Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

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mule
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by mule » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:52 pm

For me it is Feb. 29th, 2016 age 59. I regret working this last year because I could have went.

Thanks for this thread and add me to the class of 2016.

vested1
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by vested1 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:23 am

VictoriaF wrote:Class of 2016 as of 02 February 2016:

02 July - vested1 (64)

Have graduated:
01 Jan - nonurseorpurse <-- Welcome to the Class! Congratulations with your retirement!
20 Jan - Arichcrook

Currently, 28 class members.

Victoria
Victoria,

Please change my date for retirement to February 4th. It seems that I earned some extra credit after all and am enjoying my first day of freedom at 63.7.

No more teachers, no more books, no more bosses' dirty looks.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:59 pm

Class of 2016 as of 05 February 2016: <-- replaced by an updated list
...
29 Feb - mule (59) <-- Welcome to the Class!

Have graduated:
...
04 Feb - vested1 (63) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!

Currently, 29 class members.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:03 pm

mule wrote:For me it is Feb. 29th, 2016 age 59. I regret working this last year because I could have went.

Thanks for this thread and add me to the class of 2016.
Done. The date is nearing -- Congratulations!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:06 pm

vested1 wrote:Victoria,

Please change my date for retirement to February 4th. It seems that I earned some extra credit after all and am enjoying my first day of freedom at 63.7.

No more teachers, no more books, no more bosses' dirty looks.
Congratulations with your retirement! For a moment, I read your second paragraph as "no more dirty books" and was wondering why not. {laughing}

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

TedSwippet
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by TedSwippet » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:03 am

Please add me. Last day was yesterday, out at age 55. Thanks.

Ace1
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Ace1 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:23 pm

Victoria
Please add me to the class of 2016.
I was planning on joining the " every day is Saturday " club later this year,
however the company I work for sprung a voluntary retirement package on
a small group with certain qualifications and it is an offer I just couldn't refuse.
So my last day is March 31.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:32 am

Class of 2016 as of 01 March 2016: <-- replaced by an updated list
...
31 Mar - Ace1 <-- Welcome to the Class!


Have graduated:
...
26 Feb - TedSwippet (55) <-- Welcome to the Class! Congratulations with your retirement!
29 Feb - supalong52 (35) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
29 Feb - cornellbuds <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
29 Feb - mule (59) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
01 Mar - MP1233 (58) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!


Currently, 31 class members.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:36 am

TedSwippet wrote: Please add me. Last day was yesterday, out at age 55. Thanks.
Ace1 wrote:Victoria
Please add me to the class of 2016.
I was planning on joining the " every day is Saturday " club later this year,
however the company I work for sprung a voluntary retirement package on
a small group with certain qualifications and it is an offer I just couldn't refuse.
So my last day is March 31.
You are in! Congratulations with joining the " every day is Saturday " club! I like the name.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Pixafari
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Pixafari » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:47 pm

Please edit my date: 4/6 --> 5/2.
Turned in my notice a week ago. Extended a bit to collect a few more perks and cover some time off for a coworker who's helped me out in the past.
The "official" countdown has now started.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:30 pm

Pixafari wrote:Please edit my date: 4/6 --> 5/2.
Turned in my notice a week ago. Extended a bit to collect a few more perks and cover some time off for a coworker who's helped me out in the past.
The "official" countdown has now started.
I have updated the list above with your new date. Congratulations with the start of the "official" countdown!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

freedom66
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by freedom66 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:26 am

Please add me to the Retirement Class of 2016 for 31 May (age 50).
I've been looking forward for a long time to submitting this! :sharebeer

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:05 am

Class of 2016 as of 16 March 2016: <-- replaced by an updated list
...
31 May - freedom66 (50) <-- Welcome to the Class!

Have graduated:
...
15 Mar - Beth* <-- Congratulations with your retirement!

