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One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-14-2005, 12:21 PM   #1
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One Paycheck To Go...

Counting down the days to eR:

With ten working days left until eR (I'm 58, thus the lower case "e"), I'm in the "are you sure you know what the heck you're doing" pre-retirement phase. I got my paycheck yesterday and it really hit home that I will be getting only one more. Then they stop forever! Yes, I will (I hope) get SS at 62, but have no pension, just IRA/401k/savings after 5/27/05. The thought of no more paychecks hits much harder than the "this will probably be the last day off I ever have" gloating I did with my co-workers a couple of weeks ago when I took a Friday off.

I've been an avid reader and occasional poster on this forum since it began in June of 2002 and before that I was a participant in TMF board. It seems to me all posters fall into two general categories:

Trying to get to ER and seeking spending, savings & investment planning advice/moral support/handholding/a place to compare notes about how well they are doing on the road to ER/a place to vent about how much they hate their job, boss, commute, etc.

-or-

Retired (in some form) and seeking spending, savings & investment planning advice/moral support/handholding/a place to compare notes about how well they are doing in ER/a place to vent about concerns of running out of money before running out of life.

There are exceptions of course (who the heck knows why JG participates...but I suspect his DW doesn't regret the many hours he spends posting here rather than spending that "quality time" with her ), but most everyone else falls into one of those two camps. My point is this: Is the major psychological difference between the two (pre & post retirement) the trade off of hating your job/boss/commute vs. worring about making ends meet before you meet your end? Is that what it really all boils down to?

REW, close (very close) to eR and probably thinking too much...
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-14-2005, 12:58 PM   #2
 
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

The second category you listed is closer to the reason I read the Early Retirement forum. I retired at age 49, but didn't discover the board until a few years later.

I didn't know many other retirees my age. The traditional notion of a retiree is synonymous with senior citizen, and most resources available to retirees (age 65+) don't quite fit me. I felt very out of place when I stopped by the county Senior Center, for instance. I'm retired, but not a senior.

ERs have our own set of concerns and interests. We don't yet qualify for Medicare or Social Security and think of ourselves as "too young" to lead the same lifestyles as 70 and 80-year olds.
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-15-2005, 06:44 AM   #3
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

Our local Sunday paper has a "Jobs" Q&A column. This week's column headine is:

Don't Stick 'Retired' on the Resume

"Q: I am retired, but I miscalculated my retirement income and now need to supplement my pension. Should I mention in my cover letter or resume I am retired?
A: No. But bring it up in the interview."

What, me worry?...

REW, 12 days to eR
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-15-2005, 08:02 AM   #4
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

REW,

Very well written. I have some of the same concerns as I near retirement. But the number one thing that keeps me focused is the unknown. None of us know how long we are gonna be here to enjoy lifes pleasures after retirement. My brother retired at 50, but 3 years later cancer entered his life and now he is gone.

Congratulations on just 12 more days!* Enjoy!
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-15-2005, 10:12 AM   #5
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

REW:

I too am close, as will retire 7/1/05. It is like sailing into waters and I left the chart at the last island bar. Congrats.

Sailaway
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-15-2005, 10:40 AM   #6
 
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

REW,

COngrats on your retirmement. I think a lot of folks spend a lot of time worring about running out of money. I have a lot of older friends and most have health issues. They quit worrying about money, when they had to start worrying about being able to walk, drive etc. -

Unfortunately, One worry is usually only replaced by a Bigger one.
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-16-2005, 09:31 AM   #7
 
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

RE,

I happened to see one of your first posts, from June 30, 2002:

Quote:
I'm REWanabe, and at age 55 I've almost missed the boat (sorry dory36, couldn't resist) to early retirement. But thanks to you, Intercst and the dozens of others who contribute and encourage others on the subject, looks like I'm less than two years away from my FIRE date.
So you're pretty much on target, it only took a little longer than expected. Was there any specific reason for the delay, or did you just want t make sure you'd saved enough?

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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-16-2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

Woo hoo!
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-16-2005, 01:28 PM   #9
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

Taking longer than expected/hoped...

I was "right-sized" out of my DBP in '98, which probably will set back my goal of 55, to some as yet-to-be-determined date. At least, for now, I'm still eligible for some HI benefit.
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-16-2005, 08:31 PM   #10
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
RE,

I happened to see one of your first posts, from June 30, 2002:

So you're pretty much on target, it only took a little longer than expected. Was there any specific reason for the delay, or did you just want t make sure you'd saved enough?
T-Al,

You are right, it took me a year longer than the target of mid-2004 I had in mind on my initial post.

The primary reason for the delay was the realization that I could enter retirement without a mortgage if I really got serious about it and continued to work for an additional year. Turns out it was a great decision. Not only did I eliminate the mortgage, an unexpected sale of our company allowed me to exercise stock options that had been worthless for years. Had I not delayed, I would have missed the opportunity to add what ended up to be 11 months salary to our nest egg just before I pulled the plug.

