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Old 11-08-2010, 06:35 AM   #21
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You are not alone, I am 56 and stuck in the same dilemma. Everyone goes through what you're experiencing, though some more acutely than others.

I would also strongly recommend some Zelinkski and Clyatt books - they speak directly to your situation. You have to listen to yourself above all, as others have said.

There will always be a sliver of a question even if you delay 10 more years, also pointed out. But at some point you'll be comfortable with it.

And I can only add, if it doesn't work out the worst thing that could happen would be you have to go back to work, which is what you would have been doing all along anyway (stolen from Jacob Fisker).

You will still have options, you are not jumping off a cliff - best of luck, I know the feeling well.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:55 AM   #22
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Listen most carefully to your own inner self, unless of course some glaring financial hole in your proposed program was discovered.

Ha
I've noticed over the years on the forum and after my own retirement that what people do is all over the map.

Some are loathe to ever be committed to ever having to show up for work on time ever again. That's where I was for the first few years. For a guy who started working mowing lawns at age 13 the novelty of "Wow, all I have to do is keep breathing and they send me money every month!" was euphoric.

Some already had a long list of "stuff to do" and were chomping at the bit to get to it.

Some planned from the outset to either change careers, work part time at something entirely different, or just take up space.

Some are more laid-back and just thought "I'll figure it out when I get there" and I suppose that's about where I was. The first year and a half or so was just a long vacation and DW and I both had a hazy notion of getting part time jobs. Eventually.

The point is, there is nothing "wrong" with any of those options or any other option. Do what fits you. But have faith that you'll find it.

So for now I have a full-time job that was originally intended to be part-time, but that's OK because I still have the option of going part-time or not at all. The bulk of the "extra" income is going to savings to be spent later, which some may say is overly optimistic because it assumes there will be a "later".

In light of events like the local four-fatal car accident that happened yesterday I do think about that from time to time.

As in so many other things "You pays your money and takes your chances".
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:45 AM   #23
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I am a 51 year-old female, and thinking about retirement for the last 10 years. When I was younger, I really liked my job. As I get older I just do not have energy to continue. Financially, my house (~$300K) will be paid off in a year. I own another house (~$300K, paid off) which brings in $1200/mo and various accounts (total ~$500,000.) In my calculation, this is barely enough.

My concern is that my life (friends, activities etc) is so closely tied to work that I am afraid to miss them all. I play piano. I have a dog. I volunteer weekly at soup kitchen. But they are not my passion. I took dance classes, knitting classes etc but did not enjoy. Money is of course a concern. In this economic climate, I do not think I can get my job back once I leave. But then even if I stay, I do not know how long I can hang on to it.

How do you decide when to retire? Some say "retire into something". Do you wait until you find one or things come to you once you retire?
Well, barely enough sounds like enough to me.

Have you taken the time to really figure out how much you anticipate pending in retirement? How much does it cost you to go to work? How much are you now contributing to your savings and will you need to continue that? Will you be downsizing your house, car, etc.? My favorite read on that subject is "Your Money or Your Life" You may find out you will spend much less. Of course, if your passion turns out to be extensive travel or collecting vintage sports cars, you might spend more.

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One thing to keep in mind is that although we tend to have lots of opinions confidently expressed, they are not necessarily worth much to you or any other individual.

Listen most carefully to your own inner self, unless of course some glaring financial hole in your proposed program was discovered.

Ha
I totally agree. Only you know what you want your retirement to be. It can be scary, but not like really scary. Where there is a will, there is a way. I would suggest you might want to look inside yourself and think about what it is you really want to do with your life, even if what comes to mind seems crazy or impossible. We all get programmed into a certain lifestyle and our upbringing, friends, culture, etc. all conspire to kind of keep us in a box. My favorite read on that is " How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free".

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I've noticed over the years on the forum and after my own retirement that what people do is all over the map.

Some are loathe to ever be committed to ever having to show up for work on time ever again. That's where I was for the first few years. For a guy who started working mowing lawns at age 13 the novelty of "Wow, all I have to do is keep breathing and they send me money every month!" was euphoric.

