Author Topic: Lowest point post-FIRE  (Read 4195 times)

less4success

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Lowest point post-FIRE
« on: February 09, 2021, 12:06:14 PM »
(Removed)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 02:51:00 PM by less4success »

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7441
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 04:17:55 PM »
I read your journal post and I am glad you were able to get what you wanted in the end.

When I first read the title of this thread my brain jumped to "right now!". I FIREd right before the covid shutdown crashed down and things so far have been pretty much the opposite of what I had hoped for. My plan was to have time for myself to reconnect with who I am as an adult human (not a parent) and have time to spend with my husband without kids underfoot all the time. Instead we are home 24/7/forever with a gaggle of little people underfoot. My alone time is sparse and when there is a little bit of time for the two of us I am so spent I just want to hide in a dark room by myself.

It isn't the fault of FIRE. In fact it would be even shittier if we were both still trying to work. So my lesson learned is covid sucks, the US response to covid has been an abysmal failure, and I really, really look forward to some point in the distant future when we can go back to some semblance of a normal life.

hooplady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Florida
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 04:34:38 PM »
My lowest point came when a dear, dear friend died just a month after I FIRE'd. In truth, he was the love of my life and we'd stayed friends in the 15+ years after our breakup. He'd had some health problems in the last couple years but seemed to be getting back on track; one of the things I thought I'd have time for was reconnecting with him.

Well...your first point is dead on, "Expect the unexpected" and it might not be related to your finances. I guess I'll add, don't put things off in your pre-FIRE life thinking you'll get around to it post-FIRE.

soccerluvof4

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6594
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2021, 05:31:28 AM »
For me its for sure the time during Covid and the loss of 3 people last month alone. Not because of Covid-19 but awful young 21,55 and 63. 21 was a car accident but the other two of Natural Causes? not buying that. I am in the camp that believes from what I have witnessed that if you get Covid there are in some cases Lingering damage. Both the 55 and 63 year old were extremely fit. jmho. Add to that My DD is a D1 college athlete and anyone on her team that got covid they took right after quarantine to have EKG, MRI and some other test before they would let them play. Also last month my son had knee surgery. ALl this was in January so for me a rough month and the 13th month of 2020.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5542
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2021, 05:57:08 AM »
Uh...I don't know, a lot has happened, but I wouldn't call any of it low points, just challenges, all of which have been SO MUCH easier to manage because I'm not working.

That said, I have very serious health issues, so the last year I was working, I really shouldn't have been and it was so overwhelmingly, brutally painful that everything now feels comparably much easier.

My hardest point over the last 11 months I've been retired has been a project seriously blowing up in my face after I nurtured it for almost 2 years. That sucked, but it was more that the project wasn't what it seemed, so in the end I'm grateful it fell through, even though it felt like shit at the time.

The point stands though, being retired doesn't make life good, it just removed what may have been barriers to living a good life. If your work was eating up too much of your time and energy for you to live your best life, then not working will free up that potential. But unless you harness that potential and do something with it, then feeling listless will replace feeling over burdened.

The absence of bad things doesn't make a good and happy life.

rae09

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2021, 08:32:47 PM »
The absence of bad things doesn't make a good and happy life.

This ^^^

I was so miserable at my previous job and thought I would be so much happier if I got rid of it. It's somewhat true but not completely. I am happier since the work stress is no longer there, but the reason I'm happier is because I can now do what I enjoy doing without having to worry I won't make it home in time for the conference call, or if anyone needs anything from me urgently while I'm out running errands.

Anyway, it's been 4 months for me and no low point. The decompression period has been challenging but that's probably because I'd been running at 200mph for years before I hit the break to a complete stop. Momentum is still at play and it's going to take a while for me to adjust.

Stasher

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1704
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Vancouver Island
  • Power through Positivity
    • Mindful Explorer
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2021, 10:54:47 AM »
Coming up on 4 years FIRE this March since stepping away from a 21 year career. The hardest (not really lowest) part for me was getting myself into a weird situation that I said YES to far too many things. I agreed to help some activism efforts, a couple of boards of directors, political membership work and then anything else that came my way. I stressed myself out way too much. Late 2020 through today has been an effort to cut ties with all of that and start being happy with a lot less. Essentially an effort to find contentment and knowing I don't need to replace my working identity.

bmjohnson35

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2021, 02:14:50 PM »

I retired 2 months into the Covid outbreak.  Therefore, the affects of the pandemic put a big wet blanket on our plans.  Other than that, I would say no serious low points so far. 

I had hoped FIRE would address my sleeping.  I thought it was all work stress related, but I was obviously wrong. It has improved, but not as much as I had hoped.  I tend to wake up around 2-4 hrs after I fall asleep and then be wide awake.  The main difference now is that I can actually go back to sleep and get 2 or so more hours later in the morning.  When I was working, I would have to get up to go to work. 

