Author Topic: Too scared to retire, even though I can...  (Read 16612 times)

anniebelle

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Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« on: November 10, 2013, 05:11:11 PM »
I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experiences with the psychological impact of retirement?

I can well afford to hand in my notice and go off exploring the world, and what's more, my beloved other half WANTS me to - but when push comes to shove, I feel like the kid going down the slide that gets to the bottom and suddenly needs to start backing up. Quite what I'm afraid of, I don't know. Is it that because I don't know, that it's so scary?

Anyway I know there'll be many of us out there who are sold on the idea of early retirement in theory, but need to be dragged screaming to the finish line. At least I HOPE it's not just me???


pac_NW

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2013, 05:44:46 PM »
Ditto. In fact, I wrote in my journal today that we have the funding, so will I have the courage to step away and just go be?  I think it's normal to feel this way. Not sure how old you are, but I think it's harder the older you are. I am mid 40s and work is what I have done. Got to get over that first and just take the next step. I understand exactly what you are going through.

arebelspy

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 05:59:28 PM »
My favorite advice I've heard on the topic is to retire TO something, rather than FROM something.

Then you'll be excited, rather than scared.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

anniebelle

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 06:04:16 PM »
Well glad to know I'm not alone! I'm in my early 50's.

That's a very good thought, Arabelspy, and one I've pondered long and hard. Just what would I be retiring to? To be honest, not very much that thrills me. This is possibly why it's so difficult? Work does give me a measure of satisfaction, companionship, and a sense of belonging to a good bunch of people.

I do have a project that I get quite excited about when I consider doing it - that's moving to another city and renovating a couple of our rental properties - but then I throw up roadblocks as to why that's not a good idea, and how it will all be to difficult etc...I know I'm just making excuses.

Pac_NW, have you thought about what your alternative to work would actually look like?

sulaco

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 06:38:47 PM »
I've talked about this with my wife (we're still a few years off). I'd like to think that my plan will be to keep working for a year afterwards, putting 100% into my stache. The next year I'd take a 1-year sabbatical (a possibility at my current employer) as a safety-net, and assuming everything went well, start my retirement at the end of the break. If the math wasn't working out as expected, it'd be back to work and try again.

avonlea

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 06:40:53 PM »
I can well afford to hand in my notice and go off exploring the world, and what's more, my beloved other half WANTS me to - but when push comes to shove, I feel like the kid going down the slide that gets to the bottom and suddenly needs to start backing up. Quite what I'm afraid of, I don't know. Is it that because I don't know, that it's so scary?

That's a very good thought, Arabelspy, and one I've pondered long and hard. Just what would I be retiring to? To be honest, not very much that thrills me. This is possibly why it's so difficult? Work does give me a measure of satisfaction, companionship, and a sense of belonging to a good bunch of people.

Is your other half mostly wanting you to quit or wanting to explore the world with you?  If you are happy with your job and don't really feel compelled to retire, could you continuing working but cut back on your hours? Perhaps work out a situation where you could take off a month or so at a time? 

Not everybody wants to retire, even if they have the means to. 
Is early retirement something that you are at all interested in?

anniebelle

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 07:11:55 PM »
Yes, I like the idea of a one year sabbatical, there's a sense you haven't burnt your bridges! And yes, I have already negotiated my hours down in the new year, to half what I do now. Still, there's this niggling feeling that I don't HAVE to be doing this stuff (which is high-stress but often rewarding), so why am I?

And hubby really just wants me round more, I think, rather than a specific plan to go off and do things together, although we do have some things we'd like to do.

I am erring towards heading down south to renovate (and add $50k to our coffers in doing so) but...and here we go again...reasons why I can't. I'm doing my own head in.

Thanks for your thoughts.

brewer12345

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2013, 07:37:09 PM »
If you are not ready, don't take the leap. Simple as that.  Not ready can be financial, emotional, etc.

OptimusFrugal

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2013, 09:21:20 PM »
I retired in July at the age of 51.  It took me about a year to get up the courage after I hit my "number".  Of course over that year my savings grew more.

When asked by friends "what will you do" my best response is this.   Think of your last vacation, did you have more you wanted to do on the last day?  Think of every Sunday evening, when your stomach drops when you remember that tomorrow you will be back a the job with all it's stress and angst over hitting goals and increasing productivity.

Take a piece of ruled note book paper and draw vertical lines on it every quarter inch.  You now have a lot of small boxes.  Assume each box is one month of your life.  Your whole life fits on that page.  Write in the boxes the things you want to do at each age. Consider what you won't be able to do as you get to more advanced ages. 

It has taken a few months for me to just get back in good enough shape to play golf again after sitting behind a desk for 27 years.   I wouldn't wait too long.

Basenji

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 07:42:27 AM »
Um...face punch? Retire!

