Author Topic: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?  (Read 19352 times)

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2017, 07:12:50 PM »
I still "work" quite a bit, I just don't get paid anymore. But from the old paying job, I miss building the stache and the banter a bit.  While I didn't have direct relationships with the local decision makers, I was pretty plugged into what was happening. Not so much anymore.

I probably miss the respect the most.  I used to have people stop by or call for my advice on a regular basis, most of which they took.  I don't get nearly as much of that at my volunteering gig, and when I offer, they don't tend to listen.  Oh well.

Echos my wife's experience as a substitute and volunteer at the kid's school vs. full time teacher.  She didn't need the money but returned to work in order to have influence.  Kinda' silly the the world works in these ways - she's still the same concerned individual - but being on the 'inside' and FI was a more powerful agent for change (ultimately contributing to the Principal of the Elementary school 'voluntarily' leaving due to the high turnover / poor treatment of staff).  Victory in hand, my wife is returning to SAHP soon.  I'll have to ask her what she misses after a little time has gone by...
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

gerardc

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2017, 09:45:14 PM »
I probably miss the respect the most.  I used to have people stop by or call for my advice on a regular basis, most of which they took.  I don't get nearly as much of that at my volunteering gig, and when I offer, they don't tend to listen.  Oh well. 

Seeing as everyone here sees work as kissing ass, bullshit, politics, etc., maybe, just maybe, that "respect" you were seeing was actually just cordial relationships? And now you're not in a higher position anymore, you don't get any ass kissing anymore. That was not really respect then.

markbike528CBX

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2017, 10:08:06 PM »
I probably miss the respect the most.  I used to have people stop by or call for my advice on a regular basis, most of which they took. ............ Oh well. 
Seeing as everyone here sees work as kissing ass, bullshit, politics, etc., maybe, just maybe, that "respect" you were seeing was actually just cordial relationships? And now you're not in a higher position anymore, you don't get any ass kissing anymore. That was not really respect then.

Just a low level (no direct reports) scientist/engineer, but I'll probably miss the random technical questions I get asked, that currently distract from my task focus.  Anybody who is trying to kiss my ass is very deluded as to the potential results.   Never noticed it happening anyway.  Probably why I've never been interested in management.

jodelino

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2017, 10:18:12 PM »
I was going to say "nothing" but there is one thing. I had excellent health care coverage at work. It was stupid expensive, but the company paid for most of it and it required very little effort on my part to deal with it. Now I have to deal with buying it on the exchange and that is a PITA. I guess I should be happy for ACA because without it, early retirement may not have been possible, but what a complex, inefficient way to buy insurance.  Is this really the best that we can do?

Yes. I miss the health insurance. I had a great BCBS PPO plan through work, and nothing remotely as good is available on the individual market. Still, I'm thankful for the ACA that allows me to buy a very expensive, stingy BCBS HMO--better than nothing at all.

I keep up with my favorite work friends, and they all tell me how happy I look.....
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 09:12:42 PM by jodelino »

Tanuki

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2017, 10:29:11 PM »
I'm not fully FI, so I'm not sure that this really counts, but I have enough passive income that I can live frugally without having to work. I quit my job that I was finding very stressful and I dreaded going to and took 9 months off. I then took a project job and worked for 9 months. I then took another 4 months off. I then got another job, which I am in at the moment.

I love having the option not to work, and I love my long vacations between jobs. BUT I do miss the pressure to do something hard and then the feeling of achievement when I accomplish that difficult thing. I'm pretty lazy and if there is nothing pushing me, when I am not working I tend to stagnate a bit because I don't have the willpower to see me through the hard times.

I think if I had more money I would solve this by enrolling in a university course, but I don't have enough to do this at present.

So, I guess I miss the kick up the ass! :)

gerardc

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2017, 10:53:21 PM »
I'm not fully FI, so I'm not sure that this really counts, but I have enough passive income that I can live frugally without having to work. I quit my job that I was finding very stressful and I dreaded going to and took 9 months off. I then took a project job and worked for 9 months. I then took another 4 months off. I then got another job, which I am in at the moment.

