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Old 02-23-2015, 05:58 PM   #1
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If You Are On The Fence - Read This

I know everyone's situation is different. We must follow the path that we think best. However, a good friend of mine died this past weekend. He was 58. He had started to put together plans for selling his company. Bought a new class "A" coach. But for some reason that is where the plans stalled. We had plans to go to Branson this spring. There was a bucket list of places he wanted to see. He enjoyed hearing my stories of visiting the places he had yet to visit.

He had no symptoms. A minor stroke a couple of years ago did not seem to affect him. We joke that I had my stroke just after his due to feeling empathy for him. We took blood pressure and pulse checks every day. Two weeks ago he had a heart attack. The doctors put in a stint and he was recovering nicely. To make a long story short, things went from bad to worse. He never left the hospital. He died in his sleep this past weekend of heart failure.

We've all heard these stories before, but when it hits close to home it means so much more. I could have worked another 8 years and put a bunch more money in the retirement account. Opted out at 57. Very glad I did. After 5 bypasses, 7+ hours of open heart surgery and a stroke, I'm very blessed I've been able to make the memories that have been created. Like my friend, I had no symptoms until I could no longer do my exercise routine.

All this is for those on the fence about continuing to work or joining the RVing lifestyle. One's health can turn on a dime. There is no time like the present.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:10 PM   #2
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Sorry for your loss Gary, but thank you for sharing. Wise words.

Best wishes.

Anthony
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:17 PM   #3
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Amen Gary! I pulled the plug at 53 after suffering a bad work-related back injury. Although my issues aren't life threatening, they so far have kept me from doing the cross country RV traveling I have planned my entire adult life. I will be undergoing back surgery later this year, hoping and praying it gives me the ability to fulfill my RVing dreams.

I agree 100% with Gary, if you are in the fence, retire earlier than planned if at all possible!

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Old 02-23-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
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Yeah, I think my heart attack had the appropriate effect on me, but the DW is taking a little longer to come around. However, after this winter in New England, she's talking starting our long planned road trip this fall. If not now, when?
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Gary, I retired last July and purchased my MH in November. The weather and some family commitments have prevented us from moving it out of the driveway and heading down the road. Recently, my former employers have asked that I come back for a year. I have been wrestling with this decision. The money would help and was on the fence as to whether I should return. You reminded of why I retired and will continue down the path and not return. Sorry for your loss and thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:33 PM   #6
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Hi Russtj60,
The first two years I was retired, my previous employer along with several vendors asked me to join there companies. I politically correctly declined. This is one of the few things I did right the first time.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:34 PM   #7
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Gary,


Sorry for the loss of you friend, it is always hard to see someone you are close to pass away. There is never an easy answer to do it now or later. Some of us work for insurance which we need and some for more money. No guarantees ever but you can't always quit.


I pray you find some peace. Lynne
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:42 PM   #8
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I guess I'm lucky, I decided to hang it up last year when I was 55.

I had a job that put me on the road +200 days a year, mostly international travel to not so nice places (at least from a work perspective). Stress and sleepless nights were taking it's toll so I decided enough was enough and I turned in my notice an haven't looked back.

I agree, if you are on the fence and can afford to hang it up take advantage of your youth and do what you like to do. Fish, Camp, Play Golf, whatever you enjoy.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:48 PM   #9
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Don't know why I ever gave it a second thought ... always could use a few extra bucks, but what you're selling is time that can't be recovered. I am with you ... retire when you can ... and stick with it --- if possible.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:48 PM   #10
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Gary, what a heartfelt story, and I am sorry you lost your friend. Lost my mom the same way.

May your friend inspire us all to never take for granted one second of our lives! He will be with you on all your trips.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:00 PM   #11
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Yup. You're (I'm) not going to live forever.


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Old 02-23-2015, 07:03 PM   #12
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Thank-you for sharing the story - a good message to those contemplating retirement. I retired at 58, I also politically correctly declined the request to come back - no regrets for the choice for freedom (and I even liked the career/people I retired from).
P.S. It takes quite a bit of courage to walk away from a steady paycheck to be self reliant after working 40+ years. My DW never worked outside the home, so my choice was a pure DIY project.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:42 PM   #13
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Gary you are so right

I am now 65 and doing okay,but 10 years ago I had a massive heart attack on the job and was forces too retire...My cardiologist and the company doctor would not release me to go back to work...I was not ready to retire my plan was to work until age 62...I was never physically the same big strong guy I was after the heart attack but I was able to manage fairly well...Two years after I retired we bought our 1st 5th wheel and fell in love with the life style...I just bought our 3rd one and by far the best one we have had...Its a Mobile Suite 38' with all the bells and whistles...I am so sorry your friend didn't make it through his heart attack...I totally agree with you ,everyone should retire as soon as they can and chase there dream because you never know what tomorrow may bring...I was very scared to retire at such a young age I just didn't think I was ready...
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:25 PM   #14
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I agree wholeheartedly Gary. I retired at 58; a coworker retired at 65 after thinking about the extra money when he was only 62. H died with his first retirement check-uncashed in his pocket.
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