Author Topic: Why do you still work?  (Read 28439 times)

sol

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Why do you still work?
« on: September 27, 2014, 03:20:22 PM »
Why haven't you retired yet?

Brad Pitt is a multimillionaire.  By my standards he has a bunch of reasons to quit working, like a wife and a bunch of kids and more money than he'll ever need.  Yet he's still making movies.

Some of the posters here have shared their personal progress towards FIRE, saying they have 1 million dollars or 1.3 million dollars, yet they still work.  I have less than that, but way more than Jacob at ERE had when he retired, and yet I still work.

If the whole point of the MMM blog is to help people reach FI by cultivating a stoic perspective on life, to show them that you don't need to be rich to be happy, then why are we all still trying to be rich?  Should Jacob try to be as rich as me?  Should I try to be as rich as Brad Pitt?  What's the cutoff?

Isn't continuing to work to support your chosen level of lifestyle extravagance always equally ridiculous?  Maybe Brad Pitt feels he can't quite afford to retire yet because his Italian Villa, though totally paid off, doesn't have its own nest egg large enough to pay its property taxes in perpetuity.  Or because he's only leaving his kids $10 million each when he dies, maybe not enough for them to continue living the way they do now.  I'm still working because my fancy house isn't paid off, and we'd have to make sacrifices to our lifestyle spending in order to clear the mortgage.  But am I happier than Jacob was?  Or Bakari?  Or Brad?

Unless you're still carrying crushing debt, why are you still working?  What future or current level of extravagance do you aspire towards that has kept you working, long past the point at which other people have pulled the ER trigger?  Is that luxury really worth more years of your life doing a job you don't love?  Why isn't keeping up with the Joneses just as silly for me as it is for everyone at the Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy?

I'd expect there to be a continuum of retirement targets here based on how badly people hate their jobs.  Like if you have a high pressure finance job but make a lot of money, I'd expect you to retire much sooner than a low-paid office worker who kind of likes hanging out with her coworkers.  But that's not what we see.  Instead, everyone seems to continue working as long as they can stand it, or until they hit some predetermined number that is in no way based on their actual happiness level.

I think maybe we're going about this all wrong.  Many of us should already be retired, yet continue to work out of fear that we'll have to actually utilize our safety margins.  You must not hate your job that much, if your'e willing to volunteer for definitely suffering through more years of working in order to avoid the possibility of maybe suffering through cutting back your expenses in the future.

Rural

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2014, 04:10:45 PM »
I'm still working because we can't afford to eat, pay property taxes, and buy health insurance in perpetuity yet. Also I love my job 90% of the time, as does my husband.


I'll either retire as soon as I vest in our pension fund (5 years out) or at age 85 or greater, I imagine. Not yet sure which, but either is fully possible; as a college professor, I should be able to do my job at an advanced age, and my genetics suggest I'll live past 100. On the other hand, we'll be FI or near enough in five years.

surfhb

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2014, 04:27:34 PM »
I'd could be a billionaire and I'd still work part time somewhere.    I like to travel but I couldn't go off for months at a time....I like home.   When I'm home, I'd be bored to death after awhile.   There are just so my activities one person can do

Cassie

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2014, 04:35:27 PM »
I don't like to travel for more then 2 weeks at a time.  I hated being fully retired but love working p.t. teaching & consulting so in effect being semi-retired.   The point is to find the life balance that works for you.

Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2014, 04:40:15 PM »
I haven't reached FI yet so I'm still working but my mom, who is 75, and is FI is still working because she LOVES what she does. She's a college professor and is an amazing teacher.  I think, if you love what you do and it fills your soul than that is the right path for you.

lhamo

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2014, 04:59:42 PM »
I started writing out a bunch of reasons, but then realized that in the end what it comes down to is that DH is not on board with the whoel FIRE concept yet.  And at the moment I do not have the energy to try to convince him.  We're fine financially and could be FIREd tomorrow if one or both of us lost our jobs -- have enough cash to float us for a good while, and sale of apartment will bring a tidy sum.  I also like the IDEA of my job -- I do work that really makes a difference in people's lives, and see the positive results of that work every day -- though for the last year it has been a big, heaping pile of stress and administrative misery.  Hopefully we'll have a Director soon and things will stabilize for me and get back to a more normal workload at work.

