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Houston-area Engineer, age 61, playing "OMY."
Old 05-16-2015, 10:23 AM   #1
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Houston-area Engineer, age 61, playing "OMY."

Greetings, new friends!

Though I'm an engineer and a numbers guy, I'm also an amateur singer in a gospel quartet. And Myers-Briggs (you remember Myers-Briggs, right?) says I'm more intuitive than sensing, and more feeling than thinking. I think those traits are unusual for engineers.

My wife retired in April of 2014 at age 59 and she is loving it. She is a brilliant technical person who burned out after getting promoted to the first level of management.

The original plan was for me to retire at about the same time. I still like my job, though, having managed to get out of management and back to being an individual contributor. So I decided to work "one more year," which would have been last month.

Around last November I began making noises about retiring. My colleagues said, "You're 60? I'd have guessed early 50s." They all like the support they get from me, and they'd like me to stay forever.

Anyway, I went on a vacation just before Thanksgiving, and I realized I couldn't imagine not getting up and going to the plant. So I decided to stay "one more year," meaning until about April 2016.

Already I'm wondering whether that's the right timing.

I'm pretty sure the finances are OK for me to go any time. I put our assets and budget (with a 15% contingency) into Fidelity's retirement planning tool, and it says there's over a 90% chance that we won't run out of money until age 114. (My wife was crushed. She said she was counting on making it to 115!)

So here are the thoughts that go through my mind.
I hate the 4:45 AM alarm clock, but,

Once I get to work, I like what I do most days, but,

I know there are other things I'd also like to do more, if I had time, but,

I get every other Friday off, plus 10 holidays and 5 weeks vacation, but,

Even with all those days off, I'm still behind on home maintenance projects, but,

They pay me pretty well, but,

There's more to life than money, but,

The work on my plate for 2016 through 2019 would be really interesting, but,

In 2019 I'll turn 66! etc., etc., etc.
I think every day about how to know when the time will be right. So I'll probably be posting in some threads about excuses not to retire, and the like.

Kind regards,

Dave
"Slow But Steady"
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:28 AM   #2
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You and all the other OMY sufferers should stop worrying. The Grim Reaper will be along someday to 'cure' you!
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Slow But Steady View Post
Greetings, new friends!

I think every day about how to know when the time will be right. So I'll probably be posting in some threads about excuses not to retie, and the like.

Kind regards,

Dave
"Slow But Steady"
If you are posting here, the time is probably right.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:23 AM   #4
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OMY. Know it well. But when my mother died 2 years ago I decided life is short! Even though she was 93, I thought time was more important to me than an extra $100 a month.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:24 AM   #5
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I think if you're happy working, you should do that. It sounds like you're financially ready, but if the thought of staying at home isn't appealing, why change it? This assumes that your wife is cool with it too. :-)


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Old 05-16-2015, 11:37 AM   #6
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You and all the other OMY sufferers should stop worrying. The Grim Reaper will be along someday to 'cure' you!
This is certainly true. If you could provide his exact arrival date, it would aid in my planning process.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:43 AM   #7
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I understand that life is short. My dad has Alzheimer's. He was a gifted engineer, and now he can't remember whether he ate breakfast or not.

And I am indeed happy working, but I'm wondering whether I would be even happier not working.

I've promised my clients that I'll stay until April. I'm leaning toward going at that time, but, then again, I was saying that last year at this time, too.

It's a tough problem, isn't it?
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
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Is there a possibility for you to work less than 5 days per week? Or less than 8 hours per day? I switched to 6hr. days last July and will continue that until 12-31-16 - the extra 2 hrs. off per day is amazing!!!!
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:04 PM   #9
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For me it was close friends passing away. I did not want to be at that stage and say 'Wow! I'm glad I went to work yesterday!'