I love having the option not to work, and I love my long vacations between jobs. BUT I do miss the pressure to do something hard and then the feeling of achievement when I accomplish that difficult thing. I'm pretty lazy and if there is nothing pushing me, when I am not working I tend to stagnate a bit because I don't have the willpower to see me through the hard times.

I think if I had more money I would solve this by enrolling in a university course, but I don't have enough to do this at present.

So, I guess I miss the kick up the ass! :)

Can you just set a different goal not related to work or anything intellectual? Or if it has to be an intellectual pursuit, there are plenty of free options.

Tanuki

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2017, 12:24:07 AM »
I think its more about the pressure than the goals. I could set myself a million goals - (learn a language! learn piano!), but if I only have myself to answer to then I flake out, if I have other people expecting things of me, then I suck it up and do the hard thing. I hate it at the time but then when I get through it, it is very rewarding. For instance I work at a non profit and I have to fundraise to keep the organisation going. I had a horrible two months when I thought it couldn't be done, but now I see the light at the end of the tunnel I'm feeling proud of myself and a strong affiliation with my non profit.

I suppose there may be volunteer things that would make me feel like I was letting down a lot of people if I failed, but I think I might shy away from that - all the torture of work and no paycheck? I know I would have flaked out on this job during the bad two months if I weren't getting paid.

It's quite an interesting psychological puzzle!

gerardc

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2017, 12:34:01 AM »
"Learning piano" isn't a good goal because it's too vague. Try something like recording a piano performance and putting on facebook by X date, or playing at an event. This creates pressure on yourself... but then you can always quit so you also need some self drive :) If it's just a hobby it's not a goal, really, until you make it so.

CanuckExpat

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2017, 06:59:59 PM »
I think its more about the pressure than the goals. I could set myself a million goals - (learn a language! learn piano!), but if I only have myself to answer to then I flake out, if I have other people expecting things of me, then I suck it up and do the hard thing. I hate it at the time but then when I get through it, it is very rewarding.

This is also my experience. I'm pretty lazy and don't do much things unless I have to.

Gone Fishing

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2017, 07:55:43 PM »
I probably miss the respect the most.  I used to have people stop by or call for my advice on a regular basis, most of which they took.  I don't get nearly as much of that at my volunteering gig, and when I offer, they don't tend to listen.  Oh well. 

Seeing as everyone here sees work as kissing ass, bullshit, politics, etc., maybe, just maybe, that "respect" you were seeing was actually just cordial relationships? And now you're not in a higher position anymore, you don't get any ass kissing anymore. That was not really respect then.

Nah, most of them were senior or equal to me.  I had no direct reports.  Just a knack for creative solutions.  It was part of my value to the group, and the part I enjoyed the most.  Probably help me get promoted past many of my peers. There was probably only once when I felt like I was "cheated" of of credit when I successfully structured a large deal that was floundering prior.  But, the fellow I helped was a known cheat, so no surprise there...

tonydomon

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #60 on: April 14, 2017, 10:47:36 PM »
As an Electrical Engineer I missed the satisfaction from solving technical problems, basketball games after work, lunches w/ engineer friends.  To satisfy my needs for solving technical problems I try to fix things around the houses, so far I have fixed my microwave and dryer.  I have almost 20 years experience in circuit design; Sometimes I feel kinda bad wasting those away. I was thinking I could do some teachings. Maybe when my youngest kid goes to college, I will go for Phd in EE or MS in Software engineer.   For basketball games I enrolled at the local community college, but the young kids are too good for me :-( . For lunches, I found new friends who are also retired early or not working and sometimes go to lunch with them. But these friends are not engineers, so sometimes it's hard to connect. 