For now I'm hanging in there to see what happens with some different plans we have cooking -- possible job changes for me and DS's special academic program that might take us back to the US.  And watching the stash grow.  Hopefully by the time we have to make a decision the financials will be so clear that DH will be easily won over. 

Tyler

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2014, 05:16:48 PM »
To voluntarily cross over into retirement, one needs two forms of readiness: Financial and Mental.  Even once you solidly reach one, sometimes it takes a little while for the other to catch up. 

CopperTex

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2014, 06:42:21 PM »
Not everyone works just for the paycheck or to buy more stuff. Alot of people (including me) can't imagine not working. My business is my favorite hobby so why would I quit doing it? Money is just the icing on the cake.

DragonSlayer

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2014, 06:47:38 PM »
I FIRE'd about ten years ago, in my mid 30-s but I still work. However, I no longer work for "the man." I work for myself. I'm a freelance writer and I write a variety of things. I do some tech writing, magazine articles, guest blog posts, copy writing, grant proposals, web copy, and more. Now I'm working on a novel. I enjoy it because I'm always researching new things, learning new styles of writing, meeting new people, etc. Occasionally a client will pay my expenses to travel a bit (I did a brochure for a resort once got the trip for free) and It keeps my brain engaged. I'm free, now, to take on only projects that genuinely interest me and work with clients that I really like. Since I get most of my work through word of mouth, my clients tend to be really awesome people, but I do get the occasional jerk and I have no problem saying, "I don't think I'm the writer for you" and politely telling them to get lost.

I don't do it full-time, only when something interesting comes across my doorstep. Sure, I could do it for free (and I sometimes do, depending on the work/client and I do a lot of volunteer work), but why not get paid for using my skills and my mind?

It's not about adding piles of wealth to my stash because I'm afraid of running out or wanting some extravagant lifestyle. I don't care. I know my stash will last as long as I do. But I do like using my brain and my talents and if that results in some money coming my way, I'm not going to say no. I do tend to charge a lot less than I could really ask because, again, it's more about the fun of doing the work than the money.

If I were sitting around doing nothing, I'd be bored out of my mind. There's only so much stuff I can do around the house and as for travel, we do part-time in a motorhome but I can work from there if I want to. For me, "retirement" was about getting out from under the corporate thumb and being able to do what I wanted with my time, to choose my own projects, to explore different topics, and write what I wanted to write. I'm there and it occasionally pays. So be it.   

tofuchampion

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2014, 07:59:53 PM »
Because I'm nowhere close to FI.

However, even when I am, I plan to keep working, though probably on a part-time basis, because I really enjoy my work (nursing).  The point of FI, for me, is not to get out of some terrible job, but for work to be optional.  I have other things I want to do, and I want to get to a point where work doesn't keep me from doing them.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 08:13:08 PM by tofuchampion »

AlexK

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2014, 08:32:53 PM »
I'm in the same situation sol. I still go to work because there are parts of it I enjoy. I'm an engineer in the semiconductor business, we have a lab with expensive tools, equipment, and software that I get paid to play with. I would do that part for free. It's the meetings, schedules, and customer demands they have to pay me to put up with but it's not that bad being on the R&D technical side of things. I'm trying to think of a part time work arrangement which would allow more time for travel and non-peak-time recreation activities. I'm sure my company would go along with whatever I suggest so I need to just do it.

I have 35 years of expenses saved but there is always the feeling of what if some catastrophe happens and that is not enough. And what if I RE and find myself watching fail videos all day instead of productive time and adventures? It is definitely not as simple as reaching 25 years expenses and giving notice.

Beric01

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2014, 08:37:05 PM »
I just can't understand why people would continue in their same jobs though, unless they're already really meaningful. If you no longer need to work but still want to, why not switch to something meaningful like volunteering or a non-profit?

