I'm in my last year prior to retirement and my head is spinning. After returning home from a week at our likely future home I checked the calendar to find that I'm meeting with a banker on Monday and TIAA-CREF counselor on Tuesday. I'm also working with a realtor in regard to an offer we're making, collecting/recording information and weeding out candidates for a building contractor. And I need to call Social Security. And my tax attorney. And while all this is going on I'm keeping up with my day job and trying to stay on pace to complete all the things I promised my boss would happen. I sleep little and eat much, which has added about 10 pounds to the apparently inaccurate set of scales. Isn't this supposed to be fun?
I really do think I've prepared well. I've played by the rules, invested, planned and met all the deadlines. So why are things so crazy? Am I making it harder than it needs to be or am I just taking the necessary steps that everybody takes? How did (or are) the rest of you dealing with all this stuff that needs to be addressed? Momma said there would be days like this!
Quite a long time I always thought it would be a whole lot easier just to "keep working." For me it was not so much a choice as an "economic downturn" that affected my former employing organization. For me it has been five years and I still feel like we are sorting things out -- although with some experience "under my belt" I do feel a bit more at ease about all this. We tried a lot less -- remaining in place, where we have lived since 1984, the first house we ever bought (at age 40).
I think you are doing many of the things people nearing retirement are doing, but rather rapidly. We bought land and hired a contractor who helped with our new house too. We also had to hire a solar installer, well driller and septic system design engineer as well as septic system contractor. My husband is living there full time, and I am there halftime, but we did it 10 years ago, roughly 14 years before retirement. I don't think we'll be working with as many financial and legal professionals as you, because we're quite self-directed when it comes to those matters, but I expect to consult with at least one such person, to help decide on the best Roth conversion schedule. Social Security won't be hearing from me for another couple decades. All those elements are necessary, and although you're feeling stressed now, you might be delighted you took care of it all, next year, provided you don't make any major mistakes. Take a deep breath, relax as much as you can, and you'll be fine. Good luck to you! Tried Tenkara rods yet? I landed several nice brookies on our latest backpacking trip using one of those.
Actually much of the stress has gone away in the past couple days. I met with a TIAA-CREF counselor who addressed a lot of questions that, in turn, make it easier to plan and prioritize. His recommendation of an email to HR (knowing the right questions to ask is worth a ton of time) streamlined things, and the meeting with Social Security isn't needed a this point. I'm breathing easier.
No, I haven't tried Tenkara rods yet but I actually own one of the earlier ones. A gentleman who had been a friend of my dad showed up at my office one day with a canvas case in hand. He told me about a time when he had been stationed in Japan during the Korean war and about the flimsy bamboo rods locals used for fishing. That was the first time I ever recall hearing the word Tenkara. He took the 8 piece bamboo rod out of the case and gave it to me, saying that I was the only person he knew who might appreciate having it. He also gave me a split bamboo flyrod the same day. I have used the flyrod and have thought I might someday try the Tenkara when I visit my daughter who lives on a trout stream in the mountains of NC.I'm sure the modern version is much more refined but that's probably an experience that will have to wait for retirement.
You might really enjoy exploring Tenkara, and it sounds like you are well equipped to try it. I also have family in NC, in my case near the Blue Ridge Parkway, but nearly all my fishing has been done in Colorado. I'm glad you've been able to solve the issues that were stressful. There aren't any perfect answers to all those retirement questions, but there are quite a few good ones. Making the decisions is a great relief.
Born in New Jersey and now fly fishing in Colorado, now that's a transformation! :-)))
Three years ago we had our meeting at Social Security. Next month will begin our fourth year of Social Security retirement direct deposits into our checking account (joint). However, for the half-century or so that I filled Federal Income Taxes, each year I sent in a request for Earnings report(s) and kept all of those on file at home. There have been fairly frequent mistakes (credit to mine what should have gone to spouse record, much delayed - two years and more - of credit to one account or the other). In fact, even after we began drawing social security, there have been a series of adjustments - probably all in our favor). For someone not yet retired, it is possible now to set up a Login and to review (keep tabs on) Earnings records - on line, I understand. I would. The recommendation that I / we do so - decades ago starting - probably came from Consumer Reports (hope it is Ok to mention).
TroutBum, I have an observation. You seem to be trying to cram. Building a house remotely, even with your extensive experience, is a lot to take on along with the other planning and actions needed to tie everything down regarding the retirement. This may not fit your plans or time table, but is it possible to wait on the new house until a time that you can take a temporary residence in the area and allocate some more concentrated time to it so you can do it right and in a less stressful manner?
Another thought. Can you stretch out the retirement date, get an agreement with the boss on what you will accomplish by then and then tell him "No!" when he asks for more. It probably would help to have your replacement hired so that you can make the boss more comfortable that the transition will be orderly.
Just some thoughts. Oh, make sure that you allow some fishing time in there so that you get the feeling for what it is going to be like when you say " Take this job and ....." You know how it goes. :-)))
I'm not actually planning to start a house in the immediate future but talking with contractors has been very valuable. It is important that I continue to move with identifying and purchasing a lot because of what the market is doing right now. Prices have skyrocketed in the past several months and I need to get that foothold while the opportunity exists. The market isn't going to wait for me! The catch is that building practices and requirements, especially in respect to environmental issues, are very different there than what I'm familiar with. For example, prior to talking with a coastal area building contractor, that it is sometimes possible to change flood zones simply by means of minor excavation and then hiring a surveyor to document the height above sea level. The difference is that one flood zone isn't eligible for the flood insurance required by lenders while a lot at a slightly higher elevation is eligible. That doesn't make a difference to a person living there but it can make a big difference when you go to sell. Stuff like that is important when trying to identify a lot to buy. BTW, I already own a 2nd home in that area so we're definitely thinking along the same lines there.
I could stretch my retirement date or I could shorten it. My boss is great and I'm the one who determined the list of things I want to accomplish so that isn't really an issue. It's because my boss and employer are so good that I am committed to making those things happen before I leave. My replacement is probably going to come from in-house and information is being passed on to him on a regular basis.
Fishing time happens!
in the pines - where the sun never shines
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