Author Topic: Now what?  (Read 4307 times)

oneyear

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Now what?
« on: February 03, 2017, 07:10:38 AM »
Mrs oneyear and I are sitting down to review our goals for the next few years over dinner and wine tonight. Just less than 4 years ago we agreed to  save aggressively and review everything when we hit our FI target. As some of you know this was hit just before Christmas and I've genuinely been in turmoil since. I know 1st world problems ffs, but I really don't know what I want from FIRE, or my now FI status.

I could buy a nice car and still maintain a very high savings rate. This would be company financed.
We could buy a new property, without touching our stash and pay the balance of the mortgage in <2 years. Though I might keep a long term mortgage and invest the balance. I'd work out the most financially suitable option.

I am currently intending to work for 5 more years taking a 3 month sabbatical next Spring and then moving to 3 days a week on my return. This should bring my FI amount to 2-2.5x my annual spending and would definitely give me opportunity to spend on the above from my stash, if balances remain.

Right now, I feel I'm happy to keep things the same, but that feels like an anti-goal. We’ve busted our chops to become financially secure, now when we’re at that point, its protectionism/lack of want to spend the funds or add risk. It sobering, but it really shouldn’t be. This is a joyous time and the world is our oyster. Suck it up cupcake. ffs

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 07:52:42 AM »
I like to ask people "who are you?"  The typical response is "I'm a lawyer, or doctor, or accountant."  Curious that they answer with what they DO instead of who they ARE.  It seems to be a very American problem that people aren't in touch with themselves out side of work.

I recommend getting out a pad and paper and spend some time writing down what your personal values are.  (It's harder than you think!)  Once you know what truly matters to you, you can chart a course forward that best fits those values.  That can include work.  Just start with "know thyself".
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BeginnerStache

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 08:30:34 AM »
I like to ask people "who are you?"  The typical response is "I'm a lawyer, or doctor, or accountant."  Curious that they answer with what they DO instead of who they ARE.  It seems to be a very American problem that people aren't in touch with themselves out side of work.

I recommend getting out a pad and paper and spend some time writing down what your personal values are.  (It's harder than you think!)  Once you know what truly matters to you, you can chart a course forward that best fits those values.  That can include work.  Just start with "know thyself".

+1 Great response and advice!

neo von retorch

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 08:40:32 AM »
I recommend getting out a pad and paper and spend some time writing down what your personal values are.  (It's harder than you think!)  Once you know what truly matters to you, you can chart a course forward that best fits those values.  That can include work.  Just start with "know thyself".

Applies to everyone - whether you are pre/during/post-FIRE :)

Henry Cloud: Figure out your values and live according to them.
Stephen Covey: Learn correct principles and live according to them.
Jim Collins: Have core values, a core mission, and identify your unique strengths and build your business accordingly.

mamagoose

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 09:57:46 AM »
There's a book by Laura Vanderkam (I think it's "168 Hours") where she walks you through an exercise called the "List of 100 Dreams". You make a list of 100 things you dream of doing in your life, and it can include things you've already done (i.e. getting into college, winning a scholarship, marrying your soulmate, becoming a parent, going on a cruise, buying a home...) and should also include things you want to do before you die (visit all the Hawaiian islands, run a marathon, learn how to cook Indian food from scratch, write a book). Then she breaks down how to get cracking on those dreams in your weekly schedule. It's a great thought exercise and helps you focus on what are you going to spend your free time on, i.e. hours of Netflix, or hours with a pen & paper brainstorming a syllabus for a college course you'd like to teach. Also helps you appreciate all the hard work you've already put into your life. This exercise helped me identify a couple of big life goals:

-10 year wedding anniversary / vows renewal, including renting a beach house in Hawaii for the summer with our daughter and exploring waterfalls, mountains & beaches
-Establishing myself as a dance instructor

It helps to have a mind for what you're working/saving for, once you've reached the FI crossover point. If you keep working because you truly love your job, that's great too. Think about something fun / rewarding you could do with the extra $, besides multiplying your nest egg over & over again - maybe you want to host an epic family reunion?
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

oneyear

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 10:35:54 AM »
cheers for the replies guys. Very very helpful. Valuing my values sounds a lot tougher than figuring out stuff I'd like to do in my lifetime.

