Author Topic: You obsessed too?  (Read 9899 times)

MMMdude

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You obsessed too?
« on: March 02, 2014, 11:58:24 AM »
OK, I admit it - I'm obsessed. More and more of my time is spent thinking about the MMM lifestyle/my finances/how close I am/triple checking my numbers/running various scenarios,etc.   Why? I am completely and utterly burnt out by my corporate finance job. At the moment I have about 20X basic expenses saved up and each year I save about 2-3X basic expenses.  In theory i could pull the plug in 2 or 3 years although more realistically in 5 or 6 for the kind of retirement I want + some part time gigs to bring in about 20K per year (poker, selling stuff online, some bookkeeping/tax work, driving jobs, etc).  So close but so far.

At 38 I keep thinking of how great it will be to resign from my current job - but it's giving me alot of stress as I have to put in the time first and it's going to be absolutely dreadful in the meantime.  Bah - maybe it's just the weather.  -30 here and that doesn't help the psyche.  Just gotta keep plugging along I guess.  Anyone else in same boat?  I guess we all are if we are on here and not retired yet.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 12:14:00 PM by MMMdude »

arebelspy

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 01:10:43 PM »
Sounds like you need to quit.

You're at a 5% SWR, which isn't sustainable long term for 100% certainty (though it would have succeeded 70% of the time historically), but that's without the side income you're talking about (and not counting social security) - with that, you'd probably cross over to the 100% just fine level.

At the very least take a year or two off and then rejoin the workforce if you decide to.

20x expenses gives you the freedom to not have to be burnt out.

Anyone else in same boat?  I guess we all are if we are on here and not retired yet.

No, we aren't all.  Some like our jobs for now, and plan to FIRE at some point, but aren't burnt out.  Some of us like our jobs, and don't plan to ER ever. 

What you are experiencing, though you are told it's normal, is not good, or healthy, or the best way to live.

Either way, I hope you can enjoy yourself the next few years, whatever you plan to do.  :)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 01:12:43 PM by arebelspy »
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MMMdude

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 01:27:56 PM »
Taking a break in my profession is basically impossible.  No employer would want to hear about your sob story of how you couldn't hack your last job.  Sure, you could make some BS excuse up, but why hire the guy with the possibly true story when there is another guy without the story who can also do the job? 

I am still plugging away as there are a few things bothering me in my current position and I am hoping that in a few months they will be somewhat alleviated.





NWOutlier

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 02:00:38 PM »
Yes - I am obsessed, and burned out.

I monitor my accounts daily; I've finally figured out when they all update and only check it 2x a day now.  6ishPM and 9:30ishPM PST.

I'm frustrated that I have another 5-10 years to go; but, I also focus a ton on saving more, and have a goal to exceed what I "need" to leave the workforce... so, I am suffering through the pain, even though it may not be the best for my health.

Few things that may help:
1. when you take vacations; maybe consider taking longer vacations (don't just take a day off here and there, it takes a while to "deflate" from the stress)... don't take your work email with you.... I have a habit of staying plugged in when I'm on vacation.

2. work less, do your job, do it well, but define your boundaries and stick to them... work your 8 hours, take your lunches (I never take lunch) - go home and focus on you, your family and your future...

3. now that you have the savings part almost complete, spend your spare time ensuring you have a solid withdraw plan (not just 4% withdraw) - make sure your withdrawal plan is tax efficient.

4. based on number 2 above, maybe (just mayyyybe) you could be self creating an opportunity to be laid off?  being laid off gives you income from unemployment which reduces the amount you would need from your nest egg...

5. lastly, personally the stress of the job is real.. .it's depressing.. but not hitting your goal and having the money you need during your FI would also be depressing... meet or beat your savings goal... piece of mind... liquid savings, taxable savings, IRA (trad and roth if married), HSA, and 401k... these still leave you with social security and pension (if you have one at your job) as cushions .. I don't calculate pension or social security in my FI / early retirement... if they are there, they are bonuses for me.

6. ok, lastly, lastly; you're 38... make yourself feel better - I'm 45 and it looks like 55 is the EARLIEST I can even consider making a choice for change.. you are ahead of the curve (way ahead)... remember that... you've done what a lot of people claim they can't or won't do... and you did it by 38-43 years old.... sit back and remember... YOU ROCKED IT!!!


the above is creating distractions really, so you can last a bit longer in your current job.  But, if you can't or won't continue with your work - feel free to take a lower paying job that you enjoy... allow the savings to grow without contribution (of course this will delay your FI/retirement date a little, but you will be less stressed)

Looking forward to more of your posts and successes.

