Author Topic: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?  (Read 9416 times)

Gone Fishing

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The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« on: March 31, 2015, 03:28:56 PM »
How did you feel, were you a wreck? What were you thinking?  How did others react? How did it go? 

I've been reading about Dr. Doom's last few days which he posts about in great detail on his blog and I started to imagine what my last few months, days, weeks will look like.  Personally, I am ocillating between "hunker-down for the long haul" mode I have been in for years and "ef it, I'm going to be out of here in a few months" mode which can come with some severe motivational issues!  Sometimes I swing between the two several times in a day.  It still doesn't seem like ER is really going to happen.  I also feel the weight of the "secret" a bit when talking about future plans with the boss and coworkers. I don't like lying or concealing the truth under any circumstances.  For now I am just trying to relax and mentally back off the micromanaging of the finances. I did all this so I didn't have to worry about money after all!   

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2015, 04:19:43 PM »
I'm hopefully in the "last few months" category.

nervous - about major life change; also about "the talk" with boss/coworkers
busy - preparing finances and financial plans; planning details such as medical coverage
guilty - unwarranted guilt, I know I've earned this and others made different life choices
relief - that there's an end in sight to all the things Dr. Doom complained about in his recent blog post
anticipation - about major life change
impatience - want to get started on the rest of my life

Frankies Girl

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 05:38:50 PM »
I've been retired for just over 3 weeks now.

The final month/weeks (right before I turned in my notice) were mostly minor nervousness. I was pretty sure I was going to be okay, but still worried I was forgetting something major. I obsessed with running numbers and researching stuff like drawdown methods and health care coverage. I also felt sort of like an imposter or somehow undeserving of the chance to just walk away from a "decent" job; how dare I just throw that away? I worked hard to get where I was... so lots of doubts and most of them not really about the money aspects, more about whether I was truly capable of pulling this off... basically my lack of self-esteem/confidence and other issues I have faced throughout my life parsed into my FIRE scenario.

I was determined to do my job as well as I could up until I was out the door, as this was personally important to me. I didn't care about long range stuff, but that didn't mean I completely checked out of my assigned duties. I worked really hard to leave things in as perfect a condition as I could so the transition would be easy on my coworkers.

The last two weeks, I was very stressed, worried, harassed, and REALLY doubting that I'd made the right decision. I was walking away from the highest paying job I've ever had - none of my friends in the same field even made close to what I was making. And the fact that my immediate boss was an asshole meant that there was no way I could come back either - door is nailed shut on that.

I am slightly relieved I don't have to deal with work any more, but mostly I'm in numb and stunned mode right now. Still feels surreal and like I'll be heading back to work soon. I've worked at this place so long and was under so much stress that it's going to take a while to really have it sink in that I'm done. I'm also feeling a sense of loss, which surprised me. I am a major introvert so I'm now missing my main interaction with people, and despite my telling myself that I was not my job - I did lose some sense of my personal identity.

I feel that I must be doing something productive these last couple of weeks since I'm not working. But I'm not stressing out much at all any more. I'll hopefully be feeling much better soon and able to start focusing on what the rest of my life is going to look like.


One Noisy Cat

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 06:18:23 PM »
    I had decided about five months earlier that I would retire but it was only five weeks before that I actually filled out the paperwork. Longest five weeks ever, not helped by lots of mandatory sixth days (but then I seldom complained too loud about that).   The boss, a tough-minded but fair, competent woman would every few days kid me "are you sure? I can stop this up to three days before your last day".  But the magnitude of a major life changing event has never hit me, and didn't worry me.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 06:26:55 PM »
FIRE since 5OCT2012.

The last couple weeks had an element of "did I just torpedo myself?" worry.  I was leaving a six figure job and knew it would be harder to find comparable pay after a year or more not working.  If I miscalculated, I would have a future of meaningless and underpaid overqualified work ahead of me.  Management worked hard to talk me out of it.  They did the math on what my pay package at 3% nominal raises for 15 years was worth with all benefits included (millions [persuasive argument].)  I just couldn't take it anymore.  See, when you are 10% of the way to the goal, each paycheck gives a real sense of accomplishment because it moves the needle on your networth.  When you are 95% of the way there, you can do the math and see you just worked an extra two weeks for maybe a dollar a month in extra income.  And how many extra dollars do you really need at 2 weeks of blood a piece?

