Author Topic: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?  (Read 3385 times)

Firefist

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Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« on: February 11, 2024, 06:59:48 AM »
I am curious to hear from those who retired early and wonder how often people look back and realize they over saved, and perhaps have some regret about not retiring earlier than they did?  Did you experience OMY syndrome far too many times?  What was it that kept you working longer than you should have?

I find myself in the OMY category still searching for the courage to pull the plug.  Every calculation I make has me at no more than a 3%WR in retirement and routinely over 100% on Firecalc in many scenarios, yet I am still having an issue pulling the plug.  Its like breaking a habit or an addiction.  You know you should be doing something else, but you just keep pushing the date out.  I have lots of interests outside of work, I have two kids (9&7) that I am sure would like more time from their father without the stress of work burdening him.  Iím only 47 and I have never known anyone to quit that early.  I think that is a big part of it; the disbelief that its doable.

Thank you. :)

NotJen

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2024, 07:37:50 AM »
I don't wish that I pulled the plug earlier (I did it right before my 40th bd) - I think I did it at exactly the right time - I quit my career exactly when I hit my 25x number, I didn't OMY.

I don't have kids though - made the decision easier.  Also, I quit with a willingness to go back to paid work.  I haven't *needed* to work, but I have been doing summer seasonal work for fun.  Earning just $4k-$10k per year has really slowed down what I've had to pull from my stash.

Change takes courage.  Just do it.

Emilyngh

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2024, 07:59:55 AM »
I just retired and am not quite at my FI number even (close and just couldn’t take my job anymore). It’s only been a month, but I’m amazed at how little I’m concerned with having enough money. My spouse brings in some and like @NotJen mentions, especially at our ages, I think it’s pretty safe that we could always bring in $10k or so if needed to bridge a gap and let our investments grow if we realized we were too early.

For me one of the weirdest things about being retired is how unreal it seems being able to in my 40s (I’m 42) bc it’s so out of line with society’s current narrative (my friends all feel like they need their dual incomes, need raises for the next 25+ years, and still worry about ever retiring, paying for college for their kids, etc bc they legit aren’t on-track savings-wise). So I totally relate to how you seem to question if it’s really doable. The numbers don’t lie though. I think that we may just have to come to terms with having an experience so far outside of the norm, but just bc it’s unusual doesn’t make it any less real.

BlueHouse

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2024, 09:05:10 AM »
I won't know for a few more years whether or not I " waited too long".  But I don't regret for an instant pulling that plug.  Every day I think about the possibility that something will happen that will make my dreams unattainable (sickness, world troubles, family, anything), so I work extra hard to make sure I get the most out of each day and enjoy even the smallest things.  I wake up every day with a smile knowing I can do anything I feel like doing or nothing at all.  I go to sleep every night with a sense of accomplishment.  And in between, I feel a sense of gratefulness in all the small moments.  When I have an achy joint, I am so grateful that I can walk.  I appreciate so much more than I ever did before.

I'll never go back to work.  I will absolutely change my lifestyle long before I work for someone else ever again. There are so many changes I could make in my life to reduce my spending if needed, but so far, I don't have to do them. 

2sk22

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2024, 09:15:02 AM »
I retired at 58. From a strictly financial sense, I could have easily retired a few years earlier but I had to build up enough courage to walk away from a firehose of money aimed at me. So in a nutshell, I could not have realistically retired much sooner than I did.

lhamo

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2024, 09:52:49 AM »
I FIREd in 2015 at age 46.  The last couple of years of my career were extremely stressful, so health-wise it probably would have been better for me to do it sooner rather than later, but the way that things lined up made it work when it did so I have no regrets.  I am VERY happy I FIREd while my kids were still at home -- it has been a real blessing to be available to them as teens and we have very strong, positive relationships.  My marriage did not survive but that probably would have been the case regardless of when I stopped working.  It took awhile to work through things and we decided to continue to live together/co-parent while working out the split (not gonna lie, Covid was a huge factor) -- had the financial split worked out in 2021 but did not file for divorce until a couple of weeks ago.  We split things more or less 50/50 and are each walking away with a sufficient stash to maintain the standard of living we have become accustomed to.  Each able to buy a house in our desired locations that is big enough to house the kids if they need a bit more time in the nest to launch (unlikely for DS, who is in a Ph.D. program, unknown for DD who just started undergrad).

