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Hey y'all
Old 09-29-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
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Hey y'all

Hello everyone, I've been lurking for a couple months and have to say this site rocks.

I'm in my early 40's, DW same, with 2 kids in elementary school. Recently sold a company and made some bucks (NW ~ 2 MM now), thinking about ER but don't think I am ready (financially or mentally.) Still work nutzo hours (at same co.), but make excellent bread.

I figure I've got a couple more years before FI, or I burn out in a heap of ashes. Anyone here make the transition from working like a dog to relaxing like a slug? I've heard that the actual restful feeling of retirement lasts about a month, then boredom and stress sets in. Any tips on easing the transition?

-DA

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Re: Hey y'all
Old 09-29-2006, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: Hey y'all

Welcome aboard. Nice handle!

I'm quite confident you're not the only FIRE-seeker who suffers from workoholism, so I'm sure you'll get lots of more substantive responses than my own welcome-aboard.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 09-29-2006, 08:29 PM   #3
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanteAlighieri
I figure I've got a couple more years before FI, or I burn out in a heap of ashes. Anyone here make the transition from working like a dog to relaxing like a slug? I've heard that the actual restful feeling of retirement lasts about a month, then boredom and stress sets in. Any tips on easing the transition?
Welcome, Dante, but I think you need to keep reading the rest of the board's posts instead of believing the media's soundbites.

I've been ER'd for over four years and I'll be 46 next month. Spouse is a year younger and we're raising a teenager. It's practically been a guarantee that there's no boredom, and there hasn't been more than our fair share of parenting stress.

If you're talking about wedging your butt into the recliner to watch TV & DVDs for the rest of your life then yeah, that could get pretty boring. But if you have interests other than working like a dog then you'll do fine. Parenting uses more time when you can "be there" for the kids and it's a lot more rewarding than just being a mobile wallet. We enjoy home improvement projects and there's always home maintenance & yardwork. I finally have the time for tae kwon do & surfing. Life is good.

But you're the one who can tell when you're financially independent and ready to retire. If your annual expenses are about 4% of your net worth or less then you've already won the game and you're just running up the score.

As for the "What will I DO all day?!?" question, try it and find out! Take a month or two off and pretend that you're ER'd. Don't take a humongous driving vacation or try to write the Great American Novel or paint the house & clean the garage. Just take each day as it comes, rest up, work out, and pursue your interests. If you don't enjoy it after a month well, hey, you can always go back to work!

I used to feel a bit envious of those who'd found their avocation. However I've realized that ER is my avocation...
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 09-30-2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Hey y'all

Thanks for the replies

Yes, I figure I will "rediscover" lots of things I gave up to work. Funny thing is that when I was younger I had a bunch of hobbies that have gone by the wayside.

But right now, given college costs etc. and the time I have to go (if I am lucky) I still need to plug away for the next couple years. The question is, what should I be doing now to prepare to get off the treadmill?
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 09-30-2006, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: Hey y'all

Welcome aboard, Dante. I can see why you might think that FIRE is nothing more than a "divine comedy," but just curious....

Why with $2mm do you not think you are financially ready? Perhaps you have extraordinary expenses, special needs, or a large lifestyle? Certainly many here would feel that is ample for a pretty nice lifestyle, if not exorbitant.

Then again, with young kids I could see why you might want a little more cushion. It's just interesting to hear peoples' take on this.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 09-30-2006, 05:19 PM   #6
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanteAlighieri
...what should I be doing now to prepare to get off the treadmill?
I would be putting on paper what you plan on doing when you call it quits.

I keep a running list of "Things I want to do before I die." I doubt I will ever do everything on the list since I keep adding to the list as time goes on. But I have done many of those things so far and I know I will do many more over the next few decades, assuming good health continues.

If you can't think of a list, chances are you should not be retiring since your work has become your life.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 09-30-2006, 10:10 PM   #7
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Welcome aboard, Dante. I can see why you might think that FIRE is nothing more than a "divine comedy," but just curious....

Why with $2mm do you not think you are financially ready? Perhaps you have extraordinary expenses, special needs, or a large lifestyle? Certainly many here would feel that is ample for a pretty nice lifestyle, if not exorbitant.

Then again, with young kids I could see why you might want a little more cushion. It's just interesting to hear peoples' take on this.
I'll comment on this. He says his net worth is $2mm. How much is house, and how much is productive cash generating assets?

People with a lot less than two million and kids become jobless all the time, but most of them try hard to get another job.

IMO, a guy with a wife and 2 little kids and $2mm invested is volunteering for a lot of stress by quitting.

If the current work situation is bad, find another.

It is a real leap to try to fund the rearing of 2 kids and 50 years of non-working life with $2mm.

Doc, you likely have >= $2mm invested, and your kids are grown, but you aren't quitting.

Big Bad John will explain asset free ER, but I advise lots of assets, especially for parents.


Ha

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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 07:27 AM   #8
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Re: Hey y'all

Well 2 million could produce $80K per year. Assuming all the money is not in a house.
That's more than I made when I was raising kids. I don't see why he can't do it.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 07:33 AM   #9
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Re: Hey y'all

Part of the hesitation may be due to unknown and unpredictable future expenses for tuition and health care. These could hit a 40 YO really hard, or not. Appalling trends now in play. Same for property tax in "housing bubble" country.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 07:52 AM   #10
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Re: Hey y'all

Retiring early is not without risk at any age. To me it would be acceptable with 2 million. My kids are raised now I would do it with less.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 08:34 AM   #11
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanteAlighieri
Hello everyone, I've been lurking for a couple months and have to say this site rocks.

