Birthday Dinner: Lorri and John (left), Terry and Wendy (right), Jennie and Chuck (my parents at the bottom).
Wendy and Terry, Lexington Mi Day Trip
This week I turned age 62... where did life go and how did this happen?
It's really amazing when you think back on life... 37 years employed by the County, the majority of my adult life, and yet just a puff in the wind.
My sister, Lorri and I, took my folks to a well-loved neighbors funeral this week. The minister talked about the DASH between your date of birth and date of death. That tiny dash represents your whole life. What have you accomplished with yours? What do you intend to do with the rest of yours? WOW...
What did I do for my birthday? I really don't need to celebrate, been there, done that. However, family insists -- so we did dinner and I posted the photo above. You can finally see all of us, including my 90-year old parents!
Terry and I also took a Day Trip to Lexington, Michigan. Beautiful sunshiney day on Lake Huron, nice lunch at the Lexington Brewery, little bit of shopping too!
Seven Years Retired: Life is drifting by. Seven years retired and what do I REALLY have to show for it? I haven't even gone So on vacation for over two years. Conferences, yes, vacations, no... why the heck not? What has my site accomplished? Unsure.
I haven't worked, haven't volunteered much - so what did I do for seven years? Quite honestly, I am with my 90-year old parents from maybe 10:30am to 2pm every day. We shop, go to doctor appointments, have lunch... but that still leaves plenty of hours for me. What do I do with them?
UPDATE: OK, my good friend, Ute Goldkuhle told me I've done plenty. So I will correct myself here. I've trained plenty... I love learning. I have become a Certified Senior Advisor, became a facilitator for Too Young to Retire, became a Certified Life Coach, Stephen Minister and Leader, learned all about marketing and attended conferences from NAMS, and finally, this year, I'm doing Neurogym training. I wrote three Kindle books in 2015, and I am busy updating them (yes, already) and making them paper books too. I've coached and written several training programs. AND after all that, I am at my folks home daily for 2 - 5 hours generally... so that's a time issue too. OK, I agree, Ute, I've been an active retiree - learned much, helped many. Woo hoo! Thank you for helping me to think twice on this!
Social Security: So, I am now eligible for Social Security payments, at the reduced age 62 rate.
Will I draw my benefit? Should I wait until 65 (better yet, age 66 and 3 months for the "full retirement benefit")?
Many need to draw the benefit immediately for income. My benefit would go into savings for now. I gain substantially (approximately 1/3 of the original monthly benefit is my increase).
However, at age 66 and 3 months (my full retirement age), it would take 11.66 years to recover what I lost by not drawing the benefit. That means, if I live past age 73+, I will draw more for the rest of my life. If I die before 73+, I have lost money.
Still unsure of which direction to take... probaby apply for the benefit and run with it.
Will We Move? So, I get home from my folks condo, on my birthday, and Terry had received an offer on our home. Actually a VERY GOOD first offer!
A builder wants to buy maybe six homes on my street and knock them all down. We are on a busy 5-lane road, it was 3-lanes when we moved here twenty-five plus years ago. It's lots of traffic... and I've often said we need to move away from it all. If the builder can get these 5-6 homes, he'll have maybe fifteen acres. They can do much with this area...
As the song "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell goes:
They paved paradise And put up a parking lot With a pink hotel *, a boutique And a swinging hot spot
They took all the trees Put 'em in a tree museum * And they charged the people A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Hey farmer farmer Put away that DDT * now Give me spots on my apples But leave me the birds and the bees Please!
Late last night I heard the screen door slam And a big yellow taxi Took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot
I hope you already know the song... Kinda sad, huh?
So -- We own an acre in the midst of this very busy township, which is my utopia in life. Out back, the traffic sounds are like white noise to me. You can't hear the neighbors, just this nice sound similar to a waterfall or something, yes traffic.
We feed birds galore, squirrels (brown, gray and black), ducks, rabbits... and we view groundhogs, foxes, deer. I LOVE my privacy, my yard, my decorative views (lots of perennial plants, love my hosta and some yard art)... and I need lots of room to roam inside too.
BUT we have a new Fire House built across the street (down one home). AND there are five lanes of busy traffic out front now. Yikkkkes! So maybe this is it!
Can I find another home like this? Only Time will Tell.