Author Topic: Soon time, and now what?  (Read 4721 times)

lemanfan

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Soon time, and now what?
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:40:04 PM »
Well.. it’s getting closer. Background:

I’m 45, and has spent the last close to twenty years as co-founder of a couple of software companies - and before that a few years of working for other companies after college. I’m single.  I’ve had relationships, but currently no partner, and no kids. Engineering degree, but haven’t done any engineering in many many years, I quickly moved into first project management and later company management.

Since a couple of years, I’ve felt more and more burned out and tired of what I do. The whole purpose of what the company does no longer gives me any joy, and the stuff I have to do daily basically either bores me or stresses me. And the other co-owners and I are moving in different ways in terms of personality and corporate culture.

I’ve been seriously worried about a real burnout for some time, and together with the other owners, we’ve agreed to go separate ways. During the fall, my tasks will be taken over by new people, and we have almost reached a conclusion on how to arrange the future ownership of the company, meaning that I’ll sell back all or most of my shares in the company to the others. I’ll probably switch to part time work for some time to give a smooth handover, and the stop completely hopefully before the end of the year.

Financially, I have no major worries - high income the last decade, OK investments and reasonable cost of living have given me a stash that can support my current lifestyle without problem at least until the normal retirement kicks in (20 years or so in my country), and probably long after. I’m living in Europe, meaning that many of the points in the pinned Pre-FIRE checklist are not really relevant to me since it’s quite US-focused.

The big question for me now is basically… and now what?

The first big thing I see in the future is some time for decompression and getting my energy back.  Probably more physically active and with healthier food when you have time to make it. And some regular day stuff in between.  Read the fifty unread books in the book shelf. Spend more time with my aging parents. Clean the apartment.

But after that… what?

I really have no desire to just lie on a beach or become a ski bum or somthing like that.

From the vocational side, I right now feel that I long-term would like to do something of use to other people.  Perhaps not founding another software startup, but to have something that fills my time with actually making a difference.

I’d love input from anyone that has been near a similar situation. What’s your experience of changes in wants and desires and motivations after a FIRE?

And then I have the personal side. I am actually kind of lonely sometimes, even if history has shown that I’d rather be by myself than in a bad relationship.  And romance aside, work is one of the important places for socialization.  When not working, my main social arenas are friends and partly staff at a couple of resturants / pubs here in town. Fun in it’s own way, but not always the healthiest options - after a couple of beers you don’t always make the healthy or cheap meal selection.

My worry here is basically to become isolated.  How have you guys handled this?

Any thoughts appreciated.



peeps_be_peeping

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 11:49:58 PM »
I worry about these things too. I'm still about 6 years out from FIRE. I have family and friends and hobbies. But will I be lonely and isolated in retirement? I also don't have a partner and honestly don't really expect to find one. I don't have any advice but I hope another discussion on this forum will help me figure things out by the time it's my turn.

asauer

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 06:33:53 AM »
If you've started/ run tech companies in the past, why not mentor entrepreneurs through SCORE (retired executives).  Or teach a very part time entrepreneurship course at community college?

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 07:06:11 AM »
I recommend starting with some soul searching.  You need to define what you core values are.  Once you know what matters to you, you can build a life around that. 

I do recommend taking some down time for about 6 months to decompress.  That will give you plenty of time to sort out your thoughts.  In my experience, it took about six months to learn how to define myself by my values rather than what I used to do for money.  That is a worthwhile journey that I hope you take.  There will be time to be productive (in something that jazzes you) thereafter.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 07:49:23 AM »
My FIL was in the same situation 20 years ago, selling his own company. What happened to him is that the other partner took over his share, but made the company less profitable. He had trouble paying the remaining part of the sum that he agreed on paying later. I think the company also went broke later. I think FIL didn't get all he was entitled to get. Please see if you can assure that you get your correct share. Let them take up a loan to pay you, instead of giving them a chance to pay a year or 2 later.

FIL and MIL retired at 50 and moved to the other part of the country where they didn't know anyone. FIL has always been busy. He used to be an architect and had a company in calculating building cost. He has been involved in various building projects in his new community. I think he was quite busy. MIL used to be in the medical board where people can complain about hospital mistreatment. FIL went playing volleyball with the neighbour and some other men. He also started learning the local language they speak over there, although he never used it actively. MIL has been a member of card club.

FIL thrived in the new place and made new acquaintances. He also started painting and has recently had an exhibition in another town. MIL was probably a bit lonely. She used to very very intelligent and didn't like to spend time with the local women who had different interests, as she would say. She did a lot of her own things, like knitting and playing cello. MIL has now lost her memory and is living in a private care home, right beside their house. FIL has always kept his old friends and drives a LOT to visit people and receives many visiting friends.

lemanfan

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 11:30:33 PM »
Thank you all for the good answers.  Just writing the post yesterday put me in a better mood, as it seems more real even if it is not happening tomorrow.

