The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: epower on March 20, 2017, 04:06:20 PM

Title: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: epower on March 20, 2017, 04:06:20 PM
I'm really starting to believe that early retirement isn't the solution to the "I dislike working" conundrum.

Why not find a career or job that you enjoy doing more, even if it means a bit less income now? Less stress, less commute time, less screen time, etc?

Everyone I've talked to who is retired/has retired and gone back to work said it was great for six months but then they went back to work as it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Tyson on March 20, 2017, 04:48:37 PM
I like my job quite a bit.  I still want to be FI (still working on it).  Once I'm fully FI, I'll decide how I feel about RE at that point.  Maybe I keep working, maybe I don't. 
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: marielle on March 20, 2017, 04:52:35 PM
Because I don't think I will ever find a job I like with the degree I got. If I have any complaints, my job is almost too easy and not challenging enough.
 Maybe I got the wrong degree, but what I really wanted to do (ornithology) wasn't possible in my state and is probably an impossible career to get into successfully. The problem could be that I just don't like the whole 8-5 ordeal though.

I'd rather do something that I don't love but can stand for 10 years and retire early, rather than work an okayish job for 40 years. Maybe there's a job I'd love out there, but I haven't heard of it or found it.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: mustachianteacher on March 20, 2017, 05:06:14 PM
I, too, really enjoy my work; I just don't love the way the work has been structured as a job. The difference is more than semantic.

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Eric on March 20, 2017, 05:10:45 PM
I've disliked every job I've ever had.  So not having a job seems like a pretty great solution to the problem to me.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on March 20, 2017, 05:48:34 PM
I too like most things about my job, but would still prefer to hike the appalachian trail, slow travel europe, and never work for a paycheck again.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Retire-Canada on March 20, 2017, 05:49:04 PM
I have too many non-paying interests I'd rather spend time on and I have many friends and family members I'd like to spend time with. I only work to earn $$ so once I have amassed enough $$ for this lifetime what is the point of working more?
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: JLee on March 20, 2017, 05:51:04 PM
If your life doesn't have some form of meaning or purpose already (while you're working) -- if you feel empty, bored, have no drive to do anything or desire to live in a manner which you're restricted from...being retired is not likely to help.

Financial independence provides you the freedom to do what you want to do, without having the constraints of being stuck at work. It is not a panacea.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: startingsmall on March 20, 2017, 08:21:40 PM
Because I don't think I will ever find a job I like with the degree I got. If I have any complaints, my job is almost too easy and not challenging enough.
 Maybe I got the wrong degree, but what I really wanted to do (ornithology) wasn't possible in my state and is probably an impossible career to get into successfully. The problem could be that I just don't like the whole 8-5 ordeal though.

Wow, are you me? I went to veterinary school because my undergraduate advisor (and ornithology professor) convinced me that ornithology-related job opportunities would be much better for a DVM than a PhD. Maybe he's right... maybe a 0.002% chance is better than a 0.001% chance, but it still was basically impossible. So now I'm a veterinarian to dogs and cats, bored out of my mind.

I see you're in Charlotte. If you have free time, you may want to sign up with NC Wildlfe Resources Commission as a volunteer. I'm pretty pysched to be doing some Peregrine Falcon nest monitoring with them over the next few months! (All of the sites would be a bit of a drive for you, but may be worth it if you really need a bird fix!)
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: human on March 20, 2017, 08:38:42 PM
Count me in the don't want to work crowd. Never loved a job and don't see myself loving one. If I got paid to travel (which I do love to do) it would probably become a drudgery for me.

 I have no grand plan but getting up in the morning go for a run maybe why not? Go for a hike maybe, watch a movie who knows? Then maybe head to Algonquin for a few days or drive up to Hudson bay. Sure sounds a lot better than going to work to me.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: James81 on March 20, 2017, 08:52:12 PM
To me the notion of retirement is more about being financially independent and not tied to any one job. I like the idea of doing what I'm doing now on a part time basis. I love what I do now, but I don't want all my time sucked up by any job.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: undercover on March 20, 2017, 09:13:47 PM
Life is made up of processes, not events. What you do every day is what shapes your "success" throughout life. The process of working, saving, investing has slowly given you the opportunity to "do what you want at any time". This isn't an event that just suddenly happens and will change your life forever. More money = more options. Even someone winning the lottery will not have their life changed by such a windfall. The money is almost always useless to lottery winners since they never actually spent the time developing good financial habits.

