Author Topic: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?  (Read 19279 times)

TartanTallulah

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #100 on: December 26, 2018, 03:16:38 PM »
Since deciding to morph my LSL into retirement, I've mentioned this to just a few people. I've spent 34 years in a highly specialised area of medicine and don't have anything much in the way of transferable medical skills that wouldn't lead to a malpractice suit. And as a wily downshifter I've pretty much optimised my job to my preferences.

My biggest surprise is that just about everyone has come up with an unworkable  suggestion of more medical practice I could do e.g. work in a small private hospital locally with very few patients (i.e. not many billable hours), whilst doubling my insurance/registration costs, needing to maintain the same amount of CPD but in the private sector I would have to pay for it out of pocket AND be on call 24/7. Umm, no, I'd lose money as well as sleep. OR several suggestions to just "do a bit of family medicine" on the side...( same problem with the costs sides, not to mention lack of skill set). And finally a left of field email from a friend of my brother suggesting I get involved in his medical charity work.

NO people, just NO! Did you not hear I'm 60 years old and retiring from the practice of medicine?

This SO chimes! When I announced I was done with family medicine and had handed in my notice, I got so many suggestions of ways I might find joy in continuing to practise medicine, as if for some reason people who knew sod all about the realities of my job or the way the practice of medicine is structured thought they could offer me inspirational "solutions" to something that wasn't even a problem, or couldn't cope with the thought of me being retired. Some of those "solutions" were eye-rollingly inappropriate.

As it happens, a small amount of highly suitable post-retirement medical work presented itself to me without any effort on my part and I'm enjoying it for now. The professional fees did make me hesitate and if this work dries up I won't look for anything else.

SunnyMoney

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #101 on: December 28, 2018, 10:46:01 AM »
For those of you have reached FI:

How has it changed your life in a way that you never realized it would?

Good or bad

1) Simplified tracking expenses.  Before FI (and for the first 2-3 yrs after FI) we were tracking expenses on a category basis.  Categories were things like groceries, eating out, utilities, property tax, insurance, car repairs, vacation expenses, gifts, etc...  This was tracked by keeping every single receipt and carefully cross referencing with credit card and bank statements.  I typically updated the expenses tracking spreadsheet every 4 months and this process would take a good 2 - 3 hours.  Now we have abandoned the categories and instead track outflows from our financial accounts.  We have 2 bank accounts plus a PayPal account that is used for paying bills and withdrawing pocket cash.  No more categories, just a single expenses number.  This new process takes about 30 min to track 12 months worth of transactions.

2) Loosed up the purse strings.  Before FI we always bought the cheapest, most filling item on the menu - now we order what is most desirable to eat.  Before FI we would study Consumer Reports and Craigslist for months to find a reliable, and depreciated, used car with moderate mileage.  Now we buy new cars that are FUN and comfortable.  Before FI all of my reading came from borrowing library books or buying used books.  Now I poke the 'buy' button on my Kindle from the comfort of my couch without hesitation.  Before FI we rarely shelled out $100/yr total to charities - now we have several organizations we support every year for thousands of dollars.  Small $ changes and big $ changes.. you get the idea.

3) Stopped looking through an exhaustive list of every product.  For example when buying headphones.  Before FI I would look at EVERY headphone option Amazon had in my price range.  Now I look at 3 or 4 options and if one of them is acceptable for covering the features I want then I stop and poke the buy button.  Very rarely does my purchase turn out badly.  What I really regret is the hours I lost in the past looking through far too many options.

DreamFIRE

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #102 on: December 28, 2018, 03:45:12 PM »

Although this is thread is in the Post-FIRE section, the OP clearly states "FI", not "FIRE" or "RE".

I've been FI for several years, not even sure exactly when I first hit it because my goal was always to save far more than that.  At the market high in Sept. of this year, I hit 3X FI and am still around 2.8X FI since the recent drops.

What changed?  Really, nothing at all for the first few years of being FI, and then I started thinking, planning, and talking more about FIRE over just the last couple years of being FE as my stash grew to a more desirable level.  I've always had a high savings rate, but I've actually tightened up the spending even more since I've hit FI, although being FI was not the reason for the drop in spending, but rather a change in my feelings about what seems like wasteful spending, even though I was already pretty frugal to begin with.

