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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #41
Nah, I decided to do it the legit way, plus I wanted to just leave right now, so I took 5 weeks of the 13 weeks of annual I had. I still haven't got my letter, even though they've had my papers for over 3 weeks now. It was actually the second time I had sent them in, I forgot to initial one of the annuity boxes, but all the other pages had been stamped approved. I'll bet those muthafluffas wait until the day before my retirement date to send me my approval.

I hear that Human Resources is swamped with work. Due to the Postal downsizing and the virus, schitloads of postal folk are retiring.
 

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Nah, I decided to do it the legit way, plus I wanted to just leave right now, so I took 5 weeks of the 13 weeks of annual I had. I still haven't got my letter, even though they've had my papers for over 3 weeks now. It was actually the second time I had sent them in, I forgot to initial one of the annuity boxes, but all the other pages had been stamped approved. I'll bet those muthafluffas wait until the day before my retirement date to send me my approval.

I hear that Human Resources is swamped with work. Due to the Postal downsizing and the virus, schitloads of postal folk are retiring.
Nah, I decided to do it the legit way, plus I wanted to just leave right now, so I took 5 weeks of the 13 weeks of annual I had. I still haven't got my letter, even though they've had my papers for over 3 weeks now. It was actually the second time I had sent them in, I forgot to initial one of the annuity boxes, but all the other pages had been stamped approved. I'll bet those muthafluffas wait until the day before my retirement date to send me my approval.

I hear that Human Resources is swamped with work. Due to the Postal downsizing and the virus, schitloads of postal folk are retiring.
Im staying in Jersey for now.I used every unit of my sick before I left.
 

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Nah, I decided to do it the legit way, plus I wanted to just leave right now, so I took 5 weeks of the 13 weeks of annual I had. I still haven't got my letter, even though they've had my papers for over 3 weeks now. It was actually the second time I had sent them in, I forgot to initial one of the annuity boxes, but all the other pages had been stamped approved. I'll bet those muthafluffas wait until the day before my retirement date to send me my approval.

I hear that Human Resources is swamped with work. Due to the Postal downsizing and the virus, schitloads of postal folk are retiring.
The two issues that caught me a bit off guard after early retirement were heath care and Social security. I had started planning a couple of years out for retirement, running budget numbers and paying almost every thing off. My heath care plan had a two year built up bank, I had factored in that I would still need to pick up the cost for about six years until Medicare kicked in. Also had counted on younger wife picking up her own insurance after I went on Medicare. Unfortunately wife lost her job of 16 years not too long after my retirement. Her income was also going to be needed cover fun stuff. She has just recently gotten a job at about her old level of pay and benefits. I had also factored in me taking Social Security at 62. The problem is I showed no income for the last 5 years before I filed, which is part of the time frame they calculate your benefit from. That and filing early put me a bit below my projections. All in all we should be able to cover costs and have a bit of fun. My advice to others is, if you retire before 65 consider health care and weather having a part time job will help with SS.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #45
Oh yeah, I'm definitely scared about how the money numbers will work out. Fortunately, I'm single and everything is paid off, the IRA money looks good, and on top of SS(if I choose to claim it at 62), I'll also receive an additional 28% of my former yearly wages of about $65K for pension. I'm a man of humble needs when it comes to happiness, a walk in the woods or some paddling in my kayak are all I need for contentment. Travel, dining, nice clothes, entertainment, new cars, aren't necessary in my life. Women seem to need that stuff, not me. I'll find myself a frugal lady friend eventually and that should be enough.
 

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OPM and the individual HR can be trying! My first hurdle was trying to get my military time bought back. 6 months back and forth with DFAS. there are some forms you have to fill out and fax to them (not scan and email, as we are in the 21st century!). I would call and try to find out if they had received everything. The clerks always told me that not all of the forms came through, so it could not be processed. Finally, one guy told me to mail it in, so I did. Then I called them again, and I was told they got the package, but they had a problem scanning into their system! The clerk told me: "I'm just a GS-5, and that's someone else's department". They told me to put in a trouble ticket. I finally had to go through AF personnel center (AFPC) to get it squared away. They were able to clear it up and I got my letter for what I owed, then i paid it, and got credit for my 3.5 years of Active duty. But that took more than 9 months from when I started.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #47
Yeah, the military time section of my retirement papers looked terribly complex and fraught with hurdles. So many different permutations of what, when, and how. I never served, so that whole minefield did not apply.
 

