Tuesday, August 4, 2009

727 - Two Years and Counting

After blowing past the "two years left until my retirement-eligible target" of August 1, I'm realizing just how fast time is traveling. It seems that in spite of frequent attention being paid to the remaining time, the pace is indeed accelerating. I'm thinking this is both good and bad.

A quickened pace leading to retirement gets to that emotional "nirvana" more quickly, alleviating the "can't wait 'til Christmas" feeling that we all had (have!) as kids. I'm excited to get there and want the waiting time to be short.

But there are drawbacks to the quick pace I'm beginning to experience.

First, there's the very real need to transform the old 201(k) back into a 401(k) to put the retirement funding back on track. You're saying, "time doesn't really go faster or slower, it's just a perception; you really have two years left, no matter how fast it 'seems' to be going."


But with the perception that time is actually going faster, I must be on guard to fight the urge to "catch up" the investment funds too quickly through poor decisions. Stay the course. Make careful choices.

There's another, more deeply emotional aspect of time going quickly: relationships. If I choose to retire on Day 0 (remember, at that point in time I may "choose" to work, as opposed to being "required" to do so), I will be leaving a career-long connection to my professional family. I don't take this concept lightly. My employer of now nearly 31 years has in it a unique and cherished family feel that is quite unusual in what would be a Fortune 600 or 700 company. Large organizations don't always foster that type of close-knit feeling.

I won't even get into the impact I will have on my wife when I retire. Reduced stress for me, but heightened stress for her. Having me around every day won't necessarily be a cake walk. This could be the basis for a whole series of posts by itself!

For now, I will continue to enjoy the Retirement Countdown experience due to (or in spite of) the seemingly quickened pace. Have you experienced these feelings? How did you deal with it? If you're still a long way away from retirement, how do my perspectives affect yours?