Author Topic: why early retirement often backfires  (Read 19926 times)

tameyer

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why early retirement often backfires
« on: October 14, 2014, 10:02:08 AM »

Came across this article this morning. http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2014/10/14/why-early-retirement-often-backfires/?mod=WSJ_hp_EditorsPicks

Its a problem I wouldn't mind having. Its why I am here.

Jon_Snow

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 10:21:39 AM »
Thanks for posting that. I actually agree with some of its points.

I do concede that there are many people (and I've seen many on this forum) that would have no idea how to fill their days without a job. Fortunately, I don't and won't EVER have that problem. It is far more likely I will die having not done everything on my "list".

Caella

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 10:54:10 AM »
And the definition of EARLY retirement for them is 55~60!

kendallf

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 11:11:14 AM »
I think what most here would take exception to is the headline, not the body of the article.  The author has good points, especially when he separates "highlights" from "life".  Most of us need some task that we feel is worthwhile.  No, it doesn't have to be going back to an office cube, but it's probably not sitting on the couch (at least I hope not!).

If anything, this is affirmation of MMM's stance on the "retirement police" and continuing to pursue activities and tasks that he values, and that may include remuneration.


JetBlast

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2014, 01:59:57 PM »
While I don't agree with the advice of "don't do it", I think the larger point is valid. I have seen this with my parents as they retired. It took my mom about six months to figure out retirement. Now she serves on the board of a non-profit and the supervisory committee of a credit union. It isn't so much work that it sucks the freedom out of retirement, but she still has things to do that give a sense of accomplishment and purpose. My dad has been retired for almost two years now, and still hasn't even remotely figured out retirement other than his morning cappuccino routine. He mostly sits around on the computer researching what unnecessary and expensive stuff he will purchase next. Or trading dirty and/or xenophobic birther nonsense emails with a retired friend.

MgoSam

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2014, 02:08:54 PM »
The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.

I have noticed being bored on days that I have off, normally I will use it to sleep in, do some chores/errands, and only occasionally will I have the ability to hang out with someone during the day simply because nearly all of my friends work. If/when I retire early this might become an issue if I am not working while nearly all of my friends are clocking in, especially as it mean that I have less to relate with my friends when I do see them. They may soon get tired of asking how my day went knowing that there won't be any stories about stress at the office, but instead something like, "Oh it was great, I slept in until 10, then went to the gym, and then went to the MiA, and then finished a book, how was your day?"

slugline

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2014, 02:28:35 PM »
The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.

You're saying that gaining way more schedule flexibility means losing a social life? That's simply does not sound logical to me.

I guess that I'm lucky -- when I visit with friends now, work is barely a discussion topic. Becoming retired would have basically zero impact on the content of conversations we have. :)

deborah

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2014, 03:10:43 PM »
It took my mom about six months to figure out retirement. Now she serves on the board of a non-profit and the supervisory committee of a credit union. It isn't so much work that it sucks the freedom out of retirement, but she still has things to do that give a sense of accomplishment and purpose. My dad has been retired for almost two years now, and still hasn't even remotely figured out retirement other than his morning cappuccino routine.
Yes. The literature tends to say that it takes time (no matter how well prepared you are) for you to shift into full retirement mode. After all, when you move to a new city, how long does it take it to become home? You have suddenly removed an enormous amount of your life, and no amount of preparation is really going to match the reality.

The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.
Yes, it is - work gives you 8 hours a day of social life. I realised before retirement that this would be a big thing for me, and joined groups... to ensure I still had it.

MgoSam

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2014, 03:19:26 PM »
The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.

You're saying that gaining way more schedule flexibility means losing a social life? That's simply does not sound logical to me.

I guess that I'm lucky -- when I visit with friends now, work is barely a discussion topic. Becoming retired would have basically zero impact on the content of conversations we have. :)

I phrased that sentence really poorly. What I meant to write was about how being retired can damper on hanging out with friends that are working, but that isn't a reason to stay employed, it just indicates that some things will change when you retire.

