As someone who retired a year ago (37 years of Federal service, including military time) and is currently, sorta, seeking reemployment, I can just say brace yourself!! My husband is still working, but my income fell to 37% of what it was, and that took some getting used to. We did manage to pay off everything but the mortgage and we save a decent amount every month still, but there are always surprises.
Like this spring when our well died. Between getting the new well drilled, the old one abandoned, and the yard repaired after all the heavy equipment damage, we were out over $10K - that was *not *expected. We had plenty in savings to cover it, but it hurts to see our balance down by that much, since it won’t be replenished as quickly as it might have been otherwise.
We also had to deal with my husband’s 5th spinal surgery, and while we got to keep my insurance in retirement, the copays and deductibles still ate up a chunk. And since I’m old and marginally decrepit, I had several preventative tests done, and they cost a few bucks.
We thought we were ready - just 2 years ago, we got a new roof, new windows, new siding, new gutters - and about 5 years ago, we replaced the furnace and the a/c so overall, the house was fine… we thought. When I got our chimney cleaned this spring, the tech said it was in bad shape and we really shouldn’t use it before getting it fixed, to the tune of $3200. Surprise!! Within the next ten years, I fully expect we’ll have to replace some, if not all, of our major appliances (the fridge is making funny noises) and at least one vehicle. You need to be ready for the unexpected.
As for getting used to not going to work every day, that wasn’t too terribly hard for me, despite not really having a break in all my years of working. I got to do things around the house and around the yard, I took a class, I do my errands during the day instead of evenings or weekends like all the other working drones. Sometimes I sleep in, sometimes I’m up at 5 like I used to be when I worked. It’s been fun finding a new rhythm to my life.
But the money thing is an issue for me, especially the mortgage. That’s why I’m thinking of going back to work, throwing everything we can at the mortgage so ultimately we can be more comfortable in retirement. It’d be so much easier if we had a rich uncle leave us a chunk of change, but we’re pretty sure all uncles, rich or otherwise, are accounted for and unlikely to provide a windfall.
Good luck. Expect the unexpected. And enjoy!