When Donna asked me to guest post for her blog, I have to admit my first immediate thought was, “well, there goes her credibility!”
I am a devoted reader of Retirement Reflections, and Donna offers a mature and polished take on our collective post-career journey. So it does make you wonder why she wants to feature a blogger whose sole ambition is to sow literary imbecility. My personal guess is that Richard is slipping something in her evening cocktail in order for there to be less “writing time” and more “us time” in that household. You may have other ideas, though. I encourage you to share them in the comments area below. We really should get to the bottom of this.
Anyway, on with the show…
My own retirement journey began in August of 2014 when I took advantage of an early retirement offer from my employer of some 32 years. I was a law librarian and worked for the (U.S.) federal government in a few different agency settings and locations.
I grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan but lived and worked in Washington, DC for 20 years, 11 years in Fresno, California, and a very brief 10 months in Portland, Oregon where in fact I ended my career. It hadn’t been my plan to live as a pseudo-gypsy in so many places, but certainly in hindsight the journey has been enriching and formative. Which is a polite and face-saving way of answering the inevitable question, “do you have problems making decisions?” Answer: “Well, yes and no.”
My wife “Gorgeous” and I made the decision to move to Florida and have it be our permanent retirement home. Going back to at least the 1950’s, the Sunshine State has been a popular “golden years” destination for Americans and Canadians, many of whom it should be pointed out arrive with a questionable sense of fashion. This works out for me personally because it’s long been a dream of mine to experience the subtle joys of wearing patterned shorts with the classic knee high hosiery. A tip for fellow dreamers out there: think small.
In my own modest way I’m doing my part to make America great again.
Sartorial choices aside, the early retirement journey has so far been most gratifying. After giving myself about 18 months to get my bearings (i.e. watching more Perry Mason episodes than I even thought was humanly possible), I eventually succumbed to something resembling a routine. Last year I returned to my profession and found a part-time job at a local county law library. This has not only provided additional income and a sense of purpose, but it has also given me a window through which I can ascertain how other retirees manage financial issues such as taxes and income caps. Gorgeous continues to work full time, which adds a few layers of complexity to our economic situation. These are issues I fully admit to not giving much thought during my working years.
Harry Truman once said that he wished he could cut off the arms of all of his economists because he got so tired of hearing them start sentences with, “On the one hand… .” But in retirement, and especially early retirement, nearly every single economic decision has some kind of consequence which needs to be considered from all sides.
- When is the best time to access a tax-sheltered account? At what percentage should I start to take distributions from it?
- What age should I begin Social Security? Canadian citizens have a similar dilemma with their Canada or Quebec Pension Plans.
- How will proposed legislative changes to Medicare affect my current plan, or perhaps later when I’m eligible to join?
- How is it possibly fair that a third scoop of ice cream has suddenly become a gastroenterological issue?
These are the kinds of things we occasionally tackle on my blog. Along the way we also cover the complexities of ex-spouses, alimony, familial relationships, insurance, politics, and the reason why just because you can pour vodka into a martini glass, it doesn’t qualify to still be called a martini.
Sometimes we succeed in answering the great questions of the day, but mostly I just muddy the waters for you. All in the name of public service!
So I do hope that once you’ve read one of Donna’s fine posts, you’ll occasionally make your way over to my blog too. I won’t change the way you look at the world, but I guarantee you will think, “This is proof that pretty much anyone can call himself a blogger now.”
Until next time…
From Retirement Reflections:
Thank you to Marty for brilliantly kicking off this Sunday Guest Post Series.
Marty will be on a blogging break this summer. You can check out his fresh posts again in September. For those of you who are new to his blog, why not visit his site to catch a few ‘reruns?’ You won’t be disappointed!!
If you are a retirement or lifestyle blogger and would like to contribute a post to this series, please leave a comment below or send a private email. If you’ve already signed up, but haven’t yet sent in your post, please do so at your earliest convenience. Stay tuned next Sunday for Cresting the Hill’s ‘Transition to Retirement — Smiling All the Way’! This post contains great advice that you won’t want to miss regardless of your work/retirement status.
Happy Father’s Day to all Dads out there…and those who are forever in our hearts!