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Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 07:02 AM   #1
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Soooo ready at 31!!

Is it wrong to want to retire at 31? Or at least plan on it in the next 5 years?

After reading through these posts, I feel that I am not alone in my thoughts.

I am a single, college educated working woman (for a large telecommunications company) who is so sick of my cubicle I have dreams of blowing it up.

Anyone see the movie Office Space? I live that every day.

I own two homes - one is a rental - have about $130,000 in investments and equity in real estate. I can't get out of here soon enough. It's just a matter of how I can do it. It's not that I am lazy, or have a problem working. I am just burned out on the 8-5 drudgery and wish I could have a choice as to how I spend my time or what I do for work.

It would be my dream to work in an animal shelter 3 days a week. Not because I need the money, but because it would make me happy.

I am starting to plan how I can make this happen - the sooner the better. I make about $70k a year at present. Great money - just feel unhappy making it.

I'm glad I have a place to express how I feel about this!
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 07:44 AM   #2
 
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Hello grlcndream! You came to the right place.

Is it wrong? No way. I assume $130,000 is your entire
net worth? At your age, most people would say semi-retirement (working part time at something) is a realistic
way to go. If you can stand it, saving the absolute max.
of that 70K per year for a few more years would be a big help. If it was me, I would try to do that and at the same time, expand my real estate involvement. Then, dump the job and dabble in the real estate while you put your time into something more rewarding (the animal shelter).

If you were older and still single, I could tell you how to quit completely with just $130,000. Actually, I semiretired
without much more than that, and I had a family
to worry about.

That's my 2 cents.

JG
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 07:52 AM   #3
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Its OK to retire at any age if you want to and if you can do it financially. But somewhere in your message I detect that you may want to work. I am very lucky, finishing up a 31 year career with the US Govt. Some were Navy years but most have been with NASA. I like my job and particularly like my ex-astronaut manager who is retiring soon. Near the end of 05 I become retirement elligible and therefore Financially Independent. I regard this as "jerk proofing" my work life. Four of my NASA years and 2 Navy years I worked for a jerk. Although I suppose there was some character building feature, I never plan to do this again. But for now I like my job, I'm amazed anyone will pay me to come to work each day. I still have one son at home in high school so I want to keep working a while until I know the extent of college financial obligations. My wife plans to retire in a year & a half. I will wrap it up in 2 or 3 years in any case but in 5 minutes if the new boss is not acceptable.

The message here is to develop your financial independence (sounds like you are doing well in this regard) and then look for work you like. Volunteer work is good too. My wife & I plan to do a good bit of that on retiring.
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Thank you for your replies! I think what is most important to me is my happiness. Right now I dread each day getting out of bed and going into work. If I was doing something I loved, and doing it as many times a week as I feel I want to - that wouldn't feel like work to me. That would simply be doing something I enjoy, and getting paid for it - no matter if it's $10 an hour, or $30. Moreover, if I feel like not going into work one day, or quitting for a few months, or years, or laying on a beach drinking a cold Corona (one of the best inventions ever), then I want to have the freedom to do that.

I like the idea of dabbling further into real estate, which is my plan, and also saving much more than I am doing. Both will assist me in my goal of financial independence.
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 08:42 AM   #5
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Hey grlcndream! It's nice to meet others who also plan on a super-early exit . I'm 30, my husband is 32, and we're working on the "5-year plan" (down to about 4 years now) to pile up enough of a nest egg to support a modest ER. We have about $300,000 so far (all investments, no real estate), so things are going more or less according to plan.

Both of us have lots of things we want to do, and some of them might even earn a bit of money (writing mostly) but the main thing is to not HAVE to work and not have to stick to someone else's arbitrary schedule!

Hope to hear more about your progress and your thoughts in other threads!
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 08:46 AM   #6
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Holly - right on sister. It's not the working I mind, it's the HAVE TO working part I mind! You guys are doing great, it is motivating to me! I look forward to further posts.
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Sounds like you are on the right path. I would recommend working backwards to figure out your plan to FIRE.

Using an Excel spreadsheet figure out your expenses over the past 12 months. Then tweek those amounts so they make sense to you going forward. Don't forget to make allowances for extraodinary expenses like cars, new roof, root canals, etc.

Once you know what you are spending, you will know how much you need to earn from work, rents, and investment income to meet those expenses.
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 10:13 AM   #8
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

retire@40 - thank you - that is the first step for me. I need to see hard numbers/figures and adapt accordingly. It's one thing to dream about it, and another to really take action and do it!

Thanks for your response.
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 11:15 AM   #9
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Let me add the obvious, not to forget to include in your budget any free or low cost benefits that you may be currently getting from your job like health insurance and such. Also at your young age don't ignore the things you would want to have or do when you are 40, 50 or older and the money you would need to get them.

The process has began, you are on your way.

Good luck with your future plans.

MJ
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 11:28 AM   #10
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Thanks MJ!
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 01:36 PM   #11
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Welcome, Grlcndream.

You're certainly speaking to the choir here. Any chance you can switch to a 4 day work week? Maybe 4 ten hour days? Having a 3 day weekend can make the work week more tolerable, at least for a while.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

LovesLife
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-29-2004, 03:19 PM   #12
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Hello Grlcndream, welcome to the board. NO, it is definately not wrong to plan to retire in 5 years at your age. We, like you, began a 5 year retirement plan at the age of 30. My goal was to retire at 35, like the Terhorsts. Unfortunately, it was 2 1/2 weeks after my 36th birthday before we made it (the wife was still 35). We have been retired now for almost 2 years and have no regrets. We actually can't imagine having to get up and go to work on a daily basis.

