Only six months to go! In early October we’ll leave the 9 to 5 world behind us. At eight months out I did a post describing how reality is starting to set in. I also made a timeline of things we needed to get done in preparation. I won’t recount what’s on that list; you can read it here if you like. But I will hold myself accountable for what we should have accomplished by now, and what additional steps we still need to take to transition smoothly into retirement.
We were scheduled to begin our land search for building a home at seven months out. BIG demerit! We’ve browsed around at realtor.com, but that’s about it. Time to get serious! My sister-in-law used a realtor I think would be a good match for us. She (not my sister-in-law) happens to live in the small town of Zebulon, which we find very appealing. I’ll get her phone number and give her a call next week.
Also in my previous post, I mentioned we’d like to consult with a fee-based financial advisor when we’re three months out just to make sure we have all our ducks in a row. We think our game plan is sound, but it wouldn’t hurt to go over it with a pro. Dirk Cotton over at The Retirement Cafe was kind enough to DM Mr. Groovy on Twitter with a recommendation for two advisors. (Thanks Dirk! Perhaps we’ll meet up when we move to your neck of the woods.)
I cannot believe I left out something in my previous post that is of the utmost importance! And that is:
FILE for MR GROOVY’S PENSION!
Three months prior to Mr. Groovy’s 55th birthday, or anytime thereafter, he can file the paperwork to claim his pension. He already received the official notification letter in the mail and I was relieved to learn that he calculated his payout almost exactly to the dollar.
OK, so there’s something I need to confess. I’m a big baby. We only have six months of work left and I know the time will come and go in a snap. Still, my job is a pain. My responsibilities are changing and growing. I’m trying to go with the flow and learn the new (useless) processes I need for my expanded role, but— I DON’T WANNA!!! However, I better play along if I don’t want to blow my cover or quit too early. I’m just gonna have to suck it up. I really thought I was going to coast until the end, but no such luck!
So to keep from quitting I play mind games with myself. I set up little markers along the freedom highway, to convince myself the big day is almost here. For instance—next month is my birthday. And by then we’ll be down to five months out. Then there’s a wedding we’re looking forward to attending at the end of July. I can envision Mr. Groovy and me at the party, chatting, laughing, listening to music, having a drink—and feeling very relaxed because our last work day will be just over two months away. Now I just need to come up with a few events for June and September. Wait! Labor Day—there we go! That’s one for September! At that point we’ll be only one month away from pulling the plug. I’ll have to work on June.
We’re still a bit up-in-the-air on how much notice to give our employers. Mr. Groovy may talk to his managers two months prior to give them time for training a replacement. There’s no question the two women he reports to have been good to him. But as nice as they are, I’ve reminded him that if upper brass finds out, he could be asked to leave any time, and much earlier than he planned.
With my job I’m leaning towards the standard two weeks. I’m feeling a little guilty about taking on more responsibility when I know I’m leaving. But it could be worse for my boss. Two members of our department recently left and if I were to resign now, she’d have three positions to fill. And one of the gals gave three weeks notice, and she still hasn’t been replaced a month after she left. Am I rationalizing? Maybe. But I’m acting decently and performing my duties to the best of my abilities. I think that’s all a manager can expect. Maybe “back in the day” employees demonstrated more job loyalty. But it cuts both ways. It’s not warranted now. Not when we witness good, decent people on the job being told, “We don’t need your services. Let me walk you to the elevator. We’ll send you your belongings later in the week”.
Stay tuned for another update at T minus 4 months. I hope to have some good news to report on the land front! We’re still considering where to open accounts for our rollover IRAs so if you have any strong opinions, I’d love to hear them.