Poll

Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?

Much less happy
4 (3.1%)
Somewhat less happy
0 (0%)
About the same
11 (8.4%)
Somewhat happier
30 (22.9%)
Much happier!
86 (65.6%)

Total Members Voted: 131

Author Topic: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?  (Read 47813 times)

Stash Man

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Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« on: April 17, 2016, 07:14:01 PM »
Completely unscientific poll :)  I'm just curious if FIRE is all it's cracked up to be, because trading a job for unlimited free time doesn't automatically make you happier.

Please vote if you have FIRE'd for at least 1/2 year (after the novelty wears off).  Thanks a lot!

I'm not FIRE'd yet.

humblefi

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 07:50:58 PM »
Every situation is different :-) So, can you please focus the question a bit more? I.e. what is the root of the question?

Also, you may want to listen to podcasts from MadFientist here: http://www.madfientist.com/podcast/
Mad Fientist interviews a bunch of people who have already achieved FI in different ways....awesome discussions.

Hope that helps.
humblefi
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Freedom17

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 07:57:59 PM »



Spork

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 09:14:33 AM »
FIRE'd July 2015.  Aside from several months dealing with a family illness/death* I find myself thinking "Goddamn, life is awesome!" at least once a day.

*FIRE also enabled me to spend lots of time with family during a bad stretch of time.  Yes, FMLA would have made this work as well, but it was just easier and without emotional work strings pulling on me.
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flyingaway

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 11:59:44 AM »
I think most people will be happier without having to work, if they do not worry about money.

Cassie

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 03:09:48 PM »
I said somewhat happier because I loved my job very much but the bureaucracy not so much. I can be pretty much happy in many different circumstances.  However, I am not sorry I retired one tiny bit.

AZDude

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2016, 03:18:41 PM »
This might be a negative vote :)

https://livingafi.com/2016/04/01/early-retirement-bites/

Thanks for posting this. It has given me the motivation to get through another day.

Cassie

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 04:24:27 PM »
too funny:))

Metric Mouse

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 10:00:36 AM »
I wake up each day happier than the one before. But I also did that before I retired. Life gets better and better everyday. I can't imagine being happier than I am now, but know that in the future I will be. It's a great to be FIRED, but happiness is separate from financial state.
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Mr.Tako

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 10:28:40 AM »
I voted 'much happier'.  Frankly, being 'free' every day is my very definition of happiness!

Other than take care of the kids, I can pretty much do whatever I want now...and sometimes that means nothing!
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Gone Fishing

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 11:35:51 AM »
Only been a few weeks, but I don't really feel that much different in the general happiness department.  I feel like I was always a pretty happy person.  Perhaps a bit relieved I don't have to go to the office anymore. I checked with my wife and she says I seem much happier, but when I inquired further, I think she interpreted a lower level of (previously work related) irritation as an increase in happiness. Probably still have some recent retiree jitters as well. I do believe, over time, as I am able to invest more time in the things I enjoy, I will have an increase in satisfaction.  So for now, I voted about the same but expect that to change as time goes on.

I'm thinking I'll will see an increase in happiness this summer on our big out west road trip, though!  Always love seeing new things, perhaps that's why I feel about the same, as I haven't really seen anything new since I retired.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 11:44:33 AM by Gone Fishing »

soccerluvof4

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 01:55:17 PM »
I voted much happier , its been a year since April 3rd.  It hasnt gone without worry or some doubt but those feeling become less and less as I get further into it.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 10:19:28 PM »
Don't know if I should vote since I'm only able to evaluate pre-FI vs. post-FI.  This was definitely the best thing that ever happened to me, almost monumental enough to think of life in BC/AD civilization terms.  At one point in my life, losing my job would have been stressful and affected me in many ways, but now I haven't a care in the world.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a little ego stroke that comes with paid work, working with  professionals that I respect, and spending some of the bottomless pile of company money (in what I hope are mutually beneficial endeavors). 

