My first year of retirement

I just passed the one year anniversary of my retirement so I thought it would be worth looking at what I said I would be doing when I retired and comparing it to what has happened. It has been a quite a year with lots of ups and downs. Back when I decided to retire I wrote a blog entry about the things I wanted to do. I’m including exerts from it here with comments about how things have turned out.

from  the bog about my plans….. "My career has certainly been a big part of how I define myself. In
fact during hard times in my life my success at work greatly helped my
self esteem. But at this point in my life I have lots of joys and
interests outside of work and I really don’t think I’ll have too much
trouble adjusting. And retiring now doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll never
work again. It just means I’m quitting for now."

I haven’t missed work at all. I love working for me. I love having my life to myself. I’ll never say never, but I really can’t see myself ever working for someone else again. I’m having too much fun.

Here is the list of things I said I wanted to do with my retirement. I’ve put comments after each one with my observations about what has really happened.

" 1. Spend more time with my Husband, my Daughters, my new Grandson,
my family and my friends. There never seems to be enough time and now
I’m hoping there will be."

I have certainly done some of this especially when I was still living in the Bay Area but one of the down sides of moving to Reno has been that I don’t see enough of the family and friend we left behind and I really do miss them. Moving out of expensive California was part of the financial strategy that allowed me to retire at age 54. I love Reno and the new friends I am making  here but the down side is definitely missing my family and friends in California.

"2. Exercise more regularly – weight lifting and  walking. "

It is certainly easier to find the time to exercise without work getting in the way. I haven’t been lifting weights but I have started yoga (I really love it!) and I have been swimming and of course doing a lot of hiking. The hiking has been awesome. The Sierra canyon Hiking Group  and the wonderful hiking opportunities around Reno have made hiking one of the very best things about retirement and moving.

" 3. Sell our house and move. We don’t know where but exploring the
possibilities will be a big part of the agenda for the next few years.

We put our house on the market but unfortunately we did it in about the worst market for selling a house that I can remember. I don’t want to jinx things but there may be light at the end of the tunnel on this front. The move we did. Since July we have lived in Reno. I love it here. Reno is much better then I ever expected. It is so nice to live in a smaller town with lots of amenities but less traffic and lots of fun places to explore and things to do. I wasn’t sure about living in a Del Webb over 55 community but that has also exceeded expectations. We have met so many wonderful people and are having so much fun!

" 4. Improve my piano playing skills. I’ve taken lessons for the last
several years and I am looking forward to having more time to practice.

I did this until we moved. Then I gave away the piano with the idea that I would get a new one once we settled some place. So far it hasn’t happened. I haven’t touched a piano since mid June. I do miss it but I’m still debating whether I want to start playing again. I have very little talent and after all these years am still not a good piano player. But I do enjoy it. I play only for me and I probably will again some day but for now I am focusing on other things.

" 5. Blogging – I want to get to the point where I blog about
interesting things every day. I want to improve my writing and blogging
skills and I think the best way to do that is to just do it regularly.
I also want to redesign my blog and explore some of the technology I’ve
gotten behind on since I started my current job.

I guess it goes without saying I am still blogging. I really do love it. I’m still figuring out how to be interesting, how to improve my writing skills and how to improve my blog.  I still need to get better about blogging regularly and I still want to do some redesign and focus. My blogging like my life is a work in progress.

" 6. Travel – I’m looking forward to taking some long trips both within
the US and abroad. Duke and I have talked about spending several months
in Spain or Portugal or Australia or any of a whole list of other
places. The idea is that if we rented a place and really explored an
area then friends and family could come visit while we were there."

We have done some traveling. Our month long driving trip through Mexico last January was awesome. it verified for me how much I love traveling. Since then life has precluded any more travel for fun. I think once we sell the house this may change. I hope so.

" 7. Gardening – This is one of those things I’ve always thought I would like to do more of. We shall see. "

Other than helping Duke work on our yard in Union City this hasn’t happened. It is one of the things that will be difficult to do in Reno’s desert climate so this may be off the list. Time will tell.

" 8. Hiking – My goal is to do at least one long hike a week. "

Since moving to Reno and joining the Sierra Canyon hiking group I have been hiking twice a week and loving it. It certainly takes time and I didn’t hike very much when I worked. Now that I have the time it is awesome to explore all the beautiful places to hike especially in the Sierras west of Reno.

" 9. Financial Planning – I’m hoping to do what it takes to complete the practical experience for my Certified Financial Planning certification.
I’m still exploring how I will do this and then there is the question
of how I will use the CFP once I get it. I’ve got lots of ideas to

It seems like a real pity to waste the time and effort I put into taking all the classes and studying for and passing the CFP certification exam but the time allowed to get the necessary practical experience has almost passed and this is something I just don’t think I want to do any more. It is too much like work. I learned a lot and I enjoyed the process but I think this is off my list.

" 10. Guitar – I keep thinking I’d like to start taking guitar lessons again."

I’ve done nothing about this. It is still on the maybe someday list.

" 11. Read – I love to read. "

I have done a lot of reading but I always want to do more. One cool side benefit is that I have received review copies of a DK book about Lincoln and a DK book of world history and have written reviews. I’ve also decided to read a book about each of the U.S. presidents.

"12. Programming – I haven’t done it in many years but my degree is in
Computer Science and for a long time I’ve been intrigued with the idea
of working on an open source project."

I haven’t touch this goal but this is something I am still determined to do. I think I need to determine what my first step should be.

New things I am adding to my list to possibly explore now that I am a year into my retirement include the following.

  • Perhaps start volunteering at the Nevada Museum of art
  • Learn to speak Spanish
  • Become an amateur historian
  • Knitting
  • Geneology

My Mother’s death was the one terribly low point for this year. I miss her. But other than her death it has been a good year and I am looking forward to my second year of retirement and to continuing to explore my goals and interests.

Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

2 thoughts on “My first year of retirement”

  1. Congratulations!! You accomplished a lot in your first year of retirement. It’s a good thing that you retired at such an early age – at this time in your life you are able to do lots of things and you are doing them!!! That’s wonderful.
    I retired years ago and as time goes by I do less and less, and that’s ok too.
    Keep on doing and enjoying.


  2. Congrats on everything you have accomplished this year! One of the things I love about the 10-year journal that Allie gave me (inspired by you?) is that I can look at the goals I set for myself during the year and cross them off. It’s really rewarding. Good luck with the spanish! If you ever need any encouragement you can always practice with me! We could be spanish penpals or email buddies or something.


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