Best Regards,

Steve

Ziggurat

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 02:09:23 PM »
I was obsessed for a while. Family got really sick of the focus on money all the time.  Still running lots of numbers, etc but more just so I can get it all straight in my head. I've come to a much happier place where I feel confident in our plans, it is just a matter of patience, watching the net worth grow a little more each month.

I was unhappy with some things at work, too.  But as many have commented on other threads, you need to find your happiness wherever you are.  Life isn't something that happens after this, after that ... it's happening now too.  I refocused my thinking at work to what gives me job satisfaction, and ignoring the crap, and that has worked for me much better than I thought it would.

And definitely don't do anything if it is possible that wanting to quit is just due to winter blahs.  All of us in northern areas are feeling that this year -- this winter just seems to never end. Make a point of getting outside, especially when sunny. At least it helps.

Hang in there, I'm sure it will become clear with a little more time and thinking.

Cassie

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 02:16:12 PM »
I agree with you Steven. Plus the years go faster the older you get. I retired at 58 & hubby 54 which was young compared to most of our friends.  After about 6 months got bored so now both do consulting work. I did not think I would want to work at all but found that I missed it but not f.t. or all the office garbage.

MDM

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2014, 02:26:17 PM »
Good advice above. 

I'll add another vote for the "if you aren't ready to stop cold turkey, stay in your current job - but don't let it consume you".  It's very likely that you can be productive enough to be giving the employer fair value for your salary even if e.g. you work "only" 8 to 5 with an hour for lunch.


homehandymum

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2014, 04:49:54 PM »
Taking a break in my profession is basically impossible.  No employer would want to hear about your sob story of how you couldn't hack your last job.  Sure, you could make some BS excuse up, but why hire the guy with the possibly true story when there is another guy without the story who can also do the job? 

I am still plugging away as there are a few things bothering me in my current position and I am hoping that in a few months they will be somewhat alleviated.

Can you switch jobs?  Is it the industry itself or the particular workplace that sucks most?  I know it can be really hard to tell when you are in that "I hate everything about my job" headspace, but perhaps the same job in a different setting could be enough change to make the next few years bearable.

Or pull the plug and opt for semi-retired?  Independent contracting? Only you know what is feasible in your industry.

And yeah, kinda obsessed myself at present.  Completely different boat to you, but still obsessed. 

I've limited myself to end-of-month talleys on our balances, and I find myself getting antsy about mid-month, willing the end of the month to come so I can run the numbers and see the progress :)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 04:55:26 PM by homehandymum »

MinimalistMoustache

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2014, 05:30:28 PM »
I AM! - obsessed in a most beneficial way :-)

At 57 years, I first felt very, very late to the ER party. Came here burned out and afraid, realizing I had given away a great portion of my earnings (some helped others, some were poor choices on my part) and also made some ridiculous purchases for reasons I still can't understand. These lessons now valued came with a big price tag. I discovered a lot of past choices and ensuing obstacles were a result of severe chronic depression. A few months ago, everything looked very bleak. So thankful I was able to get help in time. I believe that much of the mental turmoil experienced, particularly during the last 30 years, drove a lot of my decision-making.

Truth: Everything is improving! I come here and feel renewed, hopeful. Though, I clearly will not retire "early"  :-) I am no longer afraid -- rather absolutely encouraged and strengthened by what I've been learning here on MMM. I realize I need very little in the way of material goods to feel abundantly provided for. I'm receiving excellent medical care, have more than enough to eat, gainfully employed and live in a beautiful place.

MMMDude, you may be able to take a break -- talk to HR about a brief leave of absence. Or if you can hang in there, use any down time to explore ways to re-set your thinking, you may find it isn't entirely the job that is fueling the burnout. Also a good idea to have a physical check-up. Personally, I always disliked this sort of advice, yet it is exactly what clued me in to what the core of my conflicts were. Sometimes directly correlating the effects of stress on our systems is more motivating than anything.

Ironically, since becoming a mustachian, I actually enjoy my job now!. I'm deeply grateful for what I am learning from Mr & Mrs M and the wonderful group of people on these forums. You all help me to appreciate what is here right now.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2014, 07:27:22 PM »
Yes, same boat here. We are nearly 25x of our bare bone expenses and will hit it in the next couple months, but DH feels like we need "more".
I don't know what his amount is and he has to quantify it for me. We are both still working our jobs, for whatever reason, with no end in sight for at least the next few months for me (maternity leave coming up!) and years for DH. He is 33 right now, so he thinks it is "too soon" for him to retire.

