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Old 04-21-2016, 08:50 PM   #21
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Thanks, Options! I'll check those out!
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:54 AM   #22
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Prime: I'm not REd yet. I just went on a test run and will see how it goes.

The hardest thing so far has been changing my brain from "it's a waste of time to do things I can pay someone else to do for less than I make" to "it's stupid to spend my time making money I don't need when I could be doing things myself that are challenging, interesting and new instead of paying people to do them."

Bluntly... it's moving from a monetary to an experienced based personal economy.

I think like this now.

I need $X/mo to live. If passive income covers 90% of X the question is... how many hours do I WANT to work. The answer to that is my hourly rate. As my passive income gets closer to X and my desired hours I want to devote to work decreases, my rates go up. Eventually... my rates are unreasonable for anyone to pay. That is the MORE I make, the LESS I work because I'm maximizing experience and not pieces of green paper. Not because pieces of green paper don't matter... but because I don't need any more of them. Climbing a ladder because it's there is not good reasoning... but I used it for years.

So let's say my dishwasher breaks and it costs 400$ to fix. Well... in the experience economy I value that as a cool challenge and learning opportunity which also pays a decent hourly rate. How much I could make in the 8 hours it takes me is not the point at all. Same with gardening, or laying tile or whatever else pops up.

The hidden value there is huge. As life becomes more about doing **** yourself, your desire to fill it with expensive but worthless and unrewarding distractions drops rapidly.

While you're saving 350$ fixing the dishwasher your feeding your brain, teaching your kids, training your persistence and patience and NOT buying **** on Amazon or binge watching Netflix. So the experience value might run "into the thousands."

Now I still plan to avoid doing stuff I hate, but that is flexible... and surprising.

For example... DW and I need a new dining room table. We're seriously considering making it. The economy based me wouldn't even think about that. The experience based me is excited about it. I know nothing about it, have no tools and no prior interest but the idea of figuring it out, making it and eating on it; having the time to do that for, say, 40 hours without stressing about 4 important conference calls is insanely compelling.

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Old 04-27-2016, 10:42 PM   #23
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Congratulations! I know its scary but its also a really exciting time so try to relax and enjoy it!
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:52 AM   #24
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Your time is valuable. The older you get, the less of it you have left. So you can still pay someone else to do the things you don't want/care to do regardless of relative wage rates. Or replace stuff instead of trying hard to fix it. Provided you have the funds, of course.
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Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:24 PM   #25
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I gave 6-8 weeks notice today (still TBD - I want 6, they want 8 ).
Don't let them persuade you to defer your exit … summer is a primo time of year, make the most of it.

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The biggest concern for me right now - What will I do with all this free time?? Has anyone else faced this challenge? How did you ease into retirement and make it a happy and healthy transition for you? If you didn't really know what you wanted to do before retirement, how did you figure it out?
Zelinski's book is very good. Here are a couple more titles to check out (older, but still largely applicable):
  1. Leedy and Wynbrandt, Executive Retirement: a manager's guide to the planning and implementing of a successful retirement (1987);
  2. Scissons, Happy Ever After: making the most of your retirement, for career men and women (1987).
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I will definitely banish the word "should". Great suggestion
Cf. Sarah Knight, The life-changing magic of not giving a f*ck : how to stop spending time you don't have with people you don't like doing things you don't want to do (2015).

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The volunteering/non-profit route also sounds like a great idea.
Volunteering has been great for me: so fulfilling! Just be aware that it may take time to find the organization(s) and role(s) that work well for you. If at first you don't succeed, don't give up; just keep looking/trying, and eventually you will find a worthwhile situation.

I would not generally recommend that retirees from the for-profit world seek paid employment in the non-profit sector, as this typically results in frustration, 'burn-out' and cynicism: not very healthy!
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:05 PM   #26
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...
Bluntly... it's moving from a monetary to an experienced based personal economy. ...
I took this idea to the extreme! I'm building my own house.
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Old 04-28-2016, 11:07 PM   #27
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petershk - Thanks again for the enlightening response! I thought for sure from your responses that you've been retired for several years now

It's interesting that you bring up the paying people to things vs. doing them yourself. Now that I'm getting closer to my quit date, I, too, have been thinking about all the things I would like to learn/improve upon: fixing things around the house, getting better at cooking(instead of eating out so much), taking care of my yard. I've always simply paid for these things, because I've always had more money than time. I definitely think it'll be a challenge for me to change that mindset as well. And, there are definitely things I simply won't do (like get up on our roof and clean our gutters -- the roof is too steep for me), but I am actually looking forward to building my skills in some of these areas, at least for now!
I like the way you put it so succinctly, though: moving from a monetary to an experience-based mindset. That's a great way to frame it.

It's been interesting the past few weeks, leading up to and right after giving notice at work.
At first, I was really sad and apprehensive (hence the original post!), and thinking about missing my colleagues, wondering how I would fill the days without work, and who would I really be, since I've spent all of my adult life focused on my career and trying to get ahead. But as the time drags on at work, and I'm disengaging more and more, I've been noticing definite shift, and I'm finding myself getting more and more excited about trying things I've never had the time to do. It's really interesting how freeing it is to think about all these things that I just never considered/paid much attention to since I never could devote the time/energy - I just never let myself think about them, since I believed they weren't doable with all of my work obligations.

audreyh1 - re: having less time as you get older: I can really relate. Sadly, we've had some family members and friends pass away over the past two years, so I've been really feeling my mortality lately and wanting to experience more than just the daily grind. That ticking clock has definitely been weighing on me, and has been a driving factor in making this retirement decision.

