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Deferred ER Regret
Old 07-30-2009, 02:29 PM   #1
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Deferred ER Regret

Have any of those who are ER'd wish in retrospect that'd have done it sooner/earlier? Was it a miscalculation or just uncertainty? What are some words of wisdom for those who are just dipping their toe into the water.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:58 PM   #2
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I'm not sure how wise the words are, but four years after I pulled the plug I have no regrets. Although I would have certainly liked to retire sooner than age 58, my timing was not a miscalculation - that's how long it took for my financial moon and stars to align themselves.

So far, so good...
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:11 PM   #3
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I have been retired fully for a almost two years and I have no regrets . The market melt down made me pretty nervous but it all worked out okay . I was financially ready several years before I retired I needed to be mentally ready .
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:13 PM   #4
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I like Henry Fonda's line in 'The Longest Day' - when they land you on the wrong beach -'march inland.'

I was canned/er ah layed off at 49, jan 1993 - took a while to make the mental shift between my ears from unemployed to 'hey dummy you don't have to work anymore!'

Some of us are slower than others - plus I kept a low profile till age 55, when 'normal people' took early retiement.

heh heh heh - used the lefthanded method: took what I had saved/invested and made it work by cutting expenses as in really cheap SOB.

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Old 07-30-2009, 04:58 PM   #5
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Until I peeked at this forum it never crossed my mind to retire early. In fact, I thought the path to eternal bliss was to work until "the end." I left mainly because MegaCorp had a retirement formula that kicked in at 60 (actually 55, but the difference in pension was/is substantial).

I now believe if a 25 year old began planning to walk by age 50/55, it could easily be done.

So, to OP's question, the regret is not considering ER from the start. OTOH, with a couple of pensions, I am doing well, now in my 6th year.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:07 PM   #6
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I regret going back to work in the civil service for a year, after I transitioned from the Army. When I left active duty, I had a mindset that I had a job lined up and that was that. Within weeks of joining civil service I knew I had made a mistake. At 45, I am still figuring out the ER thing, but so far I like it.

Jim
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:17 PM   #7
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I wouldn't call it a "regret," but if I were 20 again, I would be more frugal, and strive to retire at 40 instead of 52.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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I always said I'd quit working when there was free medical care. I wonder if I will get a chance to try it out soon?
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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No regrets except that I wish I would have started to live life how I wanted sooner.
I wish I would have started planning this earlier, too. It has taken me a couple of years to mentally adapt.

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Old 07-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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I wouldn't call it a "regret," but if I were 20 again, I would be more frugal, and strive to retire at 40 instead of 52.
Ditto. I started thinking about it at 35 with 50 as my goal. Didn't quite make it as I retired at 52, well almost 53. But if I had set a goal of 40 when I was 22-25, I think 45 would have been pretty easy to achieve. Oh well.......I'm just happy to be a full time golf bum now.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:18 PM   #11
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ER'd at 52 (7 years ago) although my original goal was ER at 55. My wife convinced me to ER "early" since we had reached our financial ER goals. Although its worked out very well I certainly wish I could have done it earlier. When I want to kick my own a... I remember researching extensively Berkshire Hathaway back when I was 29 (1979) and thinking this was something I should really put most of my eggs into. I never bought a share....
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:46 PM   #12
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I'm 10 days away from my 10 years retired anniversary. No regrets, in spite of an extremely volatile 10 year period in the markets. Frankly, I couldn't have retired any earlier - I retired as early as I could (39). No regrets there either.

Audrey
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:50 PM   #13
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I had and still would have no desire to waste my youth scrimping. Money comes, money goes. But youth just goes.

I got lucky; but if I were still plugging away I don't think it would matter all that much.

Ha
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:54 PM   #14
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I retired 15 years ago, at the age of 49, and my wife retired 4 years later. I had a pension and a supplement(that dropped off at age 62 and was replaced with SS) and my wife received a full pension + SS later. I have no regrets whatsoever, especially because I have no money worries.

I know quite a number of people who were so focused on "getting out" that they really kidded themselves on how much money they would need. Several are in serious trouble now. In my opinion, you better have some serious cash in the bank.

To many of my friends and others have passed away (IMO, before their time) for me to regret getting out early one bit. YMMV.

