Thirty-five years of saving, 20 years of saving the few raises we did get, then at age 47, for the next 10 years, aggressively positioning my retirement portfolio, and the last five years of figuring out how to and learning to live on 32%-46% of my salary, had finally paid off.
I had arrived, financially, anyway. I could retire and have more income during retirement than I have while still working. Sweet! The best payoff of all? It is the end to a lifetime of worrying with the fear of being a financial burden on my loved ones. You can’t put a price tag on that piece of mind!
I reached my retirement pension payout amount goal last year. It crept up on me! I was simply on auto-savings pilot and didn’t realize that I could skip out happy and begin my new journey—whatever that would be.
But a new reality terrified me…I wasn’t ready to skip out. I loved my job and there were several projects that I was looking forward to tackling and integrating them into our program. Exciting stuff! Now that there will be no more program after June 30, I could go ahead and retire…right? The money is there.
My heart is not in it to retire … yet. I’m not emotionally or mentally ready to let go of my affiliation with this organization. There are so many opportunities, so many challenges to consider and explore beyond the program I’ve enjoyed being a part of for the last 20 years. 
I don’t know how much longer I will be a part of this organization. If my job search is not successful, then perhaps I will decide to retire. I do hope I can find an opportunity that values my experience, willingness to learn, and one that will challenge my need to contribute to being part of the solution in improving the human experience.
If I’m fortunate enough to have such an opportunity, then eventually I will be ready to go out (retire) … my way.
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