Author Topic: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?  (Read 5679 times)

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2018, 02:15:56 PM »
I posted this to my journal on the 10th.  It applies here.

I have been FIREd for about 20 months now and the transition has had its ups and downs.  I have had (still have) the dreams about work, some depression and feelings of anxiety/inadequacy.

Some friends recently visited from San Jose CA.  They are living the high income, high stress life common in the Bay Area.  "Jane" in particular is working 12+ hour days as an accountant for a big tech company and the stress is really getting to her.

Jane was in awe of our simpler more relaxed lifestyle.  We spend the afternoon sitting on the back deck talking about lifestyle choices and the balance between career and happiness.

I had been in an extended down phase where I had been obsessing over the things I didn't like in my life and ignoring all the good parts.  Jane's perspective and admiration of our lifestyle really brought things back into perspective and improved my mood enormously.

I realized that our life was actually pretty darn good.  I just needed to see it through another person's eyes for a bit.

Even better, our friends liked out life so much they bought a house nearby and plan to move in a few years once their youngest son graduates from high school.  They are anxious to get out of the high income/HCOL rat race and enjoy the tranquility of a more relaxed life.  This really helped confirm that we are on the right track.

Win win for both of us!

This is awesome!  I have two converts in my personal circle.  It can be kind of frustrating that you want to share the MMM gospel and people look at you like the Jehovah's Witness or Mormons at the front door.
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Bird In Hand

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2018, 02:45:23 PM »
This is awesome!  I have two converts in my personal circle.  It can be kind of frustrating that you want to share the MMM gospel and people look at you like the Jehovah's Witness or Mormons at the front door.

I lol'd.  This makes you sound almost exactly like a Jehova's Witness or Mormon (or a member of any other proselytizing organization -- no offense to those particular religions intended).
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ysette9

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2018, 03:03:16 PM »
But your (financial) life really can be saved through Mustachianism, no faith necessary!
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austin944

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2018, 05:09:19 PM »
Any chance you may be experiencing an existential crisis?

I wasn't quite sure of the definition of existential crisis, but after watching the following two hilarious YT videos, I can say YES that's what I am going through!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEzMwNBjkAU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1jaY136B_k

It didn't help that the second video was preceded by an advertisement for a rehab center.  I'm sure glad I quit alcohol last year.  :-)

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2018, 06:55:10 PM »
Not FIREd yet, but PTF, as I keep putting it off. There have been good reasons & less good reasons, but somewhere deep down, I know i have some real work (read: personal work) to accomplish when I do finally FIRE. And, @RedmondStash - lived & worked in Redmond for quite some time before moving to the Bay Area. Much of what you & @Malkynn really resonated.

I really appreciate you sharing (and, the corresponding advice), as it's super helpful for those of us on the edge to have a realistic perspective about what to expect when they finally pull the plug.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2018, 07:00:23 PM »
But your (financial) life really can be saved through Mustachianism, no faith necessary!

Touchť!  :)

Though for most of us there is still faith involved in making this all work.  Faith in the markets performing similarly to how they did in the past, etc.
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RedmondStash

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2018, 10:53:38 PM »
Not FIREd yet, but PTF, as I keep putting it off. There have been good reasons & less good reasons, but somewhere deep down, I know i have some real work (read: personal work) to accomplish when I do finally FIRE. And, @RedmondStash - lived & worked in Redmond for quite some time before moving to the Bay Area. Much of what you & @Malkynn really resonated.

I really appreciate you sharing (and, the corresponding advice), as it's super helpful for those of us on the edge to have a realistic perspective about what to expect when they finally pull the plug.

This is good to hear. The truth is that I was a bit reluctant to start this downer thread, either to rain on happy FIREd people's parades or to get unwanted facepunches from folks thinking I was just whining. But the responses have been so empathetic and supportive. It's been a relief.

I'm sure the FIRE experience varies for everyone, but it is kinda nice to know that it can take more than the standard 6 months to shake the dust off and settle down to a life of beaches, exotic travel, hikes, and bliss. :)

And yeah, for some of us, there probably is a great deal of work to do, not just to transition to a new lifestyle, but to recuperate from the old one. It can be uncomfortable. But it's necessary work, just like you know when you sit too long in one position and your leg falls asleep, you're going to have to get up and face those pins and needles eventually. Can't be avoided, worth going through to get to the other side, and you know it won't last forever. But wow how it sucks while it's happening.

Seems like patience and non-judgmental acceptance are the keys.

Malkynn

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2018, 04:09:43 AM »
But your (financial) life really can be saved through Mustachianism, no faith necessary!

Touchť!  :)

Though for most of us there is still faith involved in making this all work.  Faith in the markets performing similarly to how they did in the past, etc.

Except itís the same for almost everyone. Everyone who retires is counting on the markets to behave, unless they have a too-big-to-fail stache, but those people are extremely rare. 

