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How did you finish when you hit FI earlier than planned?
Old 01-18-2018, 01:25 PM   #1
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How did you finish when you hit FI earlier than planned?

Good problem, right?

So like many here, I have spent the last 30 years working my plan, starting with humble beginnings and fortunate enough to have prosperous career that allowed my DW to be a SAHM over the last 28 years and raise our 4 kids. My master plan always called for RE at age 55 for no reason other than that felt like a good ER age. Over the past 5 - 10 yrs, the goal posts in terms of my "number" which would generate my desired spend, moved up. Fast forward to today, age 53, while my desired launch date is still 2 yrs out (last kid graduated & hopefully employed/moved out), this last market run has basically got me to my "number" 2 years ahead of schedule. So while I have absorbed much of the knowledge of all of you and tweaked my strategy for now what I think works for me (much more conservative than I was 3 yrs ago), I am finding other unexpected mixed feelings...

- I have been self-employed for 30 yrs and the last 7 or so years have been very lucrative which is subject to change with the economy. I can say much of my motivation was driven by my monetary goals to hit FI, plus, I would be lying if I didn't admit to being competitive and wanting to stay on top. Now, however, it's as if someone just sucked my mojo right out of me and I just... can I say it... don't care about the drive to produce like was or even be a hard core competitor. This produces a little feeling of guilt in a way. That being said, I could make a 1/3rd less income than I have the last number of years and more than cover my current expenses. How did you type A's wind it down?

- I only have a couple of friends retired and they are 60+. So who do I play with Honestly, here comes the guilt again... should I just hang around and work until more of my brethren hang it up because "I'm supposed to". Crazy, right? I am still exploring "retiring too" stuff, volunteer, etc. Who did you play with??

- I work out of the house 40% of the time so my DW does see me more than probably most other husbands. However, when I told her I was "really" thinking about retiring at 55, she looked at me and said "what are you going to do?" in a way that said "are you sure about this?" "does that mean you will be in grill everyday?". Was your spouse ready for you to be around, particularly if your are a type A person?

- Last little nugget, I told my DW that once I retire, we will be going to somewhat of a "fixed income". I think this threw her off as she is more comfortable with me in the income producing mode, especially when it produces excess. Truth be told, despite my encouragement for her to get more involved in how our finances work, my DW has 0 interest. She gets the little picture (I.e. working within a basic budget), but frankly, is somewhat oblivious to our NW and my income for that matter. I am working on educating her on how the "withdrawal machine" will work, but I can tell she is a little glazed over when I bring it up. Did any of you have to really educate your spouse on how the world changes when you go from accumulation to living off your assets?

As the say in talk radio, "I will hang up and listen"
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:41 PM   #2
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Dawg: I'm with you, so no fount of answers. My ER target is May 2018. However, I have read a lot here and have some plans. I'm sure others will chime in.

I have the "advantage" of a toxic Megacorp helping me make my decision. I think it is much harder for self-employed. Anyway, here's some of my plan and ideas on your points.

1) Initially, I'm going to "just be" at least for a few weeks. I need to learn who I am again. This may be a wind-down cold-turkey, but many here have reported success.

After that, I want to do things I NEVER have time for. Exercise. Walking. Home improvement. Favorite charities. Etc. For the competitive part of me, I look forward to hiking more peaks, taking longer bike rides, etc.

2) Who to play with. DW is going to ER nearly the same time. We have some plans to do things together. I have a few 60+ friends too. They're cool! I'm 55. They have caught wind of my plans (I didn't tell them outright, they just caught my vibes) and are ready to have me join in some fun. I also have an ER friend (58) who I hope to do things with. He is busier now than when he worked. I think that's a mistake, he's overdoing it. BTW, I'm 55.

3) DW and I need to work on this together thing. We do fine on weekends, but I think we need to have intentional time apart. That will be something we work on together. No answers yet.

4) DW is similar and says she wants to learn. I suppose it will give us something to do. Or not. I'm fine with it the way it is now. But she also doesn't expect "excess" on the budget, so perhaps you and your spouse will need to work on that, among other things.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:45 PM   #3
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Dawg: I'm with you, so no fount of answers. My ER target is May 2018. However, I have read a lot here and have some plans. I'm sure others will chime in.

I have the "advantage" of a toxic Megacorp helping me make my decision. I think it is much harder for self-employed. Anyway, here's some of my plan and ideas on your points.

1) Initially, I'm going to "just be" at least for a few weeks. I need to learn who I am again. This may be a wind-down cold-turkey, but many here have reported success.

After that, I want to do things I NEVER have time for. Exercise. Walking. Home improvement. Favorite charities. Etc. For the competitive part of me, I look forward to hiking more peaks, taking longer bike rides, etc.

