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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-04-2003, 04:39 PM   #21
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Re: ER and new career?

Thanks for the input Proud_Texan (me too, btw). Only debt is the auto and house. Everything else is paid off. We have planned for this for some time. My only concern is the final jump. I am not any closer to making the decision to go as I was two or three weeks ago. Funny thing is I have made up my mind several times now and then changed them. Even today, I said that is it, I going. And, if things work just right in the next couple of days, I will go.

On paper, everything works. Matter of fact, there is only about $700 difference per month from current salary to combined (wife's 72T/my 72T/trust fund) retirement draw. I know I could do without or work around that $700 right now. It is just that final push to get me out the door.

Bill
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-04-2003, 06:49 PM   #22
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Re: ER and new career?

I don't want to discourage you, but it is a very big
decision and you seem quite ambivalent. I am unsure
about the degree of uncertainty and waffling others
may have endured. In my case it was one of the
easiest decisions I ever made. I had to do it,
even if I had to work out the details on the fly
(which as it turned out I did). Wild horses and the
threat of insolvency could not have stopped me once I
decided to go.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-04-2003, 07:54 PM   #23
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Re: ER and new career?

I've said this in another of these forums, but it's like standing at the open door of an airplane get ready for your first jump. Even if you've packed your chute correctly and done all the practice jumps on the ground, it's still kind of scary.

I'd say if you're chute's packed correctly, jump. The reason why it's good to get rid of your debt though is because it's liking parachuting while holding an anvil.

You have to do what's best for you and stay in your comfort zone.
Only you have to live with your decision. You'll make the right choice.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-05-2003, 06:41 AM   #24
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Re: ER and new career?

I agree with proud Texan. Eliminating your debt is a
must.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-06-2003, 08:44 PM   #25
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Re: ER and new career?

Bill:

Like you, I have wrestled with this question quite a lot. It's not that I don't want to ER, it's more like I want to ER AND be reasonably certain that I am doing it at the right time. As with any other business decision, timing is critical. Using my perfect 20-20 hindsight, retiring 3 years ago would have been pretty smart. Unfortunately, my crystal ball was a little cloudy that day and I did not foresee the 2001-2002 recession.

Anyway, the 2 BIG issues that have been discussed here are: 1) health insurance; and 2) debt. Of the two, health insurance may be the bigger issue. Debt reduction is a great thing but the bottom line on debt is its effect upon your cash-flow. If you can comfortably service some debt, it's really not much of a problem. If you can't comfortably service the debt and ER, then that puts the situation in a whole new light. We won't have our home paid off by the time I ER but our retirement income will easily cover the house payment and all of our bills. Heck... my wife ER'd in 2001 at the ripe old age of 51 and her pension check covers all of our monthly bills. Also, we will have 50% of our health insurance paid for by my employer, so that brings that cost down to a reasonable level that fits into our budget.

Another issue of importance here is the effect that your job has upon you. If you are in a high stress job that is affecting you physically or mentally, get out ASAP. It is far better to live on less income than to have a serious health problem. If your job does not have a deleterious effect upon your health, then working until age 55 may be a good idea. That was the conclusion that I came to once the corporate demons were shackled sufficiently that I could tolerate their presence. Eleven months to go... and counting!


Ed_B
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-07-2003, 03:59 AM   #26
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Re: ER and new career?

Hi Ed! I read your post with just a twinge of envy.
You see, neither of us has a pension and we must find
and pay for 100% of our health insurance. I also have
one child still in college. So, ER requires eternal
vigilance in my case.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-08-2003, 08:42 AM   #27
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Re: ER and new career?

Hey Bill !

Well, I just got a chance to read this thread, very interesting ! The thing that caught my eye in the original post was the idea of ditching the tech job to drive a truck. I'm a techie as well, although I am quite ready to move on. I have a friend who is an OTR truck driver and has offered to train me to drive and help me get my CDL. I'm in a similar position to you in that it's hard to shed the golden handcuffs. This downshifting idea has occured to me several times. For those of us who live frugally with little or not debt, it is an option. If we've saved dilligently, we can add cash flow from that savings to add to our new lower paying career. I'm younger (33) and will definitely opt out of this box living soon. The Johngalts of the world inspire me, he seems to be on my shoulder yelling "Just leap !".

Anyway, I'll be interested in the decision you make. It sounds like it's not a financial one, but an emotional one. I'd like to hear some more Stories about downshifting as well.

johngalt, I know you've posted your story in general elsewhere, but more detail about your situation when you ER'd would interest me and I'll bet others, as to what you had and what made you decide. If it's already been posted, a pointer will do.

Cheers !

John
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 09-08-2003, 09:03 AM   #28
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Re: ER and new career?

You are right Panhead. The decision has become more emotional than financial. The entire decision may be made easier for me as the company will have a voluntary package to leave employment. No details, but the rumors are fast and furious. Should happen before end of year. The package would give me that extra comfort level that I desire.

