Author Topic: Help me get over the finish line!  (Read 2440 times)

bobble

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Help me get over the finish line!
« on: July 18, 2019, 10:47:05 AM »
Please help!

We are on track to FIRE at the end of the year. We will be FREE on New Year's Day 2020. We have been saving for FIRE for many years and in the past it never seemed urgent, but now that we have made the decision I am feeling SO READY.

The problem is that these last six months will be intense. We have SO much to do. We are relocating HCOL to LCOL, we are finding new schools, we are selling and buying a house, we are dealing with all kinds of complicated expenses related terminating self-employment. On top of that we still have to work !

Just right now I am having a really hard time focusing on my work with so many other distracting things to do and think about. I feel like I am mentally checking out too soon. This is really bad because if I don't work effectively then that will compromise fire: all these last pre-FIRE expenses will take a big bite out of our stash and compromise our planning FIRE lifestyle.

What would should I do keep my head in the game for the rest of the year to make it over the finish line in good shape? How do I find value and meaning in these last months of working for "the man"?

seemsright

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 11:07:03 AM »
Change your mindset. You are at the tail end of working for the man. You did the math...you know that these last few months impact your goals. You put your head down and get to work. Yes you have things to do...so. This time is part of your plan.

Junco

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 01:07:03 PM »
You mentioned "self-employment" so I'm not sure if you work a W2 job for an employer or you work for yourself. If you are on salary, are you the type of worker who usually gives it 90-100%? If you're definitely quitting at the end of the year can you just give it 50% and coast until then? Do the bare minimum at work so you can focus on your priorities? It usually takes a long time for employers to react to slacking employees, if they do at all, and you only have 5 months left.

civil4life

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2019, 02:52:06 PM »
Make a to do list.  It sounds like you are ruminating about all the things you need to do and trying to remember it all in your head.  Write it down so you can forget it.

Make a plan and work the plan.

Set some smaller milestones for the to do list.  Reward yourself for hitting those milestones.

mistymoney

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 06:04:06 AM »
Please help!

We are on track to FIRE at the end of the year. We will be FREE on New Year's Day 2020. We have been saving for FIRE for many years and in the past it never seemed urgent, but now that we have made the decision I am feeling SO READY.

The problem is that these last six months will be intense. We have SO much to do. We are relocating HCOL to LCOL, we are finding new schools, we are selling and buying a house, we are dealing with all kinds of complicated expenses related terminating self-employment. On top of that we still have to work !

Just right now I am having a really hard time focusing on my work with so many other distracting things to do and think about. I feel like I am mentally checking out too soon. This is really bad because if I don't work effectively then that will compromise fire: all these last pre-FIRE expenses will take a big bite out of our stash and compromise our planning FIRE lifestyle.

What would should I do keep my head in the game for the rest of the year to make it over the finish line in good shape? How do I find value and meaning in these last months of working for "the man"?

if you are cutting it that close, and any hiccup is going to be a wrench into the plans, I'd be tempted to work 3-4, even 6 more months and save a couple extra months of expenses, and then take on all these extra tasks over the first 1-3 months, sell the house and wind things down at ease rather than in a frenzy.

bobble

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 01:13:33 AM »
if you are cutting it that close, and any hiccup is going to be a wrench into the plans, I'd be tempted to work 3-4, even 6 more months and save a couple extra months of expenses, and then take on all these extra tasks over the first 1-3 months, sell the house and wind things down at ease rather than in a frenzy.

I don't want to do this for a few reasons. One is that delaying the move would be disruptive for the kids school. Another is that extending our time in this HCOL area will cost money so our saving rate won't be that amazing anyway. The other is that it would prolong this agonizing "I can see the FIRE finish line but I'm not there yet" feeling which is actually worse than the frenzy of so many things to do.

I would love to talk myself into quitting work early and then making up the lost income working part time here and there over the next few years, but this feels a bit extravagant at the moment.

Thanks for the advice civil4life it has really helped to write down a list, get things out of my head, and only think about them at the schedule time. (He says while posting to the MMM forum while being supposed to start work for the day!)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 01:15:48 AM by bobble »

bobble

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 04:26:36 AM »
Oh noes!

I could not stand the agony of inching towards the finish line and so I quit this week. I don't have the mental fortitude to keep turning up for work now that my heart is already checked out. In hindsight I should have expected this and planned to stop working sooner.

I suppose this means that today is the first day of FIRE. I say that because we still qualify with the 4% rule now because that last six months of work was to be for some additional safety margin. I am planning to focus on "FI" rather than "RE" and keep on working on other projects anyway so I think we still have safety margin coming out of our ears anyway.

I have a bitter-sweet feeling that today is the first day of FIRE, which is supposed to be a great feeling, but at the moment I feel like I have failed on a professional project and I'm a zombie because I "slept on" the decision to quit and ended up lying awake for most of the night (and ultimately feeling sure that it is right.)

