I am 62... Yikes!

by Wendy, www.retirement-online.com

Birthday Dinner: Lorri and John (left), Terry and Wendy (right), Jennie and Chuck (my parents at the bottom).

Birthday Dinner: Lorri and John (left), Terry and Wendy (right), Jennie and Chuck (my parents at the bottom).

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

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

© Siquomb Publishing Company

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.

Comments for I am 62... Yikes!

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Thanks for sharing
by: Donna Augusta, Mo


First of all Happy birthday 🎂!!!

And, second of all you have created such a great retirement site for all to enjoy. You should not be wondering how you have spent your time!!!

Your yard is beautiful but, you are allowed a new chapter in your life journey. Find a new place, get yourself some travel in and enjoy those parents.
I do envy you that. I lost my father at as 44 colon cancer and my mother at 72 post stroke. I miss them both very much.

So, enjoy your days only 62 and in great health.

Take Care

thank you!
by: Sandi

Love your story!!! It helps me so much because my life is so much like your life......thank you, thank you for sharing!

Happy Birthday
by: Linda/FL

Happy Birthday Wendy!

When I read your accomplishments since retirement I was impressed. Any one of those accomplishments would be a "big deal" to me. Read that list Wendy as if it is a friend's and not yours and see how you feel.

I appreciate your decision making challenge about when to collect social security as I have just been trying to decide that also. I am full retirement age and am still working full time.

I read everything I could and still didn't feel confident about making a decision so I decided I'd wait for one year and then re evaluate. How did you figure it would take 11.66 years to recover what you'd lose by not drawing the benefit now? I know there is some calculator that helps one figure it out but I never found it.

Wendy: Linda, I simply calculated what I'd have in savings in four years from Social Security (age 62- 66), if I waited. Then divided that amount by the increased SS amount if I waited.

However, if you are truly Full Retirement Age (its different for everyone based on DOB), then you can collect SS AND continue to work. It's a win - win. Your SS amount will be recalculated every year for another year of earnings too.

The SS site says: "Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, we will not reduce your benefits no matter how much you earn."

Call SS and make an appointment -- 1-800-772-1213 -- then have THEM tell you what your monthly benefit would be and if you can also work full-time. Make the appointment so there is no wait, staff will be ready and waiting for you, so much easier!

Finally, WARNING WARNING -- one gal at work did this years ago. She got her SS payment and continued to work. The PROBLEM is that she got USED to living on this double-income... instead of saving it (or using it to pay off debt), she lived the high life.

She finally got ready to retire, and called me. She was afraid of retirement with the loss of income. Heck, she had been living on a double income for years by then. I was stunned. I had no help for her, she had really mispent her double-income and was now in trouble... don't do that!

62 is not so bad!
by: Gail Thomas/Fresno, CA

Hi, Wendy:

I turned 62 last December 2016, and I, too, felt it seemed like a real turning point in one's life. But having said that, I sure do hope I live like my two aunts, one turning 100 this year, and the other is already 102.

I wonder about Social Security just like you. I haven't taken it yet, but with all of the hoopla going on in Washington DC, one wonders maybe I shouldn't wait. I am seriously thinking about taking it at 63, and just do like you say, bank it.

Now I'm thinking bank it for what? Use it, travel, have fun! Maybe that's what I will do. Glad to see that I am not the only one pondering the same question.

Your yard is beautiful. It truly is your safe haven. But I often think about selling and moving away too. Who knows what we'll do. I love reading your retirement site. Thank you for that.

Wendy: Oh my, Gail --- I verbally told friends at church today, on the Social Security issue, that I am also afraid the Feds could change SS or Medicare at some point, so maybe I need to "lock it in" (if that is even possible). Same thought here!

by: Sherry/Wilmington, NC

It's not a blue feeling to be 62! You have earned the right to be smart, attractive, and funny!!

Yes you can collect your SS at 62, but wait until your 70 if you can because the amount you will receive at 70 is significantly more!! I am waiting!!

Your backyard sounds lovely and wish I could see it. I love animals and birds and enjoy them everyday when I walk!

Exercise and eat healthy so you will enjoy life! It is worth it!

Thank God every night when you retire. He gave you another day!

Thank God every morning when you wake up. Be grateful for everything!

Everyday I write a grateful message (dated) for something I received that day and fold it up tight and put it in a grateful jar. On January 1 I open all of grateful message and read them to myself!! I am grateful!!

I grateful I found your website, Wendy. I love you!

Love you too, Sherry! Wendy

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