I do  need to fund renovations on my new house and that might be tricky since I can't easily tap retirement accounts without penalty for another four years or so -- I could withdraw contributions from Roths, but would rather let that money grow for the long term. Am considering going back to work PT or maybe starting a business to bring in a bit more cash.

For those willing/able to plan ahead, it is now pretty straighforward to engineer your FIRE cash flow so that you will qualify for substantial financial aid for college, as long as you/your kids are willing to focus on schools that use the FAFSA and not the CSS profile.  DD is getting a full ride at the University of Washington because our taxable income is low.  Just be sure that you plan cash flow so that your low-income years start in their sophomore year of high school.  FAFSA uses prior prior year tax data, so the student aid index for the 2024-25 academic year will be using your tax return data from 2022. 

shuffler

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2024, 12:24:30 PM »
At 41, what made me OMY for 2 years was the pandemic.  There wasn't a lot to do for a while, and in the early-pandemic there was a market drop, so I might as well have kept working.

At 43, what made me decide to make career changes was work stress coupled with the beginning of returning to the office, a new hobby, and an opportunity.  The work stress and returning to the office are fairly self explanatory.  The new hobby is physical, and I began to realize that I wasn't old yet, but neither was I young any more, and I wanted to be sure I was able to take advantage of whatever further good health and physical ability I may be alotted.  And the opportunity was ... my company, driven by pandemic work-culture changes and wanting to retain its workforce, suddenly became open to part-time arrangements.  So I didn't retire, but I shifted to 3 days-per-week, giving myself permanent 4 day weekends.  It was also work-from-home.  This was enough breathing room to abate the stress and enough time to engage in my new hobby.  I also used this time to verify our expenses (we had been a bit lax in tracking previous years), set up a Donor Advised Fund for the present-day tax benefits, look into post-employment healthcare options, replace our aging (15+yrs) vehicles, and undertake some home improvements/maintenance projects.

At 45, there were a series of changes to my (much larger) team's charter.  There were complete resets every few months over the course of the year, creating a rather poor work environment in which we were unable to make meaningful progress on anything due to rapidly shifting goals and priorities.  I was disenchanted, and didn't like our future prospects.  I took some vacation time to span to a significant bonus & vesting, and then quit.  It didn't feel like "taking a leap", because I was already only half-employed, had verified our numbers while presently living very nearly the life I wanted to live in retirement, and had made our home cozy and sound without any significant outlays anticipated in the near future.

Since you mention withdrawal rates, I'll note that those 4 years of OMY (2 pandemic-induced, 2 part-time) took us from what would have been ~3.5% WR down to ~2.5% on retirement-day.  And I'm lucky with the recent market gains that in the ~5 months since retirement, we're presently down to ~2.25%.  The improved numbers have certainly increased my peace of mind, even though I probably ought to already have been peaceful at a 3.5% WR.  These 4 years of OMY were atypical, given the pandemic and then the part-time work.  Looking back, I wouldn't change it, and wouldn't choose to have retired earlier.  It worked out quite well for us.  However, if I had faced four years of "regular" work with regular commuting to the office and regular levels of work stress and regular hours (read: well over 40/wk) ... well, I probably wouldn't have OMY'd so much.  Maybe just 1 or 2 years, instead of 4.

If I were to recommend one thing, it would be to consider the option of part-time employment.  The corporate way of working has shifted, and many organizations are more accommodating than they once were.  Whether with your current employer, or another.  I really valued my 2 years of part-time work, and I think it was a great way to dip my toes into FIRE. (That phrasing sounds painful, ha, but it was actually quite lovely.)

Bluenose1966

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2024, 01:27:44 PM »
I went from full time work straight to retirement 6 weeks ago, though I am 57.
Like others I absolutely love the freedom and thank my lucky stars everyday.
No longer have the constant work related stress feeling. I had a toxic work colleague so that gave me the push I needed as had done OMY for a couple of years.
Havenít regretted it for one second, even though found out week one the roof needed replacing which was a totally unexpected expense.

reeshau

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2024, 02:42:30 PM »
  I have lots of interests outside of work, I have two kids (9&7) that I am sure would like more time from their father without the stress of work burdening him.