If the question was about FIRE, I couldn't quite answer yet, but in the future, I imagine I would have a lot more to say about the significant changes in my life.

sol

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #103 on: February 14, 2019, 11:56:03 AM »
I've been reviewing my household energy expenditures and have discovered an additional unexpected consequence of being FI:  my utility bills have gone up considerably.

My house is now occupied basically all day, instead of just a few hours around the edges of the workday.  My furnace and heat pump run more often.  Household electronics get used during the day.  I'm no longer relying on employer-provided toilet paper for approximately 60% of my total usage.  I cook on my own kitchen appliances at lunch time instead of in the office break room, and I generate more dishes.

It's not like my bills have doubled, but they are definitely notably higher than they were while I was working downtown.  I suppose that anyone who works from home most of the time has experienced this same effect, but it's not one I had anticipated before I retired.

SKL-HOU

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #104 on: February 14, 2019, 01:09:54 PM »
I canít wait to FIRE and have the high utility bills issue :)

sol

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #105 on: February 14, 2019, 01:54:06 PM »
Well if you're doing it right you'll spend a lot of your time doing things at home that will keep you warm and maybe even lower those bills.

I spent most of my morning in my unheated garage, playing with tools.  Of course, my budget for saw blades and router bits has increased an infinite percentage in the past six months, too.  Whatever you find to keep yourself busy might come with its own costs.

Not that I mind.


scottish

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #106 on: February 17, 2019, 06:22:28 PM »
I seem to be developing a "make my day" mentality at work.

For example, 2 years ago I started a research project with a university.   I had to take the project proposal through innumerable review boards and the administrative bureaucracy took a whole year to get everything in place.   I'm sure the process cost more than the value of the project.   The project itself went well, and now it's wrapping up.   The bureaucracy wants me to follow another low value process to wrap it up.    They want me to fill in another form, and I ask, "What happens if I don't fill in that form?    Will you *not* make the final payment to the university?   I'm pretty busy, it'll take  a couple of weeks to look at your request."

They wanted me to go before a review board to assess my qualifications.    I asked them, "what happens if I don't go to the review board?"   They said, "Well nothing.   We can't promote you though."   A promotion would add more stress and a lot of international travel.

This feels very strange as I've always been willing to work the bureaucracy to get things done.   But now I just view it as days or weeks of my life that I'll never get back.    In the past, little conflicts like this would cause me stress, but they barely show up on my emotional radar anymore.   I'm able to focus on the parts of my work that align with my personal value system.   I haven't slept this well since high school.

So far, I'm not getting any push back at all from my management.   And I don't really care.  If someone doesn't like it?  Fork 'em.


Linea_Norway

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #107 on: February 18, 2019, 12:40:35 AM »
Weekdays for me are MUCH less stressful then weekends now - and my weekends have never been particularly stressful. Just the rush of people out trying to do everything with everyone and go everywhere stresses me. I really love weekdays and the more relaxed vibe and less crowds. TGIM!!!

This is what I notice already, working 80%. I often use that free weekday to do shopping or visit a skiing trail that is otherwise very crowded. We save the weekend days for doing outdoor stuff in less crowded places and for avoiding shops. The difference is very noticeable. Shopping without thousands of others is much more pleasant than in the weekend. And skiing my favorite trail without having to pass people every meter is also very pleasant. It really makes me long to have my whole life like this. It feels a bit like summer vacation. Then we tend to travel around in the country to places where it is less crowded and life is just at an easier pace. We can shop at a convenient time when it is not crowded.

soccerluvof4

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #108 on: February 22, 2019, 05:27:04 AM »
My utilities have actually gone down more so because 2 kids have gone off to school and Now instead of going to the gym coming home and showering I am taking nice long showers at the Y . Still have 2 at home but I also have eeked the furnace down 2 degrees because the warmer wanta bees are the ones that left. Not to mention lights are shut off with me being home and even like the dishwasher is used half the time.

My grocery bill has obviously dropped as well but we decided we deserved it and put a little more into our entertainment budget. As long as I meet or beat our budget every month I am happy.


