Author Topic: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working  (Read 1975 times)

jamccain

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What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« on: September 10, 2019, 01:18:25 PM »
UPDATED:

I'm not sure what to think about myself given my situation.  My symptoms:

1.  Not content with what I have, but don't want anything more...just different (example: beautiful new off road truck, now I want a classic)
2.  Plenty of money, but worry I need more
3.  Won't quit work, even though I have more volunteer work that interest me

My Previous Goal:  FIRE, very focused on this for about 10 years. 
Current Goal:  Unsure...just make money while it's easy?

Current situation:
41 YO Male, Newly Married, No Kids

Home:  Mortgage Free
Cars:  Two paid for (one brand new)
Monthly Expenses:  $3K (could cut, but I'm not motivated enough to worry about it)
Cash on Hand:  $35K  Increases by $10K or so monthly

Financial situation:
Primary Job:  $7600 monthly after tax, insurance, retirement account contributions
Wife Part-Time Job:  $1700 monthly after deductions for approx. 15 hours a week, with flexible vacation time (as much as she wants during down times)
Business Monthly Dividend:  Varies, but $3-5K monthly, recession resistant business
Investment Dividends:  $2445 monthly after tax ($250K cash behind this, on a three year term)
Total Monthly:  $14,745 to $16,745,

Retirement Accounts:
Me:  About $500K
Wife:  Nothing
Pension:  Currently $1500 monthly starting at 62 if I quit today, but grows daily (federal employee)

My wife has a low stress job which enables her to take off most anytime.  I have a low stress job which allows me to live anywhere in the US and is a set 40hrs.  Don't love it or hate it, sorta indifferent to it.  I have a business investment which I could work in (would change my pay structure) to try to grow the business.  I volunteer 15 hours a week in an organization I am passionate about. 

I have no real desire to travel (did that for a few years when I was young), but wouldn't mind moving somewhere.  No desire to buy enough stuff to exceed $3-4K per month.  I don't really budget very much now...it's just not worth the effort or stress to me. 

Anyone else experienced this?  I am reading through the threads now...seeing some of the "struggles" others have.  I already feel better and have some ideas.




« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 01:51:50 PM by jamccain »

mak1277

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 01:22:12 PM »
Seems like your savings are fairly low considering how much you're bringing in monthly (unless you have taxable or other accounts that aren't listed).  I'd ask myself where all that income went before I made a retirement decision.

ender

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 01:34:00 PM »
I don't understand how you are saving $10k/month but only have assets in retirement accounts...

Going to guess you don't have all your assets in the OP?

spartana

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 01:51:21 PM »
I think ya all missed the "just bought a shiny brand new big ass off road truck tyats paid off". My words but the sentiments the same. Maybe there have been similar purchases that ate up the extra $$.

OP I think you might be in a rut in your day to day life and its doubtful FIREing will cure that unless you have some big plans you really want to pursue. Maybe FI d a pasdion, hobby or something beyond buying material possessions  that you can do while working. This may help renew a desire for freedom asap. I'd also consider either saving more FIRE money, since it seems you have expensive wants, or perhaps downsizing the paid off house and moving if you decide you do want to FIRE.

mak1277

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 01:54:44 PM »
I think ya all missed the "just bought a shiny brand new big ass off road truck tyats paid off". My words but the sentiments the same. Maybe there have been similar purchases that ate up the extra $$.

OP I think you might be in a rut in your day to day life and its doubtful FIREing will cure that unless you have some big plans you really want to pursue. Maybe FI d a pasdion, hobby or something beyond buying material possessions  that you can do while working. This may help renew a desire for freedom asap. I'd also consider either saving more FIRE money, since it seems you have expensive wants, or perhaps downsizing the paid off house and moving if you decide you do want to FIRE.

I mean, if you have $15k/month coming in after tax, you can easily afford to buy a shiny new truck...but yes, the question is how many "new trucks" worth of expense are there lurking for OP?

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 01:58:20 PM »
I think ya all missed the "just bought a shiny brand new big ass off road truck tyats paid off". My words but the sentiments the same. Maybe there have been similar purchases that ate up the extra $$.

OP I think you might be in a rut in your day to day life and its doubtful FIREing will cure that unless you have some big plans you really want to pursue. Maybe FI d a pasdion, hobby or something beyond buying material possessions  that you can do while working. This may help renew a desire for freedom asap. I'd also consider either saving more FIRE money, since it seems you have expensive wants, or perhaps downsizing the paid off house and moving if you decide you do want to FIRE.

Very reasonable advice...I like it. 

And I'm not here to be judged by what I feel like spending on.  That's why I rarely visit the boards, though I do think they are a valuable tool.  There are a lot of ways to live your life and we don't all have to prescribe to the same mustachian rules. 

