Author Topic: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??  (Read 6779 times)

NYCMiniBee133

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I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« on: May 11, 2016, 08:30:36 PM »
Guys, I did it! I handed in my two weeks' notice. Before the end of May I will be a free lady. Before I decided to quit, I had a list of things I would want to do once I FIRE'd - write, learn to sew, read up on tax code, take fitness classes. I still do want to do them, but I also feel a desire (pressure?) to work on a really big project, something that will be a legacy to leave behind. I'm 28 and I feel like I skipped a few decades in my POV. Anyway, I am extremely aware of how few years I have of extremely good health and pre-kids with which to build something, and coming off a 110% go-go-go corporate job I'm feeling torn between a life of leisure and renaissance hobbies and building something big. I feel like I will just be saddled with guilt if I don't do anything big, and I still have the secret hope that I can beef up my stash by picking up a project that will generate real income in my "retirement."

Have any of you struggled with this choice? If you ended up doing leisurely things, how did you keep the guilt from eating at you? If you went off and did a big project, how long did you wait to do it and what are your thoughts on the time you've spend devoted to it?

Thanks for your perspective.

tardis

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2016, 10:53:50 PM »
I feel like you may be feeling some of this due to the high of quitting.  :)  I'd give yourself permission to do minimal new things for a month and let the new situation normalize, and then start looking into doing whatever big thing you think you want to do.  Remember than now you have the ability to go 110% for x amount of time, and do nothing for y time and it will still all be fine.

I felt a lot like this after finishing my degree and having a few months off and allowing myself the time to be a lump was very helpful.

FIreDrill

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 01:21:01 AM »
Dang, FIRE at 28 is extremely impressive!

Whenever I think about the initial stage of FIRE I always imagine taking 1-6 months to do whatever and decompress from the Daily work grind.  I think I would eventually start doing more hobbies that may bring in some money and act as a Fire job.

I'd say just take some time to decompress and see what happens.  Do whatever if fun for you.  If that means working on larger projects then go for it.  It may mean a couple months of leisure  and then hitting some projects hard.  Just depends on what you want now that you are in control of your time.

Congrats on achieving FIRE at such a young age!

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2Cent

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2016, 03:29:10 AM »
Wow, congrats. that's amazing.
But remember, if you have kids, that is a huge long term legacy project already.

Also one thing to remember is not to completely slow down. I have been in a no work situation and after a few weeks doing the groceries seemed like a task that filled my day. Try to avoid TV, internet browsing and other time waste activities. They are dangerous if you have nothing to force you back into productive mode. Actually as a person you need to have something to work on, else it gets real boring real soon.

mamagoose

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2016, 06:16:09 AM »
Spend some time reading, a lot. Get back to "you" before you dedicate yourself to another mission 110%, especially if you intend on finishing what you start with the new venture. Make sure it's coming from a genuine place instead of a "rebound job".

RoseRelish

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2016, 07:24:56 AM »
Major congrats on FIRE-ing so young! My advice: don't do anything for 3-6 months. Like mamagoose said, get back to "you". Avoid making standing/recurring plans. Just sort of float around for a while. Once you reset, then determine a project to be 100% dedicated towards.

ohmylookatthat

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2016, 07:54:38 AM »
try for a year or two. worse case, you end up going back to work

Spitfire

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2016, 08:25:09 AM »
try for a year or two. worse case, you end up going back to work

Agree with this. You're young so if you ever find yourself wanting to work again, nothing is stopping you.

Cassie

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2016, 09:37:01 AM »
Is this a permanent fire or just a break? I agree with decompressing and not putting a lot of pressure on yourself. It is different when you are older because you don't feel the pressure to do something big.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2016, 10:42:53 AM »
My experience (and many have had the same experience) is that you need about 6 months to decompress after going FIRE.  Give yourself that much time.  It lets you do some self search.  I finally discovered what my true values are during that period.  If you start something big before the decompress time, you run the risk of doing the 'wrong' big thing in my opinion.  Take time to 'know thyself' first.

Tawcan

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2016, 05:04:28 PM »
Congrats on reaching FIRE in such young age. That's incredible. Take your time and enjoy your pre-kid life. Maybe travel a bit if you can. Once you have kids that's a big project on its own.

jim555

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2016, 09:01:41 PM »
28 is super impressive.  Congrats!

EmpireOfDirt

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2016, 07:59:52 AM »
Congratulations!

If you have time I think a lot of people would love to hear how you FIRE'd at 28.

RosieTR

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2016, 12:25:21 PM »
Guys, I did it! I handed in my two weeks' notice. Before the end of May I will be a free lady. Before I decided to quit, I had a list of things I would want to do once I FIRE'd - write, learn to sew, read up on tax code, take fitness classes. I still do want to do them, but I also feel a desire (pressure?) to work on a really big project, something that will be a legacy to leave behind.

Any of these skills could lead to a big project, or assist in one. I think if you start learning any of them, you'll soon find a project. What do you want to write? Why do you want to learn to sew or more about the tax code? Is there anything other than general health you want fitness for?

Congrats on such an early FIRE and have fun exploring!