Maybe pre-ER / post-ER will be another similar step change (I'm hoping so, to offset the downside of the fact that, although life is getting better, I'm still getting nothing but older).  Thus far though, I'd vote 'much happier' for being pre-RE-post-FI, but I can already suspect that this unscientific poll isn't going to reveal anything we don't already know.
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

Jon_Snow

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2016, 09:57:38 AM »
I could not possibly answer this question in such a manner to do it justice.

FIRE has been everything AND MORE in terms of delivering a steady stream of happiness and fulfillment into my life...and by extension into the lives of certain people close to me.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2016, 01:58:23 PM »
Everything is better in FIRE.  Even "those".
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Metric Mouse

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2016, 05:08:09 AM »
Everything is better in FIRE.  Even "those".

I certainly would have less time to read those wonderful threads if I had to be to work every day...
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Free_at_50

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2016, 05:23:34 AM »
I've only been FIRE for about 4 months but I can't help but respond.  :)  Retiring early has been more than what I hoped.  Not to get too philosophical but I see things now that were just passing blurs when I was dedicating 12 hours + a day to my career that really make me appreciate life.  That includes my relationships, nature, and just my general well being.  Just recently two work associates died untimely deaths and that really hit home as to how I want to spend the rest of my life.  I highly recommend it to anyone who's life isn't their career.

Tyler

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2016, 09:35:23 AM »
My DW proudly recalls when she talked to friends and family on the phone shortly after retiring, and multiple people commented on how she sounded like a completely different person.  Removing stress and taking charge of your happiness has measurable positive effects on your life that people can't help but notice.  It manifested in me with weight loss, and I often get comments about how different I look. 

FIRE is great.  It takes a little time to adjust, but IMHO ditching old routines and breaking out of your comfort zone is part of what makes it so exciting. 



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Evgenia

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2016, 11:28:48 AM »
Next month will be Best Husband's one-year FIRE anniversary, and mine is in June. It's not just that we're much happier (which is how I voted), but that we're just such different people now, and that's what contributes to the happiness. We're not rushed, anxious, glancing at the phone constantly, exhausted at the end of the day, dealing with commutes, overwhelmed with jobs and trying to manage basic errands, cooking and sufficient exercise, we have more creative time. FIRE has so changed who and how we are that that's what has made us much happier. :)
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gardenarian

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2016, 12:55:27 PM »
I replied "much happier" but I think most of the happiness is because we moved to a place I like much better. But then, we wouldn't have moved had we not been retired :)
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jengod

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2016, 01:09:48 PM »
I am naturally an anxious person, so I'm always gonna have some baseline of fear and stress, BUT...

Even I can see that we are in a much less perilous position that almost all of our peers. DH still works but we could easily weather a job loss or just go all the way to ER if we wanted. I can stay home with the kids and we can afford more kids than is typical. Our weird lifestyle has a potentially very low burn rate (our house is paid off and we have very minimal regular bills, although we currently travel and pay for fancy schools and eat out too much, but all of that can be killed quickly) and I just know we are quite safe and secure. I feel resilient and self-sustaining and resourceful, and there's not much that could really blow up our lifestyle, knock wood.
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MandyM

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2016, 01:32:16 PM »
I'd really like to hear from the person that responded that they are much less happy. Was it FIRE itself? Or other things? Any lessons learned for the rest of us?
"Freedom lies in being bold." -Robert Frost

Stash Man

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2016, 02:05:55 PM »
I'd really like to hear from the person that responded that they are much less happy. Was it FIRE itself? Or other things? Any lessons learned for the rest of us?

Second that!  I would also love to hear from the folks who voted "about the same".  One thing this poll doesn't capture is how happy were you before FIRE.  My guess is that some people were already very happy with their lives pre-FIRE, hence even FIRE couldn't boost it much more.