I would argue that most Mustachians retire with more money saved than the average joe who works much longer. Far more people here retire with too-big-to-fail staches than I see in real life, and my social circle is entirely made up of very high earners in the 1-5% of incomes, but their expenses are insane.

I would also argue that mustachians are far more critical of the math and assumptions of retirement than average joes who have probably never ever thought much past the concept that saving 1M would make them pretty comfortable in retirement. Average joe operates on faith that *if* they were to ever save enough that they would be fine. Mustachians try to analyze to death largely arbitrary numbers that theyíve made up for themselves because many actually *canít* find the faith.
 
Sure, it requires a bit of balls to pull the trigger early and voluntarily walk away young from further, relatively predictable income because youíve already saved more than average joe could save by 70, but thatís not faith.

I donít see much faith here on the boards period. I see a lot of OMY, meticulous analysis of SWR, sequence of return risk, thorough criticism of anyones optimism about being able to rejoin the workforce if necessary, etc, etc.
I see very few, if any, people saying ďIíll have more money saved by 45 than most people by 70, Iím sure Iíll be fine, and Iím not worried about having to generate money in the future if neededĒ

Personally, I do operate on faith, I have little concern or regard for the numbers and absolutely no concrete intention of leaving work altogether beyond knowing that I will get pickier and pickier about the projects I choose to take on, and probably care less and less about compensation.

When I read MMMís blog, it wasnít the escape from the grind that appealed to me, it was the life that he built for himself and the caliber of projects he was able to participate in: the world class blog, international travel and meeting with like minded people, community projects, etc, etc. I wanted that life, and I wanted it NOW.

Thatís what Iíve chosen to have faith in.
Iíve decided that life is more than grinding until you can afford to stop. Itís about what happens when you stop grinding, so I just stopped. Pete did it with a giant FIRE sized safety net, and I did it with a mortgage-sized student debt. FIRE isnít a prerequisite to starting living your best life, it just makes it easier and less scary.

FIRE doesnít make anyone happy or give anyone a better life. It simply helps with fostering the conditions necessary for building a happy and healthy life, but it isnít necessary, itís isnít a prerequisite.

FIRE is just a change of state within the life youíve chosen to build for yourself.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2018, 07:05:15 AM »
Except itís the same for almost everyone. Everyone who retires is counting on the markets to behave, unless they have a too-big-to-fail stache, but those people are extremely rare. 

I would argue that most Mustachians retire with more money saved than the average joe who works much longer. Far more people here retire with too-big-to-fail staches than I see in real life, and my social circle is entirely made up of very high earners in the 1-5% of incomes, but their expenses are insane.

I would also argue that mustachians are far more critical of the math and assumptions of retirement than average joes who have probably never ever thought much past the concept that saving 1M would make them pretty comfortable in retirement. Average joe operates on faith that *if* they were to ever save enough that they would be fine. Mustachians try to analyze to death largely arbitrary numbers that theyíve made up for themselves because many actually *canít* find the faith.
 
Sure, it requires a bit of balls to pull the trigger early and voluntarily walk away young from further, relatively predictable income because youíve already saved more than average joe could save by 70, but thatís not faith.

I donít see much faith here on the boards period. I see a lot of OMY, meticulous analysis of SWR, sequence of return risk, thorough criticism of anyones optimism about being able to rejoin the workforce if necessary, etc, etc.
I see very few, if any, people saying ďIíll have more money saved by 45 than most people by 70, Iím sure Iíll be fine, and Iím not worried about having to generate money in the future if neededĒ

Personally, I do operate on faith, I have little concern or regard for the numbers and absolutely no concrete intention of leaving work altogether beyond knowing that I will get pickier and pickier about the projects I choose to take on, and probably care less and less about compensation.

When I read MMMís blog, it wasnít the escape from the grind that appealed to me, it was the life that he built for himself and the caliber of projects he was able to participate in: the world class blog, international travel and meeting with like minded people, community projects, etc, etc. I wanted that life, and I wanted it NOW.

Thatís what Iíve chosen to have faith in.
Iíve decided that life is more than grinding until you can afford to stop. Itís about what happens when you stop grinding, so I just stopped. Pete did it with a giant FIRE sized safety net, and I did it with a mortgage-sized student debt. FIRE isnít a prerequisite to starting living your best life, it just makes it easier and less scary.

FIRE doesnít make anyone happy or give anyone a better life. It simply helps with fostering the conditions necessary for building a happy and healthy life, but it isnít necessary, itís isnít a prerequisite.

FIRE is just a change of state within the life youíve chosen to build for yourself.

Thanks for the thoughtful post -- I enjoyed reading it, and I appreciate your perspective and attitude toward FIRE.  And point taken that 'mustachianism' is not simply the pursuit of FIRE in a vacuum.

