Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Burned out and ready to retire - how many have unretired?
Old 01-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 16
Burned out and ready to retire - how many have unretired?

Hi all - Thanks to all of you who contribute such knowledgeable and technically detailed information to financial questions about retirement.
This is my first post, but I've been lurking here for a few years, reading the great information posted by such generous people.

I'm ready to retire due to major job burnout. But I'm at that decisive age where I qualify for a reduced pension if I leave, but also burn bridges on the prospects of getting a comparable job if I need to in the future. So this has me in the "one-more-year" syndrome. But, I'm concerned about how long it will take to recover from job burnout once I retire.

A recent report from the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center examined burnout and retirement decision (see: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/public.../pdf/wp166.pdf) and found that "as burnout rises, retirement becomes more probable, and as burnout recedes following retirement, re-entry becomes more probable." It also found that those who retired and then unretired recovered from burnout quicker. Seems crazy to me.

Questions for the group are, if you retired early due to burnout, 1) how long did it take you to recover? and 2) did you "unretire"? If so, for how long and at what level (part time, full time)?

Thanks for any comments on this issue!
__________________

__________________
howdidigetthisold is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-01-2013, 02:04 PM   #2
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,113
I retired through burnout but I recovered immediately and after 3 years have never had any desire or thought about going back to work.
__________________

__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,381
I bought 4 years of purchased service credit, so I had burnout to some degree. I had 3 months off then started a part time job (which was part of the plan) as I still wanted to add to my cash cushion. I will be ending my 3 rd year of PT work this summer, and it will be the end. The main reason (besides liking all 7 days off instead of 4) for me is I have come to the conclusion it is not worth my time to work. Now that they have just reinstated the SS tax back to 6.2%, along with the money all being in the 28% tax bracket, 6 % state, 1.4% medicare, plus losing my $2k pension tax credit and gas to get to job, I am receiving around 40 cents on the dollar. Just not worth it to me anymore. Besides, after tracking my expenses thoroughly for 5 years, I have plenty to live on. Keep in mind ,however, nowhere did I mention continuing to work because of boredom, intellectual, or social reasons.
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 02:39 PM   #4
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by howdidigetthisold View Post
H
Questions for the group are, if you retired early due to burnout, 1) how long did it take you to recover? and 2) did you "unretire"? If so, for how long and at what level (part time, full time)?

Thanks for any comments on this issue!
We humans are resilient. Not sure I retired because of burnout, and no doubt I sure was, but it didn't take long to start feeling good about myself, life, family, and all that other good stuff. A couple of opportunities have come up in the 13 years and I've kept a door open just in case, but every day that passes I enjoy my retirement more and more, so it would take a real disaster or something compelling to get me back to work.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,611
I retired at 55, and it's safe to say it was due to burnout.

Recovery took about a month, as I recall, and I had a "sorta kinda maybe" idea of un-retiring in mind for about another four or five months.

By then I was so happy in my new ER life that I never thought of it again.

After more than ten years in this status, I'm still delighted with my lifestyle.

Take some serious encouragement from this example.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,399
I planned to retire in mid-2010 at 56. I was super stressed and burned out at the time.

I was asked to continue working at the same place but very low stress, 1 day a week. I would have no ongoing projects, just basically have more of a consulting type role.

Two and a half years later...

I averaged about 15 hours of work per week this year and went into work 2 days a week.

Often the 2 1/2 years I definitely have had some mission creep. Yet, as the stress and burn out receded I felt more willing to work some more hours. As I worked very part-time I could see very clearly what aspects of my job I found stressful and what aspects I enjoyed.

So, now I do work in the areas that I enjoy and don't do the things that I don't enjoy. Even now, I could still return full-time if I wanted to.

I don't know how long I'll continue with it. My usual answer is that I'll do it as long as I enjoy it.

