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Thread: Sad Day or Happy Day? Thoughts on Contemplating Retirement

  1. #1
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Sad Day or Happy Day? Thoughts on Contemplating Retirement

    I just read the thread posted by Jerry Jacques (https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...-silver-lining!) regarding retirement of a pilot who he holds in very high regards. Thank you for that, Jerry. Your post is very timely for me, as I seriously consider retiring from my practice as a reproductive endocrinologist. While that is quite different from the decision Blake Larue made, in some ways it is similar. I have never met Blake, so perhaps my thoughts are way off target. I have been thinking about starting this thread for several months now, and I'm off my arse and here it comes...

    It is a frustrating irony that when Blake retires from active bush flying after 40 years he does so with a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge. When I retire from reproductive endocrinology after 40 years of practice I will do so with a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge. We have successfully completed many missions. We have most likely had some significant, close calls, made mistakes and have had the good fortune of coming out on the other side still standing. Blake has earned the ultimate respect, the respect of a person who he has mentored. Blake and I have seen it all, but we likely share the feeling that just when we are thinking we are pretty good a situation presents itself which causes us to take pause, scratch our heads and wonder what the best course might be. Both of us are in a position of having others lives directly in our hands. People come to us wanting us to get from point A to point B, they believe in us as they climb aboard and we do the very best we can for them.

    We are both seasoned.

    One of the differences between Blake and me is the fact that he needs to be physically able to practice his craft. He needs to be able to be nimble and strong, be well. For me, not so much. Sure, I need to stay healthy, but there are many infertility specialists who don't take care of their health and yet they can practice their craft.

    One of the similarities between Blake and me is the fact that we both really enjoy what we do. We don't hate our job. We like the people that we are privileged to work with. I'll bet he enjoys seeing Jerry each day, and the support people that make his job possible, who enable him to complete his mission. I know that I really enjoy my staff, most of whom have been with me for 20 years or more. I'll bet Jerry's group are like family to Blake. I know my staff are like family to me.

    I have been able to ask many of you who are retired the question "How is retirement?" The vast majority reply with "It is great! You oughta try it sometime!" When I delve into what is so great about retirement the answer is more often than not "I got so sick of dealing with people that I worked with!" "I liked what I did, but my boss and the company began treating us poorly." "I felt unappreciated, it was time to get out!"

    Bill Rusk studied at the University of Houston and majored in labor relations, I believe. Upon graduating he worked as a "debriefer", so to speak, for a major company in the Houston area and part of his job was to interview people who were retiring. He kept track of those who retired and I remember him telling me that those people who really didn't have any set plans upon retirement. Those people didn't do well, overall, and didn't live very long. Those who had plans ("I have a business that I want to start", or "I am going to play golf in each and every state!") thrived.

    Blake isn't being told to retire, he is initiating that move. I am not being told to retire, I am considering initiating that move. In Blake's case, it is relatively easy in that he really needs to turn in his keys, so to speak, and he is going out on his own terms. In my case, I have found it impossible to sell my practice and will need to liquidate my office and laboratory and say goodbye to my devoted, loving staff. It isn't going to be easy.

    So here I am, thinking about Blake and our similarities and I decided to "ping" you, my dear friends, with the hope of learning from those of you who have retired, from those of you who are considering retirement.

    I would bet Blake and I are not the only ones in this situation, and I would really like to hear your thoughts, please.

    Thanks for any insight you may be able to provide, brothers and sisters. I appreciate you.

    Blake, I wish you the very best with your retirement, and hope to cross paths with you someday.

    Randy
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  2. #2
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    You need a reason to get out of bed every morning or life will be meaningless.

    Glenn

    PS. I hope you will still be our part time GYN
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I retired from full time employment 28 yrs ago. Then went back and worked part -time on-call flying at half the wage and no benefits for 4 more years for 33 yrs total. That's so I could get Social Security. I spent lots of time camping and flying until 5 yrs ago but now not as much. No complaints. Dogs make great companions.

    I saw two married to each other MD's for medical exams that retired and went south of the Equator to volunteer their services on various remote Pacific Islands. I've yet to hear if they've returned, and no rumors of cannibalism.

    Gary
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    aeroaddict's Avatar
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    MY $00.02

    Background; retired from intense high powered corporate America job. Working almost 24/7.

    I retired at 55, 10 years ago now. It took me 3 years to actually get into the retirement mode. The decision to retire early was because I could.

    You better have something to replace all the physical and mental activities you currently conduct. For me; I finally build an airplane, now restoring my mom's Datsun 260Z and volunteer for various non-profits. It's best to be a life long learner and keep yourself challenged.

