Big day.

I was thinking in the shower today. Don’t we all do our best thinking there? I wish showers could go on for two hours, some days. Anyway, I was thinking mostly about fear.

I live in a suburb, and sometimes I get a chance to write about it, as I did today. The story is about a local lawyer, who is black, and was told his BLM sign was in violation of the local ordinance governing yard signs, and that he’d have to take it down.

One tangent I didn’t include was this: The complaint was signed by a cop, which is standard practice when a neighbor complains and doesn’t want to be known as the complainant. The lawyer said that if one of his neighbors had a problem with the sign and came to him to talk about it, he’d probably have taken it down. But calling cops is chickenshit, and so it was that I thought in the shower about fear.

Fear is the dominant emotion of parenthood, especially when your kids are young. The hospital hands you this tiny, larval little human being, and if you have an ounce of self-awareness at all, you are flooded with terror. For days, you an barely leave them alone in a room without fearing they’ll burst into flames or something. But newborns are easy compared to toddlers, lurching around the house and threatening to smash into coffee-table edges or fall down the stairs or drown in their baby pools the second you turn your head for even a second.

A friend once said that children never grow out of one set of dangers without growing into another. Truer words, etc.

But eventually, you learn to relax a little and if you’re lucky you even get to the point where you understand that what will happen will happen whether you’re there or not, and you can even trust that you’ve done the best you could, so que sera sera.

The fear, however, can become comfortable, like a pair of sweat pants. But comfort =/= a good look, and you can end up wearing them every day because it’s familiar, and change is scary. And so, instead of just asking the perfectly nice man across the street whether he needs to have a huge Black Lives Matter sign and maybe a smaller one, or two smaller ones would be sufficient? You call the goddamn police.

Suburbs are full of people like this. So are cities, for that matter. Maybe that’s why we keep buying guns. In fact, I’m sure that’s why.

Oh, well. Other things of note happened in Michigan today. A truly bonkers committee hearing in Lansing, that wasn’t held for any reason other than to allow a lot of venting about the election. Here’s one straight news account; and here’s a more entertaining Twitter thread. God, these people. Stop indulging them.

One final note, which we’ve known for a while but here we go: Alan is retiring in a month. The buyout offer came as expected, and at 64, he’s decided he’s had enough. I’m in full agreement. Anyway, our financial guy says we have enough money to do this, and so he’s pulling the ripcord. Me, I’ll keep working, but only part time, and at some point I guess I’ll be out of the plane, too. I expect it to feel great.

Posted at 9:51 pm in Current events |

72 responses to “Big day.”

  1. basset said on December 1, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Felt great for me. There was a pizza lunch in the conference room, I was given an aerial photo of downtown signed by many of my co-workers, and I wandered around the office for a few more minutes before it finally sank in that I was done, nobody expected anything from me, and I could just leave. Which I then did.

    Thought that Indiana concerts link yesterday would have gotten more attention. Major rabbit hole for me, finding shows and saying “I was there.”

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  2. Deborah said on December 1, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    You will feel great Nancy, you’ll love it, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. Good for Alan.

    I watched two Netflix movies tonight, “Hillbilly Elegy” and “The social Network”. Liked them both.

    It’s getting down to 12 in Santa Fe tonight. Winter is here.

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  3. Margaret said on December 1, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    This is my third year of retirement and I’m adjusted and enjoying it. I found it aimless and difficult at first, but I now have my small routines plus a lot of relaxation. That is an appalling story about how chickenshit and awful people can be. Were they always this way and we didn’t realize it? Or are there more of them now? (perhaps more emboldened)

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  4. Charlotte said on December 1, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    One of my pandemic projects has been a deep dive into the naturalistic garden movement — and look! Belle Isle has a Piet Oudolf garden going in —

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  5. Mark P said on December 1, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    I found my true calling when I retired. I had been working as an independent contractor for almost 20 years and had cut my working days down to four after I got married in 2005 because work was 120 miles from home. I sort of drifted out of work. No party, no farewell of any kind. I still do the occasional bit of work for them, but I have mixed feelings about that, even though I do it from the comfort of my own home.

    My only regret is that I didn’t manage to retire at the age my father did — 57. He kept busy till he died at 82 and never once looked back.

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  6. Ann said on December 2, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Happy retirement to Alan. I recommend it. Does this mean you’re likely to move? And if so, where?

