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Old 11-28-2015, 07:59 AM   #1
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concerned about launching ER

HI folks.

So, we hit our "number" a couple years ago. At that time, I said I'd hang 'em up in April 2016. That date is just around the corner, at which time I'll be 50.

Financially, nothing has occurred in the last couple years to stop me. But now that I'm actually thinking about handing in a resignation letter, I'm waffling. The reasons I'm waffling are:
  • I still enjoy my job (most days)
  • once I quit, I will never again make the same kind of money I make now
For folks that have walked away from well-paying job that didn't suck - how and why did you do it?

Thanks.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:07 AM   #2
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I downshifted to part time... 80% initially and then later 50% (which was the minimum that I could go and still get health insurance) for a number of years before I quit (retired).

However, even at 50% I found that work was getting in the way of other things that I wanted to do, principally because my work was sporadic and subject to change with little notice as I was on call 24/7 for client consultations. I couldn't block out big segments to time consistently to golf with friends or whatever. And travel became more and more of a hassle.

In the end, I decided that we had enough and the my working was only benefiting the government (I was in a high tax bracket) and my heirs, so even though I enjoyed my work, I decided it was time to hang it up. Best decision I ever made.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
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This same issue comes up over and over again. Lots of people have the same hesitations. Ill say this:

1) You say you still enjoy your job. Once you retire you will realize that you didnt enjoy your job. You just didnt hate it.
2) You will never make this much money again. So what? You will never work again either. You will be completley free. The only reason to work is so that you have enough money to live and to afford the things that you really enjoy and want to do. Once you have enough money to last you forever, there is no longer any reason to work.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:21 AM   #4
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We hit our 1st # in 2010, 1MM, but waited for the next level up. I tried PT 2 times; 24 hours/week, but usually ended up working 70-80 hours, so put a stop to that this year at 50yo. Other reasons to pull the plug was travel and others having a claim on my time.

Now I work 20-40 hours per month, no travel and work the jobs and amount I want. Th travel for me was big, but in hindsight its the claim on my time. I feel much better not having to do something on their schedule. I never hated my job, but sometimes hated what needed to be done to do my job well.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:24 AM   #5
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I downshifted in oct 2014 to 3 days a week, after a year of doing this i am ready, the 3 days really began to be an irritant. Going april 2016 @55 i am ready!


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Old 11-28-2015, 08:25 AM   #6
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I worked for a great Silicon Valley company that let me work from home in vermont for the last 10 years, let me set my role and projects, paid very well.

For me the following let me know it was time.

1) I took a company sabbatical for 6 weeks and discovered I didn't miss work at all. I loved being able to do exactly what I wanted every day.

2) diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and an aortic aneurysm two months apart (both now under control).

3) taking time to confirm with my wife that MORE money wouldn't result in a better life - we had enough to do what we dreamed about. I had read somewhere the question ; if you don't have to work anymore, why do you? I couldn't come up with enough good reasons to keep working for essentially "free" since the pay wasn't going to increase the quality of life.

4) in the end I just started to feel I had contributed enough at work. I was proud of what I had done and didn't feel like hanging on (wonder how Kobe Bryant or Payton manning feel now). If I had felt that I was still on the upswing like I was in my 30's and 40's I might have kept going.

Six months in and it feels right. I miss some of the intellectual stuff but on balance I feel like it was the right time. More like Barry sanders than Payton.

Good luck with the decision.


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Old 11-28-2015, 08:35 AM   #7
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My wife walked away from her job as an RN at 59.5 two years ago.
I walked away from my job/career at 52 (almost 53) going on two years, this January.