I am the most happy that April will be 4 years and "This is working". I had my reservations and concerns its who I am but so far so good if not alot better.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 05:29:03 AM by soccerluvof4 »

Omy

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #109 on: February 22, 2019, 06:15:24 AM »
We get invitations for free dinners sponsored by financial planners at least twice a month! Not sure if this is a result of being FI or a result of being over 50...

Dicey

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #110 on: February 22, 2019, 06:43:07 AM »
We get invitations for free dinners sponsored by financial planners at least twice a month! Not sure if this is a result of being FI or a result of being over 50...
I blame AARP. I get stuff from them at about the same rate. We use a PO box that gets checked twice a week at most, so it really does seem like I get something age, investment, or insurance related every time I get the mail.

Parizade

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #111 on: March 08, 2019, 02:41:46 PM »
One interesting result of being FI for the last few years is that on some level, I care less about how others perceive me at work so I show up more authentically and I speak truth to power...the results? Promotions and faster growth within my career. It's interesting how not being dependent on the job for security has freed me to perform at a higher level.

Sounds like "Office Space" :)

I was just thinking about this today, and it is ironic. I think of all the years I worked so hard and logged long hours trying to work my way up and just have to shake my head. Not trying so hard was the key to success after all.

Versatile

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #112 on: March 12, 2019, 06:50:51 PM »
The amount of people that occupy stores during work hours. I always had a fantasy that I would have these places to myself when I was no longer a smuck working a job and could go there during working hours. Nope. Don't these people have jobs? Ha

happy

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #113 on: March 12, 2019, 07:07:36 PM »
Around here its young/middle aged people in coffee shops. And we have a lot of coffee shops.  Not SAHMs with kids, not working remotely on a laptop. Just 20/30/40yr somethings sitting around. Why aren't they working? Unless there are a lot of early retired people around that I never knew about.

Linea_Norway

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #114 on: March 13, 2019, 02:05:17 AM »
People in shops during working hours:
- pensioners
- shift workers
- part timers
- students/high schoolers without a full time schedule
- people on occasional day off
- people on vacation or sabbatical
- people on (paid) sick leave who aren't sick enough to have to stay in bed
- people shopping in their lunch break
- people on parental leave
Edit:
- people who are unemployed
- people on disability money
- people on their way to a meeting

Since I am a part timer I have also been surprised by the amounts of people in shops or in ski trails. Lots of people who are young or quite young, as well as traditional pensioners. But there are really lots of people working shifts. And also lots who have time off for various reasons.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 05:48:00 AM by Linda_Norway »

Monkey Uncle

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #115 on: March 13, 2019, 04:57:27 AM »
The amount of people that occupy stores during work hours. I always had a fantasy that I would have these places to myself when I was no longer a smuck working a job and could go there during working hours. Nope. Don't these people have jobs? Ha

I find that if we go to Walmart before 10:00 am on Monday - Thursday, we have the place almost to ourselves.  If we go after 10, or pretty much any reasonable hour on Friday, it's crowded.  But we live in an area that has a higher than average proportion of retirees, unemployed, and people on disability.

Malkynn

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #116 on: March 13, 2019, 05:04:07 AM »
^

You forgot all of the people who don't work from offices.
Many times that I'm out for coffee or lunch during work hours, it's for meetings/business. Even if I'm out alone, I'm probably just between meetings and either preparing or killing time.

Hikester

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #117 on: March 13, 2019, 10:15:59 PM »
You can tell if itís a weekend or weekday just by the number of people in and out of stores, gyms, etc. I am amazed at how busy I can keep myself. I knew I would not get bored post FIRE but I can really fill up my schedule, sometimes without even leaving home. How did I have time to work before? The best part is that everything is optional. I donít have to be or do anything I donít want to in that busy schedule of mine. Busy by choice instead of mandatory busy. There is a difference.

Dicey

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #118 on: March 14, 2019, 08:39:02 AM »
You can tell if itís a weekend or weekday just by the number of people in and out of stores, gyms, etc. I am amazed at how busy I can keep myself. I knew I would not get bored post FIRE but I can really fill up my schedule, sometimes without even leaving home. How did I have time to work before? The best part is that everything is optional. I donít have to be or do anything I donít want to in that busy schedule of mine. Busy by choice instead of mandatory busy. There is a difference.
Amen to all that. Occasionally,  I run out of something on a weekend and have to go to a store. When this happens, I just try to roll with it. It's so nice to know it's an anomaly.

