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Old 06-29-12, 08:54 PM   #1
just keep riding
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I'm retired!

I've hung it up after 29 years at a manufacturing plant making composite parts for military and commercial aircraft. I worked as a fiberglass mechanic for five years, then 13 years as a budget planner, five years as a project coordinator and finally seven years as a scheduler. I'm amazed that I made it this long as an ex hippy in a very conservative atmosphere. I had some very good years, but the company has been slowly and steadily degrading into something resembling a sweatshop (that's a gross exaggeration) as I think many others are doing as well, squeezing more and more out of fewer and fewer people with declining benefits and policies. Since my illness in 2007, I have never fully recovered to my prior level of performance. Some of it I attribute to diminished capacity (chemo brain), and some to a change in perspective to a point where I can't generate much enthusiasm for things I don't really care about. If I didn't leave soon, it would have become increasingly clear that I was not up to the task. Better to leave under my own terms.

Fortunately, my understanding younger wife plans to work for several more years and can cover me under her medical insurance. Another stroke of luck was that the company offered a retirement incentive package that sends me out with a nice chunk of change to go along with my pension and my savings.

After a few weeks of catching up on work around the house and yard, I plan to start working part time at the local bike shop. I'll enjoy working on and talking about bikes all day and I'll benefit from discounts on bikes, parts and gear as much as from the small amount of pay I'll get.

I had planned to ride 29 miles today to commemorate my 29 years with the company, but triple digit temperatures made that less appealing, so I made a 2.9 mile round trip to the neighborhood store to pick up a small bag of dog food to keep the mutts fed until I make a grocery run.
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Old 06-29-12, 09:04 PM   #2
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Congratulations! 29 years with one company is almost unheard of these days, glad you were able to get out on your own terms. Enjoy yourself, you earned it.
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Old 06-29-12, 09:09 PM   #3
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Congratulations, BD! I am happy for you in that you ended up with a nice retirement package. It sounds like you have a good plan in working for the bike store. From what I know of you here, you will really enjoy that work and be a true asset to the store and your cycling community.

Good luck and much happiness in your retirement!
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Old 06-29-12, 09:21 PM   #4
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Congrats on the retirement and going out on your own terms. Enjoy!
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Old 06-29-12, 09:22 PM   #5
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Good luck in your retirement! It is too bad that the atmosphere at the plant didn't allow work to be as satisfying as it once was for you. I also hope that you will not need the health insurance still in place from your wife's employment.
Enjoy your bicycles and the bicycle shop!
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Old 06-29-12, 09:24 PM   #6
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Congrats!!! and I have to admit, some envy on my part. Good for you!
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Old 06-29-12, 09:24 PM   #7
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Congratulations. I was afraid I was reading a post of another person that retired with no plans to stay productive in some manner. I call that voluntary death.

Having been at the corporate officer level in public companies since 32 years old and finally as a NYSE listed international company CEO, I can bluntly say that corporate America is in a pitiful nose dive to the lower levels of the pig pen driven by greed, corruption, and government interference, and narcissism. Contributing to that is a rapidly diminishing work ethic and the entitlement mentality. I never thought work was a bad word. One just has to be more choosy where one works today it seems, or was it always that way... Sigh.....

Anyway, enjoy yourself and find ways to help other people be happy. What a novel concept that pays back so tremendously. Now that is a true win / win.

Another one is that I'm going to go on a long bicycle ride tomorrow even if it is supposed to be 106 degrees. There are ways to deal with it and still enjoy it.....just don't pay attention to all the drama and start early. I'm in such a contemplative mood....
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Old 06-29-12, 09:33 PM   #8
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Congratulations BluesDawg! I think you made a wise decision going for the 2.9 instead of the 29er. Its been hotter than the downside of a pancake here in Texas, over 100 degrees for the past few days. I'm sure ya'll are experiencing the same in Georgia. I thought; by reading your posts; you were already a licensed bicycle mechanic... Anyway, working at the bike shop should be a perfect fit for you!
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Old 06-29-12, 11:06 PM   #9
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Huge congratulations to you and your wife. I'm at 28+ years with Big Paperclip ( not the real name of course) and am 6 years from retiring. Thankful? Happy? Yep... Life is good!
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Old 06-29-12, 11:21 PM   #10
Time for a change.
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If I knew how hard this retirement lark was-I would have done something else. All that time to do the jobs around the house- The garden to adapt- change- destroy-- The extra coop for the chickens---The decking to be sanded down and reproofed- the bike shed to tidy up internally- the outside to be painted and the new asphalt to go on- the Fence to be replaced and then there is the bike riding.

