Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
HELP!!! First Day Of Early Retirement Fear
Old 02-05-2013, 07:06 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
Rickochet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 22
HELP!!! First Day Of Early Retirement Fear

I spent 26 years with a Megacorp utility company that just went through a major restructuring. Surprisingly, my department which I was the head of ceased operations along with many others. I looked at all of my options and since I was planning on retiring in a few years, I decided to take a one year of pay severance package. My decision to RE was influenced by the logic of taking another position within the company and then going through the same thing in a year and by then not receiving a severance. (Especially since this benefit is likely to not be an option soon.)

I will retire with good retiree medical benefits, a monthly pension, a decent 401k and the only debt is our home. Our financial advisers, Firecalc and other retirement calculators indicate that we should be OK, but not rich and due to ER I will have to be more cognizant of our expenditures. That is where I have difficulties....

I have always hoped to RE but now that it's here, I have this paranoia of being constrained by a fixed income. In my w*rking career I envisioned my first day of retirement to be one of extreme relief from all of the corporate life pressures. But instead, it has been once of melancholy and uncertainty. Reading many of your posts some of you have experienced similar trauma for your ER. Also, at the present time, I truly want to embrace the aspect of not working!

I have plenty of hobbies, and a wife who wants to work for 10 more years. I know I will not get bored, but I need some advice on how to shake this emotional state that I'd not planned on experiencing. I had hoped that retirement would be filled with a grandiose tension release and complete relaxation from stress.... not so much for me yet. Any advice to combat this condition or reassurance that this is normal and will go away is greatly appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Rick

I'm not retiring from life… just a job.
Rickochet 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 02-05-2013, 07:14 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,125
Give it some time, do something you could never do on a Tuesday morning unless you were on vacation, and remember this: "I'm not retiring from life… just a job."
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 07:20 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,629
Congrats! This could be a blessing in disguise.

IMHO- You were prob smart to take the severance when it was offered. I've seen too many who stayed on in corp circumstances like yours only to be laid off after a few more months with NOTHING.
__________________
ERhoosier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
JBmadera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Green Valley
Posts: 241
Congrats!! The only suggestion I would make would be to spend as much time as needed to completely understand your expenses/spending. It is something I wish I had spent much more time looking at prior to RE. As I now have spent the time really drilling into our spending and creating a workable budget a lot of the fears of being on a "fixed" income were reduced (we don't have pensions, etc only live off of our investments).

Good luck and enjoy.
__________________
JBmadera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,502
Just because it didn't make sense to take another position at Megacorp utility, doesn't mean you have to retire. Now that you have your bases covered with retiree medical and and an income, you can find something that brings in more without worrying about benefits, and thus feather the nest egg, or at least bring in a little extra spending money.

Also, having a lot of free time can really help cut expenses, as you have time to do things that had to be hired out, or time to find/arrange bargains that just aren't feasible while working.

It just sounds like you aren't ready for a full time life of leisure - especially if you are worried about income constraints. Since your wife plans to work another 10 years, it won't crimp your style as much to work at least part-time as when both spouses are retired and of doing stuff together (work tends to get in the way of that).

Do you expect to draw SS some day as well? That will boost your "fixed income" in the future?

There is no time pressure, but you aren't forbidden to work to earn extra money if you choose, right?
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 89
It sounds similar to our own situation (I will be giving my notice this month after 33 years with megacorp - lots of mixed emotions as the moment gets near). Compared with the vast majority of people in the US ( let alone the world ), you are in a privileged position - a pension, a decent 401K and a year's pay in cash.

I think it starts with recognizing this. Therefore, your expense budget should fit your means... then invest some time creating a budget that underruns expected cash inflows from your pension plus investments. Then you will feel in control and can make the normal trade offs (eg take a trip overseas vs. buying a better car ) that make us value the things that we can afford and enjoy.

I will be re-reading my own advice again in a couple of weeks when the butterflies in the stomach begin to misbehave again...

All the best,
__________________
boatfishandnature is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
cardude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 599
Running at least 30 minutes helps reduce my stress. I try to run 3x a week, and I'm NOT a natural runner.
__________________
ER'ed from the new car business Feb 2008. I'm 47, she's 45. Two boys ages 15 and 13. DW is SAHM. I've got a part-time used car lot I w*ork at 3 hours a day that keeps me in beer money.....
cardude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 08:55 AM   #8
Dryer sheet wannabe
Rickochet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 22
Thanks for all of the sincere replies! We have a pretty good handle on our budget and have adjusted to live a little tighter within the last year due to the restructuring study. I don't think it will be a problem, but in the past if we wanted something, we'd buy it. Now I will be analyzing purchases more closely, which will be a good thing, just different. I am hoping that this new ER situation will become more natural and I will not be worrying about the small stuff.

I think part of my melancholy is due to not being able to wind down into retirement as most people do. I had employees who were being severed and I was frantically working to find them jobs within the company. (So far all but one has remained on with the company.) I was also dealing with an operation "mothballing" effort that had me working more hours in the last week of w*rk than I have in many years. So it was wide full throttle & high gear to neutral immediately.

I think just sharing my situation with others who may have experienced similar scenarios certainly helps. My wife is very supportive and she is excited for me as we enter this new unknown phase of life together which makes me feel much better!

Again, thanks for your encouragement and advice, please keep them coming!
__________________
Rick

I'm not retiring from life… just a job.
Rickochet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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: 16,450
What you are feeling is natural resistance to change and fear of the unknown.

What I have done is set up a "paycheck" transfer from my liquidity reserve (which is about 2 years worth of living expenses) to my checking account. The knowledge of that monthly "paycheck" is somehow more comforting that just transferring funds as I need them.