NYCMiniBee133

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2016, 05:44:39 PM »
Thank you so much for the helpful comments. I do love Dr. Doom and will reread that post. Most of all, the comforting thing I've taken away is how unanimous the agreement is on the 3-6 months decompress window. I guess I just have to have faith in those who went before me and be a little more patient. I realized actually that part of the stress was coming from how much pressure I felt to have the meaning+money in my life the next year exceed the meaning+money I would have achieved from working (read: almost zero meaning but lots of money if I kept working). So part of me was saying, "well, I better get to doing something SUPER MEANINGFUL RIGHT NOW!!" and somehow the idea of sitting on my couch petting my dog didn't seem like it would stack up to that. I will trust in the process.

Yes, this is meant to be permanent, though the thing I've realized about planning for a 70-year time window and retiring before having kids but wanting them in the future is that if I am totally wrong in my assumptions about expenses for a family or we have a major market change that affects our investments then I may need to go back to work one day. DH also wants to be able to pay for both future kids' college educations. Short of having $5 million, I'm not sure I would ever say with 100% certainty I wouldn't need to go back to work, and we definitely don't have that.

To EmpireofDirt, I'd love to share my story when I have decompressed and can explain it in a way that might be helpful. The short version is that I worked in finance and luckily got in on the ground floor of an up and coming firm, and then I lived like a college student (mattress on the ground for years in a walk-up building with slanted floors). I pay $100 more in rent now than I did when I started working 7 years ago but now the difference is that I split a one bedroom apartment with my husband rather than a 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate. My savings rate was 70%+ after-tax every year.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2016, 07:41:53 PM »
So part of me was saying, "well, I better get to doing something SUPER MEANINGFUL RIGHT NOW!!" and somehow the idea of sitting on my couch petting my dog didn't seem like it would stack up to that.

Oh, so you think my DREAM LIFE wouldn't stack up? ;)

If you get bored, you should come to a MMMeetup! The New Yorkers have one almost every month. You could even host and show off your dog.

azure975

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2016, 09:21:41 PM »
I realized actually that part of the stress was coming from how much pressure I felt to have the meaning+money in my life the next year exceed the meaning+money I would have achieved from working (read: almost zero meaning but lots of money if I kept working). So part of me was saying, "well, I better get to doing something SUPER MEANINGFUL RIGHT NOW!!" and somehow the idea of sitting on my couch petting my dog didn't seem like it would stack up to that. I will trust in the process.

I can totally relate to this. I've considered taking a sabbatical or mini-retirement at some point, but every time I get close to doing so I feel like I don't have enough awesome plans to make it "worth it," so I may as well continue working and accumulating. I also have this nagging fear that I put FIRE on a pedestal and that when I finally reach it, I'll be disappointed or find that it doesn't meet my expectations. But as others have said, I will trust in the process.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 09:27:03 PM by azure975 »

Metric Mouse

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2016, 01:07:19 PM »
I realized actually that part of the stress was coming from how much pressure I felt to have the meaning+money in my life the next year exceed the meaning+money I would have achieved from working (read: almost zero meaning but lots of money if I kept working). So part of me was saying, "well, I better get to doing something SUPER MEANINGFUL RIGHT NOW!!" and somehow the idea of sitting on my couch petting my dog didn't seem like it would stack up to that. I will trust in the process.

I can totally relate to this. I've considered taking a sabbatical or mini-retirement at some point, but every time I get close to doing so I feel like I don't have enough awesome plans to make it "worth it," so I may as well continue working and accumulating. I also have this nagging fear that I put FIRE on a pedestal and that when I finally reach it, I'll be disappointed or find that it doesn't meet my expectations. But as others have said, I will trust in the process.

If you can't think of anything better to do than work, you're absolutely right to keep working. Nothing wrong with that!  FIRE isn't some magical transformation; when you wake up without a job, you're still you. Us mmm members who retired in their early - mid twenties probably didn't find all of our life meaning in work; some people do, and adjusting to life without that meaning is probably uncomfortable for them.

EmpireOfDirt

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Re: I Retired! ... But now I am anxious about what to do??
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2016, 12:21:33 PM »
Thank you so much for the helpful comments. I do love Dr. Doom and will reread that post. Most of all, the comforting thing I've taken away is how unanimous the agreement is on the 3-6 months decompress window. I guess I just have to have faith in those who went before me and be a little more patient. I realized actually that part of the stress was coming from how much pressure I felt to have the meaning+money in my life the next year exceed the meaning+money I would have achieved from working (read: almost zero meaning but lots of money if I kept working). So part of me was saying, "well, I better get to doing something SUPER MEANINGFUL RIGHT NOW!!" and somehow the idea of sitting on my couch petting my dog didn't seem like it would stack up to that. I will trust in the process.

Yes, this is meant to be permanent, though the thing I've realized about planning for a 70-year time window and retiring before having kids but wanting them in the future is that if I am totally wrong in my assumptions about expenses for a family or we have a major market change that affects our investments then I may need to go back to work one day. DH also wants to be able to pay for both future kids' college educations. Short of having $5 million, I'm not sure I would ever say with 100% certainty I wouldn't need to go back to work, and we definitely don't have that.

To EmpireofDirt, I'd love to share my story when I have decompressed and can explain it in a way that might be helpful. The short version is that I worked in finance and luckily got in on the ground floor of an up and coming firm, and then I lived like a college student (mattress on the ground for years in a walk-up building with slanted floors). I pay $100 more in rent now than I did when I started working 7 years ago but now the difference is that I split a one bedroom apartment with my husband rather than a 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate. My savings rate was 70%+ after-tax every year.

Good stuff - thank you