Too Old To Retire "Young"

Where are you and where are you going?
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Sclass
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Sclass » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:47 am

Make sure you have 100% legal control over all decisions. Iron clad DPOA.

I talked around things too much with my folks. What I found out is doing things their way consumed me. They always came up with the most selfish answer. It was really hard for me to accept that. It was hard for me to accept that I’m just their tool.

There is no talking around when your future is at stake. I mistakenly thought it was a negotiation. Now I wish I’d just said, this is what I’m going to do, take it or leave it.

My situation is different. There is money. But I’m totally consumed in managing the care my parents way. In some respects dropping Mom off at a Medicaid paid nursing home would have been much easier. But I couldn’t because ...haha...she’s too rich on paper. So I’m left organizing her care as my dad doles out money dollar by dollar.

Dad says “you’re in charge Sclass”. Sure right. Up to the point I stop doing it his way. No institutional care. Home care.

No person wants to go to the old folks home. You have a say in this if the alternative is going to mess up your life. And, I am not going to pretend to know what is going on with you, but from a journal read it looks like moms care, dear BF, moving into TX rental are linked.

Get it sorted out for the future you. Who says your mom has a say in this anyway?

EdithKeeler
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September Report

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:20 pm

So here we are in October. I have to say, September FLEW by... 2018 is FLYING by. I am tired and need a vacation. Unfortunately I'm about out of vacation time at work and am saving my remaining days for some time at Thanksgiving and any more medical appointments for my mom. I do have a couple of sick days left, and I just may take a "sick of work" day. Ah... to be retired and not have to worry about stuff like that.

It's been a very expensive couple of months, with doing work on the rental house and then the hot water heater in my house "done up and give out." Turns out the space in my attic wouldn't accommodate a regular hot water heater so I had to install a tankless... which are freakin' expensive. So... $10,000 for rental house work, $5800 for a tankless hot water heater, and I'm getting ready to do some bathroom work which HAS to be done, for about another $5000. Meh. I guess the advantage of still working is that I'm not too worried about it. So no vacation time--BOO. Benefits and income--YEAH.

It'll all work out.

My mom is doing somewhat better, with the wound, anyway, so that's good. Every day seems like a new adventure, so one day at a time, and all that jazz. My rental house is close to being rented; we had it priced a bit too high, but now that we've reduced the rental (still a good bit more than what I was getting) I've had three applications, so I anticipate it will be rented soon. The good thing is, I keep the mortgage paid up about 2 months ahead, which gives me some flexibility to skip a payment if I need to. Haven't needed to, which is good.

Compared to end of September of last year, my total assets have increased by $89,000 and my net worth increased by $64,000 (yes, I put some of the repairs on a credit card, which I will pay off shortly... I hope). I'm OK with it. I could quit my job right this minute and be OK financially, thought not quite where I want to be when I do quit--but I'd be OK.

Let's see... had a short story published online. Pretty happy about that. Relationship stuff is OKish for now, I guess. Work is OK, but I'm bored.

So.... keepin' on keepin' on.

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FBeyer
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Re: September Report

Post by FBeyer » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:19 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:20 pm
...had a short story published online. Pretty happy about that...
Due to my current most-dominant obsession I'm pretty happy about that too. Good for you!

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:49 am

Due to my current most-dominant obsession I'm pretty happy about that too. Good for you!
Thanks! Writing can sometimes feel lonely and thankless. My recent piece also made the quarterly “editor’s choices” list, so that was cool. Online journal probably 10 people read and no money.... but still cool.

Jason
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jason » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:58 am

Nice job.

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FBeyer
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by FBeyer » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:15 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:49 am
Thanks! Writing can sometimes feel lonely and thankless. My recent piece also made the quarterly “editor’s choices” list, so that was cool. Online journal probably 10 people read and no money.... but still cool.
I, for one, would love to read it. Care to share, or would you doxx yourself by doing so? Link to the piece in a PM or is that still too doxxing?

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:09 pm

I, for one, would love to read it. Care to share, or would you doxx yourself by doing so? Link to the piece in a PM or is that still too doxxing?
Hoo-boy! You’re probably gonna be sorry you said that!! 😀 I’d love for you to read, and welcome your feedback. I’ll PM you.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:46 pm

Another month that I can’t early retire. I’m so bored in my job. Plenty of work to do, but just tired of doing it.

