Author Topic: Do you just.....jump?  (Read 13406 times)

Mr. Green

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Do you just.....jump?
« on: October 09, 2015, 07:39:51 AM »
For the past couple weeks I've been religiously reviewing our spending for 2015. Enough of the year has passed that I'm confident the data is an accurate cross section of our spending and, surprisingly, I think we're FI. Turns out we spend less money than I thought we did. We're not quite FI with our current living arrangements but we're moving when we FIRE. The property is already paid for and housing plans are solid. I have a pretty good handle on the cost differential and my spreadsheets say we're FI for that. My current struggle is the what ifs, where those what ifs equal more spending. We do have a couple safety nets and there's always work after FIRE as a last resort, but I worry that I might regret turning of the fire hose of saving now if a "what if" or two happens post-FIRE. In my line of work, once I'm out there's basically no going back. At the same time, I don't really want to hang on longer than necessary out of fear knowing most, if not all, of these fears are probably irrational. Did any of you pull the trigger because the data said yes, even though you were still questioning things? I'm struggling to quiet that little voice in the back of my head that I'm sure leads down the path to OMY syndrome.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 08:17:35 AM »
A lot of this sounds familiar to me.

I had many things going for me in support of my ultimate decision to FIRE last year. Did this mean that the decision was easy? No. Did I still have a "little voice" in my head screaming "Don't do it"? Yes.

regulator

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 08:28:40 AM »
Analysis paralysis is a real issue.

In my case I made the leap even though the numbers were marginal.  I was burnt out and it was time for a big change.  DW and I decided we would make it work one way or the other and if worse came to worst I would get a year or two of sabbatical and go back to work.  We mapped out several ways we could make it work and plans B through about K (DW was not amused by "live in a van down by the river").  And we jumped.  Two years later I find myself working as a contractor and being just fine with lumpy income from year to year (2014 was a low income year, 2015 is high income, 2016 will be ???), but I am way less stressed, a lot happier in general, and our family is doing better.  I just came down with a cold and it is the first time I have been sick all year.  It is probably due to some stress I have had lately with extended family stuff going on and having one contract start before the last one ended, but way different from the endless succession of colds and whatnot I used to suffer from.

Put it this way: if you were a deca-millionaire without the inflated expenses to match, you would still have to take the flying leap at some point.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 08:41:50 AM »
I know exactly what you feeling and thinking, because I think and feel it as well.  And yes, on April 1st, I plan on jumping, but with eyes wide open.  I have to remind myself from time to time that I am a capable and adaptable individual that has managed to do something 99%+ of the population can not (or will not) do.  If I can do that, I am certainly capable of handling a life crisis here or there.  With the proper insurance in place (health/liability), there is very, very little that could completely wipe me out (financially).  And even if we get hit with a torrent of "what if's", we do have PLENTY of cash to handle them, the worst thing that will happen is that we spend down our stache at a faster than sustainable rate.  BTW 4% is an ULTRA conservative withdrawal rate, designed to survive the absolute WORST financial periods of the 20th century, and in most cases will result in generous amounts of excess funds.

Will I probably take a career hit if I ever try to get back in the game? Probably so, but I also have nearly 3 DECADES to make it up before I might be too old to work.  And at our spending levels, even a minimum wage job would make a HUGE difference in what we need from the stache.    I also do not consider SS, but I am pretty sure it will still be there in some capacity.  And while I don't plan on depending on them at all, my wife and I have good prospects of receiving sizable inheritances/life insurance proceeds.

I also remind myself that even if my ER only lasts 5 years, it will have been a great success.  I will have been able to spend copious amounts of time with my children in their teen years (which may even be more important than the infant/toddler years that most SAH parents choose to spend with their children), my aging parents before they are too old to travel, and my convalescing grandparents before they die.

So yes, I am just going to jump (unless the market sheds 20+% between now and then!)           

