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Old 05-09-2011, 02:13 PM   #21
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Thank you all for the suportive comments; To explain: I guess it's scary for me because today and right now, all I want is no Blackberry, no subway, no boss, no clients, no co-workers (you get the picture). So I can't really think about the future until I finish with the present. All I know is that in 2 years, I can afford not to work again. While that's great financially, I have to have great trust and belief that something else will come up to occupy my time. It's just hard to project into that right now...

What do I like? Reading, golf, running, drinking coffee, sleeping, watching TV. Can I make a day that 7 days a week? I plan on giving it a jolly good try!
Didn't read the whole thread, but the best advice I received was "First, do nothing at all.... then do what you want." If you don't know what you want, then doing nothing seems like a good first step. You'll figure it out eventually.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:24 PM   #22
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So I also wanted to sense-check this: I have a spreadsheet with various investment returns, cost of living factors and adjustments - it ends with My Number... I run the macro once a day to calculate My Number and compare it to the Current Number. I know this is nuts because little changes throw off My Number by thousands of dollars. But it's my guilty pleasure and in a way, my countdown clock; does anyone else (besides my wife ) find this disturbing?
Actually, I think it would be nuts not to do this!
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:02 AM   #23
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So I also wanted to sense-check this: I have a spreadsheet with various investment returns, cost of living factors and adjustments - it ends with My Number... I run the macro once a day to calculate My Number and compare it to the Current Number. I know this is nuts because little changes throw off My Number by thousands of dollars. But it's my guilty pleasure and in a way, my countdown clock; does anyone else (besides my wife ) find this disturbing?
I think everyone watches it and hopes.


It sounds like you already have big plans... travel, international living, etc.


You can always go back to w*rk later if you choose to... even part-time or another career.

You do not have to look at it as a permanent decision.

The big risk is probably to your earning power. A long-term gap in work would likely mean that you would be earning less if you reentered the work place.

Make sure you have an adequate plan. The distribution phase is much different than the accumulation phase.

If you leave work at... say 45... and your plan is till 95... you have a 50 year planning horizon.

You should be focusing on the withdrawal phase planning! Plenty of good books and papers on the subject. Just browse the forum.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:10 AM   #24
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What do I like? Reading, golf, running, drinking coffee, sleeping, watching TV. Can I make a day that 7 days a week? I plan on giving it a jolly good try!
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:35 AM   #25
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Great question on health care: I have planned on being able to buy the necessary health insurance in the country I will eventually live in (not the US). I've costed out international policies through some of the big providers.
Would be intersting to know what countries you are considering and some of your thoughts for doing this. Sounds like it could be a great adventure and seems like you have thought things out pretty well. I moved out of US 2 yrs ago but still work for an American company with a target quit date of next yr. There are many factors for why I moved and health care was near top of list.
I also posted something here a couple of months ago related to how to make the adjustment after w*rk and received similar, encouraging responses. The more you think about it and prepare the less of an issue it is. Right now, it's just a matter of funds.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:45 PM   #26
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I retired last year at 43. I have a pension, but in many ways it was similar to you waiting for your number. I liked what I did more or less, but not the environment I did it in. Bad boss, bad management, politics, etc, etc.

The transition wasn't bad. I had been planning things to do for a while. New hobbies, rediscovering old ones, to do list around the house, etc. I settled in quickly. Only some of the habits remained, and still do sometimes, like feeling the dreads on Sunday night, or feeling there is something I must do.

I suggest planning your actual retirement. Do a little soul searching and figure out what it is you want to do with yourself. Golfing, writing, travel, volunteer work, starting a business, whatever. It's solely up to you. Writing it down, make a list, do a little mind mapping. Make sure you are retiring to something, not just away from your job.

Good luck! Read this forum for a couple of years and you should do fine!
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:24 PM   #27
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Would be intersting to know what countries you are considering and some of your thoughts for doing this. Sounds like it could be a great adventure and seems like you have thought things out pretty well. I moved out of US 2 yrs ago but still work for an American company with a target quit date of next yr. There are many factors for why I moved and health care was near top of list.
I also posted something here a couple of months ago related to how to make the adjustment after w*rk and received similar, encouraging responses. The more you think about it and prepare the less of an issue it is. Right now, it's just a matter of funds.
My primary requirement is sun and lots of it. Having spent time on the East coast of the US (and accompanying winters), I now know that good sunny weather is vital to my well-being, both physically and emotionally. I grew up outside the US having lots of sun and I miss it! I like countries where the political and economic situation is stable and that have good healthcare; I have planned/expect to have to buy an international health insurance plan as I don't expect governments of my future country to have to pay for my healthcare. I'm expecting to pay about $10k a year for this.

Countries I like:
France (particularly the south - I've spent some time on holiday in Nice, Cannes and that area).
Portugal: in an effort to rebuild its economy and stimulate trade, Portugal is offering a 10 year tax holiday of sorts for expats. The Algarve is lovely I hear.

Either could be interesting. Learning a new language could add to the fun of retiring. I have an EU passport so I guess I'm lucky to be able to go anywhere in Europe I want to.

An outside choice could be Malaysia where they have a new 10 year visa programme for expats for quite a small investment into your own property - I think $100k.

The Bahamas is a country with no income or capital gains tax, but it's expensive to live plus you only get residence if you invest a min of $500k in a property. I could do that, but it seems a lot just to live tax-free.