Not really happy with the stock market, but I know I can ride it out. Probably good I can’t retire anyway, since I can build up more cushion against volatility.

Been spending more money than I’d like, doing stuff to my house, etc. and bought some new clothes and jewelry.

All in all, the last month or so has been very UN-ERE oriented. No problems, but no great progress, either.

jennypenny
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:21 pm

How's your mom? Are you feeling bored because things have quieted down on that front? (understandable if caring for her normally consumes a lot of your free time)

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:09 pm

Are you feeling bored because things have quieted down on that front?
Oh, no.... Jobwise, bored. Same work situations, over and over.... doing the same stuff for the last 30 years, really. Tired of the same corporate BS.

Meh. I'm just in a bad mood.

EdithKeeler
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What's going on....

Post by EdithKeeler » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:10 pm

So made it to 2019. Not sorry to see 2018 in the rear view.

Like anyone in the market, my end of the year numbers aren't great, but they aren't terrible, either. Well, meaning I can live with them. Gross assets up about $35K; net worth up about $15K, mostly because I ran up some debt toward the end of the year doing repairs on my primary residence as well as my rental. But... house is rented now, generating enough rent to pay the mortgage, the management fees, plus the regular monthly expenses on my primary residence (insurance, taxes, utilities, lawn maintenance). So basically my paychecks just need to go to savings, investing, and getting that debt paid off. AND--I do not regret spending the money every single morning when I take a long hot shower in my nice bathroom! Some things are just worth it.

According to my calculations, if I take the house costs and the rental earnings out of the picture, I'd have about $900 a month JUST on my dividends from my investments. So... housing is "free," and if I retired I'd use the $900 a month to cover food, transportation, vet bills, repairs.... It would be tight--I'm not nearly as frugal nor as handy as Jacob--but it's actually doable. It's nice knowing that, you know? I turn 55 this year, meaning that I can access my 401(k) (which comprises the vast bulk of my investments) without penalty if I leave my employer. I'm not planning to leave, and I wouldn't HAVE to live on just the dividends... but I could. Good to know.

Work is going well; recently I vowed to work at home more, and am doing so today. I actually don't much like working at home--I like the social interaction at work. But I also like the opportunity to get some chores done while I work (laundry day!), spend some time with the dogs, and also not have to deal with work-related drama (that soap opera-y stuff that often happens in an office). I'm shooting for one day a week. So far it's going well.

Speaking of work, I attended a "Happy work anniversary" lunch yesterday for a coworker who's been with the company 15 years. I'll have been with the company 15 years myself later in the year. It's an interesting milestone to reflect on. I never planned out my career, and if I had it to do over again, I'd be a little more mindful about it, but then again, it's been good for me, and maybe not a perfect fit for me, not a terrible fit, either. I get to use my inquisitive skills, my analytical skills and interact with a broad array of people--from the highest of the high to the lowest of low!--and it's not usually dull. But still not something I would have intentionally picked. I sort of ended up doing it "temporarily until something better comes along" and kept getting raises and promotions that enticed me to stay. I really just wish I got more time off. (Hence the working at home more). Probably not a much different trajectory than most people.

But it makes me consider the next 15 years and beyond, and wanting to be a bit more mindful about where I'm going and where I'll end up. I'll probably stay where I am; seems like a pain to change jobs at 54. They like me there, and I like it most of the time OK, and I am paid nicely. Still not sure I'll get promoted later this year, but it seems fairly likely... but I'm not going to plan on it or spend any raises just yet. We'll see how it goes. The one serious question if I'd have to move, and how I'd deal with that. Dunno.

But also thinking about when I retire--whether it's as soon as I'd like--2 years?--or later. I'm attending a happy hour tonight for a coworker whose last day is Friday; she's retiring, at age 65. She's quite vital and I'm sure she'll keep busy; I'd like to quit sooner than that and very likely will. But I want to be busy (on my terms) in retirement, and want to line up my various activities and projects. I read recently that most people who don't volunteer when they are working, but who say they'll volunteer when they retire, generally don't actually volunteer once they have more time. No reasons were given--could be health issues in some cases perhaps--but I'd really like to resume my literacy volunteerism, and some other stuff I'm interested in.

