Author Topic: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI  (Read 27269 times)

Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2014, 11:13:52 PM »
This insightful conversation makes me realize that I'm not afraid of being bored, that I'll likely feel only a little pain leaving my stimulating and rewarding career. That I'm moderately afraid of not feeling like I'm not contributing enough to society at the level that I'm used to; but rather that I'm entirely afraid of not having enough $ !  Self knowledge: priceless

I think I sit in Frank's camp of a 2.6% withdrawal rate!  Truth be told, my spreadsheet plan includes only withdrawing earnings, she confesses the depth of her fear.

I need to look at this as a phased process.

New psychological plan:

Step one: June 2016: all major financial obligations complete. Mortgage, university support, rrsps

step two: to work only enough to pay the bills and stop saving.

Step three : leave consistent work: realize that we could actually live on earnings.

Step four: realize we could live off earnings AND withdraw some capital.

Love the book! What politics! Glad he is enjoying sculpture! Lol

Casserole55

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2014, 06:25:51 AM »
I've unexpectedly run into what I think of as 'quit guilt'

I am leaving my job of 10 years on Dec 31. Because of the holidays, that's just 7 working days. I am 100% sure that I am doing the right thing, but I am feeling what Dr. Doom has so cleverly coined - "quit guilt." My coworkers are all hoping that I'll do one last project for them before I leave, and I can't blame them. No plan is in place as to how most of my work will be done.

People are asking if anyone (ie my boss) tried to talk me out of it. The answer is no. My boss completely understood and was truly happy for me. I tell my coworkers that even though I care about them and love lots about my work, and the organization's mission, it's time for a new chapter. It's not about money or job status.

How do I know? I had a 3 month medical leave in the summer - I had total knee joint replacements - both knees - surgeries one month apart. Before that we had already figured out that I could retire, and I was about 80% sure that I wanted to retire. The three months off gave us a glorious example of what was in store, and there was no going back. I gave notice in mid October - about one month after returning to work. If I had waited and let the re-entry process fully set in, I may not have gone through with it, largely because of "quit guilt."

Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2014, 06:11:48 PM »
I've unexpectedly run into what I think of as 'quit guilt'

I am leaving my job of 10 years on Dec 31. Because of the holidays, that's just 7 working days. I am 100% sure that I am doing the right thing, but I am feeling what Dr. Doom has so cleverly coined - "quit guilt." My coworkers are all hoping that I'll do one last project for them before I leave, and I can't blame them. No plan is in place as to how most of my work will be done.

People are asking if anyone (ie my boss) tried to talk me out of it. The answer is no. My boss completely understood and was truly happy for me. I tell my coworkers that even though I care about them and love lots about my work, and the organization's mission, it's time for a new chapter. It's not about money or job status.

How do I know? I had a 3 month medical leave in the summer - I had total knee joint replacements - both knees - surgeries one month apart. Before that we had already figured out that I could retire, and I was about 80% sure that I wanted to retire. The three months off gave us a glorious example of what was in store, and there was no going back. I gave notice in mid October - about one month after returning to work. If I had waited and let the re-entry process fully set in, I may not have gone through with it, largely because of "quit guilt."


Please be sure to post again in January! We'd love to hear about your journey!

Nords

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2014, 12:49:58 PM »
If we hang out after the activity then some of those kinds of conversations come up and then we may discover other things in common, and then maybe a romance will will develop from one of those friendships or shared activities.
One of the women at our dojang used to bring prospective boyfriends along with her for Friday-night sparring.  Over several years she must have done it a half-dozen times.

He'd sit on the sidelines and watch her beat the crap out of her (padded, helmeted) sparring opponents (both men & women, including me), and then afterward they'd go out.  I guess her logic was that if the guy thought she was worth going out with then it was worth their time to sit and watch her do something she enjoyed for an hour.  The other women at the dojang would offer their feedback to her in between rounds.  But I was never sure whether she was doing it as part of a fuel-efficient car trip, her busy schedule, an audition, a polite warning, or foreplay...

Trudie

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2014, 03:15:12 PM »
Has anyone here read "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free" by Ernie Zelinski?  It seems to address this very topic.  I'm picking it up at the library tonight.

I've suddenly realized that I've got the financial part of the equation pretty well down.  My husband and I currently have 1.1 M net worth (including our house) and have aggressive plans in place for the next 6 years when he can retire at 59 1/2 and I will be 50.  We are certain to come into a substantial sum via inheritance which could also drastically alter that reality.  It's just an issue of timing.

But, I sort of have this escapist attitude right now that everything will just be great once I retire.  I know that's not true.  It's going to take effort on my part.  For one thing, we both acknowledge we don't want to retire in the small college town where we currently live.  (It's a "company town" and a difficult place if you don't "drink the coolaid.")  Through my husband's employment at this college we do get lots of nice bennies -- access to facilities (library, fitness center, etc) that are a nice boost to our quality of life, but we both don't feel as if we'll ever belong.  The town is too small to have clubs and interest groups (running club, for instance) and I find it hard to feel engaged when I'm not at work.  Also, work is so all-consuming for both of us right now that it's hard to see into the great beyond.

