Has your first year of retirement gone as planned?

wtd

Messages
2,763
Location
southwest Mo.
I'm almost 9 months into retirement now and I'm curious as to how my initial experience compares with others who are at this point. So far, retirement for me has been very enjoyable. Leading into the end of my working career I was concerned about two things; becoming bored in retirement, and not having enough income. For the most part, that hasn't been the case. Financially, we are doing better than I expected. I am able to add to our savings account after every monthly payment we receive. I say this not to brag, but to show my gratitude to be fortunate enough to be able to retire comfortably. Not everyone is this fortunate. My day begins with no alarms, I get up when I feel like getting up. That sounds like I sleep in, but I'm actually up by around 7:30 every day. This actually IS sleeping in compared to when I was still working. I get up, make coffee, feed the dog, check my email and forum messages, then I meet up with other old codgers at a nearby Bob Evans. When my wife and I aren't both busy at the same time, we do a considerable amount of dining out, and just enjoy each other's company. She retired 5 days before I did and she now volunteers at a service dog training facility (which is also where our youngest daughter works). The reason I said "for the most part" is because a lot of keeping myself occupied depends on the weather. We are currently in a frozen weather pattern that looks to be sticking around for a while...problem is, I'm an outdoors person, but not in the winter. I still get outside, even in the cold, but this isn't my favorite time to be outside. Since retirement, I've joined an RC flying club (yes, I fly), and just recently purchased a motorcycle. Unfortunately, neither are any good in the winter. Somehow my days still get filled with enjoyable projects, interesting online reads, motorcycle threads, automotive threads, youtube documentaries, etc....occasional TV programs, streamed movies and series', listening to the music of my choice on Alexa, and the biggest bennie, spending more time with my grand kids....they're only little once...I remember how impressionable my grand parents were when I was little, I want to leave that memory with my grand kids.

My retirement's going at least as good, or better than I had hoped for...how's your's going?
Your retirement sounds a lot like mine. I retired at age 50 almost 4 years ago from a Government job with a pension, SS supplement, and a TSP account. I bring home more money from just my pension and supplement than I did when I was working due to having a lot taken out of my pay checks. I have not touched my TSP yet. I'm also debt free.

My day sounds a lot like yours. I have not went back to work and don't plan on it and I rarely ever get bored. We live on a farm so I do stuff outside, exercise, go to different forums and groups I'm interested in on the internet, have breakfast or lunch with other retirees when we get the chance, and basically anything else I feel like doing. I always find something to do. I love retirement and feel lucky to have been able to retire so young.

My fiancé still works at the place I retired from and has a little over three years left until she is eligible to retire at age 50. We plan on traveling a lot when she retires so I'm waiting patiently for her to get there.
 
Messages
220
Location
Occupied California
Mine has gone better than I expected. My stress level dropped about 95%. I moved from a major city of close to 3.5 million people with the resultant crowding, traffic, noise, crime, long lines anywhere you went and those kind of issues to a small community of 3000 people.
I actually know and talk to my neighbors and they know me by name at local restaurants, stores and the post office. I enjoy the wildlife and can see the stars at night. That kind of life is good for the soul.

Financially I was well prepared, I was able to sell one home and pay cash for the other and paid off a new vehicle within the first year.
So it wasn't going to cost much to live in retirement. As a former Tesla employee, I had stock holdings from an employee stock purchase plan. And TSLA stock went absolutely ape in the last year and a half, and now I will have a very comfortable retirement.

If I can give advice to anyone who is years away from retirement, the best thing you can do if max out your IRA/401K contributions and if you own a home, pay it off as early as you can. Basic stuff. It worked for me, and then the stock market gains were a bonus that I really didn't need and now provide some money to travel, and have fun while I'm still healthy.
 

4WD

Messages
17,071
Location
Texas
Mine has gone better than I expected. My stress level dropped about 95%. I moved from a major city of close to 3.5 million people with the resultant crowding, traffic, noise, crime, long lines anywhere you went and those kind of issues to a small community of 3000 people.
I actually know and talk to my neighbors and they know me by name at local restaurants, stores and the post office. I enjoy the wildlife and can see the stars at night. That kind of life is good for the soul.

Financially I was well prepared, I was able to sell one home and pay cash for the other and paid off a new vehicle within the first year.
So it wasn't going to cost much to live in retirement. As a former Tesla employee, I had stock holdings from an employee stock purchase plan. And TSLA stock went absolutely ape in the last year and a half, and now I will have a very comfortable retirement.

If I can give advice to anyone who is years away from retirement, the best thing you can do if max out your IRA/401K contributions and if you own a home, pay it off as early as you can. Basic stuff. It worked for me, and then the stock market gains were a bonus that I really didn't need and now provide some money to travel, and have fun while I'm still healthy.
I was born and raised in my small town but report to our Houston office … have to go there on a fairly regular basis … just enough to know it’s not for me.
Medical providers moved out and after two years the staff in Houston did not know me … I was constantly filling out stuff while they did long fingernails.
One opened back up here 4 months ago. On my 2nd visit I walk in with a mask on mind you, good morning Mr —— just have a seat … checked your profile already … all is up to date …
 
Messages
1,460
Location
Las Vegas
I don't know how to make this next observation without coming off like a jerk, but I'll try.
For the 30 years before retirement I had a few setbacks. Negative cash flow real estate investments, very expensive divorce, new wife's business failure during the Great Recession, etc. Got used to being thrifty.
I have been retired for coming up on 5 years now. House is paid off, no debt, more income in retirement than I expected. No desire to leave a larger estate when I kick the bucket.
Unless I start sending money to Italian princes in Nigeria, reactivate my "canceled" Social Security number, or replace my windows with Renewal by Anderson I have no idea how I'll spend what is coming in.
 
