Author Topic: Did FIREing help your health?  (Read 5786 times)

texxan1

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Did FIREing help your health?
« on: April 20, 2017, 12:59:53 AM »
A simple question, that im sure is here somewhere but have not seen it

Did FIREing make you healthier...

Im  in a high income job and seems like last few years the jobs pay more, but add to my stress level... Im 45 and considering firing at 50... well, not considering.. Im done at 50, but the more and more I read.. The more I think I could go now without issue...

my biggest reason for waiting is for Health Care bennies from my company, which I cant get till im 50.... But the stress is getting to me enough that im considering going after my current project ends in 2019.... a full 3 years ahead of plan.... But wont have those health bennies

Im working on a plan to lease my house, move to Asia somewhere  (Thailand most likely) for the duration of my project since I work month on, month off.... everyone thinks im going to Asia to save money, but honestly its more about just traveling the LOS...

Thanks for any response...



and an FYI...

100% savings rate on my main salary (228k net last year)
Side gig making about 25k a year (fishing guide when home) will lose this when moving abroad
Vending biz (26k net last year) ( will go down to 20k if a make the move abroad)
various cash coming in each year (10k)
maxed out pre tax in march (7% company match on gross)putting in 25% after tax, but going to change to 10 next month
560k in 401k
400k cash in bank
100k in new vanguard account (slowly putting my cash in there)
389k lump sum pension if I stay till 50 and take at 55
168k lump sum pension (dif company) at 59.5
Paid off house, worth about 500k


everytime I do the numbers, im astonished that I can do it at 50, and keep seeing that I could do it now if I wanted too

thanks
Tex


deborah

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 01:07:51 AM »
Yes. Definitely. Even though I haven't done much about it. No stress. Being much happier. Cooking at home rather than getting meals. Concentrating on eating proper food...

Dicey

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 10:07:20 AM »
Just had my annual physical. I've been seeing this MD off and on since 2004 and switched back to her when I got married and FIRE in 2012. Her parting comment to me was that I looked younger now that when she first met me. Sweet!
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Stachey

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 10:20:39 AM »
My stress is a LOT less and I feel so much better for it.

Also my work involved sitting in front of a computer all day which was REALLY affecting my health.  I have seen such an improvement in my health from being to exercise more...my back, my (mouse) hand and arm...there is no comparison to how I was feeling when I was working.
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Mtngrl

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 07:13:08 AM »
My husband's blood pressure went down and he's been exercising every day -- three years now and he is in better shape than ever.

jim555

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 07:41:57 AM »
Absolutely.  Lost 25lbs. and have time to exercise now.  So much less stress has got to help too.

zinethstache

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2017, 03:28:42 PM »
FIREd and of  end of Jan. and started full time travel on March 15. DH and I both feel much better now. DH can walk up hills without issue (He has Sarcoidosis in his lungs). I am diabetic and my A1c dropped a couple of points in three months just from lower stress levels.

My back was very bad while working (required 6+ gabepentin daily with muscle relaxers) and has not caused me any major issues since my last day of work on 1/27. I used to vanpool and had a 1hr + commute each way. (I had fusion in 2015 after a major back injury in 2013 and my back is one of my main reasons to push for FIRE). Now I take 2 gabapentin and 1 or 2 muscle relaxers as needed. I accept that my back will always need to be "managed".

I get the sleep I need, the excercise I need AND eat way better now. DH is amazed at how much I can do now. Need that 30lb propane bottle wrestled into place, no problem!

Greystache

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 08:07:14 AM »
Like others have mentioned, the biggest benefit of retirement was the reduction of stress. I also had chronic back and hip issues associated with sitting in front of a computer 9 hours a day.  After retirement, those issues are gone. Now most of my aches and pains are related to over-doing sports and exercise and home improvement projects. I am currently battling pain in my forearms from too much golf. All in all, not a bad problem to have.

gerardc

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2017, 01:07:44 AM »
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MsRichLife

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2017, 02:06:46 AM »
Due to serious burnout at my last job before FIRE, my health was pretty bad. I've been FIREd for 5 months and my stress is very much reduced and I'm feeling much better than I was. I still have a long way to go in terms of my health, but I now have the time to devote to it, rather than just ignoring it because I was too busy working.

