As I approach another birthday, I am getting one year closer to being able to retire. There are so many decisions to be made. Do I wait for full retirement (a little over three years), wait for Medicare (a little over two years) or say the hell with it, take my chances and pick a date? I thought about checking out of the full-time workforce at 62, but that 25% cut in Social Security was impossible to deal with. The other alternative is to keep on going. There is some benefit to that. Besides the obvious, work keeps me busy, I actually enjoy going to work and it keeps me from being the neighborhood "cat lady".
I began to simplify several years ago. A lot of things went to the curb to become someone else's possession. I recently gave away most of the "dress clothes" (I kept the little black dress and the little red dress that has never been worn). There is all that calculating to figure how much money is needed to continue to live in the fashion I have been accustomed to - certainly nothing fancy and my tastes are simple. I have no burning desire to leave a monetary legacy for the kids - they already have best legacy - values and principles that have made them responsible adults - anything else they will have to get on their own. No fancy funeral - after all usable parts have been donated, the rest of me turns to ashes.
I would love to have the kids take the ashes up in a hot air balloon and release them over a lake or river somewhere. But heck, they can bury them in the back yard for all it really matters! Enough of that, I have no intention of being morbid at this point in my life. Life is good. I am healthy and have plenty of loving housemates. All four legged (with the exception of Libby, the three legged cat). I don't think I was cut out for two legged housemates. Too many complications!!!
Who knows what I will end up doing, I sure don't. I guess I will know when the time is right. I wonder if most people who reach "near retirement" age go through these internal arguments about the ultimate decision regarding retirement or is it just me? I am sure Me, Myself and I will have this discussion several times over the next couple of years. May even become a heated argument!