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  7. Dexter Friend said on December 2, 2020 at 2:36 am

    I approached retirement with trepidation 18 years ago, at age 53. UAW 30 and out, a concept that has been severely modified since. One man I worked with the whole 30 married a co-worker early on, they lived on her checks, he invested every nickel of his pay very conservatively, and just before I quit he told me he finally did it: he crested $1M is assets. Soon, they both retired, set. I wasn’t really set at all, but as I wrote here a couple years ago, I finally paid off the credit card debt and the V.A. kicks in some disability pay (Agent Orange compensation) so we are above water.
    All the years, a person’s last day was spent shaking hands, saying goodbyes, eating a slice of cake with the people in your area/group, doing no work. Well, my cake was delivered to the wrong shift, they ate it. I worked 15 minutes past quitting time as it was a busy day. When a worker retired, union stewards collected a dollar from all the workers plant wide for the retiree. I had to track mine down, locked in the union office…they had forgotten me. And I had a good start on retirement savings until all 3 daughters started university studies. They all worked, 2 of them got sizable scholarships, and still drained the savings. Oh well, that was years ago; most all of us may have done better with savings and investments. Somebody’s gotta fall for the sucker bets, right? 🙁

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  8. David C said on December 2, 2020 at 6:11 am

    My current plan is to work until I’m 70 (9 years, 7 months, 14 days). I had to figure that out. I don’t keep a running count. I like what I do and don’t really know what I’d do in retirement except rust away. But who knows what the next ten years may bring. If they dangled a buyout in front of me in five years, who knows?

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  9. Icarus said on December 2, 2020 at 6:18 am

    This whole “work until you are within field goal range of Death” retirement model needs an overhaul. I’m in relatively good health and shape but even my 51 yr old body* is feeling it, I cannot imagine it will get any better.

    * granted I did a lot of abuse to my knees with overdoing the marathons and training.

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  10. Suzanne said on December 2, 2020 at 6:40 am

    One thing I learned during the initial pandemic lockdown is that I will thoroughly enjoy retirement. I enjoy being home, puttering around, doing a bit of this and some of that. My husband will need to find things to do, as he does not entertain himself well at all, needs a focus, and will drive me to distraction if he is home too much with nothing in particular to do.

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  11. nancy said on December 2, 2020 at 7:33 am

    No plans to move. Our house is approaching payoff, and I’d like to live in it at taxes/insurance/maintenance costs for a while, or at least as long as I can climb stairs.

    We’ve spent enough time in northern Michigan to know — for me to know, anyway — that it’s a nice place to visit, and visit a lot, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Too far from stuff I enjoy, etc.

    I expect our final destination will depend on where Kate settles. If it’s here, happy to stay here. If it’s Los Angeles, open up that golden gate. Miami, New York, Nashville, etc. all would be fine with me. Well, maybe not Miami.

    First priority is getting our house in ready-to-sell condition, but then — plot twist! — not selling. I told Alan, “You know how, when you’re getting ready to list your house, you fix every little thing that’s wrong with it? You move a bunch of crap out, paint, spruce it all up, and then you look around and say ‘Why are we selling this nice place, anyway?’ That’s what I want our house to be like.” With the pandemic and all, might as well.

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  12. Dave said on December 2, 2020 at 8:15 am

    I retired at 60 years and 8 months. I could have gone on my 60th birthday but our youngest was still in college and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving just yet. Other than a mortgage, we were pretty well set and since then, we’ve shedded the mortgage, downsized, moved to Florida, gained five grandchildren, and sometimes regret living so far from the grandchildren. No easy solution there.

    I have been very glad that I am retired during this pandemic. I occasionally hear from some folks I worked with and there have been quite a few issues with the pandemic there. Also, even if I do hardly anything on some days, it doesn’t make me want to work.

    After our son lived in Miami for a couple of years, I wouldn’t choose that as a place to live for any reason.