I have a commute as well, which is a soul-crushing experience.  It really does rob you of your time.  But, before the face-punches start I do have to say that it is a reality for a lot of people in rural areas like mine and I've heard all the usual suggestions:  "Can you work from home?  Have you looked for something closer to home?"  No and yes.  Period.

So, I've put lots of energy into narrowing the timeframe as best I can, but I think it's important to devote some rigor to yourself -- discovering your passions, thinking carefully how you can contribute.

I also work out quite a bit and am trying to stay healthy.  What's it all worth if you don't have your health?

Nords

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2014, 07:11:39 PM »
Has anyone here read "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free" by Ernie Zelinski?  It seems to address this very topic.  I'm picking it up at the library tonight.
Great book.  I think his Get-A-Life Tree retirement activity jumpstarter diagram is in there, although I might be thinking of "Joy Of Not Working". 

People think that I'm joking when I say that I've had a copy of that diagram on my desk for the last 12 years of retirement, but I've been too busy to fill it out.  I'm not joking. 

But, I sort of have this escapist attitude right now that everything will just be great once I retire.  I know that's not true.  It's going to take effort on my part. 
It sounds like you'll be making plenty of changes, but you'll also be in control of the plan and the schedule.  That's the "great" part.

Daisy

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2014, 10:44:35 PM »
I am FI enough to cover basic expenses. I'd like a little more buffer. I've generally liked my job and the people I've worked with for over 20 years. However, the situation at work is changing a lot - layoffs, morale busters, new push for Agile (aka micromanaging) processes, new boss who is turning out to be a workaholic. I thought I'd make it through OMY through 2015, but as the days go on it's looking more likely that I won't make it through to the end of the year...either because of my lack of motivation or a possible layoff (possibly the two are related).

I recently got moved back into a software development position and am getting reacquainted with the work I tried to leave a while back. Well let's just say that I was sitting in a big department meeting recently and as all of the presentations were going on, my mind was secretly spinning and questioning why I was even there. I am starting to feel like I don't belong. So this psychological effect of being FI-enough is really creeping in on my brain and affecting my motivation and my desire to finally cut the cord, move on, and do something different in my life.

I've got the FI-buffer worries and all. But I am reflecting on some of my favorite quotes a lot lately:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Andre Gide

I know several people through cycling and skiing - so they are active and have a lot of interests - that say once retired they now wish they would have done it sooner because they are having so much fun. Two are retired doctors and the other a retired civil servant.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 10:48:21 PM by Daisy »

Trudie

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2014, 08:21:08 AM »
I was able to get the Zelinski book as an audiobook at my library, so listened to it during this morning's soul-crushing commute (the roads were slushy crap).

All I can say is that the few bits I have heard so far are SUPER inspiring. He reads some epic letters of resignation.  My big take-away from this morning's listen is that work is a drudgery for so many people.  He debunks the myths associated with careerism.  He helps you feel okay about wanting to retire, and the sooner the better.  But he doesn't beat people up for staying in their jobs either... he doesn't make you feel bad about this (sadly) common experience.

I really love this site for how it has helped me re-think my retirement finances and timeline, but I think more emphasis needs to be given to the psychological part of the picture... it's a bigger deal than some would admit.  As Zelinski says, "You need to put the same amount of effort into planning your retirement as in planning your career."  Sound advice.


DoubleDown

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2014, 08:26:21 AM »
Well let's just say that I was sitting in a big department meeting recently and as all of the presentations were going on, my mind was secretly spinning and questioning why I was even there. I am starting to feel like I don't belong. So this psychological effect of being FI-enough is really creeping in on my brain and affecting my motivation and my desire to finally cut the cord, move on, and do something different in my life.

I went through that big time before I left. Being able to make the jump makes it both easier and harder at the same time. Easier because you don't have to be there, so you at least feel you're there of your own choosing. But harder because you're suffering through activities (like long, droning meetings) when you feel you could be doing so many more interesting things with your life.

I spent a lot of time in pointless meetings jotting down in my notebook personal budget figures, asset growth projections, income withdrawal plans (how to draw from which assets, in which order), ideas for activities I'd like to do when I quit, part-time work ideas, etc. I even reminded myself frequently, "I just got paid $150 to sit in this meeting!" That helped make it slightly more tolerable ;-)

And, I will say, all that made the first day of ER that much sweeter. I was practically f*ing giddy, chuckling out loud to myself sitting at the kitchen table drinking my cup of coffee and reading the paper in my pajamas (at 8:30 am) watching my neighbors get in their cars to head to work. Not that I have Schaudenfreude or anything :-)

Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2014, 06:59:10 AM »
Daisy, I entirely understand your need for buffer! And I'm thinking that the only way around it for me is to know I can work. Problem is that it's hard to reconcile earning big buck/hour now send probably little buck/hour after I'm out of the work-force.

