Author Topic: How to?  (Read 2482 times)

freeree

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How to?
« on: January 04, 2018, 10:50:59 AM »
Newbies stink, eh? I would welcome feedback from people who have taken the plunge, quit their jobs and done something radically different. I believe my post belongs somewhere else in this Forum, but it cannot be deleted so I'm modifying it. See Reply #2: My reason for not adhering to the Case Study guidelines. I've distilled my thoughts for your quick consumption. SPOILER ALERT .... hardly ANY financial data. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 05:15:39 PM by freeree »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: I'm here, where's there?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 11:31:25 AM »
First of all, if you want some great advice, I would suggest you write a case study (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/how-to-write-a-'case-study'-topic/)

You need to find out how much money you spend for us to tell you where "there" is.

It looks like you are eligible for $4000/month when you are 67 ($1500+$1000+380).

But you are now 57, so if you retire today, you just have $1500/month. Is $1500/month enough for you? If so, your "there" is today. You are done!!!  Assuming you do not sell the condo but live there. If you do sell it, your monthly spending would go up by $666 (4% of $200k divided by 12 months)

If you tell me you need $4000/month, then your "there" is 2028.

So, create a case study and it should be obvious where the excess spending is. You will get plenty of face punches, but this will be for your own good.

Best of luck!



« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 11:36:43 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

freeree

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My reason for not adhering to the Case Study guidelines
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 10:05:24 AM »
CowboyAndIndian advised me to write a case study per posted guidelines.

Great advice, but here's the thing: I don't know what bearing my present income/expenses have on my dream of quitting my job. Apart from the usual living expenses my mortgage is the only big debt I have. Since emigrating to the USA my lifestyle has always expanded/contracted based on income aka 'Living within my means.' I have one degree - no student debt. I have a car - no car payment.

I'd like to quit my job and travel the USA doing something. My sister is traveling the world utilizing Workaway. I tried it this summer and it wasn't a good experience. However, I learned a lot. If I were to try it again I would be more cautious and ask more questions.

I could retire at the end of 2018 with $1500/month income and eligible for partial health benefits/VA Healthcare. I would like to travel around the US to find a retirement location that would suit me. Perhaps give myself 1 to 1-1/2 years to find somewhere before selling my CA condo, cashing-out my equity of approx. 200k and buy a modest home, hopefully with a studio apartment rental, in another state.
 
Almost everyone I've talked to tells me to stop whining and settle down. They tell me to live one day at a time (not bad advice), keep my head down and work until I'm 62 or 65 yrs of age. If I have dreams of relocating I don't think I'd be up to the challenge at 62 or 65.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 05:21:11 PM by freeree »

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How to?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 04:54:30 AM »
Your question seems to get at your purpose related to work and life direction more so than whether you can afford something.  You're stuck in what you're doing but it doesn't really fit who you are.  You feel like you're missing out on what you're supposed to be doing.

I'm going to suggest a couple of resources I have found personally invaluable for exactly that purpose: finding one's purpose and direction as it relates to work (and even more generally - although not so broad as to cover matters of faith).  You're talking about making big, life-altering decisions as well as big financial decisions - cashing out $200k in equity and relocating - so I recommend taking a little time with some resources that may help you find the direction for those things, if not the exact financial answers. 

First, I highly recommend this book (referral).  It's a life-coaching session plus a career coaching session all in one book.  It has loads of exercises that will help you learn more about yourself.  See the author's TED talk for reference if you like.  I can't overstate how helpful this can be for answering the type of question you're asking: what should I do with my productive time in life?  You know what you're doing doesn't fit it, but it sounds like you only have some amorphous idea of what it might be.  I suspect you'll find - if you really do the work - that this book and its exercises will give you a much better picture. 