We had a plan to retire early, began downsizing 5 years before, purchased a condo at Lake of the Ozarks for weekends during the summer, which would eventually be our full time residence...... Once we made the decision to retire, we quickly realized we needed a larger condo at the lake. After spending one winter in MO almost full time, we decided we should go South for the winter to get away from the cold ...... we now have a small home in a 55+ community in Fort Myers, as well as a Condo for summer living in Missouri...... Do your homework, run the #'s, at this point we are still spending as if we are both working. We live off my wifes 401K that was converted to an IRA..... Healthcare has been the biggest challenge ..... No subsidies, as we draw out 100K per year...... It took about 2 months for me to get acclimated to really enjoy not working..... we like the sun, so we go to the beach, as well as pool most every day.....Go on day trips, as well as two or three big trips a year........Live Forward ...... My plan now is to scale down our expenses to only draw 60k to 70k per year. It is very hard to change old habits, but we will get there ...... My wife will begin drawing SS at 62 this May, I will begin a draw on my 401k in 5.5 more years, if need be ..... My suggestion is make a plan, then work your plan, there will be roadblocks along the way, but if you are determined you will find a route to get where you want to be in life ...... Walking away from both our jobs was not EZ..... I too enjoyed my job, miss the people, but not all the BS ...... We both stay in touch with people we worked with, they tell us we are fortunate to be out of there
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mrfeh View Post
For folks that have walked away from well-paying job that didn't suck - how and why did you do it?
I was 54 and had planned to work 4 more years in a "well-paying job that didn't suck." One day we found out that my DW had a serious heart problem. I then realized how short life was and how much of it was being sucked up by work. We worked through the heart issue (thank God for modern medical procedures) and I decided to really think through what I wanted out of my remaining years. Decided I really wanted to focus more on family and health and less on work plans, budget stewardship and flying on airlines with ever decreasing creature comforts. At this time we were already FI, so made the decision on a Saturday that I wanted to retire, confirmed it was ok with my DW if I retired and told my management on Monday. Worked for just long enough to turn over my responsibilities (~ 6 weeks I think?) and then retired. Left a lot of money on the table but it was the right decision for me.

On this board you often see the comment that you should retire TO something, not just retire FROM something. Great advise to think through. If you enjoy much of your job, the right decision MAY be just to continue working. But if you have something you wish to retire TO, then maybe retirement is for you.

Best of luck!
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies everybody. Moving to part time is one thing that I've been considering, and my employer would probably be receptive to that idea.

Much to think about...
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:45 AM   #10
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  • I still enjoy my job (most days)
Do you generally enjoy workdays more than you enjoy Saturdays?

If you are the type of person who frequently wakes up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, gleefully anticipating jumping in the car and going in to work to finish just a few more things that you are dying to get done, then I think you probably shouldn't retire just yet.

On the other hand, if you are the type of person who looks out the window from work on weekdays, and wishes you were out there doing something else instead of stuck inside, then I think you probably should retire.

If you are neither of these, then I don't know. When we are working, often all of our free time on the weekends is taken up by chores, home maintenance, and so on. Maybe you should spend your weekends and holidays exploring your interests and having fun, doing any chores after work on weekdays so that you can leave these weekends open for fun. Then you can contemplate how you feel each Sunday evening when you know that tomorrow it will be time to go back to work.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:05 AM   #11
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I went part time, then bought a small sailboat. I'm a goner. I'm finally putting in my notice. You have to have something to retire to. And once you do, work just gets annoyingly in the way. Put a number to it, if I bring home 50k a year at. 4% withdrawal rate that's 2k a year, less than 40 bucks a week. I can do without that.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:08 AM   #12
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I was in a similar situation. Your end date is coming fast, you just do not know when it is. If you do not minding working right up until then, keep working.

If you want some time off between now and then, get out of the rat race.

Just make sure you have enough cushion to make ends meet for the next 40 years.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:14 AM   #13
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Just because you are financially independent doesn't mean you have to retire early. If you are happy, keep working.

I found that there are a lot of things I enjoy more than working, but my job sucked, especially in the last few years.
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Old 11-28-2015, 01:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mrfeh View Post
HI folks.

So, we hit our "number" a couple years ago. At that time, I said I'd hang 'em up in April 2016. That date is just around the corner, at which time I'll be 50.