My comment about faith WRT FIRE was somewhat off-the-cuff, but I still think there's some truth to it.  Your points about OMY, SWR, SORR, etc., don't invalidate the claim that there's faith involved.  To me it's not a stretch to say that debates about SWR reflect shades of gray in the spectrum of faith in the continuity and long-term predictability of markets.  But I admit this is a FIRE-centric issue, and I'm not really invested in this enough to dig in and argue any further.  :)
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Malkynn

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2018, 07:54:18 AM »

Thanks for the thoughtful post -- I enjoyed reading it, and I appreciate your perspective and attitude toward FIRE.  And point taken that 'mustachianism' is not simply the pursuit of FIRE in a vacuum.

My comment about faith WRT FIRE was somewhat off-the-cuff, but I still think there's some truth to it.  Your points about OMY, SWR, SORR, etc., don't invalidate the claim that there's faith involved.  To me it's not a stretch to say that debates about SWR reflect shades of gray in the spectrum of faith in the continuity and long-term predictability of markets.  But I admit this is a FIRE-centric issue, and I'm not really invested in this enough to dig in and argue any further.  :)

Of course thereís a certain level of faith.
My point was that mustachians have no additional faith in the market than absolutely every other person who ever expects to retire. Mustachians tend to have infinitely LESS faith than average joe does. Heís too busy just hoping heíll have ďenoughĒ to retire ďsomedayĒ and not looking too closely at the ways in which that plan could fail even if he succeeds in his goals. Mustachians fixate on reaching their goals and then possibly failing anyway.

Of course Mustachians have to have faith in the markets, I just donít think that faith is what distinguishes them from average joes.

People who donít have any faith in the markets buy piles of precious metals and become preppers for when the market ďinevitably crashesĒ and they need their stores of precious metals and canned fish to survive the apocalyptic fallout while the rest of us investor suckers lose everything and lack the skills to thrive off grid. I mean, Iím not even a passably decent bow-hunter. I am fucked.
I may or may not be related to some of those people...

So yeah, I donít actually disagree with you. I just see the ďfaithĒ needed as basic common sense and reasonable acceptance of risk, since the alternative of not having any faith will turn you into a whacko.



smoghat

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2018, 08:40:29 AM »
There was a great article in the NY Times a while back about this dream -- it's pretty universal -- which was news to me. I've had the recurring dream that I show up for a college math exam after not having been to any classes all semester, and my graduating is dependent on my passing this exam. Holy shit, it freaks me the fuck out and I wake up with my heart racing every time!

That actually happened to me! And I got an F. Or maybe a D, I donít remember. Luckily, I had more than enough credits to graduate and I was out of there. Never had a use for Calculus in real life. Iím sure itís useful for some folks, but itís not as useful as programming. Makes no sense to me why the math lovers get to impose their ideals on the rest of us.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #61 on: June 13, 2018, 01:55:54 PM »

Thanks for the thoughtful post -- I enjoyed reading it, and I appreciate your perspective and attitude toward FIRE.  And point taken that 'mustachianism' is not simply the pursuit of FIRE in a vacuum.

My comment about faith WRT FIRE was somewhat off-the-cuff, but I still think there's some truth to it.  Your points about OMY, SWR, SORR, etc., don't invalidate the claim that there's faith involved.  To me it's not a stretch to say that debates about SWR reflect shades of gray in the spectrum of faith in the continuity and long-term predictability of markets.  But I admit this is a FIRE-centric issue, and I'm not really invested in this enough to dig in and argue any further.  :)

Of course thereís a certain level of faith.
My point was that mustachians have no additional faith in the market than absolutely every other person who ever expects to retire. Mustachians tend to have infinitely LESS faith than average joe does. Heís too busy just hoping heíll have ďenoughĒ to retire ďsomedayĒ and not looking too closely at the ways in which that plan could fail even if he succeeds in his goals. Mustachians fixate on reaching their goals and then possibly failing anyway.

Of course Mustachians have to have faith in the markets, I just donít think that faith is what distinguishes them from average joes.

People who donít have any faith in the markets buy piles of precious metals and become preppers for when the market ďinevitably crashesĒ and they need their stores of precious metals and canned fish to survive the apocalyptic fallout while the rest of us investor suckers lose everything and lack the skills to thrive off grid. I mean, Iím not even a passably decent bow-hunter. I am fucked.
I may or may not be related to some of those people...

So yeah, I donít actually disagree with you. I just see the ďfaithĒ needed as basic common sense and reasonable acceptance of risk, since the alternative of not having any faith will turn you into a whacko.

Indeed, I count on the markets on average going up for the next 20 years. Maybe they won't and I will be fucked. In that case, we will improvise when the time comes. Maybe go back to work or work as a consultant. Maybe there will be introduced some universal basic income, which is good for retirees. When the world goes mad, we might try to live off the grid as long as that is doable, eating fish and mushrooms. Of whatever. But I am not preparing for it in any way. We will improvise, as we can't predict the future well enough for a concrete plan.
I do not plan to do 1 more year than necessary. As soon as we can afford it, I will FIRE.

