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An unplanned retirement
Old 04-10-2007, 10:33 PM   #1
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An unplanned retirement

I FIRE'd six years ago without knowing it. Worked all my life in software and enjoyed it for the most part. I knew I would retire someday, but not in my early 40s, not those 'peak earning years' (ha). After a layoff, I looked for another job. When you don't want to commute and don't want to move, it limits the possibilities greatly. There is no job worse than looking for one and finding one has always been difficult for me. I think bosses feel intimidated by me. As finding one became increasingly unlikely, I trained for another career in, what else, real estate. Meanwhile, I studied the business, finance, and investment sections at the library. By the time I got licensed, I realized I had positioned myself to not have to work. I didn't even find the Retire Early site and then this one until recently. Overall, I would probably prefer to work as long as it were something interesting, but I don't want to work just to fill time.

My greatest fear has been boredom. Fortunately, I continue to find interesting projects for myself. My greatest pleasure has been the freedom to do as I please. After working nonstop, one's passions tend to die. That is probably my greatest regret. Many people I know have died these years, and it brings a depth of experience on what is important in life, and it generally isn't work.
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-10-2007, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: An unplanned retirement

Welcome to the board, aenlighten.
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-11-2007, 07:33 AM   #3
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Re: An unplanned retirement

Look at the bright side, you never had to stress yourself out with endless calculations trying to figure out if you did have enough.

BTW I am curious if over the past 6 years how you have managed financially? ie. did your portfolio grow, were you able to withdraw what you wanted without having scrimp to make ends meet?
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-11-2007, 04:25 PM   #4
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Re: An unplanned retirement

I scrimped for the first years with the market down and not knowing what the safe rate was, but I planned to return to work then anyway. Even now I am only spending at 2.8%, as I am leary of any large long term capital expenses. It didn't stop me from replacing my car which I had allowed for, but I may never get granite counters.
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-11-2007, 04:33 PM   #5
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Re: An unplanned retirement

And yes, I broke even around 2004, and last year did over 14% with a less risk than I was taking before.
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-11-2007, 06:37 PM   #6
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Re: An unplanned retirement

It's surprising how far a dollar can stretch when one tries. BTW am curious as to how you allocated your portfolio between cash/equities/bonds etc to meet your needs. Have you had to draw on retirement savings at all or do you have these in reserve to kick in at your normal retirement date?
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-12-2007, 12:54 PM   #7
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Re: An unplanned retirement

I shouldn't have to tap my retirement accounts until about 55. I am also trying to maintain my portfolio size so I aim at withdrawals towards 3% and 90-95% equities weighted towards value as I prefer dividends to interest.
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-12-2007, 03:54 PM   #8
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Re: An unplanned retirement

If you want to stay involved with software and not work a "real job", you can "play" with Open Source software and contribute to some of the projects. Well documented bug reports are contributions. http://sourceforge.net/ is a good place to start.

Jim
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Re: An unplanned retirement
Old 04-15-2007, 10:56 AM   #9
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Re: An unplanned retirement

I'll second millerjwm's Open Source suggestion. This is actually part of my personal plan since I do enjoy some parts of software development; and, this is probably the most effective way for me to give back. Plus, it will keep my skills current and my name out there in case I should ever need to find a paying position again.

Good luck.
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