Any insights in how you are rationalizing your need for buffer?


stripey

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #60 on: December 24, 2014, 08:02:40 AM »
Then the black Saturday bushfires happened. Although I now live a long way from them, family was affected. One of the towns that was almost completely destroyed was where I grew up. My grandparents old house was destroyed, as was the church where my parents married. Friends and cousins lost homes. In a different town, an uncle was on duty with the local country fire crew that day and by the end of the day was finding cars with bodies in them. His son who had just finished school lost his two best friends. My parents lived in a different city but 100 metres from one of the fires that killed 50. Being so far away was extremely difficult for me - my co-workers discussed it endlessly as "News" - I thought they were a bunch of ghouls! I don't think I ever told them how close to me it all was, and that places they hadn't heard of a week ago (and were discussing endlessly) were quite important parts of my life. A week later my best friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she died 8 weeks later. So I had to travel through the blackened countryside a number of times. I struggled on working through the year. I still enjoyed the work, but had been really revolted by the people. It would have happened no matter where I worked.

Don't really want to derail the thread, just wanted to say... Deborah, I was living through an area semi-affected by the Black Saturday bushfires at the time too (and also the Australia Day fires a few years beforehand)... following having to do a lot of stock assessment etc. I opted to move to a different region, and decided to change my career tack quite a bit partly as a result. Both bushfires I have been through I also endured the media that was just after the most fantastic story of the day, and it was sickening. I had the overwhelming urge to get back to the family property to help defend it too. So, um, yeah... it's a horrible story you've depicted, I'm sorry you had to go through all that.

Daisy

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #61 on: December 24, 2014, 10:58:49 AM »
Daisy, I entirely understand your need for buffer! And I'm thinking that the only way around it for me is to know I can work. Problem is that it's hard to reconcile earning big buck/hour now send probably little buck/hour after I'm out of the work-force.

Any insights in how you are rationalizing your need for buffer?

I've sprinkled around comments all over the forum on my need for buffer. Let's see if I can summarize:

- I am in my mid 40s with gradually rusty skills in software, as in I have no interest in continuing in this field and don't want to work "extra hard" to keep my skills sharp. And now my role has changed where I may have to do this...yuk. Going back into the industry after prematurely quitting will be close to nil, due to my rusty skills (and at my age in technology) and wanting to stay in my geographical area with limited opportunities in this field. So might as well suck it up and milk the good salary for a year or two. My psychological state at work lately is having me question if I can make it that far.

- I haven't always been invested in index funds. I was invested a lot in a very diversified international type stocks over the past few years and they haven't fared as well as the US market due to the recent surge in the US dollar. They did do very well from 2008-2011. So I have already just hit a slump in the market. I'm going to keep those investments for now and invest new money in US index funds to be more diversified. In a way, I have hit the "sequence of returns" risk right before FIRE, so I'm secretly hoping that even if I am laid off in 2015, that my international stocks will start to surge right at that time. I'm not sure how much buffer I need because this could take off soon.

- I have estimated my expenses, but have a fair amount dedicated for travel and such. The more I think about it, I can space out the travel a little more to help with smoothing out the costs. Or just take better but less trips, combining them in a more slow travel kind of way.

- My gentrifying area could be another buffer I can tap into. If the house prices start to surge, I can cash in on them as I have more space than I need. This could help alleviate my fears about buffer as well. I have my mortgage paid off so a lot of money is tied up in this. I haven't used any home equity in my stash count (for 4% SWR calculation purposes). But realistically, I could probably assume I'd move to a place afterwards where I can still buy in cash and pocket at least $100k of home equity to add to the stash. This alone would probably be enough buffer. Maybe I go to renting afterwards? Possibly...

- My parents went through a communist revolution in their country which totally upended their economy, so the off-chance of something really strange happening in the economy is always at the back of my mind. But I figure in that case, I would have been screwed with or without buffer, so I am not too worried about it.


I guess it's mostly that I am pretty sure I am at the peak of earnings right now, so I don't want to spoil the opportunity to buffer up the stash. My stash is just at the point where it covers basic expenses (not travel or buffer) at 4% SWR.

I can always do a fun part-time job like lead kayak trips or something like that once FIRE'd. Even just making $5-10k a year while FIRE'd could alleviate any future pain.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 11:04:32 AM by Daisy »

Nords

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #62 on: December 24, 2014, 11:15:03 AM »
Daisy, I entirely understand your need for buffer! And I'm thinking that the only way around it for me is to know I can work. Problem is that it's hard to reconcile earning big buck/hour now send probably little buck/hour after I'm out of the work-force.

Any insights in how you are rationalizing your need for buffer?
Here's another way to look at it:
Five years from now will you be happy that you beefed up the buffer, or will you be saying "Crap, I overshot the mark!"

The 4% SWR assumes that retirees are raising their spending every year for the rate of inflation.  Computers can simulate the heck out of that simplifying assumption, but real retirees don't spend like that.

It all boils down to whether you're willing to work the extra months for the buffer.

Speaking of international investments, I have some cash in an IRA to buy more of either a small-cap ETF or an international value ETF.  I'm putting the money into the international ETF because its performance sucked this year, and I'll keep on doing so whenever I have the cash.  If you're still at a bare-bones FI when your investments are declining, then you're probably going to be fine.  The people who have to worry are the ones who achieved a bare-bones FI at the peak of the NASDAQ in 2000 or at Dow 17,000 in 2007... and even those retirees have been able to cut their spending or take part-time work to let their portfolio recover. 

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #63 on: December 24, 2014, 11:21:52 AM »
Daisy, I entirely understand your need for buffer! And I'm thinking that the only way around it for me is to know I can work. Problem is that it's hard to reconcile earning big buck/hour now send probably little buck/hour after I'm out of the work-force.

