog, Satisfying Retirement, is a must read. He has such a comfortable, interesting way of writing that I'm sure if we ever met, he and Betty would pick up a conversation just like old friends with Joe and me. He has some questions about retirement that he has invited his readers to respond to. Here they are with my response below.
1) Has retirement turned out the way you thought it would? Why or why not?
2) What has been your biggest surprise about being retired?
3) Do you worry about your financial situation?
4) What new things have you discovered about yourself?
5) If you had it do over again, would you keep working, retire sooner, or are content with how things worked out?
I retired 3 years before I had planned to because of a neuromuscular condition. However, my husband and I were debt and mortgage free and had been fully funding our 403b accounts and emergency fund for many years. So while I had planned on 3 more years of retirement savings, the financial side of leaving the workplace was in good condition. I really don't worry about our finances because I have always been the "finance person" in our family and know what our expenses are. We both waited until age 66 to start drawing Social Security and that with our 403b provides our income. Joe is considering an opportunity to work prn two days a week and that may or may not happen. Now the stock market and the banks and the economy may go belly up but I really don't worry about something I have no control over.
I love retirement. In all honesty, this is about the happiest time of my life. I'm not worried about how the kids will turn out-- just fine. Not worried about having enough money to retire--we do. Not really worried about health--my neuromuscular condition is more an inconvenience than life-threatening--we are quite healthy.
I guess the biggest surprise is just how happy I am. I worked at one job or another since I was 17 and wondered if I would be bored or lonely at home--I'm not. I have time to quilt and read and learn how to cook new things. I attend and participate in my church and book club and quilting guild.
The two best things about retirement to me:
1. Not having to leap out of bed, into the shower, and out the door. Waking up slowly is a daily pleasure to savor.
2. Afternoon naps.
If you haven't read Satisfying Retirement, get yourself on over there right now and thank me later.