As you suggest, I don't think going FIRE won't solve ones problems.  After reading a lot of the threads, I am getting some ideas on how to move forward.  Really valuable information from a unique community here.

former player

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 02:01:38 PM »
You are working 40 hours a week and volunteering 15 hours a week.  And newly married.  And a home owner.   And have the stress of expensive objects to look after such as the new car. And an ongoing business investment.

Your time and energy are seriously overcommitted.  Dial back on your time commitments, simplify your belongings.  Give yourself room and time to breath.  Do it for long enough that you give yourself the space you need to find the shape the rest of your life needs to take.

Good luck.

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2019, 02:01:54 PM »
I think ya all missed the "just bought a shiny brand new big ass off road truck tyats paid off". My words but the sentiments the same. Maybe there have been similar purchases that ate up the extra $$.

OP I think you might be in a rut in your day to day life and its doubtful FIREing will cure that unless you have some big plans you really want to pursue. Maybe FI d a pasdion, hobby or something beyond buying material possessions  that you can do while working. This may help renew a desire for freedom asap. I'd also consider either saving more FIRE money, since it seems you have expensive wants, or perhaps downsizing the paid off house and moving if you decide you do want to FIRE.

I mean, if you have $15k/month coming in after tax, you can easily afford to buy a shiny new truck...but yes, the question is how many "new trucks" worth of expense are there lurking for OP?

It's dirty new truck, but I get the point.  I don't have any other big possessions lurking. :-p

Previous cash flow went to:

1.  Mortgage free
2.  "Shiny new truck"
3.  Paying off business capital expenditures
4.  Saved $250K and invested

Cash flow is just now being built up again into savings.

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2019, 02:03:49 PM »
You are working 40 hours a week and volunteering 15 hours a week.  And newly married.  And a home owner.   And have the stress of expensive objects to look after such as the new car. And an ongoing business investment.

Your time and energy are seriously overcommitted.  Dial back on your time commitments, simplify your belongings.  Give yourself room and time to breath.  Do it for long enough that you give yourself the space you need to find the shape the rest of your life needs to take.

Good luck.

I have struggled with this in the past...give me 15 minutes and I'll search for something to fill it up with.  Appreciate your response.

mak1277

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2019, 02:10:43 PM »

Investment Dividends:  $2445 monthly after tax ($250K cash behind this, on a three year term)

Regardless of everything else, I'd appreciate you PM'ing me with the investment that let's me earn 10% after tax return.  :)

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2019, 02:21:48 PM »
Loans secured against real estate.  Various terms, but usually 50% loan to value and 1st mortgage position are two things I stick too.  My family is very active in RE. 

spartana

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2019, 07:28:56 PM »
I think ya all missed the "just bought a shiny brand new big ass off road truck tyats paid off". My words but the sentiments the same. Maybe there have been similar purchases that ate up the extra $$.

OP I think you might be in a rut in your day to day life and its doubtful FIREing will cure that unless you have some big plans you really want to pursue. Maybe FI d a pasdion, hobby or something beyond buying material possessions  that you can do while working. This may help renew a desire for freedom asap. I'd also consider either saving more FIRE money, since it seems you have expensive wants, or perhaps downsizing the paid off house and moving if you decide you do want to FIRE.

Very reasonable advice...I like it. 

And I'm not here to be judged by what I feel like spending on.  That's why I rarely visit the boards, though I do think they are a valuable tool.  There are a lot of ways to live your life and we don't all have to prescribe to the same mustachian rules. 

As you suggest, I don't think going FIRE won't solve ones problems.  After reading a lot of the threads, I am getting some ideas on how to move forward.  Really valuable information from a unique community here.
I wasn't trying to judge just saying that your spending overall may be on the higher side and that some of your income went towards that over the years rather than investments. And sometimes wanting new or just different material  things can actually be an attempt to fill some sort void you may feel in your life (I'm sure we've all been there done that) rather than.a real desire for that thing.

Examining the "why do I want this stuff" is one of the first steps to deciding if it is really worth the trade off of working longer or staying in a job you're kind of blah about. If you are happy about it, and don't feel it curbs your current or future freedom to FI or RE, then that's all that matters. So no judgement by me. Just saying that if the things you are doing now or buying now leave you ...meh... about life you might be on the a wrong track and need to shift to a different one.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 07:33:20 PM by spartana »

sui generis

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2019, 09:51:50 PM »
Agree with spartana.  There may be a void you are filling, not only with buying stuff, but I'm thinking more about how busy you are.  It may not be that you just like being busy, but that you feel compelled to be.  Like that's what's expected of you and that's what means you are living a worthy life.  It's not an easy perspective to change.  I used to measure my worth by how busy I was, and I only felt content when I was busy, because boredom was immoral as well as uncomfortable.

