Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Time to take control back...
Old 09-02-2016, 05:06 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: München
Posts: 68
Time to take control back...

Approaching 52 years of age (how the hell did I get to be 52?). British citizen living in Europe.

Looking to retire in the next 6 months from a very highly paid but super high pressure job. Two children are now pretty much grown up (one in work and one at university) and therefore nearly off the payroll.

Have been thinking and talking about retirement for the last 6 years and originally planned to retire at 50 but have been endlessly procrastinating (more below).

Finances look reasonably good and we have around $2.5 million in investible assets together with a paid off home. Also have around $1.2 million in a taxable deferred income account (payable from 60) and around $75k per annum in defined benefit pensions payable from age 62.

Children are well taken care of and due to an inheritance they each have a six figure sum available to them when they are 25.

Main problem is psychology...

Working for a "career" has been such a big thing. Moving up the corporate ladder very very nearly to the top but failing at the last hurdle has taken a huge amount out of me. On the other hand am still earning top 1% and for those two reasons (career and money) it feels incredibly hard to walk away.

But....

Age is creeping up. I'm still in decent shape (wife is a year older and also in good shape) but want to enjoy my hobbies (skiing and mountain biking) before I'm too old (maybe another 10 years?). Also....and this is the morbid part which I'm sure I'm not alone in...people are starting to die around me. A colleague at work same age non-smoker found out he had lung cancer and was dead within 12 months. And you know, in a big organization, people are sad for a few days and people say noble things but within two weeks someone had moved into his office and the name plate has gone. Don't want that to be me.

We've bought our house in the alps, which we've dreamt about since we got married 27 years ago and now its time to enjoy it.

Leaving behind the money makes me feel sad / guilty / wrong but lets face it, we don't need it and what difference will it make just to see it sitting there? But its still very hard. For years we're been seeing large sums of money arrive every months and rarely had to think about whether we can afford something. But now we we will need to start spending the stache and budgeting (albeit a very generous budget).

Deep down, I know its time. The last year I have really lost my mojo. I pushed so hard for the big promotion and didn't get it (was in the last two) that now I can't readjust. I know that I'm standing in the plane, parachute on and all I need to do is jump. Once I'm out I know I will love the ride but jumping is tough.
__________________

__________________
Cap_Scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-02-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 13,729
Welcome.

I was in a similar spot but not as high a pressure job, which in a way made the decision harder as I was well paid and valued for my speciality and worked hard but not a huge amount of pressure. Plus, at the time I retired I was only working 50% time so I had a lot of time off but didn't have control over when... was essentially on call 24/7.

It is hard to walk away from that big paycheck, traveling in style, etc.

What eventually did it for me is that I realized that we had more than enough to sustain us in the lifestyle we had and liked for the rest of our days so financially continuing to work was only continuing to support the government (I paid a lot in taxes as i suspect you do too) and making the kid's inheritance larger.

At that point, the value of time exceed the value of money. Pulled the trigger and it is the best thing I ever did. While I miss work and my work colleagues and most of my clients, I value being able to do whatever I want with my time.

Change is hard... and scary even when rationality says there is no reason to fear.
__________________

__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 05:20 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,917
Welcome. Wanting more is easy, recognizing when you have enough is hard.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 05:31 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2017ish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,269
Welcome, Cap_Scarlet!

We are in a somewhat similar position, at 56/55. Instead of sales/corporate, we are US doctor and lawyer. Assets are a bit higher than yours, but no pension. We are out next summer, both because we want to see more of each other and, as you state:

Quote:
Age is creeping up. I'm still in decent shape (wife is a year older and also in good shape) but want to enjoy my hobbies (skiing and mountain biking) before I'm too old (maybe another 10 years?).
Our vice is diving, and we want to do some serious hiking. Putting more money into the pot isn't going to help get more years of those. Get a close handle on what you've spent each year since the children went off the payroll (if you don't already have it), and decide what you'll likely be spending in retirement. If you can handle it, time to jump!
__________________
OMY * 3 2ish
2017ish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 05:51 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,974
Welcome.
Initially, it sounds pretty good, you don't mention debt example: the Alps house.

What is your budget, and did you do firecalc to see it will work ?

You are correct the spending would be a change as you are used to spending like crazy because you could afford it.
As you say you will be far from the poor house, but without actually figuring out a budget it would be easy to spend it all away.

The big motivator is you life is more than 1/2 over and you can't buy extra years.
__________________
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 06:02 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 11,791
The one thing that is true about mega (and other places) is that in reality they basically are a big mound of ants... when one or a few die off, we just keep going on..

