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Friday, January 30, 2009

Nineteen weeks to official retirement

The end of my current professor annual contract is June 13, nineteen weeks away... but, of course, we don't work on Saturday, so it is 19 weeks from today.

We had School of Business faculty meeting today, where Dean Wen introduced his Vision and Strategy for the School moving ahead.... he was new at the start of this academic year. He did a fine job. He had invited my successor as Department Chair, an old friend and colleague of his from SE Mo State, to come participate. It was nice to have him here. I saw it as a good sign for the department.

Nancy and I have both been on the treadmill every day for the past full week... a bit of a competition. Neat. Good for both of us!

It was a very good day! ;-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Planning weekends for next five months

We now find ourselves in Week Nineteen and counting down. This past weekend, with the holiday and the inauguration out of the way, it was time to begin seriously scheduling the rest of the pre-retirement weekends and using up the available vacation days. Exciting and scary, all at once.

We did remind ourselves we do not need to be "out of here" on June 13. Final moving can easily be done the following week, without "going to work" being in the equation! Amazing how things become clearer at the time of reckoning actually approaches... closer, and closer.

That revelation caused the Memorial Day weekend to look like a really good time to visit the mountain retreat in Utah. But, how does that fit with trips to Austin, and trips to Branson to take a few boxes multiple times, and a small truck load two or three times? We are also now better able to visualize where what is left in Branson will (or will not) go in the cabin...?!?!

And, there are still a number of Friday Faculty meetings and tourism meetings that I need to attend... thereby cutting down on weekend travel options. OK, nothing really got settled, but we had a real good "once over" - and I was prompted to print out each month of my schedule from the office. Progress!

It was a very good day! ;-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letter to apply for Social Security Benefits

On Thursday, we had decided I should call Social Security to ask a couple of questions we had been wondering about. I stopped at the mail box, on the way to the office, as I do each day. Right there on top was a personal letter from Social Security - suggesting that it was time to apply for benefits, since I was approaching 70, and the extra credits I have been earning would be complete. Was that a sign, or what?

Calling in to the Social Security office by phone is "an interesting" task. It uses voice recognition software that is extremely "a nuisance" when you just want to talk to someone. ...worse than "if this, touch 1, if that, touch 2," in my humble opinion. I did have the "benefit" of my letter in hand, however, so I finally figured out that if I used a key phrase from the letter, someone would finally talk to me. They did ask key personal information, so when the nice lady did finally come on the line, she knew who I was and did have my information on her screen in front of her. Whew! How nice!

I found that since we want our checks to start coming in June, that I need to put in our on-line application to be "May eligible" which means we can apply after February 1. We will apply on-line, since we had already gone into the local office and got "signed up" when we were 65 - just did not apply for benefits, at that time, since I have continued to work full time, with full benefits. We did get Medicare cards, at that time, but will not use them until June, of course. I will need to fill out a form for the University to confirm to Social Security the actual end date of my current contract so that they can make medical coverage "seamless" - we hope! ;-)

This was another step to remind ourselves that retirement is actually getting pretty close!

It was a very good day! ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day One of the New World to come

In the words of President Barak Obama:

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America.”

Every word of the speech had very strong meaning. We each need to take those words to heart and move forward in the spirit of those words, each in our own way.

I intend to. This is the first day of the rest of our lives.

It was a VERY GOOD day! ;-)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 has arrived and moving ahead

Now in the 22nd week until retirement - it is becoming very real!

Had a great two weeks at the cabin with the whole family:

Before we left yesterday, we were able to put away all the Christmas and extra stuff, in storage, and rearrange for the future. My "office space" now is available to think about and plan for, as well.

My last semester on campus begins the middle of next week, so again, reality is setting in, along with nervous anticipation. Talked with Annette some on my "first writing project" after retirement. More on that a little later.

Football is finishing Wildcard Weekend - with out the Cowboys!

It is stiill a very good day! ;-)