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Old 02-18-09, 09:35 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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I'm 25% Retired, which means 62% more time for riding

I just signed the papers to reduce my work assignment to 75%, effective March 1. Had originally planned to work 100% until I turned 60, but I didn't even make it to 55. My pension is going to take a beating, but I got to the point where every 5-day work week was a grind, for month after month. Taking the 25% pay cut isn't the easiest thing to do, but we think we can get by. If it turns out that we can't, there's a very good chance I can bump it back to 90% or 100%.

I will be working 15 days out of every 20 normal work days. So that's 25% fewer days at work.

And where I would normally have 8 days off out of every 4 weeks, I will now have 13 days off. So that's 62.5% more days for riding (or hiking or whatever).

So I'm waiting anxiously for March. Days getting longer & warmer, and now much more time off. Not so much nicer & warmer that I'll get much chance to get out for a few more weeks, but hopefully there will be the occasional decent (40 & dry) day to ride.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:40 PM   #2
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I just got laid off last month so my pension really is taking a beating also, doesn't seem to be any jobs out there either. I'm also looking forward to warmer weather to start riding again. Only good news is I finished both the builds I was doing and have the one tour I signed up for paid, with some money in savings yet for maybe another.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:05 PM   #3
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I'm self-employed. Business is down so low that I'd lay myself off but the boss has a soft spot for me.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:27 PM   #4
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I left out one part of my master plan. Our state system allows one to accrue "sabbatical" leave. After you have 10 years in, you can "bank" 5 days of vacation every year, to be used at some future date, never expiring. I presently have 42 days of "banked" vacation.

So I'm going to start using it by blending vacation into my work schedule. As I explained above, I will be paid for 15 days out of every 20 work days. I will be using these in a 4-4-4-3 rotation. Three weeks out of four will have a 3-day weekend, the fourth is a 4-day weekend.

But wait ... We also get 9 paid holidays. So if I schedule my 3 day work weeks into weeks with holidays, which I can do for 7 of the 9 holidays, then that's only 2 work days on those 7 weeks. So if I wanted to take a week off every month of the year, I could do so by using 2 vacation days for each of those 7 weeks and 3 vacation days for 5 more weeks. I would need to use 29 per year.

I have 42 in the bank, and will get 19 more per year at a 75% assignment. So if you do the math, I need to use 10 "banked" vacation days a year to supplement the 19 that I get. No problem when I have 42.

Thus I can go to a schedule where I will work 4 days, take a 3 day weekend, work 4 days, take a 3 day weekend, work 4 days, and then take a 10-day vacation. And then repeat that every month for the next 3 years (anticipated retirement date is early 2012).

It sounds glorious. I'm already hard at work, planning what I might do with all of those 10-day breaks. Of course, I'm more limited on travel funds, due to the 25% pay cut. Sure wouldn't mind having a small rustic cabin in some scenic location near a bike trail - but that is unlikely. A tent might be doable.
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Old 02-19-09, 04:53 AM   #5
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Had originally planned to work 100% until I turned 60, but I didn't even make it to 55.
I always thought of you as a role model. Now you're my hero. Congratulations!
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Old 02-19-09, 05:05 AM   #6
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Hmmmm.........2012? Isn't something bad supposed to happen then?
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Old 02-19-09, 07:44 AM   #7
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Congratulations Tom

I retired almost two years ago at age 57. One day my wife looked at me and said, why don't you retire? I had not thought of that at all and did not consider it an option. But we looked into it further.

We never got into that cycle of credit cards and living on borrowed money. I quit smoking. I now take care of many household tasks we had hired out and I cook more meals at home then we ever did before.

I then returned to cycling and run most family errands on a bike, year round. And I brew my own beer.

Life is good. You have just enhanced yours.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:07 AM   #8
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HATE YOU!!!

No just kidding. I'M JEALOUS!!! (not kidding)

I dream for the days when I am retired and can ride daily. Sadly that won't be until I am 80 or so...

Go enjoy, tell us all about, I won't mind.... no not a bit... really...

actually congratulations... how cool and I'm sure you deserve it!
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Old 02-19-09, 08:14 AM   #9
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Which 25% of you is retired?

Hey folks, here is another option. Pedal (and peddle) while you work!

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Old 02-19-09, 08:26 AM   #10
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LOL, Sign me UP! Now that's a job I'd like to have, guess they don't have such cool set up's down here in "hicksville", (ie: Colorado Springs), although with the way my wife LOVESice cream, she'd probably quit her job and edge me out
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Old 02-19-09, 08:59 AM   #11
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I'm 52 and have worked half-time since my mid-40s. It's a good, union-scale government job. I couldn't do it at minimum wage.

