4 days post retirement - thoughts...
I luckily found this community at a time when I needed to proclaim my intentions and hopefully get support for my decision.
Retiring "early" (57) is many times frowned upon and I have met with some criticism from friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. My own anxieties cropped up too..I doubted myself and wondered and worried myself into a frenzy, only to see that my path seemed to lead towards retirement, regardless. (There is always a lot of emphasis out there on being financially prepared, but very little about being emotionally and mentally ready.)
Finally, I made the decision and now I am HERE! My first day of missing a work-day. Hooray!
I stayed busy, perhaps TOO much so, right up to the last day and beyond. I stretched myself to the limit trying to off-set the anxiety. I have to say I was nervous and still feel a twinge of 'guilt' now and then. (Do I really deserve this?) I'm sure these feelings will pass with time. I have planned well for this, though I won't be rich or spending careless cash.
I'm hoping that my experience may help someone else. Maybe I can inspire someone the way I have been inspired by others (here) and folks I know and have met.
I have decided to take it easy for a couple weeks and ease into this. I have plenty to do with my music (I am a professional drummer w/ two bands) I have a large organic garden and a stockpile of home-improvement materials for a DIY remodel of my house. I plan on living frugally and have been doing so in preparation for the big day and beyond. I have paid off all my debts (except mortgage that I have refinanced into a lower monthly payment- less than what it costs to rent around here!) And with my severance pay-out I padded my emergency fund and used some of it to purchase a small travel trailer. (I LOVE camping! My idea of heaven!) It is fully self-contained and I could live in it if I ever had to! My sturdy Toyota truck pulls it nicely!
I have a part-time job doing some data entry for a local company. A little extra cash coming in, and I do get paid to play music too, although I would never try to live on that income alone. Sometimes really good, sometimes SLOW!
I am reflecting today on the toxic work environment I left. It makes me a bit sad, but I feel like I am doing something important for myself to leave that place.Life truly begins NOW! I will be looking here for tips, encouragement, stories, etc...and maybe I can offer the same! Have a wonderful day!
NOTE: Thank you Michelle! This was posted as a comment on the Retiring early to a happy, stress-free and yes, FRUGAL lifestyle! page. I am fairly sure this is the same person (Michelle)... but this is too long and worthy for a comment, so I've moved to its own page to get more readers!