I was so exhausted when I ESR'd (early semi-retired) that I haven't really gotten into any volunteer activities and recently I've started thinking about that more.
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 03:20 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,608
I'm not yet retired, and I think I have a few more years until I can, but definitely feel burned out sometimes. I'm concerned about how much I may be hurting myself by continuing as a burnout. It's one thing to say it's just "one more year" and push to continue working, but I'm concerned about how much the toll is when doing so under a burnout cloud. Your idea to take off and recharge, then consider going back to work to get that last year(s) is appealing. Very interested in anyone who's done that.
__________________
growing_older is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,896
Retired 6 years (from age 54). Recovery time - nanoseconds.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
Retired 18 months ago, and have recently entertained the idea of going back to work, but at something completely different than my first career. I still envy the few who truly enjoy their jobs, though I've repeatedly been told here that's . But above all it's nice to know that odds are I'll never have to go back to work. For me FI was more rewarding than RE. YMMV
__________________
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)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,870
After 16 years of working full-time and 7 years of working part-time, I ERed 4 years ago. Like Travelover, my recovery time was nanoseconds LOL!
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
Packman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 303
Like Midpack, I too, retired about 18 months ago. Even though I am FI, I have considered a return to some kind of work, but so far, I have not acted on this awful urge. Most of my friends are working, so when I talk with them, I feel a bit left out. Sometimes I have to force myself to remember my last job (which I disliked very much), and that helps keep me grounded with the decision I made to leave the working world.

My DW is still working, so that may have an impact, in my case, as well.
__________________
Retired on 5/31/2011 at 54
Packman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 06:32 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Packman View Post
Even though I am FI, I have considered a return to some kind of work, but so far, I have not acted on this awful urge.
You understand that if this condition persists for more than four hours you should consult a physician, right?
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 07:30 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: northern Michigan
Posts: 732
I retired 3 years ago at age 54 1/2. I wouldn't necessarily say it was due to burnout, but I knew I couldn't stay there too much longer, due to a combination of things (horrible boss, didn't really enjoy most of the work anymore (which had changed), frustrated at the lack of time to pursue other interests, etc). The key was finally realizing that I would be okay (financially) if I retired. Once I had that, I pulled the plug, and haven't looked back since. As for going back to work now, after enjoying having my time to myself these past 3 years........uhhh, no, zero chance of that. I'll cut expenses if I have to, before doing that.
__________________
RAE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #14
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ocala
Posts: 49
While I planned to retire early, I would say I finally retired due to burnout from working long stressful hours for so long. I had qualified for retirement medical insurance once I reached 55 and met my financial goals, I no longer could force myself to go to work so I left. It took about six months to finally catch my breath and really relax. I battled some self worth issues and still do to some extent, but have developed a new "normal" and a routine. I had originally thought I would go back and work part of the year, but I am having so much fun, it has become far less attractive. I feel I still have the drive to work at the same level as before, but I would only want to do it for short periods of time (up to several months). I would never consider going back to work full time as an employee and I would not work part time (as in 20-30 hours per week). I have kept up with megacorp gossip through my former coworkers and all the things that I loathed about the company are still there and more. I just don't have any great desire to go back to megacorp. I had hoped to do some consulting work, however, after looking at the liability aspects and insurance, I have decided against it. I am casually looking for contract work on specific projects, but it may be difficult to fit work into my busy social, fishing, diving, and hunting calendars and travel schedule. One of the best things I have found in retirement are spur of the moment opportunities. I have been able to ferry both aircraft and boats to new locations, helped trap nuisance alligators, and participated in a Christmas boat parade among other things. If I had been working, I would most likely not have been able to do any of these things.

I have done a little bit of volunteer work in my field. One of the things that I noticed is that without the daily grind, it is difficult to stay current. I am too busy (and not disciplined enough) to keep up with all the industry issues. If I don't go back to work in the near future, my marketability will go down. With no perceived financial need, I am getting used to the idea of not working again and I am good with that. I am having a great time. There is a lot more to life than working a job that is not fulfilling.
__________________
Doug
GT1 Doug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 09:28 PM   #15
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,905
Return to work? Not on your life! Especially after a burnout, it doesn't sound appealing.

