Author Topic: Not sure if I like FIRE  (Read 35988 times)

Exflyboy

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2015, 03:06:16 PM »
Yes PT work IS fun.. I really like my hobby job, we have at least 75 times expenses saved but that doesn't I CAN'T work.. but heck if my boss pisses me off.. I won't be there the next day..:)

BPA

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #51 on: November 03, 2015, 03:23:55 PM »
If all I had to live on was $18k, I would not consider myself FI.  That is below poverty status, and you could be on welfare and make more.

Get a $50K plus number before you call yourself FI.

Well, that's arbitrary and unnecessary considering the OP enjoyed life on $28k/year.  Also, MMM himself did not have that much when he retired.


OP: Is part of the problem that your partner might not want to move?  I'm facing something similar with mine.  I'm burning out of my career and would love to move to another locale eventually, but he wants to stay here. 


FloridaDad

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2015, 08:00:20 PM »
This is my first post on MMM, I have been lurking and reading for a few months. My story is very similar to the OP, except that it all happened about 2.5 years ago, so I think I can add some perspective.

I was 49 years old and had been at the same megacorp for 15 years, and had steadily moved up the ranks until I was made a director in my last position. I actually did not want the director role as I liked being a manager, but I was picked and I really had no right of refusal other than to quit. That all happened in late 2005. I started my new director role in early 2006 and did well until 2012 for the most part, although the stress and anxiety of the job was wearing me out. My "C" level boss retired in early 2012 and my peer got the job. He made my and everyone's life a living hell immediately. He was a madman actually, causing so much stress that several people went out on disability, 1 woman who was younger than I died in her sleep (I believe this was at least partially because of work stress) and I then witnessed another co-worker have a stroke in the middle of a contentious meeting.

I made a great deal of money, but with kids in college, I also paid full price for all things college and I paid as much to the federal government alone in taxes as I earn in salary today.

I suffered with anxiety and my health was really poor. Fortunately, I had an OK start to FI with the following:

250K in pension which I took as a lump sum when I left, which I ten rolled into a deferred income annuity (the pension I could buy for myself was better than what the company was offering)
600K in 401K which I rolled into an IRA
100K in brokerage savings earmarked for college
200K in equity in my primary home
75K in equity in our vacation home in FL (which will soon become our permanent home)

So, I quit my job after I found a similar position at a university in the Philly area. However, the new job came with a 2 hour one way commute, so at the last minute I took a very low paying position with a friend's non profit. I spent 2 years at this job living through PTSD. The madman C level person was fired 4 months after I left, and although a few folks asked about me coming back, I knew I was done. I had no gas left in the tank. I was 49 and I felt tired and just wrecked. I also went through a guilt stage which was composed with an overwhelming feeling of guilt that Dad and Hubby was not the corporate all star anymore. My wife has a job that she loves working at the local school, so we had health benefits covered, and my small salary was paying most of the bills. However, working for a small non profit was not for me as we were always going month to month not knowing if donations would keep us open. Another type of stress.

After 2 years, we made our next big decision when I accepted a position at a university in Florida that is close to where our vacation home is. My wife and youngest are still in my original state of PA as my youngest is graduating high school in 2017. The good news is that my son goes to the same school I work at, so we are making the split family situation work for now.

I really like my new job in the .edu space. Universities move slowly, are typically more political, but the stress level is 10% of what I used to have. My salary is still only about half of what I used to make, but my son gets freee tuitiion and I also increased my financial aid package for my daughter by 20K as a result of my job downsizing.

I use the word downsizing when I talk with others about my job situation. Just as a house can get to be too much, so can jobs. I downsized to get away from the madness. I was very successful in my old life, but I was never happy. My wife, out of the blue after 6 months told me one evening that "It was so nice to have her husband back". I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried when I heard that.

I learned a great deal about myself through this journey. I have social anxiety and do not do well in meetings. I am much better at working with small teams on very technical projects and am back in my comfort zone. My new unversity wanted to make me a director, and I respectfully told them no way. My self-discovery taught me that I actually went up at least one too many levels in my career, as I was chasing the money as well as the ego.