DBF lately has been talking about moving to Mexico. We haven't delved deeply into what that means, but as long as I'm working and have my mom to deal with, that doesn't include me. I think a lot of it is just day dreaming on his part, but it does make me think about where we stand. It just seems like a lot of trouble to have the "we need to talk, where is this relationship going?" talk. Which, if it's a lot of trouble, probably means it's not worth the trouble, if that makes sense.

I'm taking a little vacation on my own this year; I'm looking forward to going to a fiber arts convention thing. Never been to anything like it, and will probably be walking around with some really young and innovative fiber artists as well as a lot of blue-haired old ladies who knit and crochet. I'm oddly looking forward to that little trip.

And.... my short story that was published online in the little non-famous, non-important journal, and then won a non-money, only bragging rights "one of the best in the quarter" mentions, got a "one of the best 35 stories of the year" (also for bragging rights only). Out of a field of over 300. Not exactly a Nebula Award or a Pushcart Prize, but heck, I'll take it. It was a nice email to get on New Years Day. Inspires me to continue writing and submitting. I submitted only 3 stories last year, and two out of the three were published someplace, so that's a better average than a lot of people have.

Fitness-wise--meh. I fell off a ladder (the FIRST rung--doh!) just before Thanksgiving, and though I didn't realize it at the time, I fucked up a disk in my back. I'm finally on the mend now, I think, but am easing back into doing things. Every time I start to feel better, I do something stupid like take the dogs for an overly long walk, or do a two hour water aerobics (which is good when you have a bad back, but maybe not when you really push it for 2 hours, said my back and hip the next day), or try to pick up my mom when she fell... so I'm going do nothing but short slow easy walks until I'm sure everything is back to normal. I absolutely HATE being in pain and walking around like an old woman. Hate it. This incident was a reminder to really focus on fitness and flexibility this year.

So.... starting 2019, life looks pretty good. Hope all is well with everyone reading this journal entry.

Jason
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:03 pm

When you consider the sheer number of short stories that are written and submitted on-line, to have one published in any journal is an accomplishment. So to have two out of three published and one recognized in a "best" category is quite an achievement and one that you should interpret as encouragement to pursue the craft, as you obviously have talent.

lol@Mexico - Although I imagine it's preferable to Syria.

jennypenny
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:08 pm

Congrats on the accolades, and don't downplay them -- most of us can't even drum up good reviews let alone awards or peer recognition. Most excellent. :)

DutchGirl
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:28 am

Congrats and well done from me too. :) Keep up the good work, including the (moderate) exercising!

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:07 pm

Thanks, y’all!! I admit, I require a lot of external motivation!

I dug an old novel out this week. I have some new ideas... I love being in that creative “flow” zone.

EdithKeeler
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I'm going to have to KonMari the shit out of this

Post by EdithKeeler » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:50 am

... to paraphrase Andy Weir in the very mediocre (IMHO) "The Martian."

I'm posting this for personal accountability, but anyone can weigh in, express shock, berate me, etc. I'm posting a link to pictures of my very, very scary third bedroom/office/craft room/closet/library. I swear the rest of my house looks NOTHING like this and is reasonably tidy and well ordered and uncluttered. I know it looks like a hoarder room, and I guess if I'm honest, it is. Fortunately, it's only a 9x9 room.... but it's got a lot of stuff crammed in it.

My goal: to create a better, more uncluttered space to get a SLIGHTLY bigger desk and create a workspace that's more conducive to working from home as well as doing my personal writing. I've started working from home one day a week, and I could expand up to three. However, to do that I need to add a second monitor to my workstation, and clear off stuff from my desk to make it easier to use, and also just get all this clutter out of the way which has a tendency to distract me. "OOh, look, shiny!"