Anyway, I love looking at my spreadsheets. They make me feel like we have a lot of options and happy. I know I need to step away from them and not obsess about...so many things. I guess this is my hobby right now, which is kind of sad, because I am too much in the future, rather than focusing on the present.

As far as the working, just try not to take it too seriously if possible. It's what you do, but try not to let it consume you. I saw a post recently about "what would you do if you were in early retirement?". I didn't post to that thread, but what I found consistent on it was that so many people noted activities that they could be doing today....not waiting for ER. If you can dig up that thread, think about what you would do in ER and see what will help you today. I know it is an exercise that I need to do myself to get my out of my spreadsheets.

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 10:20:38 AM »
Yes, I am also obsessed!  I try not to let the job consume me, but I find myself thinking all the time about resigning.  I am nowhere near FI, but would like to leave my job and pursue other things, that happen not to make near as much income.  I'm trying to hang on as long as possible, but it's terribly difficult.  I've been in the same position for 22 years, and am burned out, I suppose.

zachd

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 11:27:06 AM »
Yes, same boat.. I don't know if I'm that obsessed, but ever since making some spreadsheets and seeing what it would take to retire in 10 years.. now it seems to make the current job worse because I feel locked in to those numbers.  People say "Just get a new job" but I don't really want to do this somewhere else either, I need to retire, take a break, or change careers or SOMETHING.

So I can relate and reading it to it it sounds like it's more your job than anything.

If you are just trying to stick around until a certain date that isn't that far out I agree with what others said. 

Just get by...  a layoff or firing could be a real blessing for lack of a better word.  Call in sick and have some fun.   Take all your vacation days.  Take all your sick days.
Take long lunches. Leave early. Come in late. 

Maybe you could work a while longer then get an easier job and coast to retirement?  That's somewhat my plan.. if I can pay off primary debt and convince my wife to move to a cheaper place I could make half as much as I do now and still be putting a good amount towards retirement.

You're aren't the only one, so good luck.  Keep plugging and keep your eyes open for a good opportunity.. whatever it might be.



dragoncar

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 11:36:02 AM »
Yeah... I may need to take a break from MMM just to get my head right.  I went on vacation for a few weeks last year and didn't once check my accounts or MMM -- I was too busy having fun!  These days, my obsession is really just a form of escapism that may not be healthy in the long run.

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 04:23:27 PM »
YES i am obsessed too! im glad i am not alone! i have pushed myself too thin this first quarter and i cant wait for May, after that, ill taper down and wait till next year for the other goals to get fulfilled, , i need to learn to pat myself on the back coz i have gone far from when where we were, i have decided this is not healthy for me emotionally and for my marriage lol, i have been so impatient and i need to back off a little bit and enjoy the moment. how? by lurking and posting comments on MMM BAH.

tipster350

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 05:02:19 PM »
Yes, I'm currently obsessed. My obsession comes and goes. While I'm in obsessive mode, I move heaven and earth to maximize every aspect of my plan, and am tireless. When not in obsessive mode, I still make progress. I'm also very late to the game (in my 50s). I think my obsession kicked in recently when I realized that not only was retirement possible, which I doubted for many years, retiring somewhat early, maybe at 60-62 is possible. This is very late for some, but this is where I am and at least I know I can retire. Many of my friends and colleagues are in a far worse situation.

The advice to live your life NOW is spot on. You really don't want to wish your time away and use this as a distraction from participating in life. Do what you can to make your job liveable or start looking at other options. And use your time outside of work as wisely as you're using your money. Enjoy it.

bigchrisb

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 05:53:10 PM »
I'm in the obsessed camp too.  I'm 32, and at 20x my actual total spend (last year included 3 months international travel), and 37x my actual spend, excluding big trips. I should see this as exceedingly comfortable.

However, I obsess, checking accounts hourly, and re-running the same calculations multiple times a day.  I'd hoped this was a temporary phase, but I've been doing it for years.  I've been more obsessive about the process than I have about the end point.  Its been problematic for my productivity in most other areas of my life.

When I do take decent downtime, though holidays or similar, I don't check my numbers or play with my spreadsheets.  I feel much better.  I think I need to go cold turkey on the calculations, the updates, and the web trawling.  I'm going to try logging in just once a month, at the start of the month, for a monthly balance/check/update.

hybrid

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2014, 06:54:20 PM »
I AM! - obsessed in a most beneficial way :-)

At 57 years, I first felt very, very late to the ER party. Came here burned out and afraid, realizing I had given away a great portion of my earnings (some helped others, some were poor choices on my part) and also made some ridiculous purchases for reasons I still can't understand. These lessons now valued came with a big price tag. I discovered a lot of past choices and ensuing obstacles were a result of severe chronic depression. A few months ago, everything looked very bleak. So thankful I was able to get help in time. I believe that much of the mental turmoil experienced, particularly during the last 30 years, drove a lot of my decision-making.

