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I just can't do it
Old 05-06-2018, 06:39 PM   #1
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I just can't do it

Joined this group about a dozen years ago. In that time our portfolio has more than doubled and obviously there is now that much less time to support ourselves in retirement. You can look at my past posts, but in a nutshell:

mid 50's 1 earner family no pension or retirement benefits/health insurance
but we have lived frugally and have a 1% SWR (maybe 1.5% if I push it) even paying for health insurance and taxes

So why am I still doing this? I am starting to think it is a sickness.
Work is not that bad and knowing that I COULD leave at any time helps take the edge off.

I had come up with a date in 2020 for stupid reasons but I guess that is something.

I suppose it cannot be that bad or I would stop but even writing this I am kind of scared. But also disappointed at myself for being such a baby. Even got my wife on board and she now asks why I am still working.

Were there others who were stuck and how did they get past it?
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:46 PM   #2
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Have you tried to plan what type of activities will fill your time in retirement?
From another angle, what stuff would like to do now, but can't get to it due to working full time?
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:00 PM   #3
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From another standpoint.. what do you give up when you leave your job?

Status? Do you have a sense of self-worth from your title, your role/responsibilities - feeling needed, expert, skilled, etc. Do you somewhat define yourself by what you do?

What do you avoid (at home?) by staying working?

You've been FI for long enough and you know rationally your "return on investment" of your time at work, at this point, is meaningless financially. You are just running up the score at this point. Sure, your kids will get a larger inheritance, but with your planned WD that's already healthier than most. So, it's not the money at all and if you think it is that's just rationalizing (IMO).

In all seriousness, you might want to find a therapist to talk to. You're stuck somehow. I'd hate to see you stay stuck for another 2, or 5, or 10 years. Life is too short.

Can you even maybe try a leave of absence for a few months, a test drive?
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firewhen View Post
I suppose it cannot be that bad or I would stop but even writing this I am kind of scared. But also disappointed at myself for being such a baby. Even got my wife on board and she now asks why I am still working.

Were there others who were stuck and how did they get past it?
Just don't worry.
When it's your time, you'll know it.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
From another standpoint.. what do you give up when you leave your job?

Status? Do you have a sense of self-worth from your title, your role/responsibilities - feeling needed, expert, skilled, etc. Do you somewhat define yourself by what you do?

What do you avoid (at home?) by staying working?

You've been FI for long enough and you know rationally your "return on investment" of your time at work, at this point, is meaningless financially. You are just running up the clock at this point. Sure, your kids will get a larger inheritance, but with your planned WD that's already healthier than most. So, it's not the money at all and if you think it is that's just rationalizing (IMO).

In all seriousness, you might want to find a therapist to talk to. You're stuck somehow. I'd hate to see you stay stuck for another 2, or 5, or 10 years. Life is too short.

Can you even maybe try a leave of absence for a few months, a test drive?
Thanks for this. I have thought about seeing a therapist. Nothing about being at home. Believe it or not I think it is about the money. I just have to get past that, especially the health insurance. I am fine with giving up the salary but I will hate having to spend ~$25,000 per year on health insurance. I think I will stick with the 2020 and the 2 years will give me time to work up the nerve. How did I come up with 2020? That is when I will have 35 years at the maximum earnings for social security. Crazy right? and if I have 33 years the check would probably be about $100 lower? Assuming social security is not means tested away by then.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for this. I have thought about seeing a therapist. Nothing about being at home. Believe it or not I think it is about the money. I just have to get past that, especially the health insurance. I am fine with giving up the salary but I will hate having to spend ~$25,000 per year on health insurance. I think I will stick with the 2020 and the 2 years will give me time to work up the nerve. How did I come up with 2020? That is when I will have 35 years at the maximum earnings for social security. Crazy right? and if I have 33 years the check would probably be about $100 lower? Assuming social security is not means tested away by then.
Can you manage your taxable income downwards in order to qualify for ACA subsidies, which could lower your 25k estimate by quite a bit?
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:14 PM   #7
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How long ago did you reach the point of FI that you wanted? Maybe you need time to digest the feeling of being financially secure?

Can you start taking some long vacations and/or start to incorporate those things that you are looking forward to in retirement.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:16 PM   #8
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Aerides makes good points, and asks the right questions. Not too much else to add, except this:

It sounds as if you've convinced yourself, on a rational level, of what you believe to be the right course of action, but you might be daunted, at an emotional level, by the magnitude of the change you're contemplating.

If that's so, then one of two approaches could help.

One approach would be to break down a vague but dauntingly large change into the concrete and the real - e.g., imagining, visually, the detailed scenes which would play out. Visually imagining the details of handing in your letter of resignation, etc. The actual concrete actions involved in a change are rarely as daunting as the amorphous tide of emotion they can engender.

Another approach, almost the opposite, is to imagine nothing, think nothing, feel nothing, but simply act, quickly, far too quickly for thought or emotion to catch up, and then let thought and emotion catch up later. E.g., if you know what course you wish to pursue, then on a given day, simply set your feet in motion, without thinking, to walk over to your manager, do it immediately with no chance even to plan what to say, and let your instincts handle the conversation before your conscious planning mind can catch up. If you have ever done this "acting before thinking," you will know how. It is the way people manage to jump into a cold lake.

