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The Value of Happiness
Old 06-24-2011, 06:41 AM   #1
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The Value of Happiness

I also thought of titling this "AM I STUPID?"

Not my first post on my uneasiness on taking ER...I currently get PAID for sick leave, vacation, attending conferences, etc. Does it make any sense for me to give that up just because I don't feel happy or rewarded or even engaged most of the time at work. What if I pull the trigger and I still feel the same way? Briefly, the financial advisor says we're in good enough shape for me to do this now, I'll have a pension and medical coverage for both me and DW, I plan to pursue my side business full time but...

(sorry to those of you who have read this elsewhere)
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Does it make any sense for me to give that up just because I don't feel happy or rewarded or even engaged most of the time at work.
I don't think you will feel the same way in retirement (just ask the retiree's on this board; I doubt few - if any, would trade places under the conditions you stated).

One thing you have not mentioned (or may not have thought about - and it has nothing to do with "financials" at all). I'll give you my "classic answer" to that question:
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:36 AM   #3
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If you are in good financial shape to ER, then the fact that you're getting paid sick leave, vacation, etc, should not be a factor in your decision to retire or not. The most important factor should be: what do you want to do with the rest of your life? Figure that out, then plan how to get there.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:45 AM   #4
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I say keep working. You will know when you are ready.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:48 AM   #5
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I think it is good to be circumspect. It is a big decision.

No need to feel rushed or like you have to do it just because you can afford it.

Work on identifying some retirement goals and plans.

But one part of your comment struck me:

Quote:
Does it make any sense for me to give that up just because I don't feel happy or rewarded or even engaged most of the time at work.
That is enough to make me seek out something different... especially if I can afford to do it and have the solid financial plan (money, health care, etc.)


Life is short. Health can be fleeting.

Some food for thought.

What are you really risking? What do you have to gain?

Is the uncertainty manageable and can it be mitigated?

Is the concern or fear rational or irrational. If it leans toward irrational... do you want to let fear get in the way of your plans?
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:41 AM   #6
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You're unhappy spending all your time in captivity and you have the means and a side business...

What are you waiting for? A sign from above?

Maybe one question: how did your side business fare during the financial crisis? (may give an idea how it could fare during the next one which may or may not come soonish)

Disclaimer: I have no stakes in this thing. Do your due diligence. Don't take advice from cats.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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Maybe one question: how did your side business fare during the financial crisis?
I think it's almost fool proof. I teach required CEU classes for people with a certain State license and the class they need to obtain the license. No overhead other than renting a room and a few handouts. Either they are in this business and they must have CEU's or they want to get into this business (changing careers, can't find a job, whatever). I netted $20k last year working seven long weekends (F-M). I could easily double that and, with my pension, be back to the same thing I'm making in my job now. I get to choose when I do it, where I do it and who takes my classes and who doesn't. VERY MUCH UNLIKE WORK NOW!!! If I did a little bit of traveling, I can make as much as the effort I want to put out. I know there are parts of the state that aren't serviced by anyone so those people have to travel. If I went to them, they'd be very happy!

I think it's mostly just fear of giving up the "sure" thing.

Also, my wife is university faculty so she could take the summers off and we could go PLAY somewhere.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #8
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I think it's almost fool proof. I teach required CEU classes for people with a certain State license and the class they need to obtain the license. No overhead other than renting a room and a few handouts. Either they are in this business and they must have CEU's or they want to get into this business (changing careers, can't find a job, whatever). I netted $20k last year working seven long weekends (F-M). I could easily double that and, with my pension, be back to the same thing I'm making in my job now. I get to choose when I do it, where I do it and who takes my classes and who doesn't. VERY MUCH UNLIKE WORK NOW!!! If I did a little bit of traveling, I can make as much as the effort I want to put out. I know there are parts of the state that aren't serviced by anyone so those people have to travel. If I went to them, they'd be very happy!

I think it's mostly just fear of giving up the "sure" thing.

Also, my wife is university faculty so she could take the summers off and we could go PLAY somewhere.
Sounds like you've already convinced yourself that you'll be stupid not to pull the trigger. (your words from the OP).

Only you can know why you don't do it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #9
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The value of health and happiness seems priceless to me. If you can get that where you are, fine, but if not, maybe ER is the answer.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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Definitely not stupid for thinking that. One could have lots of things which "should" make you happy, yet inside you still don't feel happy. I think when you talk to yourself (nothing wrong with that either, just not aloud in public ) you need to ask yourself, Is the j*b, making you unhappy? If you leave will leaving the stress make you happy? Or are you not happy because that j*b takes you away from pursuing your side business. If you pursued your side business more, would that make you happier? Only you really know in your heart of hearts what's best for you.

I know for me, having crossed over to ER, knowing that every week day feels like a Saturday is wonderful. Sometimes, I wonder did I pull the trigger too fast? But I know for me, I made the right move as that was what my heart of hearts felt is best for me -and that is all that really matters.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:25 PM   #11
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I think it's almost fool proof. I teach required CEU classes for people with a certain State license and the class they need to obtain the license. (...) I netted $20k last year working seven long weekends (F-M).
I don't know what to say. Wow!
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:11 PM   #12
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Brad, I went through the same thoughts as I was getting ready to give my final notice to retire. Once I gave notice, I knew the decision was irrevocable - and that scared the h*ll out of me. But every time that something happened on the job that was bad or frustrating, I knew I had to cut the ties and do it! Once I gave notice (90 days in advance), I still had reservations on some days. Now that I am ER'ed, I KNOW I made the right choice. Life is good.

Especially with your side business, that seems to interest you - why not? By the way, there are some fantastic tax breaks for someone like you that may travel to do your business. See a tax professional, if you decide to do this, and don't already have one.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #13
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Maybe you can find a way to leverage all that expertise and reputation up a few levels, and find a way to create a more interesting intellectual environment for yourself. Write a book? Create a website? Hire assistants to do the more routine parts of your job?
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:35 PM   #14
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Not my first post on my uneasiness on taking ER...I currently get PAID for sick leave, vacation, attending conferences, etc. Does it make any sense for me to give that up just because I don't feel happy or rewarded or even engaged most of the time at work. What if I pull the trigger and I still feel the same way?
The act of giving up work you don't like can't make you happy. Not to get too deep, but "happy" can only come from within, it's not simply the right circumstances.

It's not enough to retire from something, you have to have something (better) to retire to. The money is the easy part to figure out, the emotional aspect and deciding what it is you want to do is the hard part, and something you have to figure out for yourself. If you don't know what you're going to do once retired (at least a rough idea with several options), I'd strongly recommend you read Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt and/or How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free by Ernie Zelinski. Until you know where you're headed, you shouldn't do anything IMO...could be better, but it could be worse if you don't.

Good luck, there's a lot of great help here...and you're not STUPID at all.
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