Any insights in how you are rationalizing your need for buffer?

Keep in mind the greatest risk for your stash is in the first few years after retiring, during which time your earning potential will most likely still be high.  As time goes on and your earning potential goes down, your stash also gets safer.

Daisy

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #64 on: December 24, 2014, 11:32:42 AM »
Daisy, I entirely understand your need for buffer! And I'm thinking that the only way around it for me is to know I can work. Problem is that it's hard to reconcile earning big buck/hour now send probably little buck/hour after I'm out of the work-force.

Any insights in how you are rationalizing your need for buffer?
Here's another way to look at it:
Five years from now will you be happy that you beefed up the buffer, or will you be saying "Crap, I overshot the mark!"

The 4% SWR assumes that retirees are raising their spending every year for the rate of inflation.  Computers can simulate the heck out of that simplifying assumption, but real retirees don't spend like that.

It all boils down to whether you're willing to work the extra months for the buffer.

Speaking of international investments, I have some cash in an IRA to buy more of either a small-cap ETF or an international value ETF.  I'm putting the money into the international ETF because its performance sucked this year, and I'll keep on doing so whenever I have the cash.  If you're still at a bare-bones FI when your investments are declining, then you're probably going to be fine.  The people who have to worry are the ones who achieved a bare-bones FI at the peak of the NASDAQ in 2000 or at Dow 17,000 in 2007... and even those retirees have been able to cut their spending or take part-time work to let their portfolio recover.

Yay! I always feel better after reading Nords' perspective.

I agree that I won't necessarly raise my expenses by the inflation rate every year. And about $10k of that is my travel aka buffer, which can easily be trimmed in the case of a declining stash due to poor returns.

I'm happy to hear you agree on the potential for international investments in the next few years. A couple of years ago my stash might have been FIRE-worthy, but it did take a hit the last two years.

I'm also waiting for a severance package instead of quitting. I can count on 1/3 of my pay for a year for a regular layoff, or 2/3'rds of my pay if a sweet package like the one last year reappears (which is rare). I can live on 1/3 of my pay for a year so a 2/3'rds one would be a no brainer.

Cassie

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #65 on: December 24, 2014, 12:21:57 PM »
Daisy, I think you are smart to wait as you are still young & I think the extra $ will bring you peace of mind.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #66 on: December 24, 2014, 01:32:00 PM »
Daisy, a big question you should ask yourself is if you can make it until 70 until claiming SS.  Not sure what your health situation is, but this is the one thing I have heard from many mainstream retirees, that they claimed SS too early.  "If only I knew then what I know now", and all that.  Sure, you can pay it all back and re-file, but that is a pretty laborious task for someone in their 60's. 

Or maybe you can retire and go into business helping people re-file for a larger lifetime benefit (there are lots of business opportunities helping the elderly...). 

Sorry, I don't know much about software, other than some guy got sucked into a video game in Tron and it was hard to escape.  Sounded like a tough business to be in :)

Exhale

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2014, 02:53:01 PM »
Dr. Doom, thanks for describing Work Less, Live More and its idea of semi-retirement.

I've been struggling with the fact that I don't have a life outside of work. (As an introvert, I need lots of alone time and so that leaves little extra for social/non-work activities.) Semi-retirement looks like a good approach for making time so I can build up a non-work life.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 02:55:15 PM by Exhale »

Cassie

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2014, 03:04:31 PM »
Semi was perfect for my hubby & I even though we are extroverts. It just allows us to lead the life we desire.  I think it will be a growing trend.

Exhale

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #69 on: December 25, 2014, 09:03:32 AM »
Semi was perfect for my hubby & I even though we are extroverts. It just allows us to lead the life we desire.  I think it will be a growing trend.

This is great to hear. Good to know it isn't just me!

Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #70 on: December 25, 2014, 09:34:46 PM »
I had budgeted 10,000/year for travel. Daisy, your comment earlier reminded me that I have traveled where I have wanted to go already, so giving that up, is just giving up luxury. That will be a hard one to give up- but I'm stating to hate jetlag more and more as I age. Maybe that's my bodies way of saying- stay put! Voila! Buffer found!

I've enjoyed the comments about needing goals. I sit on 2 not-for-profit Boards for youth arts organizations. I realized this year, that I could quit my job and just these two roles very well could fill my days if I wanted.  If anyone is looking for rewarding volunteer work - find a local youth or arts organization! They can always need help! ;-) alternatively, work them into your estate planning :-)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 09:36:22 PM by Joan-eh? »

Daisy

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #71 on: December 26, 2014, 11:49:49 AM »
I had budgeted 10,000/year for travel. Daisy, your comment earlier reminded me that I have traveled where I have wanted to go already, so giving that up, is just giving up luxury. That will be a hard one to give up- but I'm stating to hate jetlag more and more as I age. Maybe that's my bodies way of saying- stay put! Voila! Buffer found!

