Author Topic: Going back to work after FIRE  (Read 5920 times)

Optimus Primal

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Going back to work after FIRE
« on: April 28, 2018, 08:20:13 AM »
Been lucky.  Great wife great young kids.  Big stash.  We live in an HCOL and spend more than I would like, but nothing particularly extravagant.  Childcare is our largest expense by far.  Wife and me are 40'ish and we both work and like our jobs.  While I like my job, I also like a lot of other things--choosing what to spend time on is the tough part. 

I did a mini-FIRE a few years ago for about 6 months and ended up going back to work.  I think I missed some of the things that came with the corporate job--working with my colleagues, managing complex projects, etc.  And I think the time off has made working again much better because I have a different perspective--doesn't feel like a rat race anymore but more like a choice as to where I can best grow and have an impact.  If I did leave the corporate life again I think I would approach it a little differently and make sure I had the right mix of activities to keep me sufficiently engaged, including something that involved working with and managing people/relationships.  That was a part of what I did that I didn't sufficiently appreciate in retrospect. 

I also think FIRE might be more fun in a few years when my kids are older because it will be easier to travel.  The nice thing about working is the stash continues to grow at a good clip.  If I do make the leap again in a few years things like college and what not will be well covered!  Anyway, I know I've been lucky.  I never wanted fancy things and my wife doesn't either.  And I've worked hard to grow the stash.  But there's also been a lot of luck along the way.  It's nice to feel like I'm on the other side of a lot of those challenges. 



« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 04:54:04 AM by Optimus Primal »

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2018, 09:46:48 AM »
ZOMG.  Someone call the Internet Retirement Police! j/k

Good for you.  Financial Independence should mean any damn thing you want it to.  You have found something that is optimal for you.  Run with it.

cap396

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 12:48:31 PM »
I think if you like working more than being FIRE'ed, then why not continue to work?  Not only are you doing something that you enjoy, but you are also getting paid to do it.

sui generis

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 09:43:23 PM »
I think if you like working more than being FIRE'ed, then why not continue to work?  Not only are you doing something that you enjoy, but you are also getting paid to do it.
Agreed!  I'm totally jealous.  I would be happy if I loved my job, or any job, enough to keep doing it.  For those of us not lucky enough, retirement it must be!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 04:10:29 AM »
Well there is something to be said if you like what your doing its not work. I hated what I was doing so I enjoy being fire'd more. I do miss some challenges and social connections but you over time have new ones. I am much more engaged and have time with my kids, workout more regularly and so on. But, I would not have fire'd 3 years ago if I didnt hate and was done with what I was doing. I have not missed it one day. The income yes but not "The Job".

Malkynn

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 05:27:42 AM »
I have 4 jobs and will be keeping at least 3 of them well past FIRE, at least two of them well into my senior years, and at least 1 of them probably until I die. Doing work on your own terms is a totally different creature than slogging away at a day job under pressure.

The whole point of freedom is to do what you want, so work if thatís what you want to do.
Being free doesnít make you happy, itís doing what you enjoy that makes you happy and freedom allows you to do that.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 01:14:28 AM »
Been lucky.  Great wife great young kids.  Big stash.  We live in an HCOL and spend more than I would like, but nothing particularly extravagant.  Childcare is our largest expense by far.  Wife and me are 40'ish and we both work and like our jobs.  While I like my job, I also like a lot of other things--choosing what to spend time on is the tough part. 


Sounds like you are pretty content with your life. Being content is a very good skill to have and good for your health. Congratulations.

For my part, I am content about some parts of my life and consider myself very lucky. But the job is preventing me from spending much more time on things that I enjoy.

Cubert

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2018, 04:49:08 AM »
Excellent share! This is what worries me too, as I gear up to retire early next summer. Will I miss the challenges and the PEOPLE? I know some part of me will certainly miss that consistent paycheck!!!

Main thing is, above all else, having the ability to jump ship when you get tired of that particular workplace. F You money.

Some look into consulting as a "next life" option, after getting FI. You can often dictate your hours and so forth.

jim555

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2018, 05:59:33 AM »
OP is just delaying the inevitable existential crisis by going back.  You are not solving the problem.

Cassie

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2018, 10:41:36 AM »
I did part time consulting when I first retired .

Optimus Primal

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2018, 11:44:15 AM »
OP is just delaying the inevitable existential crisis by going back.  You are not solving the problem.

I'm not much of an existentialist these days.  More of a post modern zennist practicing the Sunryu Suzuki approach of "not always so"... I aim to be balanced in my reactions, cultivate love in my life, practice moderate habits, and leave wherever I find myself a bit better than I found it.  Oh, and to stay one step ahead of the early retirement police!  Life is an adventure.  :)