I think we'll try and figure out a combination of both.

Thanks again. I'll report back.

Libertea

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 11:50:27 AM »
I like to ask people "who are you?"  The typical response is "I'm a lawyer, or doctor, or accountant."  Curious that they answer with what they DO instead of who they ARE.  It seems to be a very American problem that people aren't in touch with themselves out side of work.

I recommend getting out a pad and paper and spend some time writing down what your personal values are.  (It's harder than you think!)  Once you know what truly matters to you, you can chart a course forward that best fits those values.  That can include work.  Just start with "know thyself".
Great post, and great advice.

OP, do you think that part of your problem might be that you're a little bit afraid of doing some experimenting and possibly failing?  If so, maybe that's where you need to start, by re-thinking that mindset.  You know, if you don't like whatever you decide to do when you first FIRE, you can always stop doing it and go do something else instead. :-)

oneyear

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 01:00:33 PM »

OP, do you think that part of your problem might be that you're a little bit afraid of doing some experimenting and possibly failing?

This is possibly true, though not failing at FIRE plans, but more in giving up what I'm really good at (running businesses). What if I hate being at home moreso? What if....

runewell

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 01:31:42 PM »
I like to ask people "who are you?"  The typical response is "I'm a lawyer, or doctor, or accountant."  Curious that they answer with what they DO instead of who they ARE.  It seems to be a very American problem that people aren't in touch with themselves out side of work.

I recommend getting out a pad and paper and spend some time writing down what your personal values are.  (It's harder than you think!)  Once you know what truly matters to you, you can chart a course forward that best fits those values.  That can include work.  Just start with "know thyself".

So what would you reply to the question "Who are you?"

oneyear

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2017, 01:42:51 PM »
I'd currently answer like everyone else. Based on what I do than who I am and what I value.

I value family, time and myself. I love my business but it's becoming more like work now than it ever has.

The big thing for me is that I've built the business I want, to get to FI. It's not my post FI goal like others. I can work less but this is something I've built from the absolute ground up

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2017, 03:10:45 PM »
The big thing for me is that I've built the business I want, to get to FI.

Bravo for that!

I value family, time and myself. I love my business but it's becoming more like work now than it ever has.

Since the income is less of an issue now that you've reached your financial independence goal, but sounds like you don't want to leave your business, can you hire someone to start handling the more menial tasks so you can focus more on the parts you like?

Obviously don't know what the business is, but might also be a good time to change the business goal from that of money related to thinking how you could use it to help those that need it (pro-bono work, etc).

oneyear

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2017, 01:06:59 AM »
Hey Ryan, yeah leaving the business is daunting as it's mine. Its been all consuming (20 hr days at the beginning) and only this year (after 8) have I gone on vacation without my laptop. I have made serious improvements to the work I do and I do enjoy it immensely as an activity.

I started taking a half day Tuesday to spend time with my family and plan to increase to 1 day over the next 12 months. Then with 3 months sabbatical next year I think this will be the catalyst I need to make a bigger break.

I guess I need to find that new activity to replace it over time.

Thanks for all the messages guys. Seriously helping me plan this through. Its amazing how you put so much effort into FIRE and when it comes about, the FEAR comes into play. I have never been the "what if" type of personality, but more a "whats the worst that can happen?...ok let's do it and see" type guy. So this is completely alien to me.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 01:09:10 AM by oneyear »

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2017, 04:29:06 AM »
I can so relate to where you are, oneyear.

I've been FIREd for about a month, and for the last year I've had this low level of anxiety about what I should be striving for, now that I'd reached the top of the mountain I'd been climbing all these years. I felt itchy!

That little urge you had, but dismissed? To keep things the same for a while? That's normal. It might even be a good idea.

I'm strongly starting to suspect that the opposite of striving is contentment, and that there's a lot of happiness (and personal development) to be had when you stop chasing goals and instead fully occupy your own life, just as it is.

I'm excited for you.