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 09:51:02 AM »
For the past couple weeks I've been religiously reviewing our spending for 2015. Enough of the year has passed that I'm confident the data is an accurate cross section of our spending and, surprisingly, I think we're FI. Turns out we spend less money than I thought we did. We're not quite FI with our current living arrangements but we're moving when we FIRE. The property is already paid for and housing plans are solid. I have a pretty good handle on the cost differential and my spreadsheets say we're FI for that. My current struggle is the what ifs, where those what ifs equal more spending. We do have a couple safety nets and there's always work after FIRE as a last resort, but I worry that I might regret turning of the fire hose of saving now if a "what if" or two happens post-FIRE. In my line of work, once I'm out there's basically no going back. At the same time, I don't really want to hang on longer than necessary out of fear knowing most, if not all, of these fears are probably irrational. Did any of you pull the trigger because the data said yes, even though you were still questioning things? I'm struggling to quiet that little voice in the back of my head that I'm sure leads down the path to OMY syndrome.

I'm always one to land on the side of "the sooner the better."  But I do have to qualify that with the observation that I operate from my own situation -- which has always included having a one-year basic expenses cash emergency reserve, an additional health costs reserve in case something unexpected comes up, plus a home improvement/repair reserve. So, my perspective and opinion are given in the context of having total cash reserves (in my case) equal to about 18 months of basic living expenses.  But... if you have those bases covered, I would vote for you to pull the trigger.

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 10:28:56 AM »
It was surely an act of faith for me.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 11:37:02 AM »
I FIRED in June this year. Yes, it's hard to avoid having OMY syndrome! What helped me is:

1: I planned to quit my job anyway, I was tired of it, so I was either going to FIRE or get a new job. I decided I may as well give FIRE a try since my numbers worked out and I was quitting my job anyway. I also wanted to enjoy the summer w/o working even if I was going back to work.
2: I went through my budget and made a second budget, excluding everything non-essential (gifts, new clothing, eating out, etc.) This helped me see that if things didn't go smoothly, I could switch to this budget and still be OK.
3: I haven't admitted to many people yet that I'm retired. I don't even know if I've 100% admitted it to myself. This makes it easier (for me) psychologically.

Mr. Green

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 12:06:27 PM »
I definitely want to quit the job. In fact I want to quit the industry altogether. It's just the idea that a "what if" that meant a 100k larger stash would have been better is accomplished in 8 months or so now as opposed to needing to work in "retirement." Though I'll likely get into something that makes money anyway and 4k a year is all that would be needed to equal the additional 100k. I could probably make that in my sleep. That is one example of the irrational fear that, despite having a logical, safe response, still seems scary.

BTDretire

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2015, 10:00:00 AM »
For the past couple weeks I've been religiously reviewing our spending for 2015. Enough of the year has passed that I'm confident the data is an accurate cross section of our spending and, surprisingly, I think we're FI. Turns out we spend less money than I thought we did. 
snip
Did any of you pull the trigger because the data said yes, even though you were still questioning things? I'm struggling to quiet that little voice in the back of my head that I'm sure leads down the path to OMY syndrome.

  Have you used Firecalc to see where you stand, it made me feel comfortable that our stache is big enough
for us to retire, even though the wife wants to continue working.
  I'm on about the same schedule as you, (although I'll go semiretired early next year)
I am much older though.

JN2

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2015, 04:15:01 AM »
In May this year I was running the numbers. I set the spreadsheet to a September retirement date. The cautious part of me kicked in and so I extended it to December. After a couple of days I realized that I didn't want to wait that long so I set it back to September. That felt much better. So I quit :)

So create a couple of (multiple?) scenarios and see which feels best!

John

PS Now in my 4th week of FIRE and loving it :)

Mr. Green

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2015, 07:40:35 PM »
For the past couple weeks I've been religiously reviewing our spending for 2015. Enough of the year has passed that I'm confident the data is an accurate cross section of our spending and, surprisingly, I think we're FI. Turns out we spend less money than I thought we did. 
snip
Did any of you pull the trigger because the data said yes, even though you were still questioning things? I'm struggling to quiet that little voice in the back of my head that I'm sure leads down the path to OMY syndrome.

  Have you used Firecalc to see where you stand, it made me feel comfortable that our stache is big enough
for us to retire, even though the wife wants to continue working.
  I'm on about the same schedule as you, (although I'll go semiretired early next year)
I am much older though.
Firecalc says we're good for base spending (92% success rate at 90/10 stock/bond mix). That doesn't include SS, or any money we may earn post-FIRE, or a big piece of property we're selling (long term sale).
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 07:42:36 PM by Mr. Green »

JN2

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2015, 12:47:16 AM »
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend in a similar situation to yours at work (I was still working then :)

I asked him 2 questions.
1. Do you want to quit? Yes
2. Do you have enough money to retire? Yes

He's still there...


