Contemplating the new year

It’s the first day of the year in which I’m going to retire.

I’m not retiring in the traditional sense of the word; that is, there won’t be a gold watch or a pension involved. Furthermore, it’s not my first time at the retirement rodeo.

I like to do big things on my birthdays:

  • On my 57th birthday, October 13, 2014, I retired for the first time.
  • On my most recent birthday, October 13, 2021, I bought myself a brand new, $50,000, left knee.
  • And on my 65th birthday, October 13, 2022, I’m going to retire again.

I’m hopeful that retirement will “stick” this time for 3 reasons:

  1. Healthcare. I’m (or will be) 8 years older than the first time I retired, and I’m eligible for Medicare to aid in medical coverage, which was a concern the first time I retired.
  2. Expectations. I have more realistic expectations about being retired since I’m somewhat “experienced” in it. The first time, I made a retirement to-do list a mile long, and the best lesson I learned during the 1 year and 4 months that I was retired was that because you have time to do something doesn’t mean you’re going to want to do it. I think a lot of us convince ourselves we don’t do certain things (like organizing all of those—printed or digital—photos) because we don’t have time to do it, when the reality of it is that even when you do have time, it’s mind-numbingly tedious and probably not something you’re going to want to spend time doing.
  3. Life events. This time, I won’t have a father die a year after I retire and a mother to worry about eventually running out of money, which was one of the reasons I went back to work that first time.

Retirement countdown as of this posting

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