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Should I stay or should I go?
Old 01-29-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Should I stay or should I go?

I've been wrestling with this issue for a while, and thought I would put it out here to see what others think.

Here's my situation: I have a pretty darn good job right now--as far as jobs go. It used to be really stressful, but over the past few months I've managed to get things fixed and settled, and it really isn't stressful now. Of course, that could always change. The work is usually interesting and challenging. I telecommute, so no rush hour misery. The pay and benefits are generous. My co-workers are, for the most part, friendly, good folks.

So, what's the problem? Often I feel restless, and believe that I could do more with my life. Or even if I did less with my life, I'd rather it was my choice what to do and when to do it. I would like to travel to exotic places and have adventures. I could take time off, or even a leave of absence, but coming back would be hard--because it's a very delicate matter keeping everything from falling apart.

It looks like I could retire at the end of this year (at 40). But would that be a good idea? I find myself running around in circles. Sometimes I think that what I need is to increase my gratitude for the good job I have, and not retire while it's still fairly enjoyable. On the other hand, maybe I should pull the plug, and make the very most I can of the short time I have on this planet, by traveling, working on a creative project, volunteering, etc. Or maybe I should try to ease into retirement, with a job share or part time arrangement (but then, I fear, the stress may return as this will likely upset the delicate balance in the job I have worked so hard to establish ).

Anyway, that's where I am. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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If your ducks are in line (if you FIRE, you already know how that you are okay financially and have things such as health insurance without problem), then I think to stay or go is just a matter of preference -- which is a great position to be in. That way, if the j*b turns into one that gets really stressful again, knowing that you have a way out if you wish decreases the stress a lot. Or you may find that since the j*b really isn't bad now, to stick around a while longer. It sounds like you are in a good situation when it comes to ER choices.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:53 PM   #3
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I worked a telecommuting position for 18 months. I felt I missed out on alot of the office benefits, so now I'm in the office full time. It took several months to adjust but I'm getting there.

If you are a telecommuter, why not travel some and work from where ever? Reduce hours and take extended weekends traveling.

If you are truly FIRE and have all the wildcards, i.e. healthcare, cushion for inflation, etc. go enjoy yourself, you can always do something else.

Look at your life bucket and create a vision of when you can cross a few off.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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Retiring with lots of freeboard and "can retire" might be like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug, to paraphrase one of my favorite authors. At 40 you're not approaching a cross road of life or anything. I'd stack a few more logs on the woodpile myself, if they are as light as you say they are at the moment.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:48 PM   #5
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When I was wrestling with the whether to retire or not question a little over a year ago, I found the adage (paraphrasing) 'it's not enough to retire from something, you need to have something better to retire to.' Once I answered that for myself, it was much easier to decide. The right answer is unique for each of us, there are so many options (travel, hobbies, take it as it comes, second career, and on and on). Best of luck...
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Midpack
When I was wrestling with the whether to retire or not question a little over a year ago, I found the adage (paraphrasing) 'it's not enough to retire from something, you need to have something better to retire to.' Once I answered that for myself, it was much easier to decide. The right answer is unique for each of us, there are so many options (travel, hobbies, take it as it comes, second career, and on and on). Best of luck...
That's the way I see it also. if someone doesn't have something to retire to, then they might be bummed when they retire and find that retirement is not all they thought it would be.


OP - if possible, I would take your telecommuting on the road (or take a sabbatical, or job share, etc) and get a taste of what retirement would be like before pulling the plug for good.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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At age 40 I took a leave of absence from the work place, 1 year. I flew to London in July and by June of the next year I was in China. It cost about $16,000. (It's really up to you). It was well worth it. I was still young enough to go with the flow. Now at age 59 I find myself not so willing, because of various reasons. If you think you would like traveling do it. You know what they say, you regret the things you don't do.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:01 AM   #8
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Sunsnow, restless at work is not the same as ready to retire. Having a job you like and coworkers you enjoy is not typical and would be hard to replace should you change your mind. Why not take some time off - an extended vacation or short leave of absence?
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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You guys may be right -- maybe I need to take some time off, travel, and see what's what. It doesn't hurt to have more "wood on the woodpile", so it would be nice to build up some more money before pulling the trigger. At the same time, I'm not getting younger, so it's probably time to start doing some of those things I've always wanted to do (especially see the world). I've been worried that when I come back, everything will have gotten very messed-up, which is why I haven't taken much vacation time. I think the next step is just to take the time off and see what happens. Thanks to everyone for the thoughts!
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sunsnow View Post
I've been wrestling with this issue for a while, and thought I would put it out here to see what others think.

Here's my situation: I have a pretty darn good job right now--as far as jobs go. It used to be really stressful, but over the past few months I've managed to get things fixed and settled, and it really isn't stressful now. Of course, that could always change. The work is usually interesting and challenging. I telecommute, so no rush hour misery. The pay and benefits are generous. My co-workers are, for the most part, friendly, good folks.

So, what's the problem? Often I feel restless, and believe that I could do more with my life. Or even if I did less with my life, I'd rather it was my choice what to do and when to do it. I would like to travel to exotic places and have adventures. I could take time off, or even a leave of absence, but coming back would be hard--because it's a very delicate matter keeping everything from falling apart.

It looks like I could retire at the end of this year (at 40). But would that be a good idea? I find myself running around in circles. Sometimes I think that what I need is to increase my gratitude for the good job I have, and not retire while it's still fairly enjoyable. On the other hand, maybe I should pull the plug, and make the very most I can of the short time I have on this planet, by traveling, working on a creative project, volunteering, etc. Or maybe I should try to ease into retirement, with a job share or part time arrangement (but then, I fear, the stress may return as this will likely upset the delicate balance in the job I have worked so hard to establish ).

Anyway, that's where I am. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Stay for now but prepare for the day when work becomes toxic. One day it's fine the next it's black....

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