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Big Decision
Old 01-11-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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Big Decision

Hi,

I am a 55 year old engineering manager and just accepted a severance package, that, together with my earned pension turns into a pretty attractive way to retire now. Yes, I dreamed of getting out early for years but this is happening really fast and I'm going through all the emotional issues I'm sure many of you did when you passed this point. I really appreciate reading the stories posted to help me adjust. I have many interests I have not had time for so looking forward to catching up on life. My wife is teaching three more years so one job will be being a good house husband and supporter for her.
With all that said, I can't help but feel guilty, seems like I shouldn't be retired at this young age. Guess I'll get over it but really weird!!!
My financial situation is very sound as I have saved for years and had gotten out of the stock market before the fall. Pretty lucky.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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Congratulations! You are going to love this new life.
Keep this one very important emotion very close by - Woooooooo Hoooooooooooo.
Glad to hear you were spared the stock market giving you a punch in the solar plexus in 2008.
I invested in a copy of Ernie Zelinski's "How to Retire Happy Wild and Free" when I first FIREd at 48. I found the book at Amazon while searching for retirement books. I read in the description that he was a FIREd engineer (also my c*reer), so I knew I would be able to understand where he was coming from. Almost 2 years later, I still pick it up and reread portions when I get bored or need a new direction to follow.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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Welcome!

I predict you will get over the guilt pretty fast...

ta,
mew
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:50 PM   #4
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Welcome!

I predict you will get over the guilt pretty fast...

ta,
mew
Definitely.

I retired at 54.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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sailwc--congrats on your ER. I predict that you'll never regret the move. I retired at 52 and never have been sorry. Sure, if I had continued to 59 or 60, I'd be better off financially, but I was burned out and was at the point of not being able to stand another day. Also, my wife had developed cancer in 1982, had surgery and we decided we didn't know how much longer she had on earth and we wanted to enjoy what was left. I retired in 1988. She is a breast cancer survivor and we have lived happily ever after. Never regretted ER one bit. Can't believe its been 20 years. Don't look back.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:09 PM   #6
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I also retired at 55. Now I'm 62. It takes a while. Especially Monday Mornings. But you will adjust.

Just be careful. When taking financial advice, be careful. Sounds as if you already met that criteria. You don't have time to recoup if you make a mistake.

Other than that, enjoy life to it's fullest. Life is to short.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:09 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum, and congratulations on your early retirement!

I agree with the others who have posted on this thread - - there is no reason to feel guilty about retiring early. I gather that you can afford it, and it is quite an accomplishment.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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Welcome , I felt slight quilt when I retired because my friends were still working but I got over it . Enjoy !
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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Congrats. The guilt will go away. I am about three years ahead of you in same situation, took package and DW still working. This is her last year and will leave at 55. You will find you have time do so much and make things simpler for her. I go to the library to find the books to help her know we are ready.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:46 AM   #10
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First, congratulations!!!

I RE'd five years before DH and I found my guilt was much easier to bear than the stress of the job (I worked a lot of unpaid overtime--always 10 extra hours a week and often more). I'm going to surmise that your wife's hours in teaching are more defined than yours were (only because my friends who are teachers are able to be efficient great teachers within the normal school day hours and no longer need long night hours and wekends to grade papers etc.). So you probably will see a lot more of each other now, which I'm surmising again your DW will enjoy , not to mention that sparkling clean home and gourmet meals you're going to have waiting for her .

Again, congratulations!!!
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:54 AM   #11
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My biggest challenge when first FIREd was to leave behind that "scheduled by the hour" thing. Seeing you were w*rking in engineering management, this may be a real issue at first.
I filled my home email calendar reminders with FUN things, like
"play with the dogs" or "plant lettuce" or "research a new recipe for shrimp stir-fry"
vs
"attend quarterly review meeting" or "write statement of work" or "review 10 proposals".
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:05 AM   #12
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Thanks, in fact I am not yet "retired" since effective date is Feb 1, but have enough vacation to get me to that date. This is getting to be a long story, but fyi, my job has been pure hell for past six or seven months, then company decides to "realign" from the top down which eliminated my division and boss leaving me homeless for a time, and made me consider retirement for the first time. On top of that, I break my ankle Nov. 30th playing handball and have been on crutched ever since...rrrr. Then, due to financial crisis, company offers severance package. Whew! Anyways, through all of it, I realized I don't have to do this anymore, don't have to live by Lotus Notes calendar, sit through endless powerpoint presentations, process 60 emails per day and the list goes on. You know though, I may do some part time work if the opportunity comes along. That is, real engineering work again provided I haven't forgotten too much. Truth is, I enjoyed my job before I went in to supervision back in 1994.
Lastly, since I made up my mind, I can't stand to be there anymore and counting the days, so must be the right move!
Cheers and thanks for your note.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:19 AM   #13
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Thanks bestwifeever, in fact my wife loves her job most days and is worried about not teaching. She signed up for an early retirement plan a few years back and now not sure. Anyways, her hours are great and now we have summers off together and quite excited about that. In the mean time I have a long list that includes being a good househusband, learning about wine and cooking, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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As one guy said about taking the paychecks for not doing much work: "I used to feel guilty, but with therapy I got over it".

The long thread "So what do you do all day..." should answer the question.

After several years I chose to get another job but as you have seen here, opinions are all over the board about that. But the job paid for my motorcycle, and now I can't wait until April!
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:15 AM   #15
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But the job paid for my motorcycle, and now I can't wait until April!
Walt, we've discussed this a couple of times on the forum, but you do have us on your "Who to notify in case of my death or incapacitation" list, right? You be careful out there...
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #16
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It takes a while. Especially Monday Mornings. But you will adjust.
"Especially Monday Mornings."....which Saturday of the week does that fall on again?

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I really appreciate reading the stories posted to help me adjust. I have many interests I have not had time for so looking forward to catching up on life.
That's how it's been with me. I bailed out almost 2 years ago @ 50, and haven't been bored for even one split second! I have a lot of interests and hobbies....many of which received little or no attention for many of my working years. Now I have the quality time to dedicate to them, and enjoy every last minute of it! And of course, I can usually find some quality time to dedicate to doing absolutely nothing!

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Lastly, since I made up my mind, I can't stand to be there anymore and counting the days, so must be the right move!
Same here! When I first made the decision to FIRE, I started counting down the days, and each of those days I found that I liked my job less and less each day, 'til the point I was thrilled to never have to return there!

In fact, 3 days before my official final day of work, I was demonstrating to the boss and a couple of the guys how I was going to leave on the last day. I tossed my keys on the boss's desk, gave my little farewell spiel, walked out the front door, and headed for my car. The boss hollered out the door that that was all good and fine, but that I had 3 days left before I could really do that. I kept walking to my car, got in and started to pull away....I slowed down as I drove past and told them 'good-bye'. I'd already filled out my time sheet, applied comp-time for those last 3 days, and punched the time clock.....one of my co-workers informed him of those facts after I left, as I'd already informed that guy what I was about to do.

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In the mean time I have a long list that includes......learning about wine and cooking, etc, etc, etc.
I can't help much with the wine aspect, but I've learned a lot about cooking over the few years by selectively watching a few cooking shows on the FOOD Network on TV. I've also picked up a few cookbooks here and there, that have caught my attention. Also, I surf over to Recipezaar to look for interesting recipes.....there are oodles and loads of recipes there for just about anything imaginable..and it's free!!!

So, congrats on your ER! You'll love it!!!
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:38 PM   #17
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Walt, can I have your stereo?

Question we always ask for some jumping the back seat of another pilot. Seems appropriate for someone that has a new cycle.
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