Rollin

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2017, 07:42:04 PM »
Absolutely nothing at all

Same here. Seriously nothing (and I had a good job, not issues, hard feelings, or resentments). I love being retired. Hardly even think of the people that still work there and when I rode my bicycle by on my way to the beach the building looks so strange, but I have no sentiment towards it or those in it. I keep in touch and remain good friends with many, but I am retired and they are working so it is not often that we connect.
I love being outside.

Chas

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2017, 07:43:56 AM »
As an Electrical Engineer I missed the satisfaction from solving technical problems, basketball games after work, lunches w/ engineer friends.  To satisfy my needs for solving technical problems I try to fix things around the houses, so far I have fixed my microwave and dryer.  I have almost 20 years experience in circuit design; Sometimes I feel kinda bad wasting those away. I was thinking I could do some teachings. Maybe when my youngest kid goes to college, I will go for Phd in EE or MS in Software engineer.   For basketball games I enrolled at the local community college, but the young kids are too good for me :-( . For lunches, I found new friends who are also retired early or not working and sometimes go to lunch with them. But these friends are not engineers, so sometimes it's hard to connect.

If you like music, DIY Audio is a great way to keep those synapses snapping!

tonydomon

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2017, 10:58:28 PM »
As an Electrical Engineer I missed the satisfaction from solving technical problems, basketball games after work, lunches w/ engineer friends.  To satisfy my needs for solving technical problems I try to fix things around the houses, so far I have fixed my microwave and dryer.  I have almost 20 years experience in circuit design; Sometimes I feel kinda bad wasting those away. I was thinking I could do some teachings. Maybe when my youngest kid goes to college, I will go for Phd in EE or MS in Software engineer.   For basketball games I enrolled at the local community college, but the young kids are too good for me :-( . For lunches, I found new friends who are also retired early or not working and sometimes go to lunch with them. But these friends are not engineers, so sometimes it's hard to connect.

If you like music, DIY Audio is a great way to keep those synapses snapping!

Good suggestion !!! I like listening to music

Dicey

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #64 on: April 20, 2017, 10:19:55 AM »
I thought I'd posted on this thread. One more for the "nothing" vote.

I am plenty involved in my community and loving it.
I did it! I have a journal!
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Padonak

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2017, 01:58:57 PM »
I'm still working, but when I retire, I'm sure I'll miss being part of a team, working to deadlines, the noisy open space office, the political games, regular meetings with many levels of bosses, the morning commute shoulder to shoulder with all the nice people on the train, the alarm clock... NOT!

...

A few years back, a grumpy colleague returned to the office from his vacation. In the office, he asked us:
-Do you know what I missed about this job while I was away?
...?
-Nothing at all!

CargoBiker

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2017, 08:24:04 PM »
Is it the companionship? Sense of belonging? Smart and informed business decisions that always seemed to be made at the top? If you do miss something about the working world, what is it?

I'll miss the random staff meetings where we talk about our feelings and make feel-good poster and statements and pour over last years data for an hour.

I'll miss having to wake up to an alarm clock at the ass crack of dawn every day.

I'll miss the feeling of what it's like to never feel the sun on your skin for weeks at a time.

I'll miss the dumb rules that were created for seemingly no reason, and don't make any sense.

I'll miss having to beg to the slavedriver every time I wanted to leave work to take care of my sick kid, take a vacation, or take a shit.

jk jk


The only thing I'll actually miss is access to an industrial color photo-copier whenever I wanted it.


« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 08:27:09 PM by CargoBiker »
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mara

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #67 on: April 30, 2017, 04:39:19 AM »
I don't miss anything. I hope you love retired life, too.

There's one thing I recommend, retiring with budget wiggle room so you have some play money. But you're probably already planning for that. Right?

Villanelle

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Re: People who have FIRED - what (if anything) do you miss most about work?
« Reply #68 on: April 30, 2017, 08:39:07 AM »
Not FIRE, but for the last 7 years I've been either not working at all, or working very part time, due to moving overseas.

