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Old 02-03-2015, 06:50 PM   #21
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For those of you who have reached the point where you are confident you are FI and have come to terms with that mentally, i'd like to ask you what "problems" you now have that you never expected, and what "problems" you thought would be solved and are not.


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Well, stress related to a job goes away once you are FI. If "they" come up with job related stressors its easy to ignore them. "They" realize quickly that they "don't have you" so a sort of a force field builds around you where the work related stress just disappears. Everything else in one's life stays the same until head exercises take hold and after several years of ER one learns to truly relax.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:38 PM   #22
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Alcohol. We've finally faced the fact that now that we have no one to answer to, we could have a drink at lunch, or drink every night during the week or start drinking wine at 4. After 2 years of this, we realized we may be drinking a bit too much, so we are trying to moderate. Never really falling down drunk, just getting fat and lazy.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:36 PM   #23
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I ER'd at age 40 and my unanticipated problems five years later now are mostly non-financial.

The main thing is a feeling of loneliness during the working day. My peers are all at work. If I leave the house, whether to the golf course or the grocery store, it means shuffling around with all the conventional retirees out during the day, probably average age 80 (and a surprising number of 90+ year olds). God bless them -- my parents are that age. I also know I'm going to be that age someday, but do I really want to spend the rest of my retirement with them? Fellow ER's are really rare so you need to get used to this.

Then I didn't expect the tax burden I encountered. I was fortunate enough to sell my company and ER after the market crash, so I put a chunk in real estate and the rest in the markets, both of which have gone up. Of course, you need to rebalance your portfolio as necessary, but it means a tax burden. My state doesn't distinguish between capital gains and ordinary income so I pay probably $15K a year in state taxes (and $10K federal), plus my property taxes (another $15K) all of which is more than I withdraw to live off of. I never expected to pay more in taxes than I "made" in income.

And then there's the change in lifestyle. I expected ER would mean enjoying life -- travel, books, hobbies, sunsets, relaxation -- but after 40 years of a fast-paced and mostly impoverished and frugal life to get where I am, it's hard to change. I spend too much time on the internet and TV like I did before ER. It's something I'm working on though.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:57 PM   #24
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Kabe, I have various individual activities, routines, and time with GF including a ski trip next week coming up. But still, I spend a helluva of a lot of time on Internet and TV. I enjoy it and am not apologizing for it. If you feel like you need to expand your horizons, by all means go for it. But I am not going to learn a musical instrument or feign interest in art because it is a higher calling. I am what I am. Those and other examples I am sure are great hobbies for people, just not for me.
I just simply mean if you enjoy it do not feel guilty about it. Personally the Internet and big screen Tvs are the best inventions man has created! Well besides maybe sports betting.


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Old 02-04-2015, 12:15 AM   #25
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Some folks around here just work too hard at trying to Find Something To DO!

I see an awful lot of fretting over what the cable news channel says to be afraid of today, and too much worrying and posting about Things Which Really Aren't Going To Happen.

Use your independence more wisely. Those kittens and puppies aren't going to pet themselves, you know.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:32 AM   #26
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Some folks around here just work too hard at trying to Find Something To DO!

I see an awful lot of fretting over what the cable news channel says to be afraid of today, and too much worrying and posting about Things Which Really Aren't Going To Happen.

Use your independence more wisely. Those kittens and puppies aren't going to pet themselves, you know.
Hear, hear. Although I grew up with 3 cats, I was not a pet parent while working. It's no coincidence that shortly after stopping work, I somehow acquired 3 kitties to share my 280 sq foot space with (or did they acquire me.......?) I spend a great deal of time at home in this small studio. It is cozy and nice, but with the 3 kitties, it truly feels like a home. They enrich my life in ways I cannot fully put into words.

As for dallas27's question in the original post I wish I could be of more help, but I'd be hard-pressed to think of any significant problems I have had since stopping work almost 6 years ago. I don't make any great attempt to budget ahead for possible unforeseen expenses because, in my situation, unexpected expenses are unlikely to be that big, or that many. They can either be covered with the cushion I have in my checking, or by making an extra portfolio withdrawal. As my WR is ~2.1% of the current balance, any extra withdrawal to cover an emergency cost is unlikely to adversely affect future portfolio withdrawals.

I am a renter (with cheap rent), so there are no home maintenance costs. Also, due to my low income, I am on Medicaid. Although you do have to be fairly good with the concept of waiting when on Medicaid, the upside is that my out of pocket expenses are zero (no co-pays at all, no deductible), and I am unlikely to rack up large unforeseen medical expenses. In fact, I am unlikely to rack up any expenses at all, unless you include the $3 that prescriptions cost Basic dental is also free on Medicaid, though I do have to pay out of pocket for crowns and other more extensive dental work. However, I brush and floss regularly, and my teeth are in reasonable shape. I will need a crown in the next few years, but that's only going to run me around $500. I don't own a car, so no unpredictable future expenses there.