Currently, 32 class members.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:06 am

freedom66 wrote:Please add me to the Retirement Class of 2016 for 31 May (age 50).
I've been looking forward for a long time to submitting this! :sharebeer
You are in. Welcome to the Class and warmest congratulations!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Joe Bladi-Blada
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Joe Bladi-Blada » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:09 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Joe Bladi-Blada wrote:Sign me up. My date is 1 April 2016 barring a huge drop in the stock market. I'm 54. My wife retires at the end of this year (she's 63). I decided to go another quarter - we thought this would be less scary than both of us jumping at the same time...
Hi Joe,

Welcome to the Forum !
Congratulations with your and your wife's upcoming retirement !!
Thank you for sharing your plans !!!

Please come back to share how it's going for you. Best wishes,

Victoria
Reporting back as requested. So far, so good. My wife retired from full-time work and is enjoying life. I gave my 2 weeks notice Thursday and am on schedule. March 31 will be my last day at work. I have mixed feelings, since it's such a big move, but I guess that's to be expected.
Thanks!

highercall
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by highercall » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:02 am

I hope to be retiring no later than May 1, 2016. I wanted to retire before I turn 60 which is in August so I just made it. Much thanks to this forum, keep up the good work.

2 bits
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by 2 bits » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:42 am

Victoria,
Please sign me up for July 1, 2016.
I have been waffling a fair bit this past year. Is it one more year-itis or jitters? And rather than worrying that I am jinxing myself by announcing this "publicly," I think of this as a commitment. DW is on schedule for the same day. 57 & 53.

I visited the forum shortly after the Morning Star days and learned "index funds" and "costs matter." In the last couple of years I have learned so much more here; enough to give us the confidence to pull the plug.
Pretty soon, I will even tell the boss, ("fire the boss") and the HR folks.
I sometimes think that I am living the life of which my immigrant ancestors dreamed.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:01 am

Class of 2016 as of 19 March 2016: <-- replaced by an updated list
...
01 May - highercall (59) <-- Welcome to the Class!
01 Jul - 2 bits (57) <-- Welcome to the Class!


Currently, 34 class members.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:09 am

Joe Bladi-Blada wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Joe Bladi-Blada wrote:Sign me up. My date is 1 April 2016 barring a huge drop in the stock market. I'm 54. My wife retires at the end of this year (she's 63). I decided to go another quarter - we thought this would be less scary than both of us jumping at the same time...
Hi Joe,

Welcome to the Forum !
Congratulations with your and your wife's upcoming retirement !!
Thank you for sharing your plans !!!

Please come back to share how it's going for you. Best wishes,

Victoria
Reporting back as requested. So far, so good. My wife retired from full-time work and is enjoying life. I gave my 2 weeks notice Thursday and am on schedule. March 31 will be my last day at work. I have mixed feelings, since it's such a big move, but I guess that's to be expected.
Thanks!
Joe,

Thank you for the report. This thread is a good place to share our retirement plans, concerns, and achievements. Reading about others' retirements helps us to define and improve our own lives.

Best wishes,

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:10 am

highercall wrote:I hope to be retiring no later than May 1, 2016. I wanted to retire before I turn 60 which is in August so I just made it. Much thanks to this forum, keep up the good work.
You are in the Class. Congratulations!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:20 am

2 bits wrote:Victoria,
Please sign me up for July 1, 2016.
I have been waffling a fair bit this past year. Is it one more year-itis or jitters? And rather than worrying that I am jinxing myself by announcing this "publicly," I think of this as a commitment. DW is on schedule for the same day. 57 & 53.

I visited the forum shortly after the Morning Star days and learned "index funds" and "costs matter." In the last couple of years I have learned so much more here; enough to give us the confidence to pull the plug.
Pretty soon, I will even tell the boss, ("fire the boss") and the HR folks.
2 bits,

Congratulations with making the decision. It's not easy to let go of a substantial reliable paycheck, but the freedom of being your own boss is priceless.

Like you, I am grateful to numerous Morningstar Diehards and Bogleheads for helping me to achieve a successful early retirement.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:15 pm

Class of 2016 as of 31 March and 01 April 2016: <-- replaced by an updated list
...

Have graduated:
...
31 Mar - jimmd <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
31 Mar - Ace1 <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
31 Mar - Joe Bladi-Blada (54) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
31 Mar - baa_10 (55) <-- Welcome to the Class! Congratulations with your retirement!
01 Apr - dowse (64) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
01 Apr - Bir48die <-- Congratulations with your retirement!