And then there's the whole paradox of choice phenomenon - "more" is not necessarily better. In fact, it can be the opposite.

See my signature and you'll see how I feel about this. There are always problems to be solved. Being free from having to show up for any particular thing can be a great thing for some people, but not for others. It just depends. And even if it is the best thing ever, like anything else, you will get used to it.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: marielle on March 21, 2017, 06:26:51 AM
Because I don't think I will ever find a job I like with the degree I got. If I have any complaints, my job is almost too easy and not challenging enough.
 Maybe I got the wrong degree, but what I really wanted to do (ornithology) wasn't possible in my state and is probably an impossible career to get into successfully. The problem could be that I just don't like the whole 8-5 ordeal though.

Wow, are you me? I went to veterinary school because my undergraduate advisor (and ornithology professor) convinced me that ornithology-related job opportunities would be much better for a DVM than a PhD. Maybe he's right... maybe a 0.002% chance is better than a 0.001% chance, but it still was basically impossible. So now I'm a veterinarian to dogs and cats, bored out of my mind.

I see you're in Charlotte. If you have free time, you may want to sign up with NC Wildlfe Resources Commission as a volunteer. I'm pretty pysched to be doing some Peregrine Falcon nest monitoring with them over the next few months! (All of the sites would be a bit of a drive for you, but may be worth it if you really need a bird fix!)

Yeah...I would not have liked being a veterinarian. I feel like you would deal with asshole pet owners all day. Too much like customer service. I ended up getting a mechanical engineering degree which is about as far from birds as it gets!

I volunteer weekly at a parrot rescue and help them find new homes so that's been enough of a bird fix for now. I will also probably quarantine birds for them so it's like getting a free parrot without all the long term responsibility. I really don't have time to do anything else after working full time but I will definitely look into it for the future!
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on March 21, 2017, 06:31:33 AM
I like to be lazy when I want to be lazy! I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I dont like to have to answer to anyone but myself/DW.....So because of that and other reasons its 100% the solution for me. But agreed its not right for everyone!
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Retire-Canada on March 21, 2017, 06:50:03 AM
If you are not a happy well adjusted person before FIRE you won't be one after either, but at least you'll have time to work on it. ;)
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: boarder42 on March 21, 2017, 06:57:36 AM
i dont hate my job.  i dont love my job. 

I HATE the structure of the work place.  i can get my job done so that i get all star reviews in half the hours needed in the day.  some days i may need more but its annoying that i cant choose my time and just work as needed to complete the necessary tasks.  Being FI i may be able to swing this type of wokring environment.  if not i'll leave my company and run my side hustles full time...
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Kl285528 on March 21, 2017, 07:01:14 AM
It's all about choice and financial freedom. The choice of whether I HAVE to go back to the job that I loathe, or the job that I am meh about. If I have enough money not to HAVE to work again, my choices and freedom are infinitely greater. I can try new pursuits, without having to worry about chasing the dollar.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on March 21, 2017, 07:13:00 AM
I'm not sure I'll stop working, but I want my family to be safe if something happens to my job.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on March 21, 2017, 08:14:39 AM
It's all about choice and financial freedom. The choice of whether I HAVE to go back to the job that I loathe, or the job that I am meh about. If I have enough money not to HAVE to work again, my choices and freedom are infinitely greater. I can try new pursuits, without having to worry about chasing the dollar.

Good post.  OP, I think you may be missing the "FI" part of "ER."  Being financially independent is something that can give you a lot of choice.

For me personally, I've had a lot of twists and turns in my young career as an attorney.  I lost motivation early in my career when things weren't going the way my employer said they would, I almost got fired a year ago, then things went great, then I had an interview with a big firm (didn't get an offer), and now I'm here plugging away.  I'm really tired of the corporate politics and being dragged into matters I don't want to do.

I could go on and on and on about why I don't like my current firm and my current practice, but luckily, I've been saving A LOT while I've been here.  This is giving me a ton of options.

