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32 and considering to ER now
Old 12-25-2017, 03:17 PM   #1
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32 and considering to ER now

Hello everyone,

I have been following the discussion here for quite a while (very inspiring and helpful!), so I finally wanted to introduce myself:

I am 32 years old, live in Europe and work in marketing for MegaCorp.

Recently, I inherited a large amount of money (in the high 7-figures). Together with another inheritance I can reasonably expect to make in the next couple of years (hopefully later!), this will bring my total net worth to just about 8-figures.

Fortunately enough, over the last years my parents gradually prepared me for this, because I would otherwise have been clueless about their wealth. My father came from a modest background and over the years accumulated money through a successful career at MegaCorp, smart investing choices and LBYM. As the years passed, my parents selectively chose to spend good money on experiences they considered worthwhile but never on status items such as fancy cars. They did not spoil me as a child and expected me to take up a job for any extras I wanted as a teenager - but they never thought twice about investing into my education.

Given the circumstances, I like to think that I held up pretty well these past few years. Yes, I blew a few thousand just to see how life in the fast lane feels. But I believe this has kept me from making any major mistakes. Meanwhile, I put most of the money into a low-cost equities portfolio with a long-term investment approach.

At some point I started looking into ER and the thought of it has been with me ever since.

Financially, I am assuming I could pull this off: I have tracked my expenses over the past year and am confident that I could live very well on a 2% WR but also get by with 1% if need be. There definitely will not be any kids, so worst case I could still get along just fine as long as my investments at least keep up with inflation. Even though 60 years is a very long time to plan for, I think this should give me quite a bit of safety margin.

During my professional career so far, I have worked at two different large companies and cannot complain: My work in marketing is reasonably interesting, the pay is decent and I like my coworkers. However, it never really felt like a passion or a contribution to the greater good. And when I look at my superiors, I see few exciting things that would make me want to work hard to get there someday. Instead, I see plenty of office politics which, fortunately, I have been able to largely avoid so far.

On the other hand, there is plenty of things I feel I am currently missing out on: I love to travel, but - much to the dismay of my DH - I end up cramming our few holidays with too many destinations because there I so much I still want to see... I would love to do some slow travel someday and really immerse myself in a foreign country. Apart from that, there is the usual bunch of other stuff (exercise, cooking, etc.) that I currently do too little or none of because I lack the energy after a long work day. And there is a bucket list of other things that are hardly compatible with having a full-time job. Having seen how my father died aged 74 with so many things still left undone, I feel I should be grateful and take the opportunity given to me to pursue happiness now.

I have therefore considered to ER in a couple of years, whenever the right situation presents itself. However, it looks like this moment may come sooner than expected: My current employer is about to be sold off to another company. So even if they should offer me to keep my job, this would most likely require moving elsewhere. Since I specifically took up my current job to move to the city I love, going elsewhere is not an option for me and I will thus be without a job in about a year.

Unfortunately, there are no other large employers in my city with the type of well-known brands a marketeer typically would like to work for. Yes, there are a range of start-ups, but they usually engage in online marketing, which is not my field of expertise (nor interest).

Besides, I have a strong urge to enjoy some personal freedom. So far I have always jumped through all the hoops that have been presented to me - every internship, work assignment and so on. Now I would at the very least like to enjoy some time without any obligations and see where this takes me.

So I think after my current job runs out, I will not look for a new one immediately. However, the thought of it is giving me trouble in several ways:

1. As much as I love them and want to be truthful to them, I cannot tell my family. My brother has received the same inheritance but has no plans to stop working. To be fair, he has a 1-year old son, so his motivation may be different. The bigger problem, however, is my mother: She has always been very concerned about competition for jobs. Even if I took just one year off this would certainly worry her very much and at 74 years this is not something I want to put her trough.
2. My mother‘s concerns are actually getting to me and I am myself worried if I could actually return to work after some extended time off. Even though my marketing skills might still be relevant then, to most employers in this field my non-linear CV would probably signal a lack of ambition (and they might actually be right).
3. Ideally, being free from all obligations would uncover a hidden passion/talent of mine which I could turn into a low-maintenance, fulfilling job/business. But I am concerned this will not work as long as I do not actually commit to ER because the thought that I should probably go back to MegaCorp after a year will suppress all fresh thinking from the start.

So, this is where I currently stand - thank you for bearing with me so far. I am not sure what it is I should ask you guys. Writing this down by itself has already been helpful. Nevertheless, I am very much looking forward to any comments you might have!