I remember when one day they did not let us go to our desks... seems a coworker (that I did not know) had died at his desk... took awhile to have the authorities come and do their work... but a few days later there was people pushing to get his cube as it was in a great spot...

So, do what you need to do so you do not regret it later in life... life can be much shorter than you think...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 06:32 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,079
It can be tough to jump off the train, especially if much of your "self worth" and/or identity is tied to your career. It's very common, especially for those who put their heart and soul into a particular line of work--and are good at it. There's a lot of emotional baggage/pride/status tied to a career, it's not just the money.
Old joke: An army general had just had his retirement ceremony. The troops had passed in review, the folks from headquarters had said wonderful things and pinned on his final medal, his wife had received the bouquet, the well-wishers and old friends had shaken his hand and rendered their salutes. The general and his wife walked back to their car, and he spoke to her about their new life. "You know, now we are just Mr and Mrs Jones, not General and Mrs General Jones. No sitting at the front table at big dinners, no special parking spots, no deferential junior wives, just us." They had arrived at the car and he opened her door, then got in himself. He said "Do you think you can adjust to this loss of status?"
"Sure, I can, darling, but I'm more worried about you adjusting."
"It won't be a problem for me" said the general, "I never liked those perks anyway. I've already adjusted!"
"Oh? Then why are both sitting here in the back seat of this car?"
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 02:52 AM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: München
Posts: 68
Thank you for all your responses, they mostly summarize our thoughts.

From a budget perspective we've worked through it in a reasonable amount of detail. We have no debt and we have what I call a base budget of around $50,000 a year which sounds like a lot but includes around $7,000 of medical (the cost in Austria for voluntary retirees). We don't plan to really cut back so that budget assumes we continue to have decent cars etc. Skiing is not really an expensive hobby once you own your own equipment and live near a ski resort (5 minutes for us!). I buy an annual lift ticket which costs around $600 which is ridiculously cheap when you consider a one-week ticket costs around $270.

On top of our base budget we have an additional c. $25,000 planned for travel and we plan to spend 3-4 months of the year on the road, either visiting family (the children!) or all the other places we want to see.

In my spreadsheets I then have a "buffer" on top of that and assume very conservative rates of return on investments so overall I am pretty confident we can achieve our goals. The only real risk is if our pension funds were to run into trouble and not pay out but that risk is (hopefully) remote.

Essentially once we reach 60 we expect to have enough coming in to fully fund our living expenses so our stache only needs to really cover the expenses between now and then. I also have assume zero income in retirement whereas I expect to look for some consulting opportunities.

I've enjoyed my career and seen a lot of the world and worked with some great people but, although I've provided well for the family I have to some extent neglected them emotionally and I was little more than a spectator in watching the children grow up. I want to make amends for that. In addition, the fun is gradually being sucked out of work by the constant increase in pressure to deliver revenues but with less and less resources as the firm tries to control costs. I am also less and less tolerant of the rhetoric where we constantly broadcast how great and how innovative we are when in fact its just a facade.

When I walk out the door, I know I will miss some of it (and I know they will try and stop we going) but as you have all said you can't put a monetary value on time.
__________________
Cap_Scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 04:54 AM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 700
Cap, I think the title of this thread shows that you are right on top of what the real issue is: Control.
Control of your life. Congratulations on being where you are, and realizing that it is time to take what you have and use it to live YOUR life, on YOUR terms.

Enjoy!
__________________
HadEnuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 06:44 AM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: München
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
Cap, I think the title of this thread shows that you are right on top of what the real issue is: Control.
Control of your life. Congratulations on being where you are, and realizing that it is time to take what you have and use it to live YOUR life, on YOUR terms.

Enjoy!
Thanks.
__________________
Cap_Scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 08:32 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 9,954
How will Brexit affect your ability, as a UK citizen, to continue living in Europe?
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 09:03 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 2,782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap_Scarlet View Post
(how the hell did I get to be 52?).
Free advice......don't blink.......'cause once you blink you'll look back at 52 as the halcyon days.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 09:27 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: München
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
How will Brexit affect your ability, as a UK citizen, to continue living in Europe?
In simple terms nobody knows yet.

Its very likely that exiting rights acquired prior to Brexit will be protected (e.g. the right to own property) as will the right to reside (given the number of EU citizens present in the UK).

The majority of the fuss about cross border immigration relates to so called benefits tourism where there is a fear of Eastern Europeans relocating to the country purely to claim benefits. This is compounded by the UK having completely free medical care. Therefore, if you are paying for medical and not claiming any benefits (i.e. our case) there's unlikely to be any pressure on the individual (to leave the country).

