Author Topic: Testing the FIRE waters  (Read 1602 times)

PlantBased

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Testing the FIRE waters
« on: August 28, 2020, 09:41:48 AM »
I"m 52 and hit my FI numbers earlier this year, but it's kind of hard to know what FI is anymore because I'm not settled in any part of the country and home costs change drastically depending on location.  Certainly not FI on the West coast after buying a home, something I'm planning to do.

So anyways my boss recommended doing a FMLA (family medical leave act), where you can leave work for 12 weeks and then return to your same job if you want.  They are easy to get approved for, if you live in the USA, but someone in your family has to have health issues.

So I'm one week in, of 12 weeks unpaid time off.  It might be a good option for others in a similar position.  It's a way to ease into the transition, and it also gives you time to properly research things you never had time to do while working.

Don't know what others think on the matter, but it seems a bit boring time to FIRE with so much in lock down and excessive fear.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 07:50:16 AM by PlantBased »

xbdb

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 11:16:34 AM »
I FIRED a year ago and had a few great months before the all this crap hit. It sucks that I have "lost" the year of adventures I had planned, but I don't regret FIRING at all. With all the craziness going on right now, I surely didn't need the stresses of the job compounding that.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 11:32:28 AM »
I"m 52 and hit my FI numbers earlier this year, but it's kind of hard to know what FI is anymore because I'm not settled in any part of the country and home costs change drastically depending on location.  Certainly not FI on the West coast after buying a home, something I'm planning to do.

So anyways my boss recommended doing a FMLA (family medical leave act), where you can leave work for 12 weeks and then return to your same job if you want.  They are easy to get approved for, if you live in the USA, but someone in your family has to have health issues.

So I'm one week in, of 12 weeks unpaid time off.  It might be a good option for others in a similar position.  It's a way to easy into the transition, and it also gives you time to properly research things you never had time to do while working.

Don't know what others think on the matter, but it seems a bit boring time to FIRE with so much in lock down and excessive fear.

Glad you found a solution that works for you.  Twelve weeks is hardly enough to complete the standard 6 month decompression but I imagine it is enough to determine if you can cope with the lack of structure or need to start over with planning for a more structured FIRE experience.  Also, sorry you have someone with health issues serious enough that you qualify for this.  Hope they get well. 

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 11:44:36 AM »
FMLA as a pre-trial FIRE during a pandemic is definitely harder to compare to long-term FIRE! But still a nice break from work with zero risk. Lockdown is not the FIRE I wanted, but working during a pandemic would be even worse. At least now I get outside during the day when places are less crowded, and I can focus on gardening or decorating or whatever. I was able to get full-time travel out of my system when I FIRE'd a few years ago, so thankfully that isn't a burning desire anymore.

I will say, FIRE numbers should be based on expected costs in retirement. If you can't support your expected lifestyle on the West Coast, you haven't actually hit your FIRE number. It does give you a ton of flexibility, though. You could go part-time, downshift to a less stressful job, etc.

Car Jack

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 01:17:46 PM »
FMLA isn't something that just anyone can take to test drive retirement.  I took it in 1996 when we adopted our first son.  So I was legally covered and I did take my 12 weeks, but with a director kicking and screaming.  Fortunately, I had a VP who knew me well and was on my side, so along with the head of HR, they bitch slapped the director.


jim555

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 01:28:33 PM »
FMLA will put you on the shit list at a lot of companies.

Loren Ver

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 04:20:37 PM »
I was just talking to DH last night that FIRE is so great and I am so glad we are here.  Awesome trips were planned and canceled but, alas.  We are safe at home. 

The water is GREAT!  AHHH!!!

Even with the pandemic.  Even with the race issues.  Even with the election people calling.  Even even even.

The WATER IS SO NICE! 

Work would make NONE of it better.


Linea_Norway

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2020, 04:02:40 AM »
I was just talking to DH last night that FIRE is so great and I am so glad we are here.  Awesome trips were planned and canceled but, alas.  We are safe at home. 

