Lessons Learned: Growing Pains at 50+

As we near retirement age, Mike and I are tossing around different ideas on how we want to retire. My husband has around five years before he can retire, and I’m closer to ten years—unless we can figure out how to retire early. This is why I call it having growing pains at 50+. We are looking forward to starting a new adventure in life, yet we’re not quite there yet. We still have to work.

I remember in high school when I couldn’t wait to graduate and be done with school. My dream then was to move out to Colorado and start my independence as an adult. I was excited for my big adventure. Back then, my only focus was moving out-of-state. I’d take it day by day. I had no plan, except for counting the days and figuring out how to get a job out there. (I did move out to Colorado approximately ten months after graduating.)

This time the growing pain is a little different. It’s “we” now versus “me.” We have to plan for it. We know we want to simplify our lives and be able to travel (a.k.a. get away from the subzero winters). Yet, we also have set tastes and responsibilities. We need to think about our financials and that looming gray cloud of how to afford health insurance.

Now we’re slowly narrowing down our scope from all the possibilities that are out there. My goal is to write full-time to supplement our income. My husband wants a part-time job that involves some type of craft. Today we found the “house” that we want to live in. I used quotes for the word house because it’s a moveable cabin. Now we’ll have to find land where we can keep it (and figure out how to pay for it).

The good news is that we are starting to plan for retirement. We’d really like to be there now, to start our new adventure tomorrow, but with a heavy sigh, we can’t. I just have to remember…like in high school…I had to have patience. I have to remind myself that we’ll get there.

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