2) Who to play with. DW is going to ER nearly the same time. We have some plans to do things together. I have a few 60+ friends too. They're cool! I'm 55. They have caught wind of my plans (I didn't tell them outright, they just caught my vibes) and are ready to have me join in some fun. I also have an ER friend (58) who I hope to do things with. He is busier now than when he worked. I think that's a mistake, he's overdoing it. BTW, I'm 55.

3) DW and I need to work on this together thing. We do fine on weekends, but I think we need to have intentional time apart. That will be something we work on together. No answers yet.

4) DW is similar and says she wants to learn. I suppose it will give us something to do. Or not. I'm fine with it the way it is now. But she also doesn't expect "excess" on the budget, so perhaps you and your spouse will need to work on that, among other things.
Thanks! Glad to hear I am not on island with just Wilson!
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:48 PM   #4
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I volunteered on occasion when still w*rking. I enjoyed it and it's a now regular part of my play time in retirement. We also travel at a much slower pace than when vacation defined our travel time. I also meet up for drinks with a very few former w*rk colleagues (2-3 X/mo).

My SAHM DW is also in the "udoit" camp when it come to finances. But I tricked her....

She has about 40 grand from years of babysitting. I convinced her that aging cash is lazy money and losing value every year. At least with CD's it loses less value over time (and, if interest rates rise, who knows?). So tomorrow, we're going to the credit union and buy a 10 grand CD (3 month) in her name. We will do this two more times, so she will have 10G cash, and a perpetual modest monthly income as we renew the principal but not the coupon of the 3 CD's.

I believe this will be my trick to lead her to the proverbial water where she shall drink of index funds, TIP's, govies, and other "refreshments."
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:52 PM   #5
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:03 PM   #6
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... this last market run has basically got me to my "number" 2 years ahead of schedule.
Be careful of this. If you've only just hit your number, a correction will drop you below your number. I'd look for some buffer with the market as hot as it's been.

It doesn't sound like you're pulling the plug now, just that it's getting more real. This is a good thing, you can have those discussions with your wife to get on the same page when you really are ready, and answer all those other questions about "what you'll do".

Not everyone has a M-F 9-5 job. I ski with my son twice a week since he works weekends and has 2 weekdays off. I've got other friends who work part time, odd days, odd hours, seasonally and some who are fully retired. If nothing else, I can get other solo stuff, errands, chores, etc, done and be free for weekends when other friends are free.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:11 PM   #7
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...............my "number" 2 years ahead of schedule.
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Be careful of this. If you've only just hit your number, a correction will drop you below your number. I'd look for some buffer with the market as hot as it's been.

It doesn't sound like you're pulling the plug now, just that it's getting more real. This is a good thing, you can have those discussions with your wife to get on the same page when you really are ready, and answer all those other questions about "what you'll do".
Yep.

I am at 118% of my "number" now and am planning to call it quits this fall. I should be OK with even a 25+% correction (essentially back to 100%) since I'm not all in equities.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:16 PM   #8
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Be careful of this. If you've only just hit your number, a correction will drop you below your number. I'd look for some buffer with the market as hot as it's been.

It doesn't sound like you're pulling the plug now, just that it's getting more real. This is a good thing, you can have those discussions with your wife to get on the same page when you really are ready, and answer all those other questions about "what you'll do".

Not everyone has a M-F 9-5 job. I ski with my son twice a week since he works weekends and has 2 weekdays off. I've got other friends who work part time, odd days, odd hours, seasonally and some who are fully retired. If nothing else, I can get other solo stuff, errands, chores, etc, done and be free for weekends when other friends are free.
I get it. I will continue to feather the nest the next 2 years to add some buffer. My RE budget has allot of fluff in it which is what I am basing my number on. Reality is it can be cut back a fair amount if the SHTF. However, you reminded me of my other "fear" in that I launch right before the next big pull back. Oh well, can't live in fear... cross that bridge when I get there.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:21 PM   #9
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Great post and great points. My wife is 36 and I am 46 and she is actually probably smarter than me as a former bond trading analyst for MBIA, but the problem is she just doesn't care! Two weeks before our first was due she quit her job and has never looked back; now she just lives her life, she teaches pre-school two days a week, and lives within our budget.

I have been testing the full time retired idea out with the firecalc flashing 99-100%, and I am glad that I did because the idea of me being at home all the time is somewhat difficult for her. Our budget should be the same retired, but because our kids are 8,6 & 5, there is never a dull moment in our house. I bought a ski house last year but I like my family too much to want to be there too often.

I am afraid that true retirement is at least ten years away for me because of where we are as a family, but that is fine. I also worry about my kids seeing me at home too much with too much control over my schedule, so I may keep my consulting business going for a while just for appearances and to get out of the house once in a while!
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:45 PM   #10
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Great post and great points. My wife is 36 and I am 46 and she is actually probably smarter than me as a former bond trading analyst for MBIA, but the problem is she just doesn't care! Two weeks before our first was due she quit her job and has never looked back; now she just lives her life, she teaches pre-school two days a week, and lives within our budget.