Must be living right...

REWanabe, 11 days to eR.

(Don't know who RE_Wannabe is, but no matter...I'm changing my handle to REWhopee in 11 days!)


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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-17-2005, 06:04 AM   #11
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

REW********

You just have a case of the 10-days-before-retirement jitters. It will likely get a little bit worse, but then it gets waaaaaaaaay better.

BUM

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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-17-2005, 07:22 PM   #12
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUM
REW********

You just have a case of the 10-days-before-retirement jitters. It will likely get a little bit worse, but then it gets waaaaaaaaay better.

BUM
Thanks BUM. I'm counting on that.

REW, 10 days to eR
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-17-2005, 10:03 PM   #13
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWanabe
My point is this: Is the major psychological difference between the two (pre & post retirement) the trade off of hating your job/boss/commute vs. worring about making ends meet before you meet your end? Is that what it really all boils down to?
REalmostWhahooo
I actually think your comment is right on, at least in my case. I spent a fairly undomfortable couple years and ran an awful lot of SWR simulations and studies before I found FireCalc and before the markets headed back up.

But at least for me, thinking about SWR and convincing myself that withdrawing from savings at around 4% was neither foolhardy nor profligate took way more 'personal growth' and deep breathing exercises than pretty much any crisis at work ever did.

In the end, it was developing some Plan B's and realizing that I could downsize and cut costs without having the sky fall in on me, if it came to that, which pulled me through your conundrum and out the other side. It was the steady encouragement and bright ideas from everybody on this board that got me through those hurdles, too.

So now ER is a lot less fraught with anxiety. There was definitely a time there when I felt it would be easier to go back to work than to deal with the stresses of living the rest of my life off and SWR. Glad those days are over.
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-17-2005, 10:36 PM   #14
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

ESRBob,

Thanks. I can sure relate to your deep breathing comment. Been doing a lot of that lately. :P

Human nature is really amazing. You work and plan for years to reach a goal, and when you finally get there it scares the cr*p out of you. Think I'm about over the worst of it, thanks in no small part to all on this board. Helped me see that there are many paths to getting to and remaining in ER.

Now if the Spurs can just get by Seattle...

REW
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-18-2005, 12:47 PM   #15
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

I guess a lot depends on how your brain works. I never worried about making ends meet, because at worst its a good number of years away before the money would run out. With no debt, 'making ends' meet would be a pretty easy task. And going back to work part time at something not to taxing just doesnt scare me.

There are however plenty of other psychological hurdles in ER. The way your friends and family "handle" you. Not having a structured life any longer. No work social life. Reduced travel in the car and by plane if you had a job that called for that. There are a lot of changes.
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-18-2005, 02:20 PM   #16
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

A little off topic but I start a mini vacation tomorrow. Driving down to Destin, FL for a few days to meet some family and friends. Golf tomorrow afternoon and loaf on the beach the rest of time. (bikini viewing in other words)

This will be good a good practice session for retirement.**
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-19-2005, 03:48 AM   #17
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by th
I never worried about making ends meet, because at worst its a good number of years away before the money would run out. With no debt, 'making ends' meet would be a pretty easy task. And going back to work part time at something not to taxing just doesnt scare me.
Good words th. I'm reminded (haunted actually) buy my deceased FIL's words about retirement. Pop said, "Money will be the least of your worries."
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-19-2005, 08:37 AM   #18
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

I was shoved out(layed off) into the street at the tender young age of 49 in 1993. The mental shift from unemployed to ER took about a year -with 300k plus a rental duplex - I obssesed over the finances - just 'knew' a 72t would barely get us to pension at 55 and or early SS.

Hindsight - being 20/20 - after 11 going on 12 years - the real problem has been 'where did the time go so fast?' Doing nothing in particular - travel when you feel like it, putz at different things that interest you, a little volunteer work, did one year temp work for big bucks after two years 'out' -really hammered home why I don't work anymore.

The old arthritis is catching up to the SO's knee - so we don't travel as much anymore.

You have a lot more control over expenses than you think - click on the FireCalc page and read - Spending in ER.

Health and time - that's another story.

If you are thinking about ER - get cracking.
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-19-2005, 10:18 AM   #19
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

A day in the life of my retirement is similar to CT's.
It's a plan-as-you-go strategy. What was hard for
me to get used to was that it was OK not to have my
whole day or life planned ahead of time. If I had a slow day or
didn't get much accomplished, then that was just fine.
It was hard for me at first to get out of
the "mid-Western mindset" that you have to be doing
something productive at all times.

LovesLife
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...
Old 05-19-2005, 10:41 AM   #20
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Re: One Paycheck To Go...

CT, it sounds like paradise to me!
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