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Old 04-05-2017, 07:01 AM   #1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdlerth View Post
May the coming month pass as quickly as is pleasant for you; not so slow as to become irksome, nor so fast that it sparks apprehension.

It is way above my pay grade to ask whether you have considered keeping a diary in the closing month. Kind of like those confessionals they have on reality TV shows where each cast member confides private thoughts. As your scheduled departure date nears, does the concept of leaving w*rk become more strange or more comfortable? Do the days become longer? What last minute housekeeping or bureaucratic issues appeared? How is your family reacting? Not that I'm suggesting you should do this, but I think it might be a fascinating thread here. Just sayin'.

Anyway, good luck. I'm TMY behind you, so while I can't quite see it yet I know it's right over the horizon.
I figured I would give this a shot, if for no other reason than to get some of this down on “virtual” paper. I’m going to use separate posts in this thread to hit different pre-retirement topics, just to keep it manageable. But if you have specific questions, feel free to ask.

As I write this I am 3 days out. The concept of leaving work isn’t strange or uncomfortable. But the days at work do seem to be getting longer. We hired my replacement over 6 months ago and I gave my official notice at the beginning of the year. So as I’ve turned things over to him, I’ve had less and less to do. Trying to keep on the sidelines and let someone else take over has been a bit of a struggle. It is just not in my nature to not be directly involved. We’ll see how that affects me upon retiring.

The question I get asked a lot is “what are you going to do with yourself?” I’ve always been a planner, setting goals, making lists. It finally dawned on me that having specific goals for immediately after retirement would help. I’ve had a general idea, but not a formal plan.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:04 AM   #2
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So, have you set any goals yet?
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Immediate Goals
Old 04-05-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Immediate Goals

GOAL 1) Sell the house. I have 15-24 months to reach that goal.

We have twin boys who graduate HS next year. We are in a HCOL area and no family ties to the area. We have a lot of equity built up in the house and it will be too large once the boys are off in college. I also deliberately boxed myself in as I refinanced the house 2 years ago with a 5 year adjustable ARM. I got a lower rate, lower payment and “knew” I wouldn’t have that mortgage when that adjustment kicks in. In order to sell the house, we need to:
  1. Declutter
  2. Landscape the yard for curb appeal (learn how to make things grow)
  3. Figure out where to move to – someplace warmer, less expensive and less congested
Each of those breaks down to a bunch of smaller tasks. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details, but it is enough to keep me somewhat busy and engaged.
My other 1 year goals are to:
a) Lose 10-15 pounds
b) Get off high blood pressure and cholesterol meds. I am on the lowest dosage of each.

Both of those are attainable through moderate exercise and better eating habits.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsob58 View Post
GOAL 1) Sell the house. I have 15-24 months to reach that goal.

We have twin boys who graduate HS next year. We are in a HCOL area and no family ties to the area. We have a lot of equity built up in the house and it will be too large once the boys are off in college. I also deliberately boxed myself in as I refinanced the house 2 years ago with a 5 year adjustable ARM. I got a lower rate, lower payment and “knew” I wouldn’t have that mortgage when that adjustment kicks in. In order to sell the house, we need to:
  1. Declutter
  2. Landscape the yard for curb appeal (learn how to make things grow)
  3. Figure out where to move to – someplace warmer, less expensive and less congested
Each of those breaks down to a bunch of smaller tasks. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details, but it is enough to keep me somewhat busy and engaged.
My other 1 year goals are to:
a) Lose 10-15 pounds
b) Get off high blood pressure and cholesterol meds. I am on the lowest dosage of each.

Both of those are attainable through moderate exercise and better eating habits.
Sounds like reasonable goals. Good luck with them

I'm still years away from retirement myself, but I recently made a goal to visit another country every year. Preferably not repeating the same one over and over either. This year it's going to be Aruba for the first time.
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Deciding to Pull the Trigger
Old 04-05-2017, 08:44 AM   #5
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Deciding to Pull the Trigger

I started this process (picking a date and planning) about 5 years ago. I had become increasingly unhappy at work. There are parts of the job that are intellectually stimulating and very satisfying, but the day-to-day is a grind and dealing with that and some of the personalities was becoming more and more of a psychological challenge. That’s more on me than on them. My tolerance just got weaker. The commute was the other major factor. On a good day, 45 minutes each way to go 17 miles. Average day, about an hour and on a bad day 1.5 hours.

