Author Topic: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'  (Read 11020 times)

damnedbee

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2018, 09:46:58 AM »
For me, it will be freedom from sitting on my butt all day in an office, attending pointless meetings, navigating office politics, and dealing with the idiosyncrasies and incompetence of others.

mak1277

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2018, 09:47:19 AM »
PhilB:
Quote
One of the things I'm most looking forward to is the ability to have a completely guilt-free day off doing nothing.  No feeling that I should be catching up on jobs or that I should be using my limited free time to do something 'special'.

Will any of you be as free as you imagine?  Won't you want to discipline yourself for some sort of improvement / maintenance?  You may not want to take that run / walk every morning, but you still know you need to do it.  You may not always want to pick up that guitar / violin / electric bass, but you want to get closer to mastering it.  It may not always be a labor of love, but you know you'll be better for doing it. 

There will be many things like that if you want to get things out of this FI life.  Without challenging yourself at various activities, life may have less meaning.

One guilt free day of doing nothing can roll into another and another.  Do you really want that to happen?

It's a good question.  I'm not so worried that days of doing nothing will become the norm, but it will be easier to put off doing 'unpleasant things', especially when it is so hot and humid outside like now.  One reason I put off ER was because we enjoy the affordable, high standard of living in Houston for raising our family, as well as its cosmopolitan culture and abundance of international travel.  So if I'm here, I might as well work during the hottest, nastiest parts of the day.

This feeds into another thought, many ERs are actually doing things that would be considered work (even reading a book is work if you are a reviewer, editor, budding author, etc.).  Heck even exercise is a job for a lot of personal trainers, PT's, and athletes.  On one hand, it's nice to know that you can turn your hobbies into side hustles, but it's also frustrating to think that I'm turning down work at something that I'm innately good at and get really well compensated and cared for (health care, generous paid vacation, retirement plan), for something I barely get paid to do, so I don't think I'd ever want to get paid and have obligations associated with my hobby. 

So therein lies the rub, if I'm not obligated to do something and improve and push beyond just having fun, will my hobbies be enough to keep me fulfilled?  Easy to say mostly yes for a year or two since it's a whole new lifestyle, but even 'successful' bloggers and YouTubers seem to be burning out, churning old content, or posting a lot less after a few years.

The beauty is, there's always *some* new hobby you can try, and there's no cost of failure.  I certainly assume that I will have dozens of new hobbies over the course of a 30+ year retirement.

Cwadda

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2018, 09:48:41 AM »
Quote
so I don't think I'd ever want to get paid and have obligations associated with my hobby.
You don't have to. Most people's hobbies aren't those for which they are paid. Seems like just the opposite, that they budget for hobbies and spend on them each month.

Quote
So therein lies the rub, if I'm not obligated to do something and improve and push beyond just having fun, will my hobbies be enough to keep me fulfilled?  Easy to say mostly yes for a year or two since it's a whole new lifestyle, but even 'successful' bloggers and YouTubers seem to be burning out, churning old content, or posting a lot less after a few years.
That's the nice thing about FIRE - find new hobbies you never knew you were interested in!

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2018, 09:58:49 AM »
I am actually trying out a new hobby this year, SCUBA, but dang it's expensive!  Glad to figure out if it's worth budgeting for as part of my FIRE.  I have visions of adding this to my adventure travel in ER.

Mr. Green

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2018, 10:13:44 AM »
PhilB:
Quote
One of the things I'm most looking forward to is the ability to have a completely guilt-free day off doing nothing.  No feeling that I should be catching up on jobs or that I should be using my limited free time to do something 'special'.

Will any of you be as free as you imagine?  Won't you want to discipline yourself for some sort of improvement / maintenance?  You may not want to take that run / walk every morning, but you still know you need to do it.  You may not always want to pick up that guitar / violin / electric bass, but you want to get closer to mastering it.  It may not always be a labor of love, but you know you'll be better for doing it. 

There will be many things like that if you want to get things out of this FI life.  Without challenging yourself at various activities, life may have less meaning.

One guilt free day of doing nothing can roll into another and another.  Do you really want that to happen?
Why is meaning required for a happy life? Why can't we be happy simply existing? Meaning is not a requirement for drawing my next breath, my next heartbeat. Meaning is a construct we create for ourselves because we're unsettled by simple existence. That question of "is there more?" turns into a search for meaning. Yet it is not a requirement of living. Happiness is much easier to find without feeling like we need meaning. This is something I've been working on in FIRE, being happy simply existing. That isn't to say I do nothing because I'm innately happy. I still have time to pass, an inquiring mind to satisfy, and a body to nourish and strengthen. But I'm focused on divorcing happiness from meaning.

matchewed

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2018, 10:16:07 AM »
PhilB:
Quote
One of the things I'm most looking forward to is the ability to have a completely guilt-free day off doing nothing.  No feeling that I should be catching up on jobs or that I should be using my limited free time to do something 'special'.