Second, maybe you should try aptitude testing.  See what you're naturally gifted at.  Aptitudes, unlike interests, don't seem to waver over time, and it's a nice piece of information to complement the direction you may receive elsewhere.  It can give you hints as to which jobs/directions may be more fruitful than others, and help guide your overall decisions.  I have found it incredibly useful personally.  You can do testing at places like Johnson O'Connor Foundation (they're all over the USA), which is what I did, for rigorous testing.  It's worth the money in my book: it's a one-time investment that can help make a lifetime of decisions about things that are very valuable (jobs, career, etc.). 

And finally, if you want a resource that hits even upon the religious, as food for thought, there's this old hit.  If you happen to be Christian, and want a book that hits upon aptitudes + career direction, there's also this great resource, which I think is also helpful (though I would start with the first book above).

I recommend that you take some serious time with these things - and hopefully the first book will help you see some new directions and possibilities you hadn't seen before, and encourage you even as you're still sitting where you are for now, until you have a little more direction.  Plus, it's a nice compromise rather than sitting where you're unfulfilled - you're now in a new phase of preparing to launch to the next thing; the only question is what that thing will be.

BTW, folks here tend to be specifics-oriented, and like digging into details, ergo the request for financials.  And, really, we can't advise you on whether to sell your condo or not and so on (financially) without those details, so that has a place.  But I take your question as one about purpose and direction, which is why I responded, as I have found immense value personally in the resources I've described to you (worth far beyond the time + money I put into them), especially that first book.

freeree

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Re: How to?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 08:20:25 AM »
Finances_With_Purpose - I appreciate your response, thank you. I'd been cruising the forum and seen your advice to 'At A Crossroads...' and dismissed all the recommended resources as not being applicable to me. Ironically, you've responded to my post and personally recommended them - duly noted.

I've lost confidence in myself over the past few years, maybe it's the environment I'm in or getting older, I'm not sure. When I left the UK for the US, people told me not to do it ... I did it. When I joined the US Army, ditto, I did it. Going to college, moving from the High Desert to the Bay Area... you name it, I've thought about it, weighed the pros/cons and taken action.

However, quitting a job I've been at for over 15 years is REALLY scary. I'm grateful that I have a job which provides excellent benefits and a pension. People have suggested I  'coast' for the next few years: I've been passed over for promotion many times and it's nigh on impossible for me to get fired. I could do it, but I'm not sure if coasting is for me, I've mastered my job and I take great pride in doing it well, even though I often have to deal with angry, and frustrated property owners. 

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How to?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 05:43:13 PM »
Finances_With_Purpose - I appreciate your response, thank you. I'd been cruising the forum and seen your advice to 'At A Crossroads...' and dismissed all the recommended resources as not being applicable to me. Ironically, you've responded to my post and personally recommended them - duly noted.

I've lost confidence in myself over the past few years, maybe it's the environment I'm in or getting older, I'm not sure. When I left the UK for the US, people told me not to do it ... I did it. When I joined the US Army, ditto, I did it. Going to college, moving from the High Desert to the Bay Area... you name it, I've thought about it, weighed the pros/cons and taken action.

However, quitting a job I've been at for over 15 years is REALLY scary. I'm grateful that I have a job which provides excellent benefits and a pension. People have suggested I  'coast' for the next few years: I've been passed over for promotion many times and it's nigh on impossible for me to get fired. I could do it, but I'm not sure if coasting is for me, I've mastered my job and I take great pride in doing it well, even though I often have to deal with angry, and frustrated property owners.

No problem.  The Fortgang book is much more broadly applicable.  It boils things down to a very simple sort of mission statement, and you can apply it to things far outside your day job, including hobbies.  Ditto the aptitude tests.  Those are the two most relevant to you I think.  They're both things I would do and recommend even if I never had another job. 

Sounds like taking action may be a part of your personality, or maybe you have something pushing you to act and to move.  Hard for us to know.  It makes sense why you would struggle a ton now; that's a tough place.

I really do think the book will be great for helping you figure out some of those tensions.  Worst case, too, is you could get some life/career counseling.  But the book is cheap and better than most folks who offer those services to begin with, I think, so I would start there.  (I'm all for frugal + high value.) 

