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One year away from Early Retirement
Old 04-06-2016, 06:42 PM   #1
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One year away from Early Retirement

I have been in the tech industry (Bay Area, CA) for the last 25 years and been fortunate enough to be part of a couple of acquisitions/startups. Never as the CEO, but part of the leadership team.

I've been targeting 50 as my ER date and I'm now one year away. Our second child is about to graduate college, so tuition payments should be thing of the past.

There is a lot of ageism in the tech industry, so I'm happy to be choosing my exit instead of having it forced upon me.

But I have to admit around here I don't see many early retirees, so I'm a bit concerned about social connections, etc. once I am out of working world. DW owns a store, which I can help at, but she's not planning on hanging it up any time soon.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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56 and a year into retirement from Bay Area tech. I have telecommuted for the last 10 years so it is a bit different than retiring in the valley. Welcome. Hopefully you will find that this place is a wealth of good ideas and support.


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Old 04-06-2016, 09:27 PM   #3
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Welcome. As you have more free time, you'll have more time to pursue interests and meet people who share those interests. They may or may not be early retirees and around your age, but they can still provide meaningful social connections.
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:16 AM   #4
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I would think that invovlement with your DW at the store is a great opportunity for your time, even if only as a transition for you to find something else.
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:45 AM   #5
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Three years out of hi tech, now that I'm almost 55 it seems like it would be impossible to get back in (ageism, imo, is alive and very real).

Good luck with your retirement!
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:05 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum JohnM. I do understand your fear of finding similar cohorts in ER, as I shared same upon leaving work at pre-50. My experience tells me you will find them in time, particular if you actively pursue those activities that are most meaningful to you, but it will take time, and a good degree of outgoing assertiveness.

At this point, some five years into ER, I have a large group of both ER's and flex-time working folk (teachers, nurses, fire fighters, consultants, etc.) to socialize with on a daily basis, but it has been the result of steadily putting myself out there in order to find them. I liken it to moving to a new city, which ER is sort of like in that you are leaving one community and now need to develop another elsewhere.

I would imagine the Silicon Valley is full of ER types, for all the reasons stated in your OP, once you start looking.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:27 AM   #7
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Welcome,

Another tech fellow here, no longer dye my hair to look younger

You are so correct in the agism factor, which is why it's nice not to be forced out.

Once I was called Gandalf in a staff meeting, and that was when I would dye my hair.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:35 AM   #8
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Most of our friends who early retired from the Bay Area moved some place less expensive. There are lots of retiree groups around, but our experience is most of the retirees we know who stay in the Bay Area are the age 65+ kind of retirees. It is still okay if you don't mind having older friends and getting called "the babies" now and then.

If you help your wife out at the store, can you both work part-time instead of one working full time, and do sightseeing, art museums, hikes, plays or whatever you both enjoy the rest of the time? That is what we do, though each year it has turned into less and less work and more outings /retiree group activities.
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:14 PM   #9
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Congratulation JohnM. I also worked and still live in SF Bay Area. So far I do not have plans to move out.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnM View Post
There is a lot of ageism in the tech industry, so I'm happy to be choosing my exit instead of having it forced upon me.

But I have to admit around here I don't see many early retirees, so I'm a bit concerned about social connections, etc. once I am out of working world. DW owns a store, which I can help at, but she's not planning on hanging it up any time soon.
Congrats JohnM on your retirement plans. I bailed out of tech, metro Midwest, at 46. The work itself was decent, but I never planned to stay past mid 50's due to the corporate BS, which only grew worse with time. Fortunately, DW FIRE'd with me, so we keep each other company. We are also somewhat introverted and both enjoy hobbies in common as well as our separate interests.

At the time I left w*rk, we only had two senior guys above 50 yo, neither of them managers. Most were laid off; only one gal FIRE'd. She's my hero and inspiration to FIRE myself. Even later 40's seemed old, since most of the action went to 30 somethings and/or overseas.

For me it was also good emotionally to walk out before being kicked out. Although a severance package would have been nice, it could have come at an emotional price.

What are your plans for ER? Do you have hobbies, interests or passions outside of work? Extroverts in retirement often seem to volunteer or become heavily involved in clubs or causes. Introverts tend to read, fix/make stuff (art music, cars, houses, etc.). Ernie Zelinski's classic book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free" was helpful to me and many others.

Good luck!

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Old 04-08-2016, 02:16 PM   #11
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Funny, years ago when people thought I wasn't that experienced, I grew a mustache. Yeah, some of my older IT collegues who refuse to learn more are simply pushed away and they have trouble finding work. For me, I have a little salt and pepper in my hair. I hope that I won't be in their shoes and try to learn something that you can be good at so you can be useful until I am in the late 50's.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:39 PM   #12
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Congrats JohnM on your retirement plans.

What are your plans for ER? Do you have hobbies, interests or passions outside of work? Extroverts in retirement often seem to volunteer or become heavily involved in clubs or causes. Introverts tend to read, fix/make stuff (art music, cars, houses, etc.). Ernie Zelinski's classic book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free" was helpful to me and many others.

Good luck!

FB
Thanks FreeBear - I'm not particularly extroverted by nature, but I think it may force me to be more so - which is overall a good thing! Thanks for the book recommendation - I will definitely check it out.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post

If you help your wife out at the store, can you both work part-time instead of one working full time, and do sightseeing, art museums, hikes, plays or whatever you both enjoy the rest of the time? That is what we do, though each year it has turned into less and less work and more outings /retiree group activities.
Yes, all good suggestions - helping at the store is likely and it would be great to shift to part-time for both of us! Thanks!
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:57 PM   #14
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Yes, all good suggestions - helping at the store is likely and it would be great to shift to part-time for both of us! Thanks!
While financially we plan in case we live to be 100+, the reality is that some of our friends, neighbors and former co-workers have passed away or become disabled in their 50s or even earlier. Some never saw one day of retirement. We have a neighbor with Alzheimer's we've known for some time who introduced himself to us yesterday, and that was the second or third time he's done that this week.

Financially we plan like we'll live to be over 100. Fun-wise we plan like what would we do if we knew we only had a 1 - 5 years to both be active and healthy and still able to drive to places like Santa Cruz or Point Reyes for the day.
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:13 PM   #15
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WE have friends younger then us and some 10 years older. WE have had a few friends either die in 50's & 60's or become disabled or get dementia so we are traveling, etc now.
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