In that light, I am really starting to lean towards starting my own practice, maybe even by early this fall.  Saving and being smart with money has allowed me to do this much more quickly than if I lived a traditional-spend-90%-of-your-income lifestyle. In fact, I should have about $35k saved in cash by August.  We also have equity in our home and almost $75,000 in retirement accounts that could be drawn upon in case of an emergency.

More importantly, my fiancee and I have structured our finances so that her income alone takes care of all household bills.  This gives me a lot of flexibility in accepting or denying clients, which I believe is the key to gaining satisfaction from a legal practice.

Thus, by aiming for FI, I have created my own safety net to allow myself to pursue something that I would not have been able to pursue if I had not been saving.

Bottom line, it's not all about early retirement.  It's about giving yourself options and choices.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: WildJager on March 21, 2017, 08:15:16 AM
i dont hate my job.  i dont love my job. 

I HATE the structure of the work place.  i can get my job done so that i get all star reviews in half the hours needed in the day.  some days i may need more but its annoying that i cant choose my time and just work as needed to complete the necessary tasks.  Being FI i may be able to swing this type of wokring environment.  if not i'll leave my company and run my side hustles full time...

This.  My job is very feast or famine.  Some days can go 24 hours, which I'm fine with.  That means I'm actually out there hacking the mish.  But what destroys my soul are the days where nothing is going on, but I have to sit around the office staring at a wall because, "I'm getting paid for it."  I don't buy that.  I'm paid for a very specific skillset and the ability to be on call whenever required (not to mention traveling often).

Some days I cynically believe the people who perpetuate the culture of punching the clock regardless of available tasks just hate their families and would rather be at work.  Of course that's not true (for the most part) but I have a very different perspective on commitment than they do.

I don't believe early retirement is a solution to anything, but it builds opportunity to manage our own time. 
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: TheAnonOne on March 21, 2017, 08:18:04 AM
Realistically, a few years into any career and you will be paid too much to be able to leave...

IF THE SITUATION WERE....

I make 150k and can fire in 3 to 4 years or, drop to 40k, love my job and FIRE in 15 years, what would you do?

The obvious answer to many is just power through and THEN go to the career you love IF YOU WANT TO. If you go before that point, you are chained to it, and if you end up hating it? You're stuck at low pay.


Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Retire-Canada on March 21, 2017, 08:21:01 AM
If you go before that point, you are chained to it, and if you end up hating it? You're stuck at low pay.

Huh? Why are you stuck at the lower paying job for 15yrs if you don't like it? Just get a different job. If you can get one $150K job you can get another if you have lots of free time to work on it.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: TheAnonOne on March 21, 2017, 08:22:24 AM
If you go before that point, you are chained to it, and if you end up hating it? You're stuck at low pay.

Huh? Why are you stuck at the lower paying job for 15yrs if you don't like it? Just get a different job. If you can get one $150K job you can get another if you have lots of free time to work on it.
Heh, it was one particular situation. If you're 5 years out of a field your probably stuck at the bottom again.

I am in the "stick it out" crowd myself.

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: caracarn on March 21, 2017, 08:40:17 AM
i dont hate my job.  i dont love my job. 

I HATE the structure of the work place.  i can get my job done so that i get all star reviews in half the hours needed in the day.  some days i may need more but its annoying that i cant choose my time and just work as needed to complete the necessary tasks.  Being FI i may be able to swing this type of wokring environment.  if not i'll leave my company and run my side hustles full time...

This is it for me as well.  I'm great at what I do.  Almost always get great feedback.  You can't please everyone so my direct style of focusing on results sometimes does not fit with others who want to just futz around.  I get what needs to be done, done and then I spend large portions of time looking for other opportunities to improve things, and sometimes that means being stuck sitting at the office because they want you there a full day. 

My goal is to FI and then if it happens before normal retirement age (which is may not given our situation), and then look at RE.  I'm honestly figuring my RE might be 62 instead of working until 67, but in this day and age I'd probably still be looked at like some freak who did the impossible, i.e. stopped working before they kicked me out the door.  I've got about 15 years to that possible point so in the meantime I need to keep jobs that can certainly be done in less time than they alot if the work was the focus.  I like my current employer as a lot of the structure of the work place is less bureaucratic than anywhere else I could be, so I can focus on the work and get it done without a bunch of status meetings, office politics and other time wasters.  This means things are done pretty quickly so I still run into the same issue as the boarder.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Retire-Canada on March 21, 2017, 08:44:36 AM
If you're 5 years out of a field your probably stuck at the bottom again.