Happy holidays to everyone and a wonderful time with your loved ones!
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:26 PM   #2
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If your inheritance of 8 figure is in US dollars or euros, then I don't know why you have anything to worry about. Since you understand the safe withdraw rate, you should just go and enjoy your life, unless you inherited your family business that you have to manage.
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hypnos8 View Post
inherited a large amount of money (in the high 7-figures). ... confident that I could live very well on a 2% WR but also get by with 1% if need be. There definitely will not be any kids, ... I love to travel, but - much to the dismay of my DH - I end up cramming our few holidays with too many destinations because there I so much I still want to see... I would love to do some slow travel someday and really immerse myself in a foreign country. ... My current employer is about to be sold off to another company. So even if they should offer me to keep my job, this would most likely require moving elsewhere. Since I specifically took up my current job to move to the city I love, going elsewhere is not an option for me and I will thus be without a job in about a year... I have a strong urge to enjoy some personal freedom... I would at the very least like to enjoy some time without any obligations and see where this takes me
sounds like you're ready financially & emotionally especially since, like you stated:
Quote:
being free from all obligations would uncover a hidden passion/talent of mine which I could turn into a low-maintenance, fulfilling job/business.
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:46 PM   #4
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Thank you for the encouragement. Fortunately no strings (i.e. family business) attached. I realize that mine might be petty concerns to discuss given I came into this fortunate situation through no effort of my own.

After all I read about FI, I expected that reaching it would change my attitude towards my job but it actually has not. So this whole thing still seems quite surreal to me given that is is only a number.

But you are probably right in that I am worrying to much and should just pull the trigger without looking back.
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Old 12-25-2017, 06:16 PM   #5
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I have been fortunate to have met some people who are living a much different lifestyle than me. They presented a very different approach to moving through life. They would work, until they had enough money saved up to become independent for a period of time. When the money ran out, they would go back to work. They lived modestly but you would not know, from their homes, that their lifestyle was not similar to people who worked consistently. My concern for them was their ultimate retirement. They were clearly spending the money they needed to save for later life. Most were under 40.

Hypnos8, you do not have the financial issue of the people I described. But, you could adapt their lifestyle. You could move in/out of the work force or volunteer force as you see fit. Find positions that are interesting or join the Peace Corps.

I guess when I read your post, I felt your decision making was somewhat linear. Your family issues will need to be overcome. But, I expect you could define a lifestyle based on personal satisfaction and contribution that would be understood by many people.
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Old 12-25-2017, 06:53 PM   #6
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Good thing you came here. If you visited the Bogleheads, you'd need 3 commas, which is where you'll end up spending only 2%.
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Old 12-25-2017, 08:36 PM   #7
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I don't know much about European cities but unless you live in a place that is significantly more expensive than the most expensive cities in the US then you should have more than enough money to quit your job and never have to worry about going back to work again. Congrats and good luck.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:17 AM   #8
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should just pull the trigger without looking back.
That would be my plan. As long as you keep your spending under control, and it seems like from your thoughtful post you would. We've known people who made a small fortune in stock options and like the lottery winner stories it is all gone now, when it should have been more than enough money to live very comfortably the rest of their lives.
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:07 AM   #9
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For a whole like approach, you may wish to have something to "retire to".

I got involved with some volunteer activities that keep me focused. Since they are annual commitments, I know that I can resign after the current year if it gets too much like w*rk.

In the volunteer world, you have more flexibility to set the terms of your activities compared to the w*rk world (at least in the US).

-gauss
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:19 AM   #10
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For a whole life approach, you may wish to have something to "retire to".

I got involved with some volunteer activities that keep me focused.
+1. You have an unusual opportunity, and should be FI, but you will have a lot of time that needs to be meaningfully filled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypnos8 View Post
Hello everyone,

I love to travel, but - much to the dismay of my DH - I end up cramming our few holidays with too many destinations because there I so much I still want to see... I would love to do some slow travel someday and really immerse myself in a foreign country.
Big +1.
I very much believe in travelling slow to really take things in. Also (for me) to allow time for photography. Good luck.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:20 AM   #11
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I agree with the others that if you're fine with a 1% or 2% withdrawal rate you don't need to worry about future employability. I'd always fantasized about getting a degree in something that fascinated me but had little marketing value after retiring: paleography (ancient Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics), art history, etc. but I retired at 61 and spend too much time traveling and spoiling my grandkids so probably won't do that. You're in a position where you can pursue something that fascinates you with no regard to whether or not you can make a living at it, so that's something to consider.

Another thought: do you have plans to give any of it away since you don't need it for future kids? If you get involved in a cause you care about, that's a good place to donate because you can see that your money will be used wisely.

I think you do need something that gets you excited about getting out of bed in the morning, whether it's learning, volunteer work, building stuff, getting a pilot's license, whatever. And congratulations on being a role model for people who get a large inheritance. I knew there were people like you out there who don't behave like typical lottery winners!
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:23 AM   #12
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Hypnos8 are you and your DH on the same page regarding retiring this young?
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:11 AM   #13
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Well this is a excellent example for all the ER forum folks who are scrimping and saving so they can leave their kids a big inheritance, it can easily not be a family legacy, but a an opportunity to slack off.