Ozstache

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2017, 03:29:51 AM »
FIRE took away stress, allowed me to eat better, exercise more and drink less. Ironically, my pre-FIRE job required me to be fit and healthy but I only truly achieved that when I left it.

Frugal-Investor

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2017, 12:27:59 PM »
FIREing sure did change my health. I was working in a senior role for a big bank which had lots of long hours, heavy travel and stress. At the time, I thought my health was good for my age (53). I quit my job at 53 (had gotten and delayed a buy-out offer), then took a contracting job for 6 months (kind of a half-way-house) and then fully retired at 54. When I fully retired, I noticed a few things right away.

First, my reaction to the freedom of early retirement was to hike a whole lot. Long hikes or trail runs every day. And I got a dog (a few years since our last one had died) who was also eager to walk. By three months, I had a couple of really solid sports injuries from ramping up too quickly. If I did it over again, I would go slightly less crazy and probably still need to go to the physical therapist. Some problems are good problems to have, if you consider the alternatives. Now a couple of years into FIRE, I have way more variety in my physical activity: lap swim, martial arts, hiking, occasional weights, and heavy chores outside. As a consequence, I have more well-rounded fitness and strength (and more well-rounded sports injuries).

I gradually moved to a much more healthy diet and dropped some weight. Though my overall health was good prior to retirement, my cholesterol was trending towards unhealthy. My healthier diet let me drop it into a very healthy zone without drugs. Having time and planning energy to apply to myself and family made it way easier to take that direction. I now even enjoy cooking partly because of general frugality, but also because of health impact and great meals.

Lastly, in the last 8 or 10 years of work prior to retirement, my sleep patterns got progressively worse with travel and over-work contributing. At the point that I retired, I was probably getting a good nights sleep one out of every four days. It felt as though it took 6 months post retirement to sleep normally many nights and another two years to have sleepless nights be unusual. I'm generally non-moody, but found that I feel more optimistic and content when I sleep well. Also seem to have a better short-term memory that I attribute to great sleep.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 05:28:00 AM »
Here's a thread that went around a while ago.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/fit-or-fat-in-fire/

My weight hasn't changed over the past year, but I feel some of it has moved in a good direction.  Sitting aches and pains have been replaced with minor injuries from outdoor activities.  Digestive system is happier for sure.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 12:59:42 PM »
Yes. I lost 60lbs and as of my last checkup my numbers across the board were all really good. Blood pressure is really good and my diet is much better since I have the time to eat better. I dont seem to sleep as long at night but i take naps so sure thats the reason. I walk on average two hours every morning as soon as I get up and thats how I lost all the weight and have kept off for over a year now. I am also at a good weight so dont need to lose anymore per my doctor based on BMI. I cant do much more than walking because I have been putting off a double knee replacement for almost 5 years and the weight off has helped immensley. I retired 2 years ago at age 50 on April 3rd.  Stress I still have with 4 kids but thats a different stress.
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vine

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2017, 07:00:52 PM »
Yes - my stress is miles lower and I consume much less alcohol. I also get more sleep than when working.

Finally, the things I tend to do with my life now are inherently more healthy. There are more activities that involve exercise.

CargoBiker

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2017, 12:30:30 AM »
Yes, absolutely,

I have time to work out 5 times a week, eating healthy food for every meal.

Not stressed, ever.


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StetsTerhune

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2017, 10:16:44 AM »
Yep. I'm down 25 lbs since I quit (or so, it's been a couple months now since I've come across a scale). Been traveling and generally just live a more active life. Plus I work out a few times a week (give or take, depends on how physically active I am doing other stuff that week). I've lost about all the weight I feel like I should, now it's just about staying active and fit forever.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 10:12:22 AM »
Maybe we should start a new diet and exercise plan, and market it : )

Lots of good real life testimonial in here lol : )
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Cali Nonya

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2017, 10:41:56 AM »
Well I'll provide the counter case.

I am now back to work, but I had 15 months of a leave of absence due to industry down-turn and my better half was laid-off  (we are both technically FI but not quite to our comfort levels yet).  The job losses were not-planned for, so in that case the stress levels were still pretty high and I would say for both of us, health actually slipped lower.  I know I thought I would diet and exercise more with more time.  While I did exercise more, but I also had time to cook more, so I actually put on some weight instead of loosing in my time off.  My better half after the lay-off is less stressed but more inactive and I would say has worse health than when working.