Continuing to work for money despite having financial independence and, as a Mustachian, the freedom from needing "more" seems a bit off. Why not do some good for the world, now that you no longer need to work for money? It's not like having "more" will make you any happier.

Happy Little Chipmunk

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2014, 09:19:39 PM »
Quote
If you no longer need to work but still want to, why not switch to something meaningful like volunteering or a non-profit?

There's so many ways of defining meaningful! DH could retire now (even though he doesn't quite believe it), but he loves the people he work with. They solve interesting problems and are good people to be with. And some of what they do feels important in a larger sense. But he also is creating time on the side to do volunteer work. And in an ideal world, he could combine the two interests and his job could pay him to do non-profit stuff and he could pull even more people into the volunteer work and thus leverage his skills by getting other smart people connected to helping kids.

It's a long-shot, but it would keep his brain engaged, for sure.

It's about figuring where your joy is & what motivates you and then creating more of that in your life.

So simple. So hard to do.

The Swami article sums up our approach: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/30/weekend-edition-retire-in-your-mind-even-if-you-love-your-job/
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 09:34:09 PM by Happy Little Chipmunk »

Rube

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2014, 09:39:18 PM »
Working the exact job I always dreamed of. Worked a special event today making more money in a couple of hours than some people make in a week. Makes that run to Home Depot afterward absolutely painless.

MsRichLife

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2014, 11:02:24 PM »
Because I have a two year old son, I'm the sole breadwinner for my family and I wouldn't be able to sleep at night unless I have quite a few layers of safety built into FIRE plans. I'm not as sanguine about the prospects of the market as many Mustachians are.

I don't hate my job. In fact I've had a really great career. If I could work part time, it would be the perfect setup. I plan to take this option next year if possible.

I was not mentally ready. It's only recently I've realised I already have 'enough' to FIRE. But without a clear idea of what I'd do with my time, I wasn't prepared to pull the trigger. This next year will be all about the mental preparation for FIRE i.e. starting to incorporate activities I want to do post-FIRE into my life now in order to make the transition easier.

JoanOfSnark

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2014, 02:56:38 AM »
I work because until I have enough passive income to keep a roof over my head and food on the table, the stress of freelancing sounds like a terrible tradeoff for the occasional inconvience of having a boss.... when that balance changes, then I'm out.

Yeah, I could live in a cabin in the woods and hunt moose for food or something, but that sounds like less fun to me than even going to work like I do now. When I can afford a life at my personally-defined minimal level of comfort (regarding house, area, food, health), the rest is icing on the cake which I'd be comfortable freelanging for.

SnackDog

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2014, 04:08:04 AM »
Because I have a fabulous job. What I don't understand is why any of you continue to work in any job you don't absolutely love. You only live once. You shouldnt slave your life away at anything unless you have to. Quit your job and pursue your dreams. Finances don't matter for anyone in the developed world. You will not starve.

I read Barron's and every week or so they profile a guy who way over retirement age, wealthy, and still working like a maniac because he loves it. Last week it was Jack Nicklaus - he still designs about five golf courses a year. He gives lots to charity. Look at Warren Buffet. Most actors and artists work forever. These people are doing what they love. You should too. And never retire.

totoro

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2014, 04:37:37 AM »
My work presents interesting problems to solve, helps others and it is not predictable.  I enjoy the benefits too much to stop.

frugalecon

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2014, 05:50:44 AM »
Great question. We have enough to FIRE with a modest lifestyle not in our current high COL city, but working longer affords more options. I have a couple of alternative retirement dates, depending on how financial markets do and how I feel about my job. One factor that is definitely relevant is the prospect of possibly needing long-term care in old age. I want to make sure there are ample resources to pay for a quality facility. On the other hand, because that would probably be 30 years or more away, it is hard to anticipate what costs would be. Perhaps those services will largely be delivered by robots then.

Squirrel away

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2014, 06:30:07 AM »
Great question. We have enough to FIRE with a modest lifestyle not in our current high COL city, but working longer affords more options.

