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Final Countdown

Michael Perry

AS I TYPE THIS, I’m less than a week from walking out the door of my workplace for the last time, bringing my second career to a close. I’m looking forward to the rest of my life.

We’ve been anticipating this day and we’re more than ready. My wife is already retired. My work for a large corporation is fine, but I’m not passionate about it. While there are some positive aspects to where we currently live, the best part is the airport. We predicted some time ago that, if my job still had us here when we got to this point, we’d be calling it quits and taking our life’s possessions elsewhere.

We’ve thought a lot about how we’ll support ourselves financially—what combination of pension benefit, retirement accounts, taxable accounts and Social Security benefits will carry us through the rest of our lives. Maybe that’s a topic for a future article. Short version: We’re comfortable with our situation and we have no hesitation about our decision to retire.

We’ve also thought a lot about where and how to live, which is also a subject for another day. Short version again: We haven’t decided. We aren’t in as much of a hurry to move as we expected to be. One reason: We didn’t anticipate some of our close relatives would be living in Spain. There’s no telling how long they’ll be there, so—before we do anything else—we’ll spend some time with them. And who knows? In the next few years, we may make a surprise addition to our future hometown shortlist.

A lot of folks find it bittersweet to leave behind fulltime work. I get it. Leaving my first career in the military was like that. But this time, I’m happy to say it’s all sweet.

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