Maenad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Location: Minneapolis 'burbs
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2021, 08:26:48 AM »
I think mine's coming soon-ish. DH and I retired last March just as the lockdowns started, and I've been helping my elderly parents more and more. Their health is poor and I think I'm going to lose them both within the next couple of years. I'm glad I'm available to help, but ER isn't going to do anything to take that pain away.

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1203
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2021, 11:31:44 AM »
COVID has been a bummer, for sure. I FIREd in December 2015 and honestly felt so happy until COVID. I'm not unhappy now, but I'm not as carefree either and I miss that feeling.

I started working part-time for fun as a substitute teacher. I'd retired from being a permanent classroom teacher. Subbing is all the things I love about teaching and none of the things I hate. I even had a three-month full-time teaching gig again and loved it, but I'm glad it was temporary.

So, overall I've been surprised by "retirement." I did not expect to teach again and did not expect I'd love it so much. I didn't expect a pandemic, and while it has sucked, when I see the shitty way the Ontario government is dealing with this pandemic, I'm glad I moved to an east coast province, and I'm so glad I quit teaching in Ontario. My former school has not fared well in this pandemic.

I'm more worried for people I know than for myself. My uncle died of COVID and I'm sad about that for him and his kids.

I can't wait until the weight of this pandemic is gone and I can get back to my former carefree ways.

So, my low point isn't all that low, and it would have been worse if I hadn't FIREd, so I'm pretty glad about those things.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5542
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2021, 02:49:20 PM »
Thanks for the responses! Couple of patterns:

  • Hit a low point that probably would have happened regardless of FIRE (although FIRE may have made it less bad)
  • Decompression can for sure be difficult (although I don't think it's been cited as a low point yet!)
  • Haven't been FIREd long enough to hit a low point

I think a simpler interpretation is that everyone's life has ups and downs and retiring won't change that.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5542
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2021, 04:53:54 AM »
Yeah, I was hoping to identify pitfalls that might be unique to FIRE, e.g. not ďlivingĒ on the way to FIRE or being unwilling to consider un-retiring, even if it would objectively help you pursue your goals.

But itís also helpful to hear examples of struggles post-FIRE, to balance out the overly rosy portrayals of FIRE I mostly see.

There are challenges unique to FIRE, but how they affect each person will be so unique.

My point is that as much as FIRE can't suddenly make someone's life rosy, it also doesn't have the power to make someone's life difficult.

If someone's life isn't rosy after FIRE, that's because their *life* isn't rosy. If they're struggling with decompression, that has more to do with their state of mental health before they stopped working. If they're rather happy through decompression like I was, then that's also probably due to their mental state before they retired.

Are there mostly rosy stories? Perhaps in the blogs, because that's they're job, but I've been here for years and read of plenty of people struggling, so to me, it doesn't sound like the exception. To me, it just sounds like normal life, since the majority of people struggle to be happy, and jobs aren't the only cause.

I'm curious why you are trying to identify ways in which FIRE could cause problems for happiness? What is it you're trying to solve?

Getting paid for work is not a universal experience, so you really can't generalize how it's presence or absence affects people. Besides, TONS of people do paid work/projects in FIRE, so even comparing FIRE folks can be apples to oranges.

The only think all FIRE folks have in common is financial independence. And having enough money isn't likely to cause much distress for anyone.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5542
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2021, 08:37:06 AM »
I'm curious why you are trying to identify ways in which FIRE could cause problems for happiness? What is it you're trying to solve?

I started this thread to share lessons learned post-FIRE, so that (in the case where some lessons are generalizable to at least a subset of FIREees) people (myself included) can be better prepared to avoid (or deal with) potential problems. I picked "lowest point post-FIRE" because I thought it would focus the discussion and hopefully identify some of the biggest pitfalls. I find personal anecdotes to be the most engaging (and the additional context is helpful).

Then perhaps I would phrase it "what are the biggest challenges you've faced in FIRE" or "what are some unexpected challenges you've faced in FIRE?" or something along those lines.

We've had a ton of threads like that over the years that have discussed exactly what you are talking about. That's not to say it's not worth discussing again, old threads are old and hard to search, but the concept of FIRE causing someone's lowest point seems irrational to me, and it is very ,VERY important for people to understand that FIRE can't prevent those low points in life.

I'm personally going through a particular low point at the moment.  A horrific symptom of my illness has returned, which I thought I had taken care of by retiring. Now it's come out of nowhere with no apparent cause and there's nothing I can do to manage it, other than hope that it goes away again.

It sucks, it's horrible, I feel very low about it, but having enough money to not have to worry about having to work is a HUGE bonus.

My point is: this horrible pain I'm experiencing is so much more influential of my state of being than any angst or boredom of being retired could possibly have.

The "struggles" of being retired are not even caused by being retired. They can sometimes become apparent when retired, but it's not causal.