Yes, same here. I worked out recently that my hubbie could retire now if we moved to an area of the country where the homes were cheaper as it would free up equity and we could live on that until my husband got his pension at age 55.

We have no intention of doing that though as my hubbie doesn't hate his job as it's easy and although he does shift work he also gets a lot of holiday time. We're also planning on him delaying taking his pension until age 60.

Rural

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2014, 07:07:02 AM »
I just can't understand why people would continue in their same jobs though, unless they're already really meaningful. If you no longer need to work but still want to, why not switch to something meaningful like volunteering or a non-profit?

Continuing to work for money despite having financial independence and, as a Mustachian, the freedom from needing "more" seems a bit off. Why not do some good for the world, now that you no longer need to work for money? It's not like having "more" will make you any happier.


But some of us work for nonprofits that do good for the world now. :-)

boarder42

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2014, 10:25:26 AM »
I only have 200k saved so at 27 I'm not ready. I'm going for 50k a year.  Should have that in 10 years

seattlecyclone

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2014, 11:23:59 AM »
I just can't understand why people would continue in their same jobs though, unless they're already really meaningful. If you no longer need to work but still want to, why not switch to something meaningful like volunteering or a non-profit?

Continuing to work for money despite having financial independence and, as a Mustachian, the freedom from needing "more" seems a bit off. Why not do some good for the world, now that you no longer need to work for money? It's not like having "more" will make you any happier.

I've given some thought to this. When I get to FI, I'd like to spend a bigger chunk of my time "making the world a better place." How to best accomplish that? I could quit my job and start volunteering, and that would of course make a difference and would also make me feel really good about myself. However I'm also a pretty high earner. The reality is that if I want to maximize my impact, it's likely that the best thing I can do is carry on with my corporate job and donate my salary to charity. So if I still enjoy my job well enough when I get to FI, there's a good chance that's exactly what I'll do.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2014, 12:34:29 PM »
I have no money. Thus, I need to work.

Beric01

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2014, 12:43:02 PM »
I just can't understand why people would continue in their same jobs though, unless they're already really meaningful. If you no longer need to work but still want to, why not switch to something meaningful like volunteering or a non-profit?

Continuing to work for money despite having financial independence and, as a Mustachian, the freedom from needing "more" seems a bit off. Why not do some good for the world, now that you no longer need to work for money? It's not like having "more" will make you any happier.


But some of us work for nonprofits that do good for the world now. :-)

Nice! :-)

I just can't understand why people would continue in their same jobs though, unless they're already really meaningful. If you no longer need to work but still want to, why not switch to something meaningful like volunteering or a non-profit?

Continuing to work for money despite having financial independence and, as a Mustachian, the freedom from needing "more" seems a bit off. Why not do some good for the world, now that you no longer need to work for money? It's not like having "more" will make you any happier.

I've given some thought to this. When I get to FI, I'd like to spend a bigger chunk of my time "making the world a better place." How to best accomplish that? I could quit my job and start volunteering, and that would of course make a difference and would also make me feel really good about myself. However I'm also a pretty high earner. The reality is that if I want to maximize my impact, it's likely that the best thing I can do is carry on with my corporate job and donate my salary to charity. So if I still enjoy my job well enough when I get to FI, there's a good chance that's exactly what I'll do.

Also a really good perspective! I'll have to give this some thought.

Lukim

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2014, 06:51:24 PM »
I have been FI for about 6 or 7 years but I continue to work.

6 years ago we had the 2008 Global Financial Crisis - we all survived it but the retirement fund lost a lot of value for a long period.  I could still have stopped work but the lifestyle would have been not at the level originally planned.

Now the retirement fund looks extremely healthy but I continue to work, not because I need to and not because I love my work.  My work does give me a sense of some purpose / personal worth. 

I think the main reason I continue working is that I don't know what to do if I stopped working.

Passive sources of income are great - but what to do with the 70 hours a week I used to spend working?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2014, 06:59:38 PM »
Passive sources of income are great - but what to do with the 70 hours a week I used to spend working?