If you've started/ run tech companies in the past, why not mentor entrepreneurs through SCORE (retired executives).  Or teach a very part time entrepreneurship course at community college?

Thanks. I've thought of similar things and it might be a good idea.  SCORE seems a bit US-based but I'm sure I can find oppotunities here too.

I recommend starting with some soul searching.  You need to define what you core values are.  Once you know what matters to you, you can build a life around that. 

Thanks. I have actually been recommended the same exercise by others, but have yet to be able to perform it fully. My findings so far have given me an indication of what's wrong with my current situation, which is a valable insight. On the other hand, I don't know if I'm doing it right...

I do recommend taking some down time for about 6 months to decompress.  That will give you plenty of time to sort out your thoughts.  In my experience, it took about six months to learn how to define myself by my values rather than what I used to do for money.  That is a worthwhile journey that I hope you take.  There will be time to be productive (in something that jazzes you) thereafter.

My initial thought was to spend at least one hundred days without anything resembling work before letting my thoughts venture into future planning... good to hear that more people think in a similar way.

My FIL was in the same situation 20 years ago, selling his own company.

Thanks for the advice.  I think I know what I'm getting myself in to here.  I am currently the bean counter of the owner group after all. :)

I currently have no thoughts of relocating.  I am comfortably close to my aging parents, and the friends I have mostly live in this area.  Reasoable cost of living and not too hard to reach both the outdoors and som metropolitan areas when the urge arrives.

Plina

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2018, 05:28:38 AM »
After you have done some soulsearching maybe you could  try to figure out if there are some non profit organisations that could useyour skills parttime. We have some techentrepeneurs that have started companies with a social agenda. In other words, do good in a company format.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2018, 05:50:44 AM »
Similarities in that I owned my own business for nearly 30 years and just got to the point I went from loving it to hating it so I know what your feeling.  I did not have any partners though as never been a fan of even more headaches but thats another conversation. Decompression for me because I was a business owner I believe took longer because I was always making decisions and there is that sense of leadership/ being needed etc.. and all of a sudden its gone. But , i found I had so many things to do that during the transition and starting to workout , making meals etc,, that i/you find your way and in my case at least though a bit longer it fell in place. Good luck and keep us in the loop. Being single I think you will find so many things you will have time to do things that you wont be bored for long.

BNgarden

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 08:21:32 AM »
Congratulations on your imminent changes.  I concur it will take some time (maybe more than you think) to decompress and reorient.  I'm 13 months into retirement (but at an older age) and given some changes we made re housing, am just now getting into more of a daily rhythm.

There are PLENTY of resources to aid in identifying 'what's next' from all sorts of angles.  Personally, I really liked the 'exercise' noted following--more all-encompassing perhaps, and not directly pointing forwards, but good for appreciating what you've loved.  There may be kernels in your answers to move you forward.  BUT there are plenty of other options / reading / resources beyond the de Mello listed.  Good luck finding one(s) that suit you best.
________
“Life is not a problem to be solved, a question to be answered.
Life is a mystery to be contemplated, wondered at, savoured.”
from Anthony de Mello, Wellsprings: A book of spiritual exercises. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1985

First Exercise, pg 14:
The Conclusion
I imagine that today I am to die.
I ask for time to be alone and write down for my friends a sort of testament for which the points that follow could serve as chapter titles.
1.   These things I have loved in life:
Things I tasted,
Looked at,
Smelled,
Heard,
Touched.
2.   These experiences I have cherished:
3.   These ideas have brought me liberation:
... and more 'chapter titles' follow.

lemanfan

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 10:35:43 PM »
Thank you all for the experiences.  I listen to what you all say and take it seriously. 

I think I'd really need someone locally to talk to, like a coach or a shrink - but my previous attempts at this has been unsuccessful.  Probably something to try again in August.

Zette

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 04:19:13 PM »
I was just reading "A World of Three Zeros" by the nobel prize winner who created the microfinance movement through Grameen Bank.  He talked a lot about an idea called a "social business", basically a non-profit that tackles some aspect of poverty in a way that generates enough revenue to be self-sustaining.  If you're FIRE, maybe something along those lines could put your experience starting a business to work in a satisfying way. 

kei te pai

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2018, 03:27:36 AM »
Best wishes for the adventures ahead! They may not involve exploring the Amazon, but it will be a journey to a new life. I felt like it took 2 -3 years post FIRE to find my feet.
Like many here I am not naturally outgoing, and have had to be quite deliberate about building friendships and social time. A bit like counting servings of vegetables and hours of exercise!
Im still working it out, but rather than looking for ways to use the work skills in another setting, why not think of the parts of yourself that may never have had a chance to develop (maybe creative talents, nurturing skills?) .
Is there a way to contribute meaningfully and at the same time explore new pathways?

