Monday, June 11, 2012

Lessons Learned as Retirement Approaches

Six weeks of getting better from some ailments related to getting “older” have taken a toll on both Jeannie and me.  After her struggle with pneumonia I decided to get vertigo due to a sinus infection, serves me right for going non-stop during the weeks while Jeannie was sick and while my work was winding up for the school year. 

Getting ready to retire and move has been more time consuming than we had anticipated. Staging the house for viewings, garage sales, prepping the motorhome for our trip down the Alaska Highway, cleaning, painting, yard work with grass growing more prolifically than ever before (yah, what’s up with that), and not having enough sunny days. All this has filled our time and slowed us down. 

If I had known how tiring re-tiring (pun intended, with a smile) was going to be I may have just kept on working my career as and educational administrator. 

One reason we bought our new home in the Boise area was so we wouldn’t wimp out of retiring and stay with our comfortable life in Alaska.  Once the new Ideaho home was a done deal we had no choice but to go forward.   For which I am grateful even though we are worn out.  I have crunched the numbers many times to make sure we can survive this change whether we live for 10, 20, or more years. 

Our family is getting ready to celebrate this big change by doing a Lake Powell house boat adventure in mid-August.  Everyone but our son-in-law Miguel (currently in training as a recon-Marine) will be there.  He will be missed but we will enjoy our children and grandchildren as we transition to our new life.  After stopping in Salt Lake City to spend time with my 87 year old mom, we will be back in the Boise area setting up our new home and preparing an organic garden for the next growing season. 

Some conclusion from recent experience:

1) Take extra good care of yourself while you prepare to retire, don’t overdo it or you may wear down and slow the process. 

2) Garage/Moving Sales are exhausting, get help and post loads of signs to bring in the buyers.

3) Don’t be too anxious to sell your best stuff to lowball negotiators who just turn around and sell on craigslist.

4) Just use Saturdays from 9AM-1PM for your sale.  The traffic dies down after that and you get too tired to stay out in the sun. 

5) Don’t accept first offers, they expect to have a counter offer from you before a price is settled on. 

6) Always know the original price and have a quick story about how valuable and useful the item is…such as “wow, you know that tiller was originally $700 and still works as well as the day I bought it. It’s a rear-tine tiller and churns up the ground with ease.  I could give it to you for (counter offer).”  

7) Rest as much as possible.  Keep exercising and eat well.  Manage the stress with your best routines; yoga, meditation, hot tubs, steam room, fishing, reading a good book, or whatever.  Pamper yourself…you deserve it.

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