Retirement is Looming!


DIS Veteran
Mar 1, 2020
I have decided that the upcoming academic year will be my last. I have been a school administrator since 1991, both in the US and in Asia. I love my work, but I am tired. As a breast cancer survivor two years out of treatment, and two years from turning 65, I feel a sense of urgency to shake it up and do a hodge podge of interesting things...just in case. On my list....apply to and work at Stanford University's pre-collegiate summer program, leaving the rest of my year open for travel. Spend three months annually at an elephant rescue center in Thailand (where I am headed next week for two weeks). Apply to work in national park resorts as a manager, whale watch naturalist out of Juneau, AK, gift shop empoyee, and more. Have time to volunteer more with my golden retriever rescue group. Finally, do remote work with a wonderful student volunteer travel company with whom I have traveled the world with the last 20 years. I know I will need to bridge health insurance for a year out of pocket. I don;t think I will be bored! Is anyone else planning to retire a bit early? What exciting things are you doing, planning to do?

How lovely! Go for it and congratulations!

Please make sure you spend a bit of time looking into the ACA (aka Obamacare). If you manage your income carefully, you can qualify for subsidies that can reduce your premiums an immense amount. We are planning to retire at the end of this year (59) after I was given a layoff package in early 2021 (my job ends in the fall) that included severance and a retention bonus. We are stockpiling cash so that in 2024 when the severance runs out (as will COBRA) we can keep our "income" low by mostly leaving our investments alone enabling us to get the ACA subsidies. We've got a lot of planning to do since we'll need 4 years of coverage before Medicare.

2023 will be filled with my DH getting a knee replacement and then traveling to Ireland for 2 weeks. We've got an aging dog at home so our long-term travel will have to wait for a bit. Our plans aren't as ambitious are yours (but they are an inspiration!) but going to the gym when it's empty, playing tennis when the courts are empty, swimming laps at our summer club pool when the lanes are empty, volunteering with some local orgs, hiking in our local state park when the trails are empty, etc. Once our dog situation changes, we hope to do some longer term travel.


DIS Veteran
Jan 8, 2020
Congrats China Expat....sounds like an amazing plan to kick off your retirement! We're really hoping to finish up and move in the next 4-5 years, but it depends on our 80-90s year old remaining three parents....etc. But we're hoping to be done-done by 60 at the latest, and then we're planning on selling the house and living elsewhere for awhile. DH is still waiting on word from the Italians on his dual-citizenship application, and so that is pretty important at the moment. I'm excited at the idea of a new adventure, like the one you have planned. Keep us posted along the way!