M Paquette - you are right. I hadn't thought about it before, but a lot of folk here do seem to spend quite a bit of time worrying about all sorts of things that might happen. Is that what they worked so hard for, all those years - the opportunity to stop working, yet continue worrying?

My prescription is a good doze of Zen or, as Bobby McFerrin put it, "Don't Worry, Be Happy"!
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:06 PM   #27
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Like Kabekew, Mulligan and Major Tom I spend more time on the Internet and reading than many people would be able to do but hey, it's my time. Especially in the winter - we go out to buy food and go to the gym and that's about it.

Even if we won the lottery I doubt our lifestyle would change all that much. Neither one of us wants to travel for it's own sake or we'd find a way to do it, as long as the vehicles are reliable we don't care how old they are, and DW likes TV and jigsaw puzzles. So for a pair of homebody introverts it works for us. We enjoy family and go to those events but that pretty much goes quiet from New Year's until spring.

For a while there I did stress some about "not doing anything" and then realized that is a societal expectation, not ours, and we are fortunately past the point where we need be overly concerned with society's expectations.

In fact DW was mentioning that I should spring for some new jeans since the current set is looking faded. But until they have holes in them I'm not going to think much about it. Or I might buy one pair of "dress jeans" to placate her.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:18 PM   #28
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Walt, I have also reached that point concerning clothes. I used to love going shopping for clothes. Then it slide down to just liking to go to the mall to check things out. Now I don't even like going and rarely do unless I have to. I enjoy sitting in a chair all day on Internet watching tv as much as I do my golfing, skiing, movies, or going out to eat,etc. As long as I am not working for a living, I am happy.


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Old 02-04-2015, 05:26 PM   #29
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Like Kabekew, Mulligan and Major Tom I spend more time on the Internet and reading than many people would be able to do but hey, it's my time. Especially in the winter - we go out to buy food and go to the gym and that's about it.

Even if we won the lottery I doubt our lifestyle would change all that much. Neither one of us wants to travel for it's own sake or we'd find a way to do it, as long as the vehicles are reliable we don't care how old they are, and DW likes TV and jigsaw puzzles. So for a pair of homebody introverts it works for us. We enjoy family and go to those events but that pretty much goes quiet from New Year's until spring.

For a while there I did stress some about "not doing anything" and then realized that is a societal expectation, not ours, and we are fortunately past the point where we need be overly concerned with society's expectations.

In fact DW was mentioning that I should spring for some new jeans since the current set is looking faded. But until they have holes in them I'm not going to think much about it. Or I might buy one pair of "dress jeans" to placate her.
+1 on everything. Beautiful post, Walt.

I'm perfectly happy doing whatever I want to do. And if anybody else doesn't like it, they can just go jump in a lake because I don't care.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:14 PM   #30
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I hear you all on the clothes. I'm not a fan of shopping and find myself arguing (with myself) that my super faded, but super comfy jeans that I am wearing right now have a good "patina". Why do I need to dress up? I have no problem wearing them to the community college for my Italian class - it's as presentable as what the kids (my classmates) are wearing.

I've only been retired 6 months. Nothing unplanned but we have had some unexpected medical costs for my son. That's what our medical OOP budget item is for. I was hoping not to use it... but there you go.

For the most part the changes in retirement have been positive. I've lost 20 lbs (still have a lot more to go), I'm in better shape (don't get winded as easily), my blood pressure was 110/75 last time I had it checked, and I have more time to annoy nurture my middle schoolers.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:18 PM   #31
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For the most part the changes in retirement have been positive. I've lost 20 lbs (still have a lot more to go), I'm in better shape (don't get winded as easily), my blood pressure was 110/75 last time I had it checked, and I have more time to annoy nurture my middle schoolers.
Middle schoolers - When I was that age everyone just kind of hoped their parents would at least be so kind as to wear invisibility cloaks if not just sink into the floor and stay there.

Is it still that way?
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #32
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My younger son will still acknowledge me, My older son walks 10 feet ahead or behind me if we're at school and won't acknowledge me. He's also requested that I pretend I don't know him at basketball games. (Yeah right - I'm screaming encouragement with all the other parents.)
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:29 PM   #33
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Ah, the generations stay the same then.

DW was surprised when a middle-school age niece said DW embarrassed her. What did DW do? She "was there".
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:48 PM   #34
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How about the one where you go to the game/recital/drama at parents request because they both have to work and 'well you are retired you know' ?

heh heh heh - those 20 year friendships make some requests hard to turn down. Getting better at no volunteer stuff though.
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