I consider myself FI today and my financial picture has improved somewhat through the acquisition of a rental property. Homes in rural Florida are cheap, and the rental market is strong. Most importantly, with an annual tax bill of $500, the passive income seems like a good strategy. I think I am going to grow that number to 5 houses to create most of my retirement income.

I am actually planning on full retirement in 2017 when my youngest graduates. She will get the basic state college education (Florida is an exceptionally great value) and I will thank God that I made it. It is not easy being separated from loved ones, but our weird situation is working 7 months into our 2 year plan.

My advice to the OP is to not wait for life or deals or companies. The megacorp I worked for outsourced my entire former department, and I am so happy I did not have to live through all of that stress 2 years later. I would also suggest looking at .EDU employers, the pace is slower and the salaries are lower, but I started with 26 days of vacation, 10 days of sick time, and 15 university holidays. That's like being retired already! My retirement stash would have been more if I had stayed, but the true cost of that in personal health is just not worth it.

Lastly, here is your litmus test. If, on Sunday evening, you have an unbearable sense of dread for Monday, OR if on Friday you have such euphoria that you made another week; these are your queues to make a change.

FloridaDad


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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #53 on: November 05, 2015, 05:50:32 AM »
Fantastic first post, Floridadad!

Welcome to the forums (or at least posting on them).

I found your post rather inspirational because I am burning out of my current career and am thinking that doing graduate work and TAing (I'm a teacher and love the actual teaching part of my job) might not be my next step.  I wouldn't need to earn much money fortunately.

Sorry to the OP for the hijack.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2015, 08:07:07 AM »
Thank you Florida Dad for writing such a moving account about what you went through.

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2015, 09:08:10 AM »
Thanks Florida Dad.  I never made director (and would likely never have at the old megacorp that has decided I was not a "golden child") but I think I can relate.  I was making pretty decent money but it wasn't making me happy.  A lot of people don't understand why I went FIRE leaving literally millions in future compensation on the table.  I can't understand why they can't see I'm happier.

Best of luck in the .edu space.  Sounds like the right fit.

MrsPete

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2015, 12:03:57 PM »
What I'm hearing you say is that you retired too soon -- before you had adequate resources.  And I agree with you:  I don't have any desire to retire and live an austere life void of hobbies, etc.  I want to be able to do what I want to do. 

The answer is simple:  Go back to work.  You're still young, and you have plenty of time to retire later, better prepared. 

Shane

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #57 on: November 08, 2015, 10:51:38 AM »
OP:

ポンポコポンポコポンポコ!

Zx

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2016, 12:20:28 PM »
This is my first post on MMM, I have been lurking and reading for a few months. My story is very similar to the OP, except that it all happened about 2.5 years ago, so I think I can add some perspective.

I was 49 years old and had been at the same megacorp for 15 years, and had steadily moved up the ranks until I was made a director in my last position. I actually did not want the director role as I liked being a manager, but I was picked and I really had no right of refusal other than to quit. That all happened in late 2005. I started my new director role in early 2006 and did well until 2012 for the most part, although the stress and anxiety of the job was wearing me out. My "C" level boss retired in early 2012 and my peer got the job. He made my and everyone's life a living hell immediately. He was a madman actually, causing so much stress that several people went out on disability, 1 woman who was younger than I died in her sleep (I believe this was at least partially because of work stress) and I then witnessed another co-worker have a stroke in the middle of a contentious meeting.

I made a great deal of money, but with kids in college, I also paid full price for all things college and I paid as much to the federal government alone in taxes as I earn in salary today.