The water is GREAT!  AHHH!!!

Even with the pandemic.  Even with the race issues.  Even with the election people calling.  Even even even.

The WATER IS SO NICE! 

Work would make NONE of it better.

Indeed. People who are working from home now, often see their lives improved. But it is so much better to not have to work at all. I still hardly get enough time for my hobbies, but I am glad that I am sometimes able to work on my hobby until midnight and be able to sleep until natural awaking time the next morning. Also, our house selling and moving homes process was a lot easier to cope with without having the hassle of a job.

Working parttime is also a good improvement from a fulltime job, so do that if you can. That is a way of testing the waters too.

PlantBased

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2020, 07:36:52 AM »
I enjoyed reading everyone's comments, definitely some food for thought.

Quote
FMLA will put you on the shit list at a lot of companies.
One of the greatest things about FI is you really don't give a crap, or maybe just a small one:)  I ended up telling both my boss and his boss, that I was considering retiring and really needed time away to sort things out.  And my bosses boss actually recommended the FMLA.  I suppose they could push me out, but then you could go on unemployment or get severance. And I've learned to say no to excessive work a while back, so that trick would not work either. Fortunately the managers higher up from me are both respectable and great people to work with. 

I've found honesty at work pays off: say what you mean, and ask for what you want and if they don't like it, so be it.  From my experience it's always worked out for the best.  Been working from home for a while, and it's a good job with decent pay, but 40+ hours a week is way too much.  With FT you can't simply decide to go for hike, meander in the garden/yard or go biking on an absolutely beautiful day - like today.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 07:47:20 AM by PlantBased »

ericrugiero

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2020, 03:11:39 PM »
I will say, FIRE numbers should be based on expected costs in retirement. If you can't support your expected lifestyle on the West Coast, you haven't actually hit your FIRE number. It does give you a ton of flexibility, though. You could go part-time, downshift to a less stressful job, etc.

It seems like his FIRE number would be based on HIS expected costs in the location he plans to retire.  The high cost on the west coast only matters if he plans to live there.  I took his comment to mean that he wasn't planning to live there but the high cost would mean he didn't have that option.  He still has plenty of other options (which he is evidently OK with). 

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2020, 03:54:56 PM »
I will say, FIRE numbers should be based on expected costs in retirement. If you can't support your expected lifestyle on the West Coast, you haven't actually hit your FIRE number. It does give you a ton of flexibility, though. You could go part-time, downshift to a less stressful job, etc.

It seems like his FIRE number would be based on HIS expected costs in the location he plans to retire.  The high cost on the west coast only matters if he plans to live there.  I took his comment to mean that he wasn't planning to live there but the high cost would mean he didn't have that option.  He still has plenty of other options (which he is evidently OK with). 

Ohh yeah! Looks like "something I'm planning to do" refers to just buying a home, somewhere. I thought they meant they planned to move here.

Fishindude

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2020, 08:15:39 AM »
Don't know what others think on the matter, but it seems a bit boring time to FIRE with so much in lock down and excessive fear.

It really just depends on where you are and what you like to do.
In rural areas you hardly know there is anything different going on, except when you go shopping in some stores you have to put on a mask, otherwise it's pretty much business as usual.
It's a good time to be an outdoors person.

If the big cities, cultural entertainment, dining, commercial travel, motels, sporting events, etc. are your thing it would not be much fun.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Testing the FIRE waters
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2020, 08:26:22 AM »
Don't know what others think on the matter, but it seems a bit boring time to FIRE with so much in lock down and excessive fear.

It really just depends on where you are and what you like to do.
In rural areas you hardly know there is anything different going on, except when you go shopping in some stores you have to put on a mask, otherwise it's pretty much business as usual.
It's a good time to be an outdoors person.

If the big cities, cultural entertainment, dining, commercial travel, motels, sporting events, etc. are your thing it would not be much fun.

+1