If I knew how hard this retirement was- I would not have gone for it.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 06-29-12, 11:29 PM   #11
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Congratulations on your retirement. I used to do drive down near your area from Atlanta during the late 80's and early 90's. I had quite a few kaolin mining companies and processors as customers in the Kaolin belt. Terrific country down there.

Ken H
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Old 06-30-12, 05:06 AM   #12
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Congratulations Dawg. I retired a few years back after a 31 year career at one Federal agency following a similarly checkered youth. Never regretted pulling the plug. You might enjoy the forum now that you are unshackled from the world of work.
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Old 06-30-12, 05:14 AM   #13
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Happy to hear you are setting yourself free. I think you will find the speed of life slowing and that will make it easier to enjoy so much.
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Old 06-30-12, 05:31 AM   #14
Starting over
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Congrats, BD. Words can't express how much I wish I were in your (work) shoes.
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Old 06-30-12, 06:08 AM   #15
Have bike, will travel
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Congrats! It sounds like a happy exit after many years of service and commitment.
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
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Old 06-30-12, 06:56 AM   #16
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Congratulations sir! I envy you. At 55, I have seven to ten year left to go. I say seven to ten because some people are getting "called in"
shortly after turning 62 and are being offered packages. Sounds like you got a similar deal. And working part time at a bike shop.. I call that a huge win.

Cisco offered a buyout last year to persons who were fifty or over, and had at least ten years with the company.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:16 AM   #17
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As a guy who is involuntarily retired (plant closed) at 56, I'm sort of leaning towards full time retirement. Looking at the numbers to try to make it work. At 56, I have been on a lot of interviews, and I really am starting to believe finding a good job at my age is not going to happen. Seems like the hiring folks are very eager to meet me, based on my resume and the fact that I just finished up a degree program, but once I walk in the door and they see a grey haired fella sitting there, the mood changes very quickly. It's a pity, I feel like I have a lot to offer, and don't feel like I've slowed down in the least. Bike shop work sounds like an exceptional way to spend your time, I wish you the best!
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Old 06-30-12, 07:17 AM   #18
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Good job, BD, and good luck for your future.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:23 AM   #19
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Welcome to retirement..It has many benefits.
[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]

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Old 06-30-12, 07:26 AM   #20
What??? Only 2 wheels?
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I give you joy of your retirement! Sure wish I could retire now. Maybe in a few years.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:56 AM   #21
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Congratulations, BluesDawg! I wish you much happiness in your retirement.
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Old 06-30-12, 08:02 AM   #22
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Congratulations. If you're like me, you'll feel busier in retirement than when working and you'll never look back. Now every day is Saturday!
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Old 06-30-12, 08:14 AM   #23
Semper Fi USMC
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Good to hear you left on your own terms and with a good financial base to keep things going well for you and the family. So few get to leave on their won terms now with all the downsizing and generally pushing out older workers and their knowledge/experience. I'll skip the political rants here and just say congratulations to you and I hope the riding is good. Spend lots of time with your young son and enjoy the life you have. You beat the Big C so you can now carry on.

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I did not choose to have Parkinson's Disease, but I can choose to not allow it to control my life. Its all up to me to overcome the trials, adapt and overcome!
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Old 06-30-12, 08:17 AM   #24
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Hope you have a joyful retirement.
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Old 06-30-12, 08:19 AM   #25
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Congratulations, BD! I'm very happy for you. You've gotten off on the right foot, and your job at the LBS is a perfect fit.

I'm 6 months into my retirement (involuntary - I was laid off) and still trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life! I'm busy all the time... it's like a HUGE menu of activities opens every morning and I have to pick what will I do today? My challenge is not trying to do it all, and balancing the chores with fun or just reading a book.
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