In ER, I still don't have as much free time as I want.  Still a little too busy.  But a lot of people would say I'm lazy. I got to a place where I know that being busy doesn't create meaning in my life, and that some interests I want to pursue require a huge time window before I can dive in.  So I need to create more space for boredom and unbusyness before I can get to them.  Interests that I think will develop sides of me that have long been forsaken and interests I would never pursue otherwise.  It's very fascinating!

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2019, 10:24:33 PM »
To OP:  Do you know who your ARE?   That is, can you define your own personal "core values"?   Seriously.  Give us 4-5 things that are what matter most to you.   If you can't do that...how in the ever loving FUCK are you going to plan for your "best life"?   I suspect but can't prove that you lack personal introspection.  It is time, in my opinion, for you to go inward.  That is...hard fucking work.  And I think you have been neglecting it for too Goddamned long.

AmIright?

spartana

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2019, 11:52:20 PM »
I guess the most important question is what did the OP plan to do once FIRE since he said that was a big focus in his life for 10 years. What changed that he lost interest in it and why was it a goal to begin with - at least the RE part? I think sometimes when you hit a certain age and been working a job and living the same life for a couple of decades the mundaneness and day to day never changing routine of it all can overshadow everything and blunt a lot of the excitement for a future goals.

Lukim

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 12:34:19 AM »
I can definitely relate to this thread.

I have reached my goal some years ago (about 2012) and then decided to keep working until kids finished school.  They finished school but I kept working.

I was not sure what I wanted to do then if I "retired" from working, so I kept working.

The goal was originally $5m and that never really changed even though I passed the goal 7 years ago.

After a while I lost interest in the work I was doing then and made a plan to retire from work in July 2019.  I implemented the plan but as I was getting closer to that retirement date, although I had planned things to do for the second half of 2019, I realised I had no plan of what I would do if I was not working (and I was a person who used to work 60-80 hours per week).  I knew I did not want to stay in the job I had been in but I had no plan for what else to do.

As I was literally on the way out, I got approached by another company to do a 12 month contract for them.  I was not sure so I asked for a lot of money and conditions which they agreed to.  It is just a 12 month contract but hopefully in that time, I will work out a plan for what I do when I retire.

In terms of working to spend, I have enough money to keep me happy until I reach 100 (unless my wife spends it all). 

This current 12 month contract is just about icing on the cake - travel business class instead of economy on long hauls etc, but I have nothing I am itching to buy (even still happy with my 12 year old car).


MonkeyJenga

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 12:44:27 AM »
It is just a 12 month contract but hopefully in that time, I will work out a plan for what I do when I retire.

What steps are you taking to figure this out, that you didn't take in the last 7 years?

Lukim

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 02:28:14 AM »


What steps are you taking to figure this out, that you didn't take in the last 7 years?
[/quote]

None yet - too busy working.  I still have 11 months to work it out.

former player

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 04:39:44 AM »


What steps are you taking to figure this out, that you didn't take in the last 7 years?

None yet - too busy working.  I still have 11 months to work it out.
[/quote]
And how busy working will you be in those 11 months?

Psychstache

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2019, 07:37:48 AM »
Too busy to think about life? Hustling in real estate? Mr. orange?

infromsea

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 09:13:15 AM »
I can definitely relate to this thread.

I am getting in line as well (the line of those who relate).

I've put things in order and in place to allow for total RE in early 40's BUT, as the OP, and others stated, have found it hard to really slow down. The puritan work ethic and values I was raised with (you are worth what you own/what you earn/what your title at work is) have been tough to overcome so OP, you are not alone (I suspect you knew that already though).

OP, you asked "what's wrong with me", I'd say first (gonna go deep here... sorry) there is no "you" that there is something wrong with...

Second, EGO is a MFer... I suggest "Ego is the Enemy" by Holiday and maybe "Antidote" by Burkeman (I picked them up from library/free sources). I'm re-reading EGO now as I have gotten away from some of the ideas/lessons there-in, and like others here, continue to work to separate myself from EGO and finances and, like others have said, I've found it hard work that doesn't "end".

Lastly, are you involved in your local FIRE group? Being around others with similar ways of thinking (while trying to avoid the echo chamber) has helped me recognize what I want/how I want to proceed, maybe interacting with your local group (we have a small MMM group and a small FI local group here that often meet at the same time) will help?

Sorry to get all wishy-washy on you. Best of luck!

Tim

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2019, 10:28:38 AM »
Agree with spartana.  There may be a void you are filling, not only with buying stuff, but I'm thinking more about how busy you are.  It may not be that you just like being busy, but that you feel compelled to be.  Like that's what's expected of you and that's what means you are living a worthy life.  It's not an easy perspective to change.  I used to measure my worth by how busy I was, and I only felt content when I was busy, because boredom was immoral as well as uncomfortable.