Financially, nothing has occurred in the last couple years to stop me. But now that I'm actually thinking about handing in a resignation letter, I'm waffling. The reasons I'm waffling are:
  • I still enjoy my job (most days)
  • once I quit, I will never again make the same kind of money I make now
For folks that have walked away from well-paying job that didn't suck - how and why did you do it?

Thanks.
Many people hesitate when the time comes, you're not unusual in that, but you are in another respect.

Unless you have something clearly better to do with your time, if you do enjoy your job (most days), you should NOT retire. Having enough money to retire is not in itself a reason to retire. 'It's not enough to retire from something (work), you need to have something better to retire to.' That's an easy/obvious transition for many, but not easy for a large number of people - you might be in the latter group.

And asking here don't expect an unbiased view, there are a lot of people here who unfortunately did not like (even hated) their jobs. It's common, but not universal. You're on a Chevy forum asking folks what they think of Fords...the answers are predictable to say the least.

If you retire at 50, you will have a very long retirement. If you retire at 60, odds are (overwhelmingly) you will still have a very long retirement.

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Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
This same issue comes up over and over again. Lots of people have the same hesitations. Ill say this:

1) You say you still enjoy your job. Once you retire you will realize that you didnt enjoy your job. You just didnt hate it.
Not a universal truth by any means. They're an exception, but some people are fortunate to enjoy their work.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:04 PM   #15
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Can you take a three month (or so) sabbatical?

Take it for a test drive.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:34 PM   #16
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For folks that have walked away from well-paying job that didn't suck - how and why did you do it?

Thanks.
Heh, heh. I didn't - for quite a while.

Told elsewhere in these pages, I had worked my entire c@reer to reach a certain position and set of w*rk assignments. At the time of this achievement I was 51 and, by luck or providence, I had also become FI. I chose to stay and to relax. I all but dared Megacorp to give me an assignment I didn't like. It didn't happen for 7 years. When Megacorp finally said "now, you are going to be doing THIS," I said, "no, I am not. I am leaving." Real life is a bit more complicated than my description - but not much. YMMV
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Old 11-28-2015, 04:08 PM   #17
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I'll probably always work part-time at hobby type jobs. I like the extra income and brain work. I don't put any earned income in the retirement plan so I don't feel any pressure to have to work. I make more per hour now not being on salary with lots of unpaid overtime or having to commute.
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Old 11-28-2015, 04:39 PM   #18
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I walked away from a well paying job that I did not hate because:
I value time spent as I want more than time spent making more money
I value time spent with DH more than anything else.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:04 PM   #19
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You have to have something to retire to. And once you do, work just gets annoyingly in the way.
Yep, well said. If you really have no idea how you would spend your time in retirement, you should probably keep working. In my case, I had so many things I wanted to do (other than work), the decision was very easy. And as for the money, once you have enough, you have enough. Unless your goal is to leave a big inheritance to someone, there is no point in continuing to accumulate more money (unless your work is absolutely the most rewarding and fun way you can think of to spend your time ?). In my case, the freedom that retirement brought was priceless. I retired as soon as I could, and I have zero regrets.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:25 PM   #20
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I'm in a very similar situation to OP: 50, on track to finish work in April, enjoy my work most days, find it rewarding, but I have no doubt that leaving is the right thing for me. Part-time work is extremely unlikely unless I drop down two levels in the organization, and you know, we have enough. I don't think we are at any risk of out-living our money. I think it is more likely that we won't depend our annual budget. I really believe, though, that there is so much in the world that I want to experience. I think the greatest experience I've had wass walking on the Great Wall of China. Nothing compares to that, but there are so many things I haven't done yet: the Pyramids of Egypt, living in Paris for a month, bungee jumping, zorbing (look it up). I have been surveying retired people for the last two years, and I haven't found one yet who regrets retiring. I'm sure they exist, but I haven't found one yet. i
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