In 13 months I'll retire. I'm literally counting the months now. And everything I do is in preparation for this new phase of life. Not that I'm treading water or anything right now. I'm still working and playing and doing all the things I love. But I am preparing.
"What will you do?" That's the number one question people ask me when I mention retiring.
What'll I do? Hah! I will do all the things I do now only I won't have to fit in eight hours of work around them. I'll be able to work in the yard when the temperatures are cool. I'll be able to do more of the work myself and not hire helpers as much. I'll be able to ride my bike on weekdays when the young fast riders are at work. I'll paint when I'm awake and fresh and when the light is good. I'll read during the day instead of at bedtime which puts me to sleep. I'll help more with getting grand kids to and from school so their parents don't have to do such fancy juggling of their schedules. I'll cook more and have people to dinner. I'll play more piano and guitar. And take some lessons--both music and painting. I'll write more consistently and thoughtfully. I'll walk every day but will find some new trails and vistas. I'll take day trips to see birds and to photograph sights. I will still do the concerts, movies, dining out with my friends. Why would that change?
In short, I will do all the things I loving doing now but will have prime time for them instead of fitting them into the fringes of my day. Maybe I'll add some new things, too. I'm open to the possibilities. But I don't see myself being idle or bored.
And I'm preparing. For some months now I've put myself on a very strict budget, living on less than what my social security check will be, though in retirement I will also have a pension check. My goal is to live frugally and put my pension check into savings. If I need it, it's there. I am putting a large portion of my paycheck now into a 401k (well, it's really a 407-something or other), my savings continue to grow. I feel confident I will live comfortably on my income when I no longer work and will even be able to continue saving.
And I'm not suffering in my frugality. I took a nice little vacation to Bryce Canyon, Highway 12, and Capitol Reef in October, and I bought a lovely set of dishes, managed birthday gifts and dinners and several outings with friends, some new clothing for me, all within budget without drawing on savings. Oh, and threw a big Halloween party for the neighborhood. How could I complain?
I will be getting that remodeling done in the basement soon and that will require drawing on some of my savings - it's part of the plan. But then the major work in the house is all finished. I will still paint a room occasionally or update things here and there. But it will be my home for as long as I can manage it and I will enjoy all the updates now instead of doing them for new owners when the time comes I decide to sell.
And that's what I'll do. For starters . . .
P..S. I will not be one of those Red Hat Ladies who have taken something that is all about uniqueness and individuality and made it all about sameness.