I miss the schedule.  I also hated the schedule, but I've learned I'm the type who finds it much easier to get things done when I'm already busy.  It's a bit strange.  I can sleep until 11am and then stay up reading or writing until 3am.  Because I can.  But I don't think it's especially healthy. And I procrastinate a lot more, perhaps because I feel like I have all the time in the world. When I had very limited time, I had to take an open evening or Saturday morning, or whatever time there was, and Get Shit Done.  So I did.  Now, that sense of urgency is gone.   

It's strange because I love having so much free time, but I also struggle to manage it.  Some of that may be partly due to my specific circumstances though.   

CanuckExpat

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I miss the schedule.  I also hated the schedule, but I've learned I'm the type who finds it much easier to get things done when I'm already busy.  It's a bit strange.  I can sleep until 11am and then stay up reading or writing until 3am.  Because I can.  But I don't think it's especially healthy. And I procrastinate a lot more, perhaps because I feel like I have all the time in the world. When I had very limited time, I had to take an open evening or Saturday morning, or whatever time there was, and Get Shit Done.  So I did.  Now, that sense of urgency is gone.   

It's strange because I love having so much free time, but I also struggle to manage it.  Some of that may be partly due to my specific circumstances though.

I can relate to this, and FIRE or not I always knew this was the case. I'm one of those "if it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done" people. Tasks will get put off for immediate gratification, or they will grow to consume all available time.

What are your specific circumstances stances that you refer to? If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious given that I find the same patterns occurring.

pdxbator

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I'm with you two on needing some sort of schedule to help me regulate what needs to get done. I've recently gone part time and the days off I find myself whiling away. I don't feel like I'm accomplishing what I need to during the day. I think what the next step will be is to create a set schedule. I'll create some calendar so that from 8 to 9 I'm going to the gym, etc. Of course I can be flexible but I'm not yet used to whole days off to myself.
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AlanStache

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I'm with you two on needing some sort of schedule to help me regulate what needs to get done. I've recently gone part time and the days off I find myself whiling away. I don't feel like I'm accomplishing what I need to during the day. I think what the next step will be is to create a set schedule. I'll create some calendar so that from 8 to 9 I'm going to the gym, etc. Of course I can be flexible but I'm not yet used to whole days off to myself.

A lot of people here have noted that the first few months post retirement at filled up with sleep and relaxation before they sort of get down to the business of being retired. 
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Villanelle

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I miss the schedule.  I also hated the schedule, but I've learned I'm the type who finds it much easier to get things done when I'm already busy.  It's a bit strange.  I can sleep until 11am and then stay up reading or writing until 3am.  Because I can.  But I don't think it's especially healthy. And I procrastinate a lot more, perhaps because I feel like I have all the time in the world. When I had very limited time, I had to take an open evening or Saturday morning, or whatever time there was, and Get Shit Done.  So I did.  Now, that sense of urgency is gone.   

It's strange because I love having so much free time, but I also struggle to manage it.  Some of that may be partly due to my specific circumstances though.

I can relate to this, and FIRE or not I always knew this was the case. I'm one of those "if it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done" people. Tasks will get put off for immediate gratification, or they will grow to consume all available time.

What are your specific circumstances stances that you refer to? If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious given that I find the same patterns occurring.

I didn't choose to stop working, and when I left my last full-time job, at the time it was going to be a 2.5 year hiatus, before we moved back Stateside and I got back to my career.  Fastforward, and now it will be at least 9 years, assuming the Navy sends us back after the current overseas tour.  And it's been tough.  We have no kids, and my career was, in some ways, my Thing.  I don't like not having the means to support myself (even though Husband is completely cool about our shared finances), and it's all a bit of an on-going identity crisis.   So I didn't choose this, exactly, and that makes it more of a struggle, I think, than it would be if I declared FIRE and left the workforce intentionally. 