Two more similarities with you:
1. I was pretty burned out with my job, but was able to make it another 5 years. I think having the plan (in writing) made a huge difference.

2. We used real estate to reach goal. We would not have made it as quickly (if at all) without it.

Good luck,

The Beachbumz
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 03:37 AM   #13
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

LovesLife - I am in a situation where I have NO flexibility with my hours or days. I'm stuck. In fact, I have to be at work right at 8:00 every day (logged into a phone system) and can't leave until promptly 4:30 every day. Thankfully I work Monday through Friday - no nights or weekends....GOOD TIMES.

Beachbumz - YES - incredible job burn out. It is my goal to buy another property in the next year, that will help. I'll be up to 3. And you are absolutely right - once I have my plan written down, it will be much easier to keep working here. I will feel like I'm working toward something.

Thanks for the encouragement and responses!
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 04:01 AM   #14
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Quote:
Is it wrong to want to retire at 31? *Or at least plan on it in the next 5 years?
Hi grlcndream,

I'm on a similar plan (but a 7-years plan, I'm 29), see my blog on my plan at: http://retireat37.blogspot.com.

There is nothing wrong with your wanting to "retire" early. I wish I could retire at 31 like you, but I just can't.

How much money do you plan to have by the time you reach 31? I plan ŕ $350k nest egg (half registered).

Good luck!

Jack
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 04:24 AM   #15
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Hi Jack! I'm 31 now, and have a 5 year plan. I want to have at least 300k and own two more income producing properties by then. I think it's absolutely doable! I will check out your blog. We will get there!!!

I can taste the ice cold Corona now.......
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 05:51 AM   #16
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Quote:
... I think having the plan (in writing) made a huge difference...
After really getting into some dollar details, budgeting and figuring out how much we can put away, I ended up with something more concrete, ie 'on paper'. It now seems much more real/attainable and helps make the drudgery bearable.

Getting there in our early 30's would be awesome, but I'm hopeful the mrs and I can get there within 10 years, around 37-38ish...

Eyes on the prize
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 05:58 AM   #17
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Quote:
Is it wrong to want to retire at 31? *Or at least plan on it in the next 5 years?
I had the same dilemma -- I'm 35, my wife is 33. *When I first realized that ER would be possible, it just didn't seem right. *I like to refer to ER as "work optional", which sounds a lot like your position. *When I do retire (which could be in as little as a month), I'm thinking of spending a lot of my time volunteering (something I had done a lot of before when I had the time, and really enjoyed) or perhaps working part-time (or even full time) at a job that feels right.

It is, of course, important for people to work -- without that, nobody would have clothes to wear, food to eat, or a place to live. *However, we have this neat economic system that gives you a good idea of whether or not it is OK to retire. *If the majority of the money that you made was from working (as opposed to inherited, investment income, etc.), then there should be no moral objection to retiring. *You've done enough work to cover your needs in life.

Quote:
I am a single, college educated working woman (for a large telecommunications company) who is so sick of my cubicle I have dreams of blowing it up.
If you don't comfortable ER'ing yet, options would include looking for another job that has similar pay but less stress (if there is such a job out there for you). *Or seeing if you could perhaps take a month or two off just to evaluate your life.

Quote:
It's not that I am lazy, or have a problem working. *I am just burned out on the 8-5 drudgery and wish I could have a choice as to how I spend my time or what I do for work.

It would be my dream to work in an animal shelter 3 days a week. *Not because I need the money, but because it would make me happy.
That's just about exactly my perspective on ER (which, FWIW, is probably different than the attitude of most of the people ERing after having put in more years working than us).

I also feel that I would be much more productive to society ERing and spending much of my time volunteering than I would working a traditional job.

That's not to say that people should volunteer or work after they are able to ER. *ER means different things to different people.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *-Scott
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 05:59 AM   #18
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

It's really amazing. I swear in the last few days I have started posting here and really put a plan into action on paper (did the FIREcalc this AM), my work just doesn't seem as bad! I realize that I have to bust as much a*& as I can until I can tell this job to shove it
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 06:11 AM   #19
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

IDunno - We are on the same page here. I truly feel that I would be more productive doing something I love to do, than something I have to do. Trouble with my situation, is that I do make good money doing it. I could get another job, but for half the pay (I'm on a Seattle salary living in Florida, where the salaries are a lot lower). So do I suck it up, allow my company to match my 401(k) contributions, get my yearly bonuses, stash as much as I can away on my good salary...to get myself in a position financially to RE.... It's just a matter of my attitude - just need to keep plugging along until I am financially ready to quit....I know that is somewhat selfish, but I think if I keep at it, it will reward me financially. A large corporation - in my mind, isn't looking out for my best interests, I have to look out for my best interests.....

It's a hard balance. On one hand, I am unhappy coming in here every day. On the other hand, when I see how much $$ my company pays me to be here - and the contributions they make to my retirement, it motivates me to stay.

I think at this point - 5 more years of plugging away.
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!
Old 12-30-2004, 06:22 AM   #20
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Re: Soooo ready at 31!!

Quote:
It's a hard balance. *On one hand, I am unhappy coming in here every day. *On the other hand, when I see how much $$ my company pays me to be here - and the contributions they make to my retirement, it motivates me to stay.
I faced a similar situation about 2 years ago. I was running my own business, which was doing quite well. I was getting burnt out, and wanted to sell it. It took about 16 months to sell it, and when it looked like I wasn't going to be able to, and I kept approaching burnout, I kept asking myself why I didn't just quit. As stressed as I was getting, it was just too hard to give up the good salary. It is strange how money motivates us more than we realize.
-Scott
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