Some already had a long list of "stuff to do" and were chomping at the bit to get to it.

Some planned from the outset to either change careers, work part time at something entirely different, or just take up space.

Some are more laid-back and just thought "I'll figure it out when I get there" and I suppose that's about where I was. The first year and a half or so was just a long vacation and DW and I both had a hazy notion of getting part time jobs. Eventually.

The point is, there is nothing "wrong" with any of those options or any other option. Do what fits you. But have faith that you'll find it.
Even in retirement people tend to want to build little boxes to dwell in and sort others into. On another forum there was a discussion about what retirement really was. One guy in particular insisted that if you worked for money, you weren't retired. I countered that what if your dream was to retire and open a bistro, you worked 80 hours a week and loved every minute of it and you barely made any money because that wasn't the point. He said no, you wouldn't be retired.

I say that only to point out that on forums, or talking with your friends, family and coworkers, be wary of people telling you what you should do or shouldn't do. I read a lot of blogs written by full-time RVers and many of them talk about how their kids and friends are horrified by the prospect of chucking it all and living in an RV. Obviously, they all did it anyway. You need to do what's right for you. If people tell you getting a job in retirement or living in an RV or on a sailboat, for instance, means you're not retired, ignore them. Do what's right for your. You get one life, make the most of it by pursuing your dreams no matter what other people think.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #24
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This thread is interesting because I have a bit different outlook. For the past 15 years I've been a telecommuter, so I have had zero social interaction with coworkers. I am looking forward to ER'ing next year so that I can spend less time down in the basement by myself all day.

Good luck on your decision
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:22 PM   #25
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You are all awesome! You are right that I am asking when to get out of a rat race so I can start a life for myself. At age 51, I deserve it, yes? If possible, I want to stay at my job part-time, working much more slowly. Happy with less income.

I just online reserved three Zelinski books and a Clyatt book at the local public library.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:27 PM   #26
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I just online reserved three Zelinski books and a Clyatt book at the local public library.
I think you'll find them very helpful, especially How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free and/or Career Success without a Real Job both Zelinski and Work Less, Live More Clyatt, you're on your way...
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:59 PM   #27
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I think you'll find them very helpful, especially How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free and/or Career Success without a Real Job both Zelinski and Work Less, Live More Clyatt, you're on your way...
Ooh, just reminded me. Need to go check out Career Success without a Real Job and Work Less, Live More.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:14 PM   #28
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FWIW, our company gave a reduction in force offer in late 2008 that forced people to decide in about 4 weeks if they wanted to retire. Most of them retired 2-3 years earlier than they "planned" because the offer was good enough that they were money ahead doing this. None of them had their retirement activities in place and most had been working 50-60 hours/week in jobs they enjoyed. I've talked to a dozen of them and none of them regretted the decision. Of the 12, I only had 1 mention that he was a little bored in the winter. The rest complained they didn't have enough time to keep up with their social lives.

I just retired 2 months ago. I've had a couple of slow days but only because I've not gone out and over committed myself to volunteer activities.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:13 PM   #29
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Hi Sally,
Many good suggestions for you in the posts. I like to think, if your job is causing you high stress or anxiety or unhappiness you will find a better quality of life without it. Finances may not be perfect but it sounds like you are a very smart lady and can certainly make it work. I find my expenses have decreased in some areas now that I can shop, eat out and play at off peak times. And, finally, if you want social interaction there are many more meaningful opportunities to connect with people other than the workplace. Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:06 PM   #30
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This thread is interesting because I have a bit different outlook. For the past 15 years I've been a telecommuter, so I have had zero social interaction with coworkers. I am looking forward to ER'ing next year so that I can spend less time down in the basement by myself all day.

Good luck on your decision
Now this is an interesting observation. And to think I begged to telework all those years....
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:39 AM   #31
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Well done Sally. Yes you deserve it. You only live once. Enjoy.