I'm more than a few years away from hitting FIRE, but I am thinking that being retired while in my mid-30s might be like being a single bachelor in his mid-30s when all your friends are married with kids, can it lead to less of a connection? It is a little harder to stay in touch with friends once they get married, and it is harder once they have kids, can it become harder once we retire and our friends are still working?

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2014, 03:24:26 PM »
Forget 55-60, I'm 25 and chomping at the bit to be FIREd, even though I know I have a decade and a half to go. I can't imagine still working a 9-5 at age 50 even.

MgoSam

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2014, 03:31:43 PM »
Forget 55-60, I'm 25 and chomping at the bit to be FIREd, even though I know I have a decade and a half to go. I can't imagine still working a 9-5 at age 50 even.

More power to you!

slugline

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2014, 03:38:29 PM »
can it become harder once we retire and our friends are still working?

Hey -- I just realized that the difference might be the composition of each of our friends networks. I don't hang out with my coworkers outside the office. If those people were also my friends after-hours, then I can see your concern. But if our friends are people we meet through school, church, activity clubs, volunteering, gaming, and other non-work activities, then our work status shouldn't matter.

If someone's current circle of friends is centered around the office, then yeah, that person may find retirement quite a change socially.

MoneyCat

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2014, 03:41:15 PM »
That article is a little silly.  Of course, I won't get bored when I reach FIRE.  I'm going to be doing what I want, when I want, like volunteering at the animal shelter and my church's food bank.  It's the kind of stuff I would be doing all the time if I didn't have to get up early every morning and work for money.  The idea that retirement means sitting around on your ass is really foolish.  Retirement means finally being able to do what you really want to do without having to answer to anyone.

Spartana

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2014, 06:21:50 PM »
"JOSEPH COUGHLIN: My immediate advice to someone who is planning to retire between 55 and 60 would be to not do it".

Guess I'm glad I retired at 42 rather than wait until I'm older since it sure sounds totally undoable if you are between 55 and 60! I know I've said it a thousand times on ythis forum, but early retirement does not mean you are spending your days rocking on the front porch gazing at your navel. It can be as full and fulfilling as you want it to be. You are only limited by your imagination - not your pocketbook, not your age (too young or too old), not by friendships or family expectations, not by anything. It is great. It is fun. It is full and exciting. At least that has been my experience thus far and I don't see any reason it shouldn't continue.
 

« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 06:31:15 PM by Spartana »

sleepyguy

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2014, 08:52:13 PM »
If I ever need a job to "...give them meaning, a sense of purpose, continuous engagement and support their overall well-being."...

someone track me down and shoot me :)

Zamboni

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2014, 09:08:38 PM »
Some people really miss the respect that comes from being high ranking at work and being constantly consulted for their opinion.  Some of my colleagues have a lot of their self worth tied up in that, so I can see how it would be hard on them to go from being the boss figure to the old obsolete puttering guy that the young guys ignore rather than kiss up to.  Won't be an issue for me at all.

I've also had enough free time over the years to know that you if you do something for fun that absolutely requires multiple competent participants, finding other participants who are "off" at the times you want can be a challenge.  I think meetup groups and social networking really help with this.  Sure, it's easy to find folks for bridge or golf in the middle of the day on a week day, but maybe not so much for flag football, just to toss out an example.  Not saying there's no one, but it might be awhile to figure out who they are and where they are and when exactly they can all play (their lunch hour being your best bet.) 

Spartana

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2014, 11:55:25 PM »
I've also had enough free time over the years to know that you if you do something for fun that absolutely requires multiple competent participants, finding other participants who are "off" at the times you want can be a challenge.
It's not really as hard as you'd think - depending on your "fun" activity and where you live. Here in SoCal there seems to be lots of people off work whether they are SAHP, second or third shift workers, students or teachers, seasonal workers, etc...  and many are doing activities I participate in. Plus there are a huge amount of activities you can do alone during the day and then do "people" oriented stuff in the evenings (with none of that "I'm soooo tired from working all day and then commuting and I have to walk the dog and pick up the kids and cook dinner and wash clothes and...." well you can see where I'm going wit that :-)! Having a more relax schedule actually allows you to participate in MORE things with friends, and often at a higher level, because you have all that free time to do chores as well as other, individual activities.