For me, burnout was the time to grit my teeth and charge on through until I could afford to retire for good. Gotta be tough and go for it. Each to his/her own, I suppose.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 10:29 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,152
I had burnout in my engineering job which drove me to retire at age 41. It is now almost six years later and I have never contemplated going back to work. I was depressed and burned out at work, so this immediately stopped when I stopped going there. Also, the retirement itself was stressful with making the decision, preparing for the decision, going away parties, closing up loose ends, etc. Also, I didn't want to retire on a low note, as if the job had beat me down, but that was just unavoidable.

Two months after retiring I moved away, and two months after that I started a long overseas adventure. In those four months I spent time with all the important people in my life. I was just totally focused on these new activities and no longer focused on work. So there was really no burnout, just excitement and change.

It may depend on your personality. A care free type retirement does not fit the personality of many folks. And that is OK.
__________________
kramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 10:49 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,608
I have recently fallen in with a slightly older crowd, most of them retired. They are a blast to party with but more than half of them in their 60's are either back at work or looking for full-time work after "retiring" the first time. I don't know them well enough to know the details of their situations, but I sure want any retirement I do to stick. I suppose a sabbatical might help alleviate burnout, but I really fear returning to work would bring it back much worse, especially if the return to work was not by choice.
__________________
growing_older is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2013, 11:22 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,575
Quote:
Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
... but I really fear returning to work would bring it back much worse, especially if the return to work was not by choice.
+1

This is the main reason why I have carried on for a bit longer than the numbers tell me is necessary - there is no way I would ever want to be in the position where I was forced to hunt for a job to make ends meet later in life (especially one that was likely to pay a lot less than I earn now). I feel much happier front end loading the working aspect. I'll sleep easier and worry less.
__________________
Budgeting is a skill practised by people who are bad at politics.
traineeinvestor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 06:34 AM   #19
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,544
I did retire from a law enforcement job and then four years later stumbled into another full time job but the stress levels are far below what I dealt with before. Recovery from burnout was almost instant after the move was over. We increased the savings quite a bit and the delay in taking SS will increase future income. Moving from the Washington, DC area immediately after retirement to West Virginia by itself decreased the stress level a lot since we don't have to plan our daily lives around traffic. No more large metropolitan areas for me!

Admittedly I made the common mistake of not having a clear idea of what to do with myself after retirement and floundered around quite a bit. I had originally intended to continue being heavily involved with the hobby of radio control airplanes but eventually realized that was a stress reliever for the LE job. Interest in it dropped to almost zero after the move. Now I have a much better idea of "where to go from here". The 2nd job has a much lower stress level and sometimes the hardest part is staying awake. The unplanned-for income allowed me to get back into photography in a semi-serious manner and I'll continue that. I'll do something though, either volunteering at something useful like Habitat for Humanity, or perhaps even working if it is something interesting. I don't share the aversion to working that many have if the conditions are good for me. However, since we don't need additional income to make ends meet my tolerance for workplace BS is very low. In many places they would call that an "attitude problem". Well, yes, I do have an attitude problem in that I won't beat myself to death for anyone else's cause.

I will almost certainly quit my job by the end of April. A different company has taken over the contract and the discontent levels are rising although I'm not severely affected yet. And they're talking about a significant pay reduction in May although the agency is fighting it since they've been down that road before and they don't want the knuckleheads that the lower pay scale brings. I don't want to deal with them either. If the pay reduction does not happen I'll be leaving in another year or two at the latest anyway.

But in the meantime I learned a lot about me, got closer to DW, and we have more options than we did before. So all of that is good.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 08:43 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
Lagniappe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by howdidigetthisold View Post

A recent report from the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center examined burnout and retirement decision (see: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/public.../pdf/wp166.pdf) and found that "as burnout rises, retirement becomes more probable, and as burnout recedes following retirement, re-entry becomes more probable." It also found that those who retired and then unretired recovered from burnout quicker. Seems crazy to me.
I reached burnout years before I retired, but just kept plodding along until I could afford to retire with very little chance of being forced to re-enter due to lack of funds.

Those who unretired may have recovered from burnout quicker, or those who recovered from burnout quicker may have unretired quicker. Correlation and causation are not the same thing.
__________________

__________________
Lagniappe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
burnout, early retirement


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:29 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.