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Re-introduction, Still (semi-)retired
Old 06-10-2009, 11:27 AM   #1
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Re-introduction, Still (semi-)retired

Hello - I thought it might be a good idea for me to re-introduce myself since I have only posted a few messages, and it was quite some time ago. I've dropped in on and off for the past couple of years, but have been stopping in more frequently and would like to become more active in some of the threads.

I left megacorp in Sept. 2007. I guess most would consider me semi-retired since I do still w*rk part-time - I teach a few classes each week. Despite the fact that my timing left much to be desired (how was I to know the stock market would promptly initiate a nosedive as I left my full-time income behind?!), I've not had any regrets.

I have no pension, and I buy my own high-deductible health insurance. My mortgage is paid off, and I have no other debt. At the time I retired, FireCalc indicated that I could survive with my invested assets, assuming that I continued to live my rather modest lifestyle.

I had been tracking my expenses (almost to the penny) for a number of years so I knew how much I needed in living expenses. Despite that, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that I spend even a bit less now without work. Admittedly, I do not like to travel (heresy, I know!), so that budget item hasn't really been affected. Another pleasant surprise has been that my pt income has supported my lifestyle fully - I have yet to withdraw from any of my investments/assets.

The only real downside has been what the stock market has done, starting right when I left the job. I fully expected ups and downs, even big ones, but can't say that I expected the market to tank just as I retired. Trying to be positive about it, I've concluded that if my finances can survive this, I should be fine for the future, LOL!

Finally, the funniest thing to me has been how people have reacted to me. Almost without fail, when I see my former co-workers (many of whom I consider friends) or just run into someone I haven't seen in a while, they all comment on how relaxed I look. I didn't realize I looked tense before, and I don't feel that different, but apparently it shows.

All in all, I've decided that I would make almost any adjustment to my lifestyle necessary to never have to return to full-time employment. Before I made the decision to leave my job, I read a number of books including the excellent "Work Less, Live More" by Bob Clyatt. I decided that I was fine with working pt as necessary, and consider that option a fallback as needed.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ksr View Post
The only real downside has been what the stock market has done, starting right when I left the job. I fully expected ups and downs, even big ones, but can't say that I expected the market to tank just as I retired. Trying to be positive about it, I've concluded that if my finances can survive this, I should be fine for the future, LOL!
Hey I'm with ya on that one as DH retired 3 months ago.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:10 PM   #3
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Welcome back. It sounds like your part-time work has insulated you from having to sell while your stocks are depressed--that's a good thing. If you find the w*rk fits in well with the rest of your life and you can hang on to the j*b while the market is down, I would think it would pay off well (in increasing the size of your portfolio) in the long term.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:23 AM   #4
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KSR,
Welcome back and congratulations on making your semi-retirement successful. I admit to worrying a bit that when I make the leap into RE that my timing will be bad and the market will tank. It is encouraging to read your account of how you faced this situation with a calm determination and evident grace. It is great that your friends recognise a new calmness in you. What a testimony to your new lifestyle and attitude.
How have you done it? Are you targeting a specific SWR?
Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:34 AM   #5
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... Finally, the funniest thing to me has been how people have reacted to me. Almost without fail, when I see my former co-workers (many of whom I consider friends) or just run into someone I haven't seen in a while, they all comment on how relaxed I look. I didn't realize I looked tense before, and I don't feel that different, but apparently it shows.
Welcome back!
Just for fun, take a look at your driver's license or a photo taken while you were still w*rking. Look for stress lines on your forehead. It's amazing, isn't it?
I have a photo taken of me at w*rk during an award ceremony just before FIRE. It really shocked me. I looked terrible, even on a happy day!
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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Thanks, everyone, for the welcome!

Worker Bee - When I worked up my calculations at the time of retirement (and using the net worth I had at the time), I believed I could live on about a 2.7% withdrawal rate. I know that 4% is generally considered a SWR, but because I am young (will turn 50 on my next b-day), felt that was too aggressive for me. As it turns out, I've been able to meet all my expenses with a modest pt income, and even saved 2K last year. My hope is that in 2-3 years, my accounts will recover and I'll be ready to give up the pt j*b if I want to.

Freebird - I'll have to look for a photo from a couple of years ago. I sure can't see what everyone else sees, but apparently I must be more relaxed. Imagine how much more relaxed we'll all be if the market ever recovers?
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