VirginiaBob

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2014, 06:33:50 AM »
Now that I'm close to FI, I'm going to focus on becoming FF (rich).  Then I'll still go to work, but hold out $100 bills and make my coworkers and boss do stupid stuff for me for cash.  For example, I'll offer $100 to my boss if he dances for 10 minutes.  I'll keep upping the amount until he starts dancing -everyone has a price.  I'll shout, "Dance monkey!".  Absolute power is what I am looking for.

Rollin

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2014, 06:39:41 AM »
The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.

You're saying that gaining way more schedule flexibility means losing a social life? That's simply does not sound logical to me.

I guess that I'm lucky -- when I visit with friends now, work is barely a discussion topic. Becoming retired would have basically zero impact on the content of conversations we have. :)

I agree (1st paragraph) and would have more time to spend with my working friends.  Right now it doesn't happen as much as I'd like because my time off of work is used up maintaining a home, running errands, etc.

Me too (2nd paragraph).  When I am with friends we rarely talk work.  If one does start that conversation it is normally minimal - and apologetic for intruding into our free time.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 06:53:04 AM by Rollin »

Rollin

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2014, 06:43:36 AM »
The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.

You're saying that gaining way more schedule flexibility means losing a social life? That's simply does not sound logical to me.

I guess that I'm lucky -- when I visit with friends now, work is barely a discussion topic. Becoming retired would have basically zero impact on the content of conversations we have. :)

I phrased that sentence really poorly. What I meant to write was about how being retired can damper on hanging out with friends that are working, but that isn't a reason to stay employed, it just indicates that some things will change when you retire.

I'm more than a few years away from hitting FIRE, but I am thinking that being retired while in my mid-30s might be like being a single bachelor in his mid-30s when all your friends are married with kids, can it lead to less of a connection? It is a little harder to stay in touch with friends once they get married, and it is harder once they have kids, can it become harder once we retire and our friends are still working?

Maybe once FIRE'd it would be a good idea to give a shout out here to all those other FIRE's in your area and see if you want to hang out??  They are probably around, but one that is pre-FIRE wouldn't know it since they are at work when the FIRE's are free ranging :)

Rollin

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2014, 06:45:28 AM »
Forget 55-60, I'm 25 and chomping at the bit to be FIREd, even though I know I have a decade and a half to go. I can't imagine still working a 9-5 at age 50 even.

Not to make it worse for you, but it's probably more like 7-6 for most people (add in driving, work prep, lunch, etc.).

rocksinmyhead

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2014, 06:58:06 AM »
Some people really miss the respect that comes from being high ranking at work and being constantly consulted for their opinion.  Some of my colleagues have a lot of their self worth tied up in that, so I can see how it would be hard on them to go from being the boss figure to the old obsolete puttering guy that the young guys ignore rather than kiss up to.  Won't be an issue for me at all.

yeah, I can totally see this. not for me, but in general.

Now that I'm close to FI, I'm going to focus on becoming FF (rich).  Then I'll still go to work, but hold out $100 bills and make my coworkers and boss do stupid stuff for me for cash.  For example, I'll offer $100 to my boss if he dances for 10 minutes.  I'll keep upping the amount until he starts dancing -everyone has a price.  I'll shout, "Dance monkey!".  Absolute power is what I am looking for.

LOL

Forget 55-60, I'm 25 and chomping at the bit to be FIREd, even though I know I have a decade and a half to go. I can't imagine still working a 9-5 at age 50 even.