Gunny

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2015, 07:28:32 AM »
I was asking nearly identical questions back in June.  The answers I received from this forum I will pass along to you.  You can never be 100 percent.  Life is unpredictable.  If you are at a point that you are 90 percent sure of success, you are fed up at work, and retiring takes up most of your daily thoughts, go for it.  I am now nearly two months in and I am more sure now than two months ago that I will be fine and it was the right decision.  I am very content.  Good luck!

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2015, 09:16:10 AM »
I struggle with it dearly (and have other posts asking same questions)....the irrational thoughts I have are similar to yours.....I know I can cut back if needed (and actually have a plan to when kids are older), I know I can make even a small bit of extra money that will make a big difference if needed, etc....

1. My biggies are three younger kids
    - just not sure what the expense future will hold
    - clothing and food will surely increase
    - will there be medical needs
    - what will there activities cost (already quite a bit)
    - I don't want to stress when certain costs arise related to them and being active/social/educated.
    - they are the priority and willing to take it on the chin a bit for them, just not get knocked out.

2. Markets - Can't help the feeling that.....
    - markets (equity and bond) are at high points and reversion to the mean will occur at some point (most likely when/if Fed raises rates
    - markets are rigged/too fast and are not representative of the data that exists in all the calculators or SWR analysis.
    - these might be a "this time is different" dynamic but something about the markets just feels and seems different than even 20 years ago. 

I know things aren't 100% certain and I can stomach 85% but its the 50% hit I worry about.


Shrike

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2015, 03:25:36 PM »
I'm 48 now and in a similar situation, and I certainly don't feel ready.

Knowing myself, I know that I'll never FEEL ready and there will always be doubt, but that doesn't mean I'm not ACTUALLY ready.  I think most of us are seldom emotionally ready when life's great opportunities present themselves. But now that "Past Me" has done decades of hard work - changed from a consumer to a saver, eliminated all debt, downsized, and saved a healthy wad of cash, "Present Me" has a (potentially risky?) opportunity to FIRE very soon and start a new chapter.

It's going to take some courage to actually FIRE when the time comes and I hope when the day I have circled on the calendar arrives I have the guts to leave a nice, well paying job and do it.

If I do, it'll be knowing that I'll be setting up "Future Me" not with a stress-free ticket to sit on his butt for the next 40 years watching TV all day and never earning another dime, but with a great opportunity to enjoy a free new life while he's still relatively young and in good health. Future Me will need to learn a few new tricks along the way, will very likely have to deal with a few major financial shocks over the years, and will almost certainly be faced with the need to find a way to add more dollars to the bank account here and there, but that seems like a great trade off to me.

I'm almost prepared. The last step for me now is mustering faith in myself - that I'll be able to chart a course through the unknowable challenges of the next 40 to 50 years. 
The money part is almost done.  Now once I have that faith in myself, I'll also be able to jump.

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2015, 03:57:17 PM »
Great thread and a question I have been pondering since finding this wonderful site a couple of months ago while reading some inspiring journeys.

For us we are 38 and spend a little less than 4% of our invested assets, we think of the house as 'an expense of living' and paid it off as early as we could, the psychological freedom of just that was magnificent. We have been frugal (and very fortunate we both share similar goals and understood compound interest early) since we met at 22.

The way I am approaching the decision is to keep working for a couple more years and limit our spending to 80% of our investment income while socking away all wage income into our investments. Looking at dividends in recessions in Australia suggests that they have fallen 25-30% for one year during the last two locally.
If our 'trial' run works out OK over the next couple of years we will make it permanent. Hopefully in the mean time we can find some things to fill the time, I have been conditioned to working 50hr weeks for the last 20 years, I think might be the harder part.

Cheers,

Rollin

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2015, 06:11:29 PM »
I definitely want to quit the job. In fact I want to quit the industry altogether. It's just the idea that a "what if" that meant a 100k larger stash would have been better is accomplished in 8 months or so now as opposed to needing to work in "retirement." Though I'll likely get into something that makes money anyway and 4k a year is all that would be needed to equal the additional 100k. I could probably make that in my sleep. That is one example of the irrational fear that, despite having a logical, safe response, still seems scary.