Messages
1,345
Location
Lexington, NC
Coming up on 35 years of retirement. Enjoyed every darn bit of it. Cars and yard to keep up, motorcycles and 3 wheelers to play with, guns to shoot in my back yard, good friends and neighbors. Best of all, a wonderful woman who has stuck with me for 47 years. Currently have two each dogs and cats but one cat, a Maine Coon, doesn't know he is a cat. Enjoy feeding and watching wild birds year round. We enjoy eating out and finishing our 2nd virus shots shortly. A glass of wine for supper finishes the day nicely. At 87, yeah, its been a good run. :D
 
Messages
5,695
Location
NJ
I don't know how to make this next observation without coming off like a jerk, but I'll try.
For the 30 years before retirement I had a few setbacks. Negative cash flow real estate investments, very expensive divorce, new wife's business failure during the Great Recession, etc. Got used to being thrifty.
I have been retired for coming up on 5 years now. House is paid off, no debt, more income in retirement than I expected. No desire to leave a larger estate when I kick the bucket.
Unless I start sending money to Italian princes in Nigeria, reactivate my "canceled" Social Security number, or replace my windows with Renewal by Anderson I have no idea how I'll spend what is coming in.
You don't sound like a jerk. You sound like someone who is enjoying retirement that they worked hard for. I hope to join you in a couple years.
 

BeerCan

$50 Site Donor
Messages
1,779
Location
FL
Wife still works but I retired at 54. Trying to get her to retire, maybe soon. By contract she has to give 2 years notice so she still has some time. Financially we are fine, no debt etc. I'm a little bored but it's because my wife is not always available to do things with me. After 26 years I still love hanging out with her. 😁

Our move to Tennessee is occupying most of my time now.
 
Messages
980
Location
Cedar City Utah
I'm almost 9 months into retirement now and I'm curious as to how my initial experience compares with others who are at this point. So far, retirement for me has been very enjoyable. Leading into the end of my working career I was concerned about two things; becoming bored in retirement, and not having enough income. For the most part, that hasn't been the case. Financially, we are doing better than I expected. I am able to add to our savings account after every monthly payment we receive. I say this not to brag, but to show my gratitude to be fortunate enough to be able to retire comfortably. Not everyone is this fortunate. My day begins with no alarms, I get up when I feel like getting up. That sounds like I sleep in, but I'm actually up by around 7:30 every day. This actually IS sleeping in compared to when I was still working. I get up, make coffee, feed the dog, check my email and forum messages, then I meet up with other old codgers at a nearby Bob Evans. When my wife and I aren't both busy at the same time, we do a considerable amount of dining out, and just enjoy each other's company. She retired 5 days before I did and she now volunteers at a service dog training facility (which is also where our youngest daughter works). The reason I said "for the most part" is because a lot of keeping myself occupied depends on the weather. We are currently in a frozen weather pattern that looks to be sticking around for a while...problem is, I'm an outdoors person, but not in the winter. I still get outside, even in the cold, but this isn't my favorite time to be outside. Since retirement, I've joined an RC flying club (yes, I fly), and just recently purchased a motorcycle. Unfortunately, neither are any good in the winter. Somehow my days still get filled with enjoyable projects, interesting online reads, motorcycle threads, automotive threads, youtube documentaries, etc....occasional TV programs, streamed movies and series', listening to the music of my choice on Alexa, and the biggest bennie, spending more time with my grand kids....they're only little once...I remember how impressionable my grand parents were when I was little, I want to leave that memory with my grand kids.

My retirement's going at least as good, or better than I had hoped for...how's your's going?
I liked it for 6 months but then went back to what I liked best, full time work. I am doing the same thing for less than half the money but activity matters most.
l know what others may think but I enjoy it.
 
Messages
2,352
Location
Southwest Virginia
My first full year of retirement included the great recession of 2008/09. I watched my portfolio drop by 37%, but fortunately I had saved nearly twice as much as my minimum needed for retirement. All during 2008 I bought the equity market drops, and made all of my losses back in two years. My portfolio is now 75% higher than when I retired in spite of withdrawing from it every year for the past 14 years.

As far as adjusting to my the change in life style, I adjusted on my way out the door from work! Couldn't be happier! 😁
 
Messages
6,185
Location
Texas Hill Country
Keep doing something and you will be fine. Its really sad I see members of my family retiring, and some of them have NO hobbies and nothing to do. So they just sit at home and I can see them rapidly aging and starting to get medical issues, especially mental concerns.

It's the saddest thing I have seen. Make some friends and go fishing, or play some shuffleboard on the beach. We are in our 30's but we are saving 25 percent of our income direct to a pension plan, so we will be good to go.

Our plan is to sell our properties, and buy a condo on a beach somewhere and enjoy exploring/walking and doing whatever we want.

I used to think we would buy a place in florida, but non-US destinations are looking nice as well.
 
Messages
935
Location
FL
My first full year of retirement included the great recession of 2008/09. I watched my portfolio drop by 37%, but fortunately I had saved nearly twice as much as my minimum needed for retirement. All during 2008 I bought the equity market drops, and made all of my losses back in two years. My portfolio is now 75% higher than when I retired in spite of withdrawing from it every year for the past 14 years.

As far as adjusting to my the change in life style, I adjusted on my way out the door from work! Couldn't be happier! 😁

You were very smart with your game plan.

Few folks save 2X the minimum needed for retirement.
 
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