Not to make it worse for you, but it's probably more like 7-6 for most people (add in driving, work prep, lunch, etc.).

ugh, I know. I hate the phrase "9-5". in what universe? was this a real thing in the past? did people get paid for their lunch break and never work extra hours? how is this possible?!

that being said, something that's come up before on this whole topic is that it is easier for some people than others to know what they'd do if they weren't working. I fully admit that I don't have kids (yet) and that probably makes it a LOT easier for me to have plenty of hobbies, interests, friends, etc. right now outside of work that I would LOVE to spend more time on if I were retired. call me in ten years and I may be so busy with kid crap that if I suddenly retired, it may take me a minute to remember/find out what I like to do with "free time." I totally get that.

MandalayVA

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2014, 07:01:14 AM »
I don't hang out with my coworkers outside the office. If those people were also my friends after-hours, then I can see your concern. But if our friends are people we meet through school, church, activity clubs, volunteering, gaming, and other non-work activities, then our work status shouldn't matter.

If someone's current circle of friends is centered around the office, then yeah, that person may find retirement quite a change socially.

I'm the same way--I try to keep my work life and off-work life separate, although I admit it can be a bit difficult considering my husband works for the same company (and can drone on endlessly about his job if given the chance).  If you have other interests, you'll never run out of things to do and explore. 

Philociraptor

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2014, 07:21:30 AM »
Forget 55-60, I'm 25 and chomping at the bit to be FIREd, even though I know I have a decade and a half to go. I can't imagine still working a 9-5 at age 50 even.

Not to make it worse for you, but it's probably more like 7-6 for most people (add in driving, work prep, lunch, etc.).
True. I get an hour lunch, so it's more like 7:45 to 5:15 if you add in that and driving. But it doesn't carry the same meaning as saying "9-5".

odput

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2014, 07:33:59 AM »

ugh, I know. I hate the phrase "9-5". in what universe? was this a real thing in the past? did people get paid for their lunch break and never work extra hours? how is this possible?!


When I was an intern (2005) I was assigned the same hours as the first shift work crew: 7-3 with 30 min paid lunch.  IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Although I think my boss at the time had no idea how to schedule an intern, and didn't realize that he could have me there for standard office hours, which in reality is in fact more like 8-5 plus commute time.

That being said, I think Philociraptor is right that "9-5" has a particular ring to it that resonates with people

VirginiaBob

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2014, 08:30:37 AM »
If I had the balls, I'd retire right now simply to spend time with the babies and homeschool them later.  Unfortunately, I have no balls.

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2014, 09:28:54 AM »
Hm, i went in about to hate and left thinking that they bring up good points. Of course it's not all hunky dory. You need to figure out what you're going to do with your life. But if you're willing to work at it and retire early, then most likely you have a better reason than "I don't want to have to go to work"

eyePod

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2014, 09:31:35 AM »
Even funnier is this one "http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2014/10/13/the-real-math-on-retiring-early/?mod=blog_flyover"

"And if you need more, you’re going to have to choose among part-time retirement work, giving up on hitting the beach at 50, and taking industrial-grade risk with a higher burn rate."

I think a lot of people who want to retire early have a lot of good plans for other ways to make money that are just a little riskier, but it's stuff they don't work on because they don't have the time when in a 9-5!

VirginiaBob

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2014, 11:10:53 AM »
Even funnier is this one "http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2014/10/13/the-real-math-on-retiring-early/?mod=blog_flyover"

"And if you need more, you’re going to have to choose among part-time retirement work, giving up on hitting the beach at 50, and taking industrial-grade risk with a higher burn rate."

I think a lot of people who want to retire early have a lot of good plans for other ways to make money that are just a little riskier, but it's stuff they don't work on because they don't have the time when in a 9-5!

Same goes for reducing expenses.  If I had more time, I'd be extreme couponing, expand my garden, etc.

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2014, 11:12:58 AM »
The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.