I'm in my early 40's, DW same, with 2 kids in elementary school. Recently sold a company and made some bucks (NW ~ 2 MM now), thinking about ER but don't think I am ready (financially or mentally.) Still work nutzo hours (at same co.), but make excellent bread.

I figure I've got a couple more years before FI, or I burn out in a heap of ashes. Anyone here make the transition from working like a dog to relaxing like a slug? I've heard that the actual restful feeling of retirement lasts about a month, then boredom and stress sets in. Any tips on easing the transition?

-DA

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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 09:02 AM   #12
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
Oops! I screwed this post up. Wanted to comment on going from "nutso"
workaholism to just loafing overnight, which I did. This issue was freah with me as we just wrapped up my annual fishing tournament (wish I could
post photos) ....... and most of the guys were retired or getting ready to.
Lots of info and ideas on working vs. not, keeping busy, investing,
working part time, time with and away from spouses, medical issues, taxes, etc. etc. Alas,
no time now. Gotta run! Back on later.

Semper fi!

JG
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 09:12 AM   #13
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Doc, you likely have >= $2mm invested, and your kids are grown, but you aren't quitting
Big difference: I really love my work. I'd love a lot less of it, but nonetheless it is nourishing for me.

But I'm hearing that he's fried (that's FRIED, not FIRED) at work, looking to make changes. I would not let money stop me in those circumstances with 2mm invested. Hopefully with 529s working for him and health insurance assured (big IF), he can easily FIRE. If it is not looking favorable financially in a few years, he has plenty of time to look around, retrain, and get back in the work force in something he enjoys more.

If he's including his house, I agree I'd keep working til I had 2 - 2.5mm clear or more (not very far off for him).

Depending on his expenses, I can see where two kids to raise and educate might make 2.5 mm sound a little safer. Dante, are you comfortable sharing your approximate annual desired expenses? Including your house in the 2mm number? You'll get more specific replies, I suspect.

Admittedly a very subjective call, and expenses are an unknow thus far. But either way, Dante's in good shape financially.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 10:47 AM   #14
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
IMO, a guy with a wife and 2 little kids and $2mm invested is volunteering for a lot of stress by quitting.

If the current work situation is bad, find another.

It is a real leap to try to fund the rearing of 2 kids and 50 years of non-working life with $2mm.
Ha, I really don't read it that way. You really think that $2MM and a nidest paid-off house is a risky retirement proposition? Not me. That situation is exactly the point where ER becomes a no-brainer for me, even with a non-working wife and two small kids. I mean, let's not be absurdly conservative. Even if you throttle back your withdrawals to 3.5%, $70k is a pretty nice budget for a family of four. I don't think that we spend anywhere near that much ex the mortgage, and I live in pricy NJ with no time to do a lot of things that I would otherwise be able to economize with.

You have annything more than extreme inbuilt conservatism behind your thoughts?
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 11:29 AM   #15
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
(wish I could post photos)
Maybe you should ask your wife again.

Or, considering the subject, maybe not.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 11:37 AM   #16
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
You really think that $2MM and a modest paid-off house is a risky retirement proposition? Not me.
Of course it's risky. And what's worse is that nobody can calculate how risky it is.

Here's the wacky way I look at ER:

1) I assume it is an irreversible decision. I.e., I am basically making myself unemployable by leaving the rat race.

2) I am asking my nest egg to pay me wages for a lonnnng time. Probably 50 years. Possibly longer.

3) In 50 years, the world will look nothing like it does today. Very few assumptions will last 50 years. Most of the companies you invest in today will probably be gone in 50 years. Will the US still be a superpower in 50 years? No idea.

4) Leaving the security of a job (and perhaps employability) requires a level of comfort that your portfolio will survive. To me, at a minimum, that means surviving worst-case historical sequences. I don't know why people are comfortable with "95%" survivability. In 50 years, a *lot* can happen. I want 100% historical survival + an extra margin of safety. And that means looking at sequences like Japan-1990 as well as US performance.

But that's just me.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 11:49 AM   #17
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345

You have annything more than extreme inbuilt conservatism behind your thoughts?
My statement came from a combination of inbuilt conservatism, concern that the future may be way different from the past, and memories of being stressed enduring drawdowns as a young parent with no job.

I don't say that he should just tough it out, sometimes one can't. But there are lots of avenues to explore from work redesign, to wife and husband working part time, to examining other areas in one’s life that may be adding stress and could be changed with less risk to the future than quitting work young.

Ha
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 12:05 PM   #18
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
My statement came from a combination of inbuilt conservatism, concern that the future may be way different from the past, and memories of being stressed enduring drawdowns as a young parent with no job.
Agreed. I think we are a bit too quick to urge young people with kids to retire. I FIREd at 56 and considered it early, not regular retirement. Retirement in your 30s or early 40s is radical ER. It is a great thing to do if you have really thought it out and can afford it but rushing pell mell in that direction without considering some rational work scenarios seems rash. Anyone who *could* ER with litttle kids at a very young age should at least evaluate how the picture would look with a few more years of work or a Clyatt part-time hybrid. If you can afford to ER you can always better afford (financially) to try working for a while in some new - possibly less lucrative - ventures.
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 12:15 PM   #19
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Re: Hey y'all

I say this with all due respect: you people are nuts.

Maybe it is a mental disease of the wealthy and idle to suppose that ER is too risky for anyone else to do?
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Re: Hey y'all
Old 10-01-2006, 01:40 PM   #20
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Re: Hey y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I say this with all due respect: you people are nuts.

Maybe it is a mental disease of the wealthy and idle to suppose that ER is too risky for anyone else to do?
Darn, you figured me out. We need you to keep funding social security
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