I think a well planned for FIRE is one thing, but an un-planned for RE even if technically FI might be a bit different.  Stress does go down, but this does not help health if it's replaced with depression.

deborah

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2017, 10:13:59 PM »
That sucks. However, it is nothing like retirement. I was laid off at one stage in my career, and I have known other people in similar situations, and your whole approach to life is to get another job. Quickly.

I once interviewed a person who had been laid off for a year, and he was practically comatose. Couldn't get an answer out of him. The sad thing was that we were going to give him the job before the interview. But we couldn't.

Go through the information in the pre-fire checklist thread - https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/pre-fire-checklist/. Before FIRE I went through a few books in the library - What Color is your Parachute for Retirement was a good one, but there are others which deal with the lifestyle change rather than just the money side of it. Or look at your life from the six perspectives - financial, social, spiritual (not necessarially church), creativity, family and learning (or however you want to break them up), and work out where there are problems in retirement, and come up with some concrete ways to fix them. Having done this myself, I think this really helps you to enjoy your retirement whether forced or not, and get your life back.

effigy98

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2017, 07:56:22 PM »
I think a well planned for FIRE is one thing, but an un-planned for RE even if technically FI might be a bit different.  Stress does go down, but this does not help health if it's replaced with depression.

I have experience this as well. This advice is gold which is going in my pre-fire checklist. Thank you. I have seen "HAVE A PLAN" to replace work mentioned by several who have retired. It is terrible when life hits you on both sides like that with unplanned, uncontrolled, chaos.

Todge

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2017, 04:09:10 AM »
We've FIRE'd - planned - we knew about 2 years out we were going to do it. We have kids so our days are still pretty busy and that keeps me active - walking/riding with them to/from school each day at a minimum.

I got some free weights second hand am following Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength program - so Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do a 40 (or less) minute workout. As a result, I feel really good - had some back twinges through my life but not had one since I started weights. I'm sleeping better as I don't wake up through the night with a tight back.

When we first FIRE'd we were travelling and camping so I put a few kilos on, but I'm happy to say, now we've settled our diet is better and pants are feeling looser! The CSIRO in Australia has a diet book that's formulated from scientific research. The local library has a copy and I've been borrowed it a few times to help inform our eating habits. Nothing crazy, just common sense stuff. We don't eat out a lot now either, that helps in keeping weight in check.

It's coming up to a year now - and I learnt that I'm naturally lazy so need to place things in my day to keep me active - riding to the supermarket one day for a shop, mowing the lawn another day, gardening another etc. I try to keep as active as I can without overdoing it or making it feel like a chore - by incorporating a bit into each day it feels natural and like something I can keep doing.

gardenarian

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2017, 03:06:27 PM »
Several months into my retirement I dislocated my hip while mountain climbing. ouch. It has been a long rehabilitation and may never be quite right.
The moral is, listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard.

Thank goodness I can still ride my bike!

I do eat a more wholesome diet, as I have time to think about what I want to eat, and to be able to go to the farmer's market, and to cook (though I have never really enjoyed cooking, never will.)

Despite my injury (and other disabilities that I won't go into) I'm much happier, and that is the best thing for health!
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Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2017, 08:31:19 AM »
Interesting question, this. When I was working I was playing soccer 2x a week and importantly biking to work and back (approx 90mins every day). Now we live in a very mountainous area with bad roads which make cycling dangerous. I still play soccer 2x a week and do a lot of construction/heavy yard work. Eating better and drinking less alcohol and coffee, but more sedentary and the stress of childcare seems to have replaced work stress.

On balance? I would say roughly the same, or perhaps somewhat less healthy because of my much-missed cycling. But far, far happier and getting happier still.

BA

Laura Ingalls

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Re: Did FIREing help your health?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2017, 12:25:45 PM »
My physical health is better, but mostly my mental health is much better.
The last year pre fire I had a killer commute, a job with tremendous time deadlines, and was heavily grieving the death of my dad. 

I still am engaged in part time paid employment but it is pretty close to zero stress and I have time to walk/hike and go to yoga several times every week.  I am wired way too anxious and yoga works better than anti anxiety meds do. 

Paradoxically, I am probably slightly heavier as I have less anxious stomach to deal with.  I am female and about 5-8.  145 would look better than 160 but since I am only 145 when under lots of stress I will be happy with 160.