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Wracked with guilt
Old 04-06-2008, 05:53 PM   #1
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Wracked with guilt

Hi I pulled the plug at 51 with two girls 11&15 and wondering if I did the right thing. No mortgage 200,00K in mutal funds and a rental triplex free and clear. MY pension is 3500.00 monthly with health dental and vision. The downside is no cola until 56. I worked for the goverment and everyone leaves around same age. My guilt comes looking down the road for my girls. I'm planning on finding part/fulltime work after a few months. Thought I was ready to leave but now feeling regretfull anyone else feel they might of left to soon?
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:30 PM   #2
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I am not sure what you feel guilty about. Could you elaborate?
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:37 PM   #3
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I grew up without a pot to piss in, but I had a few years of my father's time until he died when I was in my 20s.

I did not, and do not, care in the least whether my father had a good job or left me any money. I cared for him. I loved his stories, his music, his silly humor, his bravery in the face of debilitating illness.

You can give your children your time without guilt. Enjoy your retirement and think about not getting another job.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:37 PM   #4
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As Martha mentioned, your girls will remember that their dad was there with them more than anything else. That is far more important than any material thing you could give them. Love them and raise them well and all will be fine.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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I grew up without a pot to piss in, but I had a few years of my father's time until he died when I was in my 20s.

I did not, and do not, care in the least whether my father had a good job or left me any money. I cared for him. I loved his stories, his music, his silly humor, his bravery in the face of debilitating illness.

You can give your children your time without guilt. Enjoy your retirement and think about not getting another job.
Martha,

These are indeed wise words. I was just 21 when I lost my dad. I loved him so much just as you did your father. There really is more to life than money.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:35 PM   #6
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I agree with Martha, Gumby & Purron. But your guilty feeling might be because you feel like you are not setting the right example for them (although I don't believe you should feel guilty for taking retirement to be with them). If that is the case, here is a possible solution:

At their ages, they will be in school most of the day. If you feel you must work, why not do it part time while they are in school...only. Take off during vacations when they are off, etc.

My DD is 16, one year to go in HS. If I could punch out now and feel financially comfortable, I would. She's the greatest, and my relationship with her sounds similar to Martha and her dad. When she goes away to university, I don't know what I'll do. It took a few months to recover after DS flew the coup...with her it will be longer.

FWIW,

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Old 04-07-2008, 08:04 AM   #7
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I also grew up without a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out. I'm convinced that the teenage years are perhaps the most critical time for parents to stay at home (aside from early childhood where bonding takes place) to help in raising children, so this might be a wise move from a parenting persepctive. In my view, you shouldn't trade dollars for time and you're giving your children your most prescious resource. You can't really play catch-up when the time has been lost with your kids. You've done the right thing.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:14 AM   #8
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I don't have kids so can't comment on other parent's perspectives. But everyone was a kid once - what was more important to you - what your parents bought, or the time they spent with you?
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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I don't have kids so can't comment on other parent's perspectives. But everyone was a kid once - what was more important to you - what your parents bought, or the time they spent with you?
When I was 15 the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time with my parents . Of course now looking back I am glad my dad wasn't a workoholic and spent time with me.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:19 PM   #10
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Hi I pulled the plug at 51 with two girls 11&15 and wondering if I did the right thing. No mortgage 200,00K in mutal funds and a rental triplex free and clear. MY pension is 3500.00 monthly with health dental and vision. The downside is no cola until 56. I worked for the goverment and everyone leaves around same age. My guilt comes looking down the road for my girls. I'm planning on finding part/fulltime work after a few months. Thought I was ready to leave but now feeling regretfull anyone else feel they might of left to soon?
Man I wish had gotten a government job when I was young. You've got it made.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:03 PM   #11
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What is there to feel guilty about. I left home at 16 and never had a Dad at home from the age of 4, and was one of the reasons I left home that early. At 38 I "retired" did things that had me home most of the time during the day (working early day and late night shifts). Spent a lot of time with my kids (4 of them; and the girls were 16 and 15 at that time). My tell me now they enjoyed having me around when they were growing up (I doubt they ever would have told me that back then). My relationship with all of them, some 30 years later, could not be better. If it is money that worries you, I would not let it, look where you are and how your got there, congratulations. If is the example you may think is bad for the kids look what has already been said. In my case I wish my Father had been there for me, he died when I was 35, and we did have a few good years together before he died but we both will never know what we missed those earlier years. Oh, and welcome to the ER Forum.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:57 PM   #12
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I'm Done,
Welcome to the forum. Glad you found us and I hope your stay here is educational and entertaining.

