Welcome to the AppalachianTrailCafe.net!
Take a moment and register and then join the conversation

Re-inventing Yourself

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    • Re-inventing Yourself

      There are times in life when people decide they need or want to change.
      I'm considering that now.
      While I love the work I do, and enjoy my present job, I may give it all up if I can't get the time off I want this summer.
      The problem is I don't know what I'd look to do after we finish the hike that we want to do in that time that I want off.
      I've never seriously considered anything other than aircraft maintenance. But if I quit my job to go hike, my post hike possibilities are endless. First I'd have to decide if I'd retire (stop working at a paid position) or not, I could do a volunteer thing. Then, in what field. Sometimes I think it would be nice to work with people and not machines. I'm not even sure how I'd narrow down the choices. And of course there's the age thing to consider. Who would hire a 67 year old with no experience in a position they are applying for.

      Have any of you ever made a radical change in direction of your life?
      Any advice you could send my way would be appreciated.
      What things helped you make your decisions?
      Were there any particular resources that you found helpful?
    • Best of luck on whatever you decide. I too have thought along those lines, but at age 59.8 I'm still too far away from retirement to pull that trigger and have too many people (and bank) who need my paycheck to risk the other option. You certainly ask lots of great questions. Sorry I don't have any answers to all your great questions.
    • I have lived my life cautiously LI Hiker, perhaps too cautiously. I have no experience with this or words of wisdom to share, but that does not stop me from being full being full of opinions :)

      I guess the real question here is can you retire? If you can, than your options become easier. If you would like to keep your current job a while longer, but you you have the option to retire, then the summer off can become a demand not a request. If you need to keep working then waiting seems wiser. Every year you put off collecting Social Security will increase your benefits by about 8%.

      As what to do post-retirement, that is a fun question to consider. If income was not a consideration for me then I would be seeking all the temporary but 'fun' jobs that are out there. For me that might mean teaching English in Japan for a few months, being a Randolph Mountain Club Hut caretaker for a season, getting an RV and being a 'host' at some of the National Park campgrounds and so on. Lots of possibilities.

      Whatever you decide, I wish you the best.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • on one hand you're talking about retirement on the other you're talking about working after retirement. Geez, talk about setting yourself up for failure. I agree with IMScotty, make sure you're financially ready for retirement then go for it. What you waiting for, you're 67. So you gonna wait til you're 75 before you can find the time to hike? Either get on with it or STFU.

      Edit: God, I sound like such a dick. I apologize, but please do go for it before it's too late. BTW, I'm a year older than you.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by chief ().

    • You've only got one life, so I say go for it, things will work out. I tend to reinvent myself about every 7 years more or less. I have always stayed in related fields but lately considering something entirely different.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • 16 years ago I took a 2/3 pay cut to switch jobs so I would have more time to spend with my children. Was it the right/wrong thing to do? Well I could go on and on and back-n-forth with that for a while. Although I know I never would have coached one my sons in the Dixie World Series, hiked 1,850 miles of the AT, and had the opportunity to teach all of my three sons five times in college if I had not done it (along with a lot of other memories).

      Best advice I have for you is to talk with your wife and a financial planner. I didn't do the latter, and not near enough talking to the former. For me there was a big difference in the finances required for four children under 10 (at the time of the move) and four teenagers (and beyond) (braces, automobiles, insurance, travel team sports, college, world travel, etc..). Now your situation is totally different than mine in the details, but the concepts are the same. Make sure your wife is happy and totally onboard with your decision, with an expert analysis of your financial situation as a key input to that discussion. Don't just look at your current expenses, but different ones you might have over the next 5, 10, 20, 30, ... years.

      One practical matter is try to ask for time off if possible, and only quit if you have to. If you need to go back to work when you return, try to have 6 months of expenses saved up to live off just in case it takes longer to reenter the work force than you plan.

      My heart says go do what you want with your wife and enjoy the next 5, 10, 20, 30, ... years how ever you want. But my head and experience says do your research before you jump.

