Early Retired: The First Month

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
George the original one
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Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

I'm hoping others will contribute their first month experience of retirement to this thread.
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It's a week early to write about my first month as a 53-yr-old retiree, yet the spirit moves me. This upcoming week is filled with social obligations anyway (Thanksgiving and a gathering of friends), so there isn't much worth writing about in the upcoming week.

Administrivia
Former employer is downgrading the position I occupied and will hire a replacement. Had one email from a person who was assigned one of my special duties (internal billing) because something didn't go as expected, but I haven't been called in to fix it, so it must not have been serious. And so that's the last of my tie to that place and I'm not missing the office at all!

Hired movers to get the furniture to the retirement residence. Not everything will fit here even though we pared down the obvious. Biggest mental stumbling block is we have 2 pairs of chairs and room for only 1 pair at most. Obvious solution is to pick a pair, but the pairs each have features that are complementary. OK, so why not keep one of each? Dunno, might be missing out on something, LOL.

Signed up for Obamacare, silver plan, to begin in January. Nothing earth-shattering, just have fill the same extra paperwork that Spoonman did, where you explain how your income will function in the upcoming year.

Killed off phone & internet at old residence. Still have garbage service there because, well, "cleanup" and we've not started service at this residence. Had already activated phone & internet here. Slowly updating address with various businesses. Had already put drivers license to this address.

Finances
6-12 months of expenses in bank accounts, 1 month expense in cash. Will make deposit to IRAs this year for use as income to get Obamacare subsidy via Roth IRA conversion in a future year. 20 years of expenses in investment accounts plus pension will begin in 5 years... believe pension alone can cover expenses, but there's uncertainty due to political winds.

Activities
Fishing has been lukewarm. Coho salmon are distinctly missing, especially compared to last year's abundance. I caught a 12 lb chinook salmon near the end of October (I think), which was dinner for 8, so we still have half of it left in the freezer. Foul-hooked a 20+ lb chinook last week and had to break it off because it just kept going downriver with line screaming off my reel and I couldn't stop him; foul-hooked (not hooked in the mouth, snagged) means I would have turned it loose anyway. I hooked a 15-20 lb chinook yesterday and we battled for several minutes; I was gradually winning until he threw the hook. My arm is still a little tired from that! I also caught & released a 7-8 lb steelhead yesterday because it was wild and a searun cutthroat trout because it was out of season.

Online racing (primarily rFactor 2) has been many enjoyable hours of offline-only. Tested 4G LTE at the old residence and it was solid for online, so still trying to get it set up here so I can get back to some online experience. Here the problem is a small ridge between our house and the cell tower; we get good download speeds, but the upload is crap. Signal improves if I place an antenna 100-200 ft away from the house, but then I need an inline amplifier to compensate for the cabling run.

Gardening is naturally slow due to the fall season. I've prepped an area for the greenhouse and will hopefully erect it in December or January. Grass sprouts are popping up, so will till them under this weekend while it is cold & dry.

Woodcutting for the 2016-17 winter is in progress. We've had 4 windfalls this fall and that should meet 60-70% of our heating needs. Windfalls might be too mild of a term as the alders actually snapped in half. Our woodshed started the season with 3 cords split, stacked, & seasoned. Am monitoring to see how much we use.

A fair amount of back & forth traveling between the two residences while we get everything moved and arranged. DW's family has had some recent events requiring our presence, too, but we haven't had to go too far out of our way.

Health
We took care of many medical appointments before the retirement date. Since retiring, I've lost the 6 lbs that had snuck on during the past year without even trying to lose them.

SimpleLife
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Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by SimpleLife »

Congrats! Are you converting the old house to a rebtal? Your new place sounds really efficient (small), is it a condo?

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

Old house will be for sale.

We downsized from 1800 sq ft to 1600 sq ft. Doesn't sound like much, but in practical terms it was losing one bedroom and then dedicating floorspace for two woodstoves. We also lost some wallspace to windows... definitely prefer windows, particularly for the scenery here!

J_
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:12 pm
Location: Netherlands/Austria

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by J_ »

great george!
how about your car-fancy?

J_
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:12 pm
Location: Netherlands/Austria

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by J_ »

Recalling my first month of being FI: it was that I fully realized how free I was. Free to undertake adventures, free to be idle, free to potter around my house. The one thing I had prepared before was thinking to find a hobby to grow old with. That was studying music and playing piano.
After that month hat feeling of freedom never went away..It grew to the insight that it is not necessary to read newspapers every day or to hear "news" on television or radio. And still be aware of how things around me change, or be aware that tragic happens almost every day.
That is not influencing my strive to enjoy everyday, and to share that freedom in time with others.

steveo73
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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by steveo73 »

Well done. I can't wait to get to that position myself.

enigmaT120
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by enigmaT120 »

Where in Oregon are you? Sounds like coast range, same as me.

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

Seaside-Cannon Beach area. Land of sitka spruce stumps and elk.

almostthere
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:47 am

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by almostthere »

The best I remember it, my first month FI was spent logging as much time as possible on Khan Academy algebra modules. What was really going on was that I was in dopamine withdrawal from the quick successes and accomplishments of office work. Watching the points mount up on Khan Academy was my way of dealing with it. (I also thought I wanted to be a quant). All in all, I was a sad case. It took long time to come out of the habituated chemical patterns that work had caused in my brain. I still may have not done it completely, but at least I see what was happening.

