Author Topic: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?  (Read 33156 times)

StockBeard

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Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« on: February 26, 2015, 06:55:49 PM »
I'm a few years away from RE. I had never really thought seriously about RE until my job became extremely boring to me last year. I found the MMM site while doing some research on how much money I'd actually need to never work again. Since my wife and myself are fairly frugal by nature, I felt the principles on this website really matched my personality, and became extremely motivated about retiring early.

RE for me can happen in 5 to 10 years, based on my family's expenses an my current revenue. Yet I now spend a huge amount of my time thinking of ways to accelerate this process. But it's not easy to make more money, and we've already been cutting a lot. At this point I wish I could just quit tomorrow, but this is not realistic, and I feel like the next 5 years of so could become the longest ones in my life.

Have people who are FIRE today, ever felt that type of feeling? How does one cope with it?

h2ogal

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 07:52:59 PM »
I totally am feeling the same way.  I put together a 1000 days to Freedom plan back in October.  I set savings goals (750K) and spending goals (less than 3K per month) and I'm tracking both.  I also keep a journal of my journey, challenges, ideas for saving and investing, and ideas for what to do in retirement.   

I'm doing great tracking to the plan, over $20K ahead of savings plan so far...but...

The problem, is that while all this focus is helping me get to my goal, its NOT helping me live in the present and enjoy the moment!  I think we also have to work hard on having fun NOW!

I have so many things I want to do "once I retire"....learn another language, study horticulture and philosophy, bike, hike and spend time in fitness classes...But there's nothing really stopping me from doing more of that right now, instead of waiting for another 850 days! 

Why do you want to retire?   What do you plan to do with your time when you retire?  Is there a hobby you plan to spend more time on?  Why not try spending some more time on that now?

happy

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 06:09:17 AM »
When I started down the path 3 years ago  I felt the same way and my job seemed more burdensome than ever before.  Optimise, plan and track and make mini goals, and so on but the time has to pass. See if you can find a job not so boring.

Its still valuable time, you don't want to waste 5-10 years of your life being antsy about quitting. Instead choose to be happy. Ultimately whether working or retired you  are responsible to choose to be happy. Once your job is gone, you won't be able to blame it for your unhappy state: its still up to you. Wake up every day and choose to be happy. Be happy you have a job that allows you to FIRE, be happy you have a job, be happy you can turn a tap and hot water comes out….
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lizzie

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 07:20:55 AM »
When I started down the path 3 years ago  I felt the same way and my job seemed more burdensome than ever before.  Optimise, plan and track and make mini goals, and so on but the time has to pass. See if you can find a job not so boring.

Its still valuable time, you don't want to waste 5-10 years of your life being antsy about quitting. Instead choose to be happy. Ultimately whether working or retired you  are responsible to choose to be happy. Once your job is gone, you won't be able to blame it for your unhappy state: its still up to you. Wake up every day and choose to be happy. Be happy you have a job that allows you to FIRE, be happy you have a job, be happy you can turn a tap and hot water comes out….

Thanks for this. I feel happier just having read it!

misschedda

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 08:18:10 AM »
I have so many things I want to do "once I retire"....learn another language, study horticulture and philosophy, bike, hike and spend time in fitness classes...But there's nothing really stopping me from doing more of that right now, instead of waiting for another 850 days! 

This really hits home for me. What a great way to explain the value of living in the moment while pursuing FIRE.
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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 08:28:53 AM »
Yep, short term goals will help keep things moving along and if planned properly will only enhance FIRE once you get there.  I've always made sure to enjoy my hobbies and pursue goals along the way, even if only in a very small way, just to "keep the dream alive".  I've really only begun shelving projects for FIRE in the last 6 months or so, but there is nothing to say I won't go ahead and start on them if I get the itch. 

Indio

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 08:36:15 AM »
I can commiserate with you because I am feeling the same way. I am in the home stretch to FIRE but want to make sure I have enough saved to weather any market downturns. Trying to figure out that magic number is hard.
Meanwhile, I have joined hiking meetup groups and started volunteering with educational groups a few years ago but will put more time into these areas going forward. I am also looking at activities where I can spend more quality time with my kids, especially over the Summer. I'm also focused on starting up a side business. I have been a beekeeper for many years and I want to turn that into a way to help farmers while also being able to make some moeny selling local honey and candles.

StockBeard

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 11:52:20 AM »
Thanks everyone. Inspirational answers here, I'll try to make time for my hobbies and my family.

Keep the replies coming and share your experience, thanks!

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 12:23:48 PM »
There is another kind of frustration as you get very close: you lose motivation.  See, when you are in the mid accumulation phase, each deposit into your brokerage account gives you a little buzz of seratonin.  But as the stache gets "large" each additional contribution makes less and less of a difference (you are relying mostly on compounding to grow now) so you get less of a buzz.  The effect this has on your psychology is palapable.  Likewise, the source of your contributions, the job; provides equally less satisfaction (such as it is).  I found the last year of work dreadful even though I had a pretty good work situation.  I ultimately pulled the trigger about 5 months early and forewent my annual bonus to get out "NOW."  I was just getting zero satisfaction out of life when my contributions (work, saving) each two week period were immaterial to my success.