Read, write, hobbies. Travel.

Do ALL THE THINGS.

Whenever I get to FIRE, I will have no trouble at all staying busy.

Daisy

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2014, 07:01:05 PM »
I could consider myself FI now, but that would be for my current expenses plus a little buffer. I want more buffer. I am cautious, have a job with people I like and make great money, and am 45 years old and may not be employable at this level if I were to have to get back in the job market in a couple of years due to a premature FIRE. I don't want to have to look for another job in my field if I can avoid that. I am open to a part-time FIRE job where I can have fun and/or help others...but it won't be a big money making opportunity as I have now.

As the poster above says, there have been two market crashes (2000 and 2008), and I would hate to prematurely FIRE and then regret it. Another headwind is that my parents had to leave their home country when they were young adults and start over in the US, so I always have that in the back of my mind. I don't think anything like that would happen to me, but being blessed with a good job is not something I take lightly.

Is it OMY syndrome? A little bit, but since I am somewhat enjoying the current ride I might as well stay on until I am thrown off - which is likely to happen in the next year or two as the company continues to downsize.

It also just doesn't feel like the right time right now, and I'm one of those weird people that believes in that kind of stuff. My gut/fate/supernatural-being will provide direction when I need it.

Bateaux

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2014, 10:49:39 PM »
We have around 1.5M in assets and no debt.  We still work because we still spend.  We also are supporting our boys 20 and 21.  Our oldest is a cancer survivor.   My health benefits cover him for 5 more years if I keep my job. 

Spartana

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2014, 01:03:17 AM »
Because I have a fabulous job. What I don't understand is why any of you continue to work in any job you don't absolutely love. You only live once. You shouldnt slave your life away at anything unless you have to. Quit your job and pursue your dreams. Finances don't matter for anyone in the developed world. You will not starve.

I read Barron's and every week or so they profile a guy who way over retirement age, wealthy, and still working like a maniac because he loves it. Last week it was Jack Nicklaus - he still designs about five golf courses a year. He gives lots to charity. Look at Warren Buffet. Most actors and artists work forever. These people are doing what they love. You should too. And never retire.
But even with a fabulous job you still often have to put up with doing many things you don't like - a 40 plus hour work week, limited vacation time, overtime, a boss, a commute, limited time for family, friends, other activities that have meaning or enjoyment to you, etc...  I had a job I loved and, if I could have continued to do it but more on my terms, I probably would have continued working - not because I needed more money but because I had a passion for the job and what I did. But that other pesky job-related stuff got in the way of the many other things I wanted to do as well and  there was no way I could work that job and do them too. But I agree that most people who enjoy their work - or have a passion for something - probably don't ever want to quit as long as it doesn't cause to much conflict in other areas of their life.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 01:06:24 AM by Spartana »

Dr. Doom

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2014, 08:46:12 AM »
Jacob's working.

http://earlyretirementextreme.com/about
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/frequently-asked-questions

Speaking of Jacob, he wrote a relevant article on this topic, OMY Until Comfort

And he also noted in one of his articles (can't find it right now) that as you get richer, your idea of rich changes.  If your initial target is 500K, by the time you reach that, many people think that they need more.  This happens even to people "in the know" -- folks who are consciously resisting lifestyle inflation -- who are striving to RE.  You'll see a lot of this particularly on the Bogleheads forums.

>> Many of us should already be retired, yet continue to work out of fear that we'll have to actually utilize our safety margins.

Yes, this also part of it.  I'm not at a BH level of conservativeness (<2% SWF = WTF!) but I do have concerns about the recent boom/bust cycles of the US economy, the broader global economy, and the ability of the planet to sustain market growth indefinitely.  Particularly with P/E10 sitting where it is, I don't think it's unreasonable to feel this way, given the sequence-of-returns risk.  If there's such a thing as the oxymoronic sounding phrase "reasonable fear" I think this qualifies.

But all of the above points pale in comparison to the "SO onboard" + "mental readiness" challenges I've had over the past year and a half.  You can read about the SO struggles if you care to. 