    Money for retirement: I my opinion, money wise, it's about cash flow and looking poor to the government. A lot of people have more than enough $$ to retire, but access to that $$ come with penalties. Therefore no real liquid or available funds without penalties.

    Your comment: "I have found it impossible to sell my practice". Is that statement emotional or financial? If emotional, you might be surprised by the comments from your staff; how exciting, you deserve it, thanks for being here for us. If financial, do the math (future monies calculations) on whether to stay a while more or sell at the best rate you can get.

    Remember, you are going retire at some time.
    Last edited by aeroaddict; 03-07-2022 at 11:36 AM.
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    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Doc Randy Iíve only briefly met you but in that time I got the impression that you are a true healer. Few physicians have the confidence to do a basic med for someone right there almost on the ramp if they would have had the eye book. The medical world needs old school practitioners who arenít afraid to make a diagnosis.

    I have a dear friend who retired his general surgical practice after an illness and went into semi-retirement/hospital administration gig. He didnít last long. Ended up volunteering in Africa for a month every year and then went to Mercy Ships for several years. 70 year old overweight dude stood there for 12-14 hours a day performing surgery. He said it was the most amazing experience of his life.

    Keep going bud!

  6. #6
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Easy question: What will you do with your time?

    If you walk away from the practice, and get nothing from it, will that cause you financial hardship?

    If your answer to the first question is easy, and that activity is worth more than the income you would get from selling the practice, retire.

    There are a handful of doctors out there doing aviation medicals that are flexible and easy to get to... lots of them are retired from mainstream.

    Open a Class 3,2 and basic med practice a few days a week out of a hangar in two or three places you want to hang out during the year.

    Just remember that NH flight competitions get you on priority.

    To me, retirement is defined as the point in which I am half way to somewhere, the passenger makes themselves unwanted, and I land and kick them out with no worries. Even if it is the west side of Chichigof Island!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Buy some ground & summer home/hangar in Alaska. You'll never run out of places to fly or things to explore here or in western canada. Then snowbird south for the winter.

    Gary
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  8. #8

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    Time to live the dream. Be a supercub CFI, summertime bushpilot, etc. Just don't retire without a 'job.' That is a disaster.

  9. #9

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    After 40 years in the medical field I fully retired 4 years ago and have been very happy with the results other than my ability to get anything done. After all the years of having time management be a major factor in most everything I did, simple one or two hour projects seem to take a week to get done because I can always do it tomorrow. I have found that given enough time with inner reflection the fact that most days a Petunia makes better use of daylight hours than myself is something I can live with. Don't stress about not having a job, life always seems to provide a path.
    I was able to cut my work down to 2-3 days a week with 2-3 months off for the last 4 years of practice, so the transition was gentle. I do miss the people and taking care of patients/OR, but not enough to go back to job. As a MD it will be easier to move in and out of a practice maybe do some moonlighting. Many don't realize how many people are involved in a simple office visit you are working 2 days a week just to pay staff and the light bill. I am sure you have looked at options but I will suggest a path.
    Don't sell the practice, bring on another young provider without any buy in to the practice this will be a very attractive offer to a young hopefully talented Doc and let him/her work you out of the practice over the next 4-6 years. Give them everything when you leave, (if a building is involved sell or lease it to them at a good rate) This allows you to hand over patients/have a staff/covers malpractice/a place to call work/lots of time off. By the end you will be able to cover the practice when needed and still have a lot of time to run off on adventures. This plan requires that you did not plan for selling the practice as part of your retirement income. It does also come with some pitfalls if you pick the wrong partner so choose wisely.
    DENNY
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  10. #10
    JWE's Avatar
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    I had a friend who had a nice sailboat built. His plan was to sail around the world in his retirement. Just about the time the boat was finished he had a debilitating heart attack. All he could do was sit on his porch and admire his boat in its slip. We're all healthy up until the day we aren't. At some point in life the most precious asset we have is time. Spend it wisely. If you're at what you consider retirement age and can swing it financially, just do it. There are several ways as mentioned above to ease into retirement if that's what you want. And many thanks for all you've contributed on supercub.org.
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  11. #11
    Mot's Avatar
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    Happy day for me

    I was a wildand fire fighter for 31 years. I loved my job and looked forward to going to work every day. Then one day the boss from hell showed up. But I was lucky. I was 50 years old, qualified for early retirement, and had lots of interests outside of work.

