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Old 07-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #21
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Many of you call out expenses and living on less. My wife and I are both SO ready for that! We both feel that we live in some sort of "bubble" surrounded by people that always want more, more, more. It's easy to get caught up in all that when everyone at work is that way, which is my situation. We both have talked a lot about how getting away from all this would be so refreshing. We've run several budgets. It seems quite doable to live on $150K -- and yes, I realize that for many, many people it's silly to think otherwise. But, with such a large income it's still scary.
There is a good blog post on the subject of expensive homes and having to keep up with the Joneses on Thomas Stanley's blog.

"If you live in a pricey home and neighborhood, you will act and buy like your neighbors . . .act and be like those around (you). . . . the more affluent the neighborhood, the more its residents spend . . . . From cars to haircuts, and from wine to watches, those who live in 'prestige estates' spend more."


With your assets, you might be happier living in an area where you are the Joneses and don't feel the need to keep pace with your neighbors and co-workers.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:36 PM   #22
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Coping, I'm in a pretty similar situation - high income, but burned out. I don't have 4.2M, but my expenses are a lot lower. I'm 52, and the thought of retiring is completely pulling the ripcord is daunting. So, my plan is to take a one year career break, with two primary objectives: 1. Get in the best shape of my life, and 2. Figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I'll approach my company about a sabbatical, but like most big companies, they don't have one. I know when (or if) I go back to work, it's highly unlikely that I'll pull in $400K-$500K/year, but I won't need to. Plus, if I leave my company in good shape, I'll be welcomed back if I want and if they have an executive role for me.

Good luck with your decisions.
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:38 PM   #23
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It seems quite doable to live on $150K -- and yes, I realize that for many, many people it's silly to think otherwise. But, with such a large income it's still scary.
don't forget to budget from that $150,000 a flexible amount for taxes which should be lower, and for health care, which is unfortunately very hard to predict.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #24
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When I quit my job I wasn't thinking retirement, just badly needed time off. More than a year later two things had happened. I was really enjoying my new lifestyle and I began to think in terms of retirement and not sabbatical. It took even more time to gain the confidence that we had enough money and our savings would support us despite my investing shortcomings. That was 13 years ago.

If you are close to having "enough money to retire", you definitely have enough to take a year or two off. Be warned, though, not working and enjoying life one day at a time is habit forming and you find yourselves with a terminal case of FIRE.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:00 PM   #25
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I would take a look at your expenses and work out how much of that is being spent compensating for the fact that you don't have time.

For example, a lot of people in high-pressure, high-status jobs don't get to spend much time on vacation, but when they do, it's high-end stuff all the way. It's very easy to burn through a ton of money like that. Having more frugal vacations is a necessity of retirement, but also makes for far more meaningful experiences. (Many of our best family vacations were home exchanges. Imagine a 3-week trip to Europe with hotel bill=$0, car hire=$0, and when you tire of restaurants, you have a full kitchen to cook something nice, or just have some salt and pepper to put on a sandwich. And you learn way more about a country from one trip to the supermarket than you do from sitting by yet another cookie-cutter pool in some tropical resort.)

You might also find that a sort of inverse-keeping-up-with-the-Joneses sets in, even without moving. Sure, they've got all this cool stuff and a new Benz every year. But do they really get satisfaction from all that, driving to the office every day at age 52 (hmmm, Doc says it's almost certainly nothing but he still recommends a colonoscopy), 55 (Did you hear about Jerry in Finance? Dropped dead of a heart attack in a meeting. He was barely 10 pounds overweight, too), 58 (this knee is really not getting any better by itself, and they want me to tour five regional offices next month)? Imagine their faces when they drive home, exhausted, and you're sitting on the front porch with your second cocktail of the evening...
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:28 AM   #26
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My wife has been telling me that if I can't get my head around retiring, then I should think of this as a mid-life sabbatical for a year. That way, in my mind, I'm just stepping back for a bit to see how it all goes. I could always go back to work if I wanted or needed to.

Sounds like good DW counseling
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:04 AM   #27
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It appears to me you have the financial security aspect covered, especially if you could be happy living on tighter budget if need be (eg do you really need a $1.2M house and its associated expenses). And if you do not define yourself by your job or place a high value on the joy of working, you will most likely do well on the other aspects of retired life.

In most executive positions, unfortunately, one ends up compromising the life with their family, in exchange for the demands of the job. It sounds like you deserve to shift gears and enjoy your family and other personal interests.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:15 PM   #28
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I would take a look at your expenses and work out how much of that is being spent compensating for the fact that you don't have time.

For example, a lot of people in high-pressure, high-status jobs don't get to spend much time on vacation, but when they do, it's high-end stuff all the way. It's very easy to burn through a ton of money like that. Having more frugal vacations is a necessity of retirement, but also makes for far more meaningful experiences. (Many of our best family vacations were home exchanges. Imagine a 3-week trip to Europe with hotel bill=$0, car hire=$0, and when you tire of restaurants, you have a full kitchen to cook something nice, or just have some salt and pepper to put on a sandwich. And you learn way more about a country from one trip to the supermarket than you do from sitting by yet another cookie-cutter pool in some tropical resort.)

