Author Topic: Psychological barrier to retirement  (Read 5651 times)

vagavince

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Psychological barrier to retirement
« on: December 15, 2017, 11:02:13 PM »
I can stop working now but I have this huge anxiety and fear to actually pulling the trigger and give up my income. I'm hoping solicit some wisdom here. Has anyone gone through similar situation and can share their experience?

I'm in my late 30. When I look at last few years of my spending. I can retire with ~2.7% withdrawal rate. However, having the options to retire has not made me feel more free. Instead, I feel stressed because I'm not should what I should do.

My job is very comfortable and pay well. I don't hate it but I don't love it either. I'm not sure what I will do if i stop working. I'm also very afraid to give up the income.

I could stay in my current role and keep accumulating money. But to what end? At same time, if I stop working I also don't have something to retire to. So I'm also not sure what is the point of stop working, other than just trying new things that may or may not bring me more happiness.

I'm grateful for my current situation, I know either decision is good. But I'm not sure what I should do.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 11:57:30 PM by vagavince »

Apple_Tango

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 08:51:36 AM »
It does sound like part time would be a great transition for you. You could build up some hobbies and find out what you want to spend your days doing! While still having the safety and social aspect  of working
It's a lateral freeze down during the melt up.  Soon to be followed by the transverse falling bounce and the transient index inversion short, both of which are also strong sell signals in this buyer's market.

spokey doke

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 08:57:33 AM »
While of course this forum as about FIRE, you shouldn't feel like you have to retire if it causes you that much anxiety.  If it isn't a clear benefit to pull the plug, then don't.  Take your time, figure our what you want the next chapter of your life to be like, then make it happen.  If you are that secure financially, you can do just about anything (which can be daunting, but embrace it and you might discover some pretty engaging options)
“The best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book.”
― Edward Abbey

Dicey

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 09:13:29 AM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.
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zinnie

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 09:20:10 AM »
What do you want to do with your life? What are your goals? What brings you happiness? What are your strengths? Are there any big problems that you would feel fulfilled by playing a part in solving?

Those are the questions I'd try to answer first, then figure out if this or any other job are in alignment with those answers, or if you really need the free time that not having to work for pay requires. Retirement isn't an answer in and of itself to anything. It only frees you up to pursue what you'd like to pursue. But you have to know what that is first!

gfirero

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 09:48:59 AM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Are there therapists that are equipped to provide this sort of guidance?  I'm in a somewhat similar position to OP and I have found books to be helpful, but I think coaching and guidance would be useful.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 04:38:47 AM »
I was self-employed for 25+ years and just decided I had enough and decided to Fire  even though I liked the comoroder with some of my employees and business customers , I was starting to hate it the grind, the demands and it was killing me.  Almost 3 years into being fire'd no regrets I needed to do it.  I can say the thing that people say on here that is so true is have something to Fire to. Though I am a lot happier than I was and it was tough for awhile I am making the transition probably longer than most but still am. I would recommend figuring out what your going to retire too and then do it.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Dicey

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2017, 05:11:13 AM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Are there therapists that are equipped to provide this sort of guidance?  I'm in a somewhat similar position to OP and I have found books to be helpful, but I think coaching and guidance would be useful.
There is a therapist for anything and everything under the sun. Specifically, it's possible that the OP's self worth is very strongly lashed to their job. Figuring out why would be helpful. I believe that any therapist worth their salt could help. Go for it!
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SuperSecretName

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2017, 06:42:22 AM »
try taking a year off.  Most organizations will let you take a sabbatical.  You don't have to tell them you may not return.

You'll be able to practice living on a budget and hopefully see that you have plenty of money to retire fully.  2.7% is well below what most people need to quit.

jac941

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2017, 07:09:48 AM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Are there therapists that are equipped to provide this sort of guidance?  I'm in a somewhat similar position to OP and I have found books to be helpful, but I think coaching and guidance would be useful.
There is a therapist for anything and everything under the sun. Specifically, it's possible that the OP's self worth is very strongly lashed to their job. Figuring out why would be helpful. I believe that any therapist worth their salt could help. Go for it!