Everything that you have written is my situation exactly.  Well, except that to get to my $100,000/year is $5K needed as opposed to $4K - and that really won't come in or add up as a negative number until 2021 (about $93K in 2021).  So, I'm planning on jumping 4/16/16.

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2015, 12:34:07 PM »
I agree with most everyone else that posted here. If the numbers say it's time for FIRE, just go for it. Enjoy the seeds you've sowed.

Spork

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2015, 12:52:25 PM »
When I hit my FIRE number... I pretty much went one more year.  I'm not necessarily recommending you do that... I'm just answering your question.  Did I just jump?  No... I fretted and worried and reran numbers over and over.

The line between "saving enough" and "saving too much" is blurry.  I definitely need some cushion there to feel comfortable, so ... even though I have probably over saved, it gives me more confidence.

Etihwdivadnai

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2015, 12:55:10 PM »
We "ran the numbers" but, despite the numbers looking ok, we were still not confident.
So we worked two more "one more years" and were aiming to jump at the 3 more years mark.
But then 6 months earlier than was planned, I was laid-off / made redundant.
And 3 months later my spouse quit.

To use a simplistic analogy we were "building the raft to sail away on"
but "a storm came along an prematurely launched the part-built raft"

11 months in, and we haven't sunk, and we love the freedom, but it is still a bit scary.
I keep a look out for some "dry-land" (i.e. some paid employment).
But as the days go by and "our heads are still above water" my look-out begins to wane.

So I feel that we were "pushed" rather than "jumped", but our plans were well in-hand anyway.

Evgenia

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2015, 12:29:53 PM »
We were, by all calculations (close to $2m across the accounts, paid off house), more than OK to FIRE, but pulling the trigger was hard and a total leap of faith. It stands to reason. We all got here by basically hoarding our money and being frugal. We have savings because we didn't touch them unless absolutely necessary. That mindset does not change overnight. "Using" your savings in any capacity is a scary, unfamiliar and -- to our way of thinking -- historically dangerous concept.

Two things helped me (I was the second to go, one month after DH became FIRE) take the leap:

1. A friend in a much more precarious situation (house not paid off, with MS and higher health costs) and her DH had left stable, good paying jobs for self-employment and more free time. Due to her illness, she has no idea how much more time she has left at a decent quality of life (nor do any of us, but it's front and center for her). She made me pick a date and commit that quit date to her, after we'd had an hour long Skype chat about what was holding me back. Without her, I probably would have lingered on at my horrible, high paying job with great benefits until some other external, precipitating event made a decision for me.

Do you know someone who might be able to do the same for you?

2. Estate planning. As we do not (and will not) have kids, it was time for us to make arrangements -- advance directives, wills, a living trust. Otherwise, our poor family members couldn't even sell our house, would have to deal with probate for years, ALL of that. We had to decide who would get what, and that's what did it for me. We'd saved all of this, only to give all of it to other people? (Which is fine, but...) We couldn't think of any "stuff" we wanted to spend it on, like most Mustachians. We do not want a Tesla, a second home, etc. The ONLY thing we wanted was more time. If we didn't start taking it now, then when would we? For whatever reason, just seeing the estate plan was a forcing issue in getting us to use some of our savings for ourselves. We bought our freedom, health and time instead of stuff.

We have not regretted going FIRE when we did for a single moment. I have had a few small panic attacks, but those are all over loss of identity, not being a "productive member of society" for the first time in my life, etc. It's not regret, it's just getting used to a new identity and figuring out what that is... and THAT is SO much scarier than the financial calculations! :)

Mr. Green

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2015, 01:12:59 PM »
Do you know someone who might be able to do the same for you?
I have promised some very good friends of ours, who live next door to where we are moving, that I will leave my current profession no later than March 31, 2017. This was a promise to myself as much as a promise to them because I am past ready for a life change. This date is what is reflected in my signature block. The information revelation of the past couple weeks has really been eye opening. for the last year or so I had been considering hiking the Appalachian Trail as part of my transition into FIRE. I had been on the fence because of the opportunity cost (lost income for those months not worked). This new data may just be the push I need to call it a career and plan the hike for next summer in what would hopefully be the fulfillment of a longtime dream. Judging from all the responses it certainly looks like I'm going to have to suck it up and jump.

arebelspy

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2015, 06:36:03 AM »
It was surely an act of faith for me.

