Community members,

I’d like to introduce you to Susanna144, who has been selected as the featured member. As part of the feature, Susanna144 has answered some questions so you can get to know her better.

I look forward to featuring and learning more about others in the future!

SUsanna144_V3.jpgWhere are you from? 

I was born in New Jersey and grew up in New York and New Mexico with a couple of widely-spaced years in California.


What is your profession?

I have a PhD in seismology, and I have done some research, but I have spent more time in computer support roles.  I worked for a while as a unix/linux system administrator and now I work for UNAVCO in Boulder, Colorado as a data engineer.  I help scientists get SAR data.


At what age do you plan to retire? 

I plan to retire at the age of 54.


Are you confident that you will be financially secure and ready to retire at this age? 

Yes, primarily because the ratio between my savings and my expenses is fairly large.  My husband will get retiree health insurance.


What are you currently doing to prepare for retirement?  

We are still saving in both tax-deferred and taxable accounts.  Taxable accounts are particularly valuable for people who retire before age 60.


At what age did you begin to seriously plan?

We built an off-the-grid solar powered and heated home 10 years ago.  That keeps our utility costs low.  We have no debt of any kind.  I don't know how old I was when I first started thinking about retirement, perhaps when I first got a job with retirement benefits at age 31.


How are you determining how much you need to save?

I've been guided in part by my favorite article on the subject: Personal Financial Ratios: An Elegant Road Map to Financial Health and Retirement by Charles J. Farrell, J.D., LL.M. In the FPA Journal 2006.  I've also used quite a few financial calculators online.

My husband and I have kept detailed records on all of our spending since we were college students.  We have a fairly good idea of how much we will be spending when we retire in 2.5 years, especially because we already have our retirement home.


Do you plan to relocate upon retirement or stay in the same location? Why?

We relocated because we realized we were not benefiting much from all the cultural amenities available in town.  Our expenses are lower here, and the population density improves the way people behave to one another.  I treasure all my neighbors in part because there are so few of them.  I put up a photo of our house on my profile.  The scenery is great!susanna guitar.jpg


What do you most look forward to in retirement? What do you plan to do with your time?

We plan to get seriously into gardening and build a solar-heated greenhouse.  We already raise our own chickens.  I would like to spend time traveling, and enjoy more live Rock and Roll.


What fears/worries do you have regarding retirement?

I am worried that I might become bored and lonely after I stop going to the office.  Presently I spend half my time in Boulder.  I leave for a full time work week away from my husband, and then I come back to our house and work half time here, telecommuting.  My husband is also part time and works remotely.


How long have you been a member of the MyRetirement community?

I joined on August 15, 2014, less than 3 weeks ago now.


What aspects of the community do you enjoy most and what would you like to see done differently or added to the community? 

I enjoy learning from the experiences of other people, and hope to do that in your forums.  I'm not sure exactly how the rules work or if they might prevent substantive discussion on some topics.