If I could do it again with the gift of hindsight, I would have made plans to adopt a new hobby or something the last year to keep away the 'almost there' blues.
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Exflyboy

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 01:39:20 PM »
OMG.. I can't even begin to describe how this was for me.

I HATED being at work (abusive employer blah blah).. When I made the decision it was the worst few months of my life!.. Added to the 80 mile one way commute so I could ponder the situation for hours at a time..:)

My blog below starts at the day AFTER I pulled the plug..:)

Dr. Doom

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2015, 07:51:01 AM »
See, when you are in the mid accumulation phase, each deposit into your brokerage account gives you a little buzz of seratonin.  But as the stache gets "large" each additional contribution makes less and less of a difference (you are relying mostly on compounding to grow now) so you get less of a buzz.  The effect this has on your psychology is palapable.
Yep.  This is spot on.  Watching your stash continue to grow when you're so close to your final target goal (or perhaps even over it, and hanging on for a specified quit date, for whatever reason) is not that exciting.  I avoided much of the frustration you described by pouring myself into hobbies, because, as you mentioned, it becomes impossible to fully immerse yourself in work once you are 100% certain you're <1 year out.  I think of this like a velcro strip:  Your employer is the hook side, and you are the fastener.  The last year, your fasteners break and it's very difficult to feel the same bond.  They're still trying to hook you, but you're like:  Meh.  Because your fundamental construction has changed. 

So you've got to find something else to bond with instead or you start getting antsy.

Another good reason to start more seriously exploring other interests is that ideally you get some momentum going re: other things to do in life prior to quitting, time and energy willing, of course.  (It's not a requirement, but can't hurt..)

DecD

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2015, 08:24:17 AM »
I'm in a similar situation.  Last June, we set the goal of early retirement, and as we are frugal by nature we're not very far away- 3-6 years depending on choices (will we stay in our current house, mainly, and will we keep working part time, and how much of our kids' college educations are we planning to fund, etc etc).  I had a good 6 months of trouble with motivation at work- 3-6 years seems like a LONG time when every day is kind of painful.

But I realize that I'm not, in fact, ready to retire.  I hate being bored (part of the problem with work, actually), and I don't currently have a plan for how I want to spend my post-retirement time.  So these years before FIRE will give me time to concoct some specific plans and prepare myself so that I have a (hopefully) successful transition. 

Part of our fire plans involve camping & national parks, so we're taking this time to camp locally with the kids- so that we know what we need and what we like before starting to set out on longer expeditions.  And so the kids are camping experts when the time comes.

Also, I'm pursuing a new opportunity at work that'll be far more interesting than my current situation, and hopefully open up some other opportunities in a couple of years.  It will mean no coasting at work, but it'll keep me involved, interested, and invested at work and keep my mind off the end goal- so we can keep plugging away at saving/investing/etc in the background, but I'm not in waiting-for-life-to-start mode.  I want to spend these 3-6 years in living-life mode.  I hope it works out!

Bardo

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2015, 12:26:54 PM »
My target retirement date is exactly one year from today.  Yay! 

It's funny though, I don't give much thought to life afterwards, other than general plans (sell the house and relocate).  At this point it seems my main retirement dream is sleeping in on Monday mornings.

Cookie78

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2015, 01:07:16 PM »
Love this thread. I have the same problem.

If all goes well I have 5 more years to go. I'm trying to come up with ways to accelerate that, but finding the thing I need most, is time. So while I wait, short term goals are helpful, and decluttering is making a huge positive impact on my mindset. Also, because I'm new, there is a lot to learn about investing and FIRE.

I'm finding that the hobbies and goals that correspond more closely with the the things I want to do when I'm FIRE'd I still feel very strongly about (like learning Spanish, which will come in handy when traveling slowly though Central and South America). The hobbies and activities that aren't getting me closer to FIRE, and will not be useful after FIRE, I feel much less passionate about.

So, even if I have to wait 5 more years from a financial perspective, I'm less frustrated at the wait because I still feel like I'm getting closer to FIRE by getting rid of (and selling some of) my stuff, and learning Spanish.

Short term goals are also huge for me, and I really like your 1000 days to freedom plan h2ogal! Tracking things like that is great for my motivation. :)

My hardest decision now is whether I should continue with a small business idea I started a few months ago before I had FIRE goals. It MAY help me get to FIRE faster, but it may not be worth the time if I only have a 5 year window to accomplish it in. There are probably better places to focus that time and energy, since it would likely be 3 years since I saw any real profit.

MLKnits

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2015, 02:28:26 PM »
I'm finding that the hobbies and goals that correspond more closely with the the things I want to do when I'm FIRE'd I still feel very strongly about (like learning Spanish, which will come in handy when traveling slowly though Central and South America). The hobbies and activities that aren't getting me closer to FIRE, and will not be useful after FIRE, I feel much less passionate about.

This! I'm struggling with the wait, but I also know that if I want to be sitting on my porch playing guitar when I retire, I'd better practice guitar now. If I want to enjoy cooking someday (groannnnn), I'd better put in the effort to learn how to do it now. If I think fostering might be in my future, I better keep learning more about child development and behavioural psych. If I want to be healthy and happy and not burn out before I reach my goals, I better take the dog to the park!