The debt and medical insurance is not an issue. Insurance coverage is pretty good in today's dollars. If and when the package comes, I will update everyone on the decision. Thanks all for the input.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-18-2003, 05:31 AM   #29
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Re: ER and new career?

Well, here is the update I promised back in September. The "package" did come out and I am going. Last day is this Friday.

Things have been fast and furious, trying to get all of my ducks lined up, paper work processed, work transitioned, and projects handed off. This week, I am just waiting for the last day. Nice severance pay coming in 2004, left over vacation pay coming next month in December and starting new part time job next Monday. Did I ER? No, the part time job will keep me busy, but, I am okay with that.

I have studied this thing from every angle possible and I believe I am prepared more than I thought possible. Thanks goes out to this board and its members for the words of wisdom/personal experiences. The funny thing was, once I made the decision to leap (really was a no brainer), I was able to sleep very soundly. I know the choice was a perfect fit for me.

I will continue to monitor this board (now that I have more time on my hands) and contribute as I can. Thanks again.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-19-2003, 06:27 AM   #30
 
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Re: ER and new career?

Let us know how the part time job works out. I started
part time work pretty quickly after I hung it up and was
not happy with it. But, could be a lot of reasons for that.
Later on I landed a part time gig that I would still be
doing had my employer not decided to switch it
to full time status. A dream job, but it only lasted 2
years ending in 1998. That is when I decided to make
my retirement complete. No regrets!

John Galt
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-20-2003, 08:08 AM   #31
 
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Re: ER and new career?

Cut_Throat:
Just curious..how does the rest of your family adjust to your ER status? I don't see much of that discussion in this forum.
Regards
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-20-2003, 02:23 PM   #32
 
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Re: ER and new career?

Thanks Cut_Throat:

I am in the software industry also..I know what you mean.

If wife continues to work, how does the husband cope with it emotionally..I mean any guilt feelings? Just curious.

Regards
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-21-2003, 05:01 AM   #33
 
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Re: ER and new career?

Following my custom of commenting on any
of my good friend Cut-Throat's posts

I have some guilt about my wife still working while
I pretty much do what I want. Here is how I rationalize it. There was a big imbalance in our financial
positions when we married (2 years ago). This will
never go away. I view it that I worked pretty hard for a long time,
and now my money is working. Also, my wife is 5 years younger, so..........Finally, she wants to have her
independence and not rely on me for "walking around
money". My view is some day soon she will retire, or at least semiretire and then we will mainly live on my
money. I will confess that while I handle the day to day
car, yard and fit-it issues, I hate housework and ignore it as long as I can usually.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-21-2003, 06:03 AM   #34
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Re: ER and new career?

Congratulations on your ER!!

Each decision is a trade off and something must be given up to get something new. I ER'd this year and had the "opportunity" to work part time at my prevous employer. This gave me a chance to second look at my decision to ER. I miss some of my co-workers, but the place is still messed up and not likely to get better. Just reconfirmed that it was time to go.

earlyout
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-21-2003, 01:59 PM   #35
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Re: ER and new career?

Quote:
It's not all work though - I did sneak out to the Mississippi River today for some great Smallmouth Bass Fishing for a few hours.
Kind of OT, but a question--is the Mississppi up there where you live clean enough that you feel ok eating lots of those fish? Are the bag limits pretty good?

Mikey
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-21-2003, 03:46 PM   #36
 
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Re: ER and new career?

Hey Cut-Throat! Why do you not eat the fish you catch?
Unless I am trophy fishing, I keep and consume my
catch. Is it a concern about pollutants, or just your way
of protecting our environmental resources? Given your
liberal inclinations I suspect the latter.

John Galt
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-22-2003, 04:08 AM   #37
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Re: ER and new career?

Catch and release has been increasing here (LA) over recent years- especially among commercial sport fishermen(read tourist trade). Individual fishermen(that I know) practice catch and eat - a few inlander's - bass buster's with metalflake boats and all the toy's practice catch and release.

Eco tourism of various forms - not just fishing has become a big business down here.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-22-2003, 01:31 PM   #38
 
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Re: ER and new career?

To be clear, I think catch and release is fine. However,
I mostly keep my fish to eat. Not doing so would alter
my enjoyment of the sport I think. I once thought
seriously about taking up muskie fishing in a big way,
and would have adopted C and R if I had. When I hunted I enjoyed eating wild game very much. One of
the reasons I quit was there is no choice about C and R
in hunting.
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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-24-2003, 05:12 AM   #39
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Re: ER and new career?

MR John Galt

Hunting C and R is really P(point) and C(click) - then you get store bought food in camp. My nephew on R and R went on African Safari(tourist style) - stalk, take pictures, go back to camp for food and entertainment. They've been doing that for a while - merchant marine buddy did the same thing ten years ago.

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Re: ER and new career?
Old 11-24-2003, 06:29 AM   #40
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Re: ER and new career?

Cut-Throat

Tanzania? and Kenya? - they also climbed Mt, Kilimanjaro - and BTY - women take high altitude beter than men. The nice thing about military leave - it's long!
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