My BIL's wife passed away about two years after he retired. They had several 'trips of a lifetime' planned.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:43 PM   #10
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After my sister passed away at 57 years old two years ago and at the funeral I was the oldest left in the family, I saw the light.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:51 PM   #11
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This is certainly true. If you could provide his exact arrival date, it would aid in my planning process.
I don't know the exact date but I do know when he does arrive you won't be wishing you hadn't retired so early...
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:22 PM   #12
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Is there a possibility for you to work less than 5 days per week? Or less than 8 hours per day? I switched to 6hr. days last July and will continue that until 12-31-16 - the extra 2 hrs. off per day is amazing!!!!
My commute is almost 2 hours round trip, so working fewer hours per day isn't helpful.

If I could work 3 ten-hour days for 75% of my salary, it would make it much easier. It's a really big company, though, and that doesn't really fit their model. I've been considering asking about it, though.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:51 PM   #13
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It can't hurt to ask about flexible work schedules, especially if you're financially ready to retire and are considering options. Could you telecommute on some days? Just saving the 2 hour commute would be nice.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:58 PM   #14
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My commute is almost 2 hours round trip, so working fewer hours per day isn't helpful.

If I could work 3 ten-hour days for 75% of my salary, it would make it much easier. It's a really big company, though, and that doesn't really fit their model. I've been considering asking about it, though.

I have had offers to work in the Galleria before, but refuse to do so since the commute is about that long each way....

Have you tried going in at a different time... usually you can take off 15 minutes of an hour commute if you do not go rush hour...
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:34 AM   #15
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I'm already leaving the house between 5:15 and 5:30, so I drive the speed limit or higher all the way. It's about 45 miles, though, so it takes me about 50 minutes in the morning and a bit longer in the afternoon. I normally arrive at the plant a little after 6 and I try to leave at 4.

I do control systems work for a large chemical plant, so working remotely is difficult.

I probably just need to get used to the idea of leaving this time next year.
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:11 PM   #16
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Don't know if this will help the decision or not, but......May 1 was my one year anniversary of retiring. Like you, I had been going throught the OMY syndrome for a while. I enjoyed my job, the people I was working with, etc., etc. until we got a Upper Management team and the work climate changed. That was when I knew it was time to pull the plug, and I haven't regretted it for one minute.

There have a few tempting offers, but I am enjoying my projects, being able to sleep in, and - possibly most importantly - not having to deal with the Houston traffic.
Just remember ... If you are enjoying yourself, tHere really are no wrong choices at this point.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:24 PM   #17
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You and all the other OMY sufferers should stop worrying. The Grim Reaper will be along someday to 'cure' you!
Excellent! Thanks for the laugh.
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:42 PM   #18
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I'm already leaving the house between 5:15 and 5:30, so I drive the speed limit or higher all the way. It's about 45 miles, though, so it takes me about 50 minutes in the morning and a bit longer in the afternoon. I normally arrive at the plant a little after 6 and I try to leave at 4.

I do control systems work for a large chemical plant, so working remotely is difficult.

I probably just need to get used to the idea of leaving this time next year.

Yea, if you live that far away from work you are kinda stuck....

The temp firm wanted me to work about 40 miles from where I live (not the Galleria area) and I convinced the company I was not the right person for the job I told them the truth, that they had made a bad investment and should abandon trying to fix it... but to convert to a much simpler system... you do not make a good impression telling people they just wasted $2 mill....
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Slow But Steady View Post
My commute is almost 2 hours round trip, so working fewer hours per day isn't helpful.

If I could work 3 ten-hour days for 75% of my salary, it would make it much easier. It's a really big company, though, and that doesn't really fit their model. I've been considering asking about it, though.
I was something like you, going from a department head to an individual contributor and enjoying that much more. However, my commute going thru two major construction projects in DFW area convinced me to finally retire a few years ago. Can't imagine the Houston traffic is any better, so use that as your rationale.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:40 AM   #20
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pull the chute and get out of Houston - you won't regret it


life is short - take that oil money and move somewhere nice, I did


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