I've enjoyed the comments about needing goals. I sit on 2 not-for-profit Boards for youth arts organizations. I realized this year, that I could quit my job and just these two roles very well could fill my days if I wanted.  If anyone is looking for rewarding volunteer work - find a local youth or arts organization! They can always need help! ;-) alternatively, work them into your estate planning :-)

We think very much alike on this matter. My travel budget is also my emergency buffer and is about the same amount. Obviously if I have contracted some strange disease that has me hospital ridden for weeks, then I probably won't be too keen on travelling abroad that year. ;-) So that buffer is very flexible on what it's used for.

I've also been thinking a lot of how I want to travel in the coming years. I have also travelled a bit already (more of the fast than slow travel), so I can be picky as to where to go, or if to go at all. Lately I prefer the active vacations in nature. I can space out international slow travel every few years possibly. I think that by the time I am 70, I may not have the health or the wealth (because I used up the travel funds from 50-70) to bother to travel as much...but maybe I will and that will be a bonus. I'd rather use up these funds for travel while I can be pretty active.

I agree that I have enough hobbies and interests for future hobbies and volunteer work that will keep me quite engaged in the world. I'm not defined by my job. In fact, I so don't identify with my job (and this increases as I get older), that when asked what I do for a living I always give a caveat of what I really want to be doing with my life.

Daisy

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #72 on: December 26, 2014, 11:55:21 AM »
Daisy, I entirely understand your need for buffer! And I'm thinking that the only way around it for me is to know I can work. Problem is that it's hard to reconcile earning big buck/hour now send probably little buck/hour after I'm out of the work-force.

Any insights in how you are rationalizing your need for buffer?
Here's another way to look at it:
Five years from now will you be happy that you beefed up the buffer, or will you be saying "Crap, I overshot the mark!"

The 4% SWR assumes that retirees are raising their spending every year for the rate of inflation.  Computers can simulate the heck out of that simplifying assumption, but real retirees don't spend like that.

It all boils down to whether you're willing to work the extra months for the buffer.

Speaking of international investments, I have some cash in an IRA to buy more of either a small-cap ETF or an international value ETF.  I'm putting the money into the international ETF because its performance sucked this year, and I'll keep on doing so whenever I have the cash.  If you're still at a bare-bones FI when your investments are declining, then you're probably going to be fine.  The people who have to worry are the ones who achieved a bare-bones FI at the peak of the NASDAQ in 2000 or at Dow 17,000 in 2007... and even those retirees have been able to cut their spending or take part-time work to let their portfolio recover.

Yay! I always feel better after reading Nords' perspective.

I agree that I won't necessarly raise my expenses by the inflation rate every year. And about $10k of that is my travel aka buffer, which can easily be trimmed in the case of a declining stash due to poor returns.

I'm happy to hear you agree on the potential for international investments in the next few years. A couple of years ago my stash might have been FIRE-worthy, but it did take a hit the last two years.

I'm also waiting for a severance package instead of quitting. I can count on 1/3 of my pay for a year for a regular layoff, or 2/3'rds of my pay if a sweet package like the one last year reappears (which is rare). I can live on 1/3 of my pay for a year so a 2/3'rds one would be a no brainer.
Daisy - Like Nords, I also have a buffer of available funds to cover my basic/baseline/bottomline expenses for 2 years in case SHTF. That does give me peace of mind knowing that I will be able to cover my expenses for a long time while the world works things out. In my case it's not a huge amount of money because prior to ER I got my basic expenses (food, shelter, utilities, taxes and insurances) down to a low level so don't need much to cover those things. That's something I recommend to anyone wanted to FIRE - lower those "have to pay" expenses (pay off the house, pay off the car, pay off all other debt) and then you'll need less in a buffer to be able to survive a temporary financial downturn.

In addition I have, like you, a paid for house that I would be willing to sell and downsize if needed to last me beyond that 2 years. I look at that as a secondary buffer I can use if the stash dwindles or the pension collapses or some BIG emergency comes up. So you may already have a couple of buffers in place to use if needed, and if not and you feel the need to continue working longer or do a P/T gig to feel more secure than nothing wrong with that. For me, having been retired a pretty long time now, I haven't personally seen too many inflationary things arise or had any big things happen I couldn't cover easily and my expenses have stayed relatively the same for over 10 years now and I expect that won't change much in the next 10 or 20 years.

Double yay!

I think I got some ideas on this by reading your posts. I can be barely-FI with my non-house funds but instantly FI if I take some current or future home equity raises into account. Also, the idea of possibly selling the house before a planned long term slow travel in order to not have to worry about the costs of running the house while I am gone (such as taxes and HOA/insurance), and use that money for travelling instead!

I've also always thought of my house as my long-term care fund. I have no children and don't feel the need to leave anything to anyone so as I enter my 70s if I still have the house, this could be the money needed to get me over the final hump if I have used it all up in my peak FIRE years of 50-70. Of course, if I die prematurely, some family members will be really happy with me.

Although after seeing my 89 year old aunt yesterday who still drives and is quick on her feet and doesn't take any medication, I fear I will be wandering this earth for quite a while. It's a family curse. ;-)

Tyler

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #73 on: December 26, 2014, 01:00:37 PM »
I officially FIRE'd an left my job in October. And I absolutely relate to Dr. Doom's "quit guilt". We share a lot in common.

