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Kia ora from New Zealand
Old 09-15-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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Kia ora from New Zealand

And please no mention of the America's Cup after Oracle's impressive win this morning :-)

I'm Annie and like most of you (I'm guessing) stumbled across this site while searching for The Definitive Answer To What The Heck To Do.

I'm 53, and I think faced with too many options...first up, I like my job. I work for a government organisation with some amazingly funny and clever people, I get paid very well, and the job is incredibly interesting. The downside is, it's shift work.

Although most shifts are okay, the night shifts just take it out of me and as a result I am almost always tired and struggling to catch up on sleep. It's not helping my health, my stress levels, or frankly my weight. It also stops me from being able to plan ahead, travel when I want to, or see much of my family.

We've got a good investment portfolio (7 rental properties) and they bring us in around $45k per year. This is enough to live on, although it's tight. We've got a good net worth of over a million - unrealised, as it's tied up in property - but accessible if we wanted to start eating into capital gradually. Property prices in NZ are increasing well above inflation levels so we think we probably have three or four years of double digit gains yet to be made before the market slows.

Anyway so I'm in this big swirling dilemma at the moment...retire or not? There are so many fears to be faced but I think the biggie is the loss of social interaction which may come if I quit work.

Plus, a heck of a lot of my identity is wrapped up in what I do for a living. I am reluctant (scared?) to lose that.

And as well, I love buying new handbags :-)

Looking forward to becoming part of your community!

Annie
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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Welcome, Annie. I hope someday to visit your country. My sister-in-law and her partner went about ten years ago, and they raved about the nice people and the beautiful land.
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Thank you
Old 09-15-2013, 04:41 PM   #3
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Thank you

Thanks Gumby, it is a very cool place to live and most of us are lovely :-)
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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Plus, a heck of a lot of my identity is wrapped up in what I do for a living. I am reluctant (scared?) to lose that.
That will end at some point anyway. That doesn't mean you should go now, but you certainly need to know how you will cope psychologically when the job isn't there, and it's probably best to start working on that before it becomes a looming train coming at you.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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welcome Annie! You've come to the right place.

thanks for a very funny post. Totally understand what you're going through, especially about buying bags.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:36 PM   #7
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Hi Annie and welcome! I've just spent 50 some odd days with the world's best navigator, who is of course a Kiwi! Will have to dig up the picture she posted that says "owned by an American, but New Zealand got us there!"

And agree, your home country is lovely, but I've not been there since 2006 and am way overdue!

I have a lot of nurse friends who are kinda in your boat--they like the work, but the schedule is a killer. Any chance you can keep working with the same organization, but move into a job with more conventional hours? Or even part time? Just to keep you in handbags a little longer!
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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+1 NZ is high on my bucket list of place to see also, never heard a bad thing about visiting there from dozens of peoples I've talked. The 3 Kiwis I've known fairly well, were all delightful.

One of the common phenomena observed on this forum is the closer you get to financial independence the less tolerance you have for the bad aspects of a job. Many perhaps most of us have retired from jobs which we generally liked. When you really need the money you can tolerate a lot of BS, but once you don't need the money the size of your BS bucket shrinks dramatically. Once it spills overs the top of the bucket most of end up quitting quickly.

Since the night shift are the things that you hate about the job figure out how to get rid of them or at the very least reduce them dramatically. Now I am sure there are all types of fairness issues, and reasons why you have to do nights shifts, and the disruption it will cause the organization yada yada. But none of that is really your concern. Once you have achieved financial independence the power shifts from the employer to the employee. Use this power shift to make your job and life better.

I would approach management and tell them that this is what you want and need regarding the night shifts. I'd make a point of putting the request in a email and also talking the boss. If nothing is done in some reasonable period of time. Then your second meeting is more of demand. "I have enough money than I can retire now, but I like working here, but I can't handle the night shifts so it is either you find somebody to cover my nights, or you find someone to cover my nights, AND my day shifts because I'm leaving. Here is my notice." Plus make it known that if you do leave that your bosses boss,or HR will find that you made this request X number of months ago and nothing was done.