My recommendation: keep a goals book. I like to do this on paper, I think hand-writing solidifies it a bit. I've got 2015 goals and monthly goals, and a lot of them are really simple (two social outings, take the dog to the park three times, cook one new thing, play guitar 10 minutes a day) and I often surpass them, but they help me remember what I'm trying to strive for in the NOW that isn't just sitting on my couch reloading Mint every ten minutes.

Really, at the end of the day, it's all the same stuff that everyone else does to deal with their shitty jobs. You know that old line: oh, you hate your job? There's a support group for that. It's called everyone, and we meet at the bar.

At least we're planning to get out of needing that support group waaaaay earlier than most.

deborah

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2015, 12:56:24 AM »
When I was preparing to FIRE, I was worried that I would miss some things - for instance I thought I would miss the social interaction that work provides, that I would miss the achievement that working with several people on big projects gives. I developed ways to get those things, and spent some time before retirement putting those plans into action.

This gave me more surety that retirement would work and the plan kept me busy trying to sort things out, rather than spending a lot of time being frustrated. Part of my plan identified things I needed to do at work before I retired, like working out benefits I was eligible for. If I hadn't started this preparation a couple of years before retirement, I think there would have been a few things I missed.



zinethstache

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2015, 03:24:11 PM »
I have enjoyed this thread! DH FIREd in 2011 at my insistence (he had a miserable job). The mistake I made was joining him in the typical post FIRE activities...

In 2012 we bought and did Spanish Rosetta Stone.
I forced myself to refresh my very rusty piano skills.
We dove into adding rentals for passive income (were only 2/3 through this process, 2 more rentals to go) and now have a nice chunk of rental income. (my income pays for this activity, once I no longer work, this will halt)
Traveled to various state and national parks for weeks at a time in our RV.

So now here I am about half way thru my pre-FIRE process having done a whole bunch of post FIRE activities with my FIRED husband.

The scary thing is now all of my sims and calculators say I can pull the plug now, before we've finished the pre-fire accumulation phase I have mapped out (soaring stocks will do this).

To help keep me on my path I've picked up different hobbies that I am enjoying immensely. I realize that I need to keep my free time filled with fun activities to keep me from analysis paralysis of our finances. BUT, have I started my FIRE activities too soon? Is that even possible?

In 2011 DH and I were 43. I always planned to be FIREd before 50, luckily our plans are ahead of schedule. 

It is awesome knowing I could quit tomorrow and FIRE, what a nice predicament to be in.

Static Void

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2015, 04:07:48 PM »
Great topic & thread, very interesting & inspiring to read.

The last couple of years went for me alternately slow & fast. But I never did actually count up the days, thank goodness! So when I was left with $60 on my commuter bus card, realizing I'd only use it once more, it was a pleasant surprise. (Doublethink for the win?)

Like @Financial.Velociraptor says, the "satisfaction" is higher at the beginning, because the progress ratio is so much higher. This is like all projects... the brainstorming and first steps are AWESOME. But after you've done a few projects, you realize that going slow and steady at the end is equally important. After sanding and polishing 12 oak steps to replace the stairway, I was darned well gonna make the 13th one just as good. With our highly evolved brains we can embrace that kind of satisfaction, too! Don't rush those last steps.

One great thing about these multiyear FIRE plans is: Time will pass no matter what you do. It's coming. Live well now. (And appreciate those occasional "Hey I'm still working, yes I'm gonna buy my overpriced latte!" moments.)
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kiwigirls

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2015, 04:57:57 PM »
This is such a great thread.  I too have been thinking there must be more to life than cruising MMM forums & tracking our finances.  And the answer is, of course, to consider post FIRE life - what do I want to do, what am I looking forward to doing, what will I do differently?  So my new obsession should be trying to match my current life with my envisioned post FIRE life (time constraints permitting).
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - Allen Saunders

madamwitty

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2015, 05:38:28 PM »
Live well now. (And appreciate those occasional "Hey I'm still working, yes I'm gonna buy my overpriced latte!" moments.)
Haha, I like this!

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2015, 06:35:49 PM »
Yep.  This is spot on.  Watching your stash continue to grow when you're so close to your final target goal (or perhaps even over it, and hanging on for a specified quit date, for whatever reason) is not that exciting.  I avoided much of the frustration you described by pouring myself into hobbies, because, as you mentioned, it becomes impossible to fully immerse yourself in work once you are 100% certain you're <1 year out.  I think of this like a velcro strip:  Your employer is the hook side, and you are the fastener.  The last year, your fasteners break and it's very difficult to feel the same bond.  They're still trying to hook you, but you're like:  Meh.  Because your fundamental construction has changed. 

So you've got to find something else to bond with instead or you start getting antsy.

Another good reason to start more seriously exploring other interests is that ideally you get some momentum going re: other things to do in life prior to quitting, time and energy willing, of course.  (It's not a requirement, but can't hurt..)

