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Nearing the FIRE...
Old 08-09-2007, 04:20 PM   #1
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Nearing the FIRE...

Hi, everyone.

I've done a little posting and plenty of reading (lurking?) here, so I thought I should say hi and introduce myself so y'all might have an idea who I am when I post.

First let me say that I'm a refugee from the TMF FIRE board, having learned from and enjoyed the FIRE discussions there over the past few years. Unfortunately (IMHO) things have changed a great deal there. This site is a very welcome discovery for me, with all the ON topic discussion here. Thank you all for that.

I'm 50 y/o and by my calcs am at a point (for the past 12-18 months or so) where I can quit the "day job" with reasonable confidence that we'll be fine finacially, barring some total economic crisis, in which case, I guess we'll all have to paddle together. We have enough taxable and tax deferred holdings (still largely in equities as they're 10-12 years from being used) that I conservatively estimate (6-7% annual growth) should grow enough over the next 10-12 years to meet or exceed our living needs from age 62 on. Any SS would be gravy. For the next 10-12 years we can live comfortably on the earnings from our rental properties, with some left over for a margin of safety. Managing these generally takes maybe 10-15 flexible hours per week, sometimes less. So I guess I would still have a part time "job" managing investments. And I have considered working part time to keep benefits (mainly health ins) or offset the cost of same. But that wouldn't be a financial necessity.

Since getting comfortable with the fincancial calcs, I've given much thought to when/why/how to FIRE, and what to do afterward. 50 is pretty young -though it doesn't always feel that way. I have a good job which I generally enjoy and do well at, good employers, and co-workers and a good situation overall. No complaints or "need to leave". But having the knowledge that I can financially stop working has been very liberating, and I find myself being pulled ever stronger toward the freedom from full time work. There's brush to clear, acres to manicure, chores to help my spouse with, a home to maintain, roads to travel, songs to play, songs to write, photos to take, friends and family to visit, books to read (and write?).

When will I pull the trigger? Probably sooner than later, hopefully in the next few months. It might take a while to find and properly train a replacement, and I don't want to leave anyone in a lurch. They've been good to me, I will be good to them. On the other hand, if they say thanks but no thanks, you're free to go... I would be fine with that too!

Well, too much yada yada for an intro, I suppose. I'm not likely going to be a prolific poster, but be forwarned... once I get going, I can get a little long winded.

Thanks for creating a great forum and site. I welcome any questions or feedback, and look forward to chatting with yuou all more in the future.

So for now...
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:06 PM   #2
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Welcome ajs56. If your financial calculations are OK then that is probably enough financially. There arre two other issues, one is do you have medical coverage? And the other is 'whatta ya gonna do all day?'
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Welcome out of lurkerdom.

I hope that you will find lots of valueable information. 50 is not a young age to retire, there are board members who retired before that.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:01 PM   #4
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50 is not a young age to retire, there are board members who retired before that.
I'm one.....I ER'd when I was only 49 years and 362 days old!

Welcome to the board, ajs56! Kick off your shoes, prop up your feet, and join the party! Glad your here!
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:22 PM   #5
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Welcome to the "other" side of the board now that you have posted. We like to have folks post as well as lurk. Congratulations on your planning and especially your mental attitude toward FIRE. That is just as important as the money side for a successful ER.

Your age is not as important as why you want to ER. When one retires is a complex set of variables that are unique to each of us. Once the magic number is determined and then met the next big question is When? My question to all new retirees is Why? Once you know why you want to retire the next consideration is what are you going to do once you have 8+ hours a day without structure. If you know what you want to do then you will be ready to go. You don't have to write a novel, create music, or paint a masterpiece. You only have to do what is important to you.

Retirement is a journey and not a destination.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:31 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are at the same decision point I was at. I had always planned to retire
at 50 in 2008, but good investment results brought me to FI in 2004 at 46. At the time,
work was very relaxing and easy, but by the time you reach your 40's you know those
times do not last. For me they lasted just over 2 years, when the work environment
turned toxic, and I retired in late 2006 at 48.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:03 AM   #7
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Bssc & Goonie - 50 isn't too young IMHO either, or for many on these boards. But to some friends and family, it will be a shocker!

Thanks for all the support and ideas, folks. Some of this probably should move to the Life After Fire or some other board, but I'll shoot back some thoughts to those who have replied so far.

SteveR - yes, I see retirement as a journey also. The next "phase" of life as someone else said on here.

Cycling - I am in an easy/relaxing work situation right now, and you are right, I know that is only gonna last for... some amount of time. I'm thinking... if I ride it until it gets "toxic" as you say, then the decision to Fire would be easier to make.

Yakers - If I work out a part time arrangement with benes that would be great. Other wise I'll have to buy health ins. I currently handle benes where I work, and am very aware of the issues of cost, availabilty, etc., and have budgeted a generous amount for health ins in my calcs. I am not at all cocnerned with what to do. I have a lot of hobbies that I can;t make enough time for, and numerous other interests that I haven't even touched for lack of time.

Thanks again everyone. I'll see you on the other boards.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:16 PM   #8
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.....But to some friends and family, it will be a shocker!
That's for sure! But, hey, a little bit of shock once in a while doesn't hurt anyone!!!

I'm the 'baby' in our family, my 2 siblings are older than me, and they can't see their own retirement anywhere on the horizon. Both say that they'll have to w*rk into their late 60's or early 70's. Both of them were slightly shocked by my ER......one was envious, but happy for me ......the other seems slightly p*ssed-off about it. (those were the expected responses, respectively)

Since the late '60's and early '70's, the 3 of us have pretty well gone our separate ways, without much interaction. All 3 of us have gone down differing paths education and career j*b wise. One went to college and has w*rked piddly, low paying j*bs w/little or no bennies. The other went to tech school and has had several decent paying j*bs with decent bennies, and went to college for a BS degree in their 50's. And I didn't go either of those routes, I just went out and got a j*b with good pay and bennies, and stayed there for 30+ years until I FIRE'd 4 months ago.

I always have liked to go against the flow and shock folks, and most have taken it well!
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:09 PM   #9
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I always have liked to go against the flow and shock folks, and most have taken it well!
Goonie,

In many ways I have always been a bit "independent" as well. In the sense that we don't play along with friends, family, and co-workers who spend ahead of their earnings to buy the latest greatest new toy or trend. And while many are respectful/understanding of our choices, others see it as being "tight", or "too bad" that we aren't "enjoying" ourselves as much as we should, etc.

We are totally comfortable with our choices. We have a great life. We are fairly healthy, live very well, sent the kids to good local schools, enjoy a nice home, some luxuries, domestic travel, but still we occasionally hear "you can't take it with you", or "you can afford that", etc. Yes, we can afoord that, and no, we're not taking it with us. We just choose to buy what WE want, not what everyone else wants us to. And fear not, we plan on spending every penny!

We don't flaunt or discuss our situation or FIRE plans except with like minded or sincerely interested folks (not that many out there in the real world), but we get a lot of satisfaction from our choices now that they are paying off with impending FI and RE. I guess it's our own personal validation that "we done good". The fact that our situation generates attaboys from those that understand, and envy from those that don't (or won't), well that's just frosting on the cake!
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:23 PM   #10
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...... but we get a lot of satisfaction from our choices now that they are paying off with impending FI and RE. I guess it's our own personal validation that "we done good".......
Amen!!!
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