+1.

Yes, we just jumped.

Smiling, and laughing, and knowing that if we have to go earn some more money, we will.  Worst case scenario, we got a few years of freedom, and then work a few more years, before complete ER.  I can think of worse things than that.  ;)
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.
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Gone Fishing

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2015, 09:21:27 AM »
Only 67 work days until I give notice.  Sorry, just had to throw that out there!

I'm so stoked I can't even run calculations because I get too excited.  Only thing left to do is jump! (and sign up for Obamacare)

Mr. Green

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2015, 10:09:11 AM »
Only 67 work days until I give notice.  Sorry, just had to throw that out there!

I'm so stoked I can't even run calculations because I get too excited.  Only thing left to do is jump! (and sign up for Obamacare)
I changed my FIRE date. I think looking back 10 years from now I'll say we could have FIRE'd right now but in the moment I just a bit uncomfortable with where we're at because of those illogical "what ifs" that will probably never happen. I also read this post from Mark Manson and it solidified the notion that I'm wasting precious moments of my life just for money, that I may not even need at this point. So I moved my date up 9 months to the beginning of my planned window. I like Mr. Manson's idea of "terrifying myself." I think it's what I need. With the savings we have I won't be worried about putting food on the table but I'll be equally as terrified about finally having the opportunity to pursue my interests and fail.

SenoritaStache

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2015, 04:34:26 PM »
I constantly think of this, as I feel like....


I'm on a train, running full speed, and up ahead is my place to literally jump out of this fast moving train.  And I feel scared, nervous, happy, excited, adrenaline high, and I don't know if I'm ready to jump (like can I really, do I really have the guts to jump??) AWWWWH, I don't know if I can jump.  I don't hate my job, and I don't mind it, just seems like eventually I would want to take over my awake hours rather than sell them.  Jumping is so scary, its motivating to hear the others, on the otherside :)

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2015, 06:03:33 PM »
I felt all the things that at least you mentioned but yes jumped BUT after I was ready and bought a smaller house and cut things as much as I felt I needed. I have 4 kids so that too weighed in on things so I pretty much just came to the conclusion I will give it a year and re-evaluate. Some days I mentally re-evaluate already and other days I just enjoy it. The common thing is each day I just want it to work out because I feel now that I have made the jump this is definitely for me.! Like someone said earlier eventually you have to make the leap so do it sooner than later.

Mr. Green

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2015, 07:31:30 AM »
Coming back after a four day weekend I'm really feeling the FIRE pull. I think a two week vacation right now would make me unemployable. It's just so wonderful to be completely relaxed, doing whatever I want to do for days on end. I can only imagine what that feels like in perpetuity. A couple times over the weekend I caught myself realizing how comfortable and amazing I felt, no work stress, no daily demand of my time. Even standing in line at Wal-mart I was feeling good, which I consider pretty amazing. I hope that feeling never goes away in FIRE. That would be a wonderful life.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 09:27:18 AM by Mr. Green »

Jon_Snow

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2015, 08:28:46 AM »
Coming back after a four day weekend I'm really feeling the FIRE pull. I think a two week vacation right now would make me unemployable. It's just so wonderful to be completely relaxed, doing whatever I want to do for days on end. I can only imagine what that feels like in perpetuity. A couple times over the weekend I caught myself realizing how comfortable and amazing I felt, no work stress, no daily demand of my time. Even standing in line at Wal-mart I was feeling good, which I consider pretty amazing. I hope that feeling never goes away in FIRE. That would a wonderful life.

I cannot speak of others FIRE experience....but the feeling that you describe, the wonderful sensation of living your life COMPLETELY ON ONES OWN TERMS, has not faded at all for me after 15 months now. Mr. Green, it is more than wonderful. :)


Spork

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2015, 10:02:39 AM »
Coming back after a four day weekend I'm really feeling the FIRE pull. I think a two week vacation right now would make me unemployable. It's just so wonderful to be completely relaxed, doing whatever I want to do for days on end. I can only imagine what that feels like in perpetuity. A couple times over the weekend I caught myself realizing how comfortable and amazing I felt, no work stress, no daily demand of my time. Even standing in line at Wal-mart I was feeling good, which I consider pretty amazing. I hope that feeling never goes away in FIRE. That would a wonderful life.