The second unknown is pensions and whether those living outside the UK would lose the right to the current triple lock on social security pensions (whereby pensions go up by the higher of average prices, average wages or 2.5%). This is important for some but as social security is a small portion of our retirement budget would not materially impact on what we do.

So in reality I can see very little changing and certainly not for the next 4-5 years. Most likely outcome is that the UK stays very close to Europe but with some additional immigration safeguards. It was described to me as follows "The UK was in any event already on the outside of the inner circle; Brexit will likely mean that they move to the inside of the outer circle"
__________________
Cap_Scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 09:32 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: München
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post
Free advice......don't blink.......'cause once you blink you'll look back at 52 as the halcyon days.
So true. In my 20's and 30's I was a decent runner, running a lot of 10k's and half marathons. I look back on photo's from those days and I just wish someone had said to me "enjoy these moments because that's the best you're going to be".

My knees don't allow me to run anymore but I now want to create more ".....best I'm going to be moments" only this time as a husband, father, skier etc. I will spend more time appreciating.
__________________
Cap_Scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 10:11 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 2,782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap_Scarlet View Post
So true. In my 20's and 30's I was a decent runner, running a lot of 10k's and half marathons. I look back on photo's from those days and I just wish someone had said to me "enjoy these moments because that's the best you're going to be".

My knees don't allow me to run anymore but I now want to create more ".....best I'm going to be moments" only this time as a husband, father, skier etc. I will spend more time appreciating.
To quote Kris Kristofferson "You've been reading my mail".

At one point in my thirties I was running 10 miles a day, 7 days a week. Ran a marathon at 41 (both knees with bone on bone osteoarthritis).

Last year, age seventy-three, I was stair climbing, (6,785 risers in one session was my max)....today, seventy-four this month, I have sciatica, (however, I did struggle through 944 risers this morning), and am pretty much confined to the elliptical.

Moral: Do it while you can, 'cause it don't last....(although, on a transatlantic earlier this year, we did meet an eighty year old Kiwi who was/is still doing triathlons, but he's one of the rare exceptions.)
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 10:37 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: München
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post
To quote Kris Kristofferson "You've been reading my mail".

At one point in my thirties I was running 10 miles a day, 7 days a week. Ran a marathon at 41 (both knees with bone on bone osteoarthritis).

Last year, age seventy-three, I was stair climbing, (6,785 risers in one session was my max)....today, seventy-four this month, I have sciatica, (however, I did struggle through 944 risers this morning), and am pretty much confined to the elliptical.

Moral: Do it while you can, 'cause it don't last....(although, on a transatlantic earlier this year, we did meet an eighty year old Kiwi who was/is still doing triathlons, but he's one of the rare exceptions.)
I had never run a marathon as I always regarded it as too far (I'm more built for speed than stamina) and ran my first marathon in 2002 acquiring patella tendinitis in the process of training for it. It was such a horrible experience (in terms of hitting the wall) that I decided to run another three weeks later (to see if it was really as bad as i thought) where I ran a different strategy but still hated it!

The elliptical is still a great workout - so I will be happy if I can still do that at 74!
__________________
Cap_Scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 11:18 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,850
Did you ask the children how they feel about their potential inheritance being reduced by their layabout parents wanting to become ski bums in early retirement?

__________________
explanade is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 11:30 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 4,680
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Just wondered if you should ask for a package. Just say that you are crushed by missing the promotion. I suggested that to BIL and even mentioned it to his boss who was married to my cousin (on the other side). In 3 months at age 56, he was thanking me. And going to Scottsdale for the winters to golf. He died of brain cancer at 73.

Also you have 30 years left and that will drop every year you delay. And as Nemo says, maybe it is more like 20 in unhindered years!
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 11:41 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 5,360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap_Scarlet View Post
But....

Age is creeping up. I'm still in decent shape (wife is a year older and also in good shape) but want to enjoy my hobbies (skiing and mountain biking) before I'm too old (maybe another 10 years?).
At 52 you have another 20 years unless an accident or disease strike. But, that is something that can happen to any of us at any age.



IMHO, the attached cartoon says it all:
Attached Images
File Type: gif Time > money.gif (60.0 KB, 93 views)
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 12:08 PM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: München
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Did you ask the children how they feel about their potential inheritance being reduced by their layabout parents wanting to become ski bums in early retirement?
I've been "threatening" them that I would retire early for a few years. I am not sure they think I will go. I've paid their college and I think they recognize the check book is closing!
__________________

__________________
Cap_Scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Full time to part time...to no time! WestcoastRN Hi, I am... 13 11-17-2013 02:02 PM
Would You Take Your Old Job Back? easysurfer Other topics 43 01-10-2010 12:54 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:24 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.