I thought I could go back to consulting on a part time basis and make the $$$ work. But after running the numbers over and over, it just didn’t seem viable. So what did I do? I traded in my 8 year old, no frills, Ford Focus and bought a brand new Elantra with all the bells & whistles (sun roof, heated seats, sound system). Not my best financial decision, but I rationalized…if I was enslaved with the commute for next few years, I deserved to treat myself. I did pay the car off in less than 2 years, but still not a decision in sync with my longer term goal.

Fast forward 2 years. Firecalc, other simulators and my own spreadsheets said I could definitely FIRE at the end of 2018. Changing that to April 2017 gives me an 85% success rate when I use the most pessimistic assumptions, but still a 100% success rate with optimistic assumptions.

After thinking about that for a while and discussing it with DW, we decided to make the leap. I stressed a lot about that 85% success rate and all the “what if’s” that you don’t have control over. But I realized that one thing we’ve always done really well over years is adapt. The pessimistic assumptions didn’t take that adaptability into account.

So I made commitments to lock myself in: 1) refi’d the mortgage with a 5 year ARM. 2) Told my boss we needed to hire a replacement. Even though I was still 1-2 years out and there were a lot of unknowns, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The time at work since then has been less stressful.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsob58 View Post
I figured I would give this a shot, if for no other reason than to get some of this down on “virtual” paper. I’m going to use separate posts in this thread to hit different pre-retirement topics, just to keep it manageable. But if you have specific questions, feel free to ask.

As I write this I am 3 days out. The concept of leaving work isn’t strange or uncomfortable. But the days at work do seem to be getting longer. We hired my replacement over 6 months ago and I gave my official notice at the beginning of the year. So as I’ve turned things over to him, I’ve had less and less to do. Trying to keep on the sidelines and let someone else take over has been a bit of a struggle. It is just not in my nature to not be directly involved. We’ll see how that affects me upon retiring.

The question I get asked a lot is “what are you going to do with yourself?” I’ve always been a planner, setting goals, making lists. It finally dawned on me that having specific goals for immediately after retirement would help. I’ve had a general idea, but not a formal plan.
We did the same thing two and a half years ago, sold our house and bought our retirement home - even though neither of us are retired yet.

The process actually took about 6 to 7 months. We found what we wanted to buy - and waited until we had an offer on our existing home before signing on the dotted line. We did end up placing all of our belongings in a pod and staying in an Extended Stay with our Cat for 90 days. It worked out well since we ultimately decided that we did not want to move several times - hence we just carried our clothes and our cat.

I can so relate to your "training" your replacement. I'm looking at retiring in early 2018 and have been pushing new tasks on to my staff. I'm finally resolved to leave work in March or April 2018 and take a few months off - just enjoying the summer. Then, maybe a part-time adventure which would have some interest too me.

Cheers

Michael
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsob58 View Post
I traded in my 8 year old, no frills, Ford Focus and bought a brand new Elantra with all the bells & whistles (sun roof, heated seats, sound system). Not my best financial decision, but I rationalized…if I was enslaved with the commute for next few years, I deserved to treat myself. I did pay the car off in less than 2 years, but still not a decision in sync with my longer term goal.
Click and Clack from PBS's "Car Talk" radio program often said that while it's cheaper to retain and repair your old car, buying a new one can be the wiser choice.

There can be very good reasons to get the new car. Comfort, as you observed, is important when you'll be logging a lot of time behind the wheel. Engines today run cleaner and more efficiently than they did 10 years ago. They can handle ethanol in the gasoline. Steering, braking and traction-control systems get better all the time.

I don't purchase vehicles often, but I did buy a new truck two years ago. It is festooned with innovations that didn't exist when I bought its predecessor in 1991. One device I thought was useless gimmickry was the back-up camera. "What do I want that for? It's just one more electronic gewgaw that will need expensive repairs some day. Rear view mirrors do the same job and they don't wear out."

But then my next door neighbors pumped out two kids. Toddlers are notorious for wandering into danger, such as right behind cars about to back up. My mirrors won't detect a three-foot high junior human ambling behind my tailgate, but the camera sees them. Now I appreciate that backup camera as a critical safety upgrade!

Don't worry. If you could afford a BMW but you got a Hyundai instead, then you haven't endangered your ER plans. It's not as if you traded in the old Ford for an overpriced luxury indulgence. My wife's Elantra was affordable, gets good mileage, and in 10 years has demonstrated excellent reliability. Nor are you swapping cars every year or two out of boredom. Besides, you paid it off quickly anyway. So, props to you for making a wise decision instead of settling for the inexpensive one.

I will be following your journal with great interest.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
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Congrats, and thanks for posting.

In life, just about anything that's 85% certain is practically a sure thing. I think you did the right thing to go for it.
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