Truth: Everything is improving! I come here and feel renewed, hopeful. Though, I clearly will not retire "early"  :-) I am no longer afraid -- rather absolutely encouraged and strengthened by what I've been learning here on MMM. I realize I need very little in the way of material goods to feel abundantly provided for. I'm receiving excellent medical care, have more than enough to eat, gainfully employed and live in a beautiful place.

MMMDude, you may be able to take a break -- talk to HR about a brief leave of absence. Or if you can hang in there, use any down time to explore ways to re-set your thinking, you may find it isn't entirely the job that is fueling the burnout. Also a good idea to have a physical check-up. Personally, I always disliked this sort of advice, yet it is exactly what clued me in to what the core of my conflicts were. Sometimes directly correlating the effects of stress on our systems is more motivating than anything.

Ironically, since becoming a mustachian, I actually enjoy my job now!. I'm deeply grateful for what I am learning from Mr & Mrs M and the wonderful group of people on these forums. You all help me to appreciate what is here right now.

Nice! I'm glad I had a chance to read this....

dude

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 08:19:23 AM »
Oh yes, obsessed for sure.  I'm on record as saying so in another thread (or 20!).  haha!

But hopefully I'm obsessed in a good way.  To wit, other than the usual account-checking, looking for ways to save more, and running the numbers every now and then, I've been taking steps toward getting certification for my second "career," which will hopefully just be a hobby career to keep me stay busy during the week.  And otherwise living life as usual, doing the things I love doing in my free time, and vacationing regularly (3-5 times/year) to maintain my sanity. 

But oh how I count the days until I can walk out the door of this place with a big-ass shit-eating grin on my face!  And every time someone retires from this job and I go to their send-off, I'm both really happy for them and really envious!!!

BPA

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 08:47:07 AM »
I find myself more obsessed than I was a few years ago, but less obsessed now that I've basically autopiloted my plan.  That plan is to take my pension early (in 1575 days), and pay off all of my mortgage by then. 

The politics at work drive me nuts, so I try to focus on the good things whenever I can and when I think I might lose my shit, I take a personal/sick day.  Luckily that doesn't happen too often.

One thing I'm really glad about:  my last performance appraisal should be my last.  They are done every five years and my last one was last November.  It is a lot of work to put those babies together, and I'll bet that alone would push me out the door if I were tempted to stay.  ;)

lexie2000

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 12:33:23 PM »
We are already retired.  I am not obsessed with the "bottom line" so I don't look up balances or play with spread sheets.  My "obsession" is with getting the most bang for our buck when we do have to purchase whether it be food, clothes, or whatnot.   

jrhampt

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 01:03:15 PM »
One thing I'm really glad about:  my last performance appraisal should be my last.  They are done every five years and my last one was last November.  It is a lot of work to put those babies together, and I'll bet that alone would push me out the door if I were tempted to stay.  ;)

I am so jealous!  We have yearly performance appraisals - plus an "interim review", so it's more like twice a year.  I've got at least a few more in my future.

In answer to the original question, I am obsessed with FI in direct proportion to how unhappy I am with my job.  If I can lose myself in a current project, my obsession decreases.  I need to focus more on being good at my job, I think, which will make me enjoy it more (performance appraisals and corporate bs aside).  Maybe once the mortgage is paid off, I will relax a bit more.

BPA

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 05:25:22 PM »
One thing I'm really glad about:  my last performance appraisal should be my last.  They are done every five years and my last one was last November.  It is a lot of work to put those babies together, and I'll bet that alone would push me out the door if I were tempted to stay.  ;)

I am so jealous!  We have yearly performance appraisals - plus an "interim review", so it's more like twice a year.  I've got at least a few more in my future.


I'm a teacher.  They take a lot of time to put together.  I think I spent 20 hours putting mine together in portfolio form, but as long as they take for teachers, they take longer for principals.  Something like 10 hours each for each teacher on staff and with the way stuff comes up like discipline issues, it's a nightmare for them.

I think it's only every five years for us because it's so hard on them.

Of course, if I start fucking up and people start complaining, I'll be under intense scrutiny.  I'm just glad I don't have to put together another portfolio. 

I do feel for people who have frequent reviews and dickhead bosses. 

