Thursday, April 03, 2008

One Year Ago

One year ago today, at 4:30 PM, I left my desk at Social Security Administration (SSA) for the last time. I was filled with the same questions (and fears) most new retirees have: is this the right decision? There's no turning back! Do I have enough money and savings? Will I be bored, spending my time watching soap operas, Oprah, and waiting anxiously each week to find out who got voted off the [insert island, talent show, or weight-loss camp] show?

Today I know the answers to all those questions (except who got voted off, of course -- the networks guard that pretty closely!) Was retirement the right decision? Absolutely. Retirement is wonderful, stressless, and fun. I have talked to a lot of retirees over this year, and not one has said they wish they hadn't retired.

Do I have enough money? Everyone who is considering going full time in an RV always questions what it will cost, and the typical response is "it depends," which is accurate but not very helpful. Recently, I heard a better answer -- "it costs whatever you have." What this means is that you can spend a little, or spend a lot -- you can make this lifestyle work regardless of your finances. So, yes, the money is enough.

Am I bored without the stimulus of work? Not in the least. Actually, my days are so full that I can't figure out how I had time to devote 40 hours a week to work!

At SSA, we worked hard but we also had fun. The photo below was taken during a charity fund-raiser 5 months before I retired. The two other people in the photo, Mark Blatchford and Rhoda Fassett, were executives in my component. I was the photographer, and we let staff members pose for a photo with Mark and Rhoda for a donation (we did this on Halloween, if you haven't guessed).

Do I miss working at SSA? No, although I do miss the fantastic people I worked with. You know who you are. New friends cannot replace old friends, but I have been able to swap that "work-fun" for real-fun. The only problem -- I haven't yet found an appropriate place to wear my pig-in-a-tutu costume! Maybe next Halloween...

Click for Larger Image of ZoAnn in SSA

1 comment:


Happy anniversary!