I figure mine will improve in retirement.   Right now I work too many hours during the week to be social and Saturdays I spend getting the chores done.  Often I pass on doing things with others for a Saturday, or opt not to volunteer for that church activity, etc, because there just isn't enough left in the tank after putting in 50-60 hours each week.  I will definitely travel more to visit friends and initiate more activities during the e evenings and weekends once ER arrives.

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2014, 03:16:14 PM »
It took my mom about six months to figure out retirement. Now she serves on the board of a non-profit and the supervisory committee of a credit union. It isn't so much work that it sucks the freedom out of retirement, but she still has things to do that give a sense of accomplishment and purpose. My dad has been retired for almost two years now, and still hasn't even remotely figured out retirement other than his morning cappuccino routine.
Yes. The literature tends to say that it takes time (no matter how well prepared you are) for you to shift into full retirement mode. After all, when you move to a new city, how long does it take it to become home? You have suddenly removed an enormous amount of your life, and no amount of preparation is really going to match the reality.

The biggest thing that would get to me with early retirement is having a social life.
Yes, it is - work gives you 8 hours a day of social life. I realised before retirement that this would be a big thing for me, and joined groups... to ensure I still had it.
I think a lot of it is an individual thing. In my case I worked alone out in the field at my last job so rarely socialized with my co-workers. So retiring early allowed me more time to spend doing social things with a variety of different people. Of course my job prior to my last job was mostly spent aboard ships while in the Coast Guard so was with my co-workers (and only my co-workers) 24/7 for many months at a time. That kind of "socializing" at work can sometimes be tough even though I loved it.

As for settling in to ER, again I think it's an individual thing. I was like a kid in class on the last day of school before summer break. Couldn't wait to get out and GO!!!! Was off and running into ER right away as I had a lot of pent up desires to do things I wasn't able to while working. So I think that it can go either way for most people and no one size fits all.

I do agree with the article as well as the other posters who said that having a plan, or at least some ideas, for what you want to do once you quit working makes the transition smoother. No one needs to quit working just because they attain FI, so if a person doesn't have anything they want to do in retirement then nothing wrong with continued working.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 03:20:15 PM by Spartana »

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2014, 04:35:11 PM »
Okay, I read as much of this article as I could stand. What's missing here is strength of character. Is it true that none of us are capable of making a life for ourselves that is not dictated for us by our employer? The answer is FUCK NO! I don't need an employer to shape my days. I don't need my friends or even my family (i.e. parents, sibs, cousins) to understand. (A sympatico spouse, however, is most excellent if available.) I am capable of shaping my own life into what I want it to be. I know how to make myself feel productive and useful and happy. I also know when to let myself be a lazy slug who wears pajamas and watches TV all day.

What's most important about living successfully in retirement is the same thing that's about living a successful LIFE. You must know yourself. If you haven't figured that out by the time you're 55 (to use their number), you are sure as hell not likely to get it in retirement. So, if you don't want to do the mental heavy lifting to find out what makes you happy, do not retire!

*ahem* (She tiptoes off soapbox...)

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2014, 05:07:30 PM »
While I don't agree with the advice of "don't do it", I think the larger point is valid. I have seen this with my parents as they retired. It took my mom about six months to figure out retirement. Now she serves on the board of a non-profit and the supervisory committee of a credit union. It isn't so much work that it sucks the freedom out of retirement, but she still has things to do that give a sense of accomplishment and purpose. My dad has been retired for almost two years now, and still hasn't even remotely figured out retirement other than his morning cappuccino routine. He mostly sits around on the computer researching what unnecessary and expensive stuff he will purchase next. Or trading dirty and/or xenophobic birther nonsense emails with a retired friend.

I choose to interpret this article as an "add this to your decision making criteria."

EX: I'm six weeks in and if I stay out, I could imagine it could take me six months to a year to figure it out. At this point I'm consciously decompressing and am doing as close to nothing as possible. No really, other than spending more time with my child, cooking meals for my wife, doing the laundry, and buying food/preparing meals.