Will any of you be as free as you imagine?  Won't you want to discipline yourself for some sort of improvement / maintenance?  You may not want to take that run / walk every morning, but you still know you need to do it.  You may not always want to pick up that guitar / violin / electric bass, but you want to get closer to mastering it.  It may not always be a labor of love, but you know you'll be better for doing it. 

There will be many things like that if you want to get things out of this FI life.  Without challenging yourself at various activities, life may have less meaning.

One guilt free day of doing nothing can roll into another and another.  Do you really want that to happen?
Why is meaning required for a happy life? Why can't we be happy simply existing? Meaning is not a requirement for drawing my next breath, my next heartbeat. Meaning is a construct we create for ourselves because we're unsettled by simple existence. That question of "is there more?" turns into a search for meaning. Yet it is not a requirement of living. Happiness is much easier to find without feeling like we need meaning. This is something I've been working on in FIRE, being happy simply existing. That isn't to say I do nothing because I'm innately happy. I still have time to pass, an inquiring mind to satisfy, and a body to nourish and strengthen. But I'm focused on divorcing happiness from meaning.

Can't agree with this more. Don't hang your happiness on those external things like "work" or "hobbies" or "meaning". The happiness is in you already and you can be content with an innumerable number of circumstances.

Livingthedream55

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #56 on: June 05, 2018, 10:51:00 AM »
Hope to start this thread as a 'catch-all' for anything and everything that might be seen as 'truth' about retirement, especially since most folks seek retirement as an early answer to all of life's problems.

For me, I see Early Retirement as a billboard sucking up eyeballs travelling down the highway.  It is meaningless other than a way to steer people to your product you are selling.  It is a seductive promise of a better life.

There is certainly something useful and valuable behind the idea, but we have not yet addressed what ER really means.  Does it mean fulfillment in an unwillingness to work for others?  Does it mean we just want to slow life down?  What are we seeking when we pursue 'retirement'?  Please discuss


I disagree.  Have you even read this forum? For me once I no longer have to go to a workplace and exchange my time for money (in just under a year) I get to decide what I do every day. That's it in a nutshell.


EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2018, 11:12:14 AM »
Hope to start this thread as a 'catch-all' for anything and everything that might be seen as 'truth' about retirement, especially since most folks seek retirement as an early answer to all of life's problems.

For me, I see Early Retirement as a billboard sucking up eyeballs travelling down the highway.  It is meaningless other than a way to steer people to your product you are selling.  It is a seductive promise of a better life.

There is certainly something useful and valuable behind the idea, but we have not yet addressed what ER really means.  Does it mean fulfillment in an unwillingness to work for others?  Does it mean we just want to slow life down?  What are we seeking when we pursue 'retirement'?  Please discuss


I disagree.  Have you even read this forum? For me once I no longer have to go to a workplace and exchange my time for money (in just under a year) I get to decide what I do every day. That's it in a nutshell.

My hope was, if you read that entire paragraph and not just literally respond to the bolded bit, once you are free to do what you want everyday, what does that mean to you?  It's easy to say you are free, but what do you plan to do with that freedom? Or what is your life philosophy (such as Mr. Green & Matchewed) who state that it's fine to not pursue meaning. 

I found their statements to be really interesting and I grow quite a bit and hopefully make better decisions when I get new ideas like that (since I personally have not thought nearly enough about what I think I'll actually do in ER).

matchewed

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #58 on: June 05, 2018, 05:03:52 PM »
I often have this image in my head. I'm ever walking through a door and into a room loaded with infinite doors. As I choose yet another door the room collapses into a single doorway which opens up to a room with infinite doors repeat until you walk into a room containing literally nothing.

Frankly regardless of FIRE this image is true just as a function of how time flows and reality and I'm probably losing people at this point....

But how it links to the discussion is that you have some agency in choosing your path (regardless if you actually do or not, you should behave as if you do). That agency allows you to choose a path which contains meaning (if that is something you value and helps drive whatever goals you might have), or not (if that is something you value and helps drive whatever goals you might have).

I like something rebs has said, which I may be paraphrasing or accidentally plagiarizing, I'm just here to reduce the inevitable growth of entropy. Remember entropy is just useless energy which produces no work and can't do anything.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #59 on: June 06, 2018, 01:20:54 AM »
@Linda_Norway I like the sound of 'free'!  ;)

PhilB

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #60 on: June 06, 2018, 02:18:59 AM »
I am actually trying out a new hobby this year, SCUBA, but dang it's expensive!  Glad to figure out if it's worth budgeting for as part of my FIRE.  I have visions of adding this to my adventure travel in ER.