      One other thing I would not recommend worrying about leaving anything for your heirs, but make sure you have enough for you and your wife. And whenever that time comes, if there is surplus left over, great they can have that. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Well, I was sort of forced out of my last job (outsourced.....twice!, then laid off). I was 59 and turned 60 about a month after my last full time check. This was all summer 2018. My wife and I always lived within our means, kids grown and gone. Six figures in the bank as just savings, we can live on my wife's check. The advice above to talk with your/a financial advisor is very sound. If you don't have an advisor but have a 401K/IRA, say with one of the big investment houses (Fidelity), you get some "free" financial advice. We knew in 2014, my career was ending...not only was the light suddenly in the tunnel, the freaking train was almost at the station! I got with our paid advisor (Ameriprize) and he "ran the numbers". For a decade, I had in our financial plan to retire, fully, at 62. But I was only 60! So, I already had all the investment amounts from Non-Ameriprize accounts, SS at 70 and such. It took the advisor about 5 minutes, with me watching his computer as he entered all our finances, and BANG...."hey....hows it feel to not only be able to retire...BUT, your retirement is 108 percent funded!!!". Takes a LOT of worry off! And things like 2 collector cars, our house...he included NONE of that! Stuff (the cars) we could sell and get enough to live off for a year while NOT taking any investment monies.

      Next up, who would hire you at 67? You might be surprised. Charities, helping others, lots of part time stuff, checking at a liquor store.... None of it pays much, and is all part time with not much benefits, other than your freedom! You work part time, and can schedule off for a few weeks here and there. And if you want more time away and they don't like it...shrug, smile, shake their hand and thank them for employing you and maybe you will give them a call when you return!

      SO..talk over the long term retirement picture. Get a spread sheet going on your own (I started mine back in 2012 when the company laid off two of my coworkers, our advisor said no-worries and I didn't believe him)....what am I/we worth, what do I owe.....The rule of thumb still is you can take 4 % a year from your retirement accounts, safely. Add that stuff up and see where you are.

      Best of luck
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • Plenty of senior school bus drivers around here. The pay is minimal, I think only $12,000 to $15,000 but you get full medical and only work a couple of hours m-f, holidays off and three months off in summer.
      I've thought about it, but I know I'd have a bunch of kids duct taped and hog tied the first day.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • I still can't wrap my head around the concept of retirement and employment existing at the same time. rhjanes muddies the water even more by discussing "freedom" and "work schedule" in the same breath. Huh? I think we just have differing ideas about what constitutes retirement and work. You'll have to excuse my simple mind, but I'm either working (for a living) or not. In my case, I've been officially, legally retired for years. In other words, I have not been paid for work in years. The IRS knows what that means, I know what that means and my pension plan knows what that means.

      I'll never forget the first time "my numbers were run". I won't get into detail, but on that day I learned I could retire immediately. The only problem was I was only 45 years old. Of course I can't retire at 45 year old can I? I't just not done, right? To make a long story short, those numbers were left dancing around in my head for the next 5 years. Until one day I couldn't stand it anymore and called the very same pension plan administrator to get the ball rolling on retirement. Her exact words were, "What took you so long sweetie?" By then, I had run the numbers thousands of times just to be sure and contemplated life after work. About six months later, in front of witnesses and a Notary Public I signed the final papers. A month after that thousands of dollars were magically deposited in my account and I started buying hiking gear. The fools just keep sending money and I continue to NOT WORK. That my friends is freedom!

      So my advice, when you talk of retirement, get it straight with yourself and any advisers what you are talking about.
    • I've been working part part time consulting since fall and I might do it until spring. But I work about 4 hours a day max for 3 days max a week. Usually go in about 9 or 10 and leave between 12 and 2. I look at it as my fun money to blow on hiking and other adventures for to the rest of the year.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • chief wrote:

      I still can't wrap my head around the concept of retirement and employment existing at the same time. rhjanes muddies the water even more by discussing "freedom" and "work schedule" in the same breath. Huh? I think we just have differing ideas about what constitutes retirement and work. You'll have to excuse my simple mind, but I'm either working (for a living) or not. In my case, I've been officially, legally retired for years. In other words, I have not been paid for work in years. The IRS knows what that means, I know what that means and my pension plan knows what that means.

      I'll never forget the first time "my numbers were run". I won't get into detail, but on that day I learned I could retire immediately. The only problem was I was only 45 years old. Of course I can't retire at 45 year old can I? I't just not done, right? To make a long story short, those numbers were left dancing around in my head for the next 5 years. Until one day I couldn't stand it anymore and called the very same pension plan administrator to get the ball rolling on retirement. Her exact words were, "What took you so long sweetie?" By then, I had run the numbers thousands of times just to be sure and contemplated life after work. About six months later, in front of witnesses and a Notary Public I signed the final papers. A month after that thousands of dollars were magically deposited in my account and I started buying hiking gear. The fools just keep sending money and I continue to NOT WORK. That my friends is freedom!