I don't think so. Maybe you don't get the exact job you had, but who cares if it's $120K vs. $150K. The point is you are not stuck with a choice if you don't like it. That's just fear mongering to justify not taking any risks.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: TheAnonOne on March 21, 2017, 08:48:12 AM
If you're 5 years out of a field your probably stuck at the bottom again.

I don't think so. Maybe you don't get the exact job you had, but who cares if it's $120K vs. $150K. The point is you are not stuck with a choice if you don't like it. That's just fear mongering to justify not taking any risks.
The "risk" your taking is that you might not like what you think you do.

The "Guarantee" your taking is YEARS of extra work, 5 years in that situation is $550,000 in lost wages ((150k - 40k)*5).

This is why I come here, people's opinions on life here are really fun!

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: alewpanda on March 21, 2017, 08:52:12 AM
Meh,

My husband loves what he does...but we don't always love the hours.   If we could become FI, he could work part time, consult, or simply do his own LLC work on his own schedule, rather than work the hours they ask of him.

Also, even FI may not mean he will stop working right away...like I said, he loves his work, and they treat him pretty well there.  But things can change, bosses, companies, life situations...and we would rather be prepared.

My job is non-profit.  I make less money with more education than my husband does...and it will stay that way all my life most likely.  I'm cool with it -- but flexibility is freedom when it comes to jobs like that...and FI gives flexibility. 
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: homestead neohio on March 21, 2017, 09:31:02 AM
If your life doesn't have some form of meaning or purpose already (while you're working) -- if you feel empty, bored, have no drive to do anything or desire to live in a manner which you're restricted from...being retired is not likely to help.

Financial independence provides you the freedom to do what you want to do, without having the constraints of being stuck at work. It is not a panacea.

This.  Retirement will magnify either your enjoyment of passions or your feelings of boredom, emptiness and purposelessness.  That depends on what kind of life you are creating for yourself now.  My dad worked the same job 35+ years, retired, and proceeded to watch a lot of TV.  He had no friends and few interests outside of his work.  He did not work at finding new friends or developing new interests once retired.  It is sad to see.  I think he was somewhat institutionalized and did not know how to reinvent himself.  He ended up working too much and not creating and enjoying other opportunities.  Working a lot and providing for his family was something he was "supposed to do" and did not question this world view, even after having enough money.

I have tons of interests and have found ways to reinvent myself outside of my career when I'm getting stagnant.  Every time I think "When I'm FIREd, I'll change my life by (fill in blank)" I immediately ask myself, "Why wait?"  If that change will improve my life, can I make time for it now?  I can't always do all the things I want, and FIRE will give me more time for that, but a career change before FIRE could serve the same purpose.  There is not one path to FIRE for any given situation/person, nor is a person limited to one fixed, ideal, post-FIRE lifestyle. 

I think going back to work after a 6 month break when you already have enough money is a poor choice compared to imagining lots of possibilities and trying them out.   That said, if what you really want to do is work the job that got you to FIRE, go for it, but OP opened with not liking the job as being a problem.

Look for meaning and fulfillment independently of FIRE, then use the freedom of FIRE to magnify the goodness of it.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: startingsmall on March 21, 2017, 11:11:01 AM

Yeah...I would not have liked being a veterinarian. I feel like you would deal with asshole pet owners all day. Too much like customer service.

You are absolutely, 100% correct.... which is why I'm so eager to get out!!
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Gin1984 on March 21, 2017, 11:19:47 AM
I have medical issues that cost money to keep me able to work and are exasperated by stress.  Jobs where I don't need the income (like the one I worked in high school) caused me less stress than ones where I need the income like now or in college when I was struggling to get a degree.  FI will let me stress less, helping my medical issues but also it will let me put those issues first if I need the time off.  It will allow me to make decisions on what is best for me, not what can I afford. 
So no, I'm not looking for early retirement, I'm looking for financial independence.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: BlueHouse on March 21, 2017, 12:54:35 PM
Everyone I've talked to who is retired/has retired and gone back to work said it was great for six months but then they went back to work as it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

How many people have you spoken with who retired and DIDN'T go back to work?  I think your sample is biased. 