You might also find that a sort of inverse-keeping-up-with-the-Joneses sets in, even without moving. Sure, they've got all this cool stuff and a new Benz every year. But do they really get satisfaction from all that, driving to the office every day at age 52 (hmmm, Doc says it's almost certainly nothing but he still recommends a colonoscopy), 55 (Did you hear about Jerry in Finance? Dropped dead of a heart attack in a meeting. He was barely 10 pounds overweight, too), 58 (this knee is really not getting any better by itself, and they want me to tour five regional offices next month)? Imagine their faces when they drive home, exhausted, and you're sitting on the front porch with your second cocktail of the evening...
Good points. I totally agree about spending money on things to compensate for not having any time. Your vacation example is a good one. Lately I've found myself thinking about what a "real" vacation would be like. And it doesn't involve yet another beach or pool. While I like those things, I can get them in my area and don't need to spend a fortune to go far away just to enjoy them. A more thoughtful approach sounds much more relaxing and fun. Thanks for the advise.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:33 PM   #29
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I have (mostly) decided that I will leave my job at the end of this year. There is a big part of me that is really, really excited about the prospect.

Thanks
It seems that you have already made a decision and even picked a date!

Best of luck!
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:18 PM   #30
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There is a good blog post on the subject of expensive homes and having to keep up with the Joneses on Thomas Stanley's blog.

"If you live in a pricey home and neighborhood, you will act and buy like your neighbors . . .act and be like those around (you). . . . the more affluent the neighborhood, the more its residents spend . . . . From cars to haircuts, and from wine to watches, those who live in 'prestige estates' spend more."

With your assets, you might be happier living in an area where you are the Joneses and don't feel the need to keep pace with your neighbors and co-workers.
Thanks for the link. It was great and it looks like I'll enjoy the site.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #31
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Hi Coping,
Just thought I'd let you know what my DW and I are doing. We are still 5-6 years away from ER, but we have been doing all sorts of things that are non work related. We have taken SUP lessons, I have begun working with a surf instructor (still young at heart), we are highly involved in volunteering and hiking groups (trail maintenance part). Our garden is huge and always needs work. I am trying to make myself ready so when we ER I don't even think about it. My DW is much better at dealing with this sort of thing. I have always been "full speed ahead". Downtime depresses me. She will do fine, I will have to find things to do.
Good luck to you!
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:57 PM   #32
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Coping-

You are fortunate to be truly FI if you wish to be. As in top ~1.5%er. With reasonable spending habits outside & the highest cost-of-living areas, most could find a way to 'get by' on "only" the >3X ave family income you could comfortably achieve from your investments. Perhaps getting opinion of a good independent (fee-only, not commission-based) financial planner would help. IMOH- If world financial calamity puts balanced portfolio of your size in serious fiscal bother, the 98%ers around you will likely be rioting in the streets
So it's really about a choice to ER. You might put some REAL effort into imagining yourself retired. Not easy to do, BTW. How much of your self-identity is REALLY tied up in your position? It's one thing to get away to decompress for few weeks, but then many begin to feel like they have become (pardon the phrase) an 'unimportant' person in retirement. OTOH- Many begin to cherish the freedom of their 'unimportance'. Is there a way you could take a purposeful sabbatical without seeming to bail on your company? Telling the company you are burning out can be risky if you decide to resume your career. Upon your return you may be treated very differently- both professionally and personally. Alternatively, try to take 2-3wk "boring" vacation of trial ER. Can you fill your days with interesting things to do, or are you bored to tears. As the old saying goes, successful ER's retire TO something rather than away from their j#b.
Good luck, & keep us posted.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:30 AM   #33
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If you are close to having "enough money to retire", you definitely have enough to take a year or two off. Be warned, though, not working and enjoying life one day at a time is habit forming and you find yourselves with a terminal case of FIRE.
SO true. I'm enjoying a self imposed jobless state now for 5 months and I'd REALLY REALLY love to not go back. Or at least do something different, hmmm.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:23 PM   #34
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Hey everyone, I thought I'd give an update.

Tomorrow is my last day at MegaCorp!! I am so excited.

In my original post I mentioned that I was thinking that I'd leave last year. I was very burned out but was also worried about having enough money (among other things). I decided to stay one more year and while the burn out is even worse, the market did well!

I'm still nervous about all this, but I am also ready to see what the future holds. As my last day has gotten closer, my nerves have been getting worse and worse. It seems strange given that this is really what I want. But 22 years at the same company is a long time and I know I will have a time adjusting. They are having a retirement party for me tomorrow and I'm sure that will be a bit emotional. All that said, I'm ready for the challenge of the change.

I wanted to thank you all again for the great advice and support last year. It really helped me gain the courage to make this move. I hope to become more of a "regular" here now that I'll have more time.


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Old 09-18-2014, 11:25 PM   #35
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Congratulations.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:34 PM   #36
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Excellent news. Thanks for the update. I hope you enjoy ER.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:10 AM   #37
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Congrats. That is very cool, glad we could help. Don't be too much of stranger post how you are doing.. I think it can encourage others.,
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Old 09-19-2014, 03:22 AM   #38
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I have found that every time I get nervous about retiring I come to this forum and am reassured that my decision is a good one. I also remind myself that I made the decision to quit at 55 when I started investing aggressively and maxing my 401K over 20 years ago. Now 4 jobs later, a cross country move, DS about to graduate from college, it seems like all the time at work has shortchanged my life.

So congratulations and come back from time to time. I'm sure you have much advice for the rest of us.


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Old 09-19-2014, 06:27 AM   #39
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I'm ready for the challenge relief, excitement, and enjoyment of the change.
Fixed it for you!
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:35 AM   #40
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Congratulations. It is very natural to be nervous. Change is hard, even good change.
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