I hope that this negative feeling passes quickly and we can celebrate FIRE soon!

ToasterStache

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2019, 08:53:55 AM »
Congratulations, Bobble! You will be fine - I've seen quite a few "you're FIRE - go ahead and quit!" comments on various threads and you've done it! Running metaphor alert: You're at the finish line - here's your virtual medal and granola bar. Cool down, take a walk, and even if you're a little disappointed in your time you still accomplished what a lot of people on the couch wish they could do. In a week, a month, a year, you'll look back and be so glad you did it and can commit to what's more important for you. Best wishes for a happy RE and congrats on FI!

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2019, 11:40:20 AM »
Congrats.. I guess I sort of FIRE'd the same way just didn't have a date or plan which is why maybe I am just on a sabbatical into FIRE :) 

Villanelle

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2019, 11:54:22 AM »
Wow! That took an unexpected turn!

I was going to suggest giving yourself extra time, in whatever ways that means to your.  It may still be a relevant decision.  If they kids move ahead to start school, for example, and you or your partner have to stay behind for a few weeks to continue wrapping up some final details, in the grand scheme of things, that time will mean nothing.  So examine even what you think are hard deadlines and see if you can create wiggle room that allows you some mental space  and relieves some of the pressure.

Maybe one person stays in a cheap rented room for a few weeks while the other moves to meet a deadline.  Maybe you resign yourself to a few plane tickets back to your current area so you don't have to panic to get every last affair completely handled before you go.  Whatever that looks like, find ways to give yourself grace and you will probably feel a lot less pressure.

And, congratulations!!!

caracarn

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2019, 11:57:52 AM »
Oh noes!

I could not stand the agony of inching towards the finish line and so I quit this week. I don't have the mental fortitude to keep turning up for work now that my heart is already checked out. In hindsight I should have expected this and planned to stop working sooner.

I suppose this means that today is the first day of FIRE. I say that because we still qualify with the 4% rule now because that last six months of work was to be for some additional safety margin. I am planning to focus on "FI" rather than "RE" and keep on working on other projects anyway so I think we still have safety margin coming out of our ears anyway.

I have a bitter-sweet feeling that today is the first day of FIRE, which is supposed to be a great feeling, but at the moment I feel like I have failed on a professional project and I'm a zombie because I "slept on" the decision to quit and ended up lying awake for most of the night (and ultimately feeling sure that it is right.)

I hope that this negative feeling passes quickly and we can celebrate FIRE soon!
Not sure how I feel about this.  I'm writing this as stream of consciousness while at my pre-FIRE job I downsized myself to that had lots of down time when I do not need to be doing anything specific, so I am browsing MMM.  I'm further away than you from FIRE, so maybe I'll rethink my words here in your shoes, but when I saw this happen so fast, it seemed like the wrong thing to do.   I've got a few things on our finance front to rejigger in the next six months, including replacing a too-big-car-kids-grown-up thing that I want to do tomorrow, but cannot because we need the current car for the last trip in a few weeks.  Even with that I feel restless, so I certainly think I can understand the much bigger restlessness you felt, but man, it seems like a leap!  Maybe that's because I am pretty organized and conservative and I work hard to stick to my plans and not be impulsive. 

So wish you well, and likely this will all be awesome, so happy for you.  Just still freaked out about how in one week you went from "help me get over the finish line" to "screw it, I'm just going to run off the track and not finish the race".

bobble

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2019, 10:16:35 AM »
So wish you well, and likely this will all be awesome, so happy for you.  Just still freaked out about how in one week you went from "help me get over the finish line" to "screw it, I'm just going to run off the track and not finish the race".

I suppose that this really happened in steps. The original plan was to keep on working, keep on saving, and stay in a HCOL area. We quite enjoyed our lifestyle and were not in a hurry to FIRE even though we have been talking about it for years as an idea.

Then we started to think about moving to a LCOL area, convinced ourselves that the quality of life there would actually be better, and realized that we already had enough money to FIRE. So we started to immediately put this into motion: leaving work, moving to a new place, etc. The idea was to keep working until the end of the year, because this seemed like a safe way to ensure that ll our moving costs would be covered and so on, but the truth is that we already have enough safety margin and work suddenly started feeling insufferably boring.

So we did indeed decide to take a short-cut instead of following the race to the finish line, but we were already driving on a track that we had drawn up fairly haphazardly a few months earlier.

Maybe the take-away is that we have been even more reckless and impulsive than the previous post suggested :D

caracarn

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2019, 11:53:11 AM »
So we did indeed decide to take a short-cut instead of following the race to the finish line, but we were already driving on a track that we had drawn up fairly haphazardly a few months earlier.

