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Old 08-21-2010, 06:25 PM   #21
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The book is kind of pricey in Amazon $12.23. Hope they have it in county library.
Four bucks, used.

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Old 08-21-2010, 09:24 PM   #22
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How about trading the guilt in for a sense of triumph, that you cleverly front-loaded all the effort and misery into your first 40 years or so, and now have the remaining 40-50 years to do whatever the heck you want, once you figure out what that is? (Not dismissing your other concerns, just haven't seen others address this particular concern yet).

Amethyst
I appreciate you pointing this out. I guess I need to overall work harder trying to find positive angles about all this.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:51 PM   #23
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Hash out a reasonable post-retirement budget for your expenses. One that you and your wife would agree upon, includes reasonable health care costs, and excludes work/work travel expenses.
In an effort to do that I pulled together all our spending numbers from the past 12 months. It was a tedious task but I believe the result is relatively accurate since we use very little cash and virtually everything goes through either credit cards or direct payment from bank accounts. To my own surprise my earlier estimates were way off: over the past 12 months we only spent $37k, and that includes about $10k of what I might consider discretionary purchases. Now, for the post-retirement purposes I need to add the expense of at least one vehicle and health care, in addition to some extra money for hobbies and entertainment, as we will not be spending 60-70 hours per week working any more. Regardless, I imagine $55-60k might be a very generous estimate for what we need for maintaining the lifestyle we are accustomed to.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:17 AM   #24
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One option to consider is to do consulting or start your own business doing something you enjoy and working when you want to work. According to the authors of The Millionaire Next Door, "Interestingly, self-employed people make up less than 20 percent of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires."

Plus the tax advantages are a huge plus. Health insurance premiums may be a deductible expense. The amount you can tax defer in retirement plans is another plus.

You may not have to choose between a high stress job for a mega corp with long hours and no earned income at all.

Just a thought.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:15 AM   #25
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I can relate. I am ready to FIRE. I have toyed with going over the last 10 years because of the money we accumulated... but am sticking with our plan because I am very confident that I will be FI.

Fortunately, I am no longer doing the long work days.

I would recommend not making any rash decisions. Take your time. Do some analysis to determine your income needs and identify the funding gaps. It is easy to over estimate your spending needs by focusing on "rule of thumb" expenses based on income level.

Keep in mind when you stop working, certain expenses go away, but others will appear... and example would be paying the full medical premium for health insurance.

You may be at your highest earning potential (may be not) and working a couple of more years at your current job is probably less stress and effort than starting over at a new job or quitting and going back to work later.

Once you know your true (realistic projected) expense needs and have identified your funding gap for FIRE, buckle down on current spending and save.

Focus on managing your resources to achieve your goal rather than force-fit your goal into your resources (if possible).

I would recommend against taking on high risk to achieve high returns on investments.

IMO - sticking with tried and true, prudent, and conservative investment strategy is best for retail investors... it seems to yield better long-term results. I try to strike a balance between preservation of capital and growing assets.

If you think you are approaching FIRE in a couple of years, remember that traditional strategies for investments shift somewhat when one is going out of accumulation mode and into decumulation. There are several legitimate and workable variations on how to do it. This is an area where you should do some self education.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:30 AM   #26
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One option to consider is to do consulting or start your own business doing something you enjoy and working when you want to work. According to the authors of The Millionaire Next Door, "Interestingly, self-employed people make up less than 20 percent of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires."

Plus the tax advantages are a huge plus. Health insurance premiums may be a deductible expense. The amount you can tax defer in retirement plans is another plus.

You may not have to choose between a high stress job for a mega corp with long hours and no earned income at all.

Just a thought.
This is actually something I have always had in my mind as an option. It is definitely a possibility, as I believe that with my connections I could find plenty of work as a consultant. The few reasons, however, that make this option NOT so optimal solution:
- Working 50% of my previous hours would earn me only 10-20% of my previous income. This is due to the fact that the consulting gigs are primarily for technical experts and I am currently paid as an executive who leads teams of those experts.
- Due to the nature of my field, travel to the work site would be required for almost every consulting gig. With my current location this would mean that for example for a 3-day consulting job I would often be away from home for 4-5 days.
- Many companies do not like giving significant jobs to consultants who also work for their competitors, as they worry about their "secrets" leaking out. This means that there would very quickly be pressure from the company to take a full time job with them, which consequently would require relocation away from the area where we are living now.
- This one will make me sound a little small-minded, but I put it out here anyway: Moving into a much lower paying position or compensation level is much more socially acceptable if one moves to a entirely new field. Someone who says that after 25 years I am tired of working this field will get much more supportive nods than someone who indicates that he failed and burned out as an executive and wants to stay in the same field but go back to the level where he was 15 years ago.

In any case, if I end up SERing soon, I will very likely be offered various opportunities with different companies (current competitors), which I could always try to counter with an idea about consulting with them first. Even if the income drop will be huge, it would help both DW and I start adjusting to the idea of working less and living with lower income. Especially, since we will continue receiving health benefits from DW's company as long as she hangs on in her job, this seems like a natural option.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:13 PM   #27
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It looks like you are not mentally ready to leave your work. So don't.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:23 PM   #28
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By the way, as a purely technical consultant myself for many years, I have seen very few managerial consultants. Managers protect their own territory. The trail you are on gets narrower and narrower and those on it fend off others. I think you are kidding yourself about consulting.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:51 PM   #29
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It is definitely a possibility, as I believe that with my connections I could find plenty of work as a consultant. The few reasons, however, that make this option NOT so optimal solution
There is always starting a totally new business. The millionaire small business owners in the Millionaire Next Door that are in "dull normal" businesses like dry cleaning and scrap metal.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:37 PM   #30
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I am a year ahead of you, and have similar feelings about work. I am weighing quitting early, losing out on the lump sum and medical benefits, but keeping five years of my life. I like the Die Broke philosophy, i.e. you can't take it with you. My wife and I have very similar interests which helps with our planning. We think we would like to travel through Europe staying a monthly furnished rentals. We have had long vacations in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, and England and want to try out more places. We use public transportation and occassionally rent cars as needed. Oh I should mention, why I want out, it is similar to what you expressed. When I get a promotion or pay raise, I am left feeling empty (not thrilled like I used to be!). Running on the corporate treadmill is no longer my thing. Many of my co-workers (young and old) are still ultra competitive, want to look good to the boss, want to be seen to spend extra time at the office, go for the power lunches, dinners, bars with the guys. Leaves me wondering why they don't want to go home to their families. My job is not my life, my life is my family, and personal fulfillment. Granted, when I was younger, my job was my life, not my job is my means to make a living, that was the Die Broke gift to me what I read it in the 1990's. Quit your job today, in your mind, your job is a paycheck. A doctor friend of my parents, likes to tell a story about no one ever putting "I wish I had spent more hours at the office" on their tombstone.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:44 PM   #31
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It sounds like you and probably you and DW really need some time off.

At minimum take your vacation, really they aren't just a benefit for employees, employers benefit from having folks decompress.

The truth is if you haven't had more than week off in 16 years you really might be bored with a high status, high stress job. Assuming your Megacorp doesn't offer sabbatical is there anyway you can take a leave of absence for a few months? It will be a pretty good test to see if you could in fact be content to be a gardener, putter, home maker, or do you really need a second career.

If worse comes to worse, consider using the Family Medical Leave act to take 3 months off. There are enough loophole in the law that you can satisfy the letter of the law even if you violate the spirit. For instance you can go to a few orphanage in China, Southeast Asia while exploring the region. Or mom or dad has a real health issue but doesn't really need your presence for the full 3 months.
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