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Old 08-29-2013, 11:10 AM   #21
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I have been obsessed since January 2013 when I set a random goal of retiring in January of 2014. This obsession has resulted in a solid agreement (DW and Advisor) on a FIRE date of January of 2015. Being only 16 months away, this seems bearable if I take one day at at time. My obsession was waned since this agreement was reached about a month ago, but every bad day at w*ork has the potential to throw me back over the edge :-)

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Old 08-29-2013, 11:50 AM   #22
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Depends on the day/week/month.
  • Sometimes I am obsesed: Thinking about ER consantly, worrying if I really do have enough, visiting this board multiple times per day, etc.
  • Other times, usually when I am on vacation, I give little thought to anything past where my next beer/meal/walk will be.
    • These are definitely my best times.
    • Maybe I should ER I really have enough?

Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
I spend a lot of time thinking about how to develop more passive income streams and ways to cut recurring costs. I collect ideas on those topics now, instead of actual collectibles.
While I enjoy perusing certain other collections (coins, guns, some art, etc.) casually, I would actually be interested in giving your passive income stream ideas collection some intensive study.

If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:20 PM   #23
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My only obsessions were with milestones. The first was becoming vested in my pension, then at 10 years because I figured any SS changes would grandfather us in, then at 5 years, just because. My next one was at 3 years because we reached our retirement fund goal that year (we also reached it 3 years earlier, but I didn't know it at the time. At 2 years, I figured I could last that much longer in the insane asylum. This year was a significant year because now I looked at retirement in terms of months and days. Actually, I set up my countdown clocks a couple of years before, but I didn't pay any attention to them, honest!

I have one more milestone coming up next month. It's the month I'm technically FI, but it will reduce a cushion in the plan and the pension slightly. At this point, I can't see cutting off my nose to spite my face, but I'm not the only one here waiting to leave (the others don't have the option to retire yet).

So I don't think I've been too obsessed and I think I've coped well. At least, not for the group here.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:35 PM   #24
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I guess since I'm on this site every day, I'm obsessed. I made a major move at RE today by tipping my hand a little bit. One of our Jr managers gave me quite a list of goals he thought we could meet. A little aggravated, I told him - "How are we going to get this all done in 540 days?"
After a minute of puzzlement he understood what I was saying. Now I am formally obsessed.
"What's the worst thing that could happen - I keep my job."
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:50 PM   #25
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Had bad obsession problem here for about 18 months out.

Thought about it a LOT. If I had trouble falling asleep, it would be where my mind would go. Usually retired and on the beach, which has not actually happened yet.....

Installed a retirement countdown widget on laptop and desktop. Penciled in countdown numbers on my desktop calendar at work.

constantly doing math on the backs on envelopes and pieces of scrap paper to make sure I could retire. DH retired a year before I did; he could not take another year. He just bailed and it did not matter to him if we could make financially it or not, lol. I was not mad because I knew how totally miserable he was...(and he promised to get part time work if needed).

I loved talking about it. Kept my mouth shut at work but grilled past retirees I would run into.

Started cleaning out drawers and cabinets at work about a year out.

Started "practicing"...quit wearing makeup and coloring the grey in my hair. I always pictured myself to be a hippie retiree, so tried to move in that direction.

yes, I was obsessed.

Enjoy! - but it gets much better.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by CoolChange View Post
While I enjoy perusing certain other collections (coins, guns, some art, etc.) casually, I would actually be interested in giving your passive income stream ideas collection some intensive study.
There are the standards many people here do: Social Security, pensions, stocks, bonds and other fixed income products. Maybe having a house in a high appreciation area.

Then there are other things that can be passive or semi-passive:

Rental property, royalties, license fees, high volume mailing lists and business that can scale and be run without day to day owner involvement. Little things that add up over time like credit cards that provide cash back without any extra work.

I like reading the posts here and other forums to look for ideas of what allowed other people to create their nest eggs, especially it if didn't involve a 40+ hour a week job.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:35 PM   #27
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I don't think of it as an "obsession". I think of it as "planning".
Surprisingly it has made it easier dealing with the job and finances.
Current target FIRE date: June 2017 or +50K to the portfolio, whichever comes first
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:30 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ER Eddie View Post
To me, retirement is interesting because it is a chance to reinvent your life. I've heard over and over that the happiest retirees are those who prepare for retirement -- not merely financially, but psychologically.
Right. I think part of what makes it so exciting is that it involves revisiting how we felt in our early 20s. But this second time around, our hard-won financial independence has removed any barriers to our choices, and we value and appreciate the freedom so much more than we did before. It's no wonder we're all obsessed about it!
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:36 PM   #29
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I was obsessed 10 years ago and started working part time as a transition. Working 1 or 2 days a week is a breeze, so I'm still working pt and I'm not obsessed anymore
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" - Abraham Lincoln
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:07 PM   #30
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Since I discovered this site and MMM, I've been obsessed with ER for nearly a year now and am now just over a month out from it. I've been reading on the topic profusely in that time, trying to see if there is something in my planning that was missing.

It took about six months of such study to realise that my ER fundamentals are sound and that the only notable risk is that of a catastrophic external financial event (eg. severe market crash) in the early days of ER. I've adequately mitigated that through keeping my foot in the part time door and finishing up some study that could either get me a better job than the one I had or lead to further study purely for self gratification purposes ie. win-win!