I suffered with anxiety and my health was really poor. Fortunately, I had an OK start to FI with the following:

250K in pension which I took as a lump sum when I left, which I ten rolled into a deferred income annuity (the pension I could buy for myself was better than what the company was offering)
600K in 401K which I rolled into an IRA
100K in brokerage savings earmarked for college
200K in equity in my primary home
75K in equity in our vacation home in FL (which will soon become our permanent home)

So, I quit my job after I found a similar position at a university in the Philly area. However, the new job came with a 2 hour one way commute, so at the last minute I took a very low paying position with a friend's non profit. I spent 2 years at this job living through PTSD. The madman C level person was fired 4 months after I left, and although a few folks asked about me coming back, I knew I was done. I had no gas left in the tank. I was 49 and I felt tired and just wrecked. I also went through a guilt stage which was composed with an overwhelming feeling of guilt that Dad and Hubby was not the corporate all star anymore. My wife has a job that she loves working at the local school, so we had health benefits covered, and my small salary was paying most of the bills. However, working for a small non profit was not for me as we were always going month to month not knowing if donations would keep us open. Another type of stress.

After 2 years, we made our next big decision when I accepted a position at a university in Florida that is close to where our vacation home is. My wife and youngest are still in my original state of PA as my youngest is graduating high school in 2017. The good news is that my son goes to the same school I work at, so we are making the split family situation work for now.

I really like my new job in the .edu space. Universities move slowly, are typically more political, but the stress level is 10% of what I used to have. My salary is still only about half of what I used to make, but my son gets freee tuitiion and I also increased my financial aid package for my daughter by 20K as a result of my job downsizing.

I use the word downsizing when I talk with others about my job situation. Just as a house can get to be too much, so can jobs. I downsized to get away from the madness. I was very successful in my old life, but I was never happy. My wife, out of the blue after 6 months told me one evening that "It was so nice to have her husband back". I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried when I heard that.

I learned a great deal about myself through this journey. I have social anxiety and do not do well in meetings. I am much better at working with small teams on very technical projects and am back in my comfort zone. My new unversity wanted to make me a director, and I respectfully told them no way. My self-discovery taught me that I actually went up at least one too many levels in my career, as I was chasing the money as well as the ego.

I consider myself FI today and my financial picture has improved somewhat through the acquisition of a rental property. Homes in rural Florida are cheap, and the rental market is strong. Most importantly, with an annual tax bill of $500, the passive income seems like a good strategy. I think I am going to grow that number to 5 houses to create most of my retirement income.

I am actually planning on full retirement in 2017 when my youngest graduates. She will get the basic state college education (Florida is an exceptionally great value) and I will thank God that I made it. It is not easy being separated from loved ones, but our weird situation is working 7 months into our 2 year plan.

My advice to the OP is to not wait for life or deals or companies. The megacorp I worked for outsourced my entire former department, and I am so happy I did not have to live through all of that stress 2 years later. I would also suggest looking at .EDU employers, the pace is slower and the salaries are lower, but I started with 26 days of vacation, 10 days of sick time, and 15 university holidays. That's like being retired already! My retirement stash would have been more if I had stayed, but the true cost of that in personal health is just not worth it.

Lastly, here is your litmus test. If, on Sunday evening, you have an unbearable sense of dread for Monday, OR if on Friday you have such euphoria that you made another week; these are your queues to make a change.

FloridaDad

Great post and great read.

I have Sunday Night Phobia bad...it's about an 8 out of 10 normally. Every other night it's about a 6.

AND I have Friday euphoria, too. I also have minor quitting time euphoria. Each day is truly an ordeal.

In my situation, though, I can either downsize my stress and work till I'm 85 or I can stay here and retire in 10 years, as I can't make even half of what I make here anyplace else. At least as far as employment income.

I consider myself in a state of suspended animation, with moments of terror and moments of euphoria coming and going. I guess you just have to want it bad enough, and I do. But it will not break my heart to say goodbye when I win the lottery.

thriftyc

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2016, 05:06:54 PM »
We are planning to FIRE very soon (within the next month or two) on about 1 Million NW CDN. ($300 house plus 700k invested) It will be my wife and I plus 3 kids.  I will be looking at FIRE as a journey where both my wife and I will be taking on fun PT work as we see fit.  Also going to try to start a business on the side.   These activities will keep us busy plus earn enough safety margin for peace of mind - but on OUR terms.
My suggestion is to remain flexible - remembering that you are in a great position to afford flexible options in your life without the risk of ending up on the street.   A great place to be!

