When people find out that I am retired their first comments usually are about how young I look. When I tell them my age I can see a look on their faces, that look of “how the heck can you retiree at 56?” My immediate response is to give credit to my wonderful wife, financial planning, good health, the Teamsters and just plain luck…
My wife has yet to retire, she is a few years younger than I am and chooses to continue her career, at least for a couple more years. Her job has the flexibility that allows her to join me when she wants. When I give credit to my wife it is because she trusts me to travel knowing that I will be safe and knows that I earned it. It’s like the blog’s tag line. “You earned it, enjoy it!”
I was very fortunate to find myself working for a great company that was represented by the best Teamster Joint Council and Teamster Local in the country. Our contracts throughout the years provided an annuity that made it possible for me to enjoy an early retirement. I would be remiss not to mention Joint Council 42 and Local 63 both out of Southern California.
Financial planning isn’t brain surgery. The bottom line is not to over extend yourselves, live within your means and invest in a retirement plan that meets your goal. For my younger readers start early, even a modest investment will pay off in the future.
Health was one of the deciding factors for my timing. I have too many friends that worked until they passed from this world. Friends that sadly worked their fingers to the bone and never had a chance to enjoy the retirement they worked for.
I do understand that retiring early isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone. This is where luck comes in. I have been extremely lucky that my wife and I made plans that came together. Thanks to a bunch of people that had my back and yes, I knock on wood every day!