I feel you on doing a job where you're just passing time, or it feels that way, just for money.  I can't do that well either.  I learned through aptitude testing that there's an aptitude encapsulating that, called foresight, which pushes you to work in things that serve some ultimate purpose or value.  Would you see yourself enjoying charity work more (for a cause you care about)?  Political work?  Hands-on work with the needy?  Counseling/coaching in some area (finances, career, whatever)?  That may be a sign you're wired more that way - and it may be a long-term bar to job fulfillment where you're at. 

The best antidote to fear is exploring and learning, so I really recommend those tools.  Worst case is you'll feel even more confident if you do eventually make a change, because you've spent the time and investment (money and time-wise) in making such a big decision before you made it.  That's why even the counseling might be a good call if you're still unsure - you're thinking of making a big financial change, so, better or worse, it's worth investing a little time + money into the decision.

I'm really curious how things go for you and what you end up doing.  Would love to hear an update sometime. 

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How to?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2018, 05:47:17 PM »
For what it's worth, I enjoy talking about things like this because I've personally had to spend massive time + energy researching and learning about these things because it turns out I'm wired a little uniquely and struggled through some of these things.  Now, I love sharing that with others if it's able to help them move forward even a little bit more easily. 

freeree

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Re: How to?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 08:49:55 AM »
FWP & Spartana,

It's probably not cool to say this here, in a hardcore, Badassity Forum, but you both brought me to tears. Not angry tears, but tears of relief that you get me, and you're both trying to give me the best possible advice.

All ppl in life have to make decisions, it's a life process. In my earlier post I'd mentioned the BIG decisions I've made because if I'd listened to other ppl, not wishing the best for me, I would NOT have followed through on the things I've done.

Spartana - wow, thank you, what you said resonated with me. When I was passed over for promotion for maybe the 3-4th time, I was open to other opportunities. I eventually became involved with Union activities, and during contract negotiations I put my neck out on the chopping block by making a presentation to upper mgmt. I earned my colleagues, and myself, a 1% increase for two consecutive years.

I'm relating this story to you since it surprised me that I was THAT kind of a person. I know ultimately the presentation was self-serving, but it benefited many ppl and it gave me a great sense of satisfaction. I'd love to be rich, but unless I stumbled across a passion that translated to riches it's not going to happen. I'm happier making a difference in peoples' lives. That surprised me since I grew up in a very anti-social family, and unless we got paid for something we weren't doing it. Does that make sense?

A few more comments and then I'll shut-up. When I first posted my dilemma I didn't realize that I was hoping someone would say "sounds good to me, DO it!!!" In the space of a few days I've come a long way, baby! I understand many talented, experienced, financial experts visit this forum but I don't need someone poring over my financials, thank you. Meanwhile I'm still working, saving, being active, exploring different hobbies, looking after pets, weaning myself off TV, being a moderator on a reuse site, etc. Just want to add that, in case ppl think I'm staring at my navel wondering how I'm going to make FI happen.
 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 09:40:08 AM by freeree »

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How to?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 04:48:00 PM »
FWP & Spartana,

It's probably not cool to say this here, in a hardcore, Badassity Forum, but you both brought me to tears. Not angry tears, but tears of relief that you get me, and you're both trying to give me the best possible advice.

All ppl in life have to make decisions, it's a life process. In my earlier post I'd mentioned the BIG decisions I've made because if I'd listened to other ppl, not wishing the best for me, I would NOT have followed through on the things I've done.

Spartana - wow, thank you, what you said resonated with me. When I was passed over for promotion for maybe the 3-4th time, I was open to other opportunities. I eventually became involved with Union activities, and during contract negotiations I put my neck out on the chopping block by making a presentation to upper mgmt. I earned my colleagues, and myself, a 1% increase for two consecutive years.

