• Thanks,VBB

    Those were the days, the early nineties up to shortly before I retired. It wasn't unusual to stroll through the offices and see someone admiring their portfolio. As great as all that was, for those who rolled our 401ks into a IRA mutual funds took a big hit on September of 2008....." It giveth... it taketh away"..:-)

    Your situation sounds familiar...Our severance pay package including funds for continuing education and since I was only 57,I considered it but then I started talking myself out of it because of the years it would take...An old wise coworker asked me " In 4 years from now old will you be" and then walked away.. Short story,I didn't purse the opportunity but it wasn't until years later that I fully understood what he meant....Don't let time or age be a deterrent...Go for it.

    March 17, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.

  • Mike, enjoyed your blog. I was shocked at the matching dollar for dollar up to 6%....I recently looked into my companys 401k & they match .10 for every dollar up to 5%, but it's better than nothing & tax free. My husbands company is much more generous. He didn't start contributing to a 401k until recently, but 2 years ago he recieved a statement in the mail about his 401k & was very confused, he had 12k in his account, seems the company had a profit sharing program in effect that he wasn't aware of, they deposit the employees "share" into a 401k for them, it was a very pleasant surprise.

    I have been thinking again, seriously this time, about what I want to do when I grow up as I am going to repurpose myself in the next year. The fields I wish to pursue would require between 6-7 yrs of school. I used to think it would be a waste of time & money since I am creeping into my mid 40's, but now I realize I have another 30 yrs of work ahead of me, so I might as well spend the next 30 yrs doing something that I really care about. The pressure to make the right choice is back, so hopefully it won't take me another 30 yrs to finally make that decision. : )

    Enjoy your retirement Mike!

    March 17, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.

  • arlewill

    Nice to hear from you...You have been working on that project for a while; are you sure you are not milking it....:-) Hey you are retired....That's the key, stay busy and don’t worry about the tomorrow’s catching up with you.

    That's good advice and I will use it but we have to do something about “We will send a technician to your house between the hours of 8:00AM and 10:00AM"...

    Keep enjoying your retirement.

    March 17, 2012 at 9:37 a.m.

  • Mike
    first time i have not looked at your blog in a while and enjoyed your retirement story. not too different than mine, i retired at age 59 in March 1999. like you i had several friends at work that never had a chance to enjoy retirement.
    it was important for me to have a project to keep me busy and leave a legacy for others. i am fortunate to have both.
    i also have been frustrated with business calls that force you to leave a message and "wait" for them to return your call. most of the time you are the customer and it is quite rude to be treated this way. i learned if you can make your message important to them and leave your number, it takes you off the hook and puts the monkey on them to return your call.
    You have a talent for writing good stories, keep it up.

    March 16, 2012 at 10:22 p.m.

  • Wayward

    That's why emphasized the word" lucky" I remember reading about the corporate raiders,corporate mergers, and outsourcing,so that made it easier to pull the trigger. They had a couple sayings back then " what's the worst nightmare for corporate CEO? Seeing a crew from 60 Minutes outside their door ." ... "What's the worst nightmare for a corporate employee?...." To see the T-Boone Pickens hanging around in the lobby."

    It's funny that you should mention buying a hybrid. My friends would always tell me that I would never recoup the extra $5000 over what I would've paid for a standard vehicle. They didn't factor in what you mentioned,peace of mind..... A trip to Chicago and back, plus a lot of running around for about $200 in gasoline...If prices go up to $4.00 the most it will cost me is $48 and that gets me ~500 miles,so that's more than enough for an old retiree.

    You have a great plan and I hope it all works out the way you and your wife planned it.

    March 16, 2012 at 9:32 a.m.

  • Pardon me for asking Mike,but did you retire from DuPont in 2003? All of waht you wrote fits my scenario EXACTLY except I stayed an extra year and got to ne 58.
    Pat Barnes

    March 16, 2012 at 8:58 a.m.

