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FIRE at 39
Old 04-09-2007, 06:36 PM   #1
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FIRE at 39

I've been building a business for many years... been a workaholic actually. I poured everything back into the company the entire time with the big payoff excepted years down the road.

Now at age 39, with my company sold, I find myself now firing myself and newly "FIRE'd".

I read a wonderful book titled "How to Retire Wild, Happy and Free". It was a remarkable eye-opener. I've had to face the fact that I'm not emotionally ready for retirement. As my work life progressed my hobbies dropped by the wayside with the excuse that I'd be able to do them all some day down the road after I was financially secure.

What I've faced is that I need to get a life BEFORE I retire not after unless I want a retirement of watching TV and reading books. So I've made a list of all the things I used to do and all the things I want to do. Nearly 70 items. My goal is to work part-time over the next year as I add these things to my daily life. When I am doing at least 1 item each and every day my mission of becoming the wild, happy and free person I was mean to be while contributing to society will be met (okay... I realise that the goal is never fully met as its the journey that counts but I'll be much closer to it than I am now). Then will I be emotionally well rounded and ready to throw in the towel so my family and I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.

So far I've done some volunteer work, called and spoken to many friends and family (not letting them know about my FIRE status), gone fishing (fun but you can't do that every day), flown a kite with the kids, read 2 books, took a walk with my wife, enjoyed long conversations about meaningful things with my wife, cooked some great BBQ and now I'm looking for a used 5th wheel RV to take the family to see America this summer. More volunteer work is planned and I want to get a guitar and learn how to play it. I always thought I sucked at music but a big part of my list and life mission now is "no excuses". If I suck, who cares.... I'm playing for me and not to impress anyone. I also called a friend and told him to take me hunting with him this fall. Hunting was another one of those things I've always wanted to try but gave myself excuses for putting it off. Also, I want to rent a Bobcat and clear out some space for a small lawn in the woods behind the house so I can get some quality out-doors play time with the family!

I've read hundreds of posts in this forum and have found both this forum and the book to be a Godsend for the emotional turmoil unexpected very early retirement has given me. At the end of my journey of part-time work I hope to find I'll be better off for the things I'll put back into my life regardless of whether or not I decide to keep working. One thing is great though... working is now a choice rather than a requirement.
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Re: FIRE at 39
Old 04-09-2007, 06:41 PM   #2
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Re: FIRE at 39

Forgot to mention...

Firecalc numbers look very good. It says I have a 98% chance of making it through a very long retirement. 100% chance if I scale back a little. I've already met with a very good fee-based financial advisor about getting this large nest egg invested and diversified properly. Already RAN from the 1st one who turned out not to be entirely fee based (recommended that I put nearly 30% of it in annuities!).
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Re: FIRE at 39
Old 04-09-2007, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: FIRE at 39

Welcome to the board, Missionfinder. And welcome to the club, too!

It'd be interesting to see who could come up with a better diversified portfolio-- you or the highly-compensated financial advisor...
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Re: FIRE at 39
Old 04-09-2007, 08:06 PM   #4
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Re: FIRE at 39

Welcome. Sounds like you have an enviable situation.

One of the retirement books I read, think it was Get a Life by Ralph Warner, says that if you don't have a life before retirement, especially if you retire when you are older, it is much more difficult to get one after retirement. He explains it better than I could and many on the board will refute it. But I think what you are doing is very wise. After all if you can't find enough to do that makes you happy and satisfied, you may end up like those poor guys who end up back at work within a year. Sounds like you are right on plan.

My husband who also put most of his energy into his work, started a couple of years ago adding things back into his life and adding new things of interest to bolster his confidence that he could retire with satisfying life. Harmonica lessons, BBQing, travel, reacquainting with friends. So far, so good.

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Re: FIRE at 39
Old 04-10-2007, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: FIRE at 39

Welcome. It sounds like you are going about ER in a studied, logical fashion. I am sure that your wife and family will very much appreciate having you around on a regular basis.
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Re: FIRE at 39
Old 04-10-2007, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: FIRE at 39

Thanks for the warm welcome.

After seeing these tickers in signatures I've set the date for what I will call my "official retirement" with its own ticker. It'll really be more of a wind-down that a cut-off but it gives me a timeline to work towards my goal of getting a more active life.
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