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Your Thoughts
Old 09-11-2004, 12:28 PM   #1
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Your Thoughts

I have been reading your posts for some time and value your opinions. I thought I would check and see what you think of my situation and give me some feedback. A little about our situation.
My wife and I are both 43 and have been married for 20 years. We were childhood sweetharts and never went to college. We started in the work force right after highschool. Our only son is a freshman in college and we have that taken care of. We both worked for a family business for over 20 years when the corporation bought us out and closed the local office down. We knew that having all of our eggs in one basket was not a good idea so we saved as much as we could while the money was good and lived below our means. My wife has found another job in a different industyy and loves it. I have asked her more than once if we had 10 million $ would she ever quit this job and she has consistantly said no. I was offered a position back with the new company and accepeted. It's all I know and I hate it. The money is good but I am so burnt out by this industry that I don't know what to do.
I figure that if we have a nice house paid for with no intentions of moving, our son is taken care of for college and beyond, my wife has a state job with good benifits and loves it and we have saved over 800K then we should be fine. Why am I so scared?? I figure it is my turn to do something that I would enjoy that would not affect my health like this job is. Sorry for the rant, but I want to give my notice to this company, and I also know other people would love the position I am in and ask if I am crazy. I have the highest sales in my area. If I do give my notice then I know that I will never be able to go back, is that such a loss? Looking foward to your thoughts and thanks in advance for the kick in the pants I need.

Bozo
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-11-2004, 12:48 PM   #2
 
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Re: Your Thoughts

If I was in your position knowing what I know now, I would be gone in a heartbeat. What are you scared of?
Your finances look fine. Your wife likes her work.
You can get sick or die whether you are working or not.
I confess I have an advantage over most folks as I never worried about having/getting a job.
But just remember, most of the other things you worry about will never happen anyway.

John Galt
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-11-2004, 01:11 PM   #3
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Re: Your Thoughts

Bozo (named after the clown?)
Retiring early is a very individual decision. I still haven't done it but I have intiated a plan to make it happen next year.
You are in a position to question why you want to retire early and explore all your options and how to go about it. It does not have to be work or no work. It could mean a change in what you do. You have the time to explore your options. The sales folks I knew were usually extroverts who needed to be around people and the buzz.

I learned something from working on suicide hot line. If someone called and said they decided to kill themselves we would say that this is a very definative step but before doing it why not explore how you can get help. The suicide option will always be there. In other words what do you have to lose by talking with others? We didn't say it in those exact words.

Good luck
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You have a clue, now make a plan.
Old 09-11-2004, 02:13 PM   #4
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You have a clue, now make a plan.

Make sure your spouse understands why you're considering ER. Working spouses are much more supportive if they know they'll be coming home to a clean house, dinner on the table, drycleaning in the closet, and a happy (& sober) spouse. Talk your finances over and make sure you both have a handle on income vs expenses, funding retirement plans (401(k)s & IRAs, etc), and playing it safe by withdrawing less than 4% from your retirement portfolio. Gotta have a budget to evaluate the ER pros & cons.

Make sure you have healthcare insurance covered for your whole family (you & kid included).

Consider what you'd do if you ER and your spouse is laid off the following week. One idea might be an emergency fund until she finds work, another idea might be your turn to find a job somewhere else. If this conversation goes well then it's time to try a temporary lifestyle change.

See if your work will give you a sabbatical (paid or unpaid). Two weeks is an absolute minimum, one month is better, 3-6 months would be great. If that doesn't fly then try taking a couple weeks' vacation.

Determine if the new leisurely lifestyle suits you. Try a Meyers-Briggs personality inventory or read library books on retirement lifestyles. Figure out if you have enough human contact in your neighborhood or if you need hobbies or if you're just drifting. Hopefully within a couple weeks you'll know if you're truly ready for ER or if you're looking for a job/career change.