I've not yet researched Mexico; any advice on healthcare, living, things to do? Any personal thoughts and impressions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:29 PM   #28
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Make sure you are retiring to something, not just away from your job.
Dan, these words really resonated with me. I can't pretend I'm not busting to retire from my current job. But perhaps it's equally about the FI part of FIRE to give me the confidence to junk the current job, then go train dolphins or be a Starbucks barista or whatever. I just have an overwhelming desire to be finished with the grind and lack of inspiration of my current job.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:40 PM   #29
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Eh, I wouldn't choose Mexico for the foreseeable future. My daughter vacationed there a couple years ago and her employer purchased kidnapping insurance on her and the family.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:04 PM   #30
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Dan, these words really resonated with me. I can't pretend I'm not busting to retire from my current job. But perhaps it's equally about the FI part of FIRE to give me the confidence to junk the current job, then go train dolphins or be a Starbucks barista or whatever. I just have an overwhelming desire to be finished with the grind and lack of inspiration of my current job.
I know that feeling all to well. It is nice to care about something again. In my opinion, if you need to work for a while to supplement or transition to feel secure, do it. Beats wasting your life away doing something you hate.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #31
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A lot of us work/ed in jobs that "suck". At least yours provides the opportunity to retire early.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:22 PM   #32
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Eh, I wouldn't choose Mexico for the foreseeable future. My daughter vacationed there a couple years ago and her employer purchased kidnapping insurance on her and the family.
Why? Because her employer has more money than brains?

I used to travel to Trinidad (where kidnapping is the 2nd biggest industry). Mega-corp just bought armed guards (that we "didn't know about" until we wanted to do what we wanted).

I vacation in Mexico a lot. No problem if you aren't part of the illegal drug scene. kcowan may comment.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #33
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Well, they may have more money than brains. If you believe that the only people abducted are part of the illegal drug scene, locals, or non-tourists visiting other than international resorts you are REALLY out of touch.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:55 PM   #34
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Why? Because her employer has more money than brains?

I used to travel to Trinidad (where kidnapping is the 2nd biggest industry). Mega-corp just bought armed guards (that we "didn't know about" until we wanted to do what we wanted).

I vacation in Mexico a lot. No problem if you aren't part of the illegal drug scene. kcowan may comment.
I think it depends on location. The whole country isn't having these problems. I don't think it matters so much if your involved in the drug trade or not as much as where you choose to go.

Her employer was probably just covering their bases. Probably costs less than paying the ransom, settling lawsuits, etc. Especially if she was sent to an area with kidnapping activity. While all of Mexico is not dealing with this, to pretend parts aren't particularly dangerous is naive.

So try Costa Rica or Panama, instead.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:21 PM   #35
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If she was indeed "vacationing", why would her employer buy the insurance? If she was sent there by her employer, it's a different matter. If she went on her own, it's not mega-corp's problem. My mega-corp wouldn't have done this for anyone below the C-suite (and probably not unless the last two letters were "EO").
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:27 PM   #36
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Well, they may have more money than brains. If you believe that the only people abducted are part of the illegal drug scene, locals, or non-tourists visiting other than international resorts you are REALLY out of touch.
I'm sure you can provide examples.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:44 AM   #37
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My daughter vacationed there a couple years ago and her employer purchased kidnapping insurance on her and the family.
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Her employer was probably just covering their bases. Probably costs less than paying the ransom, settling lawsuits, etc.
Doesn't seem much different than paying "property insurance" to your friendly neighborhood knee-breaker...
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:18 AM   #38
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Big difference, I think. "your friendly neighborhood knee-breaker" operates in your neighborhood. I don't think the insurance mentioned was for "your friendly neighborhood". If an employer isn't footing the bill for all of the Mexican vacation, why would he foot the bill for any of it?
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:19 PM   #39
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[QUOTE=
I've not yet researched Mexico; any advice on healthcare, living, things to do? Any personal thoughts and impressions would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]

James, I have only been here for a little over 2 yrs but have liked Mexico since I first visited as a kid. Not for everyone and every place has it's pluses and minuses. As you can see from above comments, Mexico is often a lightening rod, especially for people that watch a lot CNN and FOX. You mentioned that you work on Wall St and I would assume that you are good at separating anecdotal info from analytical data. I still work for a megacorp down here and they do not have an insurance policy on my life, LOL. If you reseach safety data for cities such as Chicago or DC, on the surface, it's pretty bad. There are lots of great places to live, however, especially if you can afford somewhere like France.

With respect to living outside of the US, in general, let me share quick story about what we did yesterday. We drove to a small village to look at some pottery/art. One artist invited us in to show us his little shop along with examples of his work. He then proceeded to make a piece of art out of rough clay, telling us stories about his father and how he learned this. We both watched and listened, perhaps for an hour, and bought a fantastic piece for $15. Another artist down the road also invited us in and after a couple of beers, the 12yo son came out to play the accordian (sp?). That is life in Mexico. No rush, meet people, take a seat, and have something cold to drink. Do most Americans living here do this? Probably not. Did it come easy for me? Being from Boston, god no, and I am still adjusting. But, has taught me a lot about what's really important & stress level has dropped significantly.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:30 PM   #40
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If she was indeed "vacationing", why would her employer buy the insurance? If she was sent there by her employer, it's a different matter. If she went on her own, it's not mega-corp's problem. My mega-corp wouldn't have done this for anyone below the C-suite (and probably not unless the last two letters were "EO").
She is a 'key' executive.
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