Best,
JR
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:02 PM   #15
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I am entertaining the idea of finishing the next 10 years on Active duty to be like Nords...but with a state pension (dollars only) to kick in at 50...why - because I heed what many state here...enjoy life! Just returned from a week in Germany (no lodging or airfare costs) that have fueled my ER goals even more! I have many more things to do than W*RK!
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:10 PM   #16
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Deferred ER Regret
"To few to mention." I just came from the oldies thread. I could have retired a few months earlier but in the long run....I'm there.

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Old 07-30-2009, 09:18 PM   #17
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It's an interesting question. I'm wondering if I'll regret hanging on a bit longer. I was very close to jumping 10 years ago, and again about 4 years ago, but each downturn knocked my nest egg back so I'm glad I didn't. Now I'm back to having enough for a 3% SWR including a small pension and social security, or 4% with just my 401K, IRA, and other funds. If I've set my budget correctly, which I think I have since it includes house and car maintenance, vacations, and a set aside for capital expenses. I could also downsize my house if it looks like I can't make it.

The thing is, everybody tells me I've got the perfect job, and I tend to agree. I'm working 1/2 time, the pay is decent, benefits, and I telecommute with flexible hours. I like the work ok, and it's pretty slow. I do software support for what's now a pretty stable product, and they just want someone around in case something goes bad, and in the meantime I keep as busy as I want to be (or not) with minor enhancements. Even when the pressure is on, it rolls off my back. I figure if things go bad, I can bail, but why walk away when I've got it good. I'm 47, so I feel like I've still got lots of time to spend any extra I put away.

I had hoped a buyout might come, but they just offered one and you have to be 55, so I probably won't see one in my work life. I thought I might get a layoff package, but the last two missed me. Who knows if there'll be another one. It wouldn't bother me to get a severance package, rather than just giving 2 weeks notice.

Once I leave am I going to wonder why I kept on, or does it seem reasonable to stick around in a good situation and kept building the nest egg?

If I left and felt it was a mistake and needed to come back, I doubt I'd get rehired, and there's only 3-5 companies at which I'd be able to use my specialty to get hired, and I probably wouldn't have as good of a setup, like working part-time. And in 5 years, I'd probably be a dinosaur.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:30 PM   #18
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I wouldn't call it a "regret," but if I were 20 again, I would be more frugal, and strive to retire at 40 instead of 52.
What he said.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:43 AM   #19
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I had and still would have no desire to waste my youth scrimping. Money comes, money goes. But youth just goes.
Well, this is one of the reasons why I have pondered the OP's question myself. Youth goes, and most of it goes by whilst sitting behind a desk at some j*b. I don't want to stick around at the office one minute longer than necessary!

But I think it's natural for most FIREes and FIRE-hopefuls to save more than necessary, because it's ingrained in our culture that one should be out working and making money; it takes a substantial stash to convince yourself it's "OK" to leave the rat race.

Most people who have reached FIRE seem to think that they might have been able to stop working a little bit earlier, but don't seem to be bothered by it that much, presumably because the extra safety net they built up during those years is an ongoing comfort.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:12 AM   #20
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I didn't really give it much thought until after my divorce and setting up a house by myself. Then I realized that I was more than halfway through what then was a 25-year career, with a pension that at the time was to be 50% of one's last year's earnings. I got lucky - it changed for the better and at 29 years I went out at 70%. I stayed longer because I was enjoying the job at that point and retired because I became frustrated with the slow bureaucracy and DC area traffic, and I realized that if I retired my net pay would go UP!

So I had my 5-year sabbatical and chose to get a job again. But it's a lot slower paced, and as one colleague put it "Never in my life have I been paid so much to do so little". But I don't get paid for what I do. I get paid for what I can do, and will do, if the situation warrants.

This is a situation that works for us for the time being. The extra income, most of which we're saving, is nice, and I can spend some money on a toy like a motorcycle that I wouldn't have otherwise. But this job is temporary, we don't really need the income, and I'm there until I'm not. And when I'm not, the saved income will be spent on stuff that I can't do when I'm working.

Of course that assumes that I'll still be around then, and that's the gamble I'm taking. Even if I lose the bet DW will still have some options she wouldn't have had otherwise and that's okay with me.

Everyone has things they would do differently - my worst mistake was seeing in my ex-wife what I wanted to see and not what was really there - but when the dust settled on it I thought of my father's expression: "Well, you just chalk it up to tuition and go on from there."
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