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Old 10-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #21
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I am not in denial. I freely admit I have been doing it. When I first joined the forum in 2006, I had calculated that I had enough for a decent retirement. I was FIRE ready and my original name was Soon2B.

Unfortunately, MIL broke her hip and FIL was diagnosed with Alzheimer's which would have made me a full time caregiver to them. I requested a change to 2B when it was obvious I was going to keep on keeping on.

Following my FIL's death in Oct 2011, I have had no reason to keep working. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately, my job is very low stress and not very demanding. I usually only come in 4 days per week. I am paid a small fortune IMHO for what I consider very easy requirements. I consider myself a border line slacker. The scary part is I'm considered one of the more dependable people in meeting goals and having the required quality of work.

As for which one of us retires first, you better be leaving soon. My resignation date is set in stone. I will transition off any project I'm on but not go on for more that a few weeks.
I must confess I have not saved enough money for DF, DM's LTC if it comes to that. I still plan to RE in 2 to 10 months.

I also have a well paid job which does not require too much work. It is stressful though - a toxic management & political env.. I sometimes wonder if I *really* want to RE if my job stress is removed (unrealistic).
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:07 PM   #22
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I jut saw this in a Salon interview with David Graeber and thought it fit:

"The idea is always that given the choice between four-hour days, and nine or ten-hour days with SUVs, iPhones and eight varieties of designer sushi, we all collectively decided free time wasn’t really worth it. This also ties into the “service economy” argument, that nobody wants to cook or clean or fix or even brew their own coffee any more, so all the new employment is in maintaining an infrastructure for people to just pop over to the food court, or Starbucks, on their way to or from work."

Salon.com

Bit by bit DH and I have been relearning how to save money, do more things for ourselves and it does allow us to work at making a living a lot less and yet keep the same basic standard of living but with a lot more free time.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:24 PM   #23
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Recently, I made the decision to retire a year or more earlier than previously planned, because the stress is affecting my health and happiness. I know we will need to lower our budget a little, but we will still be able to do most things we want to do. Our tastes are not extravagant anyway. My husband retired last year and I can see how much healthier and happier he is in a few short months. So next year, I will join him.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:25 PM   #24
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I ask the same question over and over these days. Should I quit my stressful job now so that I can enjoy my life with less money in my retirement fund?
I'm endlessly working through a variant of this one. I've got a high paying job so we're slamming money away faster than I ever imagined possible. I'm cruising to be done at 50. Only problem is that the job seems to have ever-growing political drama that I simply abhor.

I often wonder if I should downshift, find something I enjoy more, save less and be done at 53 or 55 instead.

My brother and I joke about "grim determination" being a critical part of financial independence. At some point, however, happiness has to become part of the equation…
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:10 PM   #25
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So the question is how much are you willing to sacrifice for the luxury of time? Sorry for the length of this but I am curious if anyone has thought about stuff like this.
Thought about it, and did it.
Similar situation... health (cancer) and heredity (Alzheimers)...

25 years ago... age 53. Short history here:
Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement

May have left some $$$ on the table, but never, for one minute, regretted it.
Life is good, and gets better every day.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:01 PM   #26
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By retiring at 52 instead of 55, I gave up a huge sum, between pension value, stock options, RSUs, salary, and bonus. It was worth every dime. And the upshot is I haven't sacrificed anything. I "thought" I needed to work to 55 just because that was some arbitrary age when megacorp bumped the pension, vested your options, etc. Once I did the math, and it was clear I could retire with no impact on lifestyle, I was gone.

As others have said, we've had more time to pay attention to expenses. So it's been easy to cut many things without sacrificing at all. Not only do we spend less on food, but I get the creative outlet of cooking something from scratch everyday. I spend less on repairs and get the satisfaction of learning new skills. That has left even more money for travel, hobbies, home improvements, entertainment, and other things that bring us happiness. So it "feels" like our lifestyle has improved significantly more than just looking at spending figures.

Someone said there are degrees of sacrifice, and I agree with that. I probably would not have pulled the trigger if the answer was 50% lower. At 75%... I don't know; maybe. 85%... no problem; I could make that work. I do think it's extremely important to compare before/after spending figures and not income. Many people make the mistake of thinking they need to replace their income, or some high percentage of it. So many things just go away automatically like payroll taxes, federal taxes, savings, commuting, clothing, dry cleaning, car expenses, expensive lunches, etc. We also paid off the mortgage and watched our youngest graduate from college. Our expenses in retirement are only about 40% of our final household income, and we could easily cut that to 30% if needed.

I'm just glad I didn't "sacrifice" three years of my life for a pile of money I didn't need. Life is short and highly uncertain. Don't waste it building a buffer you don't need, especially if you dislike your job and/or have family history of health problems.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:07 AM   #27
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I left work about about 2 years earlier than the original plan (56 instead of 58). I've always worked and earned my own way, so this was a big step for me - giving up up a reliable and healthy paycheck. It has only been a couple of months, but I haven't missed work one bit - I've been too busy. So far, no regrets!
DH will joins me in 21 months! He is counting the days.


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Old 10-20-2014, 09:35 AM   #28
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I ponder and struggle with the question of cut back on work now, or keep working hard and retire fully sooner. I think the calculation is much "simpler" if you have a disease or non-avoidable circumstance that forces your hand.

Basically the question comes down to "How wealthy do I want to be", and how much time/health do I want to gamble on attaining it. My biggest fear is getting close to my number, then getting sick/hurt. So far, I've chosen to work multiple jobs and kill myself to get ahead, I'd like to see a payoff on the backend.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:39 AM   #29
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I thought about 50 then 55. Now will be 57 in March, so I am thinking a lot harder but the decision is coming more naturally. It's a process and I think it's easier to resolve with a little (but not too much) time.


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Old 10-21-2014, 03:28 AM   #30
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Fortunately or maybe unfortunately, my job is very low stress and not very demanding. I usually only come in 4 days per week. I am paid a small fortune IMHO for what I consider very easy requirements. I consider myself a border line slacker. The scary part is I'm considered one of the more dependable people in meeting goals and having the required quality of work.
That sounds awesome. May I ask what you do for a living? I want in.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:13 AM   #31
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Beside lower expenses, one other mitigating factor I have found to working less hours at a real job are all the little extra low stress, kind of fun (to me anyway) ways to make extra money with more free time. I have a friend who ERed and showed me a bit how to do this, plus I have found more ideas from assorted forums, blogs and youtube videos. Rebates, contests, reward programs, sign up bonuses, frequent flyer miles, cash back cards, affiliate portals, newsletter special offers, etc. all add up. October is turning out to be a good month. Just for the first 3 weeks in October, so far I am at almost $2k in cash, gift cards, and free or deeply discounted merchandise value just doing odds and ends stuff in my spare time with ideas from sites like fatwallet, Reddit and just general web surfing, and this does not include our hobby business income.
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