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Old 01-19-2015, 08:26 PM   #21
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Is there any chance of your company letting you go part time? Healthcare insurance on 4 people is very expensive, and it'd be nice if staying on part time if just for insurance.

It's doubtful if you'd be very bored with 3 kids to ride herd on. Those mid day hours fly by just keeping house and doing laundry.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:38 PM   #22
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Volunteering in your kids' schools? Leading scout packs? Helping out with hockey/baseball/quidditch teams? I think if you use your imagination, you'll fill your days and be your kids' hero.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:01 PM   #23
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If you were a woman, widowed with children and financially secure, would you be asking this question?
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:27 PM   #24
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Sorry for your loss, Indy. If you're FI, pull the pin and spend time with your kids. Your post tells me that you would have more than enough retirement activities to keep you from getting bored. As to feelings about passing up a six figure income - that will pass.


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Old 01-20-2015, 04:28 AM   #25
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I'm not retired today but your point about being bored hit home with me. I have found that as I get older those fears of having to be busy all day fade. I was always a 110% at the office because I really enjoy working with computers and I'm good at it. As I get closer to retirement, I'm serious about looking at other interests and find there are other activities I enjoy including spending time with volunteering. Check out Salvation Army, they seem to be very focused on making a difference, perhaps red cross. But then that is one of my interests. I have others like reading and learning but something like helping out at specific times and days can help provide structure and a feeling your still contributing and needed. Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:22 AM   #26
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I am about your age with 3 kids the same age as yours. I went part-time last year and plan on ER very soon since I can financially. If your social circle is tied to your work like a lot of people, and you are excited each morning as you set off to the job, then keep working and hire the domestic help you need.

If you are not socially tied to work, dread going in each day, then fire the domestic help and spend the quality time with your 3 kids. With no cleaners, maids, babysitters, etc, you will not get bored with 3 kids! In fact, you will find a lot more challenging opportunities to volunteer as they go in to high school, a lot of neat science and other trips, projects, mentoring, etc., not to mention to help them in home work and the challenging teen years. I don't think you would regret spending these next 7 or so years with the kids, you can always go back to work when the nest is empty.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:01 AM   #27
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:55 AM   #28
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I retired in June with 2 kids under foot. (Aged 13 and 11 at the time). I was worried about being bored also. To make sure I'd have something for *me*, not just them, I signed up for an Italian class at the local community college. I'm terrible at learning languages but somehow managed to enjoy and do well in this class. That gave me a goal and focus that was outside parenting and household responsibilities. Obviously, I picked a class time that dovetailed nicely with driving them to school... I didn't want to add to stress by messing up the morning routine.

But I've found that I am far from bored. The biggest thing is I no longer feel pulled in multiple directions - juggling the kids needs and the work needs. I had a call from school this last week that required me to drop everything and head to school.... No issue with finding a boss to let him know I had to leave... My stress levels have dropped since I dropped the conflict between being a good parent and being a good employee.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:49 AM   #29
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OMG, enjoy the kids. Being a real and regular participant in their lives was the deciding factor in me retiring early at age 50 with a 1 and 3 year old. No real stress, can make myself available for things that come up. It's been 15 years now and I've never regretted the decision or looked back.
I do have my own interests like backpacking, cycling, working out, been a Scout leader, soccer coach, treasurer of many youth activities and pool club. Always a scout outing or soccer game to go to. As I work 3 months of the year at a CPA office doing taxes, the boys see what it is like to have a working parent for a time. Do it for my sake, past the point of needing the money.

Your real challenge, and I'm coming up on it, is what to do when your children no longer need you on a regular basis. I'm finding myself with more free time now that they are 15 and 18. But looking forward to more travel once they are in college.

But stay involved and keep the communications open. When the boys were in middle school, I'd walk to school with them just to have a chat. The dog liked the walk also.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:30 AM   #30
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OMG, enjoy the kids. Being a real and regular participant in their lives was the deciding factor in me retiring early at age 50 with a 1 and 3 year old. No real stress, can make myself available for things that come up. It's been 15 years now and I've never regretted the decision or looked back.
I do have my own interests like backpacking, cycling, working out, been a Scout leader, soccer coach, treasurer of many youth activities and pool club. Always a scout outing or soccer game to go to. As I work 3 months of the year at a CPA office doing taxes, the boys see what it is like to have a working parent for a time. Do it for my sake, past the point of needing the money.

Your real challenge, and I'm coming up on it, is what to do when your children no longer need you on a regular basis. I'm finding myself with more free time now that they are 15 and 18. But looking forward to more travel once they are in college.