Cassie

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2016, 03:01:29 PM »
If someone is less happy it is probably time to go back to work.  I work p.t. online from home on my own schedule which brings in good $ and keeps my mind stimulated.  For me this is the best of both worlds. I had 2 surgeries this year and can't imagine if I had to go back to work after a short period of time. I was able to thoroughly rest and do things at my own pace.  Plus the dogs love having me home so much:))

azure975

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2016, 03:08:47 PM »
I'm very glad to hear that most people are either somewhat or much happier post-FIRE. Sometime I fear that after working so hard for this goal, when I finally achieve it it will be a letdown and I'll feel it wasn't worth it. This gives me hope that it WILL be worth it!

gman

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2016, 05:55:42 PM »
 I have been  FIRE for about a year now. I voted somewhat happier because I realized in the last 5 years of my job that it was not really making me happy even though it was flexible and at times interesting. I decided to find enjoyment in my hobbies and activities outside of work and concluded that it was just a job that brought in a good income that I could use to retire on.  So when I finally retired my baseline happiness was already good. It went up somewhat because I did not have to spend 8+ hours away from the things that I enjoyed doing and not having to go to meetings, deal with the office politics and be on call was a plus to.

Sayonara925

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2016, 09:54:17 PM »
Well, since Saturday is my favorite day of the week...and the last year since FIRE has been like perpetual Saturday, it's about 7x better than pre-FIRE  :D
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Dicey

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2016, 11:38:45 PM »
My true answer is "immeasurably ".
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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2016, 10:33:58 AM »
This post is good affirmation for those who haven't FIRE'd yet - myself included. I'm definitely interested to hear from the 'less than' and 'about the same' folks to get an understanding of why happiness hasn't improved.

Stash Man

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2016, 08:01:04 PM »
I didn't expect such an overwhelming majority in the happier camp!  Frankly, my guess was that once the novelty wears off people start to get bored.  I also expected that, after being institutionalized for so long, people would have trouble adjusting to a free life.  Really glad to be wrong this time.

Hopefully the poll wasn't biased because the unhappy people chose not to vote or aren't on this forum for whatever reasons.  Definitely looking forward to my own FIRE now.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2016, 09:05:51 PM »
I didn't expect such an overwhelming majority in the happier camp!  Frankly, my guess was that once the novelty wears off people start to get bored.  I also expected that, after being institutionalized for so long, people would have trouble adjusting to a free life.  Really glad to be wrong this time.

Hopefully the poll wasn't biased because the unhappy people chose not to vote or aren't on this forum for whatever reasons.  Definitely looking forward to my own FIRE now.

I think if you are persuing FIRE,  you are already a psychological outlier.  You are, in society's view, "not quite right in the head".  To me, it makes sense we have outcomes that are counter-intuitive.
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rachael talcott

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2016, 09:07:36 PM »
I'm not even retired yet, and I'm much happier knowing that I will be retiring soon.  Every time something nuts happens at work I think "not my circus, not my monkeys"

ditheca

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2016, 09:23:57 PM »

misshathaway

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2016, 01:48:39 AM »
Hopefully the poll wasn't biased because the unhappy people chose not to vote or aren't on this forum for whatever reasons.

FIRE'd in Sept 2015. When I ask myself if I would ever want to go back, the answer is NOOOOOOOOOOO! But I can't say I'm ecstatic either. For me it was a big adjustment and I have had many "wait a minute - I can do that now" moments. I often still find myself behaving like the canary who stays in the cage even with the cage door wide open.
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Stash Man

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2016, 07:02:07 PM »
Our poll matches the results of a much larger survey by the University of Michigan:

http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2015/12/01/why-retirees-are-happier-than-you-may-think/

Metric Mouse

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2016, 03:34:04 AM »
I didn't expect such an overwhelming majority in the happier camp!  Frankly, my guess was that once the novelty wears off people start to get bored.  I also expected that, after being institutionalized for so long, people would have trouble adjusting to a free life.  Really glad to be wrong this time.

Hopefully the poll wasn't biased because the unhappy people chose not to vote or aren't on this forum for whatever reasons.  Definitely looking forward to my own FIRE now.

If the novelty ever wears off, one could go back to work? Or just boot up the pc and read a thread or two on here - it'll quickly remind one how great it is to be free. That is, if one has time between all the ass-kicking they're doing at WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT TO DO that day.
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albireo13

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2016, 04:13:36 PM »
For me, I make good money at a job I used to love.  I like the people I work with which makes a difference.
The kicker is that I have to sit through mind-numbing meetings each day which add nothing to productivity.
Upper management likes to treat us like kids who have to be micro-managed constantly.
Working for a large company has really turned me off to my career.