I never had a problem with the "secret."  I was telling people as early as 2006 I had aggressive savings goals and that I'd leave the workplace "sooner than anyone will suspect."  It was still a shock when a guy who had just turned 40 told them he was done after hearing about it for 6 years.  Even though they knew I was still driving the 100k+ mile Chevy PaidFor while all my peers had Mercedes/BMW.  Even though I brought lots of brown bag lunches when they knew I could afford a daily meal out.  It is so deeply ingrained that employees are debt slaves, management cannot (will not!) grok that a serf can choose otherwise.  Blows their precious little minds.  Their precious little consumerist debt slave minds.  Pity them.

vern

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 11:53:24 PM »
Oddly surreal.

k290

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 12:46:03 PM »

I've been reading about Dr. Doom's last few days which he posts about in great detail on his blog

Link pls? :)

(also strong username to thread topic ratio)

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 12:51:26 PM »

I've been reading about Dr. Doom's last few days which he posts about in great detail on his blog

Link pls? :)

(also strong username to thread topic ratio)

http://livingafi.com/

arebelspy

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 08:09:41 PM »
I'm a month ahead of you, So Close - my ER date is June 4, yours is July 4.  :)

Right now we're nothing but excited, making plans for post-FIRE.

And we're in crazy scramble mode with everything we have to deal with (specifically getting rid of all of our stuff, since we're downsizing to two backpacks and moving to full time travel mode).  :D
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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Exflyboy

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 07:02:22 PM »
I'm a month ahead of you, So Close - my ER date is June 4, yours is July 4.  :)

Right now we're nothing but excited, making plans for post-FIRE.

And we're in crazy scramble mode with everything we have to deal with (specifically getting rid of all of our stuff, since we're downsizing to two backpacks and moving to full time travel mode).  :D

Now that transition I want to hear about..:)

arebelspy

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 08:32:50 PM »
I'm a month ahead of you, So Close - my ER date is June 4, yours is July 4.  :)

Right now we're nothing but excited, making plans for post-FIRE.

And we're in crazy scramble mode with everything we have to deal with (specifically getting rid of all of our stuff, since we're downsizing to two backpacks and moving to full time travel mode).  :D

Now that transition I want to hear about..:)

Booked our plane tickets out of the country today, actually!  :)

I'm out of town visiting my in-laws for Easter, but if I find time & remember, I'll start a thread about our plans.
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.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Exflyboy

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2015, 06:31:42 PM »
I guess I was spared a bit of the last few weeks of angst.

I had planned to retire in April last year.. In January things got really bad (a conflict of mine and my employers values) and cutting a long story short I managed to get myself fired (no not FIRED) for the first time in my career in early January.

I was paid a decent severence to go quickly and quietly which I of course did with glee!.. Giving up an 80 mile one way commute at the same time.

Bottom line is the last 4 months until my FIRE date I did not have to work.. and ended up earning almost the same amount of money.


FIRE me

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2015, 12:57:19 AM »
I was determined to do my job as well as I could up until I was out the door, as this was personally important to me. I didn't care about long range stuff, but that didn't mean I completely checked out of my assigned duties. I worked really hard to leave things in as perfect a condition as I could so the transition would be easy on my coworkers.

I currently rank very high among my peers for all aspects of job performance. I am tempted to relax in my last year (I have 21 months left) and become average.

On the other hand, I am also tempted to push harder and become absolutely outstanding. Not as a gesture of gratitude, but out of simple selfish ego to make sure that I will be missed! 

benjenn

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2015, 07:31:24 AM »
Our RE date is July 31st and it can't get here soon enough for me and DH!  We are seriously counting the days... 79 days, 50 work days.  I've got 3 really big events in the next 6 weeks to get through so time is going pretty fast because I'm so busy, which is great.  Of course they still haven't hired my replacement so I will have little to no time to try to train anyone.  I have, however, been making job notes to leave behind.  DH calls it my Continuity Plan.  It's up to 40 pages now.

I haven't felt nervous at all -- not about the decision, not about what lies ahead.  I'm just excited to start this new chapter.  We are moving out of state - to the BEACH! So we're leaving it all behind.. including one son in college and young married daughter expecting second child 3 weeks before we leave.  Nope, that won't be easy but visiting us at the beach shouldn't be much of a hardship for them.

I feel like I have disengaged as much as I can from work.  As my dear friend told me - "not your circus, not your monkeys."  :)

sequim

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 12:32:09 PM »
It surprised the hell out of me but as the time got closer (this Friday is my last day, Monday we are leaving for our new home), I started having panic attacks and doubt.  They were brief, thank goodness, usually in the middle of the night and I kept them private as they would go away.  Then I'd be back to euphoria and well being.  It helped that we talked to our financial adviser yesterday and the account is up for the year above index levels so no problem withdrawing 5% whenever we wish to start, and that we got an unexpected huge IRS refund because of a tax loss on our house and business expenses.  I also talked to my company about possibly part-time work and my soon to be ex-manager thought that was a really good idea. So these things allayed my fears. 

I also have my mom in my head saying you can't throw away a job paying good money!  If she'd been alive, she would have given me hell and never would have understood what we're doing.