On top of that, in my husband's current position comes with a lot of expectations for me, some of which chafe a bit (and other's of which I find pretty enjoyable).  But it's all sorts of meetings and events and a couple hours here and a long phone call there, and it feels like things are always popping up for which I need to be available, so getting myself on a self-motivated schedule--something I'd struggle with even in ideal circumstances--seems tough. Because on Wednesday and Friday there are evening events that go late at night and have various things to prep for during the day (oh, and hosting the pre-party on Friday, plus getting ready for a formal affair), then on Saturday helping set up a sales booth in the morning and man it for much of the day despite the hangover, then on Monday morning I have a 1045 meeting at my house and the entire afternoon was spent running errands for this friday's event, and then going to a 7 pm meeting tonight.  (Yes, that's actually my schedule for the past week, with a good many things left out.)  So any kind of "wake at 845, workout and then shower and get ready by 10, write for an hour, chores for an hour, lunch at noon..." kind of schedule is pretty much impossible because there's no pattern or consistency to all the other things in my life. 

jim555

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I'm with you two on needing some sort of schedule to help me regulate what needs to get done. I've recently gone part time and the days off I find myself whiling away. I don't feel like I'm accomplishing what I need to during the day. I think what the next step will be is to create a set schedule. I'll create some calendar so that from 8 to 9 I'm going to the gym, etc. Of course I can be flexible but I'm not yet used to whole days off to myself.

A lot of people here have noted that the first few months post retirement at filled up with sleep and relaxation before they sort of get down to the business of being retired.
And the business of retirement is...  sleep and relaxation.  :)

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I taught high school for twenty eight years and honestly the only thing I miss are my students.  They were the best part of my job. I miss NOTHING else.

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I taught high school for twenty eight years and honestly the only thing I miss are my students.  They were the best part of my job. I miss NOTHING else.

I was a teacher for 5 years.

I miss the 5% of students who gave a shit.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to teach them anything, because I spent 100% of the time trying to manage the kids who didn't.


Having mediocre classroom management skills makes teaching an absolutely miserable profession, especially on top of all the other administrative baloney required of you.
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MsRichLife

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Truly...after 6 months of FIRE I have to say I have missed absolutely nothing about work. Before I finished I might have found that hard to believe.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Almost 2 years in and the only thing I can think of that I miss is dressing up for the annual holiday party!

Goldielocks

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I sort of miss the free coffee, bad as it was.

I surprised myself by "missing" the technical data analysis, when I realized I was spending hours doing technical analysis for anyone who would let me --  I soon replaced it with volunteer work (where I proceeded to do a detailed BTU calculation for the new proposed furnace, complete with IRR for the gas versus electric cost of energy for a typical year..)   

A tiny part of me misses being recognized with respect.  but not really....   maybe that is because I still have teenagers at home who will walk all over me if I let them.

Linda_Norway

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Not FIRE, but for the last 7 years I've been either not working at all, or working very part time, due to moving overseas.

I miss the schedule.  I also hated the schedule, but I've learned I'm the type who finds it much easier to get things done when I'm already busy.  It's a bit strange.  I can sleep until 11am and then stay up reading or writing until 3am.  Because I can.  But I don't think it's especially healthy. And I procrastinate a lot more, perhaps because I feel like I have all the time in the world. When I had very limited time, I had to take an open evening or Saturday morning, or whatever time there was, and Get Shit Done.  So I did.  Now, that sense of urgency is gone.   

It's strange because I love having so much free time, but I also struggle to manage it.  Some of that may be partly due to my specific circumstances though.

I am a bit in this camp too, of what I expect might happen. And I think my DH has it, too. I notice this sometimes in a weekend where there is not a pile of things to be done or the weather is bad. It can happen that we are not terribly inspired to do something. Usually I suggest something to do with my DH and he doesn't respond positively on anything. Usually I end up doing something on my own outside, or joining a hiking club for a hike or so.
I have also noticed that I you know a pensioner with the same interest (like finding mushrooms), this person might have a very flexible schedule in joining you somewhere.
I think it is important to have a contact net after FIRE, to maintain contact with other people. And to be able to make new appointments. But luckily, after FIRE, I would be able to make appointments whenever it suits me and not on Monday morning at 08:00, like I was recently called in to at work.