FIREby35

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #119 on: March 16, 2019, 01:45:33 PM »
You can tell if itís a weekend or weekday just by the number of people in and out of stores, gyms, etc. I am amazed at how busy I can keep myself. I knew I would not get bored post FIRE but I can really fill up my schedule, sometimes without even leaving home. How did I have time to work before? The best part is that everything is optional. I donít have to be or do anything I donít want to in that busy schedule of mine. Busy by choice instead of mandatory busy. There is a difference.
Amen to all that. Occasionally,  I run out of something on a weekend and have to go to a store. When this happens, I just try to roll with it. It's so nice to know it's an anomaly.

That is how I feel if I find myself in rush hour traffic. Thank god I don't deal with this regularly.

TartanTallulah

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #120 on: March 20, 2019, 03:13:29 AM »
Improved bowel movements.  I'm convinced work related stress produces hormones that are binding agents.  My stools are smoother and more vigorous.  It a joy to squeeze one off now.  Never would have expected that.

I experienced the same.  :)



+3 funny but true!

Possibly +4, though it's too early to be certain that the calmness at the far end of my digestive system will turn out to be an enduring benefit of FIRE rather than a random fluctuation in the behaviour of a capricious intestine. Since I tended to be fine on vacation, I've long suspected that my innards disapproved of long days mostly spent seated at a desk and eating while I worked.

Also no mid-afternoon migraines. The headache was usually trivial, but the prodrome was an overwhelming feeling of fatigue which I really, really didn't need when I was trying to work.

And an overwhelming desire to sit very still and stare at nothing. I was warned about that, but I was determined that it wouldn't happen to me.

It's got me talking to myself!

Another four months on, I still haven't had a single migraine or even a significant mid-afternoon energy dip, and my innards have been angelic except on a few occasions when I've known exactly what I've eaten that I shouldn't have ... and the evenings of the two days when I've ended up spending 12 hours sitting at a desk.

I can still spend a great deal of time doing nothing at all.

I've gained some weight! Just a handful of pounds, but I didn't expect that, especially as I'm running 50-60 miles a week and doing some cycling and climbing too. I always used to say that when I didn't have to go to work I'd be very slim because at home I'd move more and there's always something I'd rather be doing than eating, but the other side of the coin is that at home there's always something nicer to eat than the desk drawer snacks I had at work and I'm not burning calories from stress.

I have not, once, gone shopping or to a local tourist attraction for recreational reasons, or watched daytime TV.

Linea_Norway

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #121 on: March 20, 2019, 03:49:33 AM »

I've gained some weight! Just a handful of pounds, but I didn't expect that, especially as I'm running 50-60 miles a week and doing some cycling and climbing too. I always used to say that when I didn't have to go to work I'd be very slim because at home I'd move more and there's always something I'd rather be doing than eating, but the other side of the coin is that at home there's always something nicer to eat than the desk drawer snacks I had at work and I'm not burning calories from stress.

You have probably replaced some fat tissue with muscle tissue. Muscle weighs more. Have you noticed whether your clothes are sitting looser or more tight?

Dicey

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #122 on: March 20, 2019, 07:38:11 AM »
I have not, once, gone shopping or to a local tourist attraction for recreational reasons, or watched daytime TV.
Hmmm, does grocery shopping count? What if I watch something from the DVR while I fold laundry in the afternoon after I grocery shop? Seems some less exciting but essential life duties must still be attended to post-FIRE. The difference is I can do these things whenever I want, which is nice. Hope your FIRE experience is all you hoped for and more!

TartanTallulah

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #123 on: March 20, 2019, 09:25:29 AM »

I've gained some weight! Just a handful of pounds, but I didn't expect that, especially as I'm running 50-60 miles a week and doing some cycling and climbing too. I always used to say that when I didn't have to go to work I'd be very slim because at home I'd move more and there's always something I'd rather be doing than eating, but the other side of the coin is that at home there's always something nicer to eat than the desk drawer snacks I had at work and I'm not burning calories from stress.

You have probably replaced some fat tissue with muscle tissue. Muscle weighs more. Have you noticed whether your clothes are sitting looser or more tight?