Currently, 34 class members.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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baa_10
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by baa_10 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:54 am

It is now official...... Retired as of March 31st. Age 55
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci

Joe Bladi-Blada
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Joe Bladi-Blada » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:03 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Joe Bladi-Blada wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Joe Bladi-Blada wrote:Sign me up. My date is 1 April 2016 barring a huge drop in the stock market. I'm 54. My wife retires at the end of this year (she's 63). I decided to go another quarter - we thought this would be less scary than both of us jumping at the same time...
Hi Joe,

Welcome to the Forum !
Congratulations with your and your wife's upcoming retirement !!
Thank you for sharing your plans !!!

Please come back to share how it's going for you. Best wishes,

Victoria
Reporting back as requested. So far, so good. My wife retired from full-time work and is enjoying life. I gave my 2 weeks notice Thursday and am on schedule. March 31 will be my last day at work. I have mixed feelings, since it's such a big move, but I guess that's to be expected.
Thanks!
Joe,

Thank you for the report. This thread is a good place to share our retirement plans, concerns, and achievements. Reading about others' retirements helps us to define and improve our own lives.

Best wishes,

Victoria
Well, I did it. Yesterday (3/31) was my last day at work. On to the next phase!

JBB

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:07 am

baa_10 wrote:It is now official...... Retired as of March 31st. Age 55
Welcome to the Class and congratulations with your retirement! I have added you to the 31 March-01 April 2016, list above.

Best wishes for the most satisfying retirement,

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:09 am

Joe Bladi-Blada wrote:Well, I did it. Yesterday (3/31) was my last day at work. On to the next phase!

JBB
Excellent! You are now officially retired in the Bogleheads community too. Warmest congratulations and best wishes for the new phase!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

dowse
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by dowse » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:12 pm

Reporting back to confirm that I officially retired today as scheduled. Among the glasses to be raised tonight will be one dedicated to all bogleheads. Cheers all! :sharebeer

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:23 pm

dowse wrote:Reporting back to confirm that I officially retired today as scheduled. Among the glasses to be raised tonight will be one dedicated to all bogleheads. Cheers all! :sharebeer
As a member of the Bogleheads community, I will raise a glass in your honor tonight. Cheers!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:45 pm

Dear Retirement Class of 2016,

I am leaving shortly to walk el Camino de Santiago. I will be away for two months, without a phone, computer or other communications. Please allow me to congratulate in advance those of you retiring during my absence and to welcome new class members.

In case you are wondering what retirement can be like, this will be my second Camino. This year, I want to add an extra stage (two days) to my journey and cross the Pyrenees from France to Spain. My preference is to take the Napoleon Route (1800), but if it's impassable, I will take the Charlemagne's Route (778).

In late June-early July, I will tour National Parks in the American West for two weeks and attend a conference in San Diego. In August, I will visit friends in France, attend a conference in Krakow, Poland, and tour the Czech Republic for a week. In September, I will attend the Bogleheads conference and a Camino Symposium at the College of William and Mary.

Retirement is what you make of it. Make it great. And come here to share with your classmates what you are doing and achieving.

Best wishes to all!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

dowse
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by dowse » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:10 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Dear Retirement Class of 2016,

I am leaving shortly to walk el Camino de Santiago. I will be away for two months, without a phone, computer or other communications. Please allow me to congratulate in advance those of you retiring during my absence and to welcome new class members.

In case you are wondering what retirement can be like, this will be my second Camino. This year, I want to add an extra stage (two days) to my journey and cross the Pyrenees from France to Spain. My preference is to take the Napoleon Route (1800), but if it's impassable, I will take the Charlemagne's Route (778).

In late June-early July, I will tour National Parks in the American West for two weeks and attend a conference in San Diego. In August, I will visit friends in France, attend a conference in Krakow, Poland, and tour the Czech Republic for a week. In September, I will attend the Bogleheads conference and a Camino Symposium at the College of William and Mary.

Retirement is what you make of it. Make it great. And come here to share with your classmates what you are doing and achieving.

Best wishes to all!

