After completing the doctorate, the economy took a dive, impacting all aspects of life, including education. To reduce the cost of employees, many school districts-- including mine-- offered a retirement incentive. For the first time, I was in a position to take advantage of this opportunity, and quite honestly, a bit burned out after 21 years of doing essentially the same thing, only more of it.
Right after my doctorate was completed, we moved to Fallbrook, CA, because the traffic situation (think teenage boys, high speed trucks, twice a day) was getting to my husband. This time, the economy was a plus, because we were able to purchase a very nice house for not much more than our old house was worth. We rented out the old house, and the income from that will pay taxes.
Scary, the idea of retirement. The security blanket of a steady job and the job security of tenure will be gone. On the other hand, the retirement income will be the minimum amount I'll be able to earn, not the maximum. Lots of options.
Happily, my boss isn't quite ready to send me on my way, and wants me working part time next year. This has been true for many of the professional women I know... they won't be replaced (see: economy) so other people are assuming their duties, and this doesn't happen instantly.
The down side is that he needs me to do the parts of the job I like the least :-( . However, those things need to be done, and someone needs to be mentored to take them over.
So, a new adventure awaits. So far, three retirement options appeal: sleeping in, in the morning; reading more; and taking Cujo the Wonder Dog for many walks (Cujo is getting chubby).