Another plug for finding the right therapist to hash this out. I recently saw a therapist who specializes in “life transitions” like marriage, becoming a parent, career changes, retirement, etc. She was extremely helpful for coming up with strategies for confronting and preventing anxiety during a career transition and really helped me put everything in perspective. She really helped me view the experience as “exciting” rather than “crazy and risky”. It was well worth the money!

FIREby35

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2017, 07:41:47 AM »
I have a coach.

I started working with this person when I got to the point of quasi-FI or past the point of "retirement inevitability" (i.e. stash would compound into massive pile if left untouched to normal retirement age and, therefore, I don't have to save anymore).

I think it is a natural time to start asking questions about what to do with yourself. All of us who are financial savers have spent a lot of time living for "some future date when I'll have money issues resolved." Once we have removed that obstacle through years and years of hard work and discipline and now we can losen up, it's not so easy! Now we have to live in the here and now - a total change in attitude.

What to do with our time? What to do with our talent?

Lots of questions. Successfully navigating this transition is difficult but also very worth it.

I really like my coach. She's been helpful. I see her once a month just to bounce ideas around and see if I'm on the right track.

wordnerd

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2017, 11:46:42 AM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Are there therapists that are equipped to provide this sort of guidance?  I'm in a somewhat similar position to OP and I have found books to be helpful, but I think coaching and guidance would be useful.

What books have you found to be helpful?

Dicey

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 09:39:18 PM »
Sorry, I've got nothing, possibly because I couldn't wait to FIRE.  I'll leave this answer to gfirero, who can hopefully be more heplful.
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gerardc

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2017, 10:09:05 PM »
I have a coach.

I started working with this person when I got to the point of quasi-FI or past the point of "retirement inevitability" (i.e. stash would compound into massive pile if left untouched to normal retirement age and, therefore, I don't have to save anymore).

I think it is a natural time to start asking questions about what to do with yourself. All of us who are financial savers have spent a lot of time living for "some future date when I'll have money issues resolved." Once we have removed that obstacle through years and years of hard work and discipline and now we can losen up, it's not so easy! Now we have to live in the here and now - a total change in attitude.

What to do with our time? What to do with our talent?

Lots of questions. Successfully navigating this transition is difficult but also very worth it.

I really like my coach. She's been helpful. I see her once a month just to bounce ideas around and see if I'm on the right track.

What answers have you found to all these questions, if any?

The last GFs I've had all tell me "Enjoy!!" as in I've achieved enough and can now afford to enjoy life, spend more, etc., and my response is always that I don't even like enjoying more... I prefer having goals! (except a few crazy things)

I see FIRE as a way to reach goals that don't necessarily pay money, not just for leisure time.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 10:15:24 PM by gerardc »

FIREby35

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2017, 07:21:02 AM »
You know, I would say it has helped me see with more clarity how much the "super saver" and "FIRE" attitude was ingrained in me. I spent a long time getting and education for a better tomorrow (I'm a lawyer), building my business for a better tomorrow, building a stash for a better tomorrow, etcetera. All of that activity required huge effort and much of it is permanent and does not need to be duplicated.

The thing about my goals is they took me into tomorrow at the expense of today or the "here and now."

For me switching to the mindset of enjoying today, seeing opportunities as they arise and taking advantage of the moment is a fundamentally different world view than having tunnel vision on a big goal. When I describe tunnel vision on a goal, I'm only meaning to describe how those types of goals affect me. I am able to focus intently on my goal to the exclusion of other possibilities and achieve my goals with pretty astounding efficiency. But, what did I miss along the way?

I'm now seeing that I missed a lot.

The new world view is more creative, flexible, interesting and rewarding.

I'm not upset at having missed stuff. I did achieve many goals. But, I didn't want to move "to the next thing" forever (it felt like a self-imposed hamster wheel). I just want to be alive, be present with my family, team of employees, mentees and business friends and solve problems from a more relaxed mental space.

