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I retired ten months ago, or so, at the beginning of 2013.  My retirement was by choice.  It was not a sudden thing. I had been thinking about it for two or three years.  My wife retired in 2009.

I was not forced to retire due to loss of a job or a medical problem.  Money did not seem to be an issue.  My wife and I are not hugely wealthy, but we both worked at jobs that provided retirement plans, and we have always been careful not to live beyond our means.  I feel fortunate that I could, in fact, choose to retire.

Most retired people that I have talked to have given it generally good reviews.  Five stars.  Retired people tell me that retirement is great, that their lives are busier than ever, and that they wonder why they did not retire sooner.

I do not like the word “retirement.”  When I retired, I told people that I was “ready to start the next chapter.”  I did not want to think of myself as headed for the proverbial pasture or rocking chair.  I did not want to think of retirement as something that would happen to me when I was no longer useful.  The word “retirement” seems negative, more about the absence of something (a job) rather than something positive or affirmative.  It seems so, well, terminal.  Still, when someone asks what I do, there is really no getting around saying “I am retired.”

During these first ten months of my retirement, I have been telling people that I am still in transition.  I am trying to figure out this retirement thing.  I expect I will continue working on it for a few more months yet.

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