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A big THANK YOU to everyone!
Old 02-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
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A big THANK YOU to everyone!

I found this forum about 7 or 8 years ago after a very bad day at work. While I wanted to find a new job based on hitting this rough patch at work, I realized that if I could just make the best of it for another 7 or so years, I could retire! This was a startling realization. Although 7 years felt like a long time then, the years have flown by. I cut my hours back to 80% and moved to a less stressful assignment at the same company. I've found that the office is much more tolerable when I have less invested in it.

I am married with two preteen children. We achieved FI about a year and a half ago. My employer is very disfunctional, but I have very good benefits including retiree health care and a defined benefit pension.

I have a touch of one more year syndrome. We are currently looking at retiring February or June 2013, but we have decided to do some remodeling of our kitchen and bathrooms and feel that having additional income would be beneficial. This project is very expensive!

We live in the San Francisco Bay area and plan to remain there. Like many others on this forum, we are both engineers who were fortunate to make very good salaries over the course of our careers. Two defined benefit pensions certainly helped, as well as LBM and contributions to 403(b) plans. That said, raising two children with two demanding careers is tough and we are both a bit burned out. The golden handcuffs of the defined benefit pension is attractive though and while I thought I would hit the door running at FIRE that has not been the case yet.

It still doesn't seem real that we could both retire at such young ages. I am 51 and my husband is 52. Without this forum, I would not really believe it!

I mostly lurk around here and my log in name is way out of date, but I thank all of you for showing me that FIRE was possible.

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:45 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing, we enjoy success stories here! And congratulations...

No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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My story has several similarities with yours. I found myself FI at 51 (primarily because my pension/retiree health plan vested at that time). Suddenly, I could look at my j*b differently. I found that I actually enjoyed most of what I did (got to do) but I still hated the politics, Corp. bs. etc. But once I was FI, I could ignore most of the external stuff, relax, and just enjoy doing my thing. I no longer even worried about how big my raise would be. I worried (much less) about my performance appraisal (heard it all before - just get this over with and let me go back to "playing" at my j*b!) If at any time, the j*b changed or the cwap got too thick, I could leave. At 58, the j*b DID change and I left within days. The extra money added to the stash during the interim made it feel even more secure.

This forum also helped me through some rough patches at w*rk. So, if we have helped you in any way, you are more than welcome. We are just passing it on, paying it forward or whatever description best fits. Your joy is also our joy!

Now, start thinking of another log in name!
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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FI also makes life easier when MegaCorp job ends involuntarily. When you're over 50, anything can happen. Everyone should prepare for this possible outcome. In my case the company was purchased, and I, and most of my working companions, became weeds in the new corporate garden to remove so the garden would grow better. I understand this position in a merger, but it can cause a lot of heartache if you aren't prepared. The higher your salary, the bigger weed you are.

So it's great that you've managed to position yourself for a future without the great job, whether it is your choice or theirs. Good luck, and congratulations!
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting, and congratulations on making it to FI status. I remember when we got to that stage and it felt wonderful, making the last few years much easier to get through. (I wanted to make it to 55 to get retiree health insurance and DB pension to put plenty of 'fat' on the finances).
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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I also found this board extremely helpful and only wish I had found it sooner. It made me think seriously about options other than continuing to w*rk in a dysfunctional Megacorp. After digging into the numbers, I realized we were FI and I just hadn't even considered that possibility, thinking I would "have" to w*rk until at least 59.

Thanks for posting and keep coming back!
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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I did not suffer from the 'just one more year' syndrome, but occasionally wish I had done just that. Then my mind wanders away to all the things that I did in that one year & I smile.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 5yearstogo View Post
I found this forum about 7 or 8 years ago after a very bad day at work. ..
Congrads. ! I am amazed at how many people hate work and do everththing in their power to make sure they are stuck there for the rest of their lives.
Good to hear your story.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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What a great post. Golden handcuffs aren't the worst thing that could happen to you, of course.

Enjoy those remodeled kitchens and bathrooms!
Go Cubs
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SJ1_ View Post
I am amazed at how many people hate work and do everththing in their power to make sure they are stuck there for the rest of their lives.
Well said!
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:51 PM   #11
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You are welcome. Congratulations.

Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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