    Mark P, my father retired at 55, he lived to be 85, most of his 30 years of retirement were good years.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Basset, I actually read that story in the paper copy of the Indy Star my father-in-law gets and reads cover to cover every day, and I find myself doing the same rather than watching “Father Knows Best” on MeTV. It was interesting to remember the story of Sunshine Productions and their arc; I met Steve Sybesma once up at Purdue when they were getting going and I was involved in student government in the early 80s. The website is a great use of pandemic limitations to create something good out of all this awfulness:

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  14. Mark P said on December 2, 2020 at 8:44 am

    My father was in the Army in WW II and stayed in the reserves. He left as a Lt.Col. He worked at the Post Office. When he retired he got an Army retirement as well as his PO retirement. His year of unused sick leave counted, and I think his years in the Army also somehow counted towards his PO retirement. My mother worked at a textile mill for 20 years until they closed the plant, and she got $89 a month in retirement. They did have a stock bonus trust which helped a little. Their retirement income was about the what I made as a PhD in my first job.

    I, on the other hand, drifted around. Four years as a reporter, about two as a bum, five as a graduate student. I started a good job at 36, and my retirement plan was to live in the back of my truck. That plan went out the window when I got married at 50. I started putting away as much as I could in a mutual fund. Now we can live on our combined social security, with a decent amount of savings available if we need it. No mortgage either.

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  15. Deborah said on December 2, 2020 at 9:01 am

    I retired 5 days before my 62nd birthday. I don’t remember exactly why I picked that date but it was almost 2 years later than I wanted it to be. I was working on an interesting project though and that made it more bearable to stay on.

    It’s snowing again in Santa Fe.

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  16. David C said on December 2, 2020 at 9:12 am

    We have no idea where we’ll end up when I retire. We don’t have children so that’s not a consideration. On the other hand, we don’t have children and don’t make friends easily so we have to consider what we’d do if we were on our own and something went upside down. The one thing we know we aren’t going to do is get an RV and live the hobo life like Mary’s sister is. We have to have a home base. We’ll probably end up back in West Michigan.

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  17. JMG said on December 2, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Retirement is the bomb. Alan will enjoy it and so will you. Curious, active people always find valuable ways to use their time.

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  18. JodiP said on December 2, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Loving all the retirement stories! Congratulations to Alan.

    I so wish I could retire this very minute, but I know I am fortunate to be able to do so in 6 1/2 years when I turn 62. One major factor is the county will cover their portion of the health insurance premium and I can pay mine until Medicare kicks in. I changed plans this year, and it’s costing me $9 a month. Unions have their issues, but man! I wish everyone could have this level of benefits.

    I think I’ve mentioned this before, but we have a plan to move to Europe upon retirement. It will likely happen when I am 65, as my wife is a bit younger. We’d been looking at Portugal, but will review options closer to the time. Who knows what the economy will do?

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  19. Julie Robinson said on December 2, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Congratulations to Alan. May his retirement go as smoothly as my husband’s. Dennis had worked since his first paper route at 10, and he was ready a couple of years ago. So when the offer came he snatched it up, had a party, and left a couple days later to visit the kids.

    He seems busier than before he retired, what with planning for our house addition and all the paperwork for moving. He’s filed for Social Security, we’re working on an ACA health plan, and choosing Medicare supplements come next. He’s able to spend more time with family and friends, and that’s been very helpful as we have someone with major health challenges.

    Since I went straight from working to caregiving, I don’t feel 100% retired, but it’s been much easier since we moved to the same apartment complex as Mom. Plus, I sleep until I wake up every single day; no alarm clock. Best perk of all.

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  20. Mark P said on December 2, 2020 at 10:55 am

    David C, we are in the same situation. We have no kids and no friends here. My younger nephew and some friends from way back live in Denver. I have told my wife we should move close to Denver. We couldn’t afford a house in the city. On the other hand, I really like where we live on top of a mountain in the country, except in the summer when the heat and humidity are unbearable. I don’t refer to my blog often, but I have some pictures I took out our front door on my last two blog posts. But nice scenery won’t take either of us to the doctor’s office.

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  21. Suzanne said on December 2, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Y’all are making me crave retirement! We don’t know where we will go when the time comes. Our children live on opposite ends of the country and having lived in Indiana for most of our careers, we have made Indiana wages, which means we are of limited means. So, we may be stuck here, and although we have friends and family here, it makes me sad. I miss my kids.

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  22. basset said on December 2, 2020 at 11:35 am

    I retired just after I turned 63. Still working a little, just occasional freelance stuff, but I enjoy doing it… life is good as long as we can stay healthy, or at least not get any worse.