Miss Prim

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2016, 06:09:17 AM »
I'm one of the people who voted about the same.  I replaced some stressors of my job with other stressors in retirement.  Just see the post I started about feeling I have to accomplish something everyday.  But, I think this has more to do with my general personality and not FIRE per say. 

It is nice not to have to get up early and go to work, but I still kind of miss my job and coworker interactions.  I seem to be filling my time with household chores which to me are boring, but again, must be accomplishing something!  Also, my husband and I are not used to being together all the time and that has caused some stress too!  I need a lot of alone time to recharge and he is the opposite and loves to be around people all the time.  We solve this by driving to gatherings separately, so I can go home when I feel I need to. 

I feel like I should be volunteering or something, but I am not a people person and it would cause me more stress in the long run.  Basically, I am most happy when travelling somewhere.  We have been doing as much of that as possible and that is when I truly feel very happy.  Luckily, my husband loves to travel too, so when we are on the go, we get along great and have a lot of fun.

I think most people's happiness level is a set thing, and after the euphoria of retiring wears off, you revert to your natural disposition.

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MandyM

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2016, 06:41:11 AM »


I feel like I should be volunteering or something, but I am not a people person and it would cause me more stress in the long run. 
                                                                         

There are volunteer tasks that don't require much interaction. Some are even remote. I am very involved with a small animal rescue group and I can quickly think of four people that volunteer regularly that barely interact with others. Sunday cleaning, internet posts, schedules for animals to attend events, etc. And I would love to find someone that will take over more of my data entry/management. Its difficult to find people for these tasks, because people that want to work with the animal rescue want to actually work with the animals. The Sunday cleaning folks probably have the best animal lover/non-people person job. They come in when the place is closed, clean a little, then play with all the animals. The rest are valuable jobs that people can do from their sofa.

Anyway, I realize you said "I feel like I should be volunteering" which is different that wanting to volunteer, but there are plenty of things you can do as a non-people person. Its just that you probably have to ask specifically about those.
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cpthammer

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2016, 04:14:29 PM »
I find it interesting how often executives and other high-powered professionals have a hard time retiring. I've seen that at my old workplaces as well...old guys who come back a few months after retirement because they have nothing else to do.

I would bet that were retirement forced on certain subsets of the population, a lot of these people would have a hard time with it, and their survey results would be more mixed.

That said, these survey results above don't surprise me much, since we of this forum presumably a) aren't in love with our jobs, and b) have lots of ideas for what we will do with our post-retirement time.

I am firmly in the "much happier" camp. I used to spend Sunday worried about Monday. Now, every day is like Saturday!

Post-retirement is all about creativity: come up with an idea, execute it, then come up with another idea. A trip, a project, a hobby.

Fortunately, everyone on these forums seems to be full of great ideas!

I'd bet you will mostly fall into the "much happier" camp as well.

jim555

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2016, 06:30:52 AM »
120% happier, maybe more.

heybro

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2016, 01:29:16 AM »
I am not FIRE but I wanted to offer some insight.

I have been, 2 times in my life, able to stop working for an extended period of time.  These were temporary situations.

Both times, I went in to big depression.

The problem I found, was that I had nothing to do.  And, when I tried to do more with other people, I ran in to roadblocks because they were still on regular monday-friday 40plus hour work schedules.  So, I was limited to seeing them on the weekend (if they were free) and so, a majority of my time was with nothing to do.  Sure, I could have joined a club or something but I didn't.

In my mind, and this may go against the grain here, I never want to retire.  I always want to work at least part time until I die.  I never want to work full time for life mind you.  But I never want to be completely without a job to go to.  I find it keeps me grounded in real world life.  When you have no anchor to the normal heart-beat of the rest of the world, it seems I was lost and alone.  Maybe cause I am single as well.

