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Lost in space - danger will robinson
Old 06-24-2007, 04:50 PM   #1
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Lost in space - danger will robinson

I don't think I am really saying anything new here. What I am rambling on about are the same issues I have read about a lot in these threads.

I'm lost, just to be to the point, I am L O S T. I am almost 53. I work in the oil industry. I have everything paid off and am now just saving for me. Oh and by the way, I don't get free gas. I have to pay as much as anybody else. I think I could retire. I "run the numbers" and sometimes it looks good and sometimes I just get in the "fear" mode that I hear a lot of people mention in these threads and I think maybe not.

I am a workaholic. It use to be alcoholic a long time ago, but somehow I managed to quit that stuff. But now I work a lot. And yes, I confess, I am scared. I want to retire, but I am scared, because I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. There are plenty of things I can do, I just don't know what I am passionate about, because I just work work work and now I am LOST, LOST, LOST.

Are there people out there that felt lost before they retired and then just got comfortable with it? I am not one of those people that had some big dream career, getting out of college. I just ended up where I am because it paid well and for the most part I have learned a lot and I like it. But after several years and too many hours, I would like to do something else... I want to travel, work on my house, hang out with the family, maybe volunteer a bit...maybe work just part time. I guess I am afraid of doing irreversable damage and I will never be able to go back to the security of work. Does this make sense? I can see where the oil industry is going in this country. Everything is getting old, all of my buddies are retiring and I don't want to be around when we start having more fires and upsets only to be surrounded with inexperienced people. Thanks for letting me ramble on.
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:06 PM   #2
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So have you run your numbers through FIRECalc: A different kind of retirement calculator?

Are you really lost? You want to travel, work on your house, hang out with family, and maybe volunteer a bit. That can make for a very full and passionate life.

Kurt Vonnegut on telling his wife he's going out to buy an envelope:

"Oh, she says well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. i meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is, is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore."
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:25 PM   #3
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Thank you Martha,

I will copy Vonneguts quote and look at it often. It soothes my restless anxious soul
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:25 PM   #4
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Rollingstone,
When I first came to this site I sounded similar to you (search for posts under my name).
A couple of thoughts -
1. Prepare a balance sheet
2. Prepare an income statement for working and what it might be if not working - project into the future
3. Financially - track your spending; prepare a current budget; project a budget for when you RE
4. Run Firecalc - are you OK
5. Read - "How to Retire, Happy, Wild and Free"
6. Write down why you want to RE - for positive reasons or negative - if negative think about alternative work instead of RE right now

What you are trying to do is take out the emotion - fear - out of the equation right now and then you can evaluate if it is for you.

I'm sure you have options that you need to identify and then evaluate.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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I would recommend reading the book the New Retirementality by Mitch Anthony. Think it might help.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:09 PM   #6
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Would it be possible for you to take a leave of absence? Although I'm not retired, I have taken a LOA, and it gave me many more ideas of what I'd like to do after I retire. Just having some extended time away might be a good thing. Show you that there are plenty of things you'll be interested in after you retire.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:41 PM   #7
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People in prison oftentimes have the same fear of getting out, many times committing a crime so they can stay. They become programmed with that slave mentality.

Work I think does the same. You should check out Bill and Aikisha's book, it is really inspiring for someone thinking of taking the leap.

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Old 06-25-2007, 02:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingstone View Post
I'm lost, just to be to the point, I am L O S T. I am almost 53. ...
Boy do I know how you feel !

At 53 I had a "helping hand" (company problems/buyout) help me decide to RE this past March. Even tough I had about 5 months preparation, I wasn't ready, mentally !

The first 2 months, I was a blob of flesh on the couch, watching the tube, surfing the web. With a past like yours and you current admission to being a workaholic, this could be dangerous !

Thank goodness the warm weather came to the mid-west. I started puttsing in the garden and with the lawn. You know, with the warmer weather, the neighbors were outside more and I have certainly made it a point to say Hello and maybe a few more words. My wife works in the school system so she is also off for the summer and I'm certain has many project for the both of us

I too, will copy the Vonnegut quote. I completely understand your comment about "soothes my restless anxious soul". I am already concerned about the upcoming fall and winter. Cold, gray, rainy. I really do need to find a "new purpose" for my life !
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:49 AM   #9
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Martha .. thanks so much for that Vonnegut quote. I complained about 'inefficiency in ladder-buying' recently in the CPAP thread (sorry that it got OT).. but that is EXACTLY the flip side of the coin that makes life (potentially) very interesting here.

