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My laid-off time has gotten to over a month now - and I am beginning to
consider that the ability to schedule things at my own time and my own pace
is a lot more pleasing than I had expected.


My husband retired four years ago. Well, he tells people that he retired but he actually quit his high paying job in financial services in Manhattan. He was 65 1/2 and still working 12 hour days. He had been laid off three times after hitting the ripe old age of 52. We had just started paying back the kids college tuition and things were looking rosy until the first layoff. We had to sell our house and relocate to another state where hubby took a job with a 50% pay cut. The upside was that our daughter lived an hour and a half away and we got to see more of her, her hubby and the dog.
We all thought that my husband would have a hard time in retirement and the exact opposite is true.
We got a dog three years ago and he keeps us busy. He's like having a permanent toddler in the house. We like our neighbors very much which was not the case when living in a big impersonal city like Brooklyn, where we lived for 8 years after moving from Rhode Island where we spent only two years. Our neighbors are so nice that I used to ask "what's in the water?" We live in an association of 18 houses and most of the people are our age or older. They are hardy New Englanders and my 85 year old neighbor runs circles around me (age 68).
For the first time in our lives we are not worried about another layoff. We are not worried about how we will pay the bills. We live as well as we did when my husband was working full time. We downsized our house and it is affordable and adorable. We heat with gas which is much cheaper than the oil we had in all our other houses. The supermarket is about a 20 minute drive but the prices are absolutely fantastic compared to the small disgusting supermarket that we shopped at locally in our old neighborhood. We do have a local gourmet market but the prices are ridiculous and we go there when we really need something
I must say that I find it amazing that we are not bored. I no longer feel guilty if I spend the day reading a good book. Hubby is constantly tweaking his portfolio which although not very big has done right by us in the past four years.
Anyway, retirement is so much nicer than we ever expected and seeing my daughter and two granddaughters on a regular basis is icing on the cake. Retiring is a scary prospect at first but for us it has turned out well. We used to be two type A people but have learned to slow down and smell the roses.
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