OP - I would do the same thing, so while my comment above sounds harsh?, it is the reality of choice.
The hard thing will be how do you take a vacation from a life of leisure
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:16 AM   #14
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...My work in marketing is reasonably interesting, the pay is decent and I like my coworkers. However, it never really felt like a passion or a contribution to the greater good. And when I look at my superiors, I see few exciting things that would make me want to work hard to get there someday...
Life is too short and you're too young to keep working in a job that you're not that excited about. Over the years, I've come across a lot of people that I thought were in the wrong profession. They're stuck because they don't have the wherewithal to find something else that gives their life more meaning and you can tell because their attitude just gets worse as time goes on. You've been given an unique opportunity to have a do-over and figure out what you want to do the rest of your life. You might also figure out that what you want to do changes over time and that is ok too. I know people who like doing the same thing over and over again because change is very stressful for them while others are bored to tears.

If I was in your shoes I would take some time off, travel and explore your hobbies to see if any of those could be viable options for a possible career or go back to school and learn something new for the sake of learning rather than for a career. You never know something might click. Your options are wide open. The last thing I would do is stay in a job just because I need the paycheck.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:35 PM   #15
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Hypnos8 are you and your DH on the same page regarding retiring this young?
DH knows about my situation of course and we have talked about the possibility of me retiring early, but more at an abstract level without him taking a clear stand on this. So yes, we will definitely have to discuss it further now...

Fortunately, he is still studying and will be an archeologist in 1-2 years. As such, he will likely be taking part in excavations on a project basis for several weeks at a time. So this might go together well with my plans to spend some extended time abroad every now and then.

In any case, he will certainly not mind me taking over the household chores that mostly he took care of so far
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:06 PM   #16
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Well this is a excellent example for all the ER forum folks who are scrimping and saving so they can leave their kids a big inheritance, it can easily not be a family legacy, but a an opportunity to slack off.

OP - I would do the same thing, so while my comment above sounds harsh?, it is the reality of choice.
The hard thing will be how do you take a vacation from a life of leisure
No offense taken, I can certainly see your point! In my case, my father knew that I am sort of a dead end in terms of family legacy because we will not have kids. He nevertheless found it only fair to treat my brother and me equally and I have transferred some of my money to my 1 year old nephew to fund his education so one day I will be the one hoping he does not squander it

Also, my parents set aside a significant portion of their funds in a charitable trust which I am managing. So my contribution to their legacy will be to do my best and any money my DH and I will have left and the end of our life will be left to the trust or some other charity.

I might also offer to volunteer at one of the organizations the trust donates to but I want to be sure I can really contribute in a meaningful way and not be assigned some useless task just because they feel a need to keep me engaged. So I think instead I will try to help out at our local soup kitchen since it always saddens me how many people fall through the cracks in a society as rich as ours.

Finally, I am certain that my father would not want me to slack off and I do not plan on being idle for the rest of my life. But I can only assume that above all he would want me to be happy and a responsible citizen at the same time. I suppose every generation has to find their own way to get there but in the end I hope to be true to his goals in spirit.
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:22 PM   #17
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Well this is a excellent example for all the ER forum folks who are scrimping and saving so they can leave their kids a big inheritance, it can easily not be a family legacy, but a an opportunity to slack off.
as one who has a legacy account, I hope to leave them enough that they can pursue life's work that they enjoy without having to worry about the 'bottom line' but I'm probably not one you're talking about as I'm not really 'scrimping and saving' just saving and investing in retirement
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:28 PM   #18
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[DH] is still studying and will be an archeologist in 1-2 years. As such, he will likely be taking part in excavations on a project basis for several weeks at a time.
One of the disadvantages of being an academic is the eternal unpleasant search for funding. Perhaps you can use your fortune to fund Indiana Jones-like adventures abroad for DH (and you!). This may be more attractive in theory than in practice.

It shouldn't be too hard to convince your mother that you plan to stay active in mind and body after you leave MegaCorp. After all, the possibilities are endless. You certainly don't want to end up like my three step-brothers, who have inherited millions and will inherit millions more and are remarkably flabby in mind and body thanks to an overly 'comfortable' lifestyle.
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Life is Short
Old 12-26-2017, 05:37 PM   #19
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Life is Short

Life and potentially, good health are short! By the time you reach 50, you will likely start to experience the beginnings of aging...you won't be at your peak forever. If you have anything in life that you are passionate about, go for it! You have a unique opportunity that most will never know. Why waste life doing something you truly don't enjoy if you don't have to? In reading many of these discussions, and seeing many of my dive buddies go back to work after retiring, the important think is to have something to retire 'to'. If you do, it sounds like you're set! If you don't, then you have time and resources to find out!
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:14 PM   #20
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I agree with the others, as long as the money is what you say for amount, and you invest it wisely, you can likely stop working now and be retired for the rest of your life. Keep a good diverse allocation with good protection against inflation (that means probably 50-70% equities in my opinion), put the rest in fairly stable bond/income, and live off the proceeds. 2% should be an easy target to maintain, in fact you will probably be more concerned with portfolio growth and taxes than actually running out of money.

As for your husband and his career, it seems you could easily be a trailing spouse. Able to go where he does for archeology, and be able to enjoy the new travel locations. I also agree that having something to retire to is important. That can be many things, it does not have to be volunteering or something related to a work-like activity.
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