I have been testing the full time retired idea out with the firecalc flashing 99-100%, and I am glad that I did because the idea of me being at home all the time is somewhat difficult for her. Our budget should be the same retired, but because our kids are 8,6 & 5, there is never a dull moment in our house. I bought a ski house last year but I like my family too much to want to be there too often.

I am afraid that true retirement is at least ten years away for me because of where we are as a family, but that is fine. I also worry about my kids seeing me at home too much with too much control over my schedule, so I may keep my consulting business going for a while just for appearances and to get out of the house once in a while!
My kids are older, in their 20's, so are all smart enough to make their own assumptions. That being said, I have never discussed income, NW, or any of our financial biz with them. We do/did spend allot of time trying to "un-entitle" them despite them growing up in a affluent neighborhood. I made all my kids (4 of them) get jobs in HS and college, and while I did buy cars I called "family cars" and gift them when they graduated HS ($6K - $10K each), they had plenty of friends who drove off the lot with a new BMW at 16 and never worked a day in their life (until presumably they graduated college). My kids are now old enough to look back and see the carnage from some of their friends and they thanked mom and dad for not spoiling them rotten. It's relative, and I suppose we spoiled them more than most, but they seem to have gotten the message (2 married, self-sufficient, 1 just graduated college hunting for a job, last one a junior in college).
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:04 AM   #11
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Good question from the OP. DW and I instigated a plan to FIRE in June 2018, back in 2012. We sailed past our FIRE number in August 2016 and have been adding to the stache ever since. We’ve recently decided to advance our retirement to April.

We are allocating half of our over-stache to providing extra income, which will come in handy, and half to providing a “treat”fund to finance trips, presents, good times!

We are very excited for our April retirement!
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:14 AM   #12
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DawgMan, as I read the original post, I caught myself nodding through the entirety. I'm also 53, similar situation.

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How did you type A's wind it down?
I continue "working" at home. Transitioning out of the corporate world (not exactly by choice at the time 5 years ago) came fairly easy for me. As a software developer, I could do my thing for the benefit of megacorp, or instead to explore and do more of what interested me...and reap the financial benefits for my own personal gain as opposed to megacorps. The difference is that now it's on my schedule, if/when I want, with no responsibilities, deadlines or anyone to please...except myself. Funny thing about the whole situation, I've done my best work since leaving megacorp and have gotten more personal satisfaction out of what I've been able to accomplish, which megacorp would have never been able to even begin to comprehend or appreciate.


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- Last little nugget, I told my DW that once I retire, we will be going to somewhat of a "fixed income". I think this threw her off as she is more comfortable with me in the income producing mode, especially when it produces excess. Truth be told, despite my encouragement for her to get more involved in how our finances work, my DW has 0 interest. She gets the little picture (I.e. working within a basic budget), but frankly, is somewhat oblivious to our NW and my income for that matter. I am working on educating her on how the "withdrawal machine" will work, but I can tell she is a little glazed over when I bring it up. Did any of you have to really educate your spouse on how the world changes when you go from accumulation to living off your assets?
Very much the same. Primary difference here, DW has always worked part-time and continues to. That being the case, though she is generally good with her spending, if/when she goes out of bounds, I don't even bring it up. Since we have not tapped any retirement funds and don't intend to until truly necessary, it all works.


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- I only have a couple of friends retired and they are 60+. So who do I play with Honestly, here comes the guilt again... should I just hang around and work until more of my brethren hang it up because "I'm supposed to". Crazy, right? I am still exploring "retiring too" stuff, volunteer, etc. Who did you play with??
1. I have dinner monthly with one of my close colleagues. We go, one of us pays, we add the date for next month on the calendar, and just continue.

2. For a couple of the others, when the weather is nice, I'll take a little day trip and coordinate to have lunch with them to break up their work day. Another travels in my area periodically and I likewise meet up with him when he's local.

3. I joined a national professional group which has local groups across the country. They have meet ups every month or so, and that lets me network and keep up to date on what's trending. Even at "just 53", it's a different feeling being the old man in the group...I was always "the baby" in our circle of friends.

4. I've been more consistent in my exercise and running. We have the home gym in the basement, and I do some time down there daily. When the weather is nice - throw on the running shoes and head out the front door.

5. Sign up for MoviePass - http://www.MoviePass.com ... it's my belief that this should be a requirement for every retired person. I've been averaging about 10 movies/month since I subscribed back in October. If you have a day where you have absolutely nothing to do and want to get out of the house, find a movie and go. The monthly cost is less than the theaters charge for seeing a single movie. I've seen some really good flicks that I would have never gone to previously, because I wouldn't think it worth paying for. Similarly, I've seen some really awful ones (which had decent reviews) that I would have been really upset about if I had paid for. If I see a dud, I don't even care - no additional cost. Anyhow - definitely consider this.