So, what to do with my time and talent? I was unique in having already started a business where I'm the boss. I already started a 501(c)(3) foundation of some renown in my tiny sliver of the universe, already had young people I'm mentoring and lots of community engagement. So I only needed to re-direct many of the resources at my disposal and truly focus on the spirit of service to others.

I stopped representing certain people no matter how much they were willing to pay.

I'm working on relaxing my attitude on saving more money because I don't need more money! That's been a big trap for me as I'm sure many of you can understand.

There is a resulting expansion of capacity to do other things that more positively affect my life. The coach has been helpful in seeing and organizing the new developments in my life into a cohesive world-view and attitude. I'm happier today than I have ever been and have moved past many of the anxieties associated with a major life realization - "Oh, I've got more than enough money at a very young age. What now?"

FIREin2018?

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2017, 12:58:11 AM »
I can stop working now but I have this huge anxiety and fear to actually pulling the trigger and give up my income. I'm hoping solicit some wisdom here. Has anyone gone through similar situation and can share their experience?

I'm in my late 30. When I look at last few years of my spending. I can retire with ~2.7% withdrawal rate. However, having the options to retire has not made me feel more free. Instead, I feel stressed because I'm not should what I should do.

My job is very comfortable and pay well. I don't hate it but I don't love it either. I'm not sure what I will do if i stop working. I'm also very afraid to give up the income.

I could stay in my current role and keep accumulating money. But to what end? At same time, if I stop working I also don't have something to retire to. So I'm also not sure what is the point of stop working, other than just trying new things that may or may not bring me more happiness.

I'm grateful for my current situation, I know either decision is good. But I'm not sure what I should do.
im in the same boat.

FIREin2018?

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2017, 01:05:17 AM »
What do you want to do with your life? What are your goals? What brings you happiness? What are your strengths? Are there any big problems that you would feel fulfilled by playing a part in solving?

Those are the questions I'd try to answer first, then figure out if this or any other job are in alignment with those answers, or if you really need the free time that not having to work for pay requires. Retirement isn't an answer in and of itself to anything. It only frees you up to pursue what you'd like to pursue. But you have to know what that is first!
i draw a blank at all your questions. :(

Apple_Tango

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2017, 09:53:23 PM »
Here’s what I would do: look in your local paper or a local community college and sign up to take a class or an event one night per week. I started learning to play the guitar and  took  pole dancing classes for a year. Most places have cooking classes, or wine tasting classes, art stuff, etc. sign up for something one night a week to meet new people and decide what you like :) my retired neighbor took up pottery making at the local rec center. My mom has gotten into deco-mesh wreath crafting. I have one group of friends who are in a bike polo league, and another who do women’s arm wrestling championships at a local bar. Lol there’s all sorts of options out there!!
It's a lateral freeze down during the melt up.  Soon to be followed by the transverse falling bounce and the transient index inversion short, both of which are also strong sell signals in this buyer's market.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2017, 02:54:26 AM »
You are in a fantastic position - most of us are tempted to envy it - because now you can focus your energy on finding what will bring you fulfillment in your next stage of life.  You've won the rat race - or the race to get out if it - and all that's in your way is finding something that will bring you meaning and purpose with your time (that isn't your day job). 

You need a new direction - some new purpose for your time/work, if you choose to work.  I suggest reading through something like this book, re: life direction.  (warning: link has a referral.)  That book is geared towards work with greater purpose, but you could use it with regard to your larger life activities since it's asking the same questions.

Like others recommended,  strongly consider what you may want to do with your time that brings you meaning and purpose.

You need to find the next thing before you're ready to move forward, which is fine; I would focus on that.  It could be a hobby, family, relationships, some type of volunteer work, politics, or some other type of work.  Maybe invest a lot more in church/religious activities related to meaning/purpose - give back.  Whatever else you might do, you probably want to find the next thing. 

