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Old 09-22-2012, 01:01 PM   #21
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Now I'm thinking I may stay longer. The job is starting to grow on me, the hours are easy, and even though I really don't need the money, I love cashing that check!
That's kind of where I am too with it. Having the option to work or not is a very good position to be in considering the numbers who have no choice. We are both very grateful for that.

And the unplanned-for income gives us options we wouldn't otherwise have, such as my expensive photography habit. (There is apparently no upper limit to what one can spend on that!) But when I finally do quit I'll head right over to the local university to take photography classes there.

The hard part for me was that I thought out the financial aspects all right but didn't give enough thought about what to do with me. As someone on another thread put it "It's hard to go from full throttle to idle in one week".
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #22
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Financial independence doesn't have to mean not working. It merely means that you have a choice. Continue to seek and find something that is fun. Maybe it is volunteer work, maybe it is working in a low stress job.
+1.

Work can be very enjoyable as long as it does make you a slave. As Travelover stated - financial freedom gives you that choice. Work or not to work. If you choose work and find later you do not like that line of work, financial freedom allows you that choice to try something else.

Those who do not have financial independence often become slave to a field of work they do not like but do not have the luxury of choice.

Welcome to the forum and good luck in your search. It sounds like you have been blessed with FI at an age much earlier than most people could every dream about.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:56 PM   #23
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One other idea: meetup.com is an interesting concept, where anyone can start a group about any topic (a Republican/Democrat group, a cooking group, mothers with kids group, dog owners group, hiking group, etc.).

Take a look to see what meetup groups are near your city. You only pay a fee if you start your own meetup group - it's free to create a profile. Some meetup groups ask for a tiny donation to help pay for the group expense (it's only $10/month that the group pays, so some groups ask for a mere $1 per person a few times a year to offset the fee). You might even be interested in starting your own interest group that you have a strong interest in.

Gives you a chance to interact with people from varying backgrounds and with varying schedules - perhaps there are some healthcare workers and self-employed people who would love to go for a hike during the day? Or some people who would love to attend some event late at night and don't have to worry about waking up at the crack of dawn?
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:46 PM   #24
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One other idea: meetup.com is an interesting concept, where anyone can start a group about any topic (a Republican/Democrat group, a cooking group, mothers with kids group, dog owners group, hiking group, etc.).

Take a look to see what meetup groups are near your city. You only pay a fee if you start your own meetup group - it's free to create a profile. Some meetup groups ask for a tiny donation to help pay for the group expense (it's only $10/month that the group pays, so some groups ask for a mere $1 per person a few times a year to offset the fee). You might even be interested in starting your own interest group that you have a strong interest in.

Gives you a chance to interact with people from varying backgrounds and with varying schedules - perhaps there are some healthcare workers and self-employed people who would love to go for a hike during the day? Or some people who would love to attend some event late at night and don't have to worry about waking up at the crack of dawn?
+1

I joined about 20 meetup groups (hiking, dining, wine tasting, art, etc.) and have enjoyed the many activities I've done and the people I've met. I use it as my 'social director'.

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Old 09-22-2012, 07:28 PM   #25
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I cannot imagine feeling guilty. I earned my retirement. Wish it was sooner and that I had more money. I feel no guilt about being productive.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:05 PM   #26
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Much of the time, I end up feeling guilty, however. During the days of work, I would long for break time: time to just catch up on life, or do things that I wanted to do. Now that I'm in charge of my own time, I find it difficult to get things going. It is almost as if I did better under pressure. I feel guilty that I'm not accomplishing anything, but if I reflect on my previous employment, I can't say that I was significantly changing the world either.

It has been great to participate in activities that would have been difficult while working: a friend's mid-week wedding, visiting remote family members, etc., but when those activities are through, and there is time between activities, I get sad and wonder if I should return to work to occupy the down time!

I assume others may have felt this; I now live in a community of relatively early retirees (though most of them are about 20 years older than me). Everyone seems happy, and they claim that they couldn't imagine returning to work. I wonder if anyone has any opinions on how to make retirement a more positive experience (or if perhaps I should return to work).
Fulm, while I didn't retire as early as you did, I do somewhat understand what you are going through. I went at 51, and most of my friends were (and still are) in the w*rk force. I went from going full speed to having trouble getting myself motivated and going.

What I did was force myself to have one year of downtime, where I did a little traveling (but not a lot because I traveled for work), caught up on a few things around the house (but was mostly lazy), and in general took it easy.

After the year, I got some consulting work, and around the same time lined up a part time college level teaching gig. While the consulting work is done and gone, I've continued teaching. I do it not for the money (the pay isn't great), but more for keeping my mind busy and to have some sort of a schedule and commitment. Although it isn't perfect, it is mostly fun and I don't think of it as a j*b.

