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44 y/o stepping into ESR in 2013
Old 01-07-2013, 10:23 AM   #1
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44 y/o stepping into ESR in 2013

Hi everyone! I've been lurking here for about a year and finally decided to introduce myself today. Feels great to be a part of such a helpful, friendly community of like-minded people.

My situation in a nutshell: I'm 44, single, no kids, have been LBYM for many years, and have about $2MM in investable assets. I own my home (paid off mortgage years ago) and have zero debt. FIRECalc tells me that I could safely withdraw $68K annually for the next 46 years (100% success), which is great since my annual expenses for the past few years have been less than $40K. I have worked up a FIRE budget that includes things like health insurance premiums, occasional big budget items (e.g. new roof for the house, appliance replacements, etc.) and it shows that I can live pretty easily on $55K/year, so I'm starting to get quite comfortable with the whole idea of RE.

Since I don't yet feel mentally ready for true, full-fledged retirement, I decided to ease into it by going to a part-time schedule with my current employer. (I'm very fortunate that even working part time, I'll still be making far more than I need to cover my expenses.) Today is my first day on the new plan, and I have to say it feels both really great and really strange at the same time. I guess it will take some getting used to... but I'm looking forward to getting used to it! I expect I'll continue on this part-time schedule for about a year and see where it leads, but my plans beyond that are pretty nebulous. Still trying to work a lot of things out in my mind about what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I'm sure I'll be posting lots of questions and seeking advice on a whole range of things over the next year as I make this transition, but here are a couple just for starters:

- How do I deal with that nagging feeling of "I should be at work right now" on a day like today?
- To what degree should I be structuring my additional days off, as opposed to spending hours surfing the web or watching t.v.? Just curious what has worked best for others in this regard.

Thanks everyone! Looking forward to some interesting conversations in 2013 and beyond.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
- How do I deal with that nagging feeling of "I should be at work right now" on a day like today?
It's day one FGS. It takes time to adjust.

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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
- To what degree should I be structuring my additional days off, as opposed to spending hours surfing the web or watching t.v.?
Once again, give it some time. Old habit are hard to break, so if your work routine called for a lot of structure you may think you have to continue that to function in your new world. That may be the case, or maybe not. You'll figure out in time whether you need structure or are more comfortable freestyling.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post

- How do I deal with that nagging feeling of "I should be at work right now" on a day like today?
- To what degree should I be structuring my additional days off, as opposed to spending hours surfing the web or watching t.v.? Just curious what has worked best for others in this regard.

Thanks everyone! Looking forward to some interesting conversations in 2013 and beyond.
No daytime TV here, although I do spend time crawling through all the pipes on the interwebs.

Weekday days are great for doing "out of the house" things while others are at work. Nice opportunity for nice restaurant less expensive lunch deals. More time to spend buying and preparing food. Walking when there is nice sun out. And then there's morning coffee and newspaper.

What has worked best for me is the lack of need for structure.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
Hi everyone! I've been lurking here for about a year and finally decided to introduce myself today. Feels great to be a part of such a helpful, friendly community of like-minded people.

My situation in a nutshell: I'm 44, single, no kids, have been LBYM for many years, and have about $2MM in investable assets. I own my home (paid off mortgage years ago) and have zero debt. FIRECalc tells me that I could safely withdraw $68K annually for the next 46 years (100% success), which is great since my annual expenses for the past few years have been less than $40K. I have worked up a FIRE budget that includes things like health insurance premiums, occasional big budget items (e.g. new roof for the house, appliance replacements, etc.) and it shows that I can live pretty easily on $55K/year, so I'm starting to get quite comfortable with the whole idea of RE.

Since I don't yet feel mentally ready for true, full-fledged retirement, I decided to ease into it by going to a part-time schedule with my current employer. (I'm very fortunate that even working part time, I'll still be making far more than I need to cover my expenses.) Today is my first day on the new plan, and I have to say it feels both really great and really strange at the same time. I guess it will take some getting used to... but I'm looking forward to getting used to it! I expect I'll continue on this part-time schedule for about a year and see where it leads, but my plans beyond that are pretty nebulous. Still trying to work a lot of things out in my mind about what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I'm sure I'll be posting lots of questions and seeking advice on a whole range of things over the next year as I make this transition, but here are a couple just for starters:

- How do I deal with that nagging feeling of "I should be at work right now" on a day like today?
- To what degree should I be structuring my additional days off, as opposed to spending hours surfing the web or watching t.v.? Just curious what has worked best for others in this regard.