And I don't see anything wrong with that. To think that it would take 3.3% of the time spent in my previous working career to figure out my next meaningful phase in life.... is a blip. And to think that if that next phase lasts 20 years, then that same year spent drooling on myself would constitute 5% is less of a blip, but...it's still a blip.

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2014, 06:15:17 PM »
While I don't agree with the advice of "don't do it", I think the larger point is valid.

+1.  It's one (big) thing to consider as you move towards FIRE... what will you do with your newfound free time?

As is often said in ER communities - you need to retire to something, not just from something.

That's not a reason not to ER, but you certainly do need to consider it.
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MgoSam

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2014, 10:06:38 PM »
While I don't agree with the advice of "don't do it", I think the larger point is valid.

+1.  It's one (big) thing to consider as you move towards FIRE... what will you do with your newfound free time?

As is often said in ER communities - you need to retire to something, not just from something.

That's not a reason not to ER, but you certainly do need to consider it.

+2. I went back and re-re-read my comment about social life and and am amazed at how confusing that was. My concern was free time, and yeah my social life is a huge part of it, but I do agree that while there are many things that I would love to do, at some point, I think losing the structure that work provides might cause me some negative consequences. I should add that while I am a fairly responsible person, I can also be lazy and undisciplined. Had it not been for the miracle of automatic investments I wouldn't nearly as investing as I currently do, now it is actually quite easy as I treat that money as if it doesn't exist...can't spend money you don't have (or at least I don't).

Rollin

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2014, 05:35:05 AM »
Okay, I read as much of this article as I could stand. What's missing here is strength of character. Is it true that none of us are capable of making a life for ourselves that is not dictated for us by our employer? The answer is FUCK NO! I don't need an employer to shape my days. I don't need my friends or even my family (i.e. parents, sibs, cousins) to understand. (A sympatico spouse, however, is most excellent if available.) I am capable of shaping my own life into what I want it to be. I know how to make myself feel productive and useful and happy. I also know when to let myself be a lazy slug who wears pajamas and watches TV all day.

What's most important about living successfully in retirement is the same thing that's about living a successful LIFE. You must know yourself. If you haven't figured that out by the time you're 55 (to use their number), you are sure as hell not likely to get it in retirement. So, if you don't want to do the mental heavy lifting to find out what makes you happy, do not retire!

*ahem* (She tiptoes off soapbox...)

Diane C - I gotta just say AWESOME! post.  You summed it up for sure.

Rollin

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2014, 05:39:20 AM »
While I don't agree with the advice of "don't do it", I think the larger point is valid.

+1.  It's one (big) thing to consider as you move towards FIRE... what will you do with your newfound free time?

As is often said in ER communities - you need to retire to something, not just from something.

That's not a reason not to ER, but you certainly do need to consider it.

Good point.  For me, I like what I do for work, but I'd like to RE just so I have options to do other things.  I'm not necessarily running away (although there is a little of that), I really want to be free to move about the country (as the old SW Airlines commercial used to say).

Cassie

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2014, 06:29:23 PM »
Rapmaster: it does take time to decompress once you quit working.  I was happy for a few months to just be lazy & only do what I wanted. Then that slowly changes & within the first year you start to identify & pursue your new found life. 

EastCoastMike

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2014, 08:31:27 PM »
I want to spend my time teaching urban kids how their food grows, with rooftop gardens and in empty lots.  I can't do that if I'm stuck in a 9-5.  I'm really looking forward to retirement. 

dude

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2014, 09:33:22 AM »
Okay, I read as much of this article as I could stand. What's missing here is strength of character. Is it true that none of us are capable of making a life for ourselves that is not dictated for us by our employer? The answer is FUCK NO! I don't need an employer to shape my days. I don't need my friends or even my family (i.e. parents, sibs, cousins) to understand. (A sympatico spouse, however, is most excellent if available.) I am capable of shaping my own life into what I want it to be. I know how to make myself feel productive and useful and happy. I also know when to let myself be a lazy slug who wears pajamas and watches TV all day.

