It finally happened. I retired from Corporate America last Monday. A big sigh first — “Ahhh…” And of course, “WOO HOO!!!”
If you followed this blog for any stretch, you’d get the impression I would waffle in my cubicle until age 65. But here I am, a certifiable non-W2 human, ready to take on a bunch of new adventures at the ripe middle age of 50.
After spending 26* years in the workforce, there is an odd sensation about walking away from a steady paycheck. The last few weeks felt like being a senior in high school, excited for the future, but wistful about some of the good parts being left behind.
* Not including the year after a layoff I spent finishing my grad degree (a taste of retirement at 30!)
Honestly, the work just wasn’t fun anymore. Good leaders left the company, and the ones who remained went back to dated ways of command and control software delivery. Ick.
I was no longer leading a team after the forced resignation of my senior leader “blew up” our department. (Even if the work isn’t fun, guiding, supporting, and mentoring a team can be rewarding enough.)
So, I took a good reward cycle and tendered my three-month resignation back in March. I was told the door would stay open until my last official day, but I never looked back. We saved over half our income and lived small all these years for a reason!
First I’d like to thank my wife for supporting this decision. We talked about this day for a long time, and I think that’s key. I didn’t spring some novel half-cocked idea on her last month. This was a project nine years in the making.
I’ve got a few years on my lovely wife, and she enjoys her gig as a solo practitioner, so she’ll continue working until she’s ready to downshift. She doesn’t have to keep working to keep us afloat: she’s making a real impact in her patient’s lives and that is the kind of work we should all be fortunate to do.
I’m incredibly thankful for the writings of Mr. Money Mustache. His blog kept me hopeful during some dark days in 2014 when I was burned out from all the negative energy that permeates big insurance company software development.
I’m also thankful for the FIRE blogging community and the wealth of inspiration that showed me the path: Fritz at Retirement Manifesto, Carl at 1500 Days to Freedom, Gwen at Fiery Millenials, Angela at Tread Lightly Retire Early, and our good doctor Leif at Physician on Fire.
And of course, my good friend Uncle Daryl of Jump to Consulting. Poor Daryl put up with my hesitancy to retire like a champ – or more aptly, a true uncle!
To sum up week 1: Retirement doesn’t suck.
What’s Next for Cubert?
I’m quickly learning that there’s no retirement from pure work. You can retire from a job, but you shouldn’t retire from being useful.
Since our basement renovation wrapped up last week, I’ve got a huge list of projects around the house to keep me occupied. I also had two rental homes turnover leases in the same week and the list of maintenance items on these homes is lengthy.
Handyman stuff will occupy a good chunk of my time this summer, along with some travel to Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, and California.
Finally, I’m studying for my real estate agent’s licensing exam. Having this feather in my cap will open up more possibilities for the rental business, which I’ll write about soon.
Speaking of which, I know this blog has been running on fumes these past few years. Looking back, I blame the promotion I got at Corporate Fun Land back in late 2019. It wasn’t so much that the promo took away my blogging free time, but it took me out of the early retirement mindset.
Going forward, I have a lot more time and a lot less excuses. Time to get these rusty writing chops back in gear. Buckle up!
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