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: redbird on March 21, 2017, 03:45:48 PM
Everyone I've talked to who is retired/has retired and gone back to work said it was great for six months but then they went back to work as it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

How many people have you spoken with who retired and DIDN'T go back to work?  I think your sample is biased.

Agreed. I think part of the problem for some people is they get the work version of institutionalized. They don't have hobbies they want to spend more time doing, they don't have goals they want to work on to better themselves, and they also don't always plan out their retirement well financially. People don't like admitting financial fails, so it's easier to just tell people they were bored.

I left work in September 2015. I have not worked a single day since then - ER for over 18 months. I'm not bored yet. The days fly by for me. In fact, there's still tons I want to do. Don't see this getting boring anytime soon... or ever.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Kroaler on March 21, 2017, 03:56:32 PM
i dont hate my job.  i dont love my job. 

I HATE the structure of the work place.  i can get my job done so that i get all star reviews in half the hours needed in the day.  some days i may need more but its annoying that i cant choose my time and just work as needed to complete the necessary tasks.  Being FI i may be able to swing this type of wokring environment.  if not i'll leave my company and run my side hustles full time...

This!  So much This!   Ive strongly considered once I hit FI , attempting to do Consulting / Contracting work in my field of work.  The demand is there, I just dont have the time / Balls to go for it ATM since my current job pays well.

The being paid just to be there part absolutely kills me!
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Hargrove on March 21, 2017, 06:14:15 PM
i dont hate my job.  i dont love my job. 

I HATE the structure of the work place.  i can get my job done so that i get all star reviews in half the hours needed in the day.  some days i may need more but its annoying that i cant choose my time and just work as needed to complete the necessary tasks.  Being FI i may be able to swing this type of wokring environment.  if not i'll leave my company and run my side hustles full time...

This!  So much This!   Ive strongly considered once I hit FI , attempting to do Consulting / Contracting work in my field of work.  The demand is there, I just dont have the time / Balls to go for it ATM since my current job pays well.

The being paid just to be there part absolutely kills me!

I'm mostly with you. But if they don't have to pay you to be there, it's awfully easy for them to add tasks irrespective of the time you're blowing on them. I work commission, and I swear my boss stays up at night coming up with free things I can do for the company tomorrow.

The reason everybody doesn't run out and get the job they love, OP, is that the more people do it, the more competition there is for the most fun jobs, first of all. Second of all, if you haven't retired when you try, maybe you lose your house, wife, car...

I aim to hit just FI, then do work I love when I can afford not to care what it pays. That, I'd recommend to anybody.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: AccidentialMustache on March 21, 2017, 06:48:11 PM
When I retire, I'll continue to write code/software. It's just I'll write what I please, rather than what someone pays me to. If what I please happens to turn me some $$$ then that's a bonus.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: stoaX on March 21, 2017, 06:57:47 PM
I like my job quite a bit.  I still want to be FI (still working on it).  Once I'm fully FI, I'll decide how I feel about RE at that point.  Maybe I keep working, maybe I don't.

Agreed.   And in the title of the thread the word "all" is the problem - it's too big and encompassing of a word.  I think being retired will solve some of my problems, create one or two more, and a few will be unaffected by whether I am working or not.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: gerardc on March 21, 2017, 07:22:31 PM
I've been thinking about this lately. We're always told we'll be happy after X (graduate high scool, get a degree, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house, etc.) and retirement just seems like the ultimate X disappointing false promise.

We need goals, projects and hope to be happy. If work is getting in the way of your goals (which don't pay much), retirement could be a solution. The problem is that the longer you work, the more you become like "them", the more you forget your other goals. Then when you retire (you vaguely remember you wanted to) you realized that you changed, you aged, and your other goals from your youth simply aren't there anymore. You've become your job/career, and that's the only thing left semi-exciting to you, so you get back to work after a few months.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Tyson on March 21, 2017, 07:33:26 PM
Yes.  Why wait till retirement to be happy?  Why not be happy now?
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: bugbaby on March 22, 2017, 02:07:52 AM
I like my job and would love it if it were part time. It's just exhausting

 I was able to take 2 years off to pursue a project, and that was great and possible because of partial FI (I'm single).