Don't sweat the guilt thing too much. My dad worked 6 days a week and had little time for us. He lost his dad at an early age and had to work hard from the time he was very young to help support the family. I guess he did not have a good role model.

I tried to be a better dad to my kids but frequently my job got in the way (as well as a divorce).

The time spent with your kids cannot be subtracted from your life.

If you feel you must work find a part time job in the morning so you can spend more afternoon and evening time with your kids. Otherwise, don't sweat the job. You will give far more to your kids than material stuff...you will give them YOU.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:17 PM   #13
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I thought this said "wrecked the quilt" and was prepared to call my MIL who is a quilting expert.

Looks like some pretty good advice about non quilting matters has been handed out.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:23 PM   #14
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Wonder what's become of our wracked with guilt OP? He hasn't been around since shortly after his one and only post yesterday. Is I'm done done?
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:04 AM   #15
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Hi I pulled the plug at 51 with two girls 11&15 and wondering if I did the right thing. No mortgage 200,00K in mutal funds and a rental triplex free and clear. MY pension is 3500.00 monthly with health dental and vision. The downside is no cola until 56. I worked for the goverment and everyone leaves around same age. My guilt comes looking down the road for my girls. I'm planning on finding part/fulltime work after a few months. Thought I was ready to leave but now feeling regretfull anyone else feel they might of left to soon?
I bailed at 48, and although my peers are now drawing a generous pension, I have my health and sanity. I worked for a few years after that, managed to put two kids through college after retirement. You too will survive.

Spend your extra time with your daughters, you never regret your decision.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:43 PM   #16
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Thanks for the posts. Still trying to adjust. Most people say it'll be a year to feel settled.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:48 PM   #17
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It took me longer than that just to quit giggling.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:54 PM   #18
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I am not sure what you feel guilty about. Could you elaborate?
Not clear to me, either. :confused:

Per Guilt: Encyclopedia of Psychology: "Guilt is both a cognitive and an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes that he or she has violated a moral standard and is responsible for that violation".

The above doesn't seem very apt here. The OP retired at an age that he says is typical for similarly-situated government employes, and it sounds like he has adequate pension / investment income to support himself and his children. What moral standard has been violated?
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:38 PM   #19
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the guilt comes from not staying with the job longer to get the COLA or sticking out even longer 'till the kids were both out of the house. The pension maxxes at 80% which is what I left with. The pension cost 9% of your pay so I thought it was time. Did this make sense?
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:17 AM   #20
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Hi I pulled the plug at 51 with two girls 11&15 and wondering if I did the right thing.
The downside is no cola until 56. I worked for the goverment and everyone leaves around same age. My guilt comes looking down the road for my girls. I'm planning on finding part/fulltime work after a few months. Thought I was ready to leave but now feeling regretfull anyone else feel they might of left to soon?
Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm done View Post
the guilt comes from not staying with the job longer to get the COLA or sticking out even longer 'till the kids were both out of the house. The pension maxxes at 80% which is what I left with. The pension cost 9% of your pay so I thought it was time. Did this make sense?
I'm not sure what you're feeling guilty about. You stayed long enough to earn a pension that's big enough to fund your expenses. Unless you really enjoyed your work, wanted to enrich your heirs, or thought it was worth risking your health-- why stay longer?

This board tends to favor working until you have enough, and encouraging your kids to pay for anything beyond four years at State U. You're going to get the COLA in a few years. It sounds like you're planning to return to work anyway.

One of this board's more experienced ERs felt that he should provide his teen daughter with the illusion that she still had a job so that she wouldn't fear poverty. For quite a while he left the house each day in coat & tie (while she was getting ready for school) and sneaked back home after she'd left. When she was years older he shared this subterfuge with her, and she'd never even noticed. She said that her hands were too full with being a teenager for her to notice what her father was doing, let alone care, and she was very happy that he was always available when she needed him.

Most of us feel like we escaped with our lives and our fortunes, or we'd still be working. But you could read Zelinski's "How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free" or Bob Clyatt's "Work Less, Live More" to see how you feel about the subject.
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