It may not feel like you're in a great spot, but I think you'll start feeling it once you find things to move towards and begin getting excited about them.  Who knows: maybe those things, too, will generate you a little income.  But since you're covered, you won't even have to worry about that. 

Best wishes to you on your journey!

vagavince

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2018, 12:53:22 AM »
I took some time off and did some soul searching. Want to update everyone on my current thinking and also journal it for my future self. Feel free to comment

Thanks for all the the feedback. I think my fear are two fold.

1). Fear of Insecurity.
I'm very scared. Will 2.7% be enough with stock market at all time high and uncertain future health care cost? Saving money has always been a way to help me feel secure. Foregoing the income and depend on 2.7% scares the bejeezus out of me. I'm not sure I will have the skill to return to job markets if this doesn't work out.

2). Fear of Uncertainty.
As most people mentioned. I have nothing to retire to. I'm so used to structured life. Will I be happier? or less happy? Uncertainty of how to fill 8 hours of my day is scary.

Current plan
I will take a different job aboard with much lower pay. I won't be able to save much, but I won't be drawing down either, so that help alleviate some feeling of financial insecurity. I think a new role and new location will help get me excited again. At the same time, I will also start focusing on life-work balance and do more things outside. I gave myself a year to experiment and see if I just need to keep trying new career for fun or if I will be able to find something outside work to retire to.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 01:03:34 AM by vagavince »

markbike528CBX

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2018, 05:56:15 AM »
Want to update everyone on my current thinking and also journal it for my future self. Feel free to comment.

Thanks for the update
Quote
Will 2.7% be enough with stock market at all time high and uncertain future health care cost?

3% or less has Never failed, through Great Depressions, wars etc.  See the "Stop Worrying about the4% Rule " thread, Cfiresim etc.   

2.7% with a heavy equity allocation is close to what a WWII, Japanese or German would have been successful with --- Schiller or Seigel book reference?   If SHTF bigger than that, then your withdrawal rate is not the problem.

Quote
Uncertainty of how to fill 8 hours of my day is scary.

You already fill 16 hours a day, what is so scary about 8 more?

FWIW, I have the same issues, so my responses are aimed at me as much as at vagavince.

jim555

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2018, 10:17:57 AM »
I'm not sure what I will do if i stop working. I'm also very afraid to give up the income.
This problem will be encountered either sooner or later, you will face it eventually.

I will cheer lead for the quit now camp.  You are at 2.7% which means you already over saved.  You can't retire "to" something until you have the time to find out what the "to" will be.  Only after you have FIREd will you have the time to find this out.  You need to make the leap and trust things will work out.  Remember this a retire early board and work is looked down upon here.

doggyfizzle

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2018, 11:10:24 AM »
Could you negotiate part-time work with your employer to ease your way into FIRE?  Maybe try working 3 days per week (or whatever suits you) to see what you end up doing on the newly free former work days and go from there.

rob/d

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2018, 11:28:59 AM »
I have to side with "supersecretname" on this one.
I had a year off to try it out first.
I went back to tie off loose ends and make a bit of play money.
You will always, especially at your age,  feel a slight sting of work envy and guilt .
Walk it off .
You have something worth more than the stash with your age in the equation.
Good luck either way.

gfirero

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2018, 09:55:08 AM »
You haven't said anything about your new job.

I recommend making sure it's something you will enjoy and that plays to your strengths.  It's very easy to think "the grass is greener over there"
The book "Go Put your Strengths to Work" talks about identifying your strengths and working to change your current job to one that plays to your strengths.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OI119M
Strengthsfinder 2.0 is also good.

As others have said, you are in a position of strength (no pun intended). Just need to figure out what you want and ask/go for it!

FIREby35

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2018, 12:02:15 PM »
Confront your fears. Or, better stated, now that you know what they are, shake their hand and walk past them. "Confrontation" implies you keep wrestling with them and that is not what is required. Walking away and leaving them behind is what is required.

Good luck.