Victoria
I salute you, Victoria! Impressive goals and accomplishments. My retirement won't have quite as much travel, but some, along with enjoyment of things I do at home. Safe travels!

protagonist
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by protagonist » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:37 pm

VictoriaF wrote: I will be away for two months, without a phone, computer or other communications. My preference is to take the Napoleon Route (1800), but if it's impassable, I will take the Charlemagne's Route (778).



Victoria
Kudos, Victoria! (But if Charlemagne or Napoleon could do it over today, I am almost certain that both would bring a cell phone, plus an ultrabook, or at least a tablet. They would each certainly have at least one social media account on which to post their photos to make their Boglehead buddies jealous. )

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Will do good
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Will do good » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:00 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Dear Retirement Class of 2016,

I am leaving shortly to walk el Camino de Santiago. I will be away for two months, without a phone, computer or other communications. Please allow me to congratulate in advance those of you retiring during my absence and to welcome new class members.

In case you are wondering what retirement can be like, this will be my second Camino. This year, I want to add an extra stage (two days) to my journey and cross the Pyrenees from France to Spain. My preference is to take the Napoleon Route (1800), but if it's impassable, I will take the Charlemagne's Route (778).

In late June-early July, I will tour National Parks in the American West for two weeks and attend a conference in San Diego. In August, I will visit friends in France, attend a conference in Krakow, Poland, and tour the Czech Republic for a week. In September, I will attend the Bogleheads conference and a Camino Symposium at the College of William and Mary.

Retirement is what you make of it. Make it great. And come here to share with your classmates what you are doing and achieving.

Best wishes to all!

Victoria
Victoria, you are my retirement sensei.
Travel safe!

Juliajones54
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Juliajones54 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:28 pm

Hi Victoria, take me off the list (June 1). I have decided to work awhile longer!

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Merlin
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Merlin » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:05 pm

Hello fellow classmates!
Well, I did it! I retired my practice exactly on schedule (April 1st). The plan went perfectly, and I haven't had one moment of regret.
My plan, as I envisioned it last year, was to sell our house, and move, this year, but my wife felt rushed, so we compromised on moving next year.
My immediate plans are to work on my fitness- I've reached out to old friends, and made dates to walk, hike, and bike. My retirement gift to myself is an upcoming bike trip, and my wife's gift is a new pair of sneakers;small things, but symbolic of the physical fitness goal
Good luck, Victoria, on your travels, and thank you for coordinating these retirement threads!
Merlin
Best regards, Merlin

mikeydavis
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by mikeydavis » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:30 pm

I have officially joined the Class of 2016. Retirement date was April 7, 2016 (53). Looking forward to life 2.0

bowtie
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by bowtie » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:28 am

:happy
Congratulations to you newly retired bh members. I have been away from the forum for a few months. But my countdown is 8 more weeks. Thanks for posting the interesting travel itinerary, Victoria. BT

basspond
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by basspond » Sun May 08, 2016 7:12 am

November 15th, 2016. I will have something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

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dwickenh
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by dwickenh » Sun May 08, 2016 8:27 am

Please add me to the Class of 2016, last date working in May 13th and official retirement date is July 07- 2016.

Retiring at 61 and scared to death :shock:

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

Lynette
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Lynette » Sun May 08, 2016 8:48 am

Congratulation to all and thanks to Victoria for maintaining this list. Wishing her successful travels. I got a package from my company. I retire on October 19 but they pay me till December 31. I'm nearly 73 but working hasn't interfered with my travels. So this month I'm going on a photographic tour with Roadscholar, another one in June, Scotland in August and two more trips this year.

Sagenick48
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Sagenick48 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:09 pm

I haven't posted for a long time, [OT comment removed by moderator prudent]

Effective 6/30/2016 I will tell my state Supreme Court that I am offically on retired status.

Today one of my long time clients told me "You have Short Timers Disease".

Loved my job, loved helping people, time to move on. Hoo-Rah.
The market goes up, the market goes down.

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Brian 2016
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Brian 2016 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:15 pm

I have joined the Retirement Class of 2016 as of 5/31/2016! I may dabble in a few things part time to keep busy, but no more full time work in Mega Corp. :sharebeer

Brian (age 58)
Early Retirement May 2016

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:23 pm

Class of 2016 as of 11 June 2016: <-- replaced by an updated list
...
30 Jun - Sagenick48 <-- Welcome to the Class!
07 Jul - dwickenh (61) <-- Welcome to the Class!
15 Nov - basspond <-- Welcome to the Class!


