Saturday, April 5, 2008

Retirement, when should I do it?

I've been thinking a lot lately about retirement. I will be 60 in June. I'm toying with the idea of retiring at 62. I'm not interested in whether or not I get full benefits. I'm more interested in getting out of the rat race and and enjoying my last few years, how ever long that is.

Regina says, she's not worried about me retiring because I always keep myself busy. I do a lot of research for a variety of reasons. I'm always researching items since I am the Historian for the Zuni Maritime Foundation. We always need new material from former crew members. I'm also still interested in the American Civil War and have written and published some items related to that conflict as well.

I just need a break, I've commuted to NYC every work day for 30 years. Round trip commute is 4 hours a day, 3 and a half, if I make the connections right. I'm tired of it and need a break. I have a good job and a great boss which makes things easier to take for sure. But all my life, I've just wanted to concentrate on the study of U.S. History and never really had the chance to do it for an extended period of time. Sure I've done weekend conferences at libraries and hotels. I've presented on subjects such as the Confederate Battle Flag, Restoring local cemeteries, local Civil War units and even a Confederate unit or two. I've done presentations on tracing your Civil War ancestor using Casper Tyler of the 141st Pennsylvania Infantry as an example.

Lately, I've had to put my interest in the Civil War aside because the cause du jour, restoring the USS ZUNI is taking up a lot of my time. I don't mind because when the Zuni was the TAMAROA, I served on her in 1967-68. But truth to tell, if I was retired, I could get a lot more involved.

Retiring in New York presents a problem. It is extremely expensive to live in this state plus the fact that we have high taxes in our section of the country which will make the home hard to sell, I'm sure. Selling the house is part one of the problem. Part two is I don't know where to go. I love Maine and I love Virginia, very different places for sure. Maybe I'll split the difference and live in New Jersey or Delaware. At any rate, I need to start thinking about it more seriously. I want to enjoy whatever time is left.

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