    I love the outdoors both summer and winter...Fishing, hiking, camping, snowshoeing, just exploring the mountains etc. and my wife also qualified for early retirement and also loves the outdoors year round, so we both retired. I spent the first year building my Kitfox.

    I have a fire qualification that is rare...Fire behavior analyst. I started getting calls from fire teams from around the country asking me to come help them. For the next 12 years I worked on two Fire incident management teams. one in Oregon and one in Arizona. The weather system that ends fire season in Arizona...Monsoon season...starts fire season in the Northwest.

    In 2012 they finally wore me out. I was on the Okanogan National Forest and had responsibility for four fires. When a fifth started and they assigned me to do the fire behavior forecasts for it too, I told them...this will be my last fire, not just for this year, but forever.

    I'm 72 now and still staying busy and loving retirement.
    Last edited by Mot; 03-08-2022 at 09:25 AM. Reason: fixed typo
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    Colorguns's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your posts, it is very helpful to read them all and the knowledge that is given by all that have have tried, mastered the experience or know of others that have given their insights to retirement to help guide the next in line.
    thank you!!
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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorguns View Post
    Thank you all for your posts, it is very helpful to read them all and the knowledge that is given by all that have have tried, mastered the experience or know of others that have given their insights to retirement to help guide the next in line.
    thank you!!
    Geeeez, I thought you retired years ago

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Geeeez, I thought you retired years ago

    Glenn
    Tough crowd.

  15. #15
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Many thanks for the sharing of your varied experiences. Your responses are exactly what I have hoped for.

    I turn 69 in a couple of weeks. One of my dear friends on Supercub.Org pointed out to me that I should stretch out a tape measure and put a marker at 82 inches. What I have left is the difference is a mere 12 inches. He also suggested that I devote the years I have left to things that bring me joy. Not happiness, but true joy. I think I now understand the difference. I know that I have brought joy to others through my work, but at a significant cost.

    Not to boar you with details, but my profession is moving in directions that I am not OK with. I am not OK with doing embryo biopsy and genetic testing of each embryo and then deciding which to replace, which to discard. It has become a money grab, and that sickens me. I spend much of my professional time explaining why these dear patients should not buy into this, and am growing weary of that. Young people who are now coming out of training programs expect big bucks and little responsibility. My practice takes too much work and responsibility for any that I have interviewed.

    The idea of getting my CFI rating appeals to me, as does the idea of keeping you, my friends, medically up in the air. I am thinking of ways of doing that.

    Please continue to share your thoughts. I have received several pm’s telling me that many of you are in the same boat, and the kindness you show in sharing your thoughts is helping many. Thank you.

    Randy
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    Call Jay and order a Javron Supercub. That’ll keep you busy for a while. Then after that, fly it to Alaska with Bill Rusk, then after that get someone else to build one and help them….then fly together with Bill and Jay to Alaska….lol. I got a little bit hooked on building when I did mine, now a local A&P/IA with a pretty big shop asked me to cover a cub for a customer of his and He will help me get my A&P….I’m pretty busy at work (I’m Engineering and Operations Manager at our regional electric utility) but I’m in my 50s and looking down that road…I figure this is a foot in the door to possibly doing some enjoyable (hand picked) projects in my hangar..maybe for the guy I mentioned, maybe for others….he mentioned it’s not his specialty but is getting more tube and fabric inquiries as some of his corporate guys get bitten by the bug.
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  17. #17
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Boy, I can’t wait until retirement. So many fun things to do! Including flying all over the continent and mooching a meal and a couch from a lot of you! Maybe go out to Haines and walk George’s dogs. And then to ANC to check in with Mike Skup and see Stewart’s new plane and meet a whole bunch of people I haven’t met yet. And up to MT to help MTV with his next statewide aviation conference. And down to FL to pester Rick Papp. And up to Ontario to catch up with Wayne O’Shea and Marc Friesen. And out to the Maritime Provinces to make new friends and learn how to talk like Popeye. And down to LaPaz to visit friends from my Hageland days. And out to Graham to get underfoot in Steve’s shop. The list goes on and on! I can’t wait!
    Speedo
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  18. #18
    SteveE's Avatar
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    How about just back and forth from Dallas and OKC to watch grandkids grow up. I love the first part of that equation, itís the second part (getting older with them) I donít like.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  19. #19
    JWE's Avatar
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    SteveE remember getting older is the object of the exercise.
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  20. #20

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    I worked three years for the federales, 28-years self-employed, then I figured I might need to beef-up my pension income so I worked another 14-years for the territorial (Nunavut) government. The self-employment was stimulating and financially rewarding but the "jobs" - not so much, though they paid well. I've been retired six-years now and the only problem I'm having is finding the time to do all the things I want (or need) to do. I just don't seem to move as fast as I did even ten years ago. Financially, I have enough to pay the bills and enjoy a few toys - if I'm careful. Recently, I sent my wife out to work (just kidding). She got a nice teaching job that she's enjoying and, like most government jobs here in northern Canada, pays extremely well.