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  23. Dorothy said on December 2, 2020 at 11:42 am

    I’d retire in a New York minute if I could. Working from home due to the virus has been a Godsend but I’m so ready to be over the b.s. worrying I seem to do about so many things at the office. I really like my colleagues and I know I do important work (making sure their salaries are done right – the adjuncts – and processing everythign else to make the department run smoothly). But I’m over it. I like being home and doing what I want to do when I want to do it. When the pandemic is over and we return to work at the building, I’m going to really hate it. We have good investments and savings and I’m going to hope we can make this happen for me, at least, next summer. We’re the same age and Mike likes working. But if they’d offer him an early retirement package, I think he’d jump on it.

    We want to stay in this area to be near our son, his wife and granddaughter. Our daughter is not too far away – we can visit when we want to when we’re retired. But I want to do some traveling while we’re still healthy and get around all right. I’m SO glad we did our 40th anniversary trip last year in Ireland and Scotland. We day dream about future trips all the time. Where should we go next? we ask ourselves at least twice a month.

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  24. LAMary said on December 2, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Having gutted my retirement money to fight off my ex I always figured I’d sell my LA ridiculously overpriced house for retirement. It is allegedly worth over a million. I think anyone who would pay a million for this house is insane but all around me this is happening. The sticky part of this plan is one son who wants to marry his girlfriend who lives in China asap. The requirements for a fiancee’ visa have some limit on how long it’s been since they have been together and the pandemic ate some of that time. They need to get the process going soon. They do actually know each other. She worked here in the US for about three years so it’s not some creepy internet love affair. Anyway, he wants to live in this house. With his wife. Raising kids. I told him this house is my retirement fund and that if I let him live here I need to find a way for him to buy out what I would have left to his brother once I croak. A good friend suggested that I offer to sell the house to him. I know he can’t buy a million dollar house. So how do I eventually retire (I’m 67 now and trying to make it to 70 so I can get a better SS payment) without kicking my son out of the house? I don’t want to set up a monthly payment thing with him buying me out. He works as a roadie. Great bucks when you’re touring. Zero anything when you’re not. In the meantime I’m getting spouse social security starting 12/16 which is not fabulous but not bad either. WIth my current job I’m making about 60% of what I was making previously, but I’m grateful to have a job. All suggestions are welcomed.

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  25. jerry said on December 2, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    I managed to retire at 51. Mobil, for whom I worked, moved out of London and were keen to lose the expensive older people – read over 50. So I’ve been drawing a company pension for 25 years but I also a spent a number of years doing freelance work.

    Retiring early was great: no commuting up to town every day; no meetings to go to: no appraisals to give – marvellous. I did miss the social contact with people I’d known for up to 25 years, even though I didn’t necessarily want them as close friends.

    But since then I’ve taken a degree with the Open University, done a lot of research into family history, studied Tai Chi to a reasonable standard and visited Australia more times than I care to count.

    My best wishes for Alan in retirement and for you when you follow him.

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  26. JodiP said on December 2, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    LAMary, have you thought about building another dwelling on the site? I have no idea what this would cost or if there is space, but accessory dwelling units are becoming a thing–which I am sure you have heard about.

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  27. Sherri said on December 2, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Sell the house. Son can raise his family in a different house.

    My husband, who turns 62 next week, can retire, but isn’t quite ready. I think maybe in another year or two he might be.

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  28. LAMary said on December 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    While my house is on a double lot the house has had a few rooms and a garage attached making the extra lot far too small to build on.
    Sherri, I think that might be the solution. The person who gave me the suggestion to sell it to the son was on the same track you’re on.

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  29. Mark zp said on December 2, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    I agree with Sherri, sell the house.

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  30. Heather said on December 2, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    LA Mary, your first responsibility is to yourself and your future. Sell the house.

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  31. Scout said on December 2, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    LAMary, I agree with the others who have advised selling the house. If you invest the proceeds well your sons will benefit later. It’s a lovely idea to pass on a house, but only if you have the financial security to do so.

    My wife retired at 61 and has loved every minute of the self care she has been able to enjoy, plus she has become our main meal preparer. She is much better at it than I am, always finding new and delicious recipes. She is looking for something meaningful to volunteer for once the pandemic is over. I am aiming to work until my full retirement age of 66 1/2, in just a little over 3 years. This all depends on my boss not retiring before that. He turned 68 today, so it’s possible there will be a bit of a gap between his retirement date and mine, but we will manage, because we have no debt except for a small mortgage balance. We’ll just have to tighten our belt and hope nothing major breaks down until I go on SS.

