Author Topic: Tell me what it's like  (Read 8005 times)

stoaX

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2020, 05:14:01 PM »
One other thing - I like weekdays better than weekends now.

bmjohnson35

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2020, 09:02:34 AM »
One other thing - I like weekdays better than weekends now.

I second this one.  I avoid going hiking, fishing, kayaking or going to the beach on the weekends.  I also try to avoid shopping on weekends.  I do look forward to listening to live music on the weekends, but not until Covid is properly mitigated.

des999

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2020, 08:05:31 AM »
I tend to agree with most others, that if you are happy pre-fire, I'd guess you'd be happy post. 

I'm not FIREd yet, but have a question.  What about folks who retire young, and all their friends are still doing the 9-5.  Does that present a challenge?  How have you dealt with that part?


spartana

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2020, 08:55:24 AM »
I tend to agree with most others, that if you are happy pre-fire, I'd guess you'd be happy post. 

I'm not FIREd yet, but have a question.  What about folks who retire young, and all their friends are still doing the 9-5.  Does that present a challenge?  How have you dealt with that part?
It made it much easier for me as I had so much free time once RE that I was able to do all the chores and obligations (as well as longer workouts and solo hobbies) while friends and family were at work, that I was able to spend more time with them when they were off work. Trying to squeeze friendships and fun activities between full time work, commute, chores, obligations, pets, working out, sports, and just some personal downtime was almost totally eliminated once I quit my job.

Also, if you are worried about finding people who are off work when you are don t be. There are lots of people who work weird shifts or are students or SAHPs or even younger retired people  that you can often find them if you want.

Malcat

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2020, 11:21:20 AM »
I tend to agree with most others, that if you are happy pre-fire, I'd guess you'd be happy post. 

I'm not FIREd yet, but have a question.  What about folks who retire young, and all their friends are still doing the 9-5.  Does that present a challenge?  How have you dealt with that part?

Lol, not at all.

Two people with busy schedules is not easier than manage than only one person with a busy schedule.

It's much easier for me because I'm so much more willing to use weekend and evening time to see them. Before, Sundays were usually filled with tasks that it was hard to socialize on a Sunday, now it's no big deal to drive to friend's place 30 minutes away and join them for their weekly Sunday morning pancake breakfast.

Sure it means I have a lot of free hours where they're unavailable, but that's no big deal.

sailingTowardsFI

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2020, 08:03:36 AM »
This is such a great thread. I'm planning to leave my job in mid-2021 and am starting to get so excited for all the things I want to do. It's interesting to read others' perspectives that they ended up doing different things than planned in retirement.

For me, I have some travel planned next winter, for about 6 months. When not traveling, I hope to work on some art projects, learn new crafts, read, exercise, paddleboard, and sail. I'm really looking forward to a sailing season where I don't also have to work - as it is now, when I sail with friends on weeknights I am always thinking that I have to rush home to sleep and prep for the next day. It will be wonderful when I can enjoy the evening without the niggling feeling of "gotta get back or you'll be tired tomorrow". I also plan to look for part-time work to pad the stash, but that will probably be something low-key, outdoors, and interesting, such as teaching sailing. I'd like to volunteer a bit too but haven't worked that out.

The one part I'm concerned about is community and friendships - I'm an introvert and many of my friends are from work. Will we still have common interests when I'm no longer part of the crew griping about work? It's nice to see others say that's not a problem, but I know I'll need to work at it since my natural tendency is to hermit, even though I enjoy people and socializing.

Question - as I get closer to FIRE, I'm finding that I love reading stories about others who have already FIREd. Do you all have any recommendations for post-FIRE blogs or reading material? Lately I've been gobbling up everything that A Purple Life writes about her recent early retirement.

FreshlyFIREd

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2020, 01:36:15 AM »
I am retired over three years. I haven't had but a couple of idle days. Time continues to be the one thing that I never feel I have enough.

I was happily doing all of the stuff that I dreamed about doing while working (traveling, reading, learning, exercising, cooking) - then Covid hit. So a lesson to learn - your plans don't always pan out.

I had to cut out the traveling. I substituted home maintenance projects for the traveling. I hate home maintenance.

The only thing I am struggling with now is the knowledge that my time left before I die is finite. The three years I have been retired has flown by. I realize now I could have retired sooner. I realize everything I thought was important while I was working was not that important. I don't have regrets - but I do feel that I did waste time working when I didn't have to.

Goanywhere

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2020, 10:40:16 AM »
Great post.  If you donít mind, what age were you when you retired and how much earlier could it have been?

HotTubes

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2020, 04:22:02 PM »
I am retired over three years. I haven't had but a couple of idle days. Time continues to be the one thing that I never feel I have enough.

I was happily doing all of the stuff that I dreamed about doing while working (traveling, reading, learning, exercising, cooking) - then Covid hit. So a lesson to learn - your plans don't always pan out.

I had to cut out the traveling. I substituted home maintenance projects for the traveling. I hate home maintenance.

