No. of Recommendations: 23
Hi folks,

Some of you might remember that I retired early in April. I thought I would share a few thoughts about my experience.

I retired from a high stress programming job, uncompensated on call 7 X 24, 1200 users, 33 sites. My desk phone rang constantly with calls that actually did deal with life and death issues. I could walk in almost any city in Alaska and have folks know me. My daughter is grown up, gone and didn't need me.

Suddenly, my biggest decision was what to make for dinner. There were a couple months of weirdness while I went from a productive person to unproductive and not very needed.

This was an adjustment that was harder to make then I thought it would be. It was not about my hobbies and interests, it was how valuable I saw myself. I am happy to report that I did make the adjustment and when offered a side contract the other day, I was able to pass it up:-)

At first, I spent a great deal of my cushion. I rationalized a new generator and tools for my cabins. I hired contractors to upgrade and do badly needed maintenance to my cabins. I spent a month in England. I got that spending in check and am now living well within my budget now. I will be able to put some of my cushion back by year-end.

Part of the budget stretching has come from house sitting. There is a demand for responsible housesitters here. I have people tracking me down all the time for this. I haven't paid for rent since I retired.
Its pretty clear to me that I could winter in a snowbirds house and spend summers at my cabin if I wanted.

The rationalization process for breaking my budget was pretty scary. If someone has hints for combating this , please let me know.

Thanks again for all the support from this board while I was in my planning stage.


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When Life Gives You Lemons
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