When you've experienced a very bad job and finally find a pretty good one, it's normal to question your motivations for leaving work altogether. I think it's a healthy mental phase for a retiree, and will eventually leave you much more confident in your plan than if you rage quit a place you despise.

Speaking personally, I had at least a few doubts right up through my last day. Today, I have no regrets at all! And one benefit of leaving a company I like on good terms is that I know I have a safety net just in case - they'd have me back in a heartbeat, and I wouldn't mind working there again in the future. Rather than dwelling on the past, look at the future opportunities.


Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #74 on: December 26, 2014, 01:16:31 PM »
Tyler, (and others) if for some reason you couldn't go back to a job in your field, what comments might you have?

What if the safety next required MORE work? My field is so specialized, once I leave there is no going back and no going back to earning high rate per hour.  So I'd have to work at a related field for less per hour. I'm wondering if others are dealing with that too?

Tyler

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #75 on: December 26, 2014, 03:22:57 PM »
With the benefit of hindsight, today I feel like my previous fixation on a bulletproof plans in general was a stalling tactic. When you're ready to close one career phase, you'll know. It'll make you nervous, but once that passes you'll appreciate breaking out of your previous specialized niche. Even though I could go back to my previous job if I needed to, I'd prefer to try something completely new even of it pays significantly less. For me, FI is more about moving forward than walking away.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 03:43:07 PM by Tyler »

kib

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #76 on: December 26, 2014, 05:00:15 PM »
I've been technically FIRE for about 15 years, but I eventually fell into flipping houses, because I found myself bored - I'd finished making my own nest the way I wanted, and it seemed like I just kept doing it again and again, so I figured why not take this obsessive behavior and make some money. 

My first two years of retirement were chaotic and emotionally challenging because I wasn't really that comfortable with my choice, I was getting a lot of critical feedback that kept me anxious and off center.  If you let them, it's amazing what people will come up with to swallow up your time once you're "not doing anything".

The next few years were great, I got into a rhythm and really enjoyed my time, I felt both competent and busy in my 'non-work', I was where I wanted to be.  I got a side gig doing work in the summer that was entertaining and took me away from all the busy-bodies. 

Then I got married, and was dumbfounded with how different this is.  If you retire and don't know how to fill your every minute with busywork and goal shattering disagreements about how to live life, get a hyperactive spendy spouse.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 05:04:38 PM by frufrau »

Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #77 on: December 26, 2014, 05:12:00 PM »
With the benefit of hindsight, today I feel like my previous fixation on a bulletproof plans in general was a stalling tactic. When you're ready to close one career phase, you'll know. It'll make you nervous, but once that passes you'll appreciate breaking out of your previous specialized niche. Even though I could go back to my previous job if I needed to, I'd prefer to try something completely new even of it pays significantly less. For me, FI is more about moving forward than walking away.

Nice! Just what I needed!

Exhale

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #78 on: December 27, 2014, 08:40:57 AM »
With the benefit of hindsight, today I feel like my previous fixation on a bulletproof plans in general was a stalling tactic. When you're ready to close one career phase, you'll know. It'll make you nervous, but once that passes you'll appreciate breaking out of your previous specialized niche. Even though I could go back to my previous job if I needed to, I'd prefer to try something completely new even of it pays significantly less. For me, FI is more about moving forward than walking away.

Nice! Just what I needed!

+1!

lifejoy

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #79 on: December 27, 2014, 09:23:46 AM »

Since I think I will be in the minority of this post, I will post. The first 6 months of my retirement was the honeymoon. Loving it, got to do things I didn't get to do while working. Then realizing that all my friends were still working and work creates a BIG conversation topic in life. My friends say they will never be able to retire and I agree with them. Too, I started receiving snarky comments like I was a freeloader! Say what!? which only compounded my crisis of "Who am I?  Now that I don't work? While working and work is only to glad to tell you who you are, where to be, what you have to do, and when you have to do it. So I took an entire year off to just fool around and have fun - I think I at least deserve that!   I joined a writing group, starting reading fiction again, and attended an open art studio. Too, I got tired of doing everything alone. So, my  second year I went back to college to become an Early Childhood Educator because I have always had a passion for kids. I get SO much support from my friends to pursue this and then maybe they will feel they can talk to me again because I will be working. Ha!  But, I was not really ready for their jealousy.   Good Luck to you in your decision. And carving out a new path has been definitely interesting.         
I'm having some of the same feelings/reactions. I'm 40 and I just retired from the Military. My pension covers everything plus about $800 in spending money and I have enough savings to last me about 20 yrs. I plan on taking some me time but I get bombarded by my friends and family asking me about what am I going to do next. Which makes me second guess myself...am I doing this right? Am I missing something? I try not to tell them how good I'm sitting because they would never understand. I spent the last month with my Family and it was painful to listen to all of the advice. I had a few long drives with my Dad and it was mostly him shooting out idea's for what I can do next. Or how I have enough time to work up two more pensions. Or how I can add more to Social Security.

The other side of this is I'm single. It's very awkward when meeting someone and you're waiting on the moment when they ask "So what do you do for a living". I have come up with a fairly good answer "I'm a budget analyst". She says "with who". I say "I'm an independent contractor, I mostly work from home".