Dude, in 5 years your kids won't want to hang out with you any more. You never get this time again.  Go, go now.  You can always find something else to do when they are more independent.

xbdb

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2024, 04:01:49 PM »
I am curious to hear from those who retired early and wonder how often people look back and realize they over saved, and perhaps have some regret about not retiring earlier than they did?  Did you experience OMY syndrome far too many times?  What was it that kept you working longer than you should have?

I retired at 52 in 2019 (right before the pandemic, yay!) because I realized that I had done everything I wanted career-wise. I felt it was the right time for me. I discovered FIRE back in 2016 but I had just taken a dream job and I wanted to experience it. I have no regrets.

I find myself in the OMY category still searching for the courage to pull the plug.  Every calculation I make has me at no more than a 3%WR in retirement and routinely over 100% on Firecalc in many scenarios, yet I am still having an issue pulling the plug.  Its like breaking a habit or an addiction.  You know you should be doing something else, but you just keep pushing the date out.  I have lots of interests outside of work, I have two kids (9&7) that I am sure would like more time from their father without the stress of work burdening him.  Iím only 47 and I have never known anyone to quit that early.  I think that is a big part of it; the disbelief that its doable.

Thank you. :)


Make sure your "number" is really the number you will be happy with. You say you have young children. Do you want to help them in some say in the future (education etc)? If so, that may require you to have a larger number.  Remember the "number" needs to support he lifestyle you WANT to live, and not the lifestyle you COULD live if you really tightened your belt. Also if you are married make sure your spouse is really on-board.

All of that said, time is the only currency we have. We all know we will die one day, but we somehow live in denial of that. We work hard to watching the stash grow and its hard to switch into the mode of withdrawing from it. Making it worse are all those YouTube retirement videos on impending doom and how to avoid running out of money! Those same videos never talk about the risk of running out of heartbeats though!

If you hit your number, there is no reason to trade time for money anymore. You will not regret pulling the ripcord.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2024, 05:14:15 PM »
I am curious to hear from those who retired early and wonder how often people look back and realize they over saved, and perhaps have some regret about not retiring earlier than they did?  Did you experience OMY syndrome far too many times?  What was it that kept you working longer than you should have?

If you are working with a 4%WR based stock heavy portfolio as the main basis for your FIRE Plan and then have the normal array of additional risk mitigation plans you are going to have grossly over saved in the majority of the likely cases based on historical data, but you will be happy you took all those measures in the small % of scenarios where your FIRE plan is torture tested.

I FIREd right around hitting 4%WR, but some PT work, an inheritance, pretty good market returns and doing well selling a house all put me well above my starting point nearly 4 years into FIRE. So I could have FIREd earlier, but that wasn't apparent when I was making the decision. I don't feel bad about when I chose to FIRE, but I sure am glad that I didn't wait any longer as that would have been a complete waste of time from a financial perspective.

OP if you are at 3%WR already ya I'd pull the plug and spend time with your kids now. You can always do more work later if you want to, but taking a break gives you some time while they might actually want to hang out with you and let you see what the other side of the fence looks like. Being stressed/afraid of a major life change is normal.



flyingaway

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2024, 06:02:05 PM »
I retired when I did not like my job anymore, and I knew that I had enough money. I do not wish that I retired earlier, because I left at the exact time that I WANTED to leave, not a week later.

I was so glad that I was able to spend a month with my father several months before he died. I was also with him when he died.

bacchi

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2024, 07:32:49 PM »
Like shuffler, I went to part-time when we hit FI. We probably would've been ok but it did make withdrawing that much easier.

Ron Scott

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2024, 10:21:57 PM »
I was pretty much 60 at retirement, ďFIĒ LOL since my mid-40s, and the last 10 years of work were an amazing roller coaster I would never have traded for FIRE.

FI is critical.
RE optional.
Going to bed exhilarated and exhausted highly recommended.
But above allóto each his own.
You only live once. Work hard/Play hard/Donít look back.

deborah

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2024, 02:05:09 AM »
14 years ago I retired. I could have pulled the plug earlier. Maybe I should have, and avoided the misery of the last few years of work. Iím never going back to work again. I have enough. I wasnít sure I had enough, so kept on working. However, Iíd be a different person if Iíd retired sooner, so Iím content with when I retired.

Metalcat

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2024, 06:10:22 AM »
I didn't have a choice of when I retired, disability decided for me, but even then, I really should have retired a year earlier. I did some permanent damage to my spine sticking around for that last year even though it was only part time and I was actively trying to transition to a less physically demanding role, but it was too little, too late.