SIS

esskay1000

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2017, 08:11:21 AM »
In her books Brene Brown talks about the constant pressure we have to "achieve", which I think lots of folks in this community struggle with as they contemplate FIRE. "What will I then be achieving?"  I struggle with this too!  Today is Saturday and instead of resting a bit I'm already feeling pressured to 'get things done' and 'be productive'. Sounds like you (and me too) need to think about what you would like to do to simply be happy and content. There's an unspoken feeling of guilt in that for many of us, as if it's a bad thing to simply be happy vice getting things done or contributing to society in some other way.

Great comments here from the group, good luck with your journey!

gettingtoyes

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2017, 08:27:59 PM »
Posting to follow; love reading all of these replies. DH and I are not FI although we are at a point now where our incomes have dramatically increased and will have the luxury of reaching FI within a few years if we focus on our goals. And yet I am filled with anxiety of what to do with myself when that happens. I suppose I am the typical American with my identity wrapped up in my job and I don't know if I can be happy quitting completely (have taken the last 4 months off, having a baby, doing some traveling, starting a new job soon). The 100 dreams is a great exercise (as is the book!) and a place to start, I agree.

Best of luck to you and congrats on being FI!

Hargrove

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2017, 09:15:42 AM »
Breathe in. Breathe out. "This is the fun part."

People often panic when there are too many options. When you had  to write an essay in school and had a blank sheet of paper, and the teacher said write an essay about whatever you like, it was probably much easier when they gave you a topic goal, even if you didn't like the topic.

Why?

Well, because you were set to a mode of "satisfy expectations." You couldn't possibly satisfy completely unknown expectations, could you? GAH! Except, the expectation was actually easy, though your mindset was making it hard - your mindset insisted on the full criteria you were trying to meet, whatever it was, so you could do that thing and get past it already. That will help you not at all with post-FIRE.

Children usually have no difficulty with this. Give them a sheet of paper and ask them to draw something they like and you'll find Billy likes dinosaurs or whatever. That's why the "list your values" advice is spot on. I'll add "write the moments you felt most alive." I already know mine, and everyone will probably have weird moments, but your next job is to figure out the WHY.

I love learning. A lot. I also enjoy competitive games quite a bit. And philosophy. I want to go to college for fun. When I retire, I think I may be a graduate research assistant attending for free, who can afford not to care what his pay is and just soak up that environment. I may travel to compete in a few games here and there. And I will surely join one or two book clubs or political coffee-house type groups. I will become an even better cook. Finally, since my SO is responsible for several moments I felt most alive, I will focus on elaborate excursions for just the two of us to enjoy each other's company.

Those things that make you feel alive are not "buy house <2 yrs and..." type goals. Those finite financial goals were designed to get you free to get to the life you could never possibly get tired of. That's why MMM's only (stated :p) fears have to do with not living long enough.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 10:15:26 AM by Hargrove »

esskay1000

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2017, 10:11:37 AM »
Breathe in. Breathe out. "This is the fun part."

People often panic when there are too many options. When you had  to write an essay in school and had a blank sheet of paper, and the teacher said write an essay about whatever you like, it was probably much easier when they gave you a topic goal, even if you didn't like the topic.

Why?

Well, because you were set to a mode of "satisfy expectations." You couldn't possibly satisfy completely unknown expectations, could you? GAH! Except, the expectation was actually easy, though your mindset was making it hard - your mindset insisted on the full criteria you were trying to meet, whatever it was, so you could do that thing and get past it already. That will help you not at all with post-FIRE.

Children usually have no difficulty with this. Give them a sheet of paper and ask them to draw something they like and you'll find Billy likes dinosaurs or whatever. That's why the "list your values" advice is spot on. I'll add "write the moments you felt most alive." I already know mine, and everyone will probably have weird moments, but your next job is to figure out the WHY.

I love learning. A lot. I also enjoy competitive games quite a bit. And philosophy. I want to go to college [/i]for fun.[/i] When I retire, I think I may be a graduate research assistant attending for free, who can afford not to care what his pay is and just soak up that environment. I may travel to compete in a few games here and there. And I will surely join one or two book clubs or political coffee-house type groups. I will become an even better cook. Finally, since my SO is responsible for several moments I felt most alive, I will focus on elaborate excursions for just the two of us to enjoy each other's company.

