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Longtime lurker checking in
Old 05-26-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
EllisWyatt's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
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Longtime lurker checking in

Time to finally check in after years of lurking. I’m 55 years young geologist, married 30 years, two kids (1 gone, 1 almost), and have been saving and planning for E.R. since 1982. Six months after I started working in the oil industry, I survived the first in a series of “Staff Reductions”. Very eye-opening. The euphemisms changed, but the end result was that every 18 months over the next 20 years between 10% and 20% of the technical staff magically disappeared like the bunnies in Watership Downs. After the first “staff reduction” we started building our nest egg. Over the course of twenty years, 95% of the geologist had been “reduced”. I survived, and the nest egg grew.
In October, 2007 we felt confident that we had reached our “belt and suspenders” number, and I retired. It took the first 4 months to catch up on my sleep and to realize that I was now free of corporate (fill in the blank). After six months, I bagan to miss poking holes in the ground, and I was lured back into the w*rkforce by an interesting job. Timing was great – the market kept sliding, but we continued to live on our retirement funds while we banked my salary separately. After two years, we gained confidence that we could have survived the fall, plus we have two additional years of savings as a cushion. So far I’ve really enjoyed myself, but every month I still think about whether I’m enjoying myself, and make my decision.
The benefit of having gone back to work and lived on our nest egg has been two-fold. 1) We gained confidence that we could survive on our savings despite a huge drop - the “belt and suspenders” became just the “belt”, but the pants didn’t fall, and 2) it gave us time to readjust our retirement plans. After Katrina, the plan was to retire to a log house we own in Virginia, but upon reflection and lots of heart-wrenching discussions, we really liked living in the New Orleans area, don’t like the cold (defined by temperatures less than 50 degrees, we discovered) and didn’t want to have to uproot and re-establish ourselves in a new area yet again. So we have found an amazing place here which we are in the process of buying, have a contract on our existing house, and are planning to sell the place in Virginia. Evacuating for hurricanes is a concern - while we’ve gotten the evacuation routine down to a system (my wife and kids evacuated from Saudi when Saddam came for his little visit to Kuwait, and we all evacuated from New Orleans for Katrina), it’s a skill I’d really prefer not to have to utilize. Think the new place is far enough north, but time and Mother Nature will tell.
Anyway, thanks to Dory36, ReWahoo, Nords, HaHa, UncleMick, CuteFuzzyBunny, Martha,W2R and all the rest of you for your insights, information and humor – it really helped during the long journey.
And my apologies for writing such a long missive – as Lincoln said, “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”

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Old 05-26-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
gone traveling
Join Date: May 2008
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Welcome to the other side of the woodwork...

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Old 05-26-2010, 01:43 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
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Posts: 236
Thanks! Although it is sort of scary/amazing when a long term plan seems to be coming together. Keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
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Welcome, I'm glad that you came out of lurking. I'm always amazed at the ratio between posters and readers for any given thread.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
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EW, welcome! It is always interesting to "meet" someone who has lurked for years on the forum.

Now that you have broken the ice I hope you will feel comfortable in chiming in whenever you see a topic that interests you. Oh, and don't worry about posting even if you don't have anything of real substance to add. If you've lurked for years you certainly know I've never let it bother me!
Numbers is hard

Although rare, it is possible to read something on this forum you don't agree with and simply move on with your life

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
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