Omy

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2024, 07:12:53 AM »
We were planning to pull the plug in 2016, but Trump was elected and I feared for the ACA. We OMYed for 3 more years and almost doubled our stash in that time.

Turns out we could have easily FIREd in 2016, but I have no regrets. When we finally quit, we were fatFIRE. I have never lost a moment's sleep to worries about the market. If we'd quit with a smaller stash, there would have been more concern when covid hit or when the market tanked.

That being said, fatFIRE comes with its own "challenges" (mostly tax related). If you're already at 3% SWR, pull the plug. The water is fine. Stop trading your life for money.

Firefist

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2024, 07:44:22 AM »
Thank you very much everyone for the thoughtful replies.  I appreciate having a community of helpful people out there with similar goals.  There is something about reading a thread when the comments are directed at you rather than threads started by others who are in situations that only sound familiar.  Leaving is very hard; there is a firehose coming in (which has not always been the case) and the voices in the head keep talking nonsense about working just a little longer and making hay when the sun shines convincing myself that I am doing it for the kids as they will appreciate the extra cushion one day if I donít use it.  I canít see quitting and doing nothing after a good break.  Part time work down the road certainly would be fine if needed.  The kidís education funds are at a point now where they should grow to where they will need to be in 10 years, the spouse is on board and loves her current PT gig and will keep working it for a while yet (She is 8 years younger).  There really are no reasons to keep working except the fire hose and it is becoming more apparent by the day.  The recent run up in the market certainly adds a level of cushion too.  I was in decent shape before that happened, so I need to just set a date and stick to it. 

Tass

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2024, 07:54:03 AM »
The time you can give your kids now is more valuable than any amount of money you could leave them later.

Metalcat

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2024, 07:55:57 AM »
Thank you very much everyone for the thoughtful replies.  I appreciate having a community of helpful people out there with similar goals.  There is something about reading a thread when the comments are directed at you rather than threads started by others who are in situations that only sound familiar.  Leaving is very hard; there is a firehose coming in (which has not always been the case) and the voices in the head keep talking nonsense about working just a little longer and making hay when the sun shines convincing myself that I am doing it for the kids as they will appreciate the extra cushion one day if I donít use it.  I canít see quitting and doing nothing after a good break.  Part time work down the road certainly would be fine if needed.  The kidís education funds are at a point now where they should grow to where they will need to be in 10 years, the spouse is on board and loves her current PT gig and will keep working it for a while yet (She is 8 years younger).  There really are no reasons to keep working except the fire hose and it is becoming more apparent by the day.  The recent run up in the market certainly adds a level of cushion too.  I was in decent shape before that happened, so I need to just set a date and stick to it.

Remember that there is a cognitive bias that will always tell you that what you are currently doing feels safer than doing anything else.

This is a huge basis of the fear of change, but in reality, once you make a change and get used to it, it quickly becomes the thing that feels safer to do.

People who don't have a lot of experience with radical life change don't know how to quantify this bias, which can make change feel legitimately terrifying.

Humans are not rational creatures, we are rationalizing creatures, so when staying put feels safer, your mind will always find *reasons* to rationalize that it is, in fact, safer/wiser/better to keep on doing what you are doing.

The fact of the matter is that if what you are doing is not cultivating your optimal life, you are not "safer" continuing to do it, you are embracing 100% risk of not living your best life. You are looking at all of the virtually infinite ways your life could be different, with almost infinite ways that it could be better and saying "n'ah, I'll stick with the guarantee that it stays exactly as I know I don't want it, because that feels safer than not actually knowing what those nearly infinite options of better could realistically look like."

It's the equivalent of going to the same restaurant every single time and always ordering the same mediocre dish that you know isn't your favourite because you've rationalized that some other menu item could be worse. Worse, you've concluded that ALL other menu items at ALL other restaurants in the whole entire world aren't worth trying because some options might be worse than the mediocre dish that you order every single time, that never feels worth the price you pay for it.

4tify

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2024, 07:56:40 AM »
I left my job 2 years ago @ 54 yrs. My plan was 52 but Covid made that less attractive so I stayed on to wait it out. Once the pandemic ended I bailed and havenít regretted it. I am convinced I over saved, also at sub 3.5% SWR. Now working to convince myself spend at least that while Iím young and can get out and enjoy it.