I wish there was a method for FIRE that included working your whole life.  I'd rather not FIRE and instead, do a half FIRE.  Instead of building u a huge nest - egg that FIRES me (trading huge amounts of labor to get there), I'd rather start working part time now and do so for life.

MandyM

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2016, 06:36:55 AM »
I wish there was a method for FIRE that included working your whole life.  I'd rather not FIRE and instead, do a half FIRE.  Instead of building u a huge nest - egg that FIRES me (trading huge amounts of labor to get there), I'd rather start working part time now and do so for life.

There is a method. Work PT. There are no rules to this other than the ones that you believe suit your situation. You say you could have joined a club, but didn't. The truth is you did: the "people with a job" club. That's a valid choice.

I am also single and my plans for FIRE include volunteering and having a wide range of friends. One of my best friends is 20 years older than I am. Her kids are grown and she works PT on a flexible schedule.
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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2016, 04:36:51 PM »
Full retirement was not for me either. That's why I consult and teach a college class. I probably work about 10 - 15 hours/week which is perfect depending on what is going on.

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2016, 05:30:56 PM »
I know I've answered this, but every time I see the topic, my brain pipes up with "immeasurably" Every darn time. Hooray!
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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2016, 06:53:45 PM »
I know I've answered this, but every time I see the topic, my brain pipes up with "immeasurably" Every darn time. Hooray!

IKR!  It's fantastic to wake up every day and know that the day is going to be awesome, and that you'll be happier than ever!
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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2016, 10:43:44 PM »
I know I've answered this, but every time I see the topic, my brain pipes up with "immeasurably" Every darn time. Hooray!

IKR!  It's fantastic to wake up every day and know that the day is going to be awesome, and that you'll be happier than ever!

I do have to wonder, although I am happier than ever and amassing more money than I ever could spend on physical goods and maybe experiences (although I might like space travel and medical advances available to me in 20 years), is there something I'm missing?  Is it really this easy :)  I really hope it is!
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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #47 on: May 04, 2016, 11:49:50 PM »
There is a method. Work PT. There are no rules to this other than the ones that you believe suit your situation.




1. My current job does not offer part time and all the jobs that I know of that do offer part time are really low paying, not very attractive jobs.  The closest thing I've got so far is using my vacation days to work 4 days a week instead of 5.  I get a lot of vacation days cause I've been there so long.

2. My expenses are so extremely low (less than $10,000 a year) that I don't know what to base FIRE or part-time-FIRE on.  I think my numbers, being so low, cannot possibly sustain my whole life.  But, I don't know what number too use!

Metric Mouse

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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #48 on: May 06, 2016, 04:12:38 AM »
I know I've answered this, but every time I see the topic, my brain pipes up with "immeasurably" Every darn time. Hooray!

IKR!  It's fantastic to wake up every day and know that the day is going to be awesome, and that you'll be happier than ever!

I do have to wonder, although I am happier than ever and amassing more money than I ever could spend on physical goods and maybe experiences (although I might like space travel and medical advances available to me in 20 years), is there something I'm missing?  Is it really this easy :)  I really hope it is!

I hope so too!  I've never felt that anything was missing though. Maybe I need to expose myself to more advertising. :D
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Re: Compared to pre-FIRE, how much happier are you post-FIRE?
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2016, 08:47:46 AM »
I'm not even retired yet, and I'm much happier knowing that I will be retiring soon.  Every time something nuts happens at work I think "not my circus, not my monkeys"

Exactly.  Just having a FIRE plan makes dealing with work so much easier.  Instead of worrying about my career path and trying to make as much money as I possibly can just to keep up with an ever inflating lifestyle, I know that my plan is solid and any more money I happen to make is just going to make it happen a bit sooner or be a little extra safety margin.  My "career" that I use to worry about is only a couple more years, so I just sit back and do my job.

Funny thing...since I created my FIRE plan, one of the biggest reasons I hated my job was resolved (new boss).  So it feels like the energy I spent finding the fastest way out of the rat race was rewarded with both peace of mind and an easier sentence until I'm free.  I guess I have that bad boss to thank for motivating me to look for a way out...which lead me to finding MMM in the first place.