Livingthedream55

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 10:05:27 AM »
I think you need to decompress first and then once there is some space, time, energy in your life see what bubbles up.

It's hard not to know but to extent you can try not to have the expectation that you will have this all figured out before the fall. Daydream, sure, but don't settle on any one plan right now.

Once you've decompressed (maybe 6-12 months out) - start to try things out -- some you will like -- others won't be a good fit. You may want to read some books, take some workshops on life goals, your personal mission, etc. but no rush!!!

Know that you are resourceful and smart and you will transition into your next chapter in a way that will work for you.

Congratulations!!


RedmondStash

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2018, 05:27:16 PM »
I've been FIREd for about 6 months now, and I have become a bit isolated. But it turns out that that's not a bad thing. It's more like being on a meditation retreat. I can visit with friends when I want, but mostly I cherish the quiet time I have.

And then I have the personal side. I am actually kind of lonely sometimes, even if history has shown that I’d rather be by myself than in a bad relationship.

I found this quote really telling. There is a third choice: being in a good relationship. Possibly one thing you can do with your freed-up time is investigate how to create better relationships for yourself, in whatever way works for you. It sounds like you're not American, so I don't know if the traditional answers of self-help books or therapy will work for you, but it might be worth asking any long-term friends or trusted family members that you have if they have any insights for you -- but brace yourself in case they have observations that are hard to hear. It could be worth it if there may be things you can do to improve your odds of finding a positive relationship, if having a partner is important to you.

I agree with other commenters that you need to decompress first. From my experience, it's not always a pleasant experience, but it is fruitful, and the unpleasantness is not permanent.

Good luck to you.

lemanfan

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 03:23:54 PM »
Thank you all for the input. I'm now one week into vacation, and the mood has mostly been good. Looking forward, but have put my deeper thoughts about the future on hold untile time plans are more clear.

One thing did however happen today that made me think a little bit - a friend running another small company came by me today to talk, since he was not getting along with his business partner.  This turned in to a four hour conversation about many different things... but both the fact that four hours dissapeared while feeling like five minutes, and that I got a heart-felt "thank you" text message a little later from a person who normally does not say stuff like that made me realize that I have something to offer professionally in some situations.

lemanfan

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2018, 11:54:39 AM »
One month after last posting and I've actually started downshifting.  Partly based on this thread, I've not yet started making long plans - I just enjoyed yesterday (min first real "day off" on a weekday) with the strang feeling of ... a mix between "this must be a sunday" and "skipping school".

No, not RE yet, but getting closer. :)

Éowynd

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2018, 10:38:25 AM »
There is a lot of advice here that is encouraging you to "find yourself" and that is not a bad idea!  However, since you mentioned sometimes feeling lonely, I would like to encourage you to "find your people."

Here is my question: do you feel like you are part of a community? (Community is defined here as: a group of people having a particular interest or activity in common.)  If not, I would recommend that you look for and try out different group activities with your increasing free time.

This isn't just advice to "go find a hobby."  This is a suggestion to think of an enjoyable activity that will bring you into contact with the same group of people at least once per week; more often is better.  It can be a volunteer/service activity or a leisure/recreation activity.  (I'm deliberately leaving the potential activity as non-specific as possible since you know your interests best.)  My point is that friendships often form as a result of seeing and talking with the same people week after week.  The activity is a natural icebreaker that encourages conversations and provides a starting point for new relationships.

You have (or soon will have) an abundance of time and energy that can be spent with people that you enjoy being around.  All you have to do is find them!

lemanfan

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2018, 01:09:52 PM »
Thanks Éowynd! 

Comar

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2018, 04:58:22 AM »
lemanfan you so kindly replied in my journal and after reading this thread I can see that you and I have a lot in common. Which is figuring out the next step. I take comfort (maybe you do too) that I am not alone with this problem. This is probably a very common problem, a part of being human. I think modern society has uprooted us from many things that give us pleasure: Being a part of a community, being helpful, being in touch with nature with your friends and family. Maybe we have to find some of these things again to find happiness.

lemanfan

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Re: Soon time, and now what?
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2018, 11:16:33 PM »
@Comar

Thanks for your input. Very few of us really experience something that noone has experienced before.  Most situations has been encountered by someone, sometime.  So tryinig to learn from others experiences is a good thing. 

:)