 I hope for full FI to be able to pursue more interests,  perhaps work part time and enjoy my job infinitely more, or retire if I wish.

Sent from my KIW-L24 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: zinnie on March 22, 2017, 04:09:13 AM
If your life doesn't have some form of meaning or purpose already (while you're working) -- if you feel empty, bored, have no drive to do anything or desire to live in a manner which you're restricted from...being retired is not likely to help.

Financial independence provides you the freedom to do what you want to do, without having the constraints of being stuck at work. It is not a panacea.

I agree with this, and OP I definitely see where you are coming from. It's something I've thought a lot about recently, because I realized that I was blaming all of my problems on my job, and focusing on retiring too much to thbe point where I wasn't enjoying the present.  But I didnt want to feel like I was waiting to FIRE to start my life. Life is too short and uncertain. So I've been working on an attitude adjustment, and on starting all the things I want to do now. And I am seriously considering leaving early for something that is less hours and more enjoyable, because my time is precious right now, too.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: MoonLiteNite on March 22, 2017, 04:44:12 AM
Will solve all of mine.
If i choose to go for a 1 month long hiking trip, and i come back and my job is gone, well i can go find another one and not care one bit.
Or if i feel sick and do not want to work for a week, and i get fired, oh well their loss!

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: matchewed on March 22, 2017, 05:32:06 AM
No it's not a solution to my "problem". It is a lifestyle choice I've made for myself which has a side effect of allowing me to pursue with all my time anything I want. I guess I could do that now but I run the risk of running out of money. That's a risk I'm unwilling to chance. As I get closer to FIRE I may very well chance it but I'll cross that bridge as it comes.

*Edit*

Mind you I am of the opinion that you need to seek purpose in anything you do. If you cannot find happiness in your activity don't do it.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Roots&Wings on March 22, 2017, 06:22:07 AM
If your life doesn't have some form of meaning or purpose already (while you're working) -- if you feel empty, bored, have no drive to do anything or desire to live in a manner which you're restricted from...being retired is not likely to help.

Financial independence provides you the freedom to do what you want to do, without having the constraints of being stuck at work. It is not a panacea.

This.  Retirement will magnify either your enjoyment of passions or your feelings of boredom, emptiness and purposelessness.  That depends on what kind of life you are creating for yourself now.  My dad worked the same job 35+ years, retired, and proceeded to watch a lot of TV.  He had no friends and few interests outside of his work.  He did not work at finding new friends or developing new interests once retired.  It is sad to see.  I think he was somewhat institutionalized and did not know how to reinvent himself.  He ended up working too much and not creating and enjoying other opportunities.  Working a lot and providing for his family was something he was "supposed to do" and did not question this world view, even after having enough money.

I have tons of interests and have found ways to reinvent myself outside of my career when I'm getting stagnant.  Every time I think "When I'm FIREd, I'll change my life by (fill in blank)" I immediately ask myself, "Why wait?"  If that change will improve my life, can I make time for it now?  I can't always do all the things I want, and FIRE will give me more time for that, but a career change before FIRE could serve the same purpose.  There is not one path to FIRE for any given situation/person, nor is a person limited to one fixed, ideal, post-FIRE lifestyle. 

I think going back to work after a 6 month break when you already have enough money is a poor choice compared to imagining lots of possibilities and trying them out.   That said, if what you really want to do is work the job that got you to FIRE, go for it, but OP opened with not liking the job as being a problem.

Look for meaning and fulfillment independently of FIRE, then use the freedom of FIRE to magnify the goodness of it.

I like this a lot. It was a good day several years ago when I realized my job wasn't preventing happiness. I have a lot of choice in the matter. I can still do things I enjoy now, not let my job overwhelm me, and try to feel gratitude for the job, which is enabling my goals. FI means freedom.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Dave1442397 on March 22, 2017, 06:24:18 AM
Maybe I got the wrong degree, but what I really wanted to do (ornithology) wasn't possible in my state and is probably an impossible career to get into successfully.