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2016, 06:57:15 AM »
Floridadad great post! The Sunday night Friday night was right on the spot! In fact when you layed it out I realized yet again how glad I am that i dont feel that way anymore but instead forget often what day of the week it even is!

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2016, 09:28:19 AM »
I often feel like that Billy Joel song "Goodnight Saigon", though my misery isn't Vietnam (thank God) but only this job.

"We met as soulmates on Paris Island. We left as inmates in an asylum."

The first sentence is when I first started this job. The last sentence is pretty much any time after the first month here! But it's Friday now, and the mini-euphoria is kicking in. I just have to gut out the next 6 hours!

Dan_Breakfree

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2016, 01:59:59 PM »
Lastly, here is your litmus test. If, on Sunday evening, you have an unbearable sense of dread for Monday, OR if on Friday you have such euphoria that you made another week; these are your queues to make a change.

Great post! But mostly serious question, does anyone not feel this way who's living corporate life??

Threshkin

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2016, 02:09:22 PM »
Lastly, here is your litmus test. If, on Sunday evening, you have an unbearable sense of dread for Monday, OR if on Friday you have such euphoria that you made another week; these are your queues to make a change.

Great post! But mostly serious question, does anyone not feel this way who's living corporate life??

Not at all.  Having a corporate job does not require you to dread going to work.

Here are two maxims everyone should follow:

  • "If you don't like what you are doing, Do something else!"
  • "Like what you do."

These two philosophies have served me well for years, both at work and in personal life.

Miss Prim

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #64 on: January 28, 2016, 03:26:13 PM »
I do love smaller cities that abutt beautiful rural and wilderness areas. Maybe the OP needs to move someplace like that where you can have the best of both worlds right next to each other.

That's why I like Ann Arbor

Hi Dave from Ann Arbor.  I live outside of Ann Arbor and I love it too!  So much to do, yet I have over 4 acres of land and grow most of my own food and have chickens for eggs and grow batches of meat chickens when I need more.  You can kind of be in the country, but so close to shopping, restaurants, free concerts, museums, etc.  The only thing is the cost of housing is high.  But, we built years ago, so we could afford it then.  I couldn't afford to buy my own house now!

                                                                              Miss Prim

Dicey

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2016, 06:01:39 PM »
I thought I had commented on this thread, but I don't see anything, so I have no idea why it popped up just now...

My instant thought is that it's not "FIRE" that you're unsure of, it's only the "RE" part. Break a problem in half and it's twice as easy to solve. I suspect there have been a lot of good suggestions given, so take your time and explore the mustachian advice here. I imagine that after a period of adjustment, you'll take to it just fine. And once you've achieved FI (The hard part, let's face it.), who really cares if you're retired or not? If you really hate it, you can go out and try something totally different, anywhere! You can do almost anything without regard for remuneration, because you don't need the money. Such freedom!  Is it possible that you just don't realize (yet) just what an awesome position that is to be in? You can do this!

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #66 on: February 24, 2016, 06:09:11 AM »
Well, I went back to work full time and Iím much happier than I was. I definitely do need more passive income to live the kind of life I want to, and Iím really enjoying having the non-passive income right now. Having said that, I donít regret my trial 9 months AT ALL.
1.    I was feeling really burnt out at work and I had to leave for my mental health. If I had gone straight into another job I would probably have felt burnt out there too, so 9 months off made me feel more enthusiastic about working.
2.   I found out that I can survive on my $18K. Itís a bit of a boring life, but now I know for sure that it can be done and this gives me a huge feeling of security.
3.    I know that if I start hating my new job again, I can leave. This makes me so much more relaxed at work.
I think going forward I will look for part time work, but this job came up at the right time and Iím not too bothered by working full time for now (itís only been 5 months).
I still have the goal to retire early, but I might do it in a more relaxed manner. Iím still young, so perhaps I can have some more time off to go traveling and do other things that I want to do, and not worry too much about reaching FI as soon as possible. Mini-retirements before the big ER.
I donít regret all the saving it took me to get to my current passive income at all though. When I look at others around me at work they seemed so trapped and I feel free.