By the way, I did an online test for measuring anxiety. I scored in the middle of the range for "significant stress and anxiety". And I know my that if I had done that test for half a year ago, I would have scored a lot more, "extremely stressed". I have started to get memory and speech problems, likely related to the stress. So I can't wait to stop working. I am considering to ask to work part time (80%) after the summer, even though that will reduce my income some and delay FIRE with a couple of weeks. It is probably worth it, though.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #62 on: June 14, 2018, 09:33:28 AM »
I would also argue that mustachians are far more critical of the math and assumptions of retirement than average joes who have probably never ever thought much past the concept that saving 1M would make them pretty comfortable in retirement. Average joe operates on faith that *if* they were to ever save enough that they would be fine. Mustachians try to analyze to death largely arbitrary numbers that theyíve made up for themselves because many actually *canít* find the faith.

Actually I don't think that's the right characterization for Average Joe.  Average Joe saves very little (if anything) and doesn't know anything about investments.  I strongly doubt he has any knowledge about historical market returns -- not to mention any specific belief that investing in the market will provide a return above inflation (inflation?  what's that?).  The most detailed thought Average Joe has given to saving is "If I save some money, I will have it later."  Even then, there's a decent chance Average Joe cashes out his 401k when switching jobs and spends it on a new car.

So no, I don't think Average Joe has knowledge of or faith in the markets, the former being a prerequisite for the latter.  Mustachian Moe has extensive knowledge of the markets, and might struggle (Savings Rate, SORR, SWR -- OMY!) with his faith that market investment will lead to FI salvation or an early enough RE.
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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2018, 12:11:03 AM »
From my experience, helping others in need might broaden the OP's focus from their traumatic work past (inward-focus) to their current power to help others (outward-focus). My favorite is hospice-volunteering, but they may prefer schools or soup kitchens or 3-legged-dog conventions. Making new, meaningful connections with others, in which you've maybe made a positive difference, is a powerful antidepressant. Won't take away trauma, but may help right-size it within a larger sense of the world.

Malkynn

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #64 on: June 15, 2018, 04:26:17 AM »
I would also argue that mustachians are far more critical of the math and assumptions of retirement than average joes who have probably never ever thought much past the concept that saving 1M would make them pretty comfortable in retirement. Average joe operates on faith that *if* they were to ever save enough that they would be fine. Mustachians try to analyze to death largely arbitrary numbers that theyíve made up for themselves because many actually *canít* find the faith.

Actually I don't think that's the right characterization for Average Joe.  Average Joe saves very little (if anything) and doesn't know anything about investments.  I strongly doubt he has any knowledge about historical market returns -- not to mention any specific belief that investing in the market will provide a return above inflation (inflation?  what's that?).  The most detailed thought Average Joe has given to saving is "If I save some money, I will have it later."  Even then, there's a decent chance Average Joe cashes out his 401k when switching jobs and spends it on a new car.

So no, I don't think Average Joe has knowledge of or faith in the markets, the former being a prerequisite for the latter.  Mustachian Moe has extensive knowledge of the markets, and might struggle (Savings Rate, SORR, SWR -- OMY!) with his faith that market investment will lead to FI salvation or an early enough RE.

Lol, I never said Average Joe does save, I said that Joe has faith that *if* he *did* save 1M that he would be golden. Faith doesnít take any level of knowledge. In fact, often less knowledge is better, lol

Mustachians question this shit to death because they know too much to just sit back and blindly accept on faith that a bunch of money = no worries.

dude

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #65 on: June 15, 2018, 06:31:21 AM »
There was a great article in the NY Times a while back about this dream -- it's pretty universal -- which was news to me. I've had the recurring dream that I show up for a college math exam after not having been to any classes all semester, and my graduating is dependent on my passing this exam. Holy shit, it freaks me the fuck out and I wake up with my heart racing every time!

That actually happened to me! And I got an F. Or maybe a D, I donít remember. Luckily, I had more than enough credits to graduate and I was out of there. Never had a use for Calculus in real life. Iím sure itís useful for some folks, but itís not as useful as programming. Makes no sense to me why the math lovers get to impose their ideals on the rest of us.

HAHAHA!  Wow! This made me laugh out loud, thanks!

Bird In Hand

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #66 on: June 15, 2018, 06:40:26 AM »
Faith doesnít take any level of knowledge. In fact, often less knowledge is better, lol

Mustachians question this shit to death because they know too much to just sit back and blindly accept on faith that a bunch of money = no worries.

IMO there's a big difference between "faith" (trusting, or believing strongly in something) and "blind faith" (believing something without any evidence, or even in contradiction to the evidence).

When I talk about Mustachians having faith in markets, I'm using the former definition.  Most of us have reasonably high confidence that markets will beat inflation and help us FIRE happily ever after.  All the questioning and doubts and backup plans we make are not incompatible with faith.

I still contend that Average Joe doesn't really have faith in markets, because Average Joe doesn't even have a concept of what "markets" is.  I could be wrong about Average Joe.  I don't think I know Average Joe in real life, so I have to guess about his mindset based on some skimpy evidence, like statistics about retirement savings, the number of Coors Lite beer cans I see tossed on the side of the road, etc.