My dad retired at 55. He is now a full-time hobby farmer, gardener, and woodworker. I think it helps him in conversations to be able to talk about the work he's doing, even if it's "unpaid". Could you do something like that? I think people essentially just want to know what you do with your days.

auntie_betty

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #80 on: December 27, 2014, 10:29:10 AM »
Reading all this with interest and trepidation as I am leaving work in a few months (shortly before becoming FI in my own right). Am accompanying hubby to the Middle East, and he will be travelling a lot, so not only will I not be working but I'll be on my own in a strange culture where I know no-one - what could possibly go wrong ;)

And the thing that's worrying me more than anything? Not being able to tell people I'm leaving because I'm FI!!!!!


deborah

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #81 on: December 27, 2014, 10:32:24 PM »
And the thing that's worrying me more than anything? Not being able to tell people I'm leaving because I'm FI!!!!!
Why is that a worry?

auntie_betty

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #82 on: December 28, 2014, 01:00:23 AM »
And the thing that's worrying me more than anything? Not being able to tell people I'm leaving because I'm FI!!!!!
Why is that a worry?

17 years ago my marriage broke up and I very hard up. I was not penniless but money was very tight and I was under threat of redundancy. I've worked really hard, taken chances when others stayed safe and saved rather than splashing the cash. Scrubbed toilets in empty, freezing, btl's over the Christmas break rather than hit the sales etc. I suppose I just wanted to be able to say 'this is why I did it' - rather than people thinking I'm going to ponce off Mr GG! I'm proud of what I've achieved and I wanted to be able to not boast about it but take some pride in it. But I am proud of it and the people I care about are proud of me so don't know why I need to tell others?????? They'd just think I was 'lucky' anyway!

I'd love to have someone come up to me and ask me to help them do the same - but I can't see any likely candidates to be honest.

Exhale

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #83 on: December 28, 2014, 08:42:14 PM »
And the thing that's worrying me more than anything? Not being able to tell people I'm leaving because I'm FI!!!!!
Why is that a worry?

17 years ago my marriage broke up and I very hard up. I was not penniless but money was very tight and I was under threat of redundancy. I've worked really hard, taken chances when others stayed safe and saved rather than splashing the cash. Scrubbed toilets in empty, freezing, btl's over the Christmas break rather than hit the sales etc. I suppose I just wanted to be able to say 'this is why I did it' - rather than people thinking I'm going to ponce off Mr GG! I'm proud of what I've achieved and I wanted to be able to not boast about it but take some pride in it. But I am proud of it and the people I care about are proud of me so don't know why I need to tell others?????? They'd just think I was 'lucky' anyway!

I'd love to have someone come up to me and ask me to help them do the same - but I can't see any likely candidates to be honest.

Well, I'm here to tell you that you are awesome!!! What you accomplished is so far outside of most people's experience that, even if you told them, they'd probably still think you were lucky or got a windfall or whatever. One of the great benefits of this Forum is that you have a community that totally gets how hard you had to work and change habits in order to accomplish what you did.

Random idea: What about some kind of farewell/thank you letter to your former colleagues into which you slip the information about being FI yourself?


Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #84 on: December 28, 2014, 09:18:30 PM »
Well, I'm here to tell you that you are awesome!!!


DITTO THAT!!!


Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #85 on: December 28, 2014, 09:32:39 PM »
Nords,
I keep learning more each time I reread your posts here, as my perspective keeps changing. Is your Military book useful for non- military people in Canada do you think? Where best to read more about how you are "living the dream"?

Nords

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #86 on: December 28, 2014, 10:41:57 PM »
Nords,
I keep learning more each time I reread your posts here, as my perspective keeps changing. Is your Military book useful for non- military people in Canada do you think? Where best to read more about how you are "living the dream"?
Thanks!

The book is written for spouses & families as well as servicemembers, and much of the asset-allocation advice applies in Canada too.  Only a couple of chapters refer to military-specific benefits like health insurance and calculating a pension.

You could get immediate gratification on your e-reader for about $8.50US, and make two U.S. military-friendly charities a little happier, but first try reading the excerpts on the blog.  They're the first six months of posts (September 2010- March 2011) at the bottom of this page:
http://the-military-guide.com/post-titles-by-month/
The excerpts have the content of the book without the personal stories and sidebars. 

I ask readers to pass the book on or donate it to a library, and this link at WorldCat.org:
http://www.worldcat.org/title/military-guide-to-financial-independence-retirement/oclc/707329220&referer=brief_results
claims that the book is in libraries in Tokyo, Sheffield UK, the Netherlands, and even Cairo.  So maybe there's an "unlisted" copy at a library near you.

I've also collected my favorite books, research papers, and articles at this link:
http://the-military-guide.com/recommended-reading-books-research-papers-and-articles/
Again you could burn big bucks on those Amazon aStore affiliate links (for Wounded Warrior Project and Fisher House) but nearly all of those books should be in your local library or on sale from used book sellers.

I've also reviewed a couple dozen financial books that haven't made it into the aStore yet:
http://the-military-guide.com/book-reviews/
Some of them (like "The Retiree Next Door") are free PDFs.