Once you are FIRE, you can't really be fired.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:41 PM   #9
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Here you go! Knew you'd get a laugh. And Kia Ora is also prominently written elsewhere on our vehicle!

image-3504318085.jpg
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by annienz View Post
We've got a good investment portfolio (7 rental properties) and they bring us in around $45k per year. This is enough to live on, although it's tight. We've got a good net worth of over a million - unrealised, as it's tied up in property - but accessible if we wanted to start eating into capital gradually.
Is that $45k AFTER you take out funds to set aside for the inevitable repair, upkeep, maintenance, and vacancies for your rentals? Or is the $45k just your gross rent minus real estate taxes, insurance, and utilities? If the later, I'm afraid you'll need to keep working to set aside some more funds for these unavoidable (and eventual) needs, lest you be up against a severe cash crunch with no way to fund it outside of an expensive emergency line of credit.


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it is a very cool place to live and most of us are lovely :-)
I had the amazing fortune of spending 30 days in NZ in 2006/2007, traveling all over North and South Island. I was simply blown away by the scenery, and equally impressed with truly how friendly the entire country is. Definitely going to be making it back in the future.

In fact, my avatar was a random picture from a random stop on the loooong 8 hr drive between Nelson and the small town by Franz Josef glacier (almost ran out of gas on that drive!).

Without a doubt, the best natural scenery in the world. Oh, and kayaking amongst the fjords, glacier hikes, wineries, dolphin cruises, and other fun stuff isn't bad either.

The sole bad experience was from staying in a hostel where I picked up some unwitting hitchhikers (which could have happened anywhere in the world), which were disposed with promptly, upon their horrific discovery.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:59 AM   #11
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Thank you very much, everyone, for the lovely replies, very much appreciated!

Moorebonds, that's $45k after expenses, and that's the conservative version. I reckon closer to $52k but like to be cautious. It's hard to know exactly because there are so many variables but we live pretty simply and apart from the handbag obsession (okay, and lipstick, and good wine) I'm quite careful with my money. Worst case scenario is we just sell something. We have 8 properties including our own and downsizing is always an option, so I'm not overly concerned about the money but will admit that it IS part of the whole considered equation.

Sarah in SC : Laughed heaps, thanks for sharing!

Thanks, Nodak, for the welcome message and the thought-provoking quote at the end.

BigNick, yes, you're absolutely right that it's all going to end at some point. I feel pretty lucky to be honest, being in the position of actually having both the choices in the first place, and the time to prepare. Which is why I'm extra glad I have found this forum.

GardenFun, does this mean you're a handbag girl too? I have the most gorgeous bag that I put on a chair at work because I refuse to let it sit on the floor. It's an Oroton, but here's the thing, I bought it second hand and because one of the pins on the bottom was missing the girl who owned it sold it to me for $115, and included the original price tag of $795 with it. I was like, are you kidding? Who pays that in the FIRST place But I make sure the label shows when I sashay down the street anyway.

Clifp, well not being one to dilly-dally around TOO long, I took your advice (and what I've been leaning towards anyway) and put in a proposal for part time hours that eliminate night shifts! How easy was that? Lol. If they say no, then I guess it forces my hand and that'll be "the sign" that I've been waiting to magically appear from up above.

Thanks everyone, you've made me feel very welcome.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:06 AM   #12
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Anyway so I'm in this big swirling dilemma at the moment...retire or not? There are so many fears to be faced but I think the biggie is the loss of social interaction which may come if I quit work.

Plus, a heck of a lot of my identity is wrapped up in what I do for a living. I am reluctant (scared?) to lose that.
Welcome! Everyone has, or will be, faced with that issue. Most do just fine: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...day-37868.html
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #13
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How funny you mentioned Oroton handbags. Years ago, I happened to work in their old distribution center in my hometown, after they moved out/on, and we found a whole box full of returns--slightly damaged bags, wallets with sticky zippers, etc. We had no idea what they were worth! I know I didn't wind up with one, doggone it!
Sadly, I am not a handbag girl myself, usually pick up a bag wherever we are traveling and use that until it wears out.
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