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Just FIREd
Old 07-15-2015, 04:05 PM   #1
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Just FIREd

Hi,

I have been lurking for several months and as of this week am now retired. I am 48 and have approx $1.5MM in net assets, including 457/401Ks and IRAs. I am single with no dependants. I'm mostly in cash and will spend the next month right-sizing my portfolio to about 50% stocks/33% GICS (a nice no vol option in my fairly large 457/401k as an alternative to bonds in this low-interest rate world)/rest in cash or cash-like instruments to be invested in stocks if/when market downturn occurs. In addition I have a traditional DB pension that kicks in at 57 and that will equal, inflation-adjusted, my recent NET salary. So even if I lose all my assets, I still have my state pension as an annuity-like stream of income at 57 (the pension plan is relatively well-funded). So I just need to get through the next 10 years or so.

I have been waiting/planning for this for YEARS. I had a countdown calendar! Was going to wait until retirement date and about six months ago when I hit a milestone asset value and realized I can invest VERY conservatively (because of the impending DB pension) and with my expenses well-budgeted I can just drop out. So I did! Things were so stressful at work and I no longer enjoyed it. Now, no more Sunday night texts or emails about critical projects or new-fangled ideas the boss came up with over the weekend. How I dreaded Sunday night! Last night I watched my first MLB all-star game since I was in college! Probably 30 years. Couldn't do it when working because they play the game so late on the east coast I simply couldn't stay up to watch the end. Now I can.

When I decided to quit a few months ago my boss asked me to stay and I agreed to stay until now. He offered a MUCH higher salary, different responsibilities; he tried everything. When I turned down his offer of a much bigger salary he was perplexed and pointed out that if I accept his offer I will have a much bigger pension (DB is based on 3 highest years). My response was that he is correct but it means that I need to stick around another 3 years! No way. My colleagues, virtually all of whom live paycheck-to-paycheck, were unable to figure me out. How could I leave a great salary and career? No one is/was able to comprehend that I saved and invested for nearly 30 years and didn't need to work anymore. How could they when they almost all refer to the last paycheck of the month as their 'rent' check. I highly doubt that I'll be 'friends' with my former workmates in a year from now. I hope so, but I doubt it. I have several true close friends, but not from work.

There are many projects I am looking forward to in my new life (and it IS a new life) and there are many I have planned for including moving away from my present high-cost urban lifestyle. The seriousness of FIRE in this community is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:09 PM   #2
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Congrats Pablo!!! I am right behind you (somewhere between 3 - 23 months).
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:10 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! I think you're going to fit in well here.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:23 PM   #4
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Just as an FYI.... you would not have to stay 3 years.... you could have stayed one and had the avg go up.... but then again, it is up to you to figure out if it is worth it...

Congrats on moving on...
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:25 PM   #5
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One year was too long!
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:38 PM   #6
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Hello Pablo, welcome.

I'm close in age at 49 with similar goals - you weren't the only teenager planning FI by age 50 back in 1985. I'm letting go on January 1, 2016 and have began telling a few key people just recently and am getting similar reactions from my peers. Nobody can believe it but a combination of a good income, planning, saving/investing and discipline (guts) to stay on course with your goal can make it work.

I was thinking the same thing watching the All Star game last night, I used to know every player on both teams and enjoyed it before I dedicated my life to work 31 years ago, I haven't seen a full game since the Twins won the world series in 1991. People who ask how you did it don't understand the sacrifices made to get there. Some of us do - you earned it.

Good wishes to you. I'll be running hard to the end and will join you come January.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:43 PM   #7
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Thanks. It is wonderful to wake up early, realize it, and go back to sleep.

The only reason I knew the players (was I ever as young as they all looked?) was due to my fantasy baseball league. Without that I'd be lost.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:07 PM   #8
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Pablo: You're my hero!! I feel 95% of the way you do. I do have some good friends here at work but am more than ready to slip out the back door.....
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:17 PM   #9
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Congrats, Pablo. I just moved to PT. It is amazing so I can just imagine how great it must be to be fully FIRED!
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:27 PM   #10
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My departure was quite sudden for everyone but me as my boss wanted to keep it quiet until the last week. He thought I would wise up and change my mind. Instead I wondered why I agreed to stay on for a few more months! I was mentally checked out as soon as I told him I was leaving.

Now that I am free it just feels like a vacation. Not a bad thing at all. I suspect it will take several weeks to get into the new 'rhythm'. Especially when I don't get the uneasy feeling of going back to work at the end of every vacation I've ever had.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:32 PM   #11
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I forgot to mention that in the weeks before my last work day I successfully applied for several high limit credit cards (I have a high credit rating) since I was concerned that I'd be rejected if I ever applied again without a job. I already have a few cards with no balances but I wasn't sure I'd be able to predict my needs 5 or 10 years from now so why not have more credit if they'll give it to me for no cost?
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:12 PM   #12
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Congrats and enjoy!
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:21 PM   #13
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Congrats, enjoy your new life!
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:58 AM   #14
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Congrats! The new world is your oyster!
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:45 AM   #15
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Congratulations Pablo !!!
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:41 AM   #16
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Congrats! Hopefully that is not a Greek pension!

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Old 07-17-2015, 12:03 PM   #17
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well done. Enjoy being the master of the rest of your life.
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Old 07-17-2015, 02:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pablo View Post
My colleagues, virtually all of whom live paycheck-to-paycheck, were unable to figure me out. How could I leave a great salary and career? No one is/was able to comprehend that I saved and invested for nearly 30 years and didn't need to work anymore. How could they when they almost all refer to the last paycheck of the month as their 'rent' check..
Unfortunately that is a widespread sad reality. I "get it" when folks can't get or find a better paying job, but when folks make more than the average for their family size I've always wondered why they would rather have a gizmo or gadget rather than TIME. Time is finite and oh so precious.

Welcome to your new life! I am one month and 2 days retired and my life is more fulfilling now than any 1 month and 2 day period at w*rk ! I wish the same level of joy and satisfaction to you.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:00 AM   #19
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Congratulations Pablo on winning the game, enjoy your free life of retirement.


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Old 07-18-2015, 09:44 AM   #20
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Congratulations Pablo on winning the game, enjoy your free life of retirement.
Yep. And this example, my friends, is how you avoid OMY Syndrome.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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