I've been having a hard time shaking the 'get in the car and go to the mega-store for a mega-shop' mentality and as a result I miss out on a lot of things that are going on right down the street!

To rollingstone I would suggest also making lists of consulting or more generic part-time jobs or volunteer positions that he could see himself doing so that he doesn't have to face ER "cold turkey" if he doesn't want to. (He already mentioned this.) Another "anchor" could be going back to school, for a degree or just for the fun of it; that could also give needed structure.

It's hard to understand whether, when rollingstone says "security", he means Financial Security or something more metaphysical. So he should try and examine that further. I know someone who went to a "career counselor" that was also part-psychologist/therapist and it seemed to help him give himself 'permission' to break free of a demanding job that he just wasn't "into" any longer.
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My DW and I are in a similar position, just not LOST
Old 06-25-2007, 08:49 AM   #10
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My DW and I are in a similar position, just not LOST

We are also in our mid-50's, still working full time in two professional jobs. Our various kids are all 20-somethings, and two of the four are ACTUALLY off and running as productive adults. Two remain in college, with about a year left each. We have also run FireCalc, and could retire anytime with a comfy lifestyle and lots of money for travel.

Like Rolling Stone, we are used to working, and a bit afraid of losing the structure. My DW has our medical through her emplyer, a hospital, and we want to maintain that for a while. We are both negotiating with our employers to go to reduced time (Approx 3 days/week). We are both LOVE travel, and are planning at least 11 weeks of trips over the next year and a half.

We both see FIRE as a way to tap our artistic sides. I have started a novel, with a second writing project in the wings. Even if no money comes from it, having these projects allows us to "see" how we would stay energized in retirement. All that said, we still haven't started our partial retirement.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:58 AM   #11
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See the "Handling the 'one more year' syndrome" thread.

It kind of answers some of the questions posed in this thread. It's a lot of reading though.

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Old 06-25-2007, 11:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DougViages View Post
Like Rolling Stone, we are used to working, and a bit afraid of losing the structure.
Gotta take responsibility for your own entertainment.

Like many other things in life you have to either do it for yourself or find someone to do it to for you.
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:28 AM   #13
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I "run the numbers" and sometimes it looks good and sometimes I just get in the "fear" mode that I hear a lot of people mention in these threads and I think maybe not.
Hi Rollingstone... Fear is a Biggie. I don't know that it ever goes away, it simply attaches itself to some other topic. Why not read a commentary I wrote called The Courage to Change: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/courage.htm you might find it useful..

Quote:
I want to travel, work on my house, hang out with the family, maybe volunteer a bit...maybe work just part time. I guess I am afraid of doing irreversable damage and I will never be able to go back to the security of work. Does this make sense?


Maybe you need to define "irreversable damage" to yourself. Does that mean you might spend 'too much'? Not stay in touch with your career field's newest R&D or jargon and won't be able to be hired back at your same positon level? Get so bored that you self destruct by eating bon bons and watching soaps?

If you 'name the monster' and know what it means to you, it's easier to tackle.

Bigritchie
Quote:
Work I think does the same. You should check out Bill and Aikisha's book, it is really inspiring for someone thinking of taking the leap.
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Thanks Bigritchie, for the mention! I would certainly recommend our Preferred Links Page http://retireearlylifestyle.com/favorite_er_links.htm and our Retirement Issues Page http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/retirement.htm for some useful information.

BTW, Rollingstone -- Billy and I considered ourselves to be leaning towards the 'workaholic' side, and we live our retirement with the same intensity. Thus we have great satisfaction. We don't sit around all day, but rather travel the globe, get involved in any location we find ourselves and still manage to contribute substantially wherever we are.

If you are built that way too, you will no doubt live your retirement with the same fervor.

Best to you all ways,
Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement
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