I'm so much happier without the 40-hour 8-5 grind.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:12 AM   #12
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Congratulations Tom. I thought I did good by getting another week of vacation this year. I have four weeks of real vacation, plus two use or lose personal days, plus ten paid holidays, for a total of thirty two days I get paid not to work. I'm jealous of your situation, but not going to complain about mine either. Enjoy all of that extra riding time in good health.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:22 AM   #13
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Even retiring at 62, I took a 23% reduction in benefits, but I'm glad I did. I wish I could have went sooner. The one thing I'm a little concerned about now is, will I take another cut the way the economy is going.
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Old 02-19-09, 11:32 AM   #14
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Congrats Tom! I "retired" at 55 although I still work 2 days weekly. Oddly enough, I think that I would prefer 3 days weekly. I work tues. and wed. and find that having 5 days off between work "weeks" makes it hard to keep a flow established. For a while I also worked fri. and found that that was actually pretty nice. It helped keep me in sync at work without making me dislike it. Anyone else have that problem?
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Old 02-19-09, 11:54 AM   #15
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I'm very hopeful that somewhere along the line, my enthusiasm for work is rejuvenated. I have a very good job, a good boss, I have a very independent assignment, and the work is interesting. Or at least it should be and 5 years ago it would have been. I even have a 3-year contract, during which it would be very difficult to terminate me, unless I commit some grievous act or the state budget collapses. Given that I worked on several complex personnel issues over the years, I know the personnel rules very well.

But I got ground up in a number of high-stress upper management situations (reference the personnel issues above), combined with stressful personal situations going on simultaneously, both extending over a multi-year period, and haven't recovered from it yet. Sure wish I do sometime soon. I am starting to see some signs of recovery and am hopeful that the reduced work schedule will help.

If not, then I may continue to ease off on my assignment, slide it down to 70% (which is a nice 4-3-4-3 pattern), or 60%. Technically I am eligible to retire in 10 months, but financially that would be very difficult. I need to get in at least 18-20 months, with 30-36 being much better.

I too have conservatively managed my finances. I'm within 4 years of paying off my mortgage, on a 5% loan. That is my only debt, which really isn't a debt as I have over $200,000 in equity in the home over and above the outstanding loan payoff. This certainly is a comfort at this point in time, given both my job situation and the state of our economy.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:13 PM   #16
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I dream for the days when I am retired and can ride daily.
Like your new moniker.

I doubt I will ever be a daily rider, but at this point in time, I must say that there are few other activities that even come close to being as relaxing and peaceful as a nice ride. A nice walk / hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon or in the Rockies or in a redwood forest is in the same league.

I once spent a week at a cabin in Allenspark, CO. This is about 12 miles or so south of Estes Park, along the scenic ridge. Altitude was around 8500'. This was in late September and the height of the fall colors. The mountains were a beautiful blend of greens (from the spruces and firs) and golden aspen. The cabin had an outdoor hot tub. There was a wonderful cafe just up the road and the southern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park was about 3 miles away. Being that it was fall, the elk were in migration and herds of them were milling about - sometimes blocking the highway for half an hour.

The net effect was a level of relaxation that was intoxicating, almost surreal. I really should do that again. Life should have more moments like this.
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Old 02-19-09, 02:01 PM   #17
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it would be very difficult to terminate me, unless I commit some grievous act .
Shhhh, don't tell them you ride a recumbent.
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Old 02-19-09, 02:08 PM   #18
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...
So I'm waiting anxiously for March. Days getting longer & warmer, and now much more time off. Not so much nicer & warmer that I'll get much chance to get out for a few more weeks, but hopefully there will be the occasional decent (40 & dry) day to ride.
I think you mean eagerly. At least that's what I'd be doing.
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Old 02-19-09, 02:47 PM   #19
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I think you mean eagerly. At least that's what I'd be doing.
That's a better word choice, but I think it is a combination of the two, along with a touch of "desperately."
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Old 02-19-09, 03:52 PM   #20
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That's a better word choice, but I think it is a combination of the two, along with a touch of "desperately."
If it turns out to work for you, then you are indeed a lucky man. I'm preparing to have several conversations with my wife in the near future about us living a more simple lifestyle so we can do the things we really want to do.
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Old 02-19-09, 04:16 PM   #21
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That's how I got started in this retirement business, by working less and less. Although on my plan, the company didn't know I was on my plan.

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Old 02-19-09, 04:24 PM   #22
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If it turns out to work for you, then you are indeed a lucky man. I'm preparing to have several conversations with my wife in the near future about us living a more simple lifestyle so we can do the things we really want to do.
If I didn't have a 16 yr old, still a junior in HS, and not beginning college until 18 months from now, I would be taking a different tack.
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Old 02-19-09, 06:11 PM   #23
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retired Jan 1. First two rides of the year last weekend, just too icy and cold. Looking forward to the warmer weather as well. shouldn't be too long now. Enjoy the free time. Money isn't everything as you well know Tom.
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Old 02-19-09, 06:37 PM   #24
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That's how I got started in this retirement business, by working less and less. Although on my plan, the company didn't know I was on my plan.
If Tom B. is my hero, you are my soulmate. Just don't tell my boss. Or my wife.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:06 PM   #25
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Which 25% of you is retired?

Hey folks, here is another option. Pedal (and peddle) while you work!

That would be my brain! Unfortunately I still have to go to work forty hours a week.
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