My BIL's wife has that same degree, and her first job after college was to come up with solutions to keep birds interfering with takeoffs and landings at an airfield in Florida. She has moved on from that and is now a wildlife biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Laura33 on March 22, 2017, 08:10:13 AM
If your life doesn't have some form of meaning or purpose already (while you're working) -- if you feel empty, bored, have no drive to do anything or desire to live in a manner which you're restricted from...being retired is not likely to help.

Financial independence provides you the freedom to do what you want to do, without having the constraints of being stuck at work. It is not a panacea.

This.  As Buckaroo Banzai said, "no matter where you go, there you are."  You don't get to "happy" by running away from stuff you don't like, because whatever you run to will always have its own problems; you get there by moving toward something you want so much that it is worth the tradeoffs.

FI is mandatory; RE is optional.  For ex., DH and I are FI but have chosen to continue working until the kids are out of the house -- him because he loves what he does and can't do it after he retires; me because I really don't have that thing that pulls me to quit, so might as well keep working at a job I basically enjoy until I figure out something better.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: DrumAllDay on March 22, 2017, 10:12:22 AM
i dont hate my job.  i dont love my job. 

I HATE the structure of the work place.  i can get my job done so that i get all star reviews in half the hours needed in the day.  some days i may need more but its annoying that i cant choose my time and just work as needed to complete the necessary tasks.  Being FI i may be able to swing this type of wokring environment.  if not i'll leave my company and run my side hustles full time...

Completely agree. My job is cyclical in that some days are super busy  and some I am trying to look busy/doing busy work. Also I know certain weeks and months are much busier than others, yet I still have to be at work 8 hours a day, 5 days a weeks no matter if I need more time, or if it's a waste of  my time.

I really wish our work culture was not so set into the typical 8 hours a day 5 days a week gig. It's funny seeing different people at work bullshitting one day and busting ass the next.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Zikoris on March 22, 2017, 01:36:14 PM
Well, my problems are

1. My alarm clock
2. Being tied down to one place and unable to jet off to Asia for 6 months on a whim
3. I don't have complete 100% freedom over my time

Early retirement solves every one of those.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: brian313313 on March 23, 2017, 07:43:39 AM
I tried taking a lower paying job once for this very reason. However, if the job ever hits bad periods, which it did about 4 months in, you're back in the same boat but making less money. My "RE" goal personally is only taking contracts that are 3 months or less. Then spending the money travelling.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: peabody58 on March 23, 2017, 08:38:10 AM
FIRE solved many of my problems (stress, long hours, shift work, etc.), but not all of them.  Still have stress, but have now learned how to relax and enjoy myself more.  FIRE provided me with a very effective Stress Management option.

Looking back on my life, I realize many of my decisions were based not on 'me', but on 'us'.  I left the Navy in '82 to have time with my family.  I pursued higher education to improve our lot in life.  I choose a grueling shift work career path to help accelerate our path to FIRE.  I opted for FIRE earlier than later so that my wife and I could enjoy ourselves more.  Having a life partner who shares similar goals and desires certainly helps to create a nice post-work life.  We have more activities/interests now than we have time for.  For us, there is no desire or need to go back into the work environment. 
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: prognastat on March 23, 2017, 09:11:53 AM
It isn't the solution to all our problems, but it is a solution to some large problems for me.

- I enjoy freedom and not being told/forced to do something. It would make a big difference here.
- I have lots of interests and due to work a very limited amount of time to do them. It would make a big difference here as it would give me 11+ extra hours a day when taking out both the time working, lunch/breaks and commuting.
- Fewer worries about finances since I am no longer reliant on an employer for income.
- More time to visit family abroad rather than what little time my employer offers each year. It would provide both the time and finances to enable this.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: dodojojo on March 23, 2017, 06:30:24 PM
ALL my problems?  No, but FIRE would be a solution to one current problem--it's being completely listless at work.  It's a job I should have left 2 or 3 years ago but it's by the far the highest paying job I've ever had.  The working conditions are also excellent.  It's really comfortable in many ways.  The negatives are substandard benefits and the fact that I'm absolutely disinterested in the actual work. 
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: damnedbee on April 02, 2017, 11:31:17 AM
People may like their profession or daily work, but it's everything that comes with it that I can't stand anymore. Endless pointless meetings, incompetent coworkers, office drama, paperwork, commutes. Sure, you can switch jobs, but that stuff follows no matter where you go.

Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: gerardc on April 02, 2017, 12:21:26 PM
People may like their profession or daily work, but it's everything that comes with it that I can't stand anymore. Endless pointless meetings, incompetent coworkers, office drama, paperwork, commutes. Sure, you can switch jobs, but that stuff follows no matter where you go.

Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk

Well, if you quit to avoid office politics, you won't necessarily be able to work on the interesting stuff anymore. There are pros and cons to the job, and quitting will remove them both indiscriminately.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Hargrove on April 02, 2017, 01:02:45 PM
Early retirement is not the solution to any problem. That's the best way to look at it.

Early retirement doesn't solve your job problem. Your job is itself a solution to the problem of how you will not starve, of how you will not freeze and be rained on, of how to provide these things for your family or perhaps others you care about.

Early retirement is the Freedom to

As that, anyone pursuing early retirement as a solution to working is trying to be rid of a healthy and important part of life. All you really provide yourself by retiring early is the opportunity to finish the sentence, which means please, pursue early retirement in contemplation of what your freedom will be used to do.

Even if you choose a job with all its failings and all its merits, your choice to apply your freedom to it will change your time immensely. Happiness is not merely an absence of stress. Quitting your job won't make you happy, even if it's possible your job makes you miserable. Whatever you chase in retirement, let it challenge you to be the better version of yourself, whether it's connecting with people in 100 countries or building houses or reading at a nursing home or gardening or spending time with your children or grandchildren.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: bacchi on April 02, 2017, 01:41:38 PM
Quitting your job won't make you happy, even if it's possible your job makes you miserable.

I may be an outlier among outliers but quitting the job did make me happy.

Dumping the 9-5 made me happy; dumping the 3 days/week made me happy; going to read-until-3-am-because-i-can made me happy.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Hargrove on April 02, 2017, 01:49:32 PM
I think what you did with your free time made you happy. That's kind of my point.

If quitting the job actually made you happy, it wouldn't seem silly to keep applying for jobs so you could keep quitting them.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Paul der Krake on April 02, 2017, 02:20:19 PM
I like my job just fine- it's the whole 35 hours a week 47 weeks per year on a very fixed schedule I have a problem with.

Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: bacchi on April 02, 2017, 03:00:44 PM
I think what you did with your free time made you happy. That's kind of my point.

If quitting the job actually made you happy, it wouldn't seem silly to keep applying for jobs so you could keep quitting them.

Ah, true, but that's an odd point to make. You're right, though. It wasn't the quitting per se that made me happier. However, since the job enforced a combination of rigidity and obligation, quitting the job (and, to your point, not getting another) made me happier.

I think you're ascribing purpose to others who may not have purpose. I don't want to connect to others or build houses or garden or spend time with friends and families, specifically. Those are great but it's the rigidity that mattered. Quitting facilitated that.

This seems like a semantic discussion.
Title: Re: Is early retirement the solution to all our problems?
Post by: Hargrove on April 02, 2017, 04:32:22 PM

Ah, true, but that's an odd point to make. You're right, though. It wasn't the quitting per se that made me happier. However, since the job enforced a combination of rigidity and obligation, quitting the job (and, to your point, not getting another) made me happier.

I think you're ascribing purpose to others who may not have purpose. I don't want to connect to others or build houses or garden or spend time with friends and families, specifically. Those are great but it's the rigidity that mattered. Quitting facilitated that.

This seems like a semantic discussion.

It totally is. The value of it is pointing out to people who are unsure of where they are regarding retirement (early or not) how they might get a handle on it. You're in a good spot riding the wave of stress relief from not being forced into a rigid situation you don't like. That's awesome! It sounds like, for now, all you wanted to do was be free - you got that and sound happy with it. The OP's situation seems different. If retirement is the purpose for someone who needs to have a purpose, they could be suddenly out of road when they get there if they don't plan ahead.