Uhhhhh, that's RETIRED...my little niece can't pronounce it. I've gone into DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan). You actually resign/retire, but keep working for up to 5 years but can quit at any time and get full benefits. I'll never make 5, but it's a damn good feeling to be 53 and in this position I think I'll book it as soon as all my bills are paid off. Then, I can go biking every morning if I want And go stand in line at the post office or bank at noon when all the working stiffs are there on their lunch hour (No, I won't do that. That pisses me off to no end!)
We use to have some of the best benefits you could get, since we are government. Every year though it seems they take away more and more from us. My health insurance went up double this year alone. I hate my fake union that represents me. They do not fight for anything when they could easily win arbitration. IBEW wants us bad, they would actually fight for us. I don't know why we just don't go with them.
Congrats. My dad was able to retire (fireman) at the age of 50. He's 61 now and still enjoying it. That was my goal until I lost may last job after 8 years. However, my youngest will be 18 when I'm only 43 and that will feel just as good as a retirement.