DoNorth

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 09:02:02 AM »
I basically just did the same.  My story went like this. I retired early from the military in 2014 at 35 with a serious, but manageable condition.  I had a decent stash, but nothing to brag about--we were comfortable, but not content.  I immediately took the highest paying job I could find in DC, realized it wasn't what it was cracked up to be and started reading about MMM and the FIRE crowd (I was in a HCOL, wage slavery, stuck in traffic area etc.).  For the next year, I saved and planned the exit.  We moved in with my folks (my kids were 3 and 6 at the time) and for the 3 years afterwards, I worked part time at a small non-profit and built my own house.  It's a beautiful house on a lake and I owe very little on it.  At the conclusion, my wife and I looked at each other and said, "what should we do next", we can stay and enjoy what we've built or we've always wanted to go back to Europe to live and travel for a bit.  I got online, applied for a job in France, got the job and moved to France six weeks ago.  The work is very low stress, pays well and all my housing, kids schooling, language lessons etc. are all paid for by the employer.  The income is tax advantaged and the best part is that its a term job--3 years extendable to 5 and I can leave after 24 months with no payback so it fills a need to travel, experience a different culture, replenish some savings used while we were building a house and give me an opportunity to learn some new skills.  I don't have to give notice or explanation why I'm leaving at the end because its already expected.  I'm not worried about promotions, raises, licenses or certifications since I'm going right back to my house that I built and life in the US when we're done.  The employer said, "we'll try to get you something back here in Ohio" and I said "thanks, but that won't be necessary". 



Been lucky.  Great wife great young kids.  Big stash.  We live in an HCOL and spend more than I would like, but nothing particularly extravagant.  Childcare is our largest expense by far.  Wife and me are 40'ish and we both work and like our jobs.  While I like my job, I also like a lot of other things--choosing what to spend time on is the tough part. 

I did a mini-FIRE a few years ago for about 6 months and ended up going back to work.  I think I missed some of the things that came with the corporate job--working with my colleagues, managing complex projects, etc.  And I think the time off has made working again much better because I have a different perspective--doesn't feel like a rat race anymore but more like a choice as to where I can best grow and have an impact.  If I did leave the corporate life again I think I would approach it a little differently and make sure I had the right mix of activities to keep me sufficiently engaged, including something that involved working with and managing people/relationships.  That was a part of what I did that I didn't sufficiently appreciate in retrospect. 

I also think FIRE might be more fun in a few years when my kids are older because it will be easier to travel.  The nice thing about working is the stash continues to grow at a good clip.  If I do make the leap again in a few years things like college and what not will be well covered!  Anyway, I know I've been lucky.  I never wanted fancy things and my wife doesn't either.  And I've worked hard to grow the stash.  But there's also been a lot of luck along the way.  It's nice to feel like I'm on the other side of a lot of those challenges.

Optimus Primal

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 06:59:45 AM »
DoNorth, sounds like a nice place to be.  Congratulations on the great situation!

thriftycanadian

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 06:37:40 PM »
I have 4 jobs and will be keeping at least 3 of them well past FIRE, at least two of them well into my senior years, and at least 1 of them probably until I die. Doing work on your own terms is a totally different creature than slogging away at a day job under pressure.

The whole point of freedom is to do what you want, so work if thatís what you want to do.
Being free doesnít make you happy, itís doing what you enjoy that makes you happy and freedom allows you to do that.
Well said!

reverend

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2018, 04:33:11 PM »
I retired last year.  I kept my name on the books at a local staffing agency because if something awesome came up, I'll take it.

A few weeks ago something pretty cool came up and I ended up taking a contract they say will last until January 2020.  I'm already grumbling over getting up at 7 am, but I think that will recede when I settle into the new routine and I do love the first six months of learning something new.

The interesting part will be around christmas when I've been there six months.  If it's still fun, I'll stick around.  If I feel like I'm sliding back into the "boring same-old, same-old" I think it'll be time to quit.

The good part is that I will make about two years worth of living expenses between now and Christmas, so if I do quit, at least I haven't drawn on my investments one bit, and won't have to for quite some time after that either.


TheWifeHalf

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2018, 05:47:04 PM »
I've always thought being 'retired' meant no longer working, in any form. Is 'retired' defined differently here?

DreamFIRE

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2018, 06:31:42 PM »
I've always thought being 'retired' meant no longer working, in any form. Is 'retired' defined differently here?

The IRP may say differently, but it's not uncommon for retired folks to do side gigs, part time work, and such after retiring from their careers.  I might do the same thing when I FIRE.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2018, 07:23:13 PM »
Thanks DreamFIRE

Malkynn

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Re: Going back to work after FIRE
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2018, 06:13:58 AM »
I've always thought being 'retired' meant no longer working, in any form. Is 'retired' defined differently here?

The IRP may say differently, but it's not uncommon for retired folks to do side gigs, part time work, and such after retiring from their careers.  I might do the same thing when I FIRE.

Yep, as long as Iíve been alive, Iíve known traditional aged retirees who have picked up a bit of paid work here and there, often having nothing to do with needing an income.

Iíve known retirees who got jobs at golf courses so that they could get free access, jobs at wood working stores so they could get a discount and talk to people about wood working all day, written books they had always wanted to write that actually got published and made money, etc, etc.

I get that the FI world gets a little snippy about people who are very young and still working full time and calling themselves ďretiredĒ, but that doesnít mean that we should walk up to seniors with part time jobs and slap them across the face and say ďhow dare you call yourself retired? Do you not know the definition of the word! Itís in the dictionary!!! This matters on the Internet!Ē

People can get all IRP all they want, but the number of traditional retirees who do some work far outnumbers the amount of young people who are working full time and debatably calling themselves ďretiredĒ.