The only thing I am struggling with now is the knowledge that my time left before I die is finite. The three years I have been retired has flown by. I realize now I could have retired sooner. I realize everything I thought was important while I was working was not that important. I don't have regrets - but I do feel that I did waste time working when I didn't have to.

I wish that more financial advisors focused on this; we have finite time on this earth.

I think that a lot of the financialpodcasts, for example, are done by advisors who haven't had a lot of older clients and they are always saying "if you work until 65 you'll be a millionaire"

Malcat

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2020, 04:33:53 PM »
I am retired over three years. I haven't had but a couple of idle days. Time continues to be the one thing that I never feel I have enough.

I was happily doing all of the stuff that I dreamed about doing while working (traveling, reading, learning, exercising, cooking) - then Covid hit. So a lesson to learn - your plans don't always pan out.

I had to cut out the traveling. I substituted home maintenance projects for the traveling. I hate home maintenance.

The only thing I am struggling with now is the knowledge that my time left before I die is finite. The three years I have been retired has flown by. I realize now I could have retired sooner. I realize everything I thought was important while I was working was not that important. I don't have regrets - but I do feel that I did waste time working when I didn't have to.

I wish that more financial advisors focused on this; we have finite time on this earth.

I think that a lot of the financialpodcasts, for example, are done by advisors who haven't had a lot of older clients and they are always saying "if you work until 65 you'll be a millionaire"

They default to 65 because it's the default.

It's not the FA industry's job to promote early retirement. It's, ostensibly, their job to provide advice as to how people can meet their financial goals. If the default goal is to retire at 65, then that's the main advice they'll give. However, if the person's goal is to retire early, in my experience, FAs are perfectly happy to oblige with the appropriate plan.

It's the client who sets the tone of the financial plan, not the adviser.

DocToDisco

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #60 on: December 29, 2020, 11:59:22 AM »
I've been retired for about 2.5 years now and I didn't really retire to anything either (well, I knew I'd spend a lot of time doing whatever part I could to get the Orange Menace out of office, but always knew that was a short term project not a life goal!).  I don't think you need a "purpose" in life or anything like that.  As long as you are intellectually curious, you'll find ways to avoid the depression that could come with not having things to fill up your time and make life worthwhile.  I love that video, @xbdb!

I also disagree with folks that say that whatever you are like at work you will be like retired.  That leaving work doesn't solve anything. I mean, it can't turn you into a beauty queen or a generous person or a talented musician, if you are not those things.  But it can give you the time and space to try!  To resolve problems or get away from problems that created who you were while working.  I was definitely more stressed out while working. And now I'm not!  Why?  Partly because the work itself was stressful and the people I worked with were terrible, so removing those things obviously changed my life.  But it also created space and time for me to figure out what made me stressed vs. not stressed and design conditions for myself that contributed to a happier lifestyle.  I am a very different person than when I was working because I decided to be different, thoought about how and then I followed through.

Otherwise, I definitely agree with what others have said.  It's so nice not to dread Sunday afternoons.  It's so nice to not have to compromise values or principles because work dictates your life. And it's nice to not HAVE to be productive!  The obsession with efficiency and productivity in our society, in optimizing and maximizing everything is just....exhausting.  I got tired just typing that!  I now sometimes do things that are inefficient and unproductive on purpose.  I won't lie, I'm still subject to the same cultural pressures, so part of me doing those things on purpose is trying to unlearn those cultural pressures and not let myself get caught up in feelings of guilt around not being productive and optimized.  It's a bit of a struggle.  But guess what else?  When your biggest stressor is unlearning cultural stigmas around lack of productivity...well, life is pretty good!

Ditto! 
I've been retired for 1 year and 2 days, and I couldn't have summed it up better!  I am almost lock-step with you @sui generis

It's so funny, I just posted my "1 year F.I.R.E. anniversary" on my blog and we have such similar experiences and views!
Hahahaha I actually ended the blog post writing "...and I know that I will continue to meet each day with LOW EXPECTATIONS!  hehehehehe YUP!"

I read A LOT before & shortly after F.I.R.E. on how it would be like and here are some of my extra pearls:

1. Mini experiments are great - don't marry any type of goal/volunteer opportunity/or even where you want to live in the next 5 to 10 years.   The beauty of being F.I.R.E.'ed is that you have the time to explore choices and if they don't work out, you have the time to change your trajectory.

2. I couldn't get enough of this Blog          https://livingafi.com/
(This is what it was like for me and many of us)

3. Watch out for changes in your personal family and friends relationships - when "the cat is out of the bag" - it can get weird.  People think you are "rich", but they are also dumfounded about why you would retire so early (at least in my case esp. since I am a physician). Sadly, lots are jealous and they don't know quite how to interpret what you are.  If I could do it all over again, I would not scream from the mountain tops about F.I.R.E. during the entire process (pre F.I.R.E. and shortly after). People who really want the knowledge will pursue it on their own, people who don't -won't and they just end up being unflattering voyeurs.

4. One more thing - this will happen sooner than you think.  Everyone on the F.I.R.E. train gets off early.  I actually retired 2.5 years before I had planned at age (almost) 48 yrs (goal was age 51 yrs).  So, if you truly desire to be done, you will find a way.