GandK
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by GandK »

I went back through my journal to see whether I'd posted at the end of the first day/week/month so I could link to it here. But it turns out that I didn't do that. That sucks. I would love to have detailed that part of my journey more. :-(

K60
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:59 pm

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by K60 »

For me, the first month of retirement was more like a vacation. It took 3 or 4 months to really hit me.

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

And now... The First Year

51 weeks ago, I walked out of employment and it's been a marvelous year! I haven't missed employment at all, though I now have a part-time gig which landed in my lap. Mostly I get to be my smurfy-self.

Administrivia
Procrastination has its benefits when you're selling a house and the market is hot. We finally got around to putting the old residence on the market in late August and accepted an offer after 5 days for $19k net more than our asking price. There was a fair amount of stress involved meeting the buyer's reasonable demands and then getting my garage/workshop stuff moved before the fall rains began & the sale closed.

Finances
Taxable investment accounts have 4-6.5 years of living expenses (not counting the income it generates) and we have 4 years to survive until I can draw my retirement pension. There are 6 months of living expenses in the checking account. Plus some number of years expenses in Roth IRAs that we can tap in an emergency.

Activities
Gardening was awesome as documented in the gardening thread. Learned a few more things about getting a good continual harvest in this grey coastal climate. New greenhouse worked very well and we'll be making a few more improvements. Might just have to buy tomatoes next week for the first time since July. Expansion of garden beds will continue, though the house sale interfered with plans to have a winter garden.

Fishing was mixed. The winter steelhead run was good, but I kept one winter steelhead. Spring chinook salmon run was impressive, but none came to dinner. Fall coho & chinook have been disappointing runs this year, but then I caught a 15 lb chinook last month. No coho have come past the house, but we've had 4 pairs of chinook spawn here and I've seen a couple more go past us. I have a little hope that there are more fish coming in from the ocean. On the other hand, trout fishing went very well, with my friends and I landing a couple personal bests. Plus, back in June, while fishing for the stocked trout in a lake, I caught a 3 lb largemouth bass. I also taught myself how to dig, clean, & cook pacific razor clams (see viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7616). I'm not sure what to expect for winter steelhead this year since the fall salmon runs are disappointing...

Online racing has escalated and I increased the internet budget by $15/mo to accommodate increased use of cellular data. Winning fairly often. Took part in some endurance races. My interest in creating car/track content, stuff I'd do for free, led to a part-time gig that has an excellent work/life balance and more than pays for this computer hobby.

Woodcutting season got interrupted by summer rains and then I missed the Aug-Sep window due to the house sale. Consequently, we've only got about half the wood split, stacked, & dried that we likely need for the winter.

Health
My weight dropped 25 lbs from the day I retired before it stabilized. Decided to buy new pants last month because I wanted a belt to be optional rather than mandatory! Developed chronic foot pain 4 weeks ago, probable tissue damage or possibly broken/dislocated bone... it gradually has been healing, so I haven't bothered with a doctor visit ("I've got things to do, places to go", LOL).

Still having random nights where I wake up and can't get back to sleep. I had thought it was related to work anxiety or stress, but obviously that is not the case. So now I can just get on with letting my body do its thing, chalk it up to being over 50 years old, and not worry about it.

Scratched my glasses badly. It had been enough years since our last appointments that we both went in and got new glasses.

wood
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by wood »

Sounds wonderful. Do you make alot of plans or do you just wake up and do whatever you feel like?

FBeyer
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by FBeyer »

I'm genuinely curious: How, and who, approached you about part time work designing tracks for an online game?
Consider me gasted with flabber...

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jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by jennypenny »

Some gardening, some hobbies, some investing ... you're life sounds perfect. You're my hero, GTOO.

sky
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by sky »

+1 on just hanging out and being a happy smurf. Happy smurfing is where it is at.

From sky's house, where every day is smurfday!

Image

J_
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Location: Netherlands/Austria

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by J_ »

Looks good GTOO, and see: side gig appear (where you not expected it?)

Dragline
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by Dragline »

Congrats on the weight loss. Now live long and prosper!

George the original one
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

wood wrote:Sounds wonderful. Do you make alot of plans or do you just wake up and do whatever you feel like?
Planning is driven by the weather, tide tables, obligations, and motivation. Sometimes I change my mind. Sometimes my wife just tells me what to do, LOL!

George the original one
Posts: 5364
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

FBeyer wrote:I'm genuinely curious: How, and who, approached you about part time work designing tracks for an online game?
Consider me gasted with flabber...
The man seems to be an entrepreneurial project manager. This is definitely a side gig for him, yet meets his web of goals to help him with his real world motorsports activity. He speaks of a client, but half the time I think it's someone bankrolling his real world motorsports. There are other members of the project team to finish what I start and he's the intermediary, so I have no real knowledge of what the end product looks like, though I know it's not their first team effort.

He desired someone with my particular mix of skills and tracked me down as a result of my activity on a forum devoted to such activity. To J_'s point about expecting such a call... the initial inquiry came barely a month after I retired and I initially told him I needed 6 months before I would be interested in taking on anything, then the dude promptly contacted me again after 6 months elapsed, LOL! He pretty much lets me set my working pace, suggesting targets rather than demanding them, and we work well together.

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