I probably won't go full-out KonMari--I think it's a bit goofy and messy to take everything out and pile it up, and despite how bad all this looks, I really don't think I need to do that. And as I mentioned someplace else here, a lot of this stuff I actually want to keep. But I am going to get rid of some stuff, and also get some stuff out to actually USE it. I have, for example, about 10 blank books of varying sorts. When people find out you're a writer, they're prone to gift you blank books ("Here, I thought this would be great for your writing!") Some of them are kind of cool, but I'm not really an analog gal when it comes to writing (I can't read my own handwriting, for the most part...) so I am going to use these for work--meeting notes, jotted notes, etc. I mean, they won't be "keepsakes," but at least they'll get used.

The good news is, I actually have quite a bit of room in the closet, so I think with some rearranging and reorganizing, a lot of this stuff that doesn't get tossed can go into the closet in a more organized way.

Anyway.... here's to keeping me honest.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/memphisbe ... res/216H59

rube
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by rube » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:04 pm

A lot of stuff, but the room is not that big so not too much stuff. Reserve 1 full day in a weekend and at the end of that day it can be reasonable tidy.
Get yourself a bigger/better working desk etc., better for your health.
I expect new pictures between now and the next 4.5 weeks. Go for it, I know you can do it ;-)

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FBeyer
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Re: I'm going to have to KonMari the shit out of this

Post by FBeyer » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:45 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:50 am
... However, to do that I need to add a second monitor to my workstation, and clear off stuff from my desk to make it easier to use, and also just get all this clutter out of the way which has a tendency to distract me. "OOh, look, shiny!"

...I think it's a bit goofy and messy to take everything out and pile it up, and despite how bad all this looks, I really don't think I need to do that...
The "Look, Shiny!" effect is one of the primary reasons why clutter is so bad for a working environment.

If you've already decided -in advance- that you're going to keep most of it, then it's crucial that you know you're keeping it for a good reason, not just because the lump of clutter has coalesced into one mental chunk inside your head so it's easier to deal with it all in one fell swoop: "keep most; toss what I hate."

The trap we get into with that premature judgment of keep/clutter is that we don't learn from it. We all have the option of learning from our mistakes, from our decluttering, but only if we turn decluttering into a learning sessions, which means: introspection!

Clutter had seeped into your home, and thus your life, slowly over time. We buy things and keep buying similar things because we misjudge the value we expect to get out of them. Letting go thus confronts us with that fact. For book worms like us it's terribly convenient to lump all books together and say: these deal with the craft of writing, I'm going to keep most of them. Or: I'm a STEM student, I'm going to keep most of the math books! Or: I consider myself a literature aficionado, I'm going to keep most of my books...
And we do this in spite of what our reality truly looks like: We use two of the craft books, one of the math books, and we've only ever read 10% of our bulging collection of classics. But one day(TM) -we tell outselves- One Day we're really REALLY going to do something about it, we've just got 42793 other thing we need to do first... but THEN we're REALLY going to give it a crack! :lol:

"I'm going to keep most of it" takes focus away from what's really important[1].
  • Don't let your job kill you.
  • Maintain good health (phys & mental).
  • Read good books.
  • Sleep well.
  • Write more!

Everything else can go fuck off! It might feel kind-of-important, but it's not AS important as the MOST important things, and until they're set in stone, less important things distract you from the truly important.

Consider this thought experiment.
When you have an hour: would you rather write some more, or knit some more?

Go through all your potential hobbies and figure out which ones truly distract from the more important ones. Some hobbies tend to overlap, and those are really the ones to get rid of. Some hobbies are fully complementary (like knitting charges your mental batteries for writing); those are the ones to keep, but only one from each category, or you're back to unfocused planning. It claws at your heart to get rid of a good-enough hobby. But once you've done it, your're down to only-the-best hobbies, which not only feels more fulfilling, it also leaves you with less of a bad conscience afterwards.

Properly decluttering in an introspective manner is not about your stuff...

THAT'S what: "I'll keep most of it" does to us.
---
I swear the rest of my house looks NOTHING like this and is reasonably tidy and well ordered and uncluttered.
No. I don't agree with this, and I write this because I care, not because I insist on fighting over other people's stuff. The only reason all that ugly shit is not smeared all over the rest of your house, is only because you live in a house large enough to have a separate storage room. It's still in your home, you've just mentally cordoned off a part of to stuff you deem 'unworthy to live with the rest of your things' for whatever reason.