And keep reading this board. You'll find the answers when work doesn't distract you from thinking about the questions.
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-11-2004, 04:10 PM   #5
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Re: Your Thoughts

Quote:
*I was *offered a position back with the new company and accepeted. *It's all I know and I hate it. *The money is good but I am so burnt out by this industry that I don't know what to do.
I figure that if we have a nice house paid for with no intentions of moving, our son is taken care of for college and beyond, my wife has a state job with good benifits and loves it and we have saved over 800K then we should be fine. *Why am I so scared??
I mentioned this in another post just yesterday, but you are scared because you never experienced ER. You should read the "Parable of the Cave" since it defines your situation exactly.

With only $800K, you may need to accumulate a few hundred thousand more and/or keep a part-time job. Sounds like you may have that covered if your wife refuses to quit her job. However, how would she feel when you ER and have all the fun you want while she is still working? She may want to ER too when she see the light.
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-11-2004, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: Your Thoughts

Quote:
I figure that if we have a nice house paid for with no intentions of moving, our son is taken care of for college and beyond, my wife has a state job with good benifits and loves it and we have saved over 800K then we should be fine. Why am I so scared?? I figure it is my turn to do something that I would enjoy that would not affect my health like this job is. Sorry for the rant, but I want to give my notice to this company, and I also know other people would love the position I am in and ask if I am crazy. I have the highest sales in my area. If I do give my notice then I know that I will never be able to go back, is that such a loss? Looking foward to your thoughts and thanks in advance for the kick in the pants I need.

Bozo
My first post on this board (which I have also been reading and learning from for some time) is to respond to your first post!

I think life has a way of working out. You have a solid foundation to build upon (house, savings, a working spouse). You're scared because you're facing a major change. That's normal. However, you won't know what's possible until you take the first step. It sounds as though your giving notice and closing the door on your present employer will be more of a loss to them than to you.

As I said, I think life has a way of working out. My age and educational level are similar to yours, but as a single person have only one income. Even so, several years ago I found myself choosing between remaining employed or maintaining my sense of integrity, and I chose to walk away from the job. At the time, I was less than a year into a new mortgage and had only a small amount of savings, so it was a pretty scary time. But you know what? I survived it. I got up every morning and went job-hunting. I found a better job than the one I left, a job that has put me in a position where I can consider retiring someday (maybe not early, but retiring nonetheless!).

My point? You can't fly unless you jump off the cliff. Best of luck to you.
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-11-2004, 08:27 PM   #7
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Re: Your Thoughts

Bozo,

I didn't read anywhere in your post that you actually came out and said that you were considering ER. But rather
"I figure it is my turn to do something that I would enjoy that would not affect my health like this job is".

So if the moneys good, and you seem to be good at it, why not just continue to take the dollars for a few years more and fatten your account up some more? Until you really decide exactly what it is that you would rather do. Knowing that you don't really need to stay there anymore, should make it easier to take. The knowledge that you can walk if you want to may turn many issues into a trifle. You would just have to keep remembering your secret plan when issues come up that usually would stress you out. And not get caught up in the "old you".
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-12-2004, 06:01 AM   #8
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Re: Your Thoughts