This makes complete sense, thanks for the metaphor.  We're about 2 years from ER and I've been driving myself batty with a few things:

1) Feeling annoyed that I'm not "done yet."
2) Realizing that my impatience is a problem, I need to break that habit of deferring happiness into the future and enjoy the present.
3) Recognizing that my non-work activities are pretty scant, and I have some work to do in becoming a well-rounded human.
4) Struggling with mood swings about my job. On the one hand I love my work. On the other hand I want a clean break from it. I have strong yet opposing feelings.

What seems to work best is to remind myself that my work for FIRE is largely "done." We've got about two years of work left, we just need to ride it out. So why not turn my attention to other things? I joined a gym and got a big stack of books from the library. Scheduled some friend-outings.

But I'll be honest, the inner turmoil continues....

SIS

dude

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2015, 09:08:08 AM »
Currently 4 years, 10 months away.  And it seems like an eternity.  I know it's not, because the last 5-6 have gone by so fast my head is still kinda spinning.  But every day I have to come to work is a day I'm not doing exactly what I WANT to do, rather than what I HAVE to do.  And on those days where say, I take the day off, I feel so at peace, so happy, so free -- the anticipation of feeling that way every day for the rest of my life is powerful stuff. It gets me to daydreaming frequently.  I'm not dwelling on it, and I'm living a pretty full life right now, but at times the anticipation is fairly agonizing!

Then again, life is so damn short, so I'm reluctant to wish time away, for sure.

MLKnits

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2015, 01:04:46 PM »
It gets me to daydreaming frequently.

I've started thinking that it's a very good thing I'm extremely efficient at my job, because I've been spending a lot of time staring at the wall, thinking about the future! --or on here, thinking about the future. ;)

steveo

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2015, 01:19:52 PM »
Currently 4 years, 10 months away.  And it seems like an eternity.  I know it's not, because the last 5-6 have gone by so fast my head is still kinda spinning.  But every day I have to come to work is a day I'm not doing exactly what I WANT to do, rather than what I HAVE to do.  And on those days where say, I take the day off, I feel so at peace, so happy, so free -- the anticipation of feeling that way every day for the rest of my life is powerful stuff. It gets me to daydreaming frequently.  I'm not dwelling on it, and I'm living a pretty full life right now, but at times the anticipation is fairly agonizing!

Then again, life is so damn short, so I'm reluctant to wish time away, for sure.

I'm in a similar spot. I wake up and think to myself I don't want to go to work. When I'm at work I do enjoy it but I'd rather be doing other things.

dude

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2015, 05:23:30 AM »
ETA: One of the things that happened to me once I made the decision to leave work (and this is common for people who are retiring I hear) is I got "The Fear". Not fear that I was making a mistake or that my financials weren't in order, but fear that I would be seriously injured or killed before I could leave my job and start doing the many things I wanted to. It kind of became obsessive and seemed I was always worried about a random car accident, brain tumor, or killer asteroids that I wouldn't "make it out alive!" I rarely see others on this forum have that fear as most seem to fear cutting the cord too early. But my fear was more about staying too long at work and cutting the cord too late.

HAHAHA!  Holy shit, yes, THIS!  I'm always joking about how I'll probably be struck down right before I have the chance to cash in on all my hard work and sacrifice!  If it weren't for the pension I have coming in four years -- which is the most significant reason for my being able to reach FIRE in the first place -- I'd be losing it.  It's that light at the end of the tunnel and need to get the train there before FIRE becomes possible that keeps me going each day.

Cookie78

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2015, 08:24:48 AM »
ETA: One of the things that happened to me once I made the decision to leave work (and this is common for people who are retiring I hear) is I got "The Fear". Not fear that I was making a mistake or that my financials weren't in order, but fear that I would be seriously injured or killed before I could leave my job and start doing the many things I wanted to. It kind of became obsessive and seemed I was always worried about a random car accident, brain tumor, or killer asteroids that I wouldn't "make it out alive!" I rarely see others on this forum have that fear as most seem to fear cutting the cord too early. But my fear was more about staying too long at work and cutting the cord too late.

With the sudden death of a coworker in her 40's at Christmas (aneurysm) and the sudden death of my brother 17 days ago (suicide) I'm feeling this much more intensely lately. At least suicide is easily avoidable in my case, but I sure hope I make it out alive and have many years left to enjoy FIRE.

The more I think about it, the more I'm tempted just to do what your original plan was spartana, and take a long sabbatical. If I end up needed to go back to work for a bit in a few years, so be it. If not, great. I'm also keenly aware that now is not a good time for me to be making big decisions, due to shock and distress and a very cloudy mental state.

The good side to this 'fear' is that it is incredibly motivating, both to enjoy life now and to invest tons towards FI goals so I can enjoy it more later.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 10:20:00 AM by Cookie78 »

StockBeard

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2015, 10:45:53 AM »
Didn't realize this thread would get so many replies, thanks everyone.
I can relate to lots of the answers here, I too have been daydreaming a lot at work recently. I think pursuing new opportunities at work (like DecD mentioned) could be one way for me to not turn completely insane. I could start doing bold things here to keep the excitment going on. I'll definitely think about that.