Indeed, the occasional private print and copy will be missed. At the chatting with various colleagues.

nara

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I'm not FI..but I'm predicting structure will be the thing I miss the most.

My husband and I own a business and sometimes we can have a lot of flexibility with our schedules and vacations. I do feel like when we have periods of non-work we become very lazy and unproductive (i.e. pajamas all day) for days at a time.  Maybe it's just part of enjoying our time off--but I do know that without a routine and a schedule we are all over the place.

EscapeVelocity2020

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I have a few friends now that have lost their jobs.  They are mostly FI, but enjoyed their career and maybe didn't want to be ER.  They miss the regular paycheck, even if it was superfluous.  Living off of investments in your 40's and even 30's is kinda weird, is the general consensus, even though most can now given the low COL generally.  But having a regular paycheck was nice, seems to be the one lingering complaint.
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

kei te pai

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Not what I anticipated. There is nothing, absolutely nothing I miss. In fact I rarely even think about my last workplace unless I meet former colleagues. Then I realise everything is just the same there, all the same politics and miseries. And I have a silent woo hoo of happiness moment.

Financial Ascensionist

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I have only been FIREd for a fer days now, but I have to say that the pay cheque is probably the only thing at this point. 

I thought about the free snacks for a moment, but it was mostly all junk and not eating this stuff anymore is probably going to give me a year or two of extra life expectancy.  The espresso machine was nice, but I find that I have plenty of time to walk to the coffeeshop and chat with the barista now. 

I suspect I will miss having resources for projects being able to call out a vision and get money and staff magically allocated to it.  That was pretty awesome, but it's not like this is entirely gone I can still go to a VC and get the same thing to happen with just a little bit more upfront work.  Besides, it's not like I want to manage any project full time so maybe I should keep these visions to myself. 

I had plenty coworkers who were really nice and I plan on staying in touch with them.  I had a bunch whom I had to deal with and whom I won't miss at all. 

I am obviously still surfing the initial wave of endorphins, but overall I do not miss work. 

Meadow Lark

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Well, I retired on Saturday.  I miss the salad bar in the cafeteria.  (It was a really good salad bar.). And the boss used to buy donuts...  and some of my co-workers were really sweet.

FINate

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I always laugh to myself when people ask if I miss work, or the "aren't you bored?" question. WHAT THE HELL PLANET ARE THESE PEOPLE LIVING ON?! I miss absolutely nothing, and I had a great job before FIRE. Pursuing what I'm interested in is way more interesting than being a cog in a corporation. Work was boring compared to post-FIRE life.

My guess is that people are seeking confirmation that their indentured servitude for the next several decades isn't *that* bad.

Dee

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The posts upthread about all the bullshit people don't miss reminded me of a brilliant lotto commercial that was airing not that long ago (I think it was for lotto 6/49). It was someone who'd won the jackpot and was leaving the office saying "goodbye" to the various things he was walking away from. He was saying things like "goodbye drab, fake plants" and the camera was panning in on whatever we has saying goodbye to. The best one was where he was saying "goodbye IT department" (or something like that) and the scene was taking place in a cubicle behind him where the IT guy was saying to a young woman "Have you tried turning it on and off?". The tone of his voice and the visual content made it clear this guy would miss none of the things he was saying goodbye to. That's how I expect to feel when I leave the workplace for good!

cheapass

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I always laugh to myself when people ask if I miss work, or the "aren't you bored?" question. WHAT THE HELL PLANET ARE THESE PEOPLE LIVING ON?! I miss absolutely nothing, and I had a great job before FIRE. Pursuing what I'm interested in is way more interesting than being a cog in a corporation. Work was boring compared to post-FIRE life.

My guess is that people are seeking confirmation that their indentured servitude for the next several decades isn't *that* bad.