    Retiring from working life was not a big downer for me, but the day will come (too soon) when I'll no longer be able to safely fly in this remote part of the country. THAT will be a huge let-down when it comes but I'm steeling myself for the inevitable.

    I still have a house, two cabins, a hangar, an airplane and a truck to maintain and a garden to tend. Trades-people are scarce around here and expensive, but crawling under the truck to change the oil, or under the PA-12 to install the floats at least keeps me a bit limber. And I do have another technical hobby (ham radio) that is not too physically-demanding and exercises the mind a little.
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  21. #21
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Not much talk here about semi retirement, or maybe semi still working? That's working well for me, at 72, I still do crane work about 20 to 30 hours a week. I have the financial freedom, and bad attitude, to refuse to work for people that rub me the wrong way, that's always fun. Living 20 miles out of town, I don't need to make a special trip, on my own nickel, to get town stuff, I wait until I am doing a job and than run my personal errands. I have gradually come to notice that more and more of my acquaintances are retired, (ALL my old railroad carmen and engineer buddies, but I still fly formation with trains when I spot one), and I get asked when I "plan" to retire. My response is "when I can't find the keys to the crane." The average age of the crews I work with is about 25-35, kids, and I'm sure to them I am ancient, but a grey haired crane op, like a ATP pilot is confidence inspiring, or so I like to think. Other than nodding off after lunch on boring jobs (Starbucks instant, and a Jetboil fix that) I plan to continue it until I can't crawl up into it. No joke, a buddy in Arizona in the same business just broke 3 ribs after slipping climbing out, and fell backwards from about 6'. I'm making more money than any other time in my life, (that's not saying much, working construction for much of my life before craning) which seems to be confusing the social security folks, (and my accountant) as I'm also drawing it. I guess this is why they call this time of life The Golden Years? Having everything paid for sure helps.

    It does get a bit old at times, sitting in a narrow enclosed compartment all day, just wide enough for one person, moving controls to make things move around, so it's nice to do something completely different like flying my tandem Exp. Hey, wait a minute.....!
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  22. #22
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I’ve been my own boss for 33 years. I still like what I do and have no intention to turn off the computer and walk away. I do want to work less to make time for other things I enjoy. My work has never interfered with my play time. My choice of how to allot my time has. A little rebalancing of priorities is all I need and I’m in control of that. I always have been. No regrets. As I type this wife is buying another little piece of Texas. I guess we’re going to build a new house. Add one more item to the priorities list! Life is good.
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  23. #23
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    Ten or so years ago I tried retirement, after a while i decided to go back and work part time only when I wanted to and to work for only those who I enjoy working for. At 79 I'm still going strong and happy, plus it provides travel income. Randy, consider keeping your office only certain days of the week or only parts of a year.
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  24. #24
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Iíve been my own boss for 33 years. I still like what I do and have no intention to turn off the computer and walk away. I do want to work less to make time for other things I enjoy. My work has never interfered with my play time. My choice of how to allot my time has. A little rebalancing of priorities is all I need and Iím in control of that. I always have been. No regrets. As I type this wife is buying another little piece of Texas. I guess weíre going to build a new house. Add one more item to the priorities list! Life is good.
    Living the dream.

  25. #25
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Iím about 30-35 years younger than most of the folks responding here, but due to my job am about 3 years away from my first ďretirementĒ opportunity.

    As such, Iím actively looking at what my ďencore careerĒ might look like and I wanted you guys to know that I really appreciate your insights.
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  26. #26

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    Randy
    I was thinking you were younger. Hang it up and go play, at 69 ya got one foot in the grave already and you never know when you will step on that banana peel!!!
    DENNY
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  27. #27

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    Randy,

    Being in the Consulting business, I'm proud to announce our latest service called "Enjoyitforya." Where for a appropriately significant fee (to be paid in advance) I'll retire for you, then tell you all about it (complete with photo-shopping your picture into all of your bucket-list activities) all while you keep working.