The best Canadian finance book that I've read so far is Jim Otar's "Unveiling The Retirement Myth".  Jim's website parties like it's 1999 but I think the book is still relevant today:
http://www.retirementoptimizer.com/

As for the "living the dream" part... well, at 9 AM Monday morning I'll be paddling out at Waikiki Beach (or maybe White Plains Beach) with a woman who's vacationing frugally here and wants to improve her surfing.  (She'll start with a Steward Hydrohull 10'0" and maybe upgrade to a Cippy Cabato 10'0" pintail.)  After she's had enough (that 76-degree surf can be pretty cold in December!) we'll talk story on the beach and eat freshly-picked star fruit from my backyard tree.  Maybe we'll eat lunch at the Wailana Coffee House, Zippy's, or some other local hot spot.  I'll give her a bag of starfruit to take back to her hostel (she's also contemplating camping) and I hope to persuade her to write a guest post on cheap Hawaii vacations.

Then I'll come home and start pruning our bougainvillea hedge.  If you dream of yardwork then I have a great deal for you...

auntie_betty

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #87 on: December 29, 2014, 12:16:22 AM »

Well, I'm here to tell you that you are awesome!!! What you accomplished is so far outside of most people's experience that, even if you told them, they'd probably still think you were lucky or got a windfall or whatever. One of the great benefits of this Forum is that you have a community that totally gets how hard you had to work and change habits in order to accomplish what you did.

Random idea: What about some kind of farewell/thank you letter to your former colleagues into which you slip the information about being FI yourself?
Thanks :) and Joan also. Have thought of that Exhale - can't think of the right words so may just settle for saying 'all my hard work has paid off' when people know I'm going. TBH, most folk are too busy planning their next car/handbag purchase to care!

deborah

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #88 on: December 29, 2014, 04:45:29 AM »
When I left work, I had a quiet joy at being one up on the people who had been puttng me down. They will never retire early, or be as free of financial worries as I am. Yes, I would have liked to say that I was FI, but it really didn't matter. And now, I can't even remember their names.


Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #89 on: December 29, 2014, 07:08:08 AM »
Deborah,
Jealousy? It does have a funny way of playing out.

 I think that one of the daunting aspects of the transition to retirement, is that you find out who your true friends really are. Both at and outside work.


 I'm not sure how one prepares for that, except prepared to be surprised.



Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #90 on: December 29, 2014, 07:18:18 AM »
Nords,
I keep learning more each time I reread your posts here, as my perspective keeps changing. Is your Military book useful for non- military people in Canada do you think? Where best to read more about how you are "living the dream"?

As for the "living the dream" part... well, at 9 AM Monday morning I'll be paddling out at Waikiki Beach (or maybe White Plains Beach) with a woman who's vacationing frugally here and wants to improve her surfing.  (She'll start with a Steward Hydrohull 10'0" and maybe upgrade to a Cippy Cabato 10'0" pintail.)  After she's had enough (that 76-degree surf can be pretty cold in December!) we'll talk story on the beach and eat freshly-picked star fruit from my backyard tree.  Maybe we'll eat lunch at the Wailana Coffee House, Zippy's, or some other local hot spot.  I'll give her a bag of starfruit to take back to her hostel (she's also contemplating camping) and I hope to persuade her to write a guest post on cheap Hawaii vacations.

Then I'll come home and start pruning our bougainvillea hedge.  If you dream of yardwork then I have a great deal for you...
  thanks Nords! You have a generous soul! I appreciate your time to share. What am amazing day you have planned. More posts like this and I will throw caution to the wind and resign tomorrow and move to Hawaii! ;-) I'd be interested in your guests insights.
Id offer to come to do your gardening, but this hedge sounds nasty! Shall I bring something more serious than clippers and garden gloves?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 07:41:54 AM by Joan-eh? »

deborah

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #91 on: December 29, 2014, 02:22:15 PM »
Deborah,
Jealousy? It does have a funny way of playing out.

 I think that one of the daunting aspects of the transition to retirement, is that you find out who your true friends really are. Both at and outside work.

Jealousy does have a significant part to play at work. Since I am a woman, it seems to be particularly in relation to men. Many men get very anti-women when they divorce. This is probably more of a man problem than a woman problem because the stats show that significantly more women than men start divorce proceedings. Also, research has shown that men tend to view the money in a marriage as theirs rather than the product of the partnership. Compound all this with the fact that (at least in Australia) the courts tend to be award women more of the marriage finances and you get some really pissed off men at work. So when they see a woman who works with them, who is in a financially happy situation, they get extremely jealous. They get even more jealous when she is in a higher position.

Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #92 on: December 29, 2014, 05:26:14 PM »
Deborah, so disappointing the gender bias. and while you are  here, seems to me that we need to "hurrah" all that you've accomplished and persevered through. I feel sorry for those (male or female) who can't celebrate you!  Happy new year to you!

Neustache

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #93 on: December 30, 2014, 07:16:05 AM »
Ooohhh..that CoolWorks place is so neat!  Having idyllic fantasies of our whole family going to a retreat and working together for a season or a year.  How fun! 

Joan-eh?

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Re: Psychological journey of leaving work - if already FI
« Reply #94 on: December 30, 2014, 07:22:45 AM »
I checked out CoolWorks too! I was looking at "work away" too. Looking for somewhere warm for wintering :-)  this work/travel makes total sense in my version of FIRE.