In other words, my obsession led to understanding and acceptance. If there is anything to get from my story it is: if you are going to be obsessed with ER, at least channel it in a constructive direction.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:08 PM   #31
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Here is some food for thought for those close to ER. After DH left the megacorp job, I added up:

1 - What we will pay less in state and federal income taxes
2 - What we make from taking our pensions early
3 - What we cut from our annual expenses by going green and having DH home more (no work or commute costs, time to comparison shop, cooking from scratch, LED bulbs, low flow shower heads, etc)
4 - The impact of having a taxable income now low enough to qualify for health care subsidies, American Opportunity Tax Credits, California Middle Class Tax Scholarships (starting 2014), and college financial aid (most assets in FAFSA exempt asset classes)

Financially, we come pretty close to breaking even.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:15 AM   #32
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I'm definitely obsessed with quitting the working world, and the IT field. The end of my four-year vesting at the company I'm with is in Feb 2015, and I will quit my job by then, because the most (and usually only) lucrative stock option grant for a rank-and-file employee like myself is the first one. I've gotten some grants since then, but they're a pittance and would not make me stay past my four-year mark. And since I've grown to hate IT now, and because lightning doesn't strike twice for somebody like me anyway with being at a successful startup (I feel blessed it struck just once), after I quit, I'm done for good, at least with IT and the 9-to-5 world.

To countdown until Feb 2015, I printed out a list of the weeks until Feb 2015, and I cross each one off on Fridays. Provides me with visual "proof" the time is passing, because even though it's only about 17 months away, I still don't feel like I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I won't truly feel like I'm almost done until around Nov 2014, when it's only about 3 months away.

But crossing off each week makes me feel good, so yeah, I guess you could say I'm obsessed
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:00 AM   #33
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Obsessively planning. In March of 2008 I was disappointed with what was available for retirement planning in the do-it-yourself number crunching. Found many, some were good, but not great. DW and I both have pensions we are vested in, both have pretax accounts, both have SS credit, etc. and none of the planners I found were very good at putting together anything much more complex than the basics. So now, I look back in my spreadsheet with a weekly history back to that date of either how long it would take to meet the financial goals, or how much of a windfall it would take to make it happen immediately. So if that was obsessive behavior, so be it – I am sure had I not been tracking the progress, and adjusting spending, savings, & investment mix along the way we would not be as reasonably comfortable with our intent to be FIREd July of 2014. That is about 2 years ahead of my original plan, and with 10 years of ER healthcare costs planned for.

Although DW and I are playing this close to the vest, my boss seemed to understand when doing my annual review--great review, paltry raise as usual--as he saw the futility in doing the rah-rah cheerleading part. Kind of sad as I really do like my job, but the stress levels and physical demands don't so much appeal to me anymore so there is little incentive to stay on any longer than needed to shore up ER funding.

10 months to go, not skipping a beat on our current spending levels +CPI until 10 years out, then dropping to 75% of that over a 5 year period and leveling out. Basically a modified, more conservative "Bernicke reality retirement" withdrawal plan. Meeting with a FP in a few weeks just to review for errors or omissions, but I'm pretty sure the plan is sound - as I have "obsessed" over it for over 5 years now!
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:12 AM   #34
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This is an interesting thread. I was very obsessed with retirement planning and spent a lot of time on this forum before I retired 4 years ago. After that I was much less obsessed and even quit reading and posting much here for a couple years. I got the obsession again as my DW's retirement approached. She retired june 1st. I suspect that we will probably see our retirement activities and spending work out fine over the next few years and I will become much less obsessive about retirement related subjects again.
CW4, USA-(ret)
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:49 AM   #35
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I've come full circle on this. FI had always been more my goal than RE, but I did go through a period of obsession about what the date would be. I realized that it was actually hurting my work performance (all I could think about was not being there) so I decided recently to take a different approach.

Since our expenses have been stable over the past few years I know what retirement will cost (except for those pesky HC unknowns) I decided to simply set a goal number for investable assets. Depending on investment performance it could be 2 years or 10, but when I hit that number I'm gone. It is high enough that it covers some sequence of return risk. The "number" approach may make some cringe, but I needed to step away a bit to get my work attitude back on track.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:22 PM   #36
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Thanks for all the comments and replies, fun to read about everyone's level of intensity for the subject!
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:22 PM   #37
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+1 obsessed...
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:41 PM   #38
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Nope, not obsessed. There is only so much you can learn about these topics.

For me its now a matter of grinding it out, until I have sufficient assets to buy my freedom.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:45 AM   #39
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I was a "one more year" until megacorp decided to let me go. Best thing that could have happened to me. Always wanted to pull the trigger but just could not bring myself to do so.

Still in the process of re-invention. I have a number of community activities that keep me busy, and some consulting offers. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, I feel healthy than I have in years and I've lost 11 pounds since leaving megacorp from more exercise and a better diet. Working was literally killing me, and now I am living.

Retired at 59 1/2 and trying to stay that way.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:52 AM   #40
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I tend to get obsessed about FIRE when I have vacation time off at home. I start to dig into my spreadsheets, spend time here browsing around, and talking non-stop about it with my wife. I've always targeted to FIRE between ages 55 and 59, and with my 53rd birthday this month I realize that it could actually happen in the next couple of years.

For the most part, I enjoy my work so I tend to focus more on being FI and having the option to quit when I want to. When I go back to work, the j*b overwhelms me and I but my FIRE thoughts onto the back burner. That's probably good as being obsessed full time with FIRE would make my remaining time very difficult.

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