ImageBefore I retired, I had a home garden. I was in good health and my job, at the time, was very challenging and fulfilling. However, I wasn’t thrilled about some of the people I worked for since we seemed to be working on different agendas. Some of the areas where I have some skill and extensive training were left dying on the vine while I fought forest fires. Some of these fires really didn’t “belong” to me, but I was assigned to take care of them anyway. (Our office had downsized to the point two of us were doing work formerly done by five people; of course quality and timeliness suffered negatively).

In October of 2009, I was reminded my immediate supervisor was retiring in December. This started me thinking about when I would retire. At the time, I had over 38 years with the Army. I was planning on going to 42 years, but I started looking at how much I would be making in retirement if I stayed to my proposed retirement date. The funny thing: after I analyzed the data, I would only increase my retirement by about $60 a month. Since I might only get one more raise, which would be in 2011 it wouldn’t add a whole lot to my retirement.

I decided in early December 2009 that I really wasn’t enjoying life nor was I enjoying work anymore. I talked with my wife and she said “I’d rather have you home now, even if you don’t have as large a retirement, than have you die on the job from stress”. I considered that information and also considered the probability of me being selected for the supervisor’s position when my supervisor retired. Based on the information I had at the time, I doubt very much I would ever be considered for the position. The upper management in my organization didn’t like me (I didn’t think like they did) nor did they really care for the work I was assigned to perform.  I always tried to give them reasonable answers to the questions they posed but many times they wanted their own “solutions” to be used -even if not supported by the data.

All things put together, I decided to retire.  BEST Decision I have made in a long time.

(Dieing on the job were very prophetic words; one of the analysts I had worked with since the late 1980’s had a massive heart attack while at work and died. He had over 40 years of total service to the Federal government. He died after I retired but he couldn’t understand “retirement”.)

I retired 31 December 2009 with over 38 years of Federal service. An additional year and some months were added to my retirement pay since I had over 2200 hours of sick leave on the books.