Good luck to you!

Money Badger

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2020, 06:34:40 PM »
As much as MMM focuses on "how" to FIRE, getting threads that help people with "why" is more important long term.    The act of achieving FIRE is disciplined effort, but really simple math above all the noise.   Each person has to find their "why" hoping they do so before FIRE so it's not an empty feeling the day or weeks after.   Being cast adrift post-FIRE after being so disciplined to get there would be bad.

So 2020 gave me a very interesting "why" reminder...   I've been a late 2021 FIRE plan, but was laid off early in 2020 as COVID hit.   One would think as I did initially "GREAT, I can just go ahead and shave expenses since we're not able to go anywhere to spend $ and FIRE now".   But the "why" to FIRE was to really work with people and do things in a job within a non-profit community I enjoy.   I've read so many stories and case studies on longevity in Japan, the Mediterranean, etc. and the theme is consistently "community involvement with life purpose".   With COVID "distancing", the chance to take on new jobs in public with an acceptable risk level (to me) was taken away.   God bless those who have to be in the public daily and take their chances.

The good side of this I know generally what community I want to work in post-FIRE from long-time bits and organizations I've been in...   But it's not feasible "distantly", so the lay-off gave me time to reconnect with friends, family and network remotely.   And I put all my energy into home improvement projects and a new RV camper that were in our FIRE plans.    But then by this fall, it got too quiet and some projects were going to need more than we wanted to put into the house out of pocket.   So, I decided to get back on the corporate bandwagon for another year or 2 to get beyond COVID, top off the FIRE accounts from spending in 2020 and to get more engaged in the communities post-FIRE I want to be in...    Now the goal is to simply say one day in late 2021 or early 2022 that "I am so happy with my new communit(ies), it's FIRE time."

Trudie

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #62 on: February 08, 2021, 05:25:21 PM »
I am three years FIREd.  First 15 months was hard because my spouse hadnít left his job and I couldnít be open about it.  Then he quit, we sold our house, and we moved.  Now I pretty much take each day as it comes.  I am on two volunteer boards and deeply engaged in my gardening hobby, but can happily pass my days with no big agenda.  COVID-19 is keeping us home, but I was built for it.  I read, manage our finances, work out most days, try new recipes, watch Netflix, and count my lucky stars that I can wait out this period of national crisis safe at home.

deborah

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #63 on: February 08, 2021, 07:02:34 PM »
I've been retired for more than 10 years. I had a plan before I retired, and have done some of it, but not very much - other parts of the plan got in the way, because they were more important. And, you know what? I've not missed work once. I've not missed the things I planned and haven't done. Life is tremendous.

Oh, and I was never going to travel when I retired. And if I did, never outside Australia. But somehow it's happened, and I've seen some amazing places.

Life is tricky at the moment because every time there's a single case of covid19, the state borders are shut for a number of days, and everyone has to quarantine for 14 days if they go interstate. So my regular visits to my elderly and frail parents to assist them haven't been able to happen. But I've been visiting amazing places nearby - a mountain that's been burning for 5,000 years, a rock shelter inhabited for more than 20,000 years, an ochre mine that's been mined for thousands of years, nature recovering from the fires a year ago. Awesome stuff in my backyard. And planning the garden and changes to the house.

Ziggurat

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Re: Tell me what it's like
« Reply #64 on: February 23, 2021, 10:39:59 AM »
I've been retired for just over a year, thinking about it a lot lately.

The "retire to something" debate - I think it is all about personality.  I read so many FIRE stories before I pulled the trigger which made me quite anxious - 'oh no, that person was bored and went back to work after 6 months/1 year'... what if that happens to me?

Well, it turns out, I'm still me.  I happen to have endless curiosity about so many things, and I like to read up on many things, play, computer program for fun, etc. I realize now that I should never have worried about my state of mind.  I sort of 'talked myself into' an idea that I was going to seek out contract positions for 2-3 months of full-time work here and there.  After a couple of months off, that seemed ridiculous and completely unnecessary to me. 

And I thought I would worry about money - and in fact it is quite the opposite.  After years of scrutinizing every purchase to save everything I could, I find I now have an 'abundance' mindset.  Within a few months of quitting I started to realize the 'big picture' money (housing, food, transport) was all well under control and I could really stop worrying about the little things -  $100, $200 here and there for fun items/activities wouldn't make any substantial difference, even some thousands for travel (when that's a thing again).

I find MMM was right on with his comments that you begin to make decisions without money being a factor - e.g. 'would I do this contract for free?' - no? then why should I take it?  On the other hand, I'm contributing to open source projects, occasionally thinking 'shouldn't I find a way to monetize this?' - no, don't need to, I have enough money; I'll do it just because I enjoy it.

But, to each person according to their personality and their circumstances.  Those who are not reasonably 'self-directed' types might find it different.  Those on "lean FIRE" might not be so comfortable with the money.  But if you regularly find interest in projects, volunteering, travel/activities within your budget, you are likely on a path for a happy successful FIRE.