Rollin

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2018, 05:01:07 PM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Are there therapists that are equipped to provide this sort of guidance?  I'm in a somewhat similar position to OP and I have found books to be helpful, but I think coaching and guidance would be useful.

Someone I trust on this:
https://www.awakenedwisdom.com
I love being outside.

FIREby35

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2018, 06:32:43 PM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Are there therapists that are equipped to provide this sort of guidance?  I'm in a somewhat similar position to OP and I have found books to be helpful, but I think coaching and guidance would be useful.

Someone I trust on this:
https://www.awakenedwisdom.com

Ha! My coach is very much in the spirit of the awakened wisdom link. Working with her the last year has been awesome and well worth the money.

Rollin

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2018, 07:43:23 PM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Are there therapists that are equipped to provide this sort of guidance?  I'm in a somewhat similar position to OP and I have found books to be helpful, but I think coaching and guidance would be useful.

Someone I trust on this:
https://www.awakenedwisdom.com

Ha! My coach is very much in the spirit of the awakened wisdom link. Working with her the last year has been awesome and well worth the money.

I like your choice of words!

I've been working with AWE for many years and have benefitted greatly. My DW too. I feel that they can assist with any life issues or problems, or like for me just enhancement of my current wonderful life! (seriously)
I love being outside.

FIREby35

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2018, 08:09:45 AM »
Tip of the Cap, Rollin :)

froggie

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2018, 10:41:54 AM »
I am on the “time to quit” team, and I am rooting for you & will be following your progress.

Being not quite ready to retire yet unemployed completely unexpectedly I can say that finding your why is essential. In fact I can’t believe it’s been a month since I lost my job but I don’t feel rushed to find another. Why? Because this is the perfect trial by fire to determine what I really want to do. Of course I intend to secure paid employment soon, and I crave a new challenge, but I am trying to be zen about it.
Been reading a lot, writing things down about my goals and expectations. Walking my dog out waaaay longer now. Even resumed online dating now that I have a bit more time (was constantly traveling overseas for work and working long days!).
I figured if the prospect is scared off by my current unemployment status, he isn’t ready for the FIRE life I intend to live in 4/5 years.
Best of luck to you!
When you stop expecting the world to be sensible, suddenly it all makes sense.
-- David Caine (Raptitude)

froggie

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2018, 10:45:02 AM »
I will take a different job aboard with much lower pay. I won't be able to save much...

PS: where to?? Travels and cultural immersions could be just what you need!
When you stop expecting the world to be sensible, suddenly it all makes sense.
-- David Caine (Raptitude)

Kakanui

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2018, 03:30:32 AM »
Froggie wrote
Quote
PS: where to?? Travels and cultural immersions could be just what you need

Agreed, it can be  great way to ease into it.

It can be hard to give up that security. I walked away from a reasonably well paying job at the end of 2016 and haven't regretted it for a moment. I did just as you are thinking and took a part time job and a lot less pay, working three days per week. Half way through the year realised that what I needed was a bigger change/new challenges. So applied for and was accepted for a role for a year as a volunteer in the middle of the Pacific (Kiribati). I leave in just over two weeks, and when I return intend to look for other volunteering opportunities.

IMO, life's too short, sometimes you need to challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and take the road less travelled, it is usually a hell of a lot more interesting.

All the best.

ysette9

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2018, 09:22:02 PM »
If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend Dr Doom’s The Quit Series on the LivingaFI website. He delves into great detail his own struggle with exactly what you are feeling and how he got out to the other side.

https://livingafi.com/2015/02/17/i-could-quit/
"It'll be great!"

foghorn

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2018, 10:43:20 AM »
Thank you OP for creating this post.

I have similar feelings and I am very concerned about FIREing, even though it really seems like I can.

Here is my Case Study and the replies that have come in from the good people here on MMM.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/at-a-crossroads/


As I read through many of the different posts here on MMM, there seems to be a subset of us who have these same issues.  We appear to be able to FIRE, have worked hard to get here - yet are dealing with the fear of something going wrong and may end up regretting our FIRE decision.  We will then find it too late to re-enter the workforce and FIRE becomes this massive mistake.