Those things that make you feel alive are not "buy house <2 yrs and..." type goals. Those finite financial goals were designed to get you free to get to the life you could never possibly get tired of. That's why MMM's only (stated :p) fears have to do with not living long enough.

Hargrove said what I wanted to say but wasn't eloquent enough to do. This is great advice

oneyear

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2017, 02:06:14 AM »
The past month I've been trying to put this all behind me, but the last few days have been particularly hard from a work perspective. I've built a very successful business that is now "trapping" me from leaving. I definitely feel a sense of duty to those in the business and even though this has fulfilled my finance goals until now, this ownership of the business and my work is extremely hard to let go of. Even a little.

We've been hiring team members over the past few months and this bedding in period is tiring but also not having the desired effect of freeing me up. Primarily this is because we're growing at a steady and consistent rate. My hires cover our needs and no more as opposed to adding the capacity I need to move away. On the other side I've set high targets for this year and as the top salesperson in the business, I feel this falls on my head.

Typical #1stworldproblems eh.

Tonight I map out my 100 dreams.

mara

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2017, 07:59:03 AM »
I'm strongly starting to suspect that the opposite of striving is contentment, and that there's a lot of happiness (and personal development) to be had when you stop chasing goals and instead fully occupy your own life, just as it is.

I love this! I've been reading a lot about getting in touch with your senses to relieve anxiety—that old anxiety that just won't go away. I'm trying to spend more time just feeling, seeing, touching, listening to everything around me. It helps. Then, when I feel more calm, my thoughts seem more clear.

dude

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2017, 08:37:52 AM »
Breathe in. Breathe out. "This is the fun part."

People often panic when there are too many options. When you had  to write an essay in school and had a blank sheet of paper, and the teacher said write an essay about whatever you like, it was probably much easier when they gave you a topic goal, even if you didn't like the topic.

Why?

Well, because you were set to a mode of "satisfy expectations." You couldn't possibly satisfy completely unknown expectations, could you? GAH! Except, the expectation was actually easy, though your mindset was making it hard - your mindset insisted on the full criteria you were trying to meet, whatever it was, so you could do that thing and get past it already. That will help you not at all with post-FIRE.

Children usually have no difficulty with this. Give them a sheet of paper and ask them to draw something they like and you'll find Billy likes dinosaurs or whatever. That's why the "list your values" advice is spot on. I'll add "write the moments you felt most alive." I already know mine, and everyone will probably have weird moments, but your next job is to figure out the WHY.

I love learning. A lot. I also enjoy competitive games quite a bit. And philosophy. I want to go to college for fun. When I retire, I think I may be a graduate research assistant attending for free, who can afford not to care what his pay is and just soak up that environment. I may travel to compete in a few games here and there. And I will surely join one or two book clubs or political coffee-house type groups. I will become an even better cook. Finally, since my SO is responsible for several moments I felt most alive, I will focus on elaborate excursions for just the two of us to enjoy each other's company.

Those things that make you feel alive are not "buy house <2 yrs and..." type goals. Those finite financial goals were designed to get you free to get to the life you could never possibly get tired of. That's why MMM's only (stated :p) fears have to do with not living long enough.

Well said!

sisto

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2017, 10:52:29 AM »
I'm a few years out from FIRE, but wanted to post to follow. Great stuff here. I'm planning to map my 100 dreams now too. I love this idea.

oneyear

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2017, 01:05:32 AM »
So this turns out to be harder than you think. 24/100 and I found myself looking at other peoples' blogs for inspiration. Already I can see some things I can action now if I make priority. Others will take a lot of time and preparation.