Thanks everyone! Looking forward to some interesting conversations in 2013 and beyond.
Here's something for you to ponder while you're home when you used to be at work.....How come people use 2 "Ms" when they are talking about millions? One would suffice, wouldn't it?
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
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Here's something for you to ponder while you're home when you used to be at work.....How come people use 2 "Ms" when they are talking about millions? One would suffice, wouldn't it?
M is 1000 for the Romans; MM is 1000*1000.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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Welcome! Pretty inspirational to have so much saved by age 44. Any details on how you accomplished that to help the rest of us dreamers get there?
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #7
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Thanks, azphx. My "path to FI" story is probably similar to a number of others here. Essentially, I've been earning a high salary with very nice bonuses for many years working at a successful technology company, and since I am inherently frugal I have had no trouble living well below my means for the past 15-20 years. I've been able to save anywhere from 50-80% of my total annual comp, and I've maxed out things like 401k and IRAs, plus I've socked away all the excess money I didn't spend over the course of my career into various mutual funds and ETFs. I'm pretty sure not having kids helped a bit, too. The funny thing is, even though I probably fall into the "extreme saver" category, I don't feel like I've deprived myself of anything substantial. I have a nice, comfortable home, two cars, and all sorts of fun gadgets (iPhone, iPad, home theater, laptop computers, etc.), and I go on vacations/trips a few times a year. It sometimes makes me wonder what all these people who spend every dime of their income and never save anything are buying that I'm not!
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:31 PM   #8
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I have a nice, comfortable home, two cars, and all sorts of fun gadgets (iPhone, iPad, home theater, laptop computers, etc.), and I go on vacations/trips a few times a year. It sometimes makes me wonder what all these people who spend every dime of their income and never save anything are buying that I'm not!
Congrats! Great job saving.

The kid thing is a factor. People with kids probably spend too much in spoilage, but they also have very real costs which take a real bite. Like you, I'm kidless and have been able to save.

Other things I see people spend their income on:
- Debt, debt and more debt. Start behind and stay behind.
- More car than they need ... paid with, tada! DEBT.
- More house than they need, paid with... you know.
- A second house. One is not enough!

Don't underestimate the power of debt. Once behind that rolling ball of debt, it can be hard to get out from under. Especially credit card debt.

Opinions differ on mortgage debt. Personally, I'm all for getting rid of it. I love the feeling of owning that roof over my head. And when I look back, I was really able to start saving like crazy the day we burned our mortgage.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:41 PM   #9
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That's awesome Sojourner. I've grossed just over 1.9MM in my working years so far, but my net worth--if I were to liquidate everything today--is probably less than half that. I consider myself frugal, but everything is relative I guess.

I too wonder what people are spending that keeps them from saving at least something. I have a friend who makes more than I do, but lives paycheck to paycheck and has little to show for it. He has significant high interest credit card debt, and is severely stressed out by work demands & travel that is manifesting itself in health issues. However, he claims he can't take a lesser stress job because he can't afford to take the pay cut.

It's refreshing to read about someone who has it so together. Congrats again.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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M is 1000 for the Romans; MM is 1000*1000.
Yes, but most people say $21K when they mean $21,000 so why say $21MM instead of just $21M for millions? This is one of the random things that drives me nuts.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:52 PM   #11
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Yes, but most people say $21K when they mean $21,000 so why say $21MM instead of just $21M for millions? This is one of the random things that drives me nuts.
A lot of people worry about how they'll spend time in retirement.

We know that utrecht spends it worrying about K, M, MM and possibly the old British use of "billion", "million million" and the new meaning of "billion".

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Old 01-08-2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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Those with kids often end up buying a more expensive home to get their kids into decent schools. While not always true, generally quality of public schools is directly related to cost of the housing.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:39 AM   #13
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Welcome Sojourner! I was pretty close to the situation you were in about 1.5 years ago. Retired at 48.

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- How do I deal with that nagging feeling of "I should be at work right now" on a day like today?
Ignore it and do what you want (see answer two below). This still hasn't completely gone away for me yet. It got a bit better over time, but was somewhat replaced by "I should be working because I have too long to live and the risk to my finances is too high given that I'm only 48." The best answer I can give you is to just "be." Worrying about what might come, or what should or could come, doesn't help...

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- To what degree should I be structuring my additional days off, as opposed to spending hours surfing the web or watching t.v.? Just curious what has worked best for others in this regard.
I found that making lists of the things I wanted to accomplished helped. I didn't us it as a task list, just to help me figure out what I wanted to try to accomplish. One of the big things was my genealogy. One was cleaning the basement, one was finances, one was excercise....having this list helped me to structure my day...how much did I want to spend on each....I ended up riding my bike in the mornings, went to library or worked at home on genealogy, worked the basement for 1 hour....

This really helped to avoid the web/TV time sinks...
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:59 AM   #14
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Have you found something you are passionate about ? Do you have interests out of work ? Any family members to take of ? Any cause you would like to defend ? Do you like to volunteer ? Any travel in mind ? etc.
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
- How do I deal with that nagging feeling of "I should be at work right now" on a day like today?
- To what degree should I be structuring my additional days off, as opposed to spending hours surfing the web or watching t.v.? Just curious what has worked best for others in this regard.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:13 AM   #15
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Thanks for your input, REattempt. Your advice seems right on the money. I've started some "to do" lists which I think will really help me structure my new-found free time. It's pretty exciting thinking about all the little projects I'll be able to devote more time to this year.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:19 AM   #16
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Have you found something you are passionate about ? Do you have interests out of work ? Any family members to take of ? Any cause you would like to defend ? Do you like to volunteer ? Any travel in mind ? etc.
I do have interests outside of work... I suppose we all do, to a greater or lesser extent. I haven't really thought much about volunteering or things like that, but it's something I can see myself getting into more and more over time if I can find the right situation. As for travel... yes! I definitely want to do more of that, and I have several trips already planned for this year.

Thanks to all for the helpful comments and suggestions!
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