I cannot speak of others FIRE experience....but the feeling that you describe, the wonderful sensation of living your life COMPLETELY ON ONES OWN TERMS, has not faded at all for me after 15 months now. Mr. Green, it is more than wonderful. :)

I'm only 5 months in, but I still get a "Damn, it's going to be a good day today" conversation with myself in my head every morning.

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2015, 10:18:05 AM »
Coming back after a four day weekend I'm really feeling the FIRE pull. I think a two week vacation right now would make me unemployable. It's just so wonderful to be completely relaxed, doing whatever I want to do for days on end. I can only imagine what that feels like in perpetuity. A couple times over the weekend I caught myself realizing how comfortable and amazing I felt, no work stress, no daily demand of my time. Even standing in line at Wal-mart I was feeling good, which I consider pretty amazing. I hope that feeling never goes away in FIRE. That would a wonderful life.

I cannot speak of others FIRE experience....but the feeling that you describe, the wonderful sensation of living your life COMPLETELY ON ONES OWN TERMS, has not faded at all for me after 15 months now. Mr. Green, it is more than wonderful. :)

I'm only 5 months in, but I still get a "Damn, it's going to be a good day today" conversation with myself in my head every morning.

And yet...there is that contingent (a minority I think) of FIRE'ees that find themselves a bit LOST post-FIRE. Hopefully, participating in this forum will help folks realize you are best served if you have a PLAN for your FIRE'd life...it has been stressed by many, myself included, that leaving your job IS NOT ENOUGH. Try to build a complete life OUTSIDE OF YOUR JOB before FIRE, if you can. I had a life "bursting at the seams" with amazing stuff waiting for me once I quit my career. The transition has been SEAMLESS.

It doesn't take long to find individuals on this board for whom the transition has proven to be a challenge.

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2015, 11:31:47 AM »

I am struggling with this very decision myself - could I be in the class of 2016?  I need to get out of my high stress job while I still have my curiosity and health intact and when I look at those things objectively they are both dwindling yearly. 

My hesitation is; what about the unpredictable car accident that leaves your child as a paraplegic or mentally incapacitated  or both and suddenly your spending goes up by 70% per year or more?   Or you get a chronic cancer or MS or ALS... 

I only ask this because similar things have happened in my family more than once in my lifetime and perhaps therefore I am not seeing things through a rational lens.  Yes, if I was RE I could go back to work now, but if one of those events happened, not only would I need to go back to work but it is much less likely that I could?

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2015, 01:03:52 PM »

I am struggling with this very decision myself - could I be in the class of 2016?  I need to get out of my high stress job while I still have my curiosity and health intact and when I look at those things objectively they are both dwindling yearly. 

My hesitation is; what about the unpredictable car accident that leaves your child as a paraplegic or mentally incapacitated  or both and suddenly your spending goes up by 70% per year or more?   Or you get a chronic cancer or MS or ALS... 

I only ask this because similar things have happened in my family more than once in my lifetime and perhaps therefore I am not seeing things through a rational lens.  Yes, if I was RE I could go back to work now, but if one of those events happened, not only would I need to go back to work but it is much less likely that I could?
I have these thoughts myself, though maybe not as extreme. I was just talking to my wife on the way home last night because I was going through my mother's finances as she's approaching retirement. At her current expense levels, my mom will probably have to work a part time job after 65 thanks to years of shirking paying social security taxes early in her life as a farmer and then business owner. I could work just a year or two more and take care of my mom for life. I also think about the idea that I don't have kids yet and what if we have a special needs kid? Statistically, I have a smaller chance of having a special needs child than I do of the 4% SWR failing me. So the idea that I would FIRE on a 4% SWR but the odds of having a special needs kid would stop me makes no sense. They're contradictory. I could probably work the next 10 years building up a stash that would withstand those scenarios but for what? I've got one life. There is an optimal path that balances risk and happiness. I can't foresee the future, and frankly I don't want to. A known future means no surprises, no spontaneity. If I can't let go, and accept the fact that my "worst case scenario" will probably never happen then I will miss out on many of life's joys.