      So my advice, when you talk of retirement, get it straight with yourself and any advisers what you are talking about.
      Didn't mean to muddy any waters. Your last line "get it straight...what you are talking about" is exactly correct. As I approached 60, I started to really understand how close I was to wanting to exit the corporate rat-race. But was I financially ready? Since most of my co-workers are the same age, I started talking to everyone and realized one thing. "Retirement" means something different to every person.
      2012, my consumer products company had rumors of another layoff. 2012, two of my coworkers got walked out. BUT, they did somersaults out the door. One, who I have lunch with every week, had gone to management, told them to keep their poker faces on, but IF there was going to be a layoff, put his name on the list. And if he didn't get laid off, he planned to retire (he was already 60). He got laid off, which delayed him taking his retirement funds for a year (1 year severance). He now does volunteer work, on his schedule, when he wants. the Freedom part. The other person, was just 55, but also sick of the corporate world. She did the same, told management she'd be happy to be walked out. She used her year of severance to get some training in like Elderly Care issues. She now works when she decides to. It doesn't pay much at all. But if she and her husband (he also exited the corporate world, but still works as a court courier) decide to ride their Harley's next week, they do so. And if they decide to get online and schedule some work to make some quick cash instead of hanging out around the house, they do that. Hence their freedom to work, or not, when they want. But talking with all of them, they consider themselves "retired". Their investment and retirement funds, sustain them with no issues. They work these jobs just because they want to. And if there is any "noise" from work "we need you to work more" "you can't take off".....well they just can quit.
      My wife's work group. One person started his "I can't WAIT to retire" clock when he turned 60. At age 65, he was ear to ear grins to retire. Go and piddle around and keep the grand-kids. While another in her group, is 70, and not even considering not working. He likes his work, doesn't want to go hiking, golfing, months of travel...he just likes to work. So....he's not talking much about any retirement (it isn't a money issue, he could walk anytime).

      So, "Retirement", means something different to each of us. To each their own, HYOH....etc.....LOL
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • New

      chief wrote:

      I still can't wrap my head around the concept of retirement and employment existing at the same time.
      Simple concept for me. When I turn 60, retire from the full-time job that requires me to have all the answers on a moment's notice and the possibility of flying to China every time my Asian colleagues have found a new shortcut that causes product failures. Apply for a part-time position at my local ski resort that will give me some income (and free skiing) in the months when I'm not on my motorcycle, bike, or hiking trails. Do that for 5 years until my pension kicks in at 65. Then I kick back and count the money coming in without having to set an alarm.

      LIhikers, there are plenty of places that would love to hire a 67 year old with a demonstrated history of showing up to work on time, having a good attitude, and being conscientious. Those traits are getting hard to find in the younger workforce.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • New

      I want to thank everyone who is participating in this thread.
      You're all making valid points, some I had thought of and some I didn't.
      It's not really the money I'm concerned about because there's no way to be sure it's enough. One big illness and it could all be gone.
      My main concern is being satisfied with my new life. I've always (almost) enjoyed my work and have been fortunate to have pretty good jobs. My main concern is will I be able to find something that is just as rewarding for me. I guess it's the uncertainty that has me teetering on the retire, don't retire edge.
    • New

      LIhikers wrote:

      I want to thank everyone who is participating in this thread.
      You're all making valid points, some I had thought of and some I didn't.
      It's not really the money I'm concerned about because there's no way to be sure it's enough. One big illness and it could all be gone.
      My main concern is being satisfied with my new life. I've always (almost) enjoyed my work and have been fortunate to have pretty good jobs. My main concern is will I be able to find something that is just as rewarding for me. I guess it's the uncertainty that has me teetering on the retire, don't retire edge.
      Sounds like you need to do like I've done and maybe work out an arrangement where you can slowly wean yourself from work.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • New

      I retired when I got fed up with my job - Medical School Library Director. It was "fun" for about the first 38 of 41 years. Years of enforced savings AKA retirement through TIAA put away a fair bank roll. That and SS turned out ok. However, wife says "you'll have to find something to do." I realized that. (She didn't want me home 24/7.) I couldn't take off for long periods hiking or whatever as she's some medical problems which prohibit any long-term trips. A week or so a few times a year works well.

      So, before I even got out the door, the Med School Dean says "It may be too soon, but I have a job for you." Long story short - retired, rehired. I'm now Director/Curator of a medical museum donated to our School of Medicine. Very part-time - work when I want to and it's better then minimum wage. It's an interesting change from books. The only problem is I have to catalog the whole mess. Current estimate is: at about an hour per item, 2700 items will take 3-4 years. Researching the items can lead down a rabbit-hole and hours later you resurface miles away. I'm learning more than I ever thought possible about medical history and instrumentation.

