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Finally less than OMY?
Old 10-28-2015, 01:00 AM   #1
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Finally less than OMY?

Have lurked for years. Learned alot. Appreciate those who have spent a lot of time exposing their personal lives and commenting. Hoping that by finally posting will ensure I follow through and stop the OMY syndrome. Have known we are FI for ten plus years. But a number of factors held me back from taking the plunge. Some rationalizations follow1) spent too much time building a knowledge base and skill set that shouldn't go to waste. (2). Each month i hang on =substantial incremental savings (3). Was "only" early 40's when FI=too young to retire (4) in my industry one can never go back to earning the kind of income i am making once you check out.

I wonder if it all isn't really do to the "living to work" work ethic mentality combined with a less than wealthy upbringing that makes one always concerned about the unexpected financial disasters that strike families living on the edge. Even though you know you aren't in that position anymore, the memories of those days have a long term impact on your sense of security. Similar to those who lived through the depression. In other words "fear of ____" fill in the blank. This can even be true for what society considers UHNW individuals. While many in society will deride the "poor" wealthy persons emotional turmoil, it still exists for some. We have lived way below our means for 30 years now. Neverthelesš we have given generously to many charities over the years. We realize that given our LBYM lifestyle all income earned will compound and go to family and charity. But have kept working extremely long hours for the past 30 years. (Mental illness?)


Now that mid 50's are staring me in the face, it is finally truely sinking in that there are only so many good years to go and dieing with a very large pile is not necessarily a good thing. There will be plenty left even if I stop w*rking. You really don't have to work to earn more just because that is what you have always done. Or what society expects.


Has anyone else held off RE even when they knew they should RE,but were OMYing for no rational reason?


Long enough ramble. Look forward to participating and not just lurking. Also, Hope to join the many brave souls on this forum who FIREd and serve as role models for us poor souls who are afraid to take the leap.
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by LV_Travel View Post
We realize that given our LBYM lifestyle all income earned will compound and go to family and charity. But have kept working extremely long hours for the past 30 years. (Mental illness?)
I don't think it is a mental illness as much as conditioning as to the conventional idea of working hard and living the the American Dream. George Carlin said they call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. I'm more of a downshifter myself who likes books like The Overworked American more than Lean In.

Good luck with your plans.
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:48 AM   #3
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Count me in. I set my date before I really knew I was FI. After additional analysis, it turns out I have been saving ~150% of my gross pay at my real job, for the past 3 years.

Once my date was set, I just keep plugging away to the goal. It sort of felt like 'quitting' to leave earlier. I did plan a few more vacations than usual though.

The OMY does put a nice heavy nail in the coffin of ever having to return to work.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:46 AM   #4
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All I can say is having a few close friends or relatives die at an early age helps clear the fog.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:18 AM   #5
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All I can say is having a few close friends or relatives die at an early age helps clear the fog.
Totally agree with your statement. Has really changed my perspective recently.
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:07 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum as an official member. As for continuing to work, past the point of FI and having more than enough, I think for many people it is just a familiarity thing. They are in a continuing pattern and just keep on that path. They may even like their job, or at least their job does not cause major interference with the rest of their life. The structure may even be of some comfort to them.

I think in your case, you have realized that it is time to start the transition. When exactly you make that happen is up to you, but at least you are preparing the work exit plan. Just remember you can live to work, or you can work to live. I think you are beginning to see that it is time to start enjoying the fruits of your labor over the past 30 or so years. You now have rational reason to stop working.

I have said many times, for many people it is an emotional decision and not a financial decision. You are in this situation. Just need to start changing your thinking and start planning your retirement.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:26 PM   #7
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There is nothing wrong in continuing to work past FI if you enjoy your work, or get a positive feeling from doing something you're good at. And wanting an abundance of security (or knowing that you can help give your children FI) are also worthwhile goals. It's a lot easier to commit to retirement if you hate your job and don't enjoy the people you work with.