  • Mike...I read your retirement comments with a tear in my eye. I had planned to retire from Gulf Oil -- remember them? -- at 55. I'd have had 90 points, one for each year of age and one for each year of service, and the house was gonna be paid for and my wife and I were gonna RETIRE. Then T-bone Pickens got in the picture and Gulf was sold. Funny, they called it a "merger" but close to 25,000 people lost really good jobs and a NICE retirement plan. But now, I have 12 and 1/2 months left before I finally get to retire, and pardner, I'm looking forward to it. My wife has been retired for a while now -- she was a cradle robber -- and she purely loves to point out how much she's enjoying NOT haveing to get up and go to work. I have my first day of retirement mapped out. I'm gonna set the clock as usual and when it sounds off, I'm going to whop it with a ballpeen hammer and turn off that sucker PERMANENTLY. When I finally get up, I'm going to burn all but one of my neck ties. I figure I'll need one for weddings or funerals.

    We will get rid of both cars and get one -- possibly a hybrid or something with good mileage -- and do a lot of traveling. To heck with the price of gasoline, we're hitting the road as long as health allows. We've been lotsa places we want to go back to and there are a bunch we haven't seen yet.

    When I kick off, I'm going to the Baylor College of Medicine as something of an instructor in the anatomy lab. When they finish with me there, they'll cremate me and my wife will scatter my ashes on a particular hilltop in Angelina County up near Lake Sam Rayburn. That's a hill that has special meaning for the two of us and is a beautiful part of the Davy Crockett National Forrest on the grounds of Boykin Springs.

    Yeah, I'm looking forward to retiring.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:31 p.m.

  • I don't feel I need to apologize for writing about politics nor can I control what some might view to be extremism. that amounts to a personal opinion..I don't purposely try to change the topic of a religious,Ron Paul or a current event blog to what I want to discuss...I either avoid it or try to post an opinion on the topic the author wrote about...I think throughout the years I've been very considerate of the people who write blogs and generally they gave the same consideration...It's not the greatest sin but I wanted to have a discussion about retirement and the like..At least for the first couple of days and after that it can be "hog law."...Is that too much to ask?

    This blog didn't take long to write but others have taken over three hours of researching,compiling, and making the finally corrections before posting and it's disheartening to find that a poster changed the topic and countless others followed suite.keeping others from responding to the original topic....I know I'm not a future Pulitzer prize winner or that my blog will have an effect on current events but that doesn't make it less discouraging. The threads are different matter and the VA controls that.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.

  • I think some folks probably consider your MO and attempt to read something into anything you write as containing extreme political messages.Subliminal or otherwise.

    I mean on occassion you have written a blog ot two around the political arena.

    March 15, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.

  • John

    I forgot to mention that we already have all the necessary tools to replace those who voters deem incompetent....It's called a ballot box and you can exercise that right every two years for your representative and six years for your senator.

    And if something happens in between.

    Although it's still questionable as to whether members of Congress are civil officers of the United States and can be impeached; one senator was impeached. They are ethics and standards violation committees to deal with members of Congress but it was never intended to overturn the will of the people.

    1...Why would any member Congress of Congress want to take a competence test?
    2. Why would Congress purposely pass a controversial competence test, based on age? Especially when did know they will reach that age.

    Back to the drawing board, John...:-)

    March 15, 2012 at 4:37 p.m.

  • John

    I was not offended but I continue to be amused of how these blogs take a detour to suit someone's agenda. I once wrote a blog about meeting a milestone, such receiving my Medicare card. A poster made it about Obama's Health Care bill that was still in draft stages. Then there was the time I wrote about "We don't do that anymore" reminiscing about the past and things we don't say anymore. A blogger posted "If your friends in Washington don't wake up and see that the US is a centrist government, the word Democrat will soon be one of those obsolete terms you mentioned, followed shortly by Republican. Maybe we need to turn to more descriptive terms like Liberal and Conservative parties."

    I'll accommodate you but the median age of Congress at the time of the financial crisis is irrelevant because age alone does not make one competent either on Wall Street where the culprits were or at the SEC who failed to see the crisis coming. If you want to lump that in with predator lenders, bad risk homeowners, and incompetent credit rating firms; you best get after it because anyone familiar with the financial collapse knows that it didn’t originate or end with the Federal government. Have you not noticed what a former employee of Goldman Sachs just said?

    I prefer to separate local issues from Federal ones because local issues only involve about 60,000 people; Federal issues involve the whole nation, the constitution, and sometimes state laws. In your case it might involve the SCOTUS where 6 of 9 judges are life time appointments and I seriously doubt they would agree with your idea. I don't think you have to denigrate a group of people to make a case for age discrimination because one is a voter referendum and the other protects the livelihood of individuals from being discriminated because of age, anywhere in this nation. The latter is much more serious ...IMO

    Note you see what happens when the gate is left open..See proceeding comment..A poster just signed on for the first time and has made comments in a 20 minute span ,just to troll...Could it be?