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  32. Deborah said on December 2, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    My advice is to sell the house, LAMary, if you can get that much for it, you’ll be set. I understand that there may be sentimental reasons your son might want to raise his kids in the house, but you never know what the future holds, he might get a terrific job someday in another state, or country, you just never know, he’s awfully young to be making a lifelong decision. IMHO anyway.

    My husband’s younger daughter’s exhusband inherited a house in Anaheim from his grandmother, a very modest place, that was recently valued during their divorce proceedings at a million. It’s amazing how much housing costs in California can be.

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  33. Deborah said on December 2, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Holy cow, I read online that Trump is considering firing Barr and replacing him with someone who will do his bidding, with only 49 days left in his presidency. What a roller coaster.

    The good news is that prominent republicans in Georgia are telling people not to vote for Loughlin or Perdue. I’m all for that. What a circus.

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  34. kayak woman said on December 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Congratulations to Alan! My husband retired early a few years ago and is ALWAYS busy (he’s another person who began working with a paper route at 10). My main problem with it is that I am now a permanent telecommuter and the whole “I married you for better or worse but not for lunch” thing gets tiresome. My shower thoughts are marred by difficult family memories that always seem to surface when I’m in there. I think it’s more related to time of day than location. But cheers to you!

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  35. Deborah said on December 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    I totally misspelled the name of woman who is running for the senate race in Georgia and I’m not even going to correct it.

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  36. Bitter Scribe said on December 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    It’s going to be two loooong years before I can retire.

    Actually, I might be able to pull it off now. But it would be very expensive. I might consider it if I hated my job, but I actually like it and am lucky to have it.

    Now back to work.

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  37. Indiana Jack said on December 2, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    My wife and I both retired this year. She at 70, me at 71.5.
    The pandemic, not surprisingly, has been a complication.
    Ask someone what they want to do in retirement and many will answer, “Travel.”
    So much for that.
    We had planned a trip to Rome to celebrate my wife’s birthday/retirement in April. That obviously did not happen. First it was bounced to September, now to late March of 2021. And I have real doubts about that happening.
    Still, we’re staying busy. She’s knitting sweaters for grandchildren now that she can no longer work in the garden. I’m on a couple of non-profit boards and picked up a part-time copy editing gig with the English language version of a news website out of Myanmar, roughly 5 hours a week.
    And, LA Mary, I agree: Sell the house. That’s best for all concerned in the long run.

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  38. LAMary said on December 2, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Yeah, houses are crazy expensive here and my neighborhood is very desirable right now. I also notice that the ex is not making any gestures towards him and the wife and the future kids to move in with him at the beach in Mailbu. I’m not ready to sell and move on right now and things would have to go really south for me to not make a nice chunk on the house even if the prices go down I’ve got lots of equity. I appreciate the unanimous suggestions. You have all said exactly what the former landlord of the hostess’s daughter during her Los Angeles stay said. He also has the insight of being a former roadie himself and suggests I should not rely on the income of a roadie being consistent.

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  39. Dorothy said on December 2, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Maybe the realization of knowing you’re not letting him have the house will motivate him to try another line of work? Roadies are important, but it could be just what he needs to consider his options if he’s serious about getting married and needing a roof over his and her heads.

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  40. Icarus said on December 2, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    LAMary, I’m not sure I caught all the parameters of your needs, but can you and your son, and his family cohabitate without getting on each other’s nerves? Are you trying to cash out while simultaneously helping your offspring out?

    I’m sure you googled ways to pass down your home to your children. Not sure if California laws impede these ideas.

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  41. Colleen said on December 2, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Congratulations to Alan! My husband is 67 and still working, with no end in sight. Radio in Indiana isn’t very lucrative. I have retirement savings adding up, so with any luck I won’t have to work until the morning of my funeral. Though my student loan balance may make that necessary….

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  42. Deborah said on December 2, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    While my husband says he’ll never retire, that he’ll die at his drafting table designing a building… He doesn’t even own a drafting table, if ever, now it’s all done on computer. He stays busy with projects, but it’s nothing like it used to be, thank goodness. Partly because architecture was decimated during the 2008 recession and the other part because of the change in his own philosophy about architecture and urban design, which is a long story.