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2015, 12:56:49 PM »
My FIRE decision was comparatively easy. I was single until I was 54. I was a very good but not great saver (for reasons I don't regret). The missing piece for me was healthcare. Right after I got married, work became a complete pain in the ass. They handed out I-pads that could pinpoint my exact location (my bathroom vs. my garage vs. my home office) 24/7/365. It was the last straw. Since DH works at a job he enjoys and has great benefits and limited hours, he encouraged me to tell them to shove the I-pad and the job.*

The company has such high turnover that hardly anyone ever retires. When I gave them my one-month notice, they were kind of stunned. Normally if you quit, you're gone asap. They let me work out my notice and work I did. I was frantic to tie up every loose end and leave every account in perfect condition.  I finally realized that in sales, especially a firm such as the one I was leaving, there is a lot of finger-pointing and passing of blame. I decided to focus on my favorite and best customers. I called on them, thanked them for their business and let them know that I appreciated and enjoyed working with them. I then gave them permission to blame me for anything that wasn't exactly to their liking (including pricing). What the hell? If the next person (or the company) is going to throw crap about me, my customers may as well get some use out of it. It turned out to be a fun exercise and relieved a lot of the pressure to leave every i dotted and t crossed. Words cannot express how happy I am to finally be free.

*Please don't think this makes me simply a "non-working spouse". I have rental property and big, fat investment account of my own. As a cancer survivor with a quirky heart condition, I could not get affordable health care and was afraid to pull the trigger without it. My heart condition is completely minimized (i.e. no drugs, no limitations) now that the stress of working is gone. Life is good, indeed!

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2015, 03:40:29 PM »
I was a wreck during the last few months and weeks of my job. I was extremely paranoid that I was going to be killed in a workplace mishap - not a ridiculous notion giving the dangerous nature of my job. I was a wreck, thinking that one slip up may result in me not enjoying the hard won fruits of my decades of mostly backbreaking labours.

Yes, I was a bit of a mess there at the end. But God, is life ever magical and full of joy now. :)

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2015, 03:44:34 PM »
Just this past weekend I was thinking "what if I die next week, just a few weeks before FIRE?" Apparently it's not that uncommon a thought, I had no idea. This week I've been thinking "was waiting to get my stock really worth the extra few months of working?" The answer is "probably not." It's not really significant $$, just seemed like I shouldn't leave it on the table. Oh well, I'm almost there now.

DoubleDown

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2015, 04:07:03 PM »
Same here! I wondered if I'd suffer the ironic and tragic accident/death right before retirement, just like the movie trope where detectives get gunned down by the mafia/drug/terrorist syndicate in their final week of work before retiring. I decided it was a silly thought and put it out of my mind.

The Simpsons did a joke on that trope once. McBain's partner was one week from retiring and showed him a picture of his wife on the boat they just bought and named the "Gonna Live Forever". Of course he was killed right then by Mendoza the drug cartel lord, allowing McBain to yell, "MENDOZAAAAAAA!!!!"


choppingwood

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2015, 01:08:37 PM »
Though it is not an early retirement, I have five days left.

It is very busy. I am wrapping up work to hand off to the person I was filling in for. It is a busy time of year to begin with, and one of my staff had a meltdown a few weeks ago, so the work was reassigned -- and I took quite a bit of it, because I couldn't afford for anyone else to have a meltdown. The person I was filling in for has been throwing her weight around. However, my boss, the CEO, stepped in, and has made it clear that I am still in the job and report to him and for her to mind her manners.

I have been moving, eliminating the house I was renting during this contract and merging things with the permanent house I own. That has added a long commute --  for a short time and through beautiful country with perfect spring weather -- so actually a pretty relaxing part of the day. It has meant that I am dealing with movers and cleaning the house. But it also means that I am in my own home again, and seeing all the things to do I'll be able to choose from. The pets are all very happy to be in a very small-town country setting.

This is major yard clean-up season here, and I still have two yards. I've cut the grass, and I don't know if it is going to wait another five days. And I've been looking for someone to put new shingles on my house -- it is nearing crisis-time. Have someone who has agreed now, who gave me a quote that was $100 off what I expected to pay.

And I've spent a day at a workshop related to a project I'll be involved in soon.

The new life seems very close now -- really already started. I'm excited and finally, after weeks of working at things I am not crazy about doing, I can see an end in sight.

There is lots of noise around me as people try to figure out whether I am retiring or not. At work, I am told, the card they bought me is a "retirement" card. Perhaps it is hard to find a card that wishes you well when you are not in any hurry to work again until something really interesting comes along.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2015, 04:50:38 PM »
Gratz choppingwood!

choppingwood

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Re: The last few months, weeks, days before ER?
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2015, 05:11:53 PM »