By the way, this all got started when another poster used religious language to describe his mustachian proselytizing:

This is awesome!  I have two converts in my personal circle.  It can be kind of frustrating that you want to share the MMM gospel and people look at you like the Jehovah's Witness or Mormons at the front door.
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Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #67 on: June 15, 2018, 10:25:47 AM »
I'm beginning to think the people who are finding it difficult to transition have something fundamentally different about their wiring than those that didn't.  Before I went FIRE, I had a supervisor who took a more or less traditional age retirement.  He introduced me to a concept he called the "Give-A-Shit-O-Meter".  Basically, once you don't need the money anymore, you have a lot fewer fucks to give regarding work issues.  I was getting close to my number and it was an 'a-ha' moment realizing why I was having increasing difficulty mustering up any pride in my work and why I was the only one who wasn't getting anxious during quarter end closes. 

I've spoken with other early retirees and other people who are getting close at various FI themed meetups and the general consensus is that the Give-A-Shit-O-Meter is a real thing for most people.  But clearly, there is a subset of the population that remains emotionally invested in a career they no longer have a need for.

Am on track here?  Serious question to those of you who are struggling.  Is there a component of "fuck it" to your attitude that is sometimes overridden by emotional issues or do you still care deeply through and through?  Trying to understand your dilemma in hopes I can help.
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RedmondStash

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #68 on: June 15, 2018, 11:08:35 AM »
I'm beginning to think the people who are finding it difficult to transition have something fundamentally different about their wiring than those that didn't.  Before I went FIRE, I had a supervisor who took a more or less traditional age retirement.  He introduced me to a concept he called the "Give-A-Shit-O-Meter".  Basically, once you don't need the money anymore, you have a lot fewer fucks to give regarding work issues.  I was getting close to my number and it was an 'a-ha' moment realizing why I was having increasing difficulty mustering up any pride in my work and why I was the only one who wasn't getting anxious during quarter end closes. 

I've spoken with other early retirees and other people who are getting close at various FI themed meetups and the general consensus is that the Give-A-Shit-O-Meter is a real thing for most people.  But clearly, there is a subset of the population that remains emotionally invested in a career they no longer have a need for.

Am on track here?  Serious question to those of you who are struggling.  Is there a component of "fuck it" to your attitude that is sometimes overridden by emotional issues or do you still care deeply through and through?  Trying to understand your dilemma in hopes I can help.

OP here. Thanks for the thoughts. My Give-A-Shit-O-Meter has been on the decline for many years, since I've had FU money for many years, by design -- long before I ever discovered MMM. In many ways, it made me more relaxed at work, gave me the boldness to speak truth to power when others at my level were scared to because they had no financial cover, and generally have an internal "I don't need this" attitude. I also forged ahead and reshaped my various jobs to be more what I wanted, because I knew I could get away with it. Honestly, all that made me a better employee because I wasn't carrying the burden of "oh shit if I lose this job we're screwed and homeless and eating cat food."

However, I always cared very much about working hard, doing a great job, and behaving professionally; it's just how I'm built, and what gives me personal satisfaction. And I always hated hostility, aggression, and people who behaved unprofessionally, especially by attacking me. I've dealt with a lot of crap like that in IT and related fields.

So I wouldn't say I was emotionally invested in my career. I would say I'm emotionally invested in not being treated abusively, and I take hits from toxic workplace behavior whether or not I need the job. I think that's what I'm detoxing/recovering from. It's not about caring about the career, it's about dealing with the long-term, suppressed repercussions of all those incidents of other people's bad behavior and toxic company culture stressing me out.

I do think it's true that not everyone takes bad behavior as hard as I do; we're all built differently. But it was always about the people, not the career, for me.

Does that make sense?

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #69 on: June 15, 2018, 04:53:02 PM »

Does that make sense?

Makes a little more sense.  It is logical your Give-A-Shit-O-Meter would get closer to the big red E.  I guess its a continuum.  For me the GASOM is an absolute.  I was invested in being professional and productive, when that was what I was being paid for.  Now that I'm not, I care zero.  I still keep in touch with most of the people from the old office (less a few asshats). 

I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around some people can't take what I guess we can call the Mustachian Carefree Bonus, and apply it more broadly in their lives.  It's a blessing.  Like you noted, it isn't an assholery thing.  It makes you a better employee, person, friend, whatever.  Not taking crap is a two way street.  It's good for the person who stops putting up with it but also good (in a way) for the person who was serving crap.

Hope you find a way to stop letting assholes live in your head space rent free.  Maybe what I said here helps?  Meh.
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RedmondStash

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #70 on: June 15, 2018, 06:58:48 PM »
Hope you find a way to stop letting assholes live in your head space rent free.

Thank you. Me too.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #71 on: June 15, 2018, 09:42:01 PM »
Just wanted to share - sorry to talk so much about my own experience.