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  43. David C said on December 2, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    We had a guy at work who worked until he was 92 years old. He left work one Friday afternoon fully expecting to be back at work on Monday. He went into the hospital on Saturday and died on Sunday. He tried retirement in his 60s but didn’t like it. I plan on working longer than most but I’m not going to be ridiculous about it like that. I’ll work until I max out my SS and that’s it.

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  44. LAMary said on December 2, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Icarus, I’ve always figured I’d sell my house and retire on that cash. The house is worth roughly ten times what I paid for it. My retirement was wiped out by a divorce so it’s the house or nothing. The idea of living under the same roof appeals to him because I will be here to keep his wife company while he’s touring. The last full year he toured he was on the road for a solid four months. Then off and on for the next six. Cool if you’re single and 24, which he was at the time. Part of my problem with this whole thing is that aside from my retirement issue his marriage seems to be contingent on my full cooperation. I’m not hearing any plan b from him.I think I need a full on meeting with him and his brother to lay out what I need so I don’t have to keep temping for the rest of my life. I could rent out my house for maybe 5 or 6k per month. I could sell it. In either case the house is my income.

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  45. alex said on December 2, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    The trouble with selling a house in a hot real estate market is: Where you gonna move that doesn’t suck or doesn’t cost you the profit you’re making on your equity?

    Our retirement plan is to turn our home and adjacent investment property into furnished executive short-stay places with full-time housekeeping, gardening and maintenance. We’ll move into my parents’ crumbling estate and try to shore it up. We might handle some of the rental duties in our retirement or just job it all out and make it part of the business overhead.

    For the next few years, I plan to grow my 401K as much as I can, and my partner just went to work for an ESOP employer where he hopes to sock away as much as possible in the next five to ten years.

    Lots of options to consider. Real estate is a good thing to have as a retirement investment in any case, and LAMary, I think you’re wise to hold onto it. Wish I’d grabbed onto some more when real estate was depressed. There were some amazing deals around here just a few years ago and now we’re suddenly the primo zip code and people are in bidding wars for even the shittiest shit.

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  46. Sherri said on December 2, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Definitely family meeting time. If son wants to get married, time to be a grownup and not assume Mom is going to solve his problems (house, lonely wife) for him.

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  47. Diane said on December 2, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    LAMary-ditto what everyone else is saying, sell your house when it is the right time for you. Let your sons know that is the plan so that they don’t have unrealistic expectations.

    Sherri-thank you for your explanation of the NFL COVID-19 rules. I appreciate it and it helped me understand the situation better.

    Dorothy-I did not know you were a Steelers fan. I am an unhappy Ravens fan but I have to congratulate you on the fabulous season they are having.

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  48. LAMary said on December 2, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    On another topic, I just saw Kayleigh McEnany say that the vaccine should be called the trump vaccine. I think that if anything related to the pandemic is named after that orange toxic waste it should the the trump body bag. Or maybe the trump mobile morgue, since he was moved, ever so slightly, by the sight of refrigerated trucks full of dead covid patients at Elmhurst Hospital near where he lived in Queens.

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  49. Dexter Friend said on December 3, 2020 at 1:25 am

    A friend used to fly to LA frequently for corporate mandatory business meetings, 25 years before Zoom became the norm. He decided he was sick of having to fly out so often so he scouted real estate with determination to find affordable housing to buy. He came back with a photo and showed us an empty lot. “This is my budget; this lot is $1.5M”. And…he still lives here in Ohio. Man, that guy can play a mean violin, just beautifully.
    I have posted here stories of my travels, but I never came close to Miami, Florida. My daughter Sandi and her husband lived in Homestead for 18 months and now have bought in Port St. Lucie, so they know Miami well. Miami traffic is crazy all the time, reported Sandi. People just drive way too aggressively and speed limits are meaningless. She also had trouble because she said “English is a second language here”, and she does not speak more than broken Spanish. However, she raves about the great carry-out menus and the restaurants when she feels safe to eat in.
    Mere hours until 80 year olds will be receiving the vaccine over in Blighty. Then the doctors and all the nurses and technicians who work with Covid19 cases. YEA !!

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  50. Dexter Friend said on December 3, 2020 at 1:29 am

    Is this the biggest day in medicine annals since Elvis went on The Ed Sullivan Show (called “Toast of the Town” in early years), to take his polio vaccine? Brian Williams reported this, and Dad was a devotee of the show, but I was a little kid and, no memory.

