I retired in March of 2008, when I was 44 years old. My husband Doug retired four years before I did when his dot-com bombed. I guess technically he wasn’t retired so much as he was unemployed. But he wound up enjoying it so much that he just decided to be retired instead of unemployed. And I sure liked having a stay-at-home husband for those few years. Until I got too jealous and joined him in retirement.
Before we retired, we were both CPA’s. I worked for four years in the tax division of a Big 8 accounting firm, back when there were eight. After that I took a job as the controller of a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Ten years later, I tried to nab a better work/life balance by working part-time. But that’s about when Doug’s employer went belly up, so I returned full-time to take on the CFO role. All in, I was with that firm for 18 years. It was a great place to work and I wouldn’t have left it for anything else but retirement.
I thought I would never work again.
But then a few years into my retirement, a former colleague asked me to come work for him on a part-time consulting basis. Maybe I was taking retirement for granted, maybe I just needed to shake things up a bit. In any case, I agreed to do it and am so glad that I did. I had a great time until it started to creep more and more towards a full-time gig. So I handed over the reins to a full time CFO after two years and returned to goofing off full-time.
Not only did I really enjoy that job, I really enjoyed walking away from it. Because while I was working, I started to realize that I had taken a lot for granted that first go-around at retirement. I’ve been retired full-time again since August of 2012 and not taking anything for granted this time. This time I’m volunteering. This time I’m taking piano lessons. And this time I’m not feeling guilty when I indulge in the activity of doing absolutely nothing in particular.
I started this blog in 2007 to chronicle my transition into retirement. Since then I’ve learned that we all deal with many of the same issues when we retire, no matter what age we are when we pull the trigger. Just like any other phase in life, it’s exciting and it’s also challenging. Depending on my genes and my luck, I may have four or five decades to fill with the unfettered pursuit of happiness. And this blog is one of the things I love to fill it with.