Also, you could spend some time looking at your spending for 2011 and 2012 and a budget for 2013 reflecting the changes which will likely make you more comfortable with your living expense assumption.

Worst case, since DW is still working you could always view yourself as a kept man with a sugarmama instead of retired.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 09:02 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,871
Rickochet, welcome to our world of early retirees.

First, a question: How soon will you be paying off your mortgage? I can see being a little nervous about giving up a paycheck when you still have a mortgage. Once you pay that off, you will have freed up money that would have gone to that.

As BF&N posted, I suggest your ER budget include a cushion, or surplus, to give you a level of added comfort that you won't blow a hole in your budget should there be some small-moderate unforeseen expenses.

When I was developing my ER budget, I split it into two parts. The first part included getting age ~60 (are you 60 yet?), the part in which I have to live solely off my non-retirement investments. That's the tough part. The second part, the easier part, included what I call my "reinforcements" such as unfettered access to my TIRA, my frozen company pension, and Social Security. Having run Fidelity's Retirement Income Planner, I saw how much things improve for me after I can tap into those things. This is why strengthening your financial situation prior to age ~60 is more meaningful.

As others have written, give it some time. ER only gets better as you go along, and you seem well suited for it already.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
I'll join you in a couple of days
Old 02-05-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 356
I'll join you in a couple of days

Three more work days for me, then I think I will join you in the worry zone. There's been alot of posts of the inability to let go, and the anxiety of freedom. Worrying about money and budgets keeps me from facing that big world that is opening up and all the changes that comes with it. But I bet I'll figure it out, just takes a while.
__________________
Throwdownmyaceinthehole is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,382
As RE said, relax, as it just takes time. As long as you have an accurate assessment of monthly expenses, and cash flow/income, you will be fine. Remember your worry of being on a "fixed income" is not a problem as long as the above is accurate. Take solace that while working you were on a fixed income, then too, just at a different number! I had same thoughts when I retired even though I had accurately assessed budget for several years prior to pulling the plug. I must admit, as my "pacifier" I have worked PT the past 3 years, but am winding it down for good this summer, and am totally at ease. My PT money was never needed at all, and just went straight into my funds that I hope will be there still when I am gone.
__________________
Mulligan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Lafayette
Posts: 267
Great financial advice in the preceding posts. I too would encourage some parttime work to ease the transition.
I think you nailed it though in your latest post--where you described what your last weeks were like at the company and how you had no time to "wind down" to retirement.
What I really enjoy about ER is the new relationship with time. It gives me a whole new perspective on life, not to have to deal with deadlines all the time.
Hope this doesn't sound too Zen, but your feelings these first few days are part of the process. You did experience a loss of a way of life that you were engaged in for a long time. It will take a while to get over that and move on to a new way of living. Time heals all wounds ya know. And the suggestion of exercise (walking and letting your mind wander) works for me!
Hang in there!
__________________
gardenfun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Give it some time, do something you could never do on a Tuesday morning unless you were on vacation, and remember this: "I'm not retiring from life… just a job."
+1. It just takes some time, for me about 6 months.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 02:29 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Upstate Ruralia
Posts: 283
Hey Rickochet..I too just left the Gas division of a Mega-Gas/Electric Utility ( with HQ in Indiana!!!) after 34 years...jan 4 was my last workday so it's about 1 month..I was an Operations Supervisor, who really liked the people I worked with, and I did like the job, for but it was just SO time to go.

I am 57, single, have a mortgage but no other bills, a pension, retiree health benefits, and my Company is trading at an almost 10 year high so my 401K is doing well...

It WAS a little hard the first few weeks, but now I am still pinching myself that I DONT have to deal with all the demands of that job, nor must I spend so much time in meetings, on conf calls, and travelling, and best of all NO customers, Commission inspectors, or municipal officials.

And best of all-on those nights when it's 10 below zero, or, when it has rained for 4 days on top of snow, no more "no gas" calls or emergencies.

You WILL feel more relaxed in time....give it a month.

There IS life after work in a Utility. IT's just so all consuming when you're in it it takes a while to gear down.

COngratulations!!!! Go for a walk TODAY and think about how LUCKY you are!!!!!
__________________
Lcountz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 02:43 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 944
I will sing with the choir. It takes time. I pulled the trigger after crunching #s and doing several calculators with positive results but, still was very hesitant and concerned about spending money...I was just to used to saving and watching my bottom line grow vs. drawing from it. It took about 1 1/2 years for me really to see it was OK to spend (w/i the budget) and just enjoy life and the $ saved/invested.
Having a wife working for 10 more years really pads the landing for you.
Congrats and enjoy...
__________________
Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
Donzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 05:23 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
+2
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Give it some time, do something you could never do on a Tuesday morning unless you were on vacation, and remember this: "I'm not retiring from life… just a job."
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #18
Dryer sheet wannabe
Rickochet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 22
Day four was much better than day one. I think am embracing that I worked to live, not lived to work. Today I spent time in the basement unpacking items from my office. Funny how all of my desk drawer organizers fit right into my existing desk. Old co-w*rkers stopped by and called to see how retirement was going. Most of them are very "envious" and are anxious to be the next batter! What in the world would we do without friends---you are included!!!
__________________
Rick

I'm not retiring from life… just a job.
Rickochet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
Good to see you are feeling better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickochet View Post
Day four was much better than day one. I think am embracing that I worked to live, not lived to work.
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RockyMtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Scottsdale
Posts: 1,231
It only gets better!
__________________

__________________
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
RockyMtn 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


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.