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  51. ROGirl said on December 3, 2020 at 4:55 am

    I’m not ready to retire yet, and the medical coverage beats any of the alternatives currently available to me.

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  52. Deborah said on December 3, 2020 at 6:23 am

    As I’ve said here many times, I grew up in Miami, FL and hated it. It got better when more Cubans and Puerto Ricans moved there and spiced it up. And now it has an interesting arts community that seemed nonexistent when I was a kid.

    Oh yes I remember getting the polio vaccine in school when I was a kid, I remember standing in line in the nurses station, they had those in schools back then. Do they still have those?

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  53. Dorothy said on December 3, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Diane – I’m a native Pittsburgher. Born there in ’57 and didn’t move away until 2002. My fall/winter weekend wardrobe is usually black and gold on Sundays, probably college colors on Saturday depending on who’s playing. My husband got his degree at night at Pitt, our daughter went to Penn State, our son went to Ohio State and got his masters online at Penn State. So our allegiances are all over the place. When OSU and PSU play each other, Mike likes to say he’s cheering for Pitt.

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  54. Peter said on December 3, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Deborah, I still have my drafting table although I haven’t used it in quite some time, and if I was honest with myself it would be hauled out.

    About ten years ago I was doing a hand drawing on the drafting table because the printer was broken and nobody could figure out when it would be fixed, and two interns stopped and watched me draft and to them it must have looked like I was operating a loom.

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  55. Jim said on December 3, 2020 at 10:22 am

    LAMary: sell!

    You can buy something for less than half in the Colorado Flatirons. If you want the beach, do one of those Baja or Costan Rican condos I used to see on House Hunters International.

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 3, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Great step forward.

    I was just at our city cemetery on court business (mediation with a kid who did some park vandalism), and the head told me he’s doing twice the normal number of interments, was at a graveside on Thanksgiving morning, the mayor’s 96 year old father on Saturday, all COVID related deaths. Funeral homes which still call me to do unaffiliated memorial services say the same: deaths at double the expected rate, but yes, mostly 80-90+ year olds. Then I open my social media to Trumpsters telling me the hospitals aren’t full, the numbers are exaggerated, and “the cure can’t be worse than the disease.” My retort is now regularly — “so the Ohio GOP plan is ‘old people die, get over it’ . . . am I getting that right?”


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  57. LAMary said on December 3, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Jim, Colorado is definitely a place I would consider. I went to University of Denver and I have a brother in Littleton. We sort of drive each other crazy but he’s not been well and he is still my brother even if his politics are crap. No interest in a condo at the beach. I have probably stupid fondness for somewhat funky little old houses and I know that even though the Denver area has grown a lot since I was was in college there are still funky little old houses in places like Broomfield or in the area between Lakewood and Golden. Morrison might be a good place to look as well.

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  58. Julie Robinson said on December 3, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Deborah, I remember lining up with the whole family on a Saturday to get our sugar cube vaccines. These days they’re shots, with an inactive virus, so safer than the active virus we got back then. I still remember how grateful everyone was to get the vaccine, and I will be be that grateful again to get my Covid vaccine.

    We just cancelled our trip to Orlando. For a couple of weeks I’ve known we needed to, then last night it kept me awake most of the night. I started thinking about explaining it to a nurse, how badly we wanted to got see our kids. It just wasn’t responsible. I haven’t been there since March and I went into isolation the very next day when we got home. It feels like forever, but you all know that, don’t you.

    Apparently the Orange One gave a 45 minute “speech” last night where he became completely unhinged and just started raging incoherently. I’m not going to give it another minute of my time.

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  59. David C said on December 3, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Yesterday was one crazy-assed day for the Rs. tRump’s loony video had to compete with drunk Michigan blonde lady, Rudy farting, Flynn’s sedition, Ivanka’s deposition, etc. Please make it stop.

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  60. JodiP said on December 3, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Julie, I know it is so hard not to see your family, but thank you so much. The headlines are mostly about hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID patients, but there are also many people with other conditions not getting care who should–which I know you know. Thank you for caring.

