Closing Life Chapters

I have not been writing much on this blog because I have been busy helping and supporting my spouse as he has been closing his mother’s estate. From last Wednesday through Saturday, we were in …

…Spouse’s former home town at the house where he grew up and in which his mother lived until her death.

We arranged, moved, or otherwise managed disposition of the entire contents of the house. That was a lot of work!

But by Saturday morning, just a few items remained that a family friend will be picking up during the coming week. Then the house will be empty.

Spouse has arranged to donate the house to a non-profit charitable institution of higher education. This non-profit will assume ownership of the house, fix a few things, then sell it. They will apply proceeds of the sale to provide scholarships for students.

With that real estate transfer behind us shortly, then we have just a few remaining steps to close the entire estate, and be done with it. That chapter of my husband’s life (and mine to the extent that I supported) will be completed.

Then I have other news.

I have decided to retire. For a variety of reasons, some out of my control and some within, it’s time that I turn a new page of the chapter of my “post-full-time” work life.

I have been meeting with a financial adviser and others, most importantly The Spouse, to make this very difficult and bittersweet decision.

One doesn’t always know when the “right time” is to make a big move like this. But as I said, some things impacting this decision were out of my control. In my work life when I have made major decisions to change jobs, it always was one person in management who controls decision-making and whose decisions I disagreed with that “inspired” resulting actions of my own (leave and do something else.) Same is true now.

It’s time that I take control of my own destiny and do what I have been preparing for “sometime.” Very soon, “sometime” will be today.

I have been assured that I can move on with my life without a full-time job. I have been saving like mad and have invested resources for future self-support.

Even back in the mid-80s, we thought that Social Security as we knew it would not be available. Back then I began buying small houses, renovating them, and renting them to community heroes (county employees who needed to live in the county where they work but can not afford it on low starting salaries.)

So in addition to saving money, I also have investments in real estate. Over the next years, I can sell a house for income as Spouse and I need it.

Also, in June 2013, “never became now“, and my newly-minted Spouse to whom I was married in April of that year was able to cover me completely with his post-retirement health care benefits. So I have health insurance for life, independent of Medicare benefits for which I am not old enough (yet) to receive. That is another major reason why I can retire now — I do not need to work to have health insurance benefits.

So I am ready to turn a page of my Life’s book and “do something else.” Time will tell what that “else” will be, but I assure you, it won’t be slaving away 50 hours a week in an office at a desk job. I can teach, mentor, travel, downsize the boot collection, downsize the house, and together, we can make some bold decisions on where to live in our golden years.

My “new job” will be getting us to that point. Stay tuned.

Life is short: embrace change, rather than resist.