I don't have "the Fear" yet, I guess I'm still a bit too far from the goal :)

bako_frugal

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2015, 12:06:47 PM »
But the problem is when you are at your peak earnings years and just a little way away from FI, there is no time.  No time for all these little things that would make the now better.  Time was traded for earnings, you know you are close to not having to make that sacrifice anymore, but the suckiness of the last little bit until FI is because you realize looking forward what you would like to be doing, but you really just can't currently since the job still has the stranglehold on your time. 


Gone Fishing

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2015, 12:29:51 PM »
ETA: One of the things that happened to me once I made the decision to leave work (and this is common for people who are retiring I hear) is I got "The Fear". Not fear that I was making a mistake or that my financials weren't in order, but fear that I would be seriously injured or killed before I could leave my job and start doing the many things I wanted to. It kind of became obsessive and seemed I was always worried about a random car accident, brain tumor, or killer asteroids that I wouldn't "make it out alive!" I rarely see others on this forum have that fear as most seem to fear cutting the cord too early. But my fear was more about staying too long at work and cutting the cord too late.

HAHAHA!  Holy shit, yes, THIS!  I'm always joking about how I'll probably be struck down right before I have the chance to cash in on all my hard work and sacrifice!  If it weren't for the pension I have coming in four years -- which is the most significant reason for my being able to reach FIRE in the first place -- I'd be losing it.  It's that light at the end of the tunnel and need to get the train there before FIRE becomes possible that keeps me going each day.

I have it for sure!  My dad used to get it before vacation every year.  He is retiring next month and I think he is using retail therapy to stave it off!

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2015, 01:14:13 PM »
The latest numbers suggest I'm still 10-15 years away myself, but I definitely get frustrated that the needle seems to move slowly sometimes. The incremental increases with each paycheck are still rosy, though :-)

I think my parents are beginning to feel the effects, though. Two nights ago, I heard my dad complain about some administrative BS stacking up at the office, and made a comment about "wanting to retire". This is the first time I've ever heard him say anything like this, so I feel like he might actually be serious about it.
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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2015, 08:13:04 PM »
When I started down the path 3 years ago  I felt the same way and my job seemed more burdensome than ever before.  Optimise, plan and track and make mini goals, and so on but the time has to pass. See if you can find a job not so boring.

Its still valuable time, you don't want to waste 5-10 years of your life being antsy about quitting. Instead choose to be happy. Ultimately whether working or retired you  are responsible to choose to be happy. Once your job is gone, you won't be able to blame it for your unhappy state: its still up to you. Wake up every day and choose to be happy. Be happy you have a job that allows you to FIRE, be happy you have a job, be happy you can turn a tap and hot water comes out….

Read this recently and thought about this post: http://time.com/2993981/4-life-lessons-that-lead-to-happiness-success-and-longevity/?mc_cid=f65b8485ba&mc_eid=d7e57a49a6

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2015, 09:28:49 PM »
I'm finding that the hobbies and goals that correspond more closely with the the things I want to do when I'm FIRE'd I still feel very strongly about (like learning Spanish...)
This! I'm struggling with the wait, but I also know that if I want to be sitting on my porch playing guitar when I retire, I'd better practice guitar now...

My recommendation: keep a goals book. I like to do this on paper, I think hand-writing solidifies it a bit. I've got 2015 goals and monthly goals, and a lot of them are really simple (two social outings, take the dog to the park three times, cook one new thing, play guitar 10 minutes a day) and I often surpass them, but they help me remember what I'm trying to strive for in the NOW...

Thank you Cookie78 & MLKnits for pointing out that there are non-financial things need to be done in preparation for a successful FIRE. I've been so focused on the financial aspect (which, of course, is quite important). Like bako_frugal, I struggle with the fact that my job takes up a great deal of time and energy. However, in order to have the FIRE that I want, some preparation is needed. For example, 2015 is focused on solidifying my return to health and fitness. I'm going to mull over what else to put on my list. I welcome hearing what non-financial steps folks had/have on their pre-FIRE to-do lists.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 09:30:35 PM by Exhale »

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2015, 03:23:39 AM »
Thanks for all the great replies -- I've really enjoyed reading them.

I'm less than a year out from my FIRE date, and a couple of things have happened.  Suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, some switch in my head flipped over from "save save save" to "wth it's really nearly here???", and suddenly I'm trying to think how I'm going to tell my business partners that I'm going to be the one to go first (we're all founders of the business, and good friends, which makes it tricky).  But on the other hand, I'm struggling a bit against lifestyle inflation, plus some serious OMY syndrome.  I think I know I'd like a little more padding, and there might be some larger financial rewards a year or two out, so all these things play on my mind.

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2015, 04:38:50 AM »
ETA: One of the things that happened to me once I made the decision to leave work (and this is common for people who are retiring I hear) is I got "The Fear". Not fear that I was making a mistake or that my financials weren't in order, but fear that I would be seriously injured or killed before I could leave my job and start doing the many things I wanted to. It kind of became obsessive and seemed I was always worried about a random car accident, brain tumor, or killer asteroids that I wouldn't "make it out alive!" I rarely see others on this forum have that fear as most seem to fear cutting the cord too early. But my fear was more about staying too long at work and cutting the cord too late.