Retire@40 - were you refering to Socrates?
Taking the High Road The unexamined life is not worth living, In The Apology, Socrates relates that the most important goal in life is the improvement of the soul. We should search others, our environment, and ourselves so that we may come to a better understanding of the world. The Parable of the Cave tells of the journey that Socrates was trying to relate, in that each person is faced with different realities as we travel to try and reach the intellectual world. This journey of enlightenment draws close parallels to another piece of literature by Robert Frost. In his poem The Road Not Taken, he describes how he felt as he came upon the fork in the road and chose to take the road less traveled and that has made all the difference. The use of life as a journey is nothing new to literature, but with Plato and Frost both show that this journey is not easy and there are many choices along the way that we must make that will determine the quality of the life we will lead. The main factor that drew me to the Parable of the Cave was the way it described our journey through life. It begins by telling us that the reality we initially see when we are chained down in the cave is nothing more than an illusion. This is true in my own life in that I was told by my parents what was right and what was wrong without questioning the reason behind it. They kept a chain of sorts around me so that I was not harmed by all of the realities of the world at once, but rather gradually introduced to them as I grew up. As we are released from bondage, our reality is immediately changed. When we first look toward the light we will suffer sharp pains; as we try to adjust to this new reality that is suddenly thrown upon us. The bondage that we experienced in the beginning is no longer there and the full weight of the world is pressed down on us without the help of others and now responsibility for our own actions becomes the controlling factor in our life. The light that first shocked us into reality now causes you to come to a crossroads in life. Looking directly at the light will cause some pain and suffering, but offers a clearer vision or turn away and take refuge in the objects of vision which he can see and return to the reality of which he was accustomed, but is only an illusion. Many people are scared to face reality and would rather turn back to the shelter that they are comfortable with. Independence and freedom are things these people could live without, so long as they had someone to lead them. Unfortunately, the majority of people fall into this category. They become sheep and require a shepherd to guide them through their lives. The others who can overcome the blinding light are able to ask of themselves what they are trying to accomplish in their lifetime. They may make mistakes along the way, but because they had the strength to try, are able to learn from those mistakes and become more intelligent as they age. Those that never leave the depths of the cave remain in an illusion. Ignorance is bliss, and these people never want to have to struggle with their lives, but would rather remain without the responsibility the new knowledge would bring them if they were to walk towards the light.
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-12-2004, 06:02 AM   #9
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Re: Your Thoughts

The light allows us to see things more clearly and this is the goal that we are trying to reach in our lifetime, but are almost assured of failing. Why then should you constantly fight toward this goal over adversity and hardship only to fail in the end? The journey is the most important part of the trip, not the destination. The things learned along the way will make your life more fulfilling and enjoyable. The Parable of the Cave shows how this journey can be related to our own lives and the struggles we face throughout our lifetime. The journey talked of in The Parable of the Cave has many parallels with the poem by Robert Frost entitled The Road Not Taken. The last line of the poem reads, I took the road not taken and that has made all the difference. The road usually taken is the easy road, the road that is the most comfortable to us. This road keeps us ignorant because we never seek to gain more knowledge by searching and asking questions. I chose to represent the Parable of the Cave by visually showing the poem by Frost. It begins on a road that is surrounded by foliage. This acts to shelter you from the harmful world. The foliage shelters you until you come to a fork in the road. The road ahead of you is clear of any obstacles for as far as you can see. The other road to your right begins with a hill and you can not see what lies ahead. At this fork you must make a decision to continue straight ahead on the clear path, or take a chance and climb that hill to see what is on the other side. The clear path is representative of the path that most people will take, the easy road. This road continues with no obstacles because that is what you have seen all of your life and are comfortable with this arrangement. Taking this road would be the same as returning to the depths of the cave once you were blinded by the light. The road to the right represents the continuance toward the light at the cave mouth discussed by Plato. This road had obstacles that will impede your path and slow you down, but do not stop you from continuing on to the end. The hills are the trials we must face in life if we are trying to obtain knowledge. The knowledge does not come without consequences, however, and you must go through trying times (whether it be self-examination, examination of others, or examination of the environment around you) before you can move ahead. Whichever road we decide to take, the end result is the same, death. The roads lead to the same destination, but the paths to that destination are very different. This is representative of the course of life that each of us must take, some paths are easier than others, but the more difficult path leads to a more fulfilling life. The Parable of the Cave shows the major steps in life that we are all faced with. Those who choose to turn away from the light would not lead a fulfilling life in the eyes of Plato or Socrates. Those that choose to continue toward the light take all the responsibility that comes with that choice. By continuing toward the light they continue to enlightenment. In order to reach enlightenment, we must question ourselves and our motives and in doing so will face more trying and pressing times than those who choose to return to a place that they are comfortable with. Frost's poem The Road Not Taken very much parallels the thoughts expressed by Plato. We are faced with many choices in life. The fork in the road represents those choices we are faced with and once they are made, there is no turning back. The mistakes made along the way may cause use to stumble or slow down, but the journey to the end is much more fulfilling if we are willing to take the road less traveled, for it too could make all the difference.
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-12-2004, 09:02 AM   #10
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Re: Your Thoughts

Yes Dex, but that article you copied from somewhere compares the "Caves" to a poem by Robert Frost. I was talking about the meaning of the "Caves" to people who are afraid to ER as the original poster stated.

