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djsamuel

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About djsamuel

  • Birthday 12/18/1959

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Central Florida
  • Interests
    Camplite 21BHS Travel Trailer with Ram 1500 tow vehicle.
  • I travel
    Part-time

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  1. I retired at 62 in December with no debt. We started working at getting to that point when I was around 50. We built our current home in 2005 and took a 15 year mortgage. Paying that as well as the camper and truck was tough, but well worth it. I wouldn't say I would wait to be debt free, but we were fortunate enough to get there. However, you need to make sure you can afford to retire. As you stated in another post, the current situation of 401K only makes it a bit tougher, especially if there is no matching contribution from your employer. If there is a matching contribution you really need to max that out; otherwise you fall behind. I think that is the most important. Being debt free is a big help, but unless you build up a source of income it will be tough. Like others here have done, my social security started this year at 62. It just made sense to us to have that. So I am receiving social security, a pension and a monthly distribution from my 401k. Just plan out where you want to be at 62, 65, or whatever age you think you'll want to retire, make that a goal, and try to come as close to that as you can. Those plans may involve what you mentioned; downsizing your house if that is something you want to do. We did not want to sell the house so we planned for that by making paying the mortgage off a priority. Hope this helps!
  2. I retired in December after 41 years working as a Navy civilian employee. It was a great job but I was looking forward to retiring when I hit 62. I had been planning for it for about 6 years due to the structure of my retirement system. I was eligible to retire at 56, but the pension improved at 62. I even had a countdown on my phone and people would always ask me how many days. There was no surprise when I filed for retirement. My 62nd birthday was my retirement date. One way I prepared myself was to look at some people who went before me, such as my parents for lessons on how not to grow older. When my Dad retired at 63, he really retired. He parked himself in front of the TV and memorized the history channel. My mother did not want to travel and my father did; so they both just sat. After about 10 years, my father developed Alzheimer's and my mother developed mobility issues. My dad passed away after about 10 years of Alzheimer's and my mother 3 years later. As I watched them and others, I could see the danger of retirement without any real hobbies, plans, or relationships. I know others who held off on retiring and when they finally did, one of their biggest regrets was not retiring sooner. They began to realize that time was passing quickly and they gave up some of the active years while in the office. I also wanted to avoid that. So I asked myself a few questions. First, how frustrating was I finding my job? While I enjoyed the people, I had to admit to myself I was getting tired of the politics and found my mind preoccupied during my off time thinking about work. Second, did I have plans? Fortunately, my wife and I love doing things together, we are both in very good health, and she is a very adventoursome person that pulls the best out of me. We've taken our camper around the country and have hiked many places. Now we have our list of National Parks we haven't been to as well as those places we want to return to. We want to hike deeper into the Grand Canyon than we have in the past or further up some trails in the Smoky Mountains, etc. The point is, we have things we want to do and now we have the time. The third question was if we were financially able. We are fortunate to have our home paid off and I worked to build a nice retirement package. I did not want to retire into a life where we had to pich every penny. We were very careful in our spending over our life and now we find ourselves in a great situation. So now, three months into retirement, I can say this was the best work related decision I've ever made. I still stay in contact with former co-workers and have had lunch with them, but I am free to do what I want when I want. Don't underestimate the value of that. We have friends and weekly activities with them scheduled; yet flexible enough to freely cancel if we decide to do something else. We are staying very busy, but we are both very happy. A big thing we've found is to make sure you and your wife are agreed that there are some things each of you will do alone. Like she does the food shopping alone and I take care of the Lowe's and Home Depot runs by myself. We also go out for lunch on our own with friends who are also retired. That is a big help. We are avoiding the frustration of feeling like we have to do everything together, and as a result we end up doing about 80% together and enjoying it. Hope this helps! It is great you are thinking about it enough to even ask the question. Doug
  3. The change that was made is much better. Now you can see the forum option by just clicking on menu and it is at the top. No need to drill down further under "Stay Connected". It is much more apparent to new users. Thanks.
  4. Exactly. Thanks for presenting it much more clearly than I did. 😀
  5. That's how I normally do it. I was thinking more about people who join FMCA and have no idea where the forums are or even that they even exist. If there was a very visible link when logging onto FMCA.com, more people may join the forum. I have no problem using the menu; it actually works fine. It just seems like it is hiding the forum from new members.
  6. Normally, I enter this forum after logging into FMCA.com. It used to be simple by using the dropdown menu at the top. Now a revision to the FMCA.com home page (after logging in) results in a more hidden route to the forums. You have to click on "MENU", then "Stay Connected" and then "FORUMS". Not a big deal on the surface, but the menu is organized in a way that makes it much less apparent there is even a forum available. If the intent is to have the forum grow, there needs to be a more prominent link to the foums.
  7. That is correct, not to be done every time you are putting out the slides. What you need to do, whether extending or retracting the slides, is to hold the switch in for a few seconds AFTER the slide hits the limits. That will keep the slide in line without having to do the in and out sequence. That is only in the event you lose the synchronization between the two motors.
  8. I just looked at a few back issues and April through July are all 108 pages (never realized the page count stayed the same). In addition to Family RVing I also get RV Magazine as well as Escapees and they are generally smaller. I like the Family Rv magazine although they all seem to be shrinking as more people vegetate on their phones.
  9. I've never had this issue, but it is something I'm waiting to see happen. I never thought about just installing another check valve in line. I may just do this and prevent it from happening should the pump check valve fail. Great idea.
  10. I agree. I've never used the EZ-Lube on my Dexter axles. I've always felt better hand packing the bearings and taking a good look at the brakes and replacing the seals.
  11. Dexter recommends every 12,000 miles or 12 months to repack the bearings. https://www.dexteraxle.com/Contact/FAQ/Bearings
  12. Thanks for the replies. This is very helpful.
  13. Trying to plan a trip for next Spring that includes visiting some friends near Springfield, MA (East Longmeadow to be exact). The nearby campgrounds I can find have a wide range of reviews, mainly poor. Does anybody know of a good full hookup campground in the East Longmeadow area? Thanks! Doug
  14. It seems to be an excellent app. I am really pleased with it so far. You can even access this forum from the app.
  15. Yes, 5 cents a gallon. We use ours all the time.
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