I've been feeling like this a lot lately. It's really weird how morbid I've become, but in a way it's providing the motivation to just FIRE already. I don't want to put off living my real, authentic life for too much longer. There's too many other things to do instead of sitting in a cubicle all day.

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2015, 05:04:24 AM »
This preys on my mind a lot also. I'm a fair bit older than most folks here, and am facing the fact that my 50yr+ body doesn't work the same as it did when I'm younger: there' s  things I think I can't take on now. And I definitely can't hack the stress like I used to. I feel like I'm on my last chance with a whole heap of things I'd like to do before I go….I mean I might live til I'm 100, but then again I might go when I'm 70, which would really piss me off, since I've quite enough for a 15 year or so retirement. And If I don't rehab my body a bit, I probably won't make it til 100 in any case.
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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2015, 07:20:25 AM »
Thank you Cookie78 & MLKnits for pointing out that there are non-financial things need to be done in preparation for a successful FIRE. I've been so focused on the financial aspect (which, of course, is quite important). Like bako_frugal, I struggle with the fact that my job takes up a great deal of time and energy. However, in order to have the FIRE that I want, some preparation is needed. For example, 2015 is focused on solidifying my return to health and fitness. I'm going to mull over what else to put on my list. I welcome hearing what non-financial steps folks had/have on their pre-FIRE to-do lists.

Health and fitness is a great focus! That is something I know I'd like to make an effort towards too. It saves costs in the long run when you don't have as many medical bills, and makes FIRE much more enjoyable. I had the fitness focus a few years ago and lost 65 pounds. Three years later I'm still pretty healthy, but I've lost a lot of the fitness I had. I can barely even do a single pull up now!

retired?

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2015, 10:12:05 AM »
I totally am feeling the same way.  I put together a 1000 days to Freedom plan back in October.  I set savings goals (750K) and spending goals (less than 3K per month) and I'm tracking both.  I also keep a journal of my journey, challenges, ideas for saving and investing, and ideas for what to do in retirement.   

I'm doing great tracking to the plan, over $20K ahead of savings plan so far...but...

The problem, is that while all this focus is helping me get to my goal, its NOT helping me live in the present and enjoy the moment!  I think we also have to work hard on having fun NOW!

I have so many things I want to do "once I retire"....learn another language, study horticulture and philosophy, bike, hike and spend time in fitness classes...But there's nothing really stopping me from doing more of that right now, instead of waiting for another 850 days! 

Why do you want to retire?   What do you plan to do with your time when you retire?  Is there a hobby you plan to spend more time on?  Why not try spending some more time on that now?

That made me chuckle.  I used to get bonuses in March, which could be half your total pay.  If you quit beforehand, no bonus.  I'd start to calculate my per day pay if I "just stayed til March".  Of course, it got larger and larger as the days grew shorter.  Nothing changed, but it made me feel better.

Exhale

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2015, 11:55:16 AM »
Health and fitness is a great focus! That is something I know I'd like to make an effort towards too. It saves costs in the long run when you don't have as many medical bills, and makes FIRE much more enjoyable. I had the fitness focus a few years ago and lost 65 pounds. Three years later I'm still pretty healthy, but I've lost a lot of the fitness I had. I can barely even do a single pull up now!

65 pounds? That's amazing - congratulations! I'm curious, what do you want your body to do at FIRE?

Here's my initial list:
1) Excellent fitness in three areas (don't need to be an ultra athlete, but do want to be in very good shape)
- Strength
- Cardio
- Flexibility
2) Excellent health
- Healthy eating
- Adequate sleep
- Mindfulness/gratitude

Cookie78

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2015, 12:10:33 PM »
65 pounds? That's amazing - congratulations! I'm curious, what do you want your body to do at FIRE?

Here's my initial list:
1) Excellent fitness in three areas (don't need to be an ultra athlete, but do want to be in very good shape)
- Strength
- Cardio
- Flexibility
2) Excellent health
- Healthy eating
- Adequate sleep
- Mindfulness/gratitude

Thanks. :)

That looks like a great list.

I just want to be healthy and able for a very long time after I'm FIREd. I want to travel a lot, do multiple day hikes, camping, backpacking, etc. The stronger and more fit I am now and throughout FIRE, the more I can enjoy it, and the longer I can enjoy it. I know eventually my age will catch up with me, but I'd like to do everything I can to push that eventuality back as far as I can.

Like I said, I'm pretty healthy now, even according to the nurse who did my free health assessment at work this week, but if I can focus on adding some fitness, strength, flexibility, etc. to improve my future while I'm waiting for the financial numbers to add up, it's a win win situation.


Exhale

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2015, 12:11:21 PM »
Why do you want to retire? What do you plan to do with your time when you retire?

Okay, I'll give this a go...