Thanks for sharing, and welcome to the fourms!  Since the OP specifically asked for others to chime in with their experiences, you have nothing to apologize for!  :)

+1. Thanks for sharing, Doops!

++  Glad you are here!

RetirementInvestingToday

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #72 on: June 16, 2018, 01:38:18 AM »
...
I do not plan to do 1 more year than necessary. As soon as we can afford it, I will FIRE.
...

I was the same as your good self.  Bullish all the way until I became FI.  Then it was like a light being switched off.  In the end I believe it was due to a bit of institutionalism as well as plenty of fear.  What we are doing on this site is very much against the herd.  In the end my aha moment did come though.  I ended up doing TMY and only resigned this week.
45 years of age, UK based (for now) and FI.  Will FIRE in mid-2018.  A lot more detail on my blog http://www.retirementinvestingtoday.com/

FreshlyFIREd

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #73 on: June 17, 2018, 04:45:07 AM »
Although I have not needed to decompress, this thread was helpful. It had a few helpful links that shed light and made me understand a few things about myself and my experiences. Both me and wifie retired in the last 12 months and we have strong confidence that we shall never have to work in the toxic environments that we experienced for so many years. That in itself feels damn good.

Vegasgirl

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2018, 06:29:29 AM »
Frankly I'm a little worried about my impending FIRE coming up shortly.  I've been working only 3 days per week for the past couple of months with the hopes of getting into some sort of regular routine at home but it's been exhausting.  I've lost my "excuse" for not participating in things so my 4 day weekends have been crazy.  I'm actually coming back to work for the downtime.  I'm normally an introvert and I don't mind socializing every once in a while but I usually need to take a break.  I feel like I've been burning the candle at both ends here lately trying to plan for FIRE.  I am just hoping for some serious downtime later in the summer.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #75 on: June 18, 2018, 01:09:11 PM »
Frankly I'm a little worried about my impending FIRE coming up shortly.  I've been working only 3 days per week for the past couple of months with the hopes of getting into some sort of regular routine at home but it's been exhausting.  I've lost my "excuse" for not participating in things so my 4 day weekends have been crazy.  I'm actually coming back to work for the downtime.  I'm normally an introvert and I don't mind socializing every once in a while but I usually need to take a break.  I feel like I've been burning the candle at both ends here lately trying to plan for FIRE.  I am just hoping for some serious downtime later in the summer.

I guess you need to learn to say "no" a bit more often. Maybe one social event per weekend is enough?

Malkynn

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2018, 02:48:42 PM »
Frankly I'm a little worried about my impending FIRE coming up shortly.  I've been working only 3 days per week for the past couple of months with the hopes of getting into some sort of regular routine at home but it's been exhausting.  I've lost my "excuse" for not participating in things so my 4 day weekends have been crazy.  I'm actually coming back to work for the downtime.  I'm normally an introvert and I don't mind socializing every once in a while but I usually need to take a break.  I feel like I've been burning the candle at both ends here lately trying to plan for FIRE.  I am just hoping for some serious downtime later in the summer.

Youíll find your balance.
But yeah, definitely learn how to say ďnoĒ, itís critical to your mental health and general well being.

RedmondStash

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #77 on: June 19, 2018, 10:13:36 AM »
Frankly I'm a little worried about my impending FIRE coming up shortly.  I've been working only 3 days per week for the past couple of months with the hopes of getting into some sort of regular routine at home but it's been exhausting.  I've lost my "excuse" for not participating in things so my 4 day weekends have been crazy.  I'm actually coming back to work for the downtime.  I'm normally an introvert and I don't mind socializing every once in a while but I usually need to take a break.  I feel like I've been burning the candle at both ends here lately trying to plan for FIRE.  I am just hoping for some serious downtime later in the summer.

When I first FIREd, I thought, "I must make sure to schedule lots of lunches and coffees with friends so I don't become a hermit." Now, 6 months later, I'm like, "What's wrong with being a hermit?"

I'm finding I don't need as much social time as I thought, and time with spouse scratches that "need company" itch.

I still make an effort to get out now and then to visit with friends, but it has been wonderful having so much quiet time over the past few months. I suspect that I am turtling right now, and I may emerge at some point in the future more eager to hang out with people. Or I may not. Either is okay.

Don't push yourself to participate in things you don't want to, at least not at first, even if you're not yet fully FIREd. Take some time. Maybe tell your friends & family that you need decompression time for a while, that you're "on retreat" for the next couple of months, with a big Do Not Disturb sign over your door. If you need an excuse, say, "I need introvert time."

ysette9

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #78 on: June 19, 2018, 10:40:41 AM »
As an introvert the “one social event a weekend” is an important rule for me feeling refreshed after a weekend and not frazzled. Exceptions can be made for socializing with neighbors as that is easy and doesn’t require getting in a car.
"It'll be great!"

