with the exception of the first year after high school , the past year has to be the best year of my life. the first couple months of retirement was kinda strange. sleeping at night like regular people , waking up realizing i did not have to go to work , having so much time on my hands , etc. I did not know what to do with myself at first. the next several months was taking care of the "to do list" did all the stuff that needed done around the house and yard . going on day road trips to lakes , up to the mountains, the high desert, seeing friends , etc . the last 3-4 months has been so busy that i can't believe i ever had time to do them while I was working. we used to have to cram things in or go to places during vacations . now we can stretch things out as long as we want to. it's great. now when we go someplace , we can extend the trip as many days as we want without worry. or we can take weeks working on a home project instead of cramming it in a couple days. lots of extra time for exercise, cooking , travelling, gardening ( we have the biggest garden this year ) .visiting friends and family, hobbies , you name it , there is plenty of time for it. the reason i am posting this is to let everyone know that all the hard work , the hassles at work , and every other negative thing you can think of about working , is worth it in the end. the pension checks come in like clock work. If you pay off your house before retiring and get rid of all your other debt, you'll be OK. we have money left over every month. it's amazing how much you spend just because you are working. those expenses are gone now. I'm so glad that I came to the retirement forum to see how other retirees were handling and enjoying their retirement. It gave me the courage to retire as soon as I was able. No regrets there. thanks fellow retirees.