Life is a game. When I'm dying I just want to be confident that I played my game as best I could have. The best game doesn't mean I chose the safest path at every fork in the road. It means that I, alone, as an individual, am happy with the decisions I've made. For me, that means balancing money and familial responsibility with my own personal happiness. My own personal happiness is rooted in the concept of freedom, the freedom to explore, to learn, to grow, and the freedom of my time to chose when to do my learning, exploring, and growing.

You just have to figure out what is most important to you and what that means for your own path. Statistically, I would venture to say your high stress job has a much greater chance of killing you (or maiming your life in some manner) than you are of having an incapacitated child. So you're actually worried about the horse whose odds are 50-1, when the horse that has 10-1 odds is staring you in the face every day. That's how I look at things for myself anyway.

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2015, 01:28:07 PM »
I also remind myself that even if my ER only lasts 5 years, it will have been a great success.  I will have been able to spend copious amounts of time with my children in their teen years (which may even be more important than the infant/toddler years that most SAH parents choose to spend with their children), my aging parents before they are too old to travel, and my convalescing grandparents before they die.

So yes, I am just going to jump (unless the market sheds 20+% between now and then!)           

This is an interesting thought. I like it.

My optimistic calculations show we have reached FIRE. But my DH is more cautious so we are debating when to take the plunge. DH just started his new job a year ago wants to put in at least 4 more years to solidify his position for his resume so that it gives us more options for future part time work. Also, he will get a nice defined benefit pension that is inflation adjusted - it adds to the security of our retirement. Anyway, we are talking about my FIREing next year.

My kids are 13 and 14...and like you pointed out, the teen years are very important. I was a SAHM throughout their baby/toddler years so it would be nice to be there for them during their teen years. I guess I'm just not sure what they will need me at home for other than to be there when they get home from school?

It's funny though - my mother is big on being ambitious (I haven't told her of my desire to FIRE), etc but when I mentioned staying home with my teen kids, she was all for it - saying how important being there during their teen years are.

My stepfather just passed away and my mom is alone now (and she lives across the world in Malaysia). We're tossing around the idea of her selling her house and staying half the year with me, a couple of months with my brother (and his new baby) in London, and several months back in Malaysia. It would certainly be more appealing to her if I was FIRE'd. I know she's lonely now and it would be truly special to spend more time together. (thankfully she gets along great with my DH and kids). Travelling together would be fun too.

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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2015, 03:43:23 AM »


I am struggling with this very decision myself - could I be in the class of 2016?  I need to get out of my high stress job while I still have my curiosity and health intact and when I look at those things objectively they are both dwindling yearly. 

My hesitation is; what about the unpredictable car accident that leaves your child as a paraplegic or mentally incapacitated  or both and suddenly your spending goes up by 70% per year or more?   Or you get a chronic cancer or MS or ALS... 

Having a job won't stop those things.  Or help much at all if they do happen.

I'd rather live my life, which I know is 100% finite, than worry about risks that are extremely unlikely (and in the case that they happen, I won't have regretted getting to spend years ER'd and totally free.)

How would being employed help those things you list?  You'll have health care either way. Buy good health insurance, and long term care insurance, and sleep easy. :)
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Re: Do you just.....jump?
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2015, 01:42:56 PM »


I am struggling with this very decision myself - could I be in the class of 2016?  I need to get out of my high stress job while I still have my curiosity and health intact and when I look at those things objectively they are both dwindling yearly. 

My hesitation is; what about the unpredictable car accident that leaves your child as a paraplegic or mentally incapacitated  or both and suddenly your spending goes up by 70% per year or more?   Or you get a chronic cancer or MS or ALS... 

Having a job won't stop those things.  Or help much at all if they do happen.

I'd rather live my life, which I know is 100% finite, than worry about risks that are extremely unlikely (and in the case that they happen, I won't have regretted getting to spend years ER'd and totally free.)

How would being employed help those things you list?  You'll have health care either way. Buy good health insurance, and long term care insurance, and sleep easy. :)

Good to hear your perpective on it.  I'm glad I put my concern out there to get some others thoughts.  That way when the the little voice in the back of my head starts talking there are some to answer it.