Freedom Countdown: T Minus Six Months!


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, 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: 


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.

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  1. LOL, I’m completely doing the mind games on myself as well. It seems I’m still a couple years away from ER though, so it’s a bit tougher (especially when until December I firmly believed I would be gone by the end of 2016!), but I’m totally doing that kind of stuff.
    Realized it’s April now, and in December I was already worried 2016 would be a long year. Hey, already a quarter has gone, that’s pretty good 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Yes, this year is flying by Stockbeard. The absolute BEST thing at work now is that a lot of planning is underway for 2017. So I get pulled into conversations and emails about topics I won’t be around for. That puts a smile on my face.

      I read your post about how your FI target is a moving one. No doubt that’s got to be very tricky.

  2. Miss Jaime

    Wooohoo! I’m way excited for you both! ^_^ I know it’s hard Mrs. Groovy but it’s going to fly by, I promise! You never know how your bosses will react that is true. Think you two have to be prepared for any situation.

    I used to work at a call center before going to college, and I never had much of anything at my cubicle except water, my purse, and a notebook/pen. Everything else was provided for us on our computers (software, etc.).

    My bf a software developer never had much at his desk either. We learned to keep ours spartan. All we should expect from jobs these days are paychecks. That’s it.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Your choice of keeping it spartan is smart, Jaime. Years back, before 9-11, my brother worked in finance on a trading floor. The environment was like what you see in the movies. The few times I called him I didn’t even recognize his voice, which was more like the bark of a dog. Several times a year a trader was fired, at which time his computer was locked down immediately and two armed security guards would escort the guy out of the building. No one kept anything at their desks since this was such a common occurrence. (Something else that commonly occurred were heart attacks on the trading floor).

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Gary. I’m trying to keep a low profile at work. And I may end up faking my way through some tasks to avoid a trip to the office. Initially my deal working from home was to travel to NY once a month. I’ve got it down to about once every other year!

  3. Perhaps you’ve mentioned it and I just missed it, but if you had to identify the greatest fear of walking away from the 9 to 5 and diving into retirement, what would it be? On the flip side of that same coin, what is the one thing you are absolutely confident about and is near a ‘lock’ as possible in your mind?

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Interesting questions, James. My biggest fear at the moment is dental work. It seems to never end and I don’t have small issues. But I’ve been following Frugal Vagabond’s dental tourism adventures to Thailand and I’ve mentally tucked that away as a backup plan. It would be difficult to spend a month in another country doing multiple dental visits while still employed. When the job disappears, it would become an option. And I will point out that Mr. Groovy says my fear is baseless because no matter the cost, we have it covered. It’s more of an emotional issue for me, I think…The nearest “lock” is I’m certain Mr. G and I can retire at the same time and keep harmony in our household. Some couples might fear getting on each other’s nerves but we’ve both been working from home under the same roof for over three years now. We spend 95% of our time in the same space. If we haven’t killed each other by now, it ain’t gonna happen! Thank you for making me think. It’s rare that I do that before my second cup of coffee!

      • If you live near a major university or medical hospital with a dental school you can also receive dental work at a huge discount! A lot of times it is even done by post graduates looking to get practice, not even students. There are also lots of Groupon’s for cheap cleaning/x-rays. I know my girlfriend has taken advantage of this while at school, though only for a filling and cleanings. And then obviously the biggest saver is prevention with extra flossing and brushing.

        • Mrs. Groovy

          Thanks for the input Debt Hater. I believe we’ll find a decent dental school when we relocate. As you mentioned though, one might see a post grad for routine procedures. My problems are larger most of the time i.e. root canals, crowns – I’m in the middle of a dental implant now. I definitely take prevention seriously but I believe my issues are partly because fluoride treatments were not commonly given to children when I was growing up.

  4. I just talked to my aunt, who is retiring from her job in June (it’s for a community college, so she has a contract until then) and is finding it highly amusing to hand off various tasks to people. I feel for you that you don’t have the same freedom to do so with retirement so close.

    Hope we get the chance to meet up too when you move Triangleward!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Your aunt’s situation sounds ideal, Emily…I keep forgetting you’re in the Triangle area. We’d love to meet up with you and Jon when we move! There are quite a few other bloggers in the area, too, aren’t there?