But stay involved and keep the communications open. When the boys were in middle school, I'd walk to school with them just to have a chat. The dog liked the walk also.
Do you have a spouse or other adult to talk to in the evenings? I can imagine that in the OP's situation without a spouse, the interactions with coworkers might be important to maintain. Or not
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:56 PM   #31
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My condolences on the loss of your wife. There is no one size fits all type of retirement. Each person has to make their own choices of when and how depending on a multitude of factors. I retired at 59 which is later than many readers on this site. I read a ton of retirement books and looked forward to it immensely, but there was a tiny part of me that was concerned because I had seen several people close to me flunk retirement, one died way too young. It has been an amazing year and I am grateful for each day. There were a few rough patches early on, but I just chalked them up to transitioning to a different life. Others have given solid opinions and great advice to help you make your decision.
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:06 PM   #32
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The passion thing is waaay overrated--most people likely never find their passion, retired or not.
Thank you for that statement. I've been feeling like a loser because I've never found a "passion". Other than eating baked goods.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:31 PM   #33
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Thank you for that statement. I've been feeling like a loser because I've never found a "passion". Other than eating baked goods.
Lots of people are that way including myself. There are of course things I enjoy - photography, motorcycles, airplanes, both full size and models, cooking sometimes, and the like - but nothing sticks out as a passion that I couldn't live without doing.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:53 PM   #34
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I am not retired, so I cannot offer any advice regarding day to day activities and such. However, your quote really stood out at me.

You are 44 years young and widowed. You, more than most, can respect the fact that life is fragile and can end early and suddenly. You have the means to retire and the opportunity to spend more time with your children.
If you are financially secure.... I say go for it. You will never get this time back.

I am sorry for your loss.
+1 Well said. And condolences to you and your children. Carpe diem.
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:18 PM   #35
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Are you an introvert or an extrovert? It makes a huge difference, I think. See previous thread: ER: Revenge of the Introverts
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:47 PM   #36
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+1

I've been putzing on the deck today and am posting this while I wait for my putzer to recharge...
Still waiting?
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:17 PM   #37
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I moved across the country 15 years ago when I found work that allowed a great deal more family time. (I took a position working nights and was off every other week.) My son was floundering in 1st grade despite speech and language therapy--he was terrified of school. After the move, a new school, everything changed. On day two at the new school he was eager and excited to go.

Enjoy your kids. Be there for them when they get home from school (this is really important in preventing high risk behaviors in middle school and high school). Help them with their homework. Helping my son with chemistry and calculus gave him a huge respect for me.

Perhaps some part time work or consulting work might be the answer.


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Old 01-25-2015, 09:19 PM   #38
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I am 44 years old and widowed. I am contemplating retiring early to spend more time with my 3 kids (9, 11, and 14). My wife passed away after a five year battle with breast cancer in Oct 2013 at the age of 41. I am financially able to retire if I choose as I have been frugal and investing for over 20 years now. I've set up several sources of passive income in preparation for the possibility. However, I am not sure if I am mentally ready to "retire". I would become a full-time dad but would have several hours each day to myself. I have profitable side ventures but they do not require much time, maybe a few hours per week.

Welcome to the forum. Your post caught my attention and touched a nerve for me because I am a 3 year breast cancer survivor. I have lost several close friends to this disease. I am so sorry you lost your wife.

We aren't retired yet, so not sure I can provide much advise along the lines of getting bored or not. I do know I have been part-time for a long time now, and I never run out of things to do. We are close to both retiring, but we'd like a bit more security/financial padding before pulling that "trigger". We are thinking I may fully retire this year so that I can be completely free to travel with my husband, as spending as much time together as we can is even more important to us now. We have no children.

Wishing you all the best as you process your options and make your decision about how you'd like to spend your time. It is great you are financially prepared and have the freedom to choose! If you are concerned about how you'd spend those few free hours every day, I say make a list of things you really want to do or consider volunteering your time somewhere you feel passionate about making a difference. You don't have to be bored if you choose not to be. So it is really a decision, in my opinion, of whether you are ready to give up your work yet. It's a big leap.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:33 AM   #39
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If I were a widower with kids aged 9, 11, and 14, I'd be thrilled to be financially able to quit work and spend time at home before they grow up. I'd have to recognize that they are hitting the ages when they don't want to be seen with dad, but just "being available" is a big deal, especially knowing that they are down to just one parent.

It sounds like you've got plenty of other things to keep you busy when the kids are in school. I was surprised how much my blood pressure went down when I retired. It turns out that "enjoyably busy in retirement" is way different from "rushing around when you've got a full time job and kids at home".
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