I think there are some of us who are "wired" to want ER and have achieved FI - but then have this massive level of anxiety (well at least me anyway) about the whole thing.  Quite maddening.

Thanks to all who have replied to this thread.  It has been helpful to me to follow along.


Linda_Norway

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2018, 11:18:00 AM »
I took some time off and did some soul searching. Want to update everyone on my current thinking and also journal it for my future self. Feel free to comment

Thanks for all the the feedback. I think my fear are two fold.

1). Fear of Insecurity.
I'm very scared. Will 2.7% be enough with stock market at all time high and uncertain future health care cost? Saving money has always been a way to help me feel secure. Foregoing the income and depend on 2.7% scares the bejeezus out of me. I'm not sure I will have the skill to return to job markets if this doesn't work out.

2). Fear of Uncertainty.
As most people mentioned. I have nothing to retire to. I'm so used to structured life. Will I be happier? or less happy? Uncertainty of how to fill 8 hours of my day is scary.

Current plan
I will take a different job aboard with much lower pay. I won't be able to save much, but I won't be drawing down either, so that help alleviate some feeling of financial insecurity. I think a new role and new location will help get me excited again. At the same time, I will also start focusing on life-work balance and do more things outside. I gave myself a year to experiment and see if I just need to keep trying new career for fun or if I will be able to find something outside work to retire to.

My FIRE date is also approaching. What I am currently getting a bit anxious about is the relocation that we are planning. We want to relocate to an area with better options for outdoor activities that we enjoy. And to an area where houses are cheaper, because we need to downsize and invest half of the money that is in our current house.
I am a bit worried about how easy or difficult it might be to build up new contacts. We saw this at my parents in law who relocated at 50. FIL did fine. MIL didn't find new friends. When I asked FIL about it recently he said it required hard work to get integrated in a new community. I think we will need to join clubs and volunteering events.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 02:03:27 AM by Linda_Norway »

clarkfan1979

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2018, 12:40:59 AM »
I think it really helps going part-time before someone quits entirely.

Trudie

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Re: Psychological barrier to retirement
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2018, 10:24:15 AM »
I believe a little therapist-guided soul searching is worth the money, especially if you're FI. That way you significantly reduce your chances of getting to the end with an empty, "Is that all there is?" feeling. Not saying you can't keep working forever, but it would be worth a little soul searching to get rid of your angst.

Ditto.  This helped me to be able to take the leap.

I just made the FIRE decision, even though I have fears.  Make friends with your fear and just work through it.  A counselor will help.

Next week is my last day, and honestly I don't have all the answers yet... learn to accept that that's okay.  I wasn't really in a position to try out part-time or a lesser role where I work (commute, corporate culture, and size of company were all barriers to that), but I came to accept that I really needed to step away from this phase of my life completely.  I have technical skills (CPA, accountant) that I can find a home with somewhere else if and when the time comes.

Realize that if you've been able to get to this point you have the discipline and knowledge to do things that few people do -- save money, solve problems, live counter to the consumer culture.  You do not lose those the ability to work through challenges the day you quit your job, and in fact, you may find that with fewer hassles, more time, and more mental bandwidth you can solve those problems creatively.  You've been building your tool box for years.

My spouse is still working and has health insurance, but I honestly felt that we needed a less stressful period in our lives -- now that we've saved our FIRE target -- to learn to live a lifestyle closer to our FIRE lifestyle.  I wanted to give up my commute and desk job so I can spend time walking and biking.  I want to devote time to my religious community and to another non-profit instead of just throwing money at them.  I need to do some soul-searching.  That's impossible to do when you're on the hamster wheel, just getting by.

Bear in mind, that you're getting this advice from a very type-A, "gotta have my ducks all in a row," analytical accountant type... Sometimes you just have to step back and take a calculated risk.  You can always find more money or reduce your standard of living.  The only way to get more time is to FIRE.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 10:38:24 AM by Trudie »