Author Topic: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?  (Read 1371 times)

stashyMel

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How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:48:15 PM »
I was restructured out a job after 19 years of working corporate engineering jobs. Some of my past jobs were high stress and I was known for managing big workloads. For the past 3 years, I was working 36 hours (4*9) with 1 day off per week. So I already had 1 foot in FIRE.
We have 4 years living expenses saved besides our retirement and my spouse plans to work another 3 years. So, that leaves us roughly 10 years of expenses to cover later. Once we both retire, we plan to work seasonal jobs to cover expenses and travel or relocate regionally to enjoy the things we like.

Right now, I'm struggling to focus. I don't even want to do the things I should do, let alone the volunteering I could do. My list of things I could be doing is big such as biking or walking, eating better, volunteering, etc. I also don't want to work on my resume. However, I know that I should find a 1 or 2 year job now to cover health insurance costs and charitable donations before 59.5 Or I could get a part time job now which could serve me for the next 15 years until retirement accounts are available. I just don't know where to focus my efforts and I don't really care to focus.

So what I am asking in my ramble is when did your brain settle? How did you figure out what to do next? I think part of my problem is regaining self motivation/worth when my world is much smaller now. I did imagine my life post retirement and have joined a few clubs and have hobbies. 

I know I could convert my retirement accounts to gain access to them now but I would rather let them mature for safety's sake. 

bognish

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 11:17:15 PM »
I got laid off into FIRE last November. It took 3 or 4 weeks for me to shake off weird feelings from my last job. Wife (SAHM) & I decided not to worry about money, finances or big decisions until my severance was spent. That took 4 months. By then a lot of the work stress had gone away. Since then we are taking life and decision making season by season. Its easier for me to make plans and goals for the next 3 months, than to try and come up with a 10 year plan that is either overwhelming or invites procrastination.

So take some time to relax. Pick on fun goalish hobby and focus on that for a few weeks. If your spouse is still working and you have 4 years expenses saved you do not need to work on your resume or apply to a job right away.

FurtherJourneys

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 07:34:54 AM »
My husband was a corporate engineer for 15 years before he left to manage our rentals. It has been 3 years and he still struggles some days with feeling "productive" enough (even though he spends 15-20 hours a week renovating apartments and taking care of the grounds).

I left teaching at around the same time and it took me the same three years to find my groove in what I want to be doing for a small side income.

I think taking it a little bit at a time is a great idea. It's quite possible that any job you find now won't be the job you want to be doing in a few years.

With your savings and retirement accounts already in place, you have some freedom to explore opportunities and not feel locked into it being another long term gig.

It is also a huge adjustment to not have a regular schedule. Most of us have had a schedule imposed on us since kindergarten, after all. Give yourself some grace and time to settle into this big change!

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 06:55:44 PM »
It varies by person but a six month decompression period seems pretty typical.  It was about 6 months for me.  More or less.  You don't wake up one day and realize you are fully decompressed.  It is a slow bleed off from the pressure valve.

I did have an initial six week period of (what to call it?!?) whatever where I went on a six week long video game and junk food bender.  Not healthy but how I mentally shrugged off some toxic things I didn't realize I had accumulated.  After awhile, you just realize you have had "enough" mountain dew and killed "enough" dragons. 

SachaFiscal

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 09:45:17 PM »
Yeah motivation has been a problem for me.  I read Ernie Zelinski's book, How to Retire Happy Wild and Free which helped. He has an exercise where you create a "Get a Life" tree. From that exercise I remembered I wanted to be a musician when I was younger (before I joined the rat race).  From there I picked just one concrete thing I could do to make progress on that goal.  I took a music class.  Then after that class I took another and another.  I don't have a 5 year plan, I'm just focusing one day at a time and trying to spend a little bit of time each day to learn and practice music.  I realized I didn't have the motivation to do it on my own, I have to be accountable to someone.  So I took classes and now I'm taking private lessons.

FreshlyFIREd

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 03:18:47 AM »
... How did you figure out what to do next? ...

Both me and wifie retired from high stress engineering jobs. Neither of us are employed in that field any longer - zero - zip. We are both grateful that we have left that behind.

I am approaching my second year anniversary of retirement. I cannot seem to find the time to accomplish the things that I want. Projects around the house, two hours at the gym everyday, cooking, etc. We can afford to travel and we do. And when I am traveling, I get apprehensive that I am not home getting things accomplished.

One goal was to take up guitar - I wish I had the time. I have taken up reading. I can mostly read two books a month - but I have to really work at it to accomplish that goal. On good days, I can find 30-60 minutes to take a nap.

I wish I had a life where I could sit around figure what to do next.

Dicey

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 05:10:28 PM »
After a LOT of sleep. It took much longer than I expected, but it was 100% worth it.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 10:42:20 PM by Dicey »

BigMoneyJim

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2019, 09:02:30 PM »
We have 4 years living expenses saved besides our retirement

Quote
However, I know that I should find a 1 or 2 year job now to cover health insurance costs and charitable donations before 59.5 Or I could get a part time job now which could serve me for the next 15 years until retirement accounts are available.

Hey, you've got 4 years to figure it out. Give yourself a few months at least.

Psst, you can withdraw from retirement accounts before 59.5. It costs an extra 10%, but it may be worth keeping in mind.

My original retire-early plan was to use 72t SEPP withdrawals, but now I'm about to cross into semi-retirement and also don't know how much income I'll have, when, or from where. But I have a pension available in 5.5 years, age 59.5 in 10 years and SS in 12.5 years, so I'm planning on allowing myself to draw on retirement accounts with penalty.

Or I could change my mind and go make more money. But that's what FI is: flexibility.

soccerluvof4

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Re: How long until I stop seeing shiny squirrels post FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: Today at 03:01:39 AM »
This seems to be one of the most asked questions in one form or another and the answer is it really is different from person to person. I am at 4.5 years being Fire'd and at times I feel overwhelmed I have so much to do and other times bored. But you will figure it out once you allow yourself the time to just decompress a bit. Thats why better earlier than later imo