I'm relating this story to you since it surprised me that I was THAT kind of a person. I know ultimately the presentation was self-serving, but it benefited many ppl and it gave me a great sense of satisfaction. I'd love to be rich, but unless I stumbled across a passion that translated to riches it's not going to happen. I'm happier making a difference in peoples' lives. That surprised me since I grew up in a very anti-social family, and unless we got paid for something we weren't doing it. Does that make sense?

A few more comments and then I'll shut-up. When I first posted my dilemma I didn't realize that I was hoping someone would say "sounds good to me, DO it!!!" In the space of a few days I've come a long way, baby! I understand many talented, experienced, financial experts visit this forum but I don't need someone poring over my financials, thank you. Meanwhile I'm still working, saving, being active, exploring different hobbies, looking after pets, weaning myself off TV, being a moderator on a reuse site, etc. Just want to add that, in case ppl think I'm staring at my navel wondering how I'm going to make FI happen.

Glad we could help you move forward even a little.

I, too, have listened to others' opinions too much at times.  It can be a form of enslavement - people pleasing - since you can never really please everyone, and often, it's not even a good idea.  It can be a very frustrating way to live, but we're all tempted by it. 

That story you shared about your union experience is outstanding.  You've hit upon one of the most fulfilling pieces of human life: living in service to others.  That's the epitome of the Christian faith, actually: God loves people, but they made a complete wreck of things (sin), so God came among men as Jesus, who lived and then died - in service of all mankind - by offering them a gift of reconciliation with God.  He lived as an example of ultimate self-sacrifice.

In our daily work/job, we can find fulfillment when we live in ways that serve others.  (And that can happen in incredibly different, broad, and diverse ways, reflecting the broad diversity of people and their talents.)  Once you live for others, there's no other way to live.  There's a fulfillment there that's irreplaceable.  To use your story example, we are all THAT kind of people.  We're beset by the harms and the troubles this world has, which may require attention, but we're all people who can serve others and find it fulfilling.

Over the years, I have read a ton of career/aptitude/life direction books, and, over and over again you will find a consistent theme: they speak about people as being made with a purpose - we just have to locate that purpose.  (And I know a lot of these people aren't people of religious faith.)  It is often hiding in plain view.  And very, very often it's something with an obvious connection to serving other people in some form even if you're anti-social, and even if you never interact with people, like the guy who sees his job checking bolts all day as making the world safe for people, even though he only looks at bolts.  It comes in many forms. 

Work is still hard, sometimes a pain, and has challenges, but if you're living closer to your purpose (which may even change over time), you'll find it more fulfilling. 

It sounds like you already have some new directions to explore, especially with the union story.  You could, if you wish, change your direction in ways that have lots more union stories.  And you could probably even make a little money while doing so - or may be you don't even want to.  Now, you're in an even better position to use your time and talents in service of others.  I am excited for what you will go and do for others.

freeree

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Re: How to?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 06:32:31 PM »
FWP & Spartana: Gosh, I hope you don't mind me addressing you both at the same time. I called in sick today <gasp, surprise>. My son told me I've been doing a lot of that lately ... not gasping, calling in sick. No TV watching, taking care of a lot of loose ends. I've set goals for myself for this year: fix broken stuff in my condo, spring-clean, shred p/work, get rid of unnecessary stuff. I'll also be reading recommended books (thanks, FWP), government data (help put me to sleep), and volunteering (already signed-up for a repair cafe event).

If you both lived close-by I'd treat you to coffee, lunch, whatever made your day. A small token of my gratitude since I consider your feedback priceless. I'm going to be busy so I'll say 'see you later' since this Forum could be addictive [for me]. I've got enough input to chew-on for the time being. Let's hope when I next check-in my situation is vastly different. Thank you.

P.S. I found a past emailed quote for career/life coaching "90 minute discovery session ($300) followed by 50 minute sessions ($150)." Alternative: Now What?: 90 Days to a New Life Direction $1.99 + shipping, TED talk - free; plus a few hours of thinking/soul searching.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 09:13:58 PM by freeree »