I'm not FI yet but when I'm talking about the concepts with people and they talk about how they just couldn't leave their jobs they love so much, blah blah... I ask "if you won the lottery tomorrow, enough to pay your living expenses for life, would you continue going to work?" Typically their mindset changes pretty abruptly.
Every single decision you make with money either shortens or lengthens your working career.

FINate

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I'm not FI yet but when I'm talking about the concepts with people and they talk about how they just couldn't leave their jobs they love so much, blah blah... I ask "if you won the lottery tomorrow, enough to pay your living expenses for life, would you continue going to work?" Typically their mindset changes pretty abruptly.

I like that approach, going to borrow it. It's true that people generally see RE through gambling and randomly winning the lottery as acceptable. Yet deliberately saving and investing with the goal of FIRE is viewed with suspicion. I wonder why? 

bridget

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I may be the wrong person to weigh in, because I'm 1) still working, and 2) mostly interested in FI, not RE.  I find my work to be fulfilling and meaningful much of the time, and I think I'll miss it a lot.  I enjoy steadily getting better at my job and learning new things - not just legal research (which I guess I could do on my own as a hobby?), but also from senior colleagues who have been around the block many more times than I have.  I meet interesting people and work on dynamic teams to solve big, complicated, and often high-profile problems.  I guess I could do pro bono legal work if I retired, but it would be a lot harder without the big firm resources to support that (e.g. Spanish language interpreters), and it would be nearly impossible to get on really cool impact litigation projects (like many biglaw firms, my firm works with non-profits like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and the NRDC to mount big cases against the federal government and other powerhouse litigants to make changes in the world that I feel strongly about).  Finally, if I'm being honest, I enjoy the prestige and getting praise from important/semi-famous people for my work.   

EscapeVelocity2020

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    • EscapeVelocity2020
I'm not FI yet but when I'm talking about the concepts with people and they talk about how they just couldn't leave their jobs they love so much, blah blah... I ask "if you won the lottery tomorrow, enough to pay your living expenses for life, would you continue going to work?" Typically their mindset changes pretty abruptly.

I like that approach, going to borrow it. It's true that people generally see RE through gambling and randomly winning the lottery as acceptable. Yet deliberately saving and investing with the goal of FIRE is viewed with suspicion. I wonder why?

Just to take a stab at this interesting question you posed, I think in reality, having more money than a person could ever spend suddenly dumped into their lap would make anyone wonder about new possibilities. 

On the filp side, earning FI and judging the 'enough' / ER timing is such a gradual, intentional process that there is preparation and compromise all along the way.  In my case, barebones FI gives way to comfortable, sustainable FI, and ultimately EscapeVelocity 'holy moley', my net worth is even outstripping any reasonable lifestyle inflation.  At each of these outposts, people get less suspicious (and more jealous) of the feasiblity of ER.

But even EVFI isn't comparable to waking up having suddenly won tens (hundreds) of millions of dollars.
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

cheapass

  • Bristles
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  • Location: Dallas, Texas
  • On track for FIRE @ 40
I may be the wrong person to weigh in, because I'm 1) still working, and 2) mostly interested in FI, not RE.  I find my work to be fulfilling and meaningful much of the time, and I think I'll miss it a lot.  I enjoy steadily getting better at my job and learning new things - not just legal research (which I guess I could do on my own as a hobby?), but also from senior colleagues who have been around the block many more times than I have.  I meet interesting people and work on dynamic teams to solve big, complicated, and often high-profile problems.  I guess I could do pro bono legal work if I retired, but it would be a lot harder without the big firm resources to support that (e.g. Spanish language interpreters), and it would be nearly impossible to get on really cool impact litigation projects (like many biglaw firms, my firm works with non-profits like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and the NRDC to mount big cases against the federal government and other powerhouse litigants to make changes in the world that I feel strongly about).  Finally, if I'm being honest, I enjoy the prestige and getting praise from important/semi-famous people for my work.

