What Did We Just Do?!! Thoughts from a New Retiree

What Did We Just Do?!! Thoughts from a New Retiree

So, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I wanted to talk about for my first post as a new retiree.  I have all these things on my mind, but I’ve been struggling to figure out just the right topic. And that’s when it hit me… why not just talk about some of the random thoughts that have been floating around my head this week? Maybe some of what’s going on in this noggin of mine could be helpful for the next guy or gal planning an early retirement. One of those thoughts is that even though you may already know it, the transition from working a 9-5 full-time job to not working is impactful in your

What I’ve Learned Throughout My Final Year of Work

What I’ve Learned Throughout My Final Year of Work

Well, that does it… I’m officially FIRE (financially independent / retired early).  12/31/18 was my last day of “working for the man” hopefully for the rest of my life. Whoa.  Hang on – I just need a second to process that. Damn, that feels good to think about!  Woo-hoo!!!! Ok, thanks for that – I really needed to get it out of my system.  The idea is still a little surreal and will probably take a while to make it feel like more than a normal vacation. Let’s get back to why we’re here today though.  I thought it would be interesting to talk about what I’ve learned throughout my last year of work. Some of the things that transpired

The Path Is Simple, but It’s Not Necessarily Easy

The Path Is Simple, but It’s Not Necessarily Easy

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately… dangerous, right?  Hindsight has me realizing that if you’re hoping to reach financial independence, the path is simple, but it’s not necessarily an easy journey to get there. As I’m typing this, I’m down to four working days until I’m done working at a career I’ve been at for 19½ years – a job I started right after my 24th birthday. At the time, I had just bailed out of retail management.  I was an assistant store manager at Walmart.  I didn’t hate retail, but I didn’t love it either.  It’s a job where you’re needed most at all the worst times – evenings, weekends, and holidays. It was also a job

No One’s Asked – Here’s Why You Should…

No One's Asked - Here's Why You Should...

No one’s asked.  Not a one.  Not one single person in my entire office. I’m now just days out from my retirement – December 31, 2018, is my last day of work.  I gave my notice in early summer and we kept it low-key in the office for a little bit while we worked out the game plan. However, I officially made the announcement to my engineers in a meeting on August 13.  And as many of you know, the grapevine in almost every office spreads like wildfire. We have just over 35 people in my office and I think everyone knew the scoop within minutes. That means it’s been well over three months and no one’s asked. Ok, Jim

Is One Million Dollars Enough to Retire On?

Is One Million Dollars Enough to Retire On?

One million dollars.  It’s the coveted goal for many. Maybe it’s something you think is way out of reach.  Or maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum and close to it or even long surpassed that number. Regardless, one million dollars just seems to be a good round number in our heads to strive for reaching.  In fact, it’s a number that many folks have had as their target number for financial independence or retirement for decades. You suddenly gain the status of “millionaire” and you become part of the “7-digit club.”  What could be more exciting than that? However, we all know that the dollar ain’t worth what it used to be.  Inflation loves to strip away

A Moment to Exhale… So Now What?

A Moment to Exhale... So Now What?

Well, we’re finally over the hump.  We actually had a moment to exhale.  We sold the house and moved into an apartment.  Everything should start to get easier and easier as we get closer to the big move to Panama next summer. I started this post while at the airport on our way to Miami to get our cruise kicked off.  We booked this trip at the beginning of the year thinking we’d have nothing going on at this time. Yeah, we were wrong. Once we got through security here at Hopkins airport here in Cleveland, I got a text from my agent telling me everything just finished.  The closing is officially done and they’re in the process of filing