Perhaps you've already tried one or both of these approaches - but if not, perhaps they could break up the logjam you're facing. Good wishes. Life is short.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:22 PM   #9
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It all basically comes down to how you would like to spend your time for your remaining years on this Earth. If you enjoy your work, and can't think of anything you'd rather do than keep working, then by all means, keep doing it. If, on the other hand, you would rather spend your remaining time pursuing interests (whatever those may be) other than what you do now for your job, then retire. It's hard for me to relate to your dilemma, because I couldn't wait to retire, and did so as soon as I was financially able to do so. I've been retired for 8+ years now (I retired at age 54 1/2), and I've had so many great experiences these last 8 years that I never would have had, were I still working. So, for me, it was absolutely the right decision.

At some point, time definitely becomes more valuable than accumulating more $$, at least for many of us.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:44 PM   #10
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Change is hard. Is downshifting to part-time an option? Three-day weekends every week?
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:49 PM   #11
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^ exactly what I was thinking. I know a guy I worked with and he will have a hard time retiring also. He is in love with his status and title would be my guess. He just can't give it up and doesn't know how too. LOL

He will be one that will die in his chair at the office. If that is what some want and they are happy go for it. I love my job and make a lot of money but I didn't want to be owned by the place I worked.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:08 PM   #12
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+1 with the part time work option....


But, do not feel bad about working.... I actually enjoyed what I was doing in the end... sometimes I was bored, but was able to surf the net or even take a nap every now and than.... (boss did not complain since I got everything done).... was finally let go and then did some temp work and did some of it part time...
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:23 PM   #13
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Just don't worry.
When it's your time, you'll know it.
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:41 AM   #14
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Many of your points strike a cord with me. I remember when I went from working for MegaCorp to working independently from home. I threw up on my last day. The security of going to that building every day was like a blanket. Even though I am making 3X the money working independently, that security blanket is huge. I am now working part time from Italy. Having to work part time is irritating and makes my RE way easier to commit to. Good luck
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:52 AM   #15
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Re: the health insurance. I went from a fully employer-paid insurance for my wife and me to full responsibility to pay ourselves when we moved to Switzerland. The cost of about $22K USD/year is just part of our budget now and I don't think about it versus what I had before. It is a reasonable cost, considering what we get in return.

Good luck with your decision; but as joeea has said, you'll know when it is time. Being FI is the goal, moving to the RE step is a nice option.

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Old 05-07-2018, 03:54 AM   #16
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I am also in a situation where I only need a 1.5% WR. I get a lot of comfort from that. RE'd a year ago.
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FI is much more important than ER
Old 05-07-2018, 06:07 AM   #17
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FI is much more important than ER

No need to apologize for your 'decisionless decision' to keep working. If you enjoy it, and it isn't preventing you from pursuing other activities that you'd enjoy more (cf. post #9 by RAE), you might as well keep at it.

FWIW, I retired over five years ago and don't miss work one bit. But we are all different, and I don't believe that anyone hesitating about retirement needs therapy.
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firewhen View Post
Joined this group about a dozen years ago. In that time our portfolio has more than doubled and obviously there is now that much less time to support ourselves in retirement. You can look at my past posts, but in a nutshell:

mid 50's 1 earner family no pension or retirement benefits/health insurance
but we have lived frugally and have a 1% SWR (maybe 1.5% if I push it) even paying for health insurance and taxes

So why am I still doing this? I am starting to think it is a sickness.
Work is not that bad and knowing that I COULD leave at any time helps take the edge off.

I had come up with a date in 2020 for stupid reasons but I guess that is something.

I suppose it cannot be that bad or I would stop but even writing this I am kind of scared. But also disappointed at myself for being such a baby. Even got my wife on board and she now asks why I am still working.

Were there others who were stuck and how did they get past it?
I read the Obituaries every day and saw peeps younger than me checking out on a regular basis. It makes you appreciate the time you have even more. Don't wait too long to smell the roses!!
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:20 AM   #19
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Agree with those who say it is your choice, no need to apologize. Seeing all the folks who have FIRE'd folks with lesser finances that you have might make you feel "guilty" about not taking the step. But it is really your choice. If you are happy where you are now, do not sweat it - you will know when you are ready.

I like my job, but With Meagcorps' ever-increasing layoffs I was prepared to be forced into retirement 6 years ago. We just continued LBYM and testing living on our planned after-retirement budget. 2 years ago I started my "glide path", and during this time, even though making extremely good money, my time became more important as I started planning for post-retirement activities. At this point, while I still like my job, and have been put on a high-profile project that I could choose to milk for at least another year, I am very ready to go.

So relax, think about it, but do not let others either real or on the internet make you think you are doing something wrong. Best of luck with your eventual decision!
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:21 AM   #20
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Lot of good replies before me. I can only add that yours is an emotional issue, not a financial issue. You just need to get comfortable with the situation of not working and not having that security blanket of work and the provided insurances. I am an engineer and have high self confidence, so I look at things logically and I was able to make the choice to retire based on ability to execute my plan. I did not dislike my work, I just have too many things I want to do outside of work. So the desire to leave employment was stronger than the security of employment.

Look at your numbers, and with your plan be able to see that you are working only for an emotional security. Get past that and you can retire and then enjoy life away from work. As many have stated, at some point in the future you will not have the health or possibly mental capacity to do the things you enjoy now. More money can't buy back that time lost.

But if you do keep working, at least spend some of that money on nice stuff. See the blow that dough thread for some examples.
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