Money isnít the issue, Iím pretty sure based on your post. The narrative that you need a job is a cultural script. It took me over a year to wiggle out from under that as a high achiever. It is an on going struggle to reorient myself, so I suggest you begin giving that some thought. We donít have kids, so at least youíll have that to preoccupy you. Also at your age you can still go back if youíre not happy.

Instead of thinking about permanent RE why donít you follow Jillian Johnsrudís advice and frame a break as a mini-retirement. Take a year off and then reassess? Youíll be amazed what a year out of the rat race opens up for you, good or challenging.

Turtle

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2024, 08:46:22 AM »
Thank you very much everyone for the thoughtful replies.  I appreciate having a community of helpful people out there with similar goals.  There is something about reading a thread when the comments are directed at you rather than threads started by others who are in situations that only sound familiar.  Leaving is very hard; there is a firehose coming in (which has not always been the case) and the voices in the head keep talking nonsense about working just a little longer and making hay when the sun shines convincing myself that I am doing it for the kids as they will appreciate the extra cushion one day if I donít use it.  I canít see quitting and doing nothing after a good break.  Part time work down the road certainly would be fine if needed.  The kidís education funds are at a point now where they should grow to where they will need to be in 10 years, the spouse is on board and loves her current PT gig and will keep working it for a while yet (She is 8 years younger).  There really are no reasons to keep working except the fire hose and it is becoming more apparent by the day.  The recent run up in the market certainly adds a level of cushion too.  I was in decent shape before that happened, so I need to just set a date and stick to it.

If your current job is still one that you enjoy, maybe approach them about taking a sabbatical over the summer to be with your kids.  That way you can test the waters without burning bridges. 

Villanelle

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2024, 09:27:07 AM »
I don't wish that I pulled the plug earlier (I did it right before my 40th bd) - I think I did it at exactly the right time - I quit my career exactly when I hit my 25x number, I didn't OMY.

I don't have kids though - made the decision easier.  Also, I quit with a willingness to go back to paid work. I haven't *needed* to work, but I have been doing summer seasonal work for fun. Earning just $4k-$10k per year has really slowed down what I've had to pull from my stash.

Change takes courage.  Just do it.

I feel like the bolded is an oft overlooked point in the decision on when to pull the plug.  (And yes, I understand that when the SHTF and the economy is shit, everyone else will be looking for more income, too.)  It doesn't take all that much income to slow your withdraws enough that SORR is minimized or erased. 

I have a very part-time freelance writing gig.  With no effort, it continue to grow and this year will be my first 5 figure year.  I work maybe 8 hours a week, fully remotely, and entirely on my own schedule.  I can even go 2-3 weeks without doing any work, if I want to front- or end-load my monthly projects.  I will likely keep this gig into FIRE.  (This is my only job, but DH still works FT.  He could probably retire now, but is about to do a SWAMI career change motivated at least as much by a desire to be doing the work as by the understanding that while we would be fine at current $ levels, we aren't quite where we want to be.)   I don't factor my income into our calculations, but I know that even if it isn't much money, and even if I scale back to the ~$5000 range, it will have a huge impact in a lousy economy when withdrawing that $5000 less, plus a few temporary spending cuts will make a massive difference in what we have to withdraw from a very-down market.

Again, all of this is entirely unobtrusive in my daily life.  People seem to feel like ANY work at all after retirement will be abhorrent.  So they stay working full-time longer than necessary?  it makes no sense.  I have about the same cushion from my little job as someone might get from working another couple years.  I can tell you confidently I'd rather do this little job for the rest of my life than go back to stressful, invasive FT work for even 6 months. 

OP, why not quit ASAP and commit to making a few thousand dollars a year?  It can be related to your current profession, or it could be dog-walking.  You don't actually need this based on your number

jim555

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2024, 09:35:00 AM »
I retired at 49 which was the earliest I could given my numbers.  No regrets 10 years later.

spartana

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2024, 09:44:37 AM »
Thank you very much everyone for the thoughtful replies.  I appreciate having a community of helpful people out there with similar goals.  There is something about reading a thread when the comments are directed at you rather than threads started by others who are in situations that only sound familiar.  Leaving is very hard; there is a firehose coming in (which has not always been the case) and the voices in the head keep talking nonsense about working just a little longer and making hay when the sun shines convincing myself that I am doing it for the kids as they will appreciate the extra cushion one day if I donít use it.  I canít see quitting and doing nothing after a good break.  Part time work down the road certainly would be fine if needed.  The kidís education funds are at a point now where they should grow to where they will need to be in 10 years, the spouse is on board and loves her current PT gig and will keep working it for a while yet (She is 8 years younger).  There really are no reasons to keep working except the fire hose and it is becoming more apparent by the day.  The recent run up in the market certainly adds a level of cushion too.  I was in decent shape before that happened, so I need to just set a date and stick to it.