I want to retire in order to:
1) Support my health and fitness
2) Meaningfully engage with family/friends
3) Achieve greater excellence in my work
- Time to develop improved strategies
- Being able to work wherever and with whomever I wish
4) Learn to draw, kayak, speak Spanish, dance

I plan to use my time when I retire in these ways:
1) Take good care of my body and spirit
2) Have rewarding relationships with friends/family
3) Offer excellence in my field of endeavor
4) Draw, kayak, speak Spanish, dance
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 12:14:06 PM by Exhale »

Exflyboy

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2015, 01:26:29 PM »
I totally am feeling the same way.  I put together a 1000 days to Freedom plan back in October.  I set savings goals (750K) and spending goals (less than 3K per month) and I'm tracking both.  I also keep a journal of my journey, challenges, ideas for saving and investing, and ideas for what to do in retirement.   

I'm doing great tracking to the plan, over $20K ahead of savings plan so far...but...

The problem, is that while all this focus is helping me get to my goal, its NOT helping me live in the present and enjoy the moment!  I think we also have to work hard on having fun NOW!

I have so many things I want to do "once I retire"....learn another language, study horticulture and philosophy, bike, hike and spend time in fitness classes...But there's nothing really stopping me from doing more of that right now, instead of waiting for another 850 days! 

Why do you want to retire?   What do you plan to do with your time when you retire?  Is there a hobby you plan to spend more time on?  Why not try spending some more time on that now?



OK I'm sure you have this figured out but 4% of $750k is only $2500 a month... Why is your monthly spending goal $3000?... Shouldn't you be aiming for say a sustainable $2200 a month (including your presumably increased spending on Health care when you FIRE)??

Is the $3000 including your saving or something?

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2015, 07:55:11 PM »
The 3K per month is slightly over the 4% SWR, but I am already 'old'....Im 51.  If I retire at 53, my savings only has to last for 17 years before a small pension (600 per month) and Social Security (2600/month) kicks in. 

So if I stuck to a 4% swr I would have low income from 53-67, then at 67 my income will double.

Im thinking I can smooth that out by withdrawing more in early years and less once SS and pension start.

On the other hand, if the stache gets low, my backup plan is to work part time.  DH owns a couple of businesses that he may keep going and I can work with him or do contract IT PM work.

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2015, 08:08:51 PM »
ETA: One of the things that happened to me once I made the decision to leave work (and this is common for people who are retiring I hear) is I got "The Fear". Not fear that I was making a mistake or that my financials weren't in order, but fear that I would be seriously injured or killed before I could leave my job and start doing the many things I wanted to. It kind of became obsessive and seemed I was always worried about a random car accident, brain tumor, or killer asteroids that I wouldn't "make it out alive!" I rarely see others on this forum have that fear as most seem to fear cutting the cord too early. But my fear was more about staying too long at work and cutting the cord too late.

HAHAHA!  Holy shit, yes, THIS!  I'm always joking about how I'll probably be struck down right before I have the chance to cash in on all my hard work and sacrifice!  If it weren't for the pension I have coming in four years -- which is the most significant reason for my being able to reach FIRE in the first place -- I'd be losing it.  It's that light at the end of the tunnel and need to get the train there before FIRE becomes possible that keeps me going each day.

It must be that old joke from cop shows!

"And he was just two days from retirement..."

Exflyboy

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2015, 10:26:03 PM »
The 3K per month is slightly over the 4% SWR, but I am already 'old'....Im 51.  If I retire at 53, my savings only has to last for 17 years before a small pension (600 per month) and Social Security (2600/month) kicks in. 

So if I stuck to a 4% swr I would have low income from 53-67, then at 67 my income will double.

Im thinking I can smooth that out by withdrawing more in early years and less once SS and pension start.

On the other hand, if the stache gets low, my backup plan is to work part time.  DH owns a couple of businesses that he may keep going and I can work with him or do contract IT PM work.

You are?.. haha.. I'm 53 and I'm bloody well not old..:)

Yes that seems reasonable.. I too am doing a similar "swim across the ocean to the island".. Where the island is the pension of about $42k in my case 5 years after my Wife retires. My stash is about $1.5M so I should have more than enough.

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2015, 08:03:59 AM »
One thing I did my last years at an 'office' job which I now see was affecting my mental health and outlook on life, was NOT getting out of the office during the middle of the day. I did it sometimes, but not all the time. If I ever, through the vagaries of life, have to start working in an office environment again *sob* I would definitely take a walk each day at lunch. Being outside lifts my mood, and the sunshine mid-day in winter makes me sleep better at night as well.

This is part of the whole 'enjoying your life in the moment' thread of this thread. In my case, I had enjoyed my first four years of my last office job, but the final two years were pretty miserable, a combination of severe boredom (by that time I had optimized the large department I was running until there was no room for optimization left, and was just doing lots of committee work and heading large projects that did not hold any interest for me) and infighting in the entire organization. If I had, at that point, made an effort to get out of the office every day, I'd have reminded myself that there IS life outside the office. Of course now I can see what happened in that job that made me dissatisfied, yet at the time the changes were slow enough that I was in the middle of the bad times before I realized it!