I've come to see the full FIRE timeline as:

1. Realize it's possible and start learning how to do it
2. Ditch debt by downsizing your life and saving
3. Increase efficiency to further reduce expenses over a year or two
4. Learn to invest
5. Wealth accumulation, NW increase
6. Setting a FIRE number
7. Autopilot for X number of years to hit #6
8. Realize: Holy shitballs, I'm there.  This forces a re-examination of 6, as well as triggers the next phase which is:  Can we really do this?  What are the practical steps required to unplugging?
9.  Implement said practical steps.  Some of these items may take time, e.g. moving/downsizing, coming up with a financial plan to draw off from your asset sheet, brainwashing your mate into being fully onboard if s/he wasn't already.
10. Determine how to relate this life change -- if you choose to relate it at all -- to other people in your life
11. Set an actual RE date
12. Pull the trigger

Most of the reason I started blogging was, in fact, to help me work through 6-12.  And it's been helpful -- April 1st is my give-notice date and barring a catastrophic market collapse I will hit it.

There's an additional reason I'm still working:  My current job is not that bad. 

You hinted at "increasing lifestyle extravegance" as a possible reason to continue working.  This is not the case in my situation at all.  You can probably boil the whole thing down to a) fear (Once I leave, I don't want to feel forced to go back to work, ever) and b) feeling 100% prepared, which may actually be a subset of a)

Public Hermit

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2014, 09:03:16 AM »
I work because I am only 25...nowhere close to FIRE. I also have student loans to pay off(Down to 4k from 20k a year ago). Even when I retire in 20 years, I will still work part-time for the social aspect or to feel somewhat productive. 10-15 hours a week tops. The rest of the time I will just...live.

I will probably move out of state to an area of lower COL. Get an apartment near the beach.

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2014, 09:04:58 AM »
Earlier this year I was starting to get pretty run down and depressed at my job.  I had no plan and no idea of when things would ever change.  There was nothing particularly onerous in my daily grind - it was just the monotony of it that was weighing me down.  I found myself subconsciously wondering "Is this all there is?".

Over the last couple of months I've set my sights on FI, and put together plans that will get me there in about ten years.  I've started reducing my spending and putting money away in a more deliberate manner.  I also started thinking about what I might like to do as a semi-retired job.  What career would provide me with a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie while also being flexible and low-stress?  And at that point I realized something surprising. 

I like my current job.

I really do.  I'm not saving the world or anything.  But I work with good people, the demands are low, and there are challenges and a goals to fulfill.  The dread and depression I was experience at work was not coming from the work itself - it was coming from my lack of a plan.  It was coming from my helplessness and fear that my future depended on being in my employer's good graces.  Even looking ten years out from FI, doing the analysis and planning has convinced me that I will get there.  If things don't work out here, then they will work out somewhere else.  I'm in control of my future.

I expect that when I do reach FI I'll feel the same way.  I may keep right on doing what I'm doing.  The big benefit of FI for me is not in what it allows you to do, but in how it makes you feel about whatever you do.  And I feel good.  :)

NinetyFour

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2014, 09:08:48 AM »
I could probably quit my job now and survive--but I would have to do it on a barebones budget.  I would rather work a few more years so that I can comfortably afford things like internet at home, more travel than I do now (I have never been out of US/Canada), and my ice hockey hobby.  Also, I hope to buy a newer truck and purchase a slide in camper.  After 3 or 4 more years of work, I should be able to afford all of that and make the stash last as long as I do.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2014, 09:31:45 AM »
You can probably boil the whole thing down to a) fear (Once I leave, I don't want to feel forced to go back to work, ever) and b) feeling 100% prepared, which may actually be a subset of a)

Great post Dr., but I quoted the end since it's what I was going to say. I think fear of failure will keep a lot of people holding on for a few years. We need to prove all the naysayers wrong so they can eat their "I told you so's". If we stop early and pick up another job for whatever reason, I'm sure some of us, and some of our friends/family will consider our FIRE experiment a failure.