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OpelJohn- healthcare is a real issue. I had Anthem through OPM for my wife and me. I kept that insurance, but they charge retirees more than active federal workers (go figure). and it went up to over $600 per month for both of us! So, last year, my wife was eligible for medicare, and I took Tricare Select for me. Another problem I encountered was trying to cancel my insurance. No easy way to do it. I had to send a form in, and no one contacted me that it had not been done correctly. So, they kept charging me. I contacted someone at OPM, and he told me that I had to call another number for insurance. So I called the number, no answer, I left a voicemail. The recording said someone would contact you with 2 days. I kept calling every other day, nothing. So, I finally wrote a letter to the director of OPM. About 2- 3 weeks later, someone contacted me via phone and I was able to email the scanned form and they cancelled my insurance and refunded my money.
It shouldn't have to be this difficult!
 

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But when it comes together, it is really a great time of life. My dilemma today is how to transfer our mosquito control fish from one rain barrel to another.
 

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OpelJohn- healthcare is a real issue. I had Anthem through OPM for my wife and me. I kept that insurance, but they charge retirees more than active federal workers (go figure). and it went up to over $600 per month for both of us! So, last year, my wife was eligible for medicare, and I took Tricare Select for me. Another problem I encountered was trying to cancel my insurance. No easy way to do it. I had to send a form in, and no one contacted me that it had not been done correctly. So, they kept charging me. I contacted someone at OPM, and he told me that I had to call another number for insurance. So I called the number, no answer, I left a voicemail. The recording said someone would contact you with 2 days. I kept calling every other day, nothing. So, I finally wrote a letter to the director of OPM. About 2- 3 weeks later, someone contacted me via phone and I was able to email the scanned form and they cancelled my insurance and refunded my money.
It shouldn't have to be this difficult!
When the owner of the company my wife worked for died she lost a job she had worked at for 16 years. She was in her 50's at the time. She bounced around for a few years trying to get a comparable position. Carrying her on my insurance cost $1000 per month. My fear is that with all that is happening, cost of both Medicare and private insurance will rise significantly.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #52
But when it comes together, it is really a great time of life. My dilemma today is how to transfer our mosquito control fish from one rain barrel to another.

This is my rain barrel. Even though I live a block from a river and we have squadrons of mosquitos, my rain barrel doesn't get them. The secret is to put window screen over top of an open barrel, then they can't get in to lay their eggs. You want the barrel open, otherwise the water can get dank and stinky. I put a wire rack on top to hold plants that like conditions to be super humid. About every month and a half I open the drain and let all the water out and lightly scrub the inside with a broom to get rid of algae. :)

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We now have six barrels with four like yours that are feed off a ten foot length of gutter. With a metal roof, we can't have gutters so I'm experimenting with a folding system. It is amazing how much water ten feet can collect. With our roof area over it, we get 100 gallons for every inch of rain. The the four barrels are full even with the drought. We use watering cans like yours so we like to just dunk them into the barrel for a quick fill so easy access is needed. We know the screen will work but these goldfish won't die in a bowl. They may not survive the constantly changing environment but they all seem to be healthy. Seeing that a goldfish can live 20 years we will have more decisions to make come fall. The bigger net worked along with draining the barrel and the fish are now in a collection barrel instead of a storage barrel so with the rain today life has been more active, but they are swimming in clear and not algae tinted water. I wonder if it is easier for them to breath? We have had problems with our other barrels which are collapsible ones that are positioned to catch the water from the valleys in the roof which can be anything from a tinkle to a roaring stream. Because the water can pool above the cover when they are full, the pesky skeeters can lay their eggs which settle with the water. With the lack of rain we use the water in the barrels so it really hasn't been a problem this year. So I got some fish to deal with a problem I don't have and now I have these fish to deal with that seem to have higher demands than one would have thought. My wife is thinking she should turn up the drip-feed. But then, our printer had mysteriously stopped working about a month ago. It was a pain, I couldn't print invoices to get paid for my consulting work or print a recipe. It would copy, print from a thumb drive, and print internal reports, it just wouldn't print anything from the computer. For a month I tried everything, Wireless, wired, it didn't matter. Then we got these goldfish. The next day the printer started working for no apparent reason.
 

