Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Retired at 55 - Exactly Six Months into it.

I turned on my computer to work on photos this morning and noticed the date. Has it really been 6 months since I gave up the daily grind of heading off to a work place? Seems impossible. It feels more like a very long weekend or maybe a two week vacation. I had to look back at my blog to see what I've been doing with all this free time. I see a few highlights but simply enjoying life every day is not really exciting to post about.

Most of my time was involved with the rapid completion of a 3 year home renovation project. It's a bit easier when you live in the home you are working on and not 75 miles south of it. I also sold my condo, took 6 trips to Disney, worked on my photography skills, and helped my aging parents. I did make one drastic change. I now wake up at 6:30 am every day rather than 6:00 am.

I read a few articles about folks who retire early and are suddenly bored. Something about being defined by work and being cut off from human contact. I feel sorry for them.

I suppose in my early career when work was everything and I was giving away houses to ex-wives, that would have been a problem for me as well. In my waning working years I made sure I developed a myriad of interests outside the workplace. I also learned to travel alone as I knew there would not be a large pool of people in my situation.

Finances.... That is going to be a problem. My pension is considerably less than my pay. Before retirement I pretty much lived on my proposed pension and used the rest to pay off two houses and save. That way there would be no great shock. My pension is not what I expected but I will not be complaining. I've already booked my first trip of the year, Tentatively scheduled the second and the third is in the planning stage. I'll need to update the passport for that last one. Paying for them will be the trick. I used every bit of my cash out from work to finish my bathrooms. I have friends across the country and a really nice functional house in a lovely part of Florida. I'm sure I can work out some reciprocal couch surfing deals.

For New Years Day I took my oldest camera and lens to see if I could take a few "Artsy" shots. I've already printed a couple of 24" X 36" canvas prints and a few smaller metal prints to start my in home art gallery. I think in my next life I may want to be a photographer. So far that dream seems a little far off but at least I will never be bored.




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