I can appreciate that there is some fulfillment that comes with many careers. My big thing is, I'd like to wake up each day and do what I choose to do, not what someone else is telling me to do. Also spending 40-50 hours of my life every week in an office doesn't sound too appealing if a paycheck wasn't part of the equation. Maybe I'll find something part-time that is enjoyable.
Every single decision you make with money either shortens or lengthens your working career.

FINate

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Just to take a stab at this interesting question you posed, I think in reality, having more money than a person could ever spend suddenly dumped into their lap would make anyone wonder about new possibilities. 

On the filp side, earning FI and judging the 'enough' / ER timing is such a gradual, intentional process that there is preparation and compromise all along the way.  In my case, barebones FI gives way to comfortable, sustainable FI, and ultimately EscapeVelocity 'holy moley', my net worth is even outstripping any reasonable lifestyle inflation.  At each of these outposts, people get less suspicious (and more jealous) of the feasiblity of ER.

But even EVFI isn't comparable to waking up having suddenly won tens (hundreds) of millions of dollars.

Yeah, interesting, maybe it's the timing involved. Perhaps related, as I was thinking about this I was also wondering if people view winning the lottery as being selected by fate/God/whatever and this is acceptable precisely because it wasn't earned. Whereas intentionally pursuing FIRE requires one to work in a deliberate and sustained way against accepted norms? It's still strange to me.

Linda_Norway

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I can appreciate that there is some fulfillment that comes with many careers. My big thing is, I'd like to wake up each day and do what I choose to do, not what someone else is telling me to do. Also spending 40-50 hours of my life every week in an office doesn't sound too appealing if a paycheck wasn't part of the equation. Maybe I'll find something part-time that is enjoyable.

This is what my DH also wants to do. Work with his profession a couples of weeks or months a year whenever it suits him. As long as it doesn't prevent us from downsizing to a LCOL area, I am fine with it.

Cossack

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  • Location: Brisbane, Australia
    • finance liberation
I only really miss having a planned part of the day. My days now are pretty loose and I am not very organized.
FIRE'd at few years ago. I am 43, DW 39. 5 young kids 10,8,7,4 and a newborn. We have lived in Auckland, Melbourne, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Suva and currently living in Brisbane.

My new blog lives here: financeliberation.com

deborah

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I may be the wrong person to weigh in, because I'm 1) still working, and 2) mostly interested in FI, not RE.  I find my work to be fulfilling and meaningful much of the time, and I think I'll miss it a lot.  I enjoy steadily getting better at my job and learning new things - not just legal research (which I guess I could do on my own as a hobby?), but also from senior colleagues who have been around the block many more times than I have.  I meet interesting people and work on dynamic teams to solve big, complicated, and often high-profile problems.  I guess I could do pro bono legal work if I retired, but it would be a lot harder without the big firm resources to support that (e.g. Spanish language interpreters), and it would be nearly impossible to get on really cool impact litigation projects (like many biglaw firms, my firm works with non-profits like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and the NRDC to mount big cases against the federal government and other powerhouse litigants to make changes in the world that I feel strongly about).  Finally, if I'm being honest, I enjoy the prestige and getting praise from important/semi-famous people for my work.   
I really thought I would miss solving big, complicated, high profile problems - but I never have.

Evgenia

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Nothing. Maybe the health care benefits, but there's not a tremendous difference there, either: it's a few hundred dollars more per month than my share at the last job, but with ACA we were able to keep all the same doctors. So... nothing. Literal nada.
FIRE since June 2015. Chronicling the post-FIRE transition at: https://evgeniagotfi.wordpress.com/

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Nothing!

I still go to lunch with some former co-workers.

dragoncar

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Dicey

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I thought I'd posted on this thread. One more for the "nothing" vote.

I am plenty involved in my community and loving it.
Okay, I finally thought of something. It was easier to keep track of the days of the week it was when I was working. Now I just don't GAF, which occasionally causes problems.
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...