    March 15, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.

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    March 15, 2012 at 3:05 p.m.

  • That's a good point vet43,the key is staying busy because if you don't ,the mind is the first to go and the rest will follow.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:59 p.m.

  • Retirement is easy. I am on my 3rd one (part time). In fact the way things are going I may look for something part time inside the Pearly Gates, if I can get in.

    "Welcome to Heavenly Mega Mart"

    March 15, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.

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    March 15, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.

  • Tophat

    I remember being of that age where I sometimes thought my elders should get out of the way, until I became one of them and then I thought that young people were still too wet behind the ears and needed some guidance. Why? Because we were once in their shoes but they can’t say the same.

    I agree a politician running on an age discrimination platform would automatically lose a constituency that normally votes in high numbers.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.

  • jasonbourne

    Yes,the rising college costs,health care and today's defined contribution plans make retiring at age 57 a very difficult thing to do.


    March 15, 2012 at 10:48 a.m.

  • Pat

    Same here, the 1990s bubble and plus the 401k 6% matching funds by my company grew way past expectations.

    As I said, I was pretty lucky, I took a 5% hit for not waiting until I was 58 but the one year severance pay made up for that. Then I chose income leveling, which paid me the amount I would have received if I was collecting Social Security, until I became of age to receive Social Security. I also had to take a 15% cut for receiving Social Security at age 62....According to calculations I 've seen it would take 12 years to feel the effect of waiting to age 65 where I would have received maximum Social Security benefits.

    I think we were lucky because I don't think very many employees receive pensions anymore and a lot of companies have stopped matching dollar for dollar up to 6% in their company 401k plan.

    Yes, at the time it was a monkey see- monkey do, type of dream. A Winnebago and gasoline price makes that a dream for really rich people... You're right; I never even gave consideration to actually driving a monstrosity like that. Add the nervousness of your assistant navigator to that scenario and that dream becomes a nightmare...:-)


    Thanks for the kind words.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.

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    March 15, 2012 at 10:28 a.m.

  • Great blog Mike.

    My kids are currently helping me postpone my retirement by attending colleges that cost a smidgen more than they did 10 years ago. LOL!

    57 is currently out of the question for me but I will congratulate you on your retirement and anniversary.

    Who of us knows what tomorrow has in store?

    March 15, 2012 at 10:26 a.m.

  • John

    Evidently you were referring to the last paragraph of this blog and then you came up with your idea of a national mandated age for serving...

    Think metaphorically

    I was referring to 30 people initially and much less as the years go by.

    Allow me to translate my sentences.

    Driving in the right hand lane would be respectful of my fellow drivers and driving 5 miles under the speed limit or the appropriate speed meant I was not driving 15 miles above, meaning I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere.... Only the writer of the blog knows what they are trying to covey.

    Clogging up the lanes meant that my undivided attention was given to the people I have not seen in a long time. For me, the scene I was describing has only happened about four times in the last nine years.

    I don't know where I said that old people take too long to make decisions but I personally like well thought out decisions rather than operating on a whelm.

    I never meant to describe myself as a typical retiree but it seems that you want to take away the right of the people to vote for a candidate of their choice, based on what you interpreted from my blog....Age discrimination, like any other type of discrimination, is a serious issue.

    .Not ever one 65 years or older is drooling or ready to be put to pasture, Mitt Romney is 65 and he looks better than many 45 year men I have seen..Just saying.

    You have a nice day.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:10 a.m.

  • I,too retired from one of the local chemical plants at 58. That was in 2003. I've never regretted it. My pension plus our ombined Social Security checks allow us to live pretty much ike we did pre-retirement. My investment account earns enough yearly to give us a cushion for emergencies and travel.
    I'm SOOOOO glad you didn't buy the big RV and go out on the highways and scare me!LOL I never could understand guys who never drove anything larger than a sedan assuming that magically they will be able to handle one of those things at retirement.
    Patrick Barnes

    March 15, 2012 at 7:48 a.m.

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    March 15, 2012 at 12:03 a.m.