MMMdude

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 08:12:54 PM »
One thing I'm really glad about:  my last performance appraisal should be my last.  They are done every five years and my last one was last November.  It is a lot of work to put those babies together, and I'll bet that alone would push me out the door if I were tempted to stay.  ;)

I am so jealous!  We have yearly performance appraisals - plus an "interim review", so it's more like twice a year.  I've got at least a few more in my future.

In answer to the original question, I am obsessed with FI in direct proportion to how unhappy I am with my job.  If I can lose myself in a current project, my obsession decreases.  I need to focus more on being good at my job, I think, which will make me enjoy it more (performance appraisals and corporate bs aside).  Maybe once the mortgage is paid off, I will relax a bit more.

My previous employer required us to review our subordinates on a quarterly basis.  Hated every one of those and i had 7 direct reports

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 09:41:46 PM »
Fist bup for all the obsessed out there.  I started reading MMM this year (read ALL of them form the begining) and it got me revved up to RE now!  Of course I have a lot of planning and saving to do, but I have been stating that I'm retiring by 50 (I'm 41) for sure and I'm really planning to leave the corporate world by ~45 (a LOT of saving to get there).  I realized I was obsessed once I read through all the MMM posts and there wasn't a new one the next day....  oh man.  Now I run the numbers and stare at my expenses every day and think about what I can cut.  I have a lot of irons in the fire to fix.

But I'm with you on the sick of work and just wish I could leave (you are way closer to FI with your numbers) but I realized that I'm not going to care as much.  Oh, I'll do the job they pay me for, and just that.  I'm not stressed about advancing in the career anymore and maybe I can even take a lateral and find something new to work at for a few years, but not worry about the fact that I wouldn't get a raise.  I think others have said it, but I would say you need to find your peace where you are and change what you can and ignore what you can't.  (and look forward to the sun, we've had our polar vortex - now I'm looking forward to the 40degree temps they are forcasting, shorts weather!!)

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2014, 09:42:14 PM »
I think about early retirement on a daily basis, especially in the morning when I get up and commute to work.  There are moments when my head feels like it's in a vice, which prompts me to evaluate our situation even more.  Last year, a bad day at work prompted me to sell our condo so we can start preparing ourselves to pull the plug.  I wanted to pull the plug right after we sould our condo, but my wife talked me into hanging in there for another year.

Even now, with only about 6 months left in our accumulation stage, I feel like I could pull the trigger any minute.  So no, I don't think you are crazy for thinking about early retirement a lot.  The way I see it, the pain has motivated to me to pursue FI, if it didn't hurt as much then I would probably linger in the 9-5 for far too long.

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2014, 09:52:04 PM »
Spoonman, what is your game plan for early retirement living in LA if you don't mind saying?  You've sold a condo and you'll just rent for the foreseeable future?  I'm always amazed at the display of wealth in S. California.  3-series BMWs are like Honda Civics.  Just today I saw 2-3 Maseratis, 2 Ferraris and tons of BMWs and Mercedes, many were M-series and AMG.  Anyway, just curious. 
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 10:04:20 PM by Wannabe »

mobrie

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2014, 11:40:08 AM »
I am in the same boat.  I am glad I found your post and the comments from other mustachians.  It has helped me to realize that I am wishing my time away.  I am 38 and about 4-5 years away from FI.  I check my mint account 5 or 6 times a day, usually when I am feeling particularly bummed about work.  I am also regularly looking for a new place to live because we will probably have to move to a less expensive area in order to retire in 4-5 years.  I do this knowing that we are not ready to move yet, so it is silly to spend so much time on it.

I think I need to do a few things.  First, I need to find something to be excited about now instead of wishing for the future to get here faster.  I am having a really hard time getting excited about work, but I should probably make more of an effort to get together with friends, plan some trips or something.  I am also planning on quitting my job this summer.  I have been taking some online classes to change careers and I think I will be able to make the change this fall.  There is some stress related to that because I will have to take a pay cut initially to make the change which will put me even further from FI, but I am so done with this job.  The good thing about the career change is that the new job will allow me to work from home.  There are also part-time possibilities, so I could semi-retire and work from home part-time.  I think I could handle that.

Thanks for allowing me to ramble.  I have been thinking about this a lot and it helps to see that other people are dealing with burn out too.  At least we will be able to retire young!!  Sometimes it is easy to lose perspective.  A lot of my friends and co-workers are still planning to work into their sixties!  Ugh!

Eric

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Re: You obsessed too?
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2014, 12:30:02 PM »
I realized I was obsessed once I read through all the MMM posts and there wasn't a new one the next day....  oh man.

Ha!  I can totally relate.  Read like 5-6 a day and then boom, 2 a week.  Good thing the forums are here.