Be careful what you wish for…you might get it.

All your working life, you dream of the time when you can retire – no work stress or commitments, no calendars and meetings dictating the flow of your days. All the time in the world opens up to do all those things you would do if you weren’t working: take up a new hobby, learn a new language, see the world.

There is no magical calendar date when you “are retired.” In fact, you get to pick the date. But the only way to pick that date is to do A LOT of homework and planning. To be honest, I’ve spent more time planning the path to retirement than I did planning my career path through college.

The closer I get to retirement, I am surprised by the rising terror in my guts. At the beginning, retirement started to look like a great abyss. Can we afford to not work? How will we pay the bills? Have we saved enough? It’s a big revelation to see just how much a regular job provides a sense of order and security.

It’s been four years since we started seriously evaluating options. Every day, we get closer to cutting the security cord to our regular jobs. We’ve consulted professionals, we’ve done our homework online and on the ground. We have ridiculous spreadsheets that chart our finances, and our priorities for all of that available time. And, we have settled on a landing pad – a home in the Four Corners region – ready and waiting for us: Mancos House. We are closing in on our retirement launch date: this blog contains notes from our journey.

I’ve never parachuted out of an airplane before, but this is what retirement feels like to me. The planning and preparation can only go so far: it’s a leap of faith to step off the edge and trust that the chute will open. But, what a ride!

Published by Carolyn Shimek

Traveler, singer, cook, mom and nature nerd.

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