Have graduated:
...
01 Apr - Merlin (58) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
07 Apr - mikeydavis (53) <-- Welcome to the Class! Congratulations with your retirement!
xx May - Loon11 (66) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
01 May - krmann <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
01 May - highercall (59) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
02 May - JPixafari (58) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
31 May - Hawkeye5 <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
31 May - freedom66 (50) <-- Congratulations with your retirement!
31 May - Brian 2016 (58) <-- Welcome to the Class! Congratulations with your retirement!


Currently, 38 class members.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:50 pm

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: I will be away for two months, without a phone, computer or other communications. My preference is to take the Napoleon Route (1800), but if it's impassable, I will take the Charlemagne's Route (778).



Victoria
Kudos, Victoria! (But if Charlemagne or Napoleon could do it over today, I am almost certain that both would bring a cell phone, plus an ultrabook, or at least a tablet. They would each certainly have at least one social media account on which to post their photos to make their Boglehead buddies jealous. )
I did the Napoleon! We crossed the Pyrenees on the 12th of April, the first ones this season. The local authorities have officially closed the Napoleon Route between November and the end of March, but even in early April the Pilgrims' Office at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port was advising against it. The snow was covering the trail and there were gale force winds on the top.

However, I was very fortunate. On the night of the 11th, I stayed at Orisson, an albergue on the French side of the Pyrenees. That day, while I was walking from SJPP to Orisson, the owner of Orisson Jean-Jaques and a few of his friends went to the most difficult parts of the Napoleon Route and created a narrow trail. On the 12th Jean-Jaques guided us through the tricky parts. The weather was sunny with perfect visibility of the mountain terrain, but the wind was bad. Really bad. But when the day was over I was very happy and proud of myself.

As for the electronics, I did well without them. If Napoleon and Charlemagne were alive now, I could consult them on life, the Universe and everything without electronics.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Lynette
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Lynette » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:09 pm

Welcome back Victoria. Please give us more details on your adventure when you have the opportunity.

Lynette

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:03 am

Lynette wrote:Welcome back Victoria. Please give us more details on your adventure when you have the opportunity.

Lynette
Thank you, Lynette,

The 2016 Camino was easier for me and in some ways more enjoyable.
- In 2015, I started in Roncesvalles, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, and walked 750 km for 42 days, average 18 km/day, ranging from 5 km to 26 km per day.
- In 2016, I started in Saint Jean Pied de Port, on the French side of the Pyrenees, crossed the Pyrenees over the Napoleon Route, and walked the total of 776 km for 46 days, average 17 km/day, ranging from 5 km to 23 km per day.

The Napoleon Route is the most difficult stage of the Camino. (When I refer to the Camino, I mean Camino Frances, by far the most popular route. There are other Caminos, some of which are more challenging than Frances.) On the Napoleon, in the first stage of walking, you gain 4,000 feet of altitude and then steeply descend 1,000 feet. I reduced the difficulty by staying at SJPP for three nights, getting over the jet lag and taking daily walks in the mountains, and by breaking the first stage into two parts: SJPP to Orisson and Orisson to Roncesvalles. Staying at Orisson took care of the first 2,000 of the elevation gain and the first 8 kilometers of the distance, but I still had to face the challenge of crossing the Pyrenees in snow and gale-force winds. It was a difficult day, but when I have made it to Roncesvalles, I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment. (For reference: The son of Martin Sheen's character in the film "The Way" died on the Napoleon Route.)

From Roncesvalles to Santiago, the route was familiar to me, and I varied my experience from the last year by staying in different towns, in different types of albergues, and by taking detours. In 2015, I got lost two and a half times; in 2016 I did not get lost at all. In 2015, the weather was generally nice; in 2016, there was too much rain and many cold days. In 2015, mid-day heat was a challenge, in 2016, there were large deep puddles on the trail and one had to make decisions whether to turn back and take a detour or wade through and then walk in soaking wet boots (thus exacerbating blisters).