    OC
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 03-09-2022 at 09:30 AM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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  28. #28
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Secrets to retirement: Avoid the old that are worn and bitter....embrace the young with their energy and curiosity. Avoid sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons or yelling a kids on your lawn. Get up with the sun and be gone with the wind every day. And keep a dog handy as they know your BS from reality.

    Gary
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    I guess I fall in the self-employed partially retired camp. When my wife became ill, I wrapped up my cases and took a year-long sabbatical to be with her and do things we like to do. It was not hard for me to do, being the boss and only employee.

    I'm still on the so-called sabbatical, sort of, but have been helping folks with their legal problems. Just at a slower pace. I also have other callings that pay the bills and keep me moving. I never thought of retiring so much as changing focus.
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  31. #31
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Please don't disregard the simple basics...actuarial age has been estimated by both Gov't and insurance underwriters. A healthy or unhealthy lifestyle affects the results but how much are you willing to spend away doing unfulfilling activity versus the potential for some remaining happiness and enlightenment? When we're gone it's for a very long time so fill every day with life. Leave the past and enjoy now. Don't expect a tomorrow.

    Gary
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  32. #32
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Excellent insights. Thank you. One of the purposes of starting this thread was to broaden my thought process, and this has been very helpful.

    I've enjoyed teaching at the high school and college level, teaching human reproductive anatomy and physiology. I have missed this for the last two years, given the so-called "mask mandate"...which was a deal breaker for me, as I don't feel that I can adequately communicate with a blasted mask on. I've shared this here before but, at the risk of being redundant, I recall how I listened a bit more carefully in any class I was in when a person came from "outside" to share some of their knowledge/experiences with us. I have found high schools that offer college credit for human anatomy are very open/appreciative for me coming in for a few hours each year. So, too, have colleges/universities. Medical schools are a bit harder, in that they rely on having students shadow in the office, and without an office that won't be possible.

    With the (tardy) realization by most reasonable institutions that masking is of very, very little benefit (and may well be quite damaging), things are opening up a bit and this will allow me to do this again. I find that spending time with young people is really invigorating. That is one of the reasons I enjoy spending time with you youngsters!

    Again, I appreciate your thoughts and insights.

    Randy

  33. #33
    rmac's Avatar
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    I haven't seen anyone mention retiring with forethought. I didn't do that. I had no intention of retiring at age 65, but an abruptly-deteriorating parent required a quick pivot, and with very little notice my retirement plan became eldercare. Mom passed on three years later at age 102, and although I'm never bored, I'm still off-balance and haven't figured out what I want retirement to look like. I don't regret my choices, as those last three years with Mom were some of our best, but my retirement plans are still coming together only slowly.

    So, I'd say to "fly it all the way into retirement" since you still have control of your timing. Craft those dreams in advance.

    Randy, thanks for all you do for this community and many others.
    Thanks WindOnHisNose thanked for this post

  34. #34

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    Remember when it comes to the front porch of life, these are the good old days!
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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  35. #35
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    .... at 69 ya got one foot in the grave already and you never know when you will step on that banana peel!!!
    DENNY
    By maintaining good health, age 69 is just a spring chicken. However .... be extra alert as those banana peels crop up more often.
    N1PA
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  36. #36
    SteveE's Avatar
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    This is the most depressing thread Iíve ever read.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  37. #37
    40m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmac View Post
    I haven't seen anyone mention retiring with forethought. I didn't do that. I had no intention of retiring at age 65, but an abruptly-deteriorating parent required a quick pivot, and with very little notice my retirement plan became eldercare. Mom passed on three years later at age 102, and although I'm never bored, I'm still off-balance and haven't figured out what I want retirement to look like. I don't regret my choices, as those last three years with Mom were some of our best, but my retirement plans are still coming together only slowly.

    So, I'd say to "fly it all the way into retirement" since you still have control of your timing. Craft those dreams in advance.

    Randy, thanks for all you do for this community and many others.
    Well now we can help you with that. The Northeast "Big Tire Boys" need new recruits, retirees are preferred.

    From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be
    found in all corners of the earth."

    Then he made the earth round... and He laughed and laughed and laughed!
    Thanks WindOnHisNose, rmac thanked for this post
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  38. #38
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I say the hearse will be coming to my hangar. Can't see ever retiring, I am aligning things towards more mail box money (STCs, parts, etc) my body hurts more and more climbing in and out and under these things. Doesn't help that I did stupid stuff in my younger years which have taken their toll on my body.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Doesn't help that I did stupid stuff in my younger years which have taken their toll on my body.
    Used it too much when it was new!
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  40. #40
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    Used it too much when it was new!
    And then some.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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