Travel the world
Learn a new language
Stretch Daily
Train Daily
Make my wife happy
Teach my child business skills
Celebrate our 20 year anniversary
Handover my business
Rear our own meat

Grow our own food
Learn to cook from scratch - indian, chinese, mexican meals
Create a product
Become fully FI (never worry about money)
Visit Japan
Stop biting nails
Get really fit
ski in south america
ski in new zealand
ski in japan
ski all across europe
help parents into and in retirement
Learn golf
Grow a giant pumpkin
Go carless for > 1 month
Cook a family dinner once a week
Make the garden another room for us to use
Visit Machu Picchu
Drive Route 66
Go to Mardi Gras
Start a blog / Write a book
Create a micro brewery
Learn to surf
be a positive person
Learn to code

Linda_Norway

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2017, 02:12:22 AM »
There's a book by Laura Vanderkam (I think it's "168 Hours") where she walks you through an exercise called the "List of 100 Dreams". You make a list of 100 things you dream of doing in your life, and it can include things you've already done (i.e. getting into college, winning a scholarship, marrying your soulmate, becoming a parent, going on a cruise, buying a home...) and should also include things you want to do before you die (visit all the Hawaiian islands, run a marathon, learn how to cook Indian food from scratch, write a book). Then she breaks down how to get cracking on those dreams in your weekly schedule. It's a great thought exercise and helps you focus on what are you going to spend your free time on, i.e. hours of Netflix, or hours with a pen & paper brainstorming a syllabus for a college course you'd like to teach. Also helps you appreciate all the hard work you've already put into your life. This exercise helped me identify a couple of big life goals:

-10 year wedding anniversary / vows renewal, including renting a beach house in Hawaii for the summer with our daughter and exploring waterfalls, mountains & beaches
-Establishing myself as a dance instructor

It helps to have a mind for what you're working/saving for, once you've reached the FI crossover point. If you keep working because you truly love your job, that's great too. Think about something fun / rewarding you could do with the extra $, besides multiplying your nest egg over & over again - maybe you want to host an epic family reunion?

This sounds like a really good idea. I already use an electronic DoIt app, where I write down lots of things I want to do, big or small, now or later. But I haven't yet made my entire dream list or even thought about it. It sounds like a really good idea.

Recently I have felt the need to earn money in my spare time, instead of watching TV. Just to make my spare time more productive. I just haven't imagined a good side-gig yet. But maybe it is a much better idea to look at the dreams first and then spend your time towards that goal.

Some years ago I ran a marathon, which was also a dream to have have ever done. That goal made life's choices extremely easy for me. I was never in doubt about how to prioritize my days and my weeks. Everything was arranged so that I could train 4 times, total 8 hours, a week beside having a full time job and 2 hours commute per day. Weather was never an excuse. Having a big hairy goal in front of you is just really clarifying and gives you super focus.

dragoncar

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2017, 01:13:53 AM »
I like to ask people "who are you?"  The typical response is "I'm a lawyer, or doctor, or accountant."  Curious that they answer with what they DO instead of who they ARE.  It seems to be a very American problem that people aren't in touch with themselves out side of work.

I recommend getting out a pad and paper and spend some time writing down what your personal values are.  (It's harder than you think!)  Once you know what truly matters to you, you can chart a course forward that best fits those values.  That can include work.  Just start with "know thyself".

Ok am I the only one who doesn't like this?  "Who are you" strikes me as too personal.  I just met you -- I'm not going to expose my inner light to you.

Around here, the default get-to-know-you questions is "what do you like to do for fun?" 

"What do you do" or worse "who are you with" comes off as social gold-digging

I've heard "what's your story," but think that it can be misinterpreted as critical (like "steve acts so weird... what's his story?")
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 01:15:28 AM by dragoncar »

HenryDavid

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2017, 11:17:15 AM »
Just have to match these quotations with a longtime favourite:

Henry Cloud: Figure out your values and live according to them.
Stephen Covey: Learn correct principles and live according to them.
Jim Collins: Have core values, a core mission, and identify your unique strengths and build your business accordingly.


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spokey doke

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Re: Now what?
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2017, 09:08:53 AM »
The other part of this, at least around here, is the idea that quitting work is a primary goal...but if you really enjoy it and don't have any projects or dreams begging to be pursued, then why rush yourself?  Enjoy the fact that you are FI and adding padding to your stache, cut yourself some slack about having a plan, find ways to dial it back at work where possible, and see what things bubble up as you consider what is next (and those things will, and eventually you will have a plan that will motivate you to finally RE).  Test the waters as you go and pull the plug when you are ready.

And as far as the "who are you?" question goes...most people don't grow a new identity, or discover who they "really" are, overnight.

Congrats!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 09:11:26 AM by spokey doke »
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