This is my long winded way of saying that (for me at least), it may not be important to w*rk, but it is important to have things to do. This is your opportunity to do things because you want to, not because your getting paid. That could be golf, it could be going to all the baseball games, it could be teaching, it could be volunteering, it could be having the nicest yard in the neighborhood, whatever.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:40 PM   #27
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I know (think) packrat was joking, but after a few months of reflecting on it, I think w*rk is actually a good thing. Personally, I think it would be great to have "just enough" good w*rk... and the problem for some people is that they have too much of it (or maybe too little). Hopefully, I'm not romanticizing as onward suggested.
I enjoy the satisfying parts of work. It's the dissatisfiers (deadlines, workplace uniforms, department meetings, mandatory training, inflexible hours, rush-hour commutes) that I object to.

And, yes, you are romanticizing.

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IFor some reason, it seems very difficult to come up with a "mission statement," and frankly, I don't know where to start.
I'm surprised that nobody has brought up Ernie Zelinski's Get-A-Life Tree!
Retirement Planning Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor: The Get-a-Life Tree: A Great Retirement Planning Tool!

I've had a blank copy on my desk for years, but I've never had the time to do anything with it...
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:45 AM   #28
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Thanks!

Hi -

I've been reading everyone's replies over the past several days, and I plan to continue to review them, and take some of the great suggestions. First, I'm very thankful for very sincere, helpful, and friendly responses. Some replies are uplifting enough to make me feel less guilty. Others contain good suggestions for things to do moving forward. Thanks to a great community!
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:56 AM   #29
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I enjoy the satisfying parts of work. It's the dissatisfiers (deadlines, workplace uniforms, department meetings, mandatory training, inflexible hours, rush-hour commutes) that I object to.

And, yes, you are romanticizing.
Darn it, Nords. Here I am, romanticizing about how with my building FI, I can wind down at w*rk stress free.

And then you remind us of the reality. I'm getting ready to go to w--- now, and have both that dreaded meeting and the commute. Thanks for the reality check.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:40 AM   #30
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I am willing to learn

Congratulations on your early retirement. At age 36 I would have been bored out of my mind if retired then. I am much older and not yet retired. I still work for someone who gives me deadlines. Maybe like someone suggested you can find fulfillment in volunteering your time. I can be your first student in learning how to retire early.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:38 AM   #31
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Hi fulm-

I retired this year at 44. I do little internet jobs that are deadlined and to be honest, I appreciate the days when I dont have a deadline! Thankfully i can choose to take the jobs or not. Im a retired real estate Broker so I still hold a license. Banks that get ready to foreclose on a house have me value their homes from the outside to see if they want to pursue a foreclosure or try to work with the homeowner. Anyway, it gives me some play money and isnt time consuming. I retired in May 2012 and I think the key is getting involved with other retired people OR semi retired people with some freedom. Do some traveling, meet new people. I live in St Louis and would LOVE to move to Florida where there are more retired people and sunny weather year round.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:27 PM   #32
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Darn it, Nords. Here I am, romanticizing about how with my building FI, I can wind down at w*rk stress free.
And then you remind us of the reality. I'm getting ready to go to w--- now, and have both that dreaded meeting and the commute. Thanks for the reality check.
Well, the anecdotal evidence suggests that once you're FI you have little to no tolerance for BS.

Here's the way the founder of this forum put it a few years ago:
How many of you can RE now, but are saving to raise your std of living?

He's been ER'd for a few years, too, and it's been a very long time since we've heard from him...
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:18 AM   #33
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Well, the anecdotal evidence suggests that once you're FI you have little to no tolerance for BS.

Here's the way the founder of this forum put it a few years ago:
How many of you can RE now, but are saving to raise your std of living?

He's been ER'd for a few years, too, and it's been a very long time since we've heard from him...
Nords, that's a good pointer and a good discussion.

I noticed one member was worried about investments going up a lot at that time (2006). They were right. This nags me a little since we've had a run up. Can I take a 30% right now if I RE'd and stick it out? I'm asking metaphorically. The math says "probably", the emotions say "give it a year or two to see how all this current crap in the world unwinds."

But realistically, if I'm going to be living on investments for 40 years, this will be a continuous theme.

OK, sorry didn't mean to hijack the thread.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:46 PM   #34
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Much of the time, I end up feeling guilty, however. . . . I feel guilty that I'm not accomplishing anything, but if I reflect on my previous employment, I can't say that I was significantly changing the world either.
Everyone has given you good ideas for how to keep busy which could/should address issues of boredom. However, you may also have to address the issue of self identity or self worth. In either your J*b or ER you need to feel like you are accomplishing something. I recommend some soul search when choosing something to do.
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