It’s been a year since I said good-bye to employment and started off on my retirement journey. The time went fast and it was a very eventful year!
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted our life a great deal even as the world grapples to get past it. When I retired, I thought we were on the road to the end of this disease thanks to vaccinations. Well, we all know how that turned out!
It did free us up to live life outside our homes more as you’ll see in the following key areas.
Where to Live
We already knew we wanted to live in Florida and preferably in a new build home. A few weeks after retiring my husband and I headed there (with lots of family visits along the way) to check out 55 plus communities and different areas of the state.
We ended up with a top two list and got on the list for a lot at both communities. Number one was Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach. The runner-up was Medley at Mirada in the greater Tampa Bay area. The days of having your pick of communities and lots is over for the near future.
We were ready to sign the dotted line with whichever one got us a lot with a view for our selected floor plan. Fortunately, that happened to be our first pick and we’ll be in our new home sometime in late Summer/early Fall.
There’s a lot of prep work to be ready to move and I’ll cover that in future posts.
My health has been good this past year (although as always I’m battling the weight!). My husband can’t say the same. He’s been waiting for a knee replacement since September. Thanks to that pandemic Kaiser got very behind and it ended up being six months before he could get scheduled and seven plus months for the surgery that happened earlier this week.
Steve also had a basal cell cancer surgery on his face similar to what I had right before retirement. Our only health concern now is getting him rehabbed enough to make the move comfortably in a few months.
With the stock market drops this year, we definitely haven’t increased wealth in our investment accounts. The tight housing market has resulted in our home increasing in value. We’re going on the market within the next few weeks and hope to realize as much of that gain as possible.
What we did learn is that we can live quite comfortably on social security thanks to no debt. The only time I’ve dipped into savings is for major home expenses consisting of deposits for the new one and pre-sale maintenance on the old one.
After that initial road trip I’ve been fortunate enough to take many cruises (six if you count 🙂 ) this past year. The covid protocols have changed greatly from that first one in August to the last one I took in March. Someday, I’m sure they’ll disappear but I don’t mind the precautions if it means I can see the world.
We also booked our first long (35 days long) cruise for next year. I also plan to do some solo international land trips as Steve doesn’t like the flights.
It’s been such an eventful first year of retirement and I know year two is going to be so as well. What I can say without hesitation is that I have never regretted my choice. Yes, I miss my coworkers (especially those I worked with for 25 years or more) but I don’t miss working for pay.