If your current job is still one that you enjoy, maybe approach them about taking a sabbatical over the summer to be with your kids.  That way you can test the waters without burning bridges.
This^^. Why not take a long sabbatical, see how things go, and then you can choose to go back to work (maybe at a new job with more flexible part time family-friendly hours) or decide you will continue to remain RE. It's all changeable and flexible with no need to make "forever" decisions. Nothing has to be permanent - except the past things you did or didnt do you may regret - and you are financially able to do them it looks lime. I left my job pretty young as a single person taking a couple year sabbatical but it morphed into permanent FIRE. I do regret not doing it sooner in hindsite (can't get that lost time back) but at the time I didn't know I could.

Firefist

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2024, 02:19:09 PM »
Thank you everyone again for the replies!  I wont go part time where I am at now even if that were an option as I simply don't like the work anymore and have absolutely no motivation for it whatsoever.  It might be the corporate culture; it may be the work itself.  I likely wont know what I have grown to despise until I am away from it for a period of time and can reflect back.  I am clinging on for a couple of larger payouts that are supposed to be coming this spring and once they do, I want to be done with it for good.  I am looking forward to opening my mind up, trying new things, and I think re-reading the replies from you all over and over again will help me make the leap.  I especially appreciated hearing from those who made comments about the kids being the main motivator (They really are the most important reason to leap) and hearing from others who also retired in their 40's and a comment about being able to spend time with a loved one before passed on which did hit home too as I have aging parents.  It will be possible to make smaller amounts of money if needed so as long as the health holds up.   The insecurity and the thought that this cant be doable really is an illusion, and that is is the hardest thing to wrap your head around when you don't know anyone in your personal circle of friends and acquaintances that pulled the plug before 57.  I have a couple of very well paid friends/acquaintances who are at VP levels/partner levels at major firms and they have no thoughts of pulling the plug.  Its hard not to think "what am I missing, why do they feel they need to keep working?"  I don't know their personal finances, they don't seem to overspend and should have a large nest egg.  Maybe they really do like their jobs.  I suppose at the end of the day, we cannot compare ourselves to others and we need to follow through on what is right for ourselves.  It doesn't sound like there is much regret at all out there in this community about when the plug was pulled and some even regretted not doing it sooner.  I guess that's I was trying to gauge when I started this thread.   

mspym

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2024, 10:04:54 PM »
The aging parents part is real. We moved back to my home country about 9 months earlier than we planned after Ofpym was unexpectedly made redundant. It was absolutely the best thing that we could have done as my mum has Alzheimers and this is time I will never have with her again. It also relieves some of the caregiving strain on my other family members.

Re finances - we were lean fire but I've been earning some money freelancing and I could turn one of my volunteer gigs into a PT job if I needed. It removes some of the risk.

evanc

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2024, 12:58:24 PM »
...
Humans are not rational creatures, we are rationalizing creatures, so when staying put feels safer, your mind will always find *reasons* to rationalize that it is, in fact, safer/wiser/better to keep on doing what you are doing.

The fact of the matter is that if what you are doing is not cultivating your optimal life, you are not "safer" continuing to do it, you are embracing 100% risk of not living your best life. You are looking at all of the virtually infinite ways your life could be different, with almost infinite ways that it could be better and saying "n'ah, I'll stick with the guarantee that it stays exactly as I know I don't want it, because that feels safer than not actually knowing what those nearly infinite options of better could realistically look like."

...

Thank you for sharing this.

Edit: typos
« Last Edit: February 15, 2024, 01:00:26 PM by evanc »

DrinkCoffeeStackMoney

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Re: Do you wish you had pulled the plug earlier?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2024, 10:34:52 AM »
The time you can give your kids now is more valuable than any amount of money you could leave them later.

This!
I'd happily pay a $100k right now to be able to spend a week at the beach with my parents (their favorite place), who passed in 2002/2009. Money means nothing when the people you love are gone.