In 2015, I always stayed at municipal and parochial albergues, where my average price was about 7 Euros (ranging from 5 to 10). In 2016, I splurged on some private albergues, some of which cost whopping 12 Euros. Private albergues were somewhat nicer and rooms were smaller (e.g., 12 people per room instead of 30 people per room), but the correlation between the price and quality of experience was weak.

My most memorable night was at San Nicolas, where pilgrims are sleeping and having meals inside a one-room church. I was staying there on Saturday, and at night the patrons of the place came over from Burgos and Castrojeris. We had an excellent dinner (with plentiful red wine, of course), then Spaniards played guitar and sang, then three women from Iceland sang a capella (in Icelandic), then someone played guitar and sang in English. At that point the Icelandic women went dancing, a Spanish woman-patron has joined them, then I have joined them in dancing too.

My favorite hospitaliero is a South African man in Vilacha. He has walked the Camino several times in the past, then he bought this place, completely rebuilt it, and now single handedly runs an albergue: shops, cooks, cleans, manages. He was used as a model in a novel about the Camino "Red Door" by a South African author Thea Hughes. His albergue has the most exciting shower on the Camino; one of my roommates said it was like a spaceship.

My favorite meal was a warm-eel salad (11 Euros) in an upscale restaurant Leon, before Belorado. The restaurant is very peculiarly placed literally in the middle of nowhere. When I came in, there were two more pilgrims, but after they left I was the only customer. Most pilgrims order the usual stuff: sandwiches or Spanish omelette. My order has piqued the proprietor's interest and he came out to talk to me (while the chef and the waiter were doing their jobs.) He has quickly picked up my accent and told me a story of a beautiful Ukrainian woman who was working at his place as a waitress, met a wealthy Spaniard, married him and now lives in luxury.

My best walking experience was taking an alternative route that my book recommends but local people discourage. It was an excellent "day hike": the weather was perfect, the mountain views outstanding, no people during the first 70% of the walk and very few afterwards.

A moment of fame:
When I arrived to Burgos, I was starving for something to read. I had to make a choice between taking a shower first and missing bookstores because they close for siesta from 2pm to 5pm, or heading straight to bookstores and taking a shower later. I chose bookstores. And so I dropped my large pack at an albergue, changed from my hiking boots to clogs, and went to the central part of a beautiful town looking like a homeless beggar. I wanted to be invisible, buy a book, and get back to my albergue as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the selection of English-language books was limited and I walked from store to store trying to find something acceptable. On the way, I passed an upscale Marriott hotel and decided to check if they were carrying The Economist. They did not, but just as I was leaving, I have heard "Victoria!" It came from a very well dressed, very clean, and very handsome man, an art dealer from Copenhagen I've met a few days earlier. We walked and talked for a while, until I dove into another bookstore. But then I thought of the irony of it: I was recognized and called by name in a fancy hotel in a great Spanish city, at the moment when I was the worst-looking woman in Burgos I was accompanied by possibly the best-looking man.

The money angle:
In 2015, I spent about $1,500 on the Camino and about $1,500 on the things I needed for the Camino.
In 2016, I spent about $2,300 on the Camino, and about $500 on the additional things for the Camino.
These expenses include everything: not just the Camino costs but also the stays in Madrid, Santiago, and Saint Jean, and the transportation before and after the walk. Both times, I used frequent flier miles for the trans-Atlantic flights. Thus, both years, my grand total for a 2-months European vacation was about $3,000.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Lynette
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Lynette » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:37 am

Thanks for the trip report. Congratulations. That was quite an accomplishment!

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Nicolas
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:07 pm

May 1st, age 63.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:07 pm

Class of 2016 as of 13 June 2016: <-- replaced by an updated list
...

Have graduated:
...
01 May - Nicolas (63) <-- Welcome to the Class! Congratulations with your retirement!


Currently, 39 class members.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:10 pm

Nicolas wrote:May 1st, age 63.
Done. Congratulations!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:33 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Nicolas wrote:May 1st, age 63.
Done. Congratulations!

Victoria
Thanks. After 38 years with Megacorp I've quite forgotten who I was. I'll have to figure that out again. The future looms large in front of me now. After being retired only one month I can say my stress level is approaching zero!

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