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Hey Gordon,, ,, Glad you Got out of the USPS system thing and they made good on your Pension and Health Benefits ..Dude..61 Not sure how many years you get...maybe 10 years ? But heck That's Great. news Am about the same age, dude, and working in a HVAC Environment ,Equipment and unemployed,, am thinking about the same, lines as I hear.... Yeah..... I hear "" Life Live IT ! """ be Happy ! Dude Retirement
well,,, Gordon,,,, everything .... please in moderation please ,:rolleyes: we will still like you
Even if you have less chromy stuff :cool: No Worries LOL All the Best , Happy Retirement !
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #55
Yeah, fish in rain barrels can be a chore. My neighbor tried that. Once the raccoons, cats, and other carnivores find out they're there, well, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. You have a ridiculous number of rain barrels! TEN! That's enough for a small backyard pool. Yeah, I've got a lot of plants in really big pots, like 25 gallon ones, but there's about 20 of them and they would each need 3-5 gallons once a week in this heat. That's a lot of trips to the rain barrel. We're in drought, too, with no rain for 2-3 weeks at a time. I just use the barrel water for my small potted stuff. I would need at least 5 barrels to water all the big potted stuff, but I just don't have the room on my small property.
 

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Unfortunately our well water is not suitable for watering plants. They die. So we need rainwater for the few vegetables, hanging plants and flower beds and anything else we want to live. So rain collection is our only option. We had been relying on the two barrels at our valleys but with the limited rain earlier in the year, we had to get water at the cemetery to water the plants. We are property owners so it seemed ok. We put up the 10 ft gutter and we have more water than we can store. Our yard is a favorite spot for the local painted turtles and they make the pilgrimage every year to lay their eggs in our yard. This year has been a year where something comes in at night and digs up the nests and eats the eggs. It is sad to see most of the nest destroyed so I know there is a least one critter that will probably like the fish. So I don't think they will last long but it's been a hell of a ride. Retirement has allowed me to be more connected with nature. It's been a good year for chipmunks. I can tell you what trees and bushes have birds nests with active feeding going on. My wife's sunflowers and my tomatoes are the best we have ever grown. You start to think it's the calm before the storm. Enjoy your time.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #57
I'm going to try growing brussel sprouts next year. Okra is a fun nice looking plant to grow and I like okra. Just this afternoon I made my first attempt at home made sauerkraut. I'll add stuff to the list as time goes on. Still a few more Opel projects to do.
 

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Unfortunately our well water is not suitable for watering plants. They die. So we need rainwater for the few vegetables, hanging plants and flower beds and anything else we want to live. So rain collection is our only option. We had been relying on the two barrels at our valleys but with the limited rain earlier in the year, we had to get water at the cemetery to water the plants. We are property owners so it seemed ok. We put up the 10 ft gutter and we have more water than we can store. Our yard is a favorite spot for the local painted turtles and they make the pilgrimage every year to lay their eggs in our yard. This year has been a year where something comes in at night and digs up the nests and eats the eggs. It is sad to see most of the nest destroyed so I know there is a least one critter that will probably like the fish. So I don't think they will last long but it's been a hell of a ride. Retirement has allowed me to be more connected with nature. It's been a good year for chipmunks. I can tell you what trees and bushes have birds nests with active feeding going on. My wife's sunflowers and my tomatoes are the best we have ever grown. You start to think it's the calm before the storm. Enjoy your time.
I assure you it's a raccoon we've had the same issue with our turtles. I caught the sucker in the act and had to incubate the last of the eggs our self's and let the hatchlings go in the neighbors pond
 

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This is my rain barrel. Even though I live a block from a river and we have squadrons of mosquitos, my rain barrel doesn't get them. The secret is to put window screen over top of an open barrel, then they can't get in to lay their eggs. You want the barrel open, otherwise the water can get dank and stinky. I put a wire rack on top to hold plants that like conditions to be super humid. About every month and a half I open the drain and let all the water out and lightly scrub the inside with a broom to get rid of algae. :)

View attachment 428352
CONGRATULATIONS GORDON :p excellent move to get out when you did I'm sure you'll settle in just fine and stay busy. I have had several friends and customers retire over the years and the number 1 killer for some of them was retire and do nothing but drink and watch tv ( took them down and out sadly very quickly) the others kept busy and most are still laughing and sharing stories to today. I know you'll do fine my friend. By the way your monkey cups are do for a trim and replant I just trimmed mine in May and replanted the trimmings for more of them
monkey 1.jpg
 

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TIMBO as for your printer mine goes out on it's own for no reason at all at times I have an HP 8700 series so far the only thing that allows it to communicate again with my computer is running the HP print and scan doctor if all else fails after that I pull the plug to the printer for 10 mins or so and reboot it.
 
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