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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-14-2007, 02:57 PM   #21
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I've noticed that the main reaction to uncloaking is... apathy.
True, but only after a brief flurry of googling and zillowing. BTW, what is that large complex across the street from you?
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-14-2007, 03:36 PM   #22
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
True, but only after a brief flurry of googling and zillowing. BTW, what is that large complex across the street from you?
That would be our next-door neighbor, the sewage booster station for the plant across the gulch...
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-14-2007, 04:23 PM   #23
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
... googling and zillowing....

And Zabasearching...

http://www.zabasearch.com/
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-14-2007, 09:20 PM   #24
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Thank you everyone for responding to my introduction post. I was afraid no one would respond and I would feel unloved. Rather than separate reply's, here is a general reply to comments and questions.

I have considered foregoing employer medical coverage by retiring today at 47 instead of waiting until 50. I obtained a policy quote last year just to get an idea about costs. A high deductible policy probably would be appropriate since the last time I've taken a "sick day" was 37 years ago back in the 4th grade. Still, having employer provided medical coverage is very desirable. My current benefits and pension are with the University of California, which may have the most sound system in the country. This coverage is likely to change in October when we go to a different contractor (no longer UC). The details won't be known for a few months.

From a purely financial perspective, I could retire today and have a SWR that is greater than my current expenses (even if paying my own health coverage). However, as a conservative person who must depend entirely on myself, a cushion is desired. I do not know what will happen in the future (e.g., my mother is not very fiscally prudent and I may need to provide her with future funds). The size of this cushion is not known, but the perspectives from people in this forum are interesting.

There are alternatives that could work. For example, around August 1 of this year, I conceivably could go half-time and use a combination of sick leave and vacation time to take me to age 50. I may need to convince a psychiatrist that I'm "mentally unstable" and in need of medical leave. That shouldn't be too difficult. But seriously, there are various "sweet spots" in the next 3-5 years where ER could be timely.

No Nords, I have not read Scott Berkun's essays (except for the link you provided). However, I am quite familiar with the concept "employees don't leave jobs, they leave managers." My situation is complex. I have multiple managers, or multiple fleas biting me on the back (after all, we are a government organization). I have considered finding another position at my own organization, but mostly, I'm hoping that the person who is my official legal supervisor, but has nothing to do with my work, will leave.

I've been thinking about ER since I was 40, when a 49 year old member of my bicycle club said that he was about to retire. I never gave the subject much previous thought, but this got me thinking about leaving work sometime between 50 and 53. Hence, my desire to ER is not caused by my current toxic work environment, although this environment is certainly making me reevaluate my situation and see if I can hurry the process. So yes, dex, I believe the ER life will be much more enjoyable for me than the working life. Having never been there, though, I can't be certain.

In my present position, Coach, it would be difficult to take a leave of absence. However, I have considered this. My organization offers paid sabbaticals, but I then would be obligated to work at least two years following my return. If anything, I might take an unpaid leave of absence at 49 and then retire the day I returned at 50.

To answer your questions Ed_The_Gypsy, I've taken only 8 days of vacation in the last 15 years (no need to respond because I know what you will say). No. I have no immediate plans to move from the Bay Area. In terms of earthquakes, there are natural hazards everywhere and earthquakes do not worry me. And if you are interested, I do not have earthquake insurance. This is a decision based both on personal considerations and scientific judgement. To each his own, however.

Thank you DRiP Guy for the explanation about dryer sheets. That makes a lot of sense. If I was willing to fork over the money for dryer sheets in the first place, I'd reuse them too. I haven't seen the biggest ball of yarn either, although it's first on my list, right after Everest. No. I'm not someone from your work spoofing you, but perhaps we are long lost twins since we have so much in common.

I appreciate your (winnie, F M All, Martha) concerns about the google reference that includes my full name. Nords is correct that I'm knowledgeable about discussion boards and the internet ("I've been using the internet before any of you were even in diapers, or make that investing your 401's in diaper-based sector funds" ). I'm not a private person and items such as my salary are public information. There are risks in everything we do. The point that I was trying to make with the google reference was that my career has been built on a lot of effort and hard work. There is a lot of self worth here. ER will mean that this will be gone. It's not something I can easily get back if I don't like ER.

Still, I realize that each discussion board has it's own character and I don't see too many other people here who have revealed their full names. So I will consider altering my post.