The 'rest of your house' looks tidy because you are wealthy enough to claim this. You live with that stuff, whether you tell yourself convenient stories about it or not. It's there, behind YOUR front door, where YOU are the one who manages it. It's yours.

Is it ugly? Does it not fit with the decor in the rest of the house? Is it impractical, and not really of good use? Would that stuff give you a bad conscience if you looked at it every day, rather than just when you walk into your storage room? Is the storage room really where you can put those things to good (the best) use or are you really storing it all because it's only slightly useful, or because it hurts to admit that you won't really use any of it (like you probably haven't in the last couple of years) and now it feels terrible to get rid of something that was never really used at all?

When we buy things, we make a mental prediction of how useful a thing is going to be in the future. That misprediction tendency takes some serious rewiring to change. One of the most efficient ways to work on it, is to take everything out, and pile it up where you can experience the magnitude of 10-15 years worth of mispredictions, and have an actual learning session about the ways in which you -personally- trick yourself and tell stories about your future self.

All my AI/machine learning books hurt like hell to get rid of, and it's probably the best thing I've done for myself in a long time. I bought them with a certain intention, and with a certain picture of who I was in my head. And I kept them for way too long because I believed that One Day(TM) I'd get to use them for something all cool and math-like, but in reality, that's not what my ACTUAL life looks like.

There is also a very real chance that whatever is left in your storage room is there because it, for something completely freakish reason, is the hardest to get rid of, even if it looks innocuous.

Bonus reflection: Why did you feel the need to say that the rest of the house looks nothing like this?


---

I want you to write more books! I want you to write good books. I want you to write, be free, and be happy. We all work better if our work environment is beautiful, whatever that means to us personally. But your environment won't work for you if it's Okay-ish (I guess...). It has to be beautiful!

A proper working setup where you are inspired, not distracted. A setup that makes you happy and looking forward to working is not an expense, or a luxury: It's an investment in good work, and good work is an investment in a good life!



[1]I'm making a terribly arrogant assumption that I know whats most important for you, I trust wholeheartedly that you know this yourself, I'm just listing stuff as an example.

Jason
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jason » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:23 am

I always assumed you had a room like that.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:57 am

You remind me so much of my DD27 (xNTJ.) She is always so hard on herself, even though her overall functioning is almost always very high. She also always loved crafts and had a messy room. In fact, she was so good with her fingers, nimble, at a very early age, I thought she might be some sort of artisan when she grew up.

One of the joys of late mid-life, which I must admit I haven't allowed myself to fully experience, is you can allow yourself the luxury of once again playing at the activities that were in your portfolio at age 10, or age 6, or even age 3. IMO, another important function of engaging in crafts such as knitting is that they are within the practice of self-nurturing, or taking care of your own juvenile feminine with your own adult feminine energy. Our culture, or any other culture which promotes masculine energy in all things, does not always make it easy for us to give ourselves permission to engage in less than efficient activities such as these, but I think this is simply another example of over applying reductionist thinking to the complexity of life in full.

Whenever we neglect to care or engage with something within our purview, whether it is our physical appearance, our pet guinea pig, or our collection of knitting tools and supplies, terrible feelings of guilt and avoidance pile up along with the pounds, the poop, and the dust. Simply clearing the slate can help for a time, but giving yourself permission to devote the time and energy necessary to once again care and engage will also work. For instance, if instead of focusing on clearing out the room, you simply start working at each activity represented by the clutter in the room, the clutter will naturally sort itself out, because you will find the scissors as you need the scissors, etc. When I was a stay-at-home mother with two toddlers, I might get to the point that they were running around driving me nuts, but I would realize that this was in good part due to the fact that I had been focused on reading a novel most of the morning, so I would scoop them up and put them in the bathtub, and re-engage.

Maybe I am projecting a bit, because I have been a dealer in rare books, specializing in lost arts and crafts books, for many years, and it seems like I have forever been waiting for the day when I could relax enough to actually devote time and energy to sewing little 1920s style stuffed toys or cooking hominy or making hypa-tufa frogs, but I just can't get there.

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