@EscapeVelocity2020: Maybe you should have a look into freediving. That is a cheap variation of exploring the world underwater.
Scuba is more fuss and more expensive, but you can go deeper underwater. My DH can freedive to max 15 meters (49 ft).
We did quite a lot of Scuba before we had the kids, and would like to get back into it once kids have grown up (eldest has perforated eardrums so can't do it with them).  It can be an incredibly expensive hobby, but can also be done fairly reasonably if you go somewhere with good shore diving and are competent enough to just dive with a buddy.  One thing I found was that far too many divers become gear junkies and / or got obsessed about how deep they can go.  If you are more interested in just looking at the wildlife than lumps of scrap metal, then the great majority of the interesting stuff (and the light to see it by) is in the top 6 metres and with a bit of practice you can get 90% of the fun with just a mask, snorkel and fins - and get much fitter in the process.

jlcnuke

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #61 on: June 06, 2018, 09:48:51 AM »
In my opinion, financial independence (FI) is the point where you no longer "need" to work a job to keep your lifestyle paid for.

Retirement, whether early or normal, is the point at which you stop working jobs that pay you money.

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« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 09:52:00 AM by jlcnuke »

albireo13

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #62 on: June 09, 2018, 01:37:53 PM »
It just means going from a boring corporate job in engineering with 2 weeks vacation a year, to a mix of time off, travel, hobbies, projects, and risky or one-off enterprises

That sounds horrible !
....  NOW GET BACK TO WORK !!!!

albireo13

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2018, 01:46:50 PM »
The search for "meaning" in our lives may actually be a snipe hunt!
Who says our lives have actual meaning, besides our physical existence.

It may be nice to think that we have some high level "meaning", besides our carbon footprint.
Perhaps we have no more "meaning" than that cabbage plant in the garden.
We just sit very high up in the food chain, thus our inflated sense of self importance.

I tend to think that searching for meaning in life is a source of frustration and consternation.   Who knows, I may be wrong.

HBFIRE

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2018, 01:47:59 PM »

Why is meaning required for a happy life? Why can't we be happy simply existing?

It's a great question and reminds me of the Socrates quote "The unexamined life is not worth living".

In short, for me at least, wisdom and deep philosophical pursuit is a huge component of happiness.

DreamFIRE

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2018, 01:53:14 PM »
In my opinion, financial independence (FI) is the point where you no longer "need" to work a job to keep your lifestyle paid for.

Retirement, whether early or normal, is the point at which you stop working jobs that pay you money.


FI to me is when I no longer have to work to pay my necessary expenses over the long term - which I call barebones.  I would still consider myself FI even if my 4% SWR didn't allow $5K of discretionary spending such as vacations that I might enjoy now as part of my "lifestyle".  I would be FI because I'm able to pay the necessary bills from the stash.  That said, I figure to FIRE in one year with more than double the minimum stash I need for FI to allow $30K+/yr discretionary spending (for just me) as I see fit.

But what if one moves out of his expensive apartment, then he gets a roommate and a low cost apartment?  He could potentially go from non-FI to FI without saving another dime by changing his lifestyle.  But, what if he determines he won't be able to afford that and plans to lives out of his car, yet he will still be able to pay the bills?  It's his choice to have that lifestyle when he retires, and his stash will support it.  Isn't he still FI?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 01:58:48 PM by DreamFIRE »

jlcnuke

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Re: The Truth About Early 'Retirement'
« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2018, 02:00:00 PM »
In my opinion, financial independence (FI) is the point where you no longer "need" to work a job to keep your lifestyle paid for.

Retirement, whether early or normal, is the point at which you stop working jobs that pay you money.


FI to me is when I no longer have to work to pay my necessary expenses over the long term - which I call barebones.  I would still consider myself FI even if my 4% SWR didn't allow $5K of discretionary spending such as vacations that I might enjoy now as part of my "lifestyle".  I would be FI because I'm able to pay the necessary bills from the stash.  That said, I figure to FIRE in one year with more than double the minimum stash I need for FI to allow $30K+/yr discretionary spending (for just me) as I see fit.

But what if one moves out of his expensive apartment, then he gets a roommate and a low cost apartment?  He could potentially go from non-FI to FI without saving another dime by changing his lifestyle.  But, what if he determines he won't be able to afford that and and plans to lives out of his car, yet he will still be able to pay the bills?  It's his choice to have that lifestyle when he retires.  Isn't he still FI?
Yes, you can be FI or FIRE with all kinds of different amounts, supporting very different lifestyles. That's why everyone has a different number to reach FIRE.

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