What's most important about living successfully in retirement is the same thing that's about living a successful LIFE. You must know yourself. If you haven't figured that out by the time you're 55 (to use their number), you are sure as hell not likely to get it in retirement. So, if you don't want to do the mental heavy lifting to find out what makes you happy, do not retire!

*ahem* (She tiptoes off soapbox...)

AMEN, Diane C!

dude

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2014, 09:41:12 AM »
The whole WSJ "Retirement" tab seems to be warnings and cautionary tales against retiring early.  Just scroll through:

http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/category/retirement/

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2014, 10:25:16 AM »
Just a philosophical point, but it seems to me this type of topic is much like discussing lottery winners who fail to manage their money and relationships and end up broke and alone.  Despite the evidence and experts, 99.99% of people who hear these stories or advice think "Well, yeah, that guy couldn't handle it, but not me. I'd be just fine."  Many of us hear evidence and advice about post retirement boredom and loneliness, and think, "nope, not me, I've got this".  Others have doubts, and are often shouted down.

Now, I don't doubt for a second that Mustachians are a different breed, and maybe most of us will handle the extra 8,9, or 10 hours in the day with no problem, even eagerness. We have some great examples.  We also have a few examples of some who returned to work, not out of financial need, but the other benefits.

Maybe gardening and carpentry are Mustachian requirements. Maybe the only acceptable post-retirement return to work is working for yourself. Maybe all of those who go into semi-retirement should find their own forum and community.  I applaud those who have it figured out. I even admire them a little bit.

Except those who judge the rest of us.  Strength of character? I don't think so.  Knowing yourself? Certainly...I know myself. I know what I'm good at and I certainly know what I enjoy.  It's not a step back to the lone pioneer, do it all handyman.  No, my retirement is about doing what I like to do..and if it takes me a bit to figure out exactly what that is, so be it.

JetBlast

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2014, 10:59:18 AM »

As is often said in ER communities - you need to retire to something, not just from something.

That's a great way of putting it, and I think it takes a while for most retirees to realize this. Once they decompress from decades of working they start to ask "now what?" 

Honestly, I haven't given too much thought to my own personal "now what."  I enjoy my job and really am not that interested in RE right now. My goal is FI. If I found out I couldn't do my job any longer I'd probably need a few months to sort out my next step.

jordanread

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2014, 05:16:13 PM »
Just a philosophical point, but it seems to me this type of topic is much like discussing lottery winners who fail to manage their money and relationships and end up broke and alone.  Despite the evidence and experts, 99.99% of people who hear these stories or advice think "Well, yeah, that guy couldn't handle it, but not me. I'd be just fine."  Many of us hear evidence and advice about post retirement boredom and loneliness, and think, "nope, not me, I've got this".  Others have doubts, and are often shouted down.

Now, I don't doubt for a second that Mustachians are a different breed, and maybe most of us will handle the extra 8,9, or 10 hours in the day with no problem, even eagerness. We have some great examples.  We also have a few examples of some who returned to work, not out of financial need, but the other benefits.

Maybe gardening and carpentry are Mustachian requirements. Maybe the only acceptable post-retirement return to work is working for yourself. Maybe all of those who go into semi-retirement should find their own forum and community.  I applaud those who have it figured out. I even admire them a little bit.

Except those who judge the rest of us.  Strength of character? I don't think so.  Knowing yourself? Certainly...I know myself. I know what I'm good at and I certainly know what I enjoy.  It's not a step back to the lone pioneer, do it all handyman.  No, my retirement is about doing what I like to do..and if it takes me a bit to figure out exactly what that is, so be it.

First, I didn't realize that there were lottery winners. Who knew?
So here is an interesting tidbit that I came up with: MMM has been such an influence because he doesn't focus purely on Early Retirement...he focuses on Badassity. The lifestyle, the thought process, the...Mustachianism...of it all; it all handles these questions. That's why we get complaints about MMM's posts that don't have to do with pure money. Every. Single. Time.