Some people are afraid to ER because they are conditioned to keep doing what they have always done without exploring life. I have a hard time believing that most people enjoy working. Maybe some REALLY love their work, but I believe most people only THINK they want to work forever. If they explore life and can experience all the other fun things there are to do besides work, then they may see the light. In an oversimplified way of explaining this, the people in cave only know the cave just like people at work only know they need to wake up go to work all day, come home, eat, watch some TV, go to bed, and start all over the next day. For those of us who have discovered the exit to the cave and have decided not to return to the chains in the cave, we believe that ERing is a better answer to life than wasting a major and best part of our lives at a job.

I never even liked philosophy in college, but that's my philosophy lesson for today. When I first read the parable of the caves in college, I remember how it related to ERing, but when I talked about my interpretation to others in my class, they didn't get it which baffled me. They were more concerned with climbing the corporate ladder. Well, they are now in the corporate world trying to make their bosses happy and working overtime to prove their loyalty to the company so they can get that promotion with a fancier title. I am semi-retired self-employed working much less hours than them and most likely accumulating more wealth than them in order to retire at 40.
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-12-2004, 04:45 PM   #11
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Re: Your Thoughts

Quote:
Some people are afraid to ER because they are conditioned to keep doing what they have always done without exploring life. *I have a hard time believing that most people enjoy working. *Maybe some REALLY love their work, but I believe most people only THINK they want to work forever. *If they explore life and can experience all the other fun things there are to do besides work, then they may see the light. *In an oversimplified way of explaining this, the people in cave only know the cave just like people at work only know they need to wake up go to work all day, come home, eat, watch some TV, go to bed, and start all over the next day. *For those of us who have discovered the exit to the cave and have decided not to return to the chains in the cave, we believe that ERing is a better answer to life than wasting a major and best part of our lives at a job.

I never even liked philosophy in college, but that's my philosophy lesson for today. *When I first read the parable of the caves in college, I remember how it related to ERing, but when I talked about my interpretation to others in my class, they didn't get it *which baffled me. *They were more concerned with climbing the corporate ladder. *Well, they are now in the corporate world trying to make their bosses happy and working overtime to prove their loyalty to the company so they can get that promotion with a fancier title. *I am semi-retired self-employed working much less hours than them and most likely accumulating more wealth than them in order to retire at 40.
Retire@40,
I like and miss intellegent thoughts such as you propose. There isn't enough of it around. When my TV died 3 months ago I said I wouldn't get another one because I saw everthing there was to see on it and I was becomming a zombie. I don't tell people that because I work in the TV industry. I plan to retire within the next 8-9 months at 50. If I knew now what you know now it may have been earlier.

I don't know your background but the poster's sounds as if it is from a working backgroung - in other words not from an affluent childhood. That brings along with it many added issues.

I grew up poor. All I was taught was to learn in school and get a job. The concept of enjoying life or that I would ever have enough money to retire early was as distant as going to another solar system. My greatest fear in life is to lose everything I have an go back to the area where I grew up. I am now 1,000 miles away from it with a net worth of 1.5m. One of my issues is what to do with myself if I retire early.
Just like people who grew up in the depression and now have a lot of money they can not spend; early retirement is a complicated question. The answer has less to do with money than it does with lover and fear. Which will win out?
Thanks for posting.
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Re: Your Thoughts
Old 09-19-2004, 03:57 PM   #12
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Re: Your Thoughts

Thanks to all for the replies. To answer a few questions: Yes I would like to retire early, I have been working since I was 13 and being the "responsible one" for as long as I can remember; because it is man's / husbands job, no regreats though. My wife is in full support of my decisions. I don't think I will get tired of retiring early, there are so many things I would like to do. I am exploring my options, and if I do quit my job it will be a well thought out, spur of the moment decision.

Bozo
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