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  61. Jeff Borden said on December 3, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    I consider myself semi-retired, but the tRump pandemic may make it permanent. Teaching is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done and it’s been hard not to be around smart, engaged young adults. Loyola Chicago will be primarily online this winter/spring, so I’m remaining on the sidelines, but I hope to be back in the fall. I’ll be 70 in April. As silly as it might sound, those two classes twice per week (with a total of 46 undergrads) gave me a sense of purpose.

    By luck, thriftiness and good financial advice, we are in pretty good financial shape and hope to remain in our Lincoln Square house until we cannot maintain it. It’s a small frame house with a bedroom on the first floor, which was a big selling point for us when our parents were still alive. (Both moms had trouble with stairs.) The lot is only 25-feet by 125-feet, so there’s not much in the way of yard work, etc.

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  62. Suzanne said on December 3, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Jeff, I hear you. Since my cousin’s 64 yr old wife died of COVID, my hackles go waaaaay up when I hear someone claiming people aren’t really dying of COVID, numbers are inflated, no worse than cold [insert conspiracy here]. I hope I make it through Christmas without smacking someone.

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  63. Charlotte said on December 3, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    @LAMary — if you’re on Instagram you might want to check out the Cheap Old Houses account — it’s good fun, and a useful peek into what houses are going for in various places.

    I wound up in Livingston because when I left the Bay Area I wanted a place I could buy a cheap house and pay it off. Sadly, we’re no longer that place — we were inundated with white-flight folks buying houses sight unseen this summer. I keep thinking of selling up and buying a cheap cottage in France (if you want a real time-suck, I can send you those websites too!). But I’d have to break up with my Beloved, and well, that’s not going to happen.

    Sell the house and make sure you’re covered for retirement. As someone who had to help my mother financially for nearly a decade, when I couldn’t afford it, THAT’s the best present you can give your kids.

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  64. Sherri said on December 3, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve mentioned Ted Lasso here before.

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  65. LAMary said on December 3, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks, Charlotte but I’m not ready to do anything yet. Still working, still hanging in LA. In a year and a half I’ll get more serious about this. I really want to get my SS up a lot more before I retire.

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  66. LAMary said on December 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Is anyone else enjoying the stylings of Melissa Carone? Sitting there, next to Rudy who has gone all in on the fake tan spray for his head and face, being all indignant and entitled and as one person online put it, wearing trumps hair as a hat, slurring enough to bring back memories of some drunk friend you tried to talk out of driving.

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  67. Jeff Borden said on December 3, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    The efforts by Ghouliani, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, are funny, but they echo the infamous “beer hall putsch” that landed Hitler and some of his cronies in prison for a time. The people laughed and laughed at the dumb Nazis and their attempted coup. They weren’t laughing 10 years later. These people are doing nothing less than taking a wrecking ball to our electoral institutions. If you want to see how they’re doing, I invite you to visit the Facebook page of David Perdue, the scum-sucking, insider trading prick running for reelection in Georgia. The loons are in full meltdown mood.

    Meanwhile, the esteemed Gen. Flynn –with his presidential pardon still sticking out of his back pocket– is calling for tRump to suspend the Constitution and declare martial law to remain in power. If Flynn wasn’t a traitor before, he certainly is now.

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  68. Deborah said on December 3, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    That Carone woman is a stitch. What a circus.

    I’m typing this while I’m in the er waiting for an MRI. I started having double vision yesterday and it’s worse today. Two weeks worth of headaches after that IV and now this. I’ll keep you posted.

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  69. LAMary said on December 3, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Not that the run of the mill insider trader is a great person, but Perdue made some bucks off the pandemic with his trades. Didn’t he? What a guy.

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  70. David C said on December 3, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Oopsie. Carone has an obscenity conviction. Rudy only picks the best star witnesses.

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  71. Jenine said on December 4, 2020 at 9:35 am

    @Deborah: Ack! hope the MRI goes fast and you get rid of the double vision quickly

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  72. Jessica Weissman said on December 5, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    I retired from full time work as soon as I hit full retirement age (66). Picked up a half time job that was supposed to be a tech writing gig but turned into an Excel jockey job when they found out I could write Excel macros. And complex formulas too.

    It’s a good company and a good client, and I’m ending my career as sort-of-a-programmer just as I started it 43 years ago.

    I’m loving staying home and telecommuting. When I retire fully I will enjoy it, I know. By then I hope the Smithsonian and other DC museums will be open again.

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