I work because I don't think I'll be at $1M for another 5 years. I will work beyond that because I have different needs than my family and in order to support them I'll either need more or need to make them see the light.

Dr. Doom

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2014, 09:42:50 AM »
... I'm sure some of us, and some of our friends/family will consider our FIRE experiment a failure.

Exactly.  It's not a so-called experiment for us, though other people in our lives may see it as such.  The vehicles we're constructing need to be flight-ready or we'll experience the pain of the resulting crash.  Plus: crow tastes bad.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2014, 09:43:40 AM »
My job is tolerable, but by no means fufilling.  I'm working OMY past technical (4% SWR) FI.  This year has allowed my to make sure all my plans are in place, plus provide a little insurance against inflation, market volitility, unexpected expenses, and policy changes (taxes).  I think the extra time has helped my wife prepare herself mentally as well. 

When one starts the FIRE journey, after you get the plan in place you almost have to pretend like it will never happen in order to get yourself in the mindset where you can go on living your life without thinking about FIRE constantly (Dr. Doom's autopilot), as it really can drive you a little mad if you do.   Then one day you wake up and you are getting close, really close, then the excited butterflies take over.  Have you really made it?  Is it really going to work?  Should I work a little longer?  No matter how old you are, retirement is a stressful event, number 10 on Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.  Stress triggers a fight or flight response.  In this case you can run away by simply doing nothing other than continuing to get up and go to work everyday.  This is when you have prove you really are a BADASS.


sleepyguy

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2014, 10:00:05 AM »
Same here, JUST WAY too much fun stuff to do... I'm into SOO many things, some can generate income... some can't.

OP's Question now...

1. We still have 2 mortgages (primary residence and investment condo)
2. We have not reached our FIRE numbers yet, another 5-7 yrs...
3. Obviously we could sell off everything and live still WELL by general standards... but we're a bit used to luxury (weakness, mmm terms) so we're gonna try to hit our cushioned FIRE numbers.  Also paying for 2 kids university does require a bit of savings as well.
4. We both have flexible jobs (very good life/work balance) and generally are enjoyable... so not HUGE rush to hang it up.  She wants to continue to consult part-time... me not so much, too many things to do :)



Passive sources of income are great - but what to do with the 70 hours a week I used to spend working?

Read, write, hobbies. Travel.

Do ALL THE THINGS.

Whenever I get to FIRE, I will have no trouble at all staying busy.

damize

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2014, 10:20:01 AM »
Crushing debt.

Jessa

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2014, 10:30:23 AM »
I have no money. Thus, I need to work.

+1 Or at least, I have nowhere near enough money to even think about FIRE.

Numbers Man

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2014, 10:35:06 AM »
I'm into year 6 of a 10 year plan that is right on track. When I cross the finish line that's the end of working for someone else.

Tyler

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2014, 11:52:18 AM »
... I'm sure some of us, and some of our friends/family will consider our FIRE experiment a failure.

Exactly.  It's not a so-called experiment for us, though other people in our lives may see it as such.  The vehicles we're constructing need to be flight-ready or we'll experience the pain of the resulting crash.  Plus: crow tastes bad.

Great list, Dr. Doom.  Spot on.

I'm at step #10 ("Determine how to relate this life change -- if you choose to relate it at all -- to other people in your life"), with a forward-looking focus on this very issue.  How you present your plans up front determines your crow-eating potential later.  Like not using the word "retirement."
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 12:11:36 PM by Tyler »

GuitarStv

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2014, 12:41:41 PM »
. . . because I can't yet fund my retirement plan to create a giant robot and terrorize the residents of Tokyo.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2014, 01:02:44 PM »
. . . because I can't yet fund my retirement plan to create a giant robot and terrorize the residents of Tokyo.

We all have goals right.

pdxbator

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2014, 01:44:20 PM »
I work because I do enjoy my job for the most part. I help people on a daily basis. However, I've been doing this medical work for 7 years and I see many drained colleagues who are just over helping people. I don't want to turn into that.

I could FIRE right now and it is an awesome feeling to know that.

