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The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 12:02 PM   #1
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The tipping point: When to get out

As someone who's looking to ER in a few months, I'm curious. For those of you who've already quit the rat race, when did you feel the time was right? What was the "tipping point"? The single event or series of events that finally made you say "I quit".

Yet another endless management meeting? A tiff with a co-worker? Tired of waking up feeling down because you had to go to work?
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 12:50 PM   #2
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

We had several opportunities to get extra cash for retiring. After the first, I started to consider the possibility. I looked at my actual expenses carefully. I put a big cushion into my finances.

My biggest concern was whether or not I would get bored stiff.

I started figuring our what I would be doing on as a daily routine. Thanks to the internet, there are even more interesting and worthwhile things to do than I had imagined.

In my case retirement has been a joy from the beginning. Many retirees experience a brief let-down around three to six months into retirement before they establish their new routine.

Have fun.

John R.

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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

For me the tipping point was when they offered
a decent buy out package. I took it and ran.

Try to keep emotion out of the decision process.

Cheers,

Charlie (aka chuck-Lyn)
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 01:23 PM   #4
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

For me, it was realizing that I was about to hit 40. Time for a change. When thinking about what kind of change would satsify me, I looked at my net worth and determined it was time to do absolutely nothing.
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Wabmester:
You may have mentioned this is another post, but what was your net worth (roughly) when you made the leap?

Thanks.
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 01:34 PM   #6
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Using absolute numbers might be considered uncouth, so I'll say my net worth was about 35x my annual expenses. 25x is considered "safe" and I have plenty of room to reduce expenses if I need to.
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 01:38 PM   #7
 
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

For me it was mainly seeing 50 and noticing a lot of people I had known were gone, plus wanting to stop
supporting an expensive lifestyle, which I had been
doing for years. The prospect of continuing on with
my life as it had been lived up until that point had very
little appeal. Being a very confident sort, I paid little or no attention to my net worth. I figured I could work it out as I went along and that is exactly what happened.

John Galt
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 03:05 PM   #8
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

I may be the newest early retiree on the block. I just turned in my resignation. Several things led to it:

--Our organization was taken over by some people who have almost no front line experience. They are not very bright, could care less about the employees and customers, and are wreaking complete havoc on the organization. I have been outspoken and am in their sights. The only reason they haven't gotten to me yet is that my production consistently beats all their standards and far exceeds that of most of my peers, and I have a reputation of being good at what I do. My peers frequently seek out my advice, and they know that. But eventually they would have found a way, and I'm just tired of the fight.

--I am 51 and starting to feel my mortality. I don't want to waste any more of the time I have left.

--My health was starting to take a hit, and I already feel better just knowing I'm done.

--I have dreamed of ER for 14 years and planned for it.

--I was recently offered an early retirement package that includes (among other things) access to a terrific health insurance plan for life. I must pay the premiums. If I die the right passes to my wife. I was planning to leave in December with nothing. This is a huge bonus that came out of the blue.

--My youngest child graduates from high school in three weeks and leaves for college in three months.

--We finally have enough money to make it, I think.

All these things converged at about the same time. The signs were all there and the choice was easy.

Having the opportunity to communicate with the people in this group has helped me tremendously as I made the decision to leave. Thanks to all of you!
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 04:37 PM   #9
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Hi Bob:

Congratulations on your (earlier than planned) retirement.
You strike me as a very level headed person, and I am sure you made the decision that was best for you and your family.
Having access to your health policy gives you a great start in your plans.
That was a source of a little worry for us when I retired, but we"ve muddled through o.k.
I could tell from your posts, that you were ready.
Enjoy every day as it may be the last, and hope that the coming years brings you well deserved peace of mind.
Regards, Jarhead
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 05:46 PM   #10
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

I haven't reached the "tipping point" yet, but the info have I learned from lurking on this list is helping to identify when that point will be. A tipping point for me will be reaching the point at which my after tax retirement income equals my current take home (after saving for retirement) income. Like many who post to this forum, I am maximizing my 401k contribution.

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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 04-30-2004, 06:56 PM   #11
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Jarhead, thanks for the comments. Yesterday I took a nap in the middle of the day! Slept for two hours. I haven't done that for years. Then I spent a couple of hours surfing the internet to learn how to replace a faucet. Just went slow and took my time. Did the job and it went off without a hitch. I never would have taken the time before. Then time on the porch reading a great novel. A whole new life - it's an incredible feeling.
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-01-2004, 02:56 PM   #12
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Jarhead, yes, I plan to do another book. I have a great publisher and should be able to make that happen. My editor was recently promoted to executive editor of her publishing house in NY, so that may help. I still keep in touch with her. It would be nice to do it without the pressure of working full time. I have a bunch of other things in the works too. I hear you and Cut-throat talk about fly fishing and I may try that. I fished as a kid with a Zebco spin reel (for crappies, bullheads, and bass), so I understand the appeal of fishing but haven't fished for a long time. I know nothing about fly fishing (except I can envision my line being a tangled mess). I may give it a try, but first I'll dust off the old Zebco rod and reel. I just ordered a book called "Square Foot Gardening" written by a guy who used to be on public TV. I've always wanted to do that. I also plan to move to the town where my parents live. I've really missed being near family, and as my parents age they may need some help. As a kid I watched them help their parents, and I look forward to doing the same for them. The list goes on and on.