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #67 on: February 24, 2016, 06:18:59 AM »
I loved every part of that post.

I'm glad you discovered what did, and didn't work for you. I'm glad you enjoyed your time off. I'm glad you found work that is providing satisfaction, while still feeling free enough to leave it if something changes.

If only all of us had as much self-awareness as you!

Thanks for following up. :)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #68 on: February 24, 2016, 06:51:49 AM »
Way to go Tanuki.  Living life on your terms instead of the Man's!

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #69 on: February 24, 2016, 07:03:11 AM »
I loved every part of that post.

I'm glad you discovered what did, and didn't work for you. I'm glad you enjoyed your time off. I'm glad you found work that is providing satisfaction, while still feeling free enough to leave it if something changes.

If only all of us had as much self-awareness as you!

Thanks for following up. :)

Exactly ....

Treat it as a break of self discovery for both yourself as a person and for your financial systems.
Best wishes as you move forward and look forward to seeing another update if you are able to increase your savings substantially while back at work.
Cheers

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2016, 07:07:03 AM »
Great to hear such a positive update, it sounds like you're very much on the right track! I'm also moving towards FI in a more leisurely manner and I like the idea of mini retirements. I took one a couple of years ago, and hope to take another maybe in another couple of years. Like you, after having time off work, I don't mind going back to work again, particularly if it's part-time.

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2016, 07:49:46 AM »
As someone on the cusp of quitting his job, stories like these inspire me. It reminds me that once you hit FI, literally anything is possible and that excites me to no end. The OP can make whatever choice he wants. Every door in front of him can be opened without dread and the lack thereof means all new endeavors can feel as exciting as a kid feels opening a present. What an awesome place in life to be.

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #72 on: February 24, 2016, 09:34:40 AM »
As someone on the cusp of quitting his job, stories like these inspire me. It reminds me that once you hit FI, literally anything is possible and that excites me to no end. The OP can make whatever choice he wants. Every door in front of him can be opened without dread and the lack thereof means all new endeavors can feel as exciting as a kid feels opening a present. What an awesome place in life to be.

I feel exactly the same way!  (Except for some reason I had assumed OP was female) So exciting. So many possibilities!

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #73 on: February 24, 2016, 01:11:39 PM »
Congrats Tanuki!  Another example of a person that quit working without a job lined up but had no problem going back to work (in spite of the stock market being down). 

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #74 on: February 25, 2016, 12:00:30 PM »
Well, I went back to work full time and Iím much happier than I was. I definitely do need more passive income to live the kind of life I want to, and Iím really enjoying having the non-passive income right now. Having said that, I donít regret my trial 9 months AT ALL.
1.    I was feeling really burnt out at work and I had to leave for my mental health. If I had gone straight into another job I would probably have felt burnt out there too, so 9 months off made me feel more enthusiastic about working.
2.   I found out that I can survive on my $18K. Itís a bit of a boring life, but now I know for sure that it can be done and this gives me a huge feeling of security.
3.    I know that if I start hating my new job again, I can leave. This makes me so much more relaxed at work.
I think going forward I will look for part time work, but this job came up at the right time and Iím not too bothered by working full time for now (itís only been 5 months).
I still have the goal to retire early, but I might do it in a more relaxed manner. Iím still young, so perhaps I can have some more time off to go traveling and do other things that I want to do, and not worry too much about reaching FI as soon as possible. Mini-retirements before the big ER.
I donít regret all the saving it took me to get to my current passive income at all though. When I look at others around me at work they seemed so trapped and I feel free.





Thats awesome and is another case that just confirms the flexibility being FI can bring. Kudos!

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Re: Not sure if I like FIRE
« Reply #75 on: February 25, 2016, 02:53:40 PM »
The first year I FIREd I had to keep running the spreadsheets to be sure about things.  It is a big deal to get used to no constant pay check.  I finally see the numbers will work, and math works, so I should be OK.