Snow White

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2013, 06:08:15 PM »
I am with you AnnieBelle and I am 59.  My hubby is also retired and would be fine if I retired with him.  A hold up for me is that I really like my job, like the people I work with and feel what I do is meaningful.  Earlier this year I tried to retire and successfully got out of my management position and stepped down to a much less stressful role.  If I retired, I would likely volunteer in a similar field so for now I am going to keep working!  I admit though that a lot of my ease comes from knowing I could quit tomorrow if I wanted to.

pac_NW

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2013, 06:48:35 PM »
Anniebelle, I am going to write, work at something part-time, take my daughter to school, play live poker once a week, cool (a lot) and volunteer! 

oldtoyota

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 07:27:29 PM »
This is a great question. I can empathize with the fear. I have been giving thought to how I most want to spend my time when retired. I decided to get involved with a few organizations to see which I like best. I have years to retirement, yet it's nice to be "on the way" to figuring out what is next.



 

iris lily

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 10:37:04 PM »
I plan to live on what I think my retirement income will be for at minimum one year before pulling the trigger. That will help me get acclimated. I now spend money in some crazy ways, but having been a black belt frugal person for most of my life, I can bring it down again.

I am also waiting to see what the mess that is the ACA shakes out to be.

nz

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 11:42:08 PM »
I retired earlier this year aged 48. The psycholgical adjustment leading up to my final decision was huge and should not be underestimated. Logically every thing made perfect sense, money stashed away, worst case contingincies catered for, but still something was holding me back.....

I am sure it was merely a case of de-programming oneself from a lifetime of 'following the rules', that is work Monday to Friday for 40 odd years.

8 months on I am still un-coupling myself from society's expectations ....but I am winning ,and the regular grind is slowly being replaced by the joy of choosing how to use my time each and every day.

Definitely no regrets but I am now looking for a meaningful hobby/ past- time to do on wet days......any ideas????

Ozstache

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2013, 03:32:00 AM »
Six weeks in to ER here, and no looking back at this stage. The journey up to ER was far more tortuous as I anticipated what I would do to fill the time, worried about whether my ER financial calculations were sufficiently robust and wondered if I would annoy my wife being around so much.

On the fill time front, I acknowledge that I am likely still in an extended holiday frame of mind however I am having NO problem filling my days. In fact, the to do in ER list I made before finishing work was largely untouched the first month and I've had to consciously start doing some of the items on the list.

Financial stability is still TBD as I am on full salary with long service and holiday leave until mid Feb, so no change in income just yet. Even after Feb, my government pension will be higher than my current spend rate, a rate that will likely change as I find my ER feet. The rest of my stash is poised to invest around Feb and currently overheated markets are a bit of a concern on that front. I will likely DCA over next year to lessen the likelihood of a one off big drop just after I get in the market, even if that will likely cost me in the long run compared to just jumping in the market when I can.

Spending more time with my wife has revealed a few road bumps along the way, but nothing that I haven't been able to fix through negotiation or, where we just need some space from each other, me heading off for a few days with my motorbike, a tent and some cans of baked beans!

All in all, I'd say ER has gone better than I hoped so far. Ask me again at the six month point!


Exflyboy

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 01:15:07 PM »
Yup same here.. I am six months out and currently feel sick everytime I get in my car at 5am to drive the 80 miles to work.

When I get here I really dislike anything I have to do.

But I also don't have a brain that idles well.

The other thing is do I REALLY have enough stash?.. The markets could be at a huge top, blah blah blah.

I think I just got to pull the plug and retire.

Frank

anniebelle

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2013, 01:32:53 PM »
Oh wow, thank you very much for your replies, everyone. It's very reassuring to know that it's not always a simple "I Hate My Job So I Quit" decision. I can identify with all the "obstacles" others have mentioned. The blessing is that we actually DO have choices.

mikefixac

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 02:27:04 AM »
Wife retired 4 months ago.

Actually she's doing the same type work (opened own practice), just way less hours and way less money. She's said repeatedly she'd do it for free she enjoys it so much.

DW just doesn't have all the stress and baggage that goes into a full time job. And I know she's happier.

dude

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Re: Too scared to retire, even though I can...
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2013, 09:16:12 AM »
Yup same here.. I am six months out and currently feel sick everytime I get in my car at 5am to drive the 80 miles to work.

When I get here I really dislike anything I have to do.

But I also don't have a brain that idles well.

The other thing is do I REALLY have enough stash?.. The markets could be at a huge top, blah blah blah.

I think I just got to pull the plug and retire.

Frank

I have FAR more time to go than 6 months -- more like 6-7 years, and damn, I'm finding it harder and harder to focus on work!  I get this way every time I have a planned vacation, for a few weeks prior.  And when I return, far from being "refreshed" and ready for the grind, I'm wishing I was back on vacation!  I'm having to be more and more disciplined when it comes to work, reminding myself that it's my job that is going to eventually afford me my freedom, but it's not easy.  I'll probably be a basketcase 6 months out!