But it sounds like you've reached a tipping point where the benefits of more free time outweigh the benefits that you get from working. That point happens at different times for everyone, even if they have the financial freedom to make a choice.

Congrats on positioning yourself so that you're able to have options and choose the one that's right for you at this time.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:36 PM   #8
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Thank you

Thank you for the thoughtful replies. All are relevant. Recent deaths of friends and family (cancer) definitely have created a wake up moment. In my case, The perpetual motion of habit with a life focused on a strong work ethic are the real obstacles to overcome.

Also there is still that nagging reminder of 2008-2009 where the financial world was melting down. When zero interest rates go away, expect a 3% withdrawal rate could be aggressive since all financial assets likely get revalued lower. In the end analysis, when you are below a 3% withdrawal rate, think you just have to do it and trust that things will work out. You can always make adjustments as necessary to your spending.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:20 AM   #9
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I'm in a similar situation, age. Part of my decision about launching into RE (4 - 5 yrs from now) is hitting certain milestones (i.e. last kid graduates from college) and doing some test runs with DW on what we "think" we want our RE life to look like. I think it is very important to feel comfortable of what you are "retiring too" before launching and do some sampling while you are still working, particularly when you are the primary economic engine in the house and have a lucrative job that would be hard to jump back into at the same pay if you shut it down (I can relate). In my case, my vision of what I want to allow myself to spend every year once I launch, at least while I am healthy/active, is relatively substantial which means padding the nest egg is still part of the plan. But as others have said, if the "hate my job" meter is running into the red zone, you need to step back and see if the trade off is worth it. Good luck!
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:28 PM   #10
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It's a lot easier to commit to retirement if you hate your job and don't enjoy the people you work with.
+1 Yep, my situation exactly.

Financially, it would have made sense to do 1-3 more years. However, I couldn't live with myself filling with hate for the j*b and a few jerks there. It seemed so pointless... DW and I weren't getting any younger. It was time to exit while we still could lead the active outdoors lives we wanted.

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Old 10-31-2015, 11:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LV_Travel View Post
Have known we are FI for ten plus years. But a number of factors held me back from taking the plunge. Some rationalizations follow1) spent too much time building a knowledge base and skill set that shouldn't go to waste. (2). Each month i hang on =substantial incremental savings (3). Was "only" early 40's when FI=too young to retire (4) in my industry one can never go back to earning the kind of income i am making once you check out.
Hi LV_Travel,

I was once obsessive and intense about w*rk, until DW and I ER'd this year!

Now I wonder if I wasn't a bit of a workaholic. At much my self esteem was tied up in my career and earnings. Most of the reasons you mentioned applied to us too, including the general society stigma against ER. Now I just don't care about that stuff, now old history. DW and I are too busy living our lives with the ones we love to care.

Now that you are (long) FI, the question is what would you do with your life if money were no object?? You've overcome amazing odds to rise from a modest background and achieve FI by your 40's - 50's. So I bet you guys are smart and creative enough to craft an amazing, exciting new life, one that most others only dream about

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Old 11-01-2015, 07:57 AM   #12
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Change is hard. Like you, we were in a position that we had enough and for all intents and purposes continuing to work was just making the inheritance bigger for our kids and charity and some people who I know who were my age died. I decided it was time even though I still enjoyed my job and colleagues.

Best decision I have ever made. Make the leap.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:59 PM   #13
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DawgMan, FreeBear and PB4uski,

Nice to get perspective from others who have wrestled with some of the same issues.

FreeBear and PB4uski- Congratulations on FIRE. Appreciate the encouragement.

FreeBear - Think you have a good point that when you are out of the rat race and enjoying time with SO and family and pursuing whatever it is you want to do, then the prior trappings that kept you from RE seem like an illusion that prevented an earlier exit.

Have always felt that we were living the dream. Even when working outrageous hours. Now we understand that the real dream life is about to start
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