I know what you mean about Ted's comments. He seemed like a smart guy, and I was surprised that he couldn't seem to see the hole in his argument - that pay status doesn't define the value of someone's contributions, nor is economic productivity necessarily a virtue. I have never viewed myself as a servant of the economy. I have worked all these years out of self-interest (to support my family) and I have also tried to make a positive difference whenever possible. But I'm more than a cog in an increasingly impersonal and inhuman economy, and when all the hullabaloo with Ted was going on, my complete focus was on escape. Of course when Ted became abusive he lost me entirely.

Anyway, that's all been hashed and rehashed, but you keep posting too! I'm a rookie at ER and have a great deal to learn from veterans like you.
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Re:  You'll know it when you see it.
Old 05-02-2004, 09:11 AM   #13
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Re:  You'll know it when you see it.

Congratulations, Bob! Your health insurance has solved what seems to be the biggest ER obstacle. I don't have the guts to live without that safety net. Is management trying to buy your silence?

After two years of ER I still take afternoon naps. 30 minutes seems perfect, 45 minutes means I didn't sleep well last night, and two hours means I'm sick. I did two hours a day for three months of ER before I felt "caught up". I'm amazed at the human body's ability to survive years of chronic sleep deprivation, although "survive" should not be confused with "thrive".

Will you be writing for fun (internally motivated) or money (externally)? Will deadlines still apply? Will you do a book tour this time? How will you avoid becoming an editor's worst nightmare?

Traveler, I think the tipping point is "Where's the fun?" coupled with "Do I need the money?" With health insurance we might even have tried ER with as little as 20x savings/expenses. The military slogan is "You know when it's time to go". Although that's a highly individual realization, it's the only correct one. You'll have no doubt when your time comes, whether you're John Galt or Jarhead or even Ted. There's no magic number or time but there's certainly a magical state of mind.

Catalysts include (in no particular order) a life-threatening moment, a significant life experience (like starting a family or attending a funeral), a career hiccup, new workplace management, a windfall, and discovering an ER discussion board.

I'd seen everything but the windfall & the discussion board, and I was happily contemplating vesting the military pension (at 20 years of service). The military's retirement transition program consists of "It'd really embarrass the government if you left the military and ended up homeless, so here's how to get a job". I was complaining to my father the difficulty of finding a job I cared about, when he said "Why do you want to get another job-- will you need the money?" Hmmmm.

So cut your expenses, boost your savings, and wait for the tipping point. You'll know when.

I also haven't had that post-retirement letdown. I've seen it in others (some of whom are back at work) but my days are still too short to do everything I want to...

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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-02-2004, 12:29 PM   #14
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Nords, I would write for both fun and money. But even if there were no money, I'd probably do it for free. Although I didn't enjoy all the marketing, I think part of that was due to the need to fit it into a full time work schedule. For example, I would slip out for lunch, rush home for a radio interview, and if it went over schedule, I'd be sitting there watching the clock realizing I needed to be back at work 5 minutes ago. But I did enjoy some of the book tour. It was a real charge to get chauffeured around with someone else handling all the logistics. I also enjoyed TV and in-studio radio. I got to meet some interesting people and see the inner workings. It wasn't what I expected at all.
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-03-2004, 04:04 PM   #15
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

I hate to bring this into the equation, but Canadian Health Care attempts to look after all it's citizens. And don't tell me about wait times. If you have an emergency, you are looked after promptly. A Canadian's life expectancy is among the world's highest. I live 2 minutes from a world class hospital in London ON. If you have lived, paid taxes all your life, and contributed to the well being of your society, the last thing you need is exorbitant health care costs in retirement. Your parents paid for you in your formative years, and you looked after your parents in your productive years. Health care factors well down in the list of retirement concerns in Canada.
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-03-2004, 04:50 PM   #16
 
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Cool !

I hope the USA gets on board! - We still consider it a luxury here. Even if you've served in the Military, veterans seem to get sub par health care. Lots of folks here say support our troops, but the troops of yesterday and last week are left out in the cold.

I think we have around 70-80 Million folks here in the USA that are basically uninsured.

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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-03-2004, 05:20 PM   #17
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

Hey Zipper, my ancestors emigrated from Ireland to Lucan Ontario, and then my G,G Grandfather came to Iowa and homesteaded farmland. We had a family reunion last year and I was able to meet my Canadian relatives for the first time. I asked them about health care there - they said the same thing you're saying. They love it.
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-03-2004, 05:34 PM   #18
 
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

I'd rather die from lack of health care than endure the
winters. And another thing, any country with health
care that good probably is a high tax, socialist
oriented, cradle to grave, Orwellian society.
Death seems preferable to me.

John Galt
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-03-2004, 09:04 PM   #19
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

It's been a while since I read Orwell, but I don't remember universal access to health care being part of his dystopia. I do remember a bit of double-speak like "war is peace", or was it "free Iraq" or "clear-cutting is good for forests" or something like that?

In any case, I'm not sure paying more in taxes for health care would be much worse than having my insurance premiums increase by something like 20% each year and then hearing about record profits at the insurance companies.


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Re: The tipping point: When to get out
Old 05-04-2004, 05:32 AM   #20
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Re: The tipping point: When to get out

My opinion of health care in America would probably get me thrown in jail. BTY - the first accused BR serial killer got a 'free' heart operation - from the LA taxpayers - 40% of whom can't afford or get health insurance. As Cut_Throat pointed out in an earlier thread ? 70% ?? of the cost occurs late in life. Prisons in parts of the country are releasing prisoners when their medical conditions get too expensive. So that option may be off the table for gaming the system.

Given the demigraphics of the industrial world, there may be no easy solutions. Even govt. health care may go broke.
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