Last night I was sitting on the couch reading Chapter 1 in one of my textbooks, and for some unknown reason, I started thinking about how much time I have left until I am eligible to retire. I have been thinking I had about 4 1/2 years left to go. Last night I realized that I actually have less than 3 1/2 years until I am eligible! I will have 20 years of federal law enforcement in September 2014, but I won't have the required age until June 2015. I was in a state of shock at first, but that quickly changed to elation! Not that I'm not enjoying my new job, because I definitely am. It's just that I've always said I wanted to be in a position financially so that if I wanted to retire when I was eligible, I would feel like I could. I've been thinking quite a lot about whether I want to stay in the DC area after I retire. I am leaning more and more towards no as the answer to that question. If I stay here, I will definitely need to continue working, whether with the Inspection Service or in my new field of study. The cost of living here is just too high for me to stay with just my pension and savings. I think I'd prefer to be somewhere where I work because it's what I want to do, not because it's what I feel like I have to do. As of right now, I have no clue where I want to live if I do leave the DC area. And 3 1/2 years is not that long a time to decide! So not only am I elated about the 3 1/2 years, but I am also a tad bit panicked! Not that I'm complaining mind you!