There is life outside the office. I am a goal-oriented person and I agree, it seems like the easiest way to reach fire is to just fast-forward through those final years, but IT IS YOUR LIFE YOU'D BE CHOOSING TO FAST-FORWARD!!!!! You would never get that time back!! I know it goes against the grain for those of us who are goal-oriented to look back upon our accomplishments before we've attained the final goal, but enjoying what you've already accomplished may be the best way to relax into your current life and find some peace and satisfaction.

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2015, 08:37:48 PM »
So I was inspired by this thread because I realize I have been spending too much time "in the future" and not enough time in the present, enjoying life today!  I know that this is partly due to the record-breaking LONG COLD WINTER here in the Frozen Tundra of upstate NY.  I started the winter with a LONG vacation to Florida, and since getting back, I've been hibernating, and cant stop thinking about FIRE and being a snowbird.

Ive enjoyed reading some of your goals.  As far as living in the NOW, last week I re-started my French studies on Duo Lingo.   I also made a list of goals for once I retire, but with the intention of starting now, in spare time...

  • Keep my PMP Certification Current - Take Classes for Credits, keep skills current
    Read 1 book on Stoicism - Recommendations anyone??
    Brush up my French, DuoLingo
    Go to Y 6 days a week, no excuses. 
    Snowshoe or hike or bike every weekend. 
    Practice vegetarian cooking
    Keep up with social life, stay in touch with pals.  If I don’t have at least 2 invitations per week, I will start the party myself!

HankERJourney

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2015, 09:03:10 AM »
Yeah, I relate to many of the stories here. I am 10 Months away from FI (and quitting my job), I am 49. I am trying to "fight" the boredom of these last Months by travel and luckily I need to travel a lot for work, it feels like time goes faster on the road (although I am tired of flying -- and yes, I also feel like that I am hoping that not something happens in these last 10 Months while flying ....). On top of this, I started a language course for the FI-country we are going to be based, and next to this, programming and astronomy. But, if I am honest, I rather speed up these 10 Months, and start renovating my new home (in East Europe).
In contrast to many above, I do not have a luxurious Social Security budget awaiting me (when 67, it is only about 1000 Euro a Month), so my own investments need to work long. Sometimes I feel nervous about that (I diversified by having rental home investments (50% of income), managed funds (50%) and extra cash buffer to overcome 4 years in case major stock crash). However, the feeling to be free is stronger, and we have some extra land with the new home, so we always can start making our own food, hehe lol

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2015, 09:52:44 AM »
ETA: One of the things that happened to me once I made the decision to leave work (and this is common for people who are retiring I hear) is I got "The Fear". Not fear that I was making a mistake or that my financials weren't in order, but fear that I would be seriously injured or killed before I could leave my job and start doing the many things I wanted to. It kind of became obsessive and seemed I was always worried about a random car accident, brain tumor, or killer asteroids that I wouldn't "make it out alive!" I rarely see others on this forum have that fear as most seem to fear cutting the cord too early. But my fear was more about staying too long at work and cutting the cord too late.

HAHAHA!  Holy shit, yes, THIS!  I'm always joking about how I'll probably be struck down right before I have the chance to cash in on all my hard work and sacrifice!  If it weren't for the pension I have coming in four years -- which is the most significant reason for my being able to reach FIRE in the first place -- I'd be losing it.  It's that light at the end of the tunnel and need to get the train there before FIRE becomes possible that keeps me going each day.

It must be that old joke from cop shows!

"And he was just two days from retirement..."
Ha! Funny because both Dude and I worked in law enforcement :-)!

My dad was LE, too...

dude

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2015, 10:08:28 AM »
When I started down the path 3 years ago  I felt the same way and my job seemed more burdensome than ever before.  Optimise, plan and track and make mini goals, and so on but the time has to pass. See if you can find a job not so boring.

Its still valuable time, you don't want to waste 5-10 years of your life being antsy about quitting. Instead choose to be happy. Ultimately whether working or retired you  are responsible to choose to be happy. Once your job is gone, you won't be able to blame it for your unhappy state: its still up to you. Wake up every day and choose to be happy. Be happy you have a job that allows you to FIRE, be happy you have a job, be happy you can turn a tap and hot water comes out….

Yeah, I'm totally doing this -- it's just that my own personal time for doing this, outside of work, feels VERY limiting!

You know what I just figured out the other day?  Weekends, right, you have it off, you do your thing, and it's great?  But what feels even greater, by a magnitude to me, is when I take a workday off and I do my thing while everyone else is working.  Those days are qualitatively more enjoyable to me than a typical weekend day.  I can't say for sure why, but I feel much freer not working on a day I'm supposed to be working.

Cookie78

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Re: Did you ever feel the frustration of being "close to the goal"?
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2015, 10:23:07 AM »
You know what I just figured out the other day?  Weekends, right, you have it off, you do your thing, and it's great?  But what feels even greater, by a magnitude to me, is when I take a workday off and I do my thing while everyone else is working.  Those days are qualitatively more enjoyable to me than a typical weekend day.  I can't say for sure why, but I feel much freer not working on a day I'm supposed to be working.

I feel this too! In a huge way. I get every second Friday off, and that day to me is much more enjoyable than any Saturday and Sunday off. In addition, if I choose, I can do all the grocery shopping and errand running while everyone else is at work. Feels great.