Another reason I haven't done anything is that my SO works and I think he'd be mad that I am not. He needs to work in order to help pay for his aging mother who lacked saving anything due to raising two kids alone.

And yet another reason is that I don't think my parents would take too kindly to me being unemployed. They are in their early 70s and I could see that maybe in the next 10 years (I'll be 51 in years) I will retire early and help care for them.

Elderwood17

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2014, 02:18:48 PM »
I came a bit late to the FIRE party.  While my net worth suggest I might be able to retire, most of it is in qualified monies that I can draw on yet, as well in some semi-not liquid property I would rather hold on to and the primary resident.  So for a few more years we will be building up the stash, and make some decisions if we want to built a final home on our property and sell this home, sell both and move somewhere else, or see what part of the country the kids settle down in and then decide.

It wasn't until I found this site though that I realize I really could stop now if I wanted (or once we got the spending in line we could).

I too though think I will have a second career (part time) doing something for quite a while.

MandyM

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2014, 02:24:50 PM »
Sol - I like your post. Almost every week I look at my numbers and see if I can figure out a way to pull the trigger NOW, not 2 years from now. Are the luxuries in my life worth 24 more months?? What can I cut? If I made a small income each year (~$5000/yr), will that work? Is that better or worse than 2 more years at my desk?

At the end of the day, I don't hate my job. There are only a few days each year that I am overly stressed. And for better or worse, 2 years will be past in no time.

CryingInThePool

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2014, 04:56:26 PM »
+1 Fear
Thatís what keeps me working on improving the safety margin.  Itís not so much that Iíll run out of money but that Iíll run out of money to do the things I left work in order to do.  I think most of us with OMY syndrome are actually well and above basic living expenses for life Ė but we donít want an existence that bare bones.   At least thatís what I mean when I say Iím FI but not yet RE.   Itís not keeping up with the Jones itís having a plan that needs $X to execute.

The fear takes many forms; not just about the market.  Some of it is familial; what if my parents need help down the road? Will I be safe as a single woman off exploring the world? Will I be lonely if all my friends are still working/raising their kids and canít join me on any grand adventures?  Or what if by the time they are ready for adventures Iíve already exhausted my adventuring budget?
All those fears keep me at work but the biggest fear Ė what if I die too soon? Ė keeps me striving to break free.  My walking away date is a fluctuating compromise between the fear of dying at the office and a myriad of the small unknowns. 

It doesnít help that we tend to only hear about the extremes - people so happy they walked when they did or the tragic cases of dying on the way to work. Itís rare to hear from the perspective of a person who pulled the trigger and then had remorse or was constantly under-employed part timing it to support the luxuries they found they didnít like living without.



Proud Foot

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2014, 08:49:27 AM »
I still work because I have a ways to go before I am FI. Right now I think I will still work once I hit FI as I really enjoy my job and it is a non-profit with a mission I am passionate about. My answer most likely will change if I change jobs between now and then.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Why do you still work?
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2014, 12:10:12 PM »
+1 Fear
Thatís what keeps me working on improving the safety margin.  Itís not so much that Iíll run out of money but that Iíll run out of money to do the things I left work in order to do.  I think most of us with OMY syndrome are actually well and above basic living expenses for life Ė but we donít want an existence that bare bones.   At least thatís what I mean when I say Iím FI but not yet RE.   Itís not keeping up with the Jones itís having a plan that needs $X to execute.


Similar here. Fear of running out of $ to live the life I want. Also fear that I won't know what to do with myself and will go to pieces. (Working on this.)

Reason #2--I have current expenses that are quite high but that I expect to end within the next 5 years. After that, I will need less income and (if I continue working the same way) will be able to save a lot more.

I'm older that a lot of the people here and ER (if I get there) won't really be all that early. So I want to be darned sure I do not ever *have* to go back to work after retirement. I've worked a long time, and I enjoyed a lot of it, but once I stop, I don't ever want to put on the yoke again. I don't even want to do my current work part-time, because then it still will feel like WORK.