Originally Posted by Rok
Am I chickening out of ER or just being rational?
If you'd received this offer after a six-month sabbatical you'd be laughing heartily as you hit the "DELETE" key.
But rationality (as long as you're still working) can only raise the chance of a successful ER. If the job works out (you may even have found your avocation) then you can retire anytime and do it on a high note. If the job doesn't work out, then... same thing.
The downside of taking the job is that you're no longer permitted to post gripes here about your job!
When I retired from teaching nuclear stuff at a military training command, six months later I received an offer to teach nuclear stuff at a military training command. In fact it was the same building, different "boss", much better hours, better uniform work attire, better students, and no administrative/leadership responsibilities. The only thing that was "worse" was that I'd be parking about 100 feet further away. GS-11, a promotion to GS-12 after a year's probation, and the Hawaii pay scale includes a 25% COLA.
The only problem was that I'd been enjoying the heck outta life for six months. I wasn't real excited about commuting (even by bicycle, let alone car), wearing shoes (or even socks for that matter), or juggling after-school childcare. There was the mention of a very occasional midwatch (with overtime pay-- ?!?!!) to help out with testing nuclear stuff on drydocked submarines. Spouse pointed out that my competitive juices would inevitably rev up and I'd feel "obligated" to qualify to teach everything at the school, and maybe to take on additional responsibilities or even qualify for my boss' job.
I wasn't ready to return to a structured life. I had plenty of home improvement to work on, I was enjoying afternoon naps, I actually LIKED being around the house when the kid came home from school, and there was all this surfing to be done. Whether or not our retirement portfolio was riding the razor's edge, I wasn't happy about having to conform to someone else's idea of a schedule.
I could have taken the job, given it a few months, and then made a decision. But I decided that I just didn't feel enough excitement or commitment to make the attempt, and that it'd be unfair to put the new boss (also a friend) through my personal struggle. You might want to consider if those are issues for your job offer. Otherwise, if it'll truly make you sleep better at night, take the job & keep socking away the savings.