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I hate to break in on this political warfare, but I'm going to say some thing about retirement. I know that's gutsy and untoward, but I'm going to do it anyway. So if you don't want to read something on-topic, hit the Next button.

I've been retired 2years now (Oct. 30, 1998). And I must say, it's been wonderful. So, for those of you who are wondering what RE is like:

I spent the first 6 months wondering if I had done the right thing (and - oh! Getting ready for my son's wedding - gee, that was easier being "retired")

The next 6 months, pretty sure I'd done the right thing, but… - then there was the volunteering (who else would do this weekdays) and gardening (getting ahead, not behind!), and hey, I don't really miss work!

End of 1st year - well, holidays, and I have a lot to do, but I also have a lot of time to do it in!! I can actually enjoy the holidays.

1st year, 6 months - offer to go back consulting - "Are you kidding! - I don't have time!"

2nd year - I am content. I am happy. I am fulfilled. And (third year running), I can do holiday shopping mid-week!! OK, the females out there understand.

More importantly, I can wake up in the morning, and then decide what to do. Maybe putter around in the back yard, if the weather is nice. Or do my weekly shopping if it's raining. Take a hike in the mountains or drive to the shore. Tour the Shenandoah, or wander around Old Town Alexandria, drive a woodcock to a rehabilitator. Read a book, play with my cats, read the Fool (and the Retire Early Homepage, of course), give blood, cook dinner (Thai tonight!), whatever I feel like. And because I saved early and often, I am paying my own way. It feels good. It is good. I repeat: I am content. I am happy. I am fulfilled.

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