Wednesday, November 29, 2006


My husband and I took the early retirement route in 2001. My retirement was a result of my planning to do so when I could take early Social Security at 62 and after 28 years at the same job. It was accompanied by a retirement party and lots of cards and well wishes. My husband's retirement was a result of agency planning and the elimination of his and other positions after almost 30 years. It was accompanied with no parties and no cards nor well wishes. But it was something that we had discussed and planned on for in the future; so we decided that the future was now.

9/11 happened and our situation seemed to be an opportunity rather than a misfortune. Remembering the old adages that "there are no guarantees" and "life is too short to put your dreams on hold"; we entered into an early retirement filled with some fear; but mostly excitement and anticipation of what was to come next. We have not had regrets of either the early retirement or the move from Nebraska to California; as we were "living our dream"!

But there are days when it becomes abundantly clear that retirement is not always easy; in fact, sometimes it is hard work. There is so much more to retirement than just having enough money, whatever enough is. There is just the considerations one must make due to natural aging. There is the realization that no matter how much money you do have, there are always unexpected expenses that alter your equations. (Of course, that is no different in retirement than it was in earlier years.)

There are always adjustments to be made due to a different lifestyle. Learning to live side by side with your spouse on a more more regular basis, learning how to be a part of your grandkid's lives by long-distance, how to stay close to your best friends from afar. The ease of the Internet helps in so many of those areas.

The Internet is also a major help in solving some of those questions about retirement issues; whether they be about financial planning/investments, travel, researching healthcare issues and the right insurance and mainly about communication with those grandchildren, children and friends.

We would love to hear from some of you about how you are dealing with retirement, if you are already there; or with the dream of retirement, if you want to be there. Please leave a comment and perhaps we can learn from each other.