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At age 51, I deserve it, yes?
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:39 AM   #32
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I vegged out for about a year. Then I started looking for volunteer opportunities.
bbbamI, you may not believe it, but this is the most encouraging response. I did not consider vegging out for a year, because culture of our society is that one has to thrive for something all the time otherwise you are a loser. At my stage of life, I do not need any more accomplishment. I want to live a life just for the sake of living, not thinking about having to do something. Thank you!
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:22 PM   #33
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bbbamI, you may not believe it, but this is the most encouraging response. I did not consider vegging out for a year, because culture of our society is that one has to thrive for something all the time otherwise you are a loser. At my stage of life, I do not need any more accomplishment. I want to live a life just for the sake of living, not thinking about having to do something. Thank you!
My biggest accomplishment in retirement has been giving myself permission to do whatever I want and to disregard other's expectations of me. This doesn't mean I sit around and expect DW to cook and clean - the total opposite, I have stepped up to most of her responsibilities (she still w*rks), as well as the chores I did before I retired. This monkey doesn't dance to the accordion anymore.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:41 PM   #34
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bbbamI, you may not believe it, but this is the most encouraging response. I did not consider vegging out for a year, because culture of our society is that one has to thrive for something all the time otherwise you are a loser. At my stage of life, I do not need any more accomplishment. I want to live a life just for the sake of living, not thinking about having to do something. Thank you!
Have you peeked at this thread?

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post998965
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:55 PM   #35
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My biggest accomplishment in retirement has been giving myself permission to do whatever I want and to disregard other's expectations of me. This doesn't mean I sit around and expect DW to cook and clean - the total opposite, I have stepped up to most of her responsibilities (she still w*rks), as well as the chores I did before I retired. This monkey doesn't dance to the accordion anymore.
Good sharing. I agree with you entirely. People keep asking me what I do all day but hey, I've ER - I just do what I need and/or like to do. I know DH appreciates my ER especially since my cooking and home-making skills are improving with much creativity. Some of my friends appreciate my ER as I organise little get togethers, co-ordinate and make restaurants bookings, etc. All these add up to lots of activity in a day.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:23 PM   #36
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bbbamI, you may not believe it, but this is the most encouraging response. I did not consider vegging out for a year, because culture of our society is that one has to thrive for something all the time otherwise you are a loser. At my stage of life, I do not need any more accomplishment. I want to live a life just for the sake of living, not thinking about having to do something. Thank you!
Same here. I play golf most of the week, take the mutt on hikes. If I describe my week to someone who lives the 9-5 grind, they are either jealous or they think I lead an uneventful life. But I really could care less if they think I'm a slacker.

Sounds like you are ready to me. Enjoy it!
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:30 PM   #37
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bbbamI, you may not believe it, but this is the most encouraging response. I did not consider vegging out for a year, because culture of our society is that one has to thrive for something all the time otherwise you are a loser. At my stage of life, I do not need any more accomplishment. I want to live a life just for the sake of living, not thinking about having to do something. Thank you!
You're welcome....do what makes you feel good.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:38 PM   #38
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Travelover, thank you for sharing. In some way I am already in a retirement mode. I still go to work 8-5 M-F and drop by my office on weekend, but it is out of habit. (You ERs can probably relate to it as to how things were toward the end of work life?) It is a matter of time that I gather my courage and FIRE myself and I will probably like it very much.

RonBoyd, I like the thread about normal average people living quiet life. (I hope I am not offending anyone) It is Saturday and I spend my day simulating my ER. I really enjoyed it.

Zelinski's Career success without a real job was more like how to earn book royalty, and Clyatt's Work less live more looked more like how-to of retirement investment. When I read them in my early 40s, they were eye opening. But right now, this forum is more inspiring. Thank you, all.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:08 AM   #39
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But right now, this forum is more inspiring.
Amen.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:10 PM   #40
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Sally123, you might want to take a closer look at your funds to make sure you can tap into them over the next 8 years or so, without penalties and the such. It didnt seem like you had a lot of free cash, and most of the rest was in IRA and annuities.

On the non money side, one way to think of it is that you will at some point leave your work. That is a given. So you will have to make an adjustment at some point. It might be easier to adjust now than 10 years from now.

Good luck!
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