This makes sense to me, I grew up working on a farm in an area that highly valued hard work.  We derived a lot of our self worth from being the hardest workers in the area (the farm I worked on).  The absolute worst thing you could be called is "lazy" where I grew up. 

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2019, 11:01:17 AM »
I guess the most important question is what did the OP plan to do once FIRE since he said that was a big focus in his life for 10 years. What changed that he lost interest in it and why was it a goal to begin with - at least the RE part? I think sometimes when you hit a certain age and been working a job and living the same life for a couple of decades the mundaneness and day to day never changing routine of it all can overshadow everything and blunt a lot of the excitement for a future goals.

Before I hated my work, now I'm indifferent to it.  I wanted to live where I wanted to live, didn't want to commute or be in the office, be able to take off the time I wanted, and to have control over my day. 

Over the last 2-3 years I have managed to get 100% of my work at home, so I can live where I want with no commute.  I have a very flexible day, which I am not totally in control of, but it's pretty good.  I can take off a few weeks at a time if desired.  So, not 100% of what I wanted, but pretty close. 

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2019, 11:08:08 AM »
I can definitely relate to this thread.

I am getting in line as well (the line of those who relate).

I've put things in order and in place to allow for total RE in early 40's BUT, as the OP, and others stated, have found it hard to really slow down. The puritan work ethic and values I was raised with (you are worth what you own/what you earn/what your title at work is) have been tough to overcome so OP, you are not alone (I suspect you knew that already though).

OP, you asked "what's wrong with me", I'd say first (gonna go deep here... sorry) there is no "you" that there is something wrong with...

Second, EGO is a MFer... I suggest "Ego is the Enemy" by Holiday and maybe "Antidote" by Burkeman (I picked them up from library/free sources). I'm re-reading EGO now as I have gotten away from some of the ideas/lessons there-in, and like others here, continue to work to separate myself from EGO and finances and, like others have said, I've found it hard work that doesn't "end".

Lastly, are you involved in your local FIRE group? Being around others with similar ways of thinking (while trying to avoid the echo chamber) has helped me recognize what I want/how I want to proceed, maybe interacting with your local group (we have a small MMM group and a small FI local group here that often meet at the same time) will help?

Sorry to get all wishy-washy on you. Best of luck!

Tim

Thanks Tim, your post helped a lot and made a ton of sense to me. 

I knew I was suffering from, to use your words, "you are worth what you own/what you earn/what your title at work is".  That's has been embedded in me.  A question I have asked myself before is, "If I am going in another direction how do I keep score?". 

I am going to look for those books now. 

sui generis

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2019, 02:02:15 PM »
I have a suggestion that I think may not be needed by most in this thread at this time, but would be good to keep in the proverbial hip pocket. See a life coach or counselor for a short (say 6-session) course.  This is for people at a very specific stage and it sounds like some posters here are still looking at where they fall, so keep it in mind. 

That stage is when you are sure you want to FIRE (and are financially ready), you have passions, ideas and goals to pursue (at least initially, recognizing things *will* change over time) and you have a good sense of yourself - in that you know how much human interaction you want and you have a plan to keep fulfilling that need; you have some sense of whether you want to pursue lots of structure in your day or not, etc.  But you have some concerns about your ability to execute these plans, your reaction to people questioning you on your plans and your own internal voice whispering to you about being lazy, unproductive and worthless.  This is where I went to a trusted counselor that had expertise as a life coach and met with her for about 6 sessions to make plans (or in therapist speak, "build skills") about how I'd deal with those things when they happened so that I felt really confident before FIREing about what I was embarking on and how I would handle situations when doubt arose.  That was what really pushed me over the edge to being able to give my notice.  Just putting that (short amount of!) time in where I was envisioning and sort of practicing in my head being FIREd. 

It was a huge help to me, though as it turns out I needn't have worried!  I haven't had more than the slightest whispers from my internal mean-voice about being lazy and unproductive or "copping out" or any of those other worries I had.  But it got me the confidence I needed to do what I had saved up to do.  If you can find a good life coach to work with, I think it's well worth the money. 

Dicey

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2019, 09:31:47 AM »
Retirement Accounts:
Wife:  Nothing
Just curious, why does your wife have nothing saved? If you're 41, I'm guessing she isn't just starting out either. Maybe this is an underlying cause of your concern?

jamccain

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Re: What's Wrong With Me? Reached Goal, Won't Quit Working
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2019, 04:00:55 PM »
Retirement Accounts:
Wife:  Nothing
Just curious, why does your wife have nothing saved? If you're 41, I'm guessing she isn't just starting out either. Maybe this is an underlying cause of your concern?

We're newly married and she is in her 20s.  I was going by her age, but she but hasn't had much money to save or a corporate type job with a retirement plan.  She is thrifty.