As for my management, Nords, they are already familiar with my opinions. For example, in my own input to last years performance appraisal, when I was asked to list the problems I experienced during the year, I wrote, "[Management] is an arrogant hypocritical micromanaging organization that interferes with and hinders technical progress. They do not and in fact refuse to hold themselves accountable for their own actions. They hold themselves to different standards than they require of employees. Do as I say, not as I do." I received a 15% raise. Is their no justice? Recently, I communicated to my supervisor, "I can't believe management can be so incompetent and fiscally irresponsible." I'm going for the 20% raise this year.

Yes jphripjah, you're correct. It's possible that I could be posting under a false name. I don't know how to alleviate this paranoid schizophrenic delusion quite valid concern of yours. Unfortunately, I don't have a tattoo. Hmmm ... I know. My lucky number is 3. Now how would I know this if I wasn't me?

Thank you all for your responses. They were great.
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-15-2007, 08:49 AM   #25
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Shawn. It is time to take at least a month off from work and assess your options. Because you have not taken vacation time I would think it would be helpful to try taking a chunk of time off.
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-15-2007, 05:02 PM   #26
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn

I have considered foregoing employer medical coverage by retiring today at 47 instead of waiting until 50.
Only you know when the time is right and for you that time is now. Enjoy FIRE and welcome to the club.
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-15-2007, 05:48 PM   #27
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Shawn,

You could be writing for me as well. I used to work for a similar employer, and had similar issues with management. Those issues led me to leave, but I remained in the same retirement system. Iím also at a similar age, with somewhat similar financial circumstances, and facing similar desires and choices.

Personally, I intend to work the remaining few years, for one so as not to lose the health benefits, etc., of the retirement system. I recognize that the shine of those benefits is being tarnished, but they are especially valuable to an early retiree (e.g., age 50). From what I hear of your situation, I would suggest that you relax and take it easier at work, try not to take things personally as much, make a few more contributions to society via work, and generally do what it takes to make it through the last few years to 50 with your head held high.

I would also encourage you to think about taking some time off. A years leave of absence, for example, would likely do wonders. Since you are thinking about cutting the cord now anyway, there's no down-side to an extended LOA. Just think of what you could do...

Cheers.
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-15-2007, 05:51 PM   #28
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Beautiful reply.

I can add nothing at this point, except that I wish you well, and I hope you can figure it all out.

Seems like you are both "II" and "FI" (intellectually and financially independent ), but even though you are taking the opportunity of that position that a lot of people fantasize about to kind of stick your thumb in the eye of the establishment, a possibly more ultimately rewarding and satisfying (and reputation preserving) course might be to look into the Berkley thing -- or, since there can't be too many in your field, perhaps you can get a grant/contract to do exactly and only the parts of your job that you love, selling your services back to your current employer, but refuse to include the parts you hate in the agreement...?

In other words, create your own job, and propose it back to your bosses bosses?
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-15-2007, 10:05 PM   #29
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Quote:
Shawn. It is time to take at least a month off from work and assess your options.
Llsten to Martha!

Go to Mazatlan for 30 days. I was there for 10 and had to be forced to come back to work. Wife said something about a mortgage and other foolish prattle--but I don't think you have those distractions.

When you get there, attend some of the expat functions:

http://www.whatsupmaz.com/folder_06/...13618&Origin=0

Cheers,

gypsy
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 01-15-2007, 10:32 PM   #30
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

Taking a 30 day vacation is the best thing you can do IMHO. Reflect on your situation and get your priorities straight. Read books on ER - there are alot of really good ones out there, and you'll have 30 days to read 'em all! I fear that it may be a huge shock to go from working nonstop (as you describe) to farting around in your pajamas for days on end. You could get seriously depressed! I wouldn't, but maybe you would? At any rate, I like the idea of easing into FIRE with half time - seems like the best of both worlds for a type-a 'er like you. Whatever you decide, enjoy the journey.
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER
Old 02-03-2007, 02:00 AM   #31
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Re: Introduction: Pondering ER

ave you read Scott Berkun's essays? You'd appreciate his perspective on a number of areas, but here's his advice for a bad boss:
"The best advice for having a bad manager is to seek other employment. Donít undervalue your happiness: itís impossible to be happy if you work directly for someone you canít stand. It may be difficult to find another job, but if you are willing to make compromises in other areas (salary, position, project, location, etc.) it will certainly be possible. Being happy and underpaid is a much better way to spend a life than unhappy and anything else."

~i like this!
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