In one form or another I've made a living off the written word since 1987:
- I worked a short time at a Hollywood talent agency reading scripts and setting up contracts.
- I wrote catalog copy for a distributor of grades K-12 educational products.
- I wrote advertising copy for Radio Shack computer products.
- I wrote advertising and marketing copy for Color Tile flooring products.
- I wrote and edited training manuals and guidebooks for banking personnel.
- I wrote marketing copy for banking products.
- I freelanced writing marketing copy for Fortune 500 IT companies.
- I wrote and edited marketing and proposal copy for EDS and HP.
Last year at this time I was 50 and on track and 6 months into a 5-year plan toward retirement. Last May, my dad, a widower, passed away, leaving a small inheritence for me and my brother. My part was just enough to accelerate my plan by 3.5 years. I double-checked my figures with my financial advisor and took the plunge.
I paid off the mortgage on my little farm in September. My vehicles are paid off. I am debt-free.
This past week I gave notice at work. What with vacation and holiday time, yesterday was my last true working day. Officially, I'm not out till Jan 5. That day I'll drive into the office for the first time in 9 months (I generally work from home), turn in my laptop and security badges, and have lunch with my team. After that, I'm work-free.