3 comments

  1. marlenebertrand · March 29, 2013

    Hi Arlene,

    Retiring at the age of 44 certainly is early retirement. I retired early due to corporate “right-sizing” at the age of 54. By the time I reached that age, I was just too old to reinvent myself. I was fortunate that I planned for retirement by starting a retirement plan early in life. I thought I would be one of those persons who would have millions to retire on. Retiring early meant settling for less. But, that’s alright. I’ve simplified my life and I’m living a full life on the little that I have.

    I am glad to have discovered your blog. It is going to be helpful to me and others as we read your journey through retired life. Thank you. I look forward to every issue.

  2. Arlene Poma · March 29, 2013

    Marlene, I always love hearing from you! You were so smart to start a retirement plan. I didn’t even do that. Well, I did do it, but it didn’t mean much because I only started at 32. So you figure by the time I retired at 44, there was no way I gave the retirement fund a chance to grow. Sheesh! I do have a pension because of 23 years of work. Say, if I had planned my retirement better, I would have more funds to fall back on.

    Shoulda, woulda, coulda!

    There was something that I hadn’t planned on, and that was a divorce. A divorce can kill your finances to the point where you will never recover. If I ended up paying alimony to my former spouse, a huge chunk of my retirement would have been signed over to him. Believe me. My divorce attorney was more than happy to set up the paperwork. He explained to me that it happens all the time. I refused. Luckily, I didn’t have to pay alimony after all.

    Surprisingly enough, in retirement, I am content with my life. It wasn’t always that way because I didn’t want to retire in the first place. Retirement has given me a chance to reflect and be grateful for my life. I share my life with my second (and last!) husband. Our house is so small that we don’t need to downsize. We are a team. We travel well. We like the same things.

    I have been retired for over a decade, and it is amazing to wake up in the morning, and realize that the day is mine. The thought of money (or the lack of it?) doesn’t keep me up at night. Just how much money is enough, anyway? My bills are paid on time, the debts are coming down and I still make it a habit to save. If I want something that is way over budget, I save for it.

    I don’t chase the money. I know a lot of people who focus on money and possessions. But I do continue to chase interesting activities. I’ve been doing that all of my life, and I’m not going to change!

    I am working at simplifying my life. I no longer want to be known as a consumer. I have hit “rock bottom,” and I no longer want to be surrounded by meaningless stuff.

    • marlenebertrand · March 29, 2013

      It’s the way to go, Arlene. I wish I had the same attitude when I was younger as the attitude that I (and you) have right now. Living a more simple life, having the bills paid, saving for what we want instead of charging for it and then worrying about how we would pay for it later is no longer a part of my lifestyle. If I can’t afford something, I just don’t buy it. And, if I want it bad enough, I just save for it. Life is lovely when you do it right and I think we have discovered that. I go to bed every night with the thought that this episode (this day) is done. I can’t do it over. It’s done. I go to sleep not worrying about tomorrow. Each morning is a new day and it’s my day to have, to hold, and to make decisions about it. The simple life is a good life. Happy retirement!

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