WoodM - thank you so much for the encouragement!!

Milton - Too late Unfortunately, I let them con me into another week, so my last day is 5/20, but the last week is only half days, so that's not too bad. Thank you for the book recommendations - I will check those out too! I think the Zelinski book (and reading these forums!) has really helped change my mindset about my time/energy, so I'm looking forward to reading those as well.

It's interesting you mention not working for a non-profit, instead just volunteering; I've heard that as well from other sources. I used to live in DC and knew a lot of people who burned out on working in the non-profit world. Thanks for the reminder!!

Hermit - that's awesome!! Please post pictures of the progress
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:54 PM   #28
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It's interesting you mention not working for a non-profit, instead just volunteering; I've heard that as well from other sources. I used to live in DC and knew a lot of people who burned out on working in the non-profit world. Thanks for the reminder!!
I don't mean to put down non-profit employees: many do excellent work, and some appear to derive substantial long-term satisfaction from it. It's just that it's a very different world from for-profit, with a unique set of challenges that you likely don't want to deal with.

One of the pleasant things about volunteering is that - provided you resist the requests to serve on boards, or in coordination roles - you can generally avoid all 'politics'. Another is that you are usually free to limit your hours and involvement to whatever suits your lifestyle: if an organization seems too inflexible just move along, there are 'plenty of fish in the sea'. When you are neither receiving nor relying on a paycheque, there is no real incentive to bend over backwards to accommodate others' demands.

Sadly, a few non-profits and charities seem to take their volunteers for granted. Again, if that happens to you, move along.

IMO, a good 'fit' will mean working alongside happy people who (i) know your name and are interested in you as a person; (ii) regularly thank you for your contribution; (iii) are willing to meet you halfway regarding scheduling etc.; and (iv) do good work in the community, something that you feel proud to be associated with. Many such places do exist!
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Old 04-29-2016, 02:15 PM   #29
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Another is that you are usually free to limit your hours and involvement to whatever suits your lifestyle: if an organization seems too inflexible just move along, there are 'plenty of fish in the sea'. When you are neither receiving nor relying on a paycheque, there is no real incentive to bend over backwards to accommodate others' demands.

Which is also a disadvantage of volunteering that I've encountered since I began working for my professional society as a volunteer decades ago. Some are wonderful and dedicated to what you're trying to accomplish. Others, because they're not being paid, put their volunteer duties at the bottom of their priorities, never attend meetings, etc. I've invited people to leave committees, and am about to do it again.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:08 AM   #30
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Yes, I think that's fair enough.

Volunteering, especially as a committee member, should mean more than just dropping in out of the blue whenever one feels like it. If someone makes a commitment they should do their best to follow through; and if that proves impossible, they should come clean and resign.

I've been lucky enough to find volunteer positions that require regular attendances - e.g., every Tuesday morning, etc. - but accommodate absences when I am away travelling. The latter is pretty important to me, and if I couldn't receive such flexibility it would probably be a 'deal breaker'.

P.S. While we are all different and I don't at all mean to denigrate your volunteer experience, serving on a committee would not be my choice: too much like work! I much prefer 'hands-on' volunteering that involves direct contact with the people being served by the non-profit or charity.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:26 AM   #31
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There have been times, since I retired 3 years and 4 months ago, that I didn't know what to do with myself (mostly on those rainy, yucky weather days), but they have been far outnumbered by the days that I think "I'm so busy now, I don't know how I ever found time to work."

I've also lost 35 pounds, my numbers are better, I've built a shop, bought a travel trailer, upgraded to a motorhome, do a fair bit of volunteering but not so much that it is a burden, and have traveled a fair bit. My weekly running mileage took a dip when I was busy getting the shop built, but now it is higher than ever and barring injury I fully expect to clock over 1300 miles this year, including a few 5k races and a couple half marathons (my best years were 2011-12 when I clocked about 880 miles each year). During my working years, I spent a lot of time in work related travel to more countries than I've been in US states, so now we are focusing more on traveling mainly the western states by motorhome, plus Hawaii at least once a year.

If you work (pun intended) at it a little, you'll find things you love to do, that won't eat your 5m too rapidly, and will give you great joy.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:13 PM   #32
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Milton & athena53 - thanks for the inputs on volunteering! Good points about schedules and commitments - I actually hadn't considered that aspect, particularly with committee work and serving on boards.

Milton - I didn't think you were putting down non-profit employees - I understand your points about the differences between the for-profit and non-profit worlds. I do like your point about direct contact with the people the the non-profit serves - I think I would like that best myself.

Rambler - That all sounds amazing Congrats, particularly on the health front!! I've been reading a bunch of "How to retire"-type books, all suggestions from this forum, and they've all been very helpful so far.
I've only a couple more weeks to go (5/20 will be my last day!). I'm definitely starting to feel excited!
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