Vegasgirl

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #79 on: June 19, 2018, 11:04:04 AM »
Thanks guys, I like both the "Do not disturb" sign and the "one social event a weekend"  idea !!  I am already planning on trying to have quiet, low-key summer if at all possible.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #80 on: June 19, 2018, 11:37:01 AM »
RedmondStash - interesting thread.  I've also been FIREd about 6 months and thought I'd share my transition experience to date.

I didn't work in what I would call a "toxic" work place.  It included pretty much constant competition, conflict, and drama, all overlaid on a chronic "do more with less" agency culture.  All of this generally went on with a veneer of politeness on top that kept me from feeling that I was personally under attack, but I've also known for a long time that I have an unusual ability to not take things personally.  Some of my former colleagues probably would describe the place as toxic, but I just experienced it as crazy, extremely fast-paced, and filled with whiplash-inducing changes in emphasis because no one was capable of setting priorities, making choices, and sticking to them.  We were determined to do it all, no matter how impossible doing it all might be.  I left on very good terms with everyone, but I was so glad to be out of that constant pressure cooker.  I was just completely exhausted by all of that and couldn't do it any more.

For the most part, I haven't looked back after I left.  A couple of months in I was approached by a company that interacted with my agency and was asked to do some intermittent consulting.  I agreed to do it, not because I wanted or needed to work, but because I didn't want to burn any bridges that I might need later if the need for additional income arose.  But so far they haven't produced any assignments for me.  Not sure why they asked me in the first place, but I'm glad that it hasn't turned into another job.

I haven't missed work at all, and haven't really thought about it at all.  It's like I walked out the door and knew instantly that that part of my life was over.  I haven't even had any dreams about work (unlike my Dad, who's been retired for over a decade and still has nightmares about work).  On the contrary, I'm sleeping better than I have in years.  I am thoroughly enjoying my stress-free status, and I cannot even fathom ever returning to the world of constant meetings, emails, and conference calls.

The hard part of the transition so far has been my ambivalence about involvement and engagement.  Like most people who aspire to FIRE, I had visions of being busier than ever with volunteer work, side gigs, writing, music, etc.  But so far I've had a complete lack of ambition to do anything more than mow my yard, cut firewood, hike/walk, read, watch the birds in the back yard, and other such daily life activities.  I'd like to start doing something that is more mentally engaging and involves more interaction with people, but every time I think about engaging in anything more formal, all I can think of is how I'd have to conform to someone else's schedule, ideas, and priorities.  And I have no desire to do that.  I'm hoping this is a phase that I'll transition out of at some point, because, frankly, it's starting to get a little boring hanging out at home all the time.  But I'm not going to push it.  I figure it'll come when I'm ready.
Took that job and shoved it - January 6, 2018

Linda_Norway

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #81 on: June 19, 2018, 11:58:08 AM »
<...>
I haven't missed work at all, and haven't really thought about it at all.  It's like I walked out the door and knew instantly that that part of my life was over.  I haven't even had any dreams about work (unlike my Dad, who's been retired for over a decade and still has nightmares about work).  On the contrary, I'm sleeping better than I have in years.  I am thoroughly enjoying my stress-free status, and I cannot even fathom ever returning to the world of constant meetings, emails, and conference calls.

The hard part of the transition so far has been my ambivalence about involvement and engagement.  Like most people who aspire to FIRE, I had visions of being busier than ever with volunteer work, side gigs, writing, music, etc.  But so far I've had a complete lack of ambition to do anything more than mow my yard, cut firewood, hike/walk, read, watch the birds in the back yard, and other such daily life activities.  I'd like to start doing something that is more mentally engaging and involves more interaction with people, but every time I think about engaging in anything more formal, all I can think of is how I'd have to conform to someone else's schedule, ideas, and priorities.  And I have no desire to do that.  I'm hoping this is a phase that I'll transition out of at some point, because, frankly, it's starting to get a little boring hanging out at home all the time.  But I'm not going to push it.  I figure it'll come when I'm ready.

Good to hear that you feel well and sleep well.

I am also often happy doing stuff like hiking, bird watching, mushrooms finding. I am also active on forums where I can give other people advice on hiking, mushrooms and other subjects. This is a nice, not very invasive way to be in touch with people at your own pace and doing something valuable for other people.

Otherwise being a member of a club where you can join events when it suits you and skip them at other times, could be an alternative for you.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 05:23:26 AM by Linda_Norway »

moneytaichi

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #82 on: June 19, 2018, 09:52:37 PM »
I have been FIREed for 2 months, after 20 years of constantly striving and achieving. Work and societal expectations certainly don't help, but my perfectionist tendency and insecurity also played a role... Sign.. It's a part of human evolution in the Industrial age: prove yourself worth through over-achieving, then retreat after disillusionment. We only know what we know once we knew it :)

I have been a long time mediator, which helped me see through how I got wrapped up with old identities and "stories". I did a meditation last night, which really helped me: Image my younger self was suffering (at school or work), feel her pain, then send her lots of love and compassion, like your best friend would do. Tell your younger self: "I forgive you. I love you no matter what..." Once you feel a little better, extend love and compassion to all the people who might experience similar feeling. I imaged sending love and compassion to my former colleagues because it's more personal and real. Image their burdens are relieved and lightened. Image they find their paths to freedom and happiness.