The things that cause people to feel really low in their lives will always be bigger than that. They're always going to have a deeper and more profound cause than just "I don't have a job now".

achvfi

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Mods, please delete
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2021, 01:54:29 PM »
OP, This turned out to be a good thread. With people posting good stories and insights. It would have been nice to have conversion available for others.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5542
Re: Mods, please delete
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2021, 01:56:30 PM »
OP, This turned out to be a good thread. With people posting good stories and insights. It would have been nice to have conversion available for others.

Yeah, why delete?

It's an interesting topic. If it was a shitty thread, no one would reply.

norajean

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 494
Re: Mods, please delete
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2021, 01:59:02 PM »
Biggest FIRE challenge is finding enough hours in the day to get it all done! I canít imagine what I would do if I still had to cram in a job as well. I come up with new ideas and projects much faster than I can execute them. I faster I run the behinder I get!

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5542
Re: Mods, please delete
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2021, 02:04:36 PM »
Biggest FIRE challenge is finding enough hours in the day to get it all done! I canít imagine what I would do if I still had to cram in a job as well. I come up with new ideas and projects much faster than I can execute them. I faster I run the behinder I get!

OP was asking what everyone's lowest point post-FIRE has been, to explore the hardships of FIRE.

I posited that FIRE doesn't cause any hardship, but pre-existing issues before retiring can manifest. For example, decompression is particularly hard on those who have a lot crap to decompress from.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15133
  • Age: 63
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2021, 07:01:02 AM »
I'm personally going through a particular low point at the moment.  A horrific symptom of my illness has returned, which I thought I had taken care of by retiring. Now it's come out of nowhere with no apparent cause and there's nothing I can do to manage it, other than hope that it goes away again.
Ooh, Malcat, I'm sorry to hear this. I just found this thread. The deleted first post piqued my interest, but yours is the real gut punch. I hope that a month's time has brought some relief. You're right that it would suck pre- or post-FIRE, but damn, I hate that you're experiencing such pain.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5542
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2021, 07:30:30 AM »
I'm personally going through a particular low point at the moment.  A horrific symptom of my illness has returned, which I thought I had taken care of by retiring. Now it's come out of nowhere with no apparent cause and there's nothing I can do to manage it, other than hope that it goes away again.
Ooh, Malcat, I'm sorry to hear this. I just found this thread. The deleted first post piqued my interest, but yours is the real gut punch. I hope that a month's time has brought some relief. You're right that it would suck pre- or post-FIRE, but damn, I hate that you're experiencing such pain.

Ah, thanks for checking in.
Yeah, I'm doing much better. Ironically, it turned out that a treatment to help with my pain was what made it so much worse. It was really shocking, but I'm back to my normal cheerful self.

I deal with a lot of pain, and it sucks, but I can normally handle it and stay my usual self. However, there's one type of pain I can't tolerate and when it happens, it's like I turn into a whole different person. It's neuropathic pain in my head, and it's impossible to ignore, which makes me miserable.

As long as I keep that pain attenuated, I can handle pretty much anything. Funnily, it's not the worst pain I deal with, it's just the fact that it's in my head. I can't compartmentalize it. I can't be *me* when I have it.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2977
Re: Your lowest point post-FIRE
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2021, 08:42:00 AM »
I'm personally going through a particular low point at the moment.  A horrific symptom of my illness has returned, which I thought I had taken care of by retiring. Now it's come out of nowhere with no apparent cause and there's nothing I can do to manage it, other than hope that it goes away again.
Ooh, Malcat, I'm sorry to hear this. I just found this thread. The deleted first post piqued my interest, but yours is the real gut punch. I hope that a month's time has brought some relief. You're right that it would suck pre- or post-FIRE, but damn, I hate that you're experiencing such pain.

Ah, thanks for checking in.
Yeah, I'm doing much better. Ironically, it turned out that a treatment to help with my pain was what made it so much worse. It was really shocking, but I'm back to my normal cheerful self.

I deal with a lot of pain, and it sucks, but I can normally handle it and stay my usual self. However, there's one type of pain I can't tolerate and when it happens, it's like I turn into a whole different person. It's neuropathic pain in my head, and it's impossible to ignore, which makes me miserable.

As long as I keep that pain attenuated, I can handle pretty much anything. Funnily, it's not the worst pain I deal with, it's just the fact that it's in my head. I can't compartmentalize it. I can't be *me* when I have it.

I lived my 30s in excruciating pain, at times barely able to walk. I manage it much better now, but my husband also suffers from chronic pain, and he is still learning to manage it. Almost every day involves the perennial "quit now to mitigate stress" vs "keep drawing a paycheck while continuing to work with doctors to see if we can identify the cause" debate. It is just as exhausting to be a partner as it was to be in pain, plus perimenopause is bringing back some of my own issues, requiring new management techniques.