Maybe the take-away is that we have been even more reckless and impulsive than the previous post suggested :D
Hopefully not totally relevant but your phrasing here made me think of a quote from one of my managers regarding getting things done:
"What's the shortest distance between two points?  A straight line.  What's the longest?  The short cut."

mistymoney

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2019, 07:18:34 AM »
So wish you well, and likely this will all be awesome, so happy for you.  Just still freaked out about how in one week you went from "help me get over the finish line" to "screw it, I'm just going to run off the track and not finish the race".

I suppose that this really happened in steps. The original plan was to keep on working, keep on saving, and stay in a HCOL area. We quite enjoyed our lifestyle and were not in a hurry to FIRE even though we have been talking about it for years as an idea.

Then we started to think about moving to a LCOL area, convinced ourselves that the quality of life there would actually be better, and realized that we already had enough money to FIRE. So we started to immediately put this into motion: leaving work, moving to a new place, etc. The idea was to keep working until the end of the year, because this seemed like a safe way to ensure that ll our moving costs would be covered and so on, but the truth is that we already have enough safety margin and work suddenly started feeling insufferably boring.

So we did indeed decide to take a short-cut instead of following the race to the finish line, but we were already driving on a track that we had drawn up fairly haphazardly a few months earlier.

Maybe the take-away is that we have been even more reckless and impulsive than the previous post suggested :D

Well - what's done is done! Good luck!!

Could I interest you in posting a case study of where you are at, and how the decision to move LCOL changed everything and you suddenly FIREd?

I'll love to have a look at that and wonder if I might be able to do the same on a much shorter timeline than I am thinking.

Rosy

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2019, 08:17:19 AM »
I totally get why you made your move earlier than planned. I have made momentous decisions in that fashion before.
You tossed and you turned and you knew you were ready - then you acted on it and felt that sick feeling in your stomach and then immense relief and joy.

Bottom line is you planned it all out for years and you do have extra money socked away for various scenarios, you are FI - so congrats, you'll wing the rest. However, engineers who make up a good deal of this forum are generally wired differently and would proceed as planned.

I had to chuckle when I read your "I did it" post. Five months early shouldn't be a problem unless you planned an extremely slim FI which you say you have not. So go on and enjoy your new freedom - wrap it all up in a neat little package at your leisure.

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2019, 06:05:43 PM »
Congrats from a fellow leaper!   3+ years and life is good!  If some of the people on this forum knew my numbers/plan they would flip right out...but, hey, there's more than one way to bake a cake.  ;)
Moving can be stressful regardless of your financial situation - but at least you will have TIME to deal with things.

bobble

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2019, 12:24:08 PM »
Could I interest you in posting a case study of where you are at, and how the decision to move LCOL changed everything and you suddenly FIREd?

I'll love to have a look at that and wonder if I might be able to do the same on a much shorter timeline than I am thinking.

Just briefly, we have always had a list of less expensive places where we would be happy to live, and we have always half-joked about FIRE-ing to one of them each time we had a bad day at work. The mental barrier was that we felt that we were too young (30s), still in our accumulation phase, wouldn't have much leisure anyway (toddlers), and it was always easy to invent rationalizations for why it is better to stay put and kick the can down the road.

Then after a while the idea just started to seem more real and we realized that we could shorten our working life by 10-15 years and even if we decided to keep working it would be "for fun" with a lot less constraints. So we thought about it intensely for a week or so and then decided to take the plunge.

bobble

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2019, 12:49:39 PM »
I had to chuckle when I read your "I did it" post. Five months early shouldn't be a problem unless you planned an extremely slim FI which you say you have not. So go on and enjoy your new freedom - wrap it all up in a neat little package at your leisure.

Yeah. We will be fine. The extra five months of work was more of a psychological crutch to delay pulling the cord. That helped to make the decision easier but it was not practical in terms of the process of winding up our pre-FIRE affairs and moving away.

Feeling good now that it is slowly starting to sink in!

caracarn

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2019, 01:10:27 PM »
Wonderful to hear.  Looking forward to seeing how things go.  Please keep us posted periodically!

bobble

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Re: Help me get over the finish line!
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2019, 08:54:28 AM »
I suppose that I'm officially FI now. Firecalc is showing a 100% success rate based on projected spending once we finish our move.   I'm planning to keep working "for fun" on various projects of my own choosing and we will have significant potential to reduce our spending if needed. We are over the line!

So far it's glorious to simply focus on selling our current house and looking for a new one. Just doing what needs to be done each day and being light on structure and agenda. Cruising but making steady progress. Enjoying the contrast from working life.

Going to be interesting to have this done and settle into a new life that's downsized on expenses and probably also on real-estate (from house to apartment.)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 09:13:45 AM by bobble »