Hope this meditation will help you feel lighter and relieved. It is based on Tibetan's Tonglen mediation. May we all be happy and enjoy peace!

Bird In Hand

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #83 on: June 20, 2018, 06:22:42 AM »
Hope this meditation will help you feel lighter and relieved. It is based on Tibetan's Tonglen mediation. May we all be happy and enjoy peace!

This is so weird.  No, I'm not judging your your meditation practice -- which may very well be weird, but I haven't given it enough thought yet.  What is weird is that just yesterday I came across an article about Loving Kindness Meditation while reading an article about hedonic relativism.  Until yesterday I could have sworn that I'd never heard anything about LKM before.  And then ~12 hours later I came across your post about Tonglen, which sounds more or less like LKM to me.

I know it's simply one of those instances where once you hear or see something, then subsequent encounters start to seem more frequent or meaningful, as though it's beyond the realm of coincidence.  Anybody who played "slug bug" or "punch buggy" when seeing a Volkswagen Beetle as a kid can probably relate to what I'm talking about.  I can't remember the name for that cognitive phenomenon.
"Overcoming the inertia of procrastination since tomorrow"

Bird In Hand

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #84 on: June 20, 2018, 06:42:47 AM »
I know it's simply one of those instances where once you hear or see something, then subsequent encounters start to seem more frequent or meaningful, as though it's beyond the realm of coincidence.  I can't remember the name for that cognitive phenomenon.

Found it -- the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon!
"Overcoming the inertia of procrastination since tomorrow"

Reader

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #85 on: June 20, 2018, 08:10:57 AM »
Iíve decided that life is more than grinding until you can afford to stop. Itís about what happens when you stop grinding, so I just stopped. Pete did it with a giant FIRE sized safety net, and I did it with a mortgage-sized student debt. FIRE isnít a prerequisite to starting living your best life, it just makes it easier and less scary.

FIRE doesnít make anyone happy or give anyone a better life. It simply helps with fostering the conditions necessary for building a happy and healthy life, but it isnít necessary, itís isnít a prerequisite.

thanks for giving me a different perspective of my time and work - being picky (and hence better at what you do & compensated for it) as an alternative to grinding away to achieve the minimum stash for FIRE.

Malkynn

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #86 on: June 20, 2018, 11:27:12 AM »
Iíve decided that life is more than grinding until you can afford to stop. Itís about what happens when you stop grinding, so I just stopped. Pete did it with a giant FIRE sized safety net, and I did it with a mortgage-sized student debt. FIRE isnít a prerequisite to starting living your best life, it just makes it easier and less scary.

FIRE doesnít make anyone happy or give anyone a better life. It simply helps with fostering the conditions necessary for building a happy and healthy life, but it isnít necessary, itís isnít a prerequisite.

thanks for giving me a different perspective of my time and work - being picky (and hence better at what you do & compensated for it) as an alternative to grinding away to achieve the minimum stash for FIRE.

I really wouldnít live any other way anymore.
The alternative now seems so insane to me despite the fact that I used to be a champion head-down grinder who thought being called a workaholic was a compliment.

mbl

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #87 on: June 20, 2018, 12:01:21 PM »
I'm sure the FIRE experience varies for everyone, but it is kinda nice to know that it can take more than the standard 6 months to shake the dust off and settle down to a life of beaches, exotic travel, hikes, and bliss. :)

And yeah, for some of us, there probably is a great deal of work to do, not just to transition to a new lifestyle, but to recuperate from the old one. It can be uncomfortable. But it's necessary work, just like you know when you sit too long in one position and your leg falls asleep, you're going to have to get up and face those pins and needles eventually. Can't be avoided, worth going through to get to the other side, and you know it won't last forever. But wow how it sucks while it's happening.

For those that had a very intense, exhausting and unhappy work life, the change is probably greater.
For those whose work isn't stressful and allows the pursuit of other things, the transition can be much less dramatic.

I have a great, low stress job and from my POV it's been that way for all of my working life.
I can get in early, and leave to swim, ride my horse, enjoy the rural life etc.

I don't need to "rehab" from my work life.   It flows easily into the other areas of my life.

I read here at MMM that many posters seem to be holding their breath waiting to FIRE.
It seems sad to not have some reasonable balance and ability to enjoy life in the here and now.  I might be overstating it but you can phrase it as you see best.
I read where people are counting down the exact number of months/days/years....I do realize that for some people it's  fun to look forward to it and anticipate what it will be like but perhaps it's healthier to also consider the value of today.

moneytaichi

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #88 on: June 21, 2018, 07:13:05 AM »
@ Bird at Hand, Tonglen and Loving-kindness meditation have the same root. I like to see it as "serendipity" or hints from the universe. I always cherish it when I run into these kind of coincidence.