It's not muscle. Even if I had started doing resistance training from scratch rather than ditching weights for a while and doing shedloads of cardio instead, a woman of my age who doesn't take steroids is only capable of building a few ounces of muscle in a period of few months. It's just a small layer of contentment :-)

TartanTallulah

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #124 on: March 20, 2019, 09:33:24 AM »
I have not, once, gone shopping or to a local tourist attraction for recreational reasons, or watched daytime TV.
Hmmm, does grocery shopping count? What if I watch something from the DVR while I fold laundry in the afternoon after I grocery shop? Seems some less exciting but essential life duties must still be attended to post-FIRE. The difference is I can do these things whenever I want, which is nice. Hope your FIRE experience is all you hoped for and more!

Grocery shopping still has to be done, of course, just as it did before. And I do enough housework to avoid squalor but haven't had a notion of ripping the house apart and redecorating it or even cleaning the places that you can't see from the middle of a room.

Most of all, I like getting up in the morning, taking my time over breakfast, pottering around a bit, going out for a run mid-morning, which is a good time for me, and taking my time over lunch. And having evenings. Evenings are an underrated pleasure.

Dicey

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #125 on: March 20, 2019, 09:36:53 AM »
I have not, once, gone shopping or to a local tourist attraction for recreational reasons, or watched daytime TV.
Hmmm, does grocery shopping count? What if I watch something from the DVR while I fold laundry in the afternoon after I grocery shop? Seems some less exciting but essential life duties must still be attended to post-FIRE. The difference is I can do these things whenever I want, which is nice. Hope your FIRE experience is all you hoped for and more!

Grocery shopping still has to be done, of course, just as it did before. And I do enough housework to avoid squalor but haven't had a notion of ripping the house apart and redecorating it or even cleaning the places that you can't see from the middle of a room.

Most of all, I like getting up in the morning, taking my time over breakfast, pottering around a bit, going out for a run mid-morning, which is a good time for me, and taking my time over lunch. And having evenings. Evenings are an underrated pleasure.
Nice schedule. I especially like your cleaning strategy.

HipGnosis

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #126 on: March 25, 2019, 08:35:09 AM »
I unexpectedly found out that the IRA contribution (and therefore the deduction) can not exceed your "compenstated" income.
I have very little compenated income now (from a sporatic consulting gig).

Buffalo Chip

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #127 on: March 30, 2019, 06:56:16 AM »
I noted too that the question was for FI, not just RE. I guess that weíre RE, and I certainly will be in a couple of years when Iím eligible to retire with a pension. We just never gave it huge amounts of thought. Always assumed we would ROT (Retire On Time) vice RE. And I still think thatís what weíll do. I might continue on past my ROT date. Just depends on how happy things are at work and how things are going with the kids.

But the realization that we probably are FI has had an impact. The unexpected one for me has been the desire to get into shape and increase my personal effectiveness. Or badassity if you prefer. Iím interested in making sure we have frugal habits in place so when/if we pull the trigger and ROT, we can be assured that it wonít be a problem. Iím also being a lot more conservative on investments as I really do think the markets are overpriced and donít want to deal with the risk for what I doubt is going to be much return.

At work, I will say that my attitude has changed a bit since realizing that we probably were FI or very close to it. Just more positive in my attitude and more willing to speak hard truths. I doubt it will impact my career one way or the other. But it makes me happier and I think more productive.


JoJoP

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Re: What is your most unexpected result from being FI?
« Reply #128 on: March 30, 2019, 10:14:01 AM »
I unexpectedly found out that the IRA contribution (and therefore the deduction) can not exceed your "compenstated" income.
I have very little compenated income now (from a sporatic consulting gig).

That just hit us with the 2018 taxes.  I can't give a full IRA contribution because, <ahem> I didn't make enough money in earned income.  It's shifted to nearly all passive income.  That was a surprise to me, and a nice reminder that we are really, truly FIR now. 
 
I've just resigned from representing a friend in a real estate sale... one more nail in the working girl coffin.  I had an immense feeling of satisfaction knowing that what I did was not in my personal financial best interest (giving up income), but was the true and right thing to do for my friend, who lives far enough away that I felt I was not the best person for the job.  Wow, that's a great feeling.