Those who judge make me giggle. I learned a while ago that giving them any thought whatsoever is usually a wasted thought.

For a bit there, I didn't realize what section I was in, and went down the path of tracking down the 'author' from friggin MIT. If he actually calls me back, I'll update.

VirginiaBob

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2014, 09:50:46 AM »
Just a philosophical point, but it seems to me this type of topic is much like discussing lottery winners who fail to manage their money and relationships and end up broke and alone.  Despite the evidence and experts, 99.99% of people who hear these stories or advice think "Well, yeah, that guy couldn't handle it, but not me. I'd be just fine."  Many of us hear evidence and advice about post retirement boredom and loneliness, and think, "nope, not me, I've got this".  Others have doubts, and are often shouted down.

Now, I don't doubt for a second that Mustachians are a different breed, and maybe most of us will handle the extra 8,9, or 10 hours in the day with no problem, even eagerness. We have some great examples.  We also have a few examples of some who returned to work, not out of financial need, but the other benefits.

Maybe gardening and carpentry are Mustachian requirements. Maybe the only acceptable post-retirement return to work is working for yourself. Maybe all of those who go into semi-retirement should find their own forum and community.  I applaud those who have it figured out. I even admire them a little bit.

Except those who judge the rest of us.  Strength of character? I don't think so.  Knowing yourself? Certainly...I know myself. I know what I'm good at and I certainly know what I enjoy.  It's not a step back to the lone pioneer, do it all handyman.  No, my retirement is about doing what I like to do..and if it takes me a bit to figure out exactly what that is, so be it.

First, I didn't realize that there were lottery winners. Who knew?
So here is an interesting tidbit that I came up with: MMM has been such an influence because he doesn't focus purely on Early Retirement...he focuses on Badassity. The lifestyle, the thought process, the...Mustachianism...of it all; it all handles these questions. That's why we get complaints about MMM's posts that don't have to do with pure money. Every. Single. Time.

Those who judge make me giggle. I learned a while ago that giving them any thought whatsoever is usually a wasted thought.

For a bit there, I didn't realize what section I was in, and went down the path of tracking down the 'author' from friggin MIT. If he actually calls me back, I'll update.

I actually know a lottery winner.  Won $20M, took the lump sum $14M instead of the annuity, paid taxes, taking him down to about $7M, gave out $1M to family.  Got divorced - took him down to $3M.  Employed the buy high sell low approach, down to about $1.8M.  He still doesn't work, but man, he fell pretty far.

stripey

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2014, 06:47:31 AM »
My parents (both aged 55-60) are both down-sizing the amount of time they are in paid employment because it's getting in the way of doing all the other things they are involved with (e.g. chair of not-for-profit, gardening, community involvement, and of course let's not forget the biggest preoccupation: children and grand-children, who all reside >1000km away from them so lots of excuses to travel!). Don't really see them mentally withering away. They pretty much still in the prime of their lives, healthy, with some life experience and wisdom and with still the energy to put it to good use.

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2014, 11:41:54 AM »
"Ask yourself what will you be doing in between the vacations, fixing the house, visiting grandchildren and the occasional community activity? Those activities are highlights, not life."

That's really the only part of the article I took exception to.  (Well, other than the whole "don't do it" advice.)  Why are vacations and time with family not considered "life"?  Those are really the things I think make life worth living, because they're important to me.  I want to FIRE partly because I want to have those things be more than just a "highlight", I want them to BE my life, along with all the other activities I want to do when I'm FIRE.  Why is having a job considered "life" while family is just a highlight or afterthought? 

mining_melancholy

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Re: why early retirement often backfires
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2014, 10:21:25 AM »
I'm just going to assume these are the same people who think they should die at a certain age because if they lived too long they'd just get bored with not being dead.