      TL;DR Surprising opportunities sometimes happen upon retirement. gif.014.gif
    • New

      I'm still in the corporate world full-time, but I'm planning to blow it off as soon as my wife (who has some long-term health issues) is Medicare-eligible and my daughter's wedding is paid off. Sooner if the company forces me into it. I enjoy being an enginerd, but enough is enough.

      As far as what I'll do in retirement, "so many projects, so little time." I'll still be busy, but the mix will have a lot more work pro bono populo.

      Assuming that Mother Nature spares my health for a while, of course.
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.
    • New

      AnotherKevin wrote:

      I'm still in the corporate world full-time, but I'm planning to blow it off as soon as my wife (who has some long-term health issues) is Medicare-eligible and my daughter's wedding is paid off. Sooner if the company forces me into it. I enjoy being an enginerd, but enough is enough.

      As far as what I'll do in retirement, "so many projects, so little time." I'll still be busy, but the mix will have a lot more work pro bono populo.

      Assuming that Mother Nature spares my health for a while, of course.
      I can relate. As I told my wife once I really retire I will never be bored. Too many books to read, places to go, people to visit, and things to do. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      Astro wrote:

      AnotherKevin wrote:

      I'm still in the corporate world full-time, but I'm planning to blow it off as soon as my wife (who has some long-term health issues) is Medicare-eligible and my daughter's wedding is paid off. Sooner if the company forces me into it. I enjoy being an enginerd, but enough is enough.

      As far as what I'll do in retirement, "so many projects, so little time." I'll still be busy, but the mix will have a lot more work pro bono populo.

      Assuming that Mother Nature spares my health for a while, of course.
      I can relate. As I told my wife once I really retire I will never be bored. Too many books to read, places to go, people to visit, and things to do. :)
      there are honestly not enough hours in the day!

      all the stuff i was gonna do to the house...still need done!
      2,000 miler
    • New

      Don't worry about a thing just have fun planning your hike. Just set up as many good references as you can until you leave your job. References are much more valuable than money. I've lost count but I've left many jobs both good and bad over the years to LD hike, never had trouble getting another and that was during the scourge of globalization. Now we are all free for a few more years, your timing is brilliant . Baltimore Jack was an inspiration to many of us. Live your life and collect references. Oh, I almost forgot, for the gaps in your employment record, you were self employed. Be creative with that.
    • New

      chief wrote:

      you guys seem to have a million ways to retire yet not retire. more power to you, but i am not particularly impressed so i'll exit this conversation.
      Hiking is a thing I want to have time for.

      There are a lot of other things I want to have time for. Hiking is fun for a weekend or even a two-week vacation, but after a section hike, I'm ready to get back to down and do other things.

      Some of the things that I'd do even if The Man weren't telling me to do them look like 'work' to some people. Then again, when I tell hiking stories, some of my friends say, "and that is supposed to be fun?" So we've all got our own idea of what's fun.

      Enjoy your retirement. I'm looking forward to mine.

      ?( Back to the OP - LIHikers, is an A&P certification something that has a tough currency requirement, or is expensive to maintain? I'd imagine that you'd not be burning too many bridges, and that a guy who can fix helicopters can find someone with a helicopter that needs fixing, unless somehow your qualifications turn into a pumpkin.

      If you have a backstop, you can mess around for a while and find what you like doing, or what makes you feel good.

      For me, my volunteer work has included a LOT of open-source software development, some OpenStreetMap mapping, some desktop publishing and video postproduction for community groups that my wife is involved in, church musician, electronic tinkering, ... enough that I'd never be bored if those things were "what I do." A lot of volunteer work defines itself - find something that needs doing that you think you can do, and do it. If you're used to working for The Man all the time, it's sometimes hard to realize that it's often that simple - a lot of things don't need anyone's permission, and a lot of projects are "he who does the work makes the rules."

      Freedom is frightening, isn't it? Little kids all know how to do things they like - and we beat it out of them by teaching them that everything has to have a purpose. Everything should have a purpose - people get trapped into doing a lot of mindless things that they don't get anything out of. But the purpose can be, "because I want to."

      In the unlikely event that I ever do a Big Hike, part of my purpose is that I've had people all my life try to motivate me by shaming me for laziness - it's the American style of education, and I'm nothing if not over-educated! I'd get a charge out of doing something that most people recognize as difficult and requiring commitment - for no better reason than, "I wanted to do it." Not "the job I think I'd like requires a PhD", or "the customer needs this system built," but just, "I felt like it."
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.