6. Look for cheap seats to local cultural things. DW and I will go in to NYC a couple times a month whenever we can get cheap seats to Broadway shows, ballets or concerts at Lincoln Center, and other stuff. I personally don't care if we're in the last row of the theater, we're seating/hearing the same thing as everyone else.

7. Get familiar with the Southwest Airlines Low Fare Calendar - https://www.southwest.com/flight/sho...AV-AIR-LFCLNDR - I scan it a few times a week. When a great fare shows up, book it, tell your wife, and go. We frequently grab flights from Newark and Philly to Orlando for under $50/person/flight. In early December, we did it for $25/person/flight - which was really ridiculous. No baggage fees, no change fees...they might as well just be paying me to fly!

Anyhow, congrats on your "retirement"! Make the most of it, because there is lots out there to spend your new-found time exploring and experiencing.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:39 AM   #13
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I am similar age and situation, only I work at a megacorp which allowed me to do something that as self employed you probably cannot do which is take a year off. I did that and am now back at work, but this is really a short / medium term thing.

During that year off, I think I got an answer to the "retire to" and "who do I play with" concerns you had. Bottom line is you will figure it out, and most likely find your life is just as full, while being more enjoyable. The answer is different for everyone, but the vast majority figure this out quickly and easily. There are plenty of people who have time in the day, and you will naturally start to meet them and engage.

As to the timing / budgets / how much is enough posts you have made recently (not just this one). I find myself continually moving the goal posts over the years to "more". At some point you just need to realize that even if your dream spending (your "C" budget from another post you just made) is just under 4%, with an asset allocation of 60/40 a 50% crash in the stock market, would just put a temporary crimp in your spending and in reality you would be just fine.

You have clearly planned all this out sufficiently, but since work is not a major downer for you and pays well, I get the reluctance to pull the trigger. Thats my situation as well...if work sucks up too much time, or gets to be too much B.S. I will indeed pull the trigger. That may be this year, next year or later, who knows? But as long as the money is good and the job is not so bad I will stick around.

Bottom line is these are good problems to have and I see no reason that you have to pull the trigger if you don't want to. What you might ask yourself is "what is work keeping you from doing?" If the answer is 'not much", then go ahead and keep going, and when work starts keeping you from stuff, then you might decide it is time to RE.

The key is not to have regrets in that you were working so you were missing things you wanted like (Long bike rides, time w/ your wife / kids, travel, etc)
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Old 01-20-2018, 09:11 AM   #14
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How did you type A's wind it down?

- Who did you play with??

- Was your spouse ready for you to be around, particularly if your are a type A person?

- Did any of you have to really educate your spouse on how the world changes when you go from accumulation to living off your assets?
DawgMan - like you I hit my number much earlier than expected. I was planning on RE by 50. By 43 I hit my number easily. I was not mentally ready to fully ER, still may not be.

My response to your questions:

1- I'm exceptionally type A. I followed some advice from an older colleague - I went part-time. Going from 100-0 is too hard for some of us. This helped me envision myself fully RE. It helped me think about finances and my time much better. It gave me a very real taste of what retirement will be like. Ironically it helped me enjoy the time I do w*rk even more also. I am still PT 3 years later. We have 60+x spending already- so it's not for the money. This is my transition to full ER.

2- I'm in my mid-40s. Everyone I know w*rks FT. That made me realize how much time I'd have on my hands. I wish I had more friends free during the week but the reality is I don't. DW is busy with school stuff for the kids a lot so on my days off I am alone a lot. I'm rather independent so I don't mind too much. I read a lot, exercise daily, take naps...lol. Boredom beats stress. I'll need to involve myself in more activities once I fully ER.

3-See above. DW is busy and I am good at entertaining myself most of the time. For us, this has not been an issue (that I know of...lol).

4-My wife trusts me that I know what I'm doing. I do try educate her about it in case something happens. She is comfortable but not over all too interested in the details.

Best wishes to you.
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How did you finish when you hit FI earlier than planned?
Old 01-20-2018, 10:14 AM   #15
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How did you finish when you hit FI earlier than planned?

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DawgMan, as I read the original post, I caught myself nodding through the entirety. I'm also 53, similar situation.

5. Sign up for MoviePass - http://www.MoviePass.com ... it's my belief that this should be a requirement for every retired person. I've been averaging about 10 movies/month since I subscribed back in October. If you have a day where you have absolutely nothing to do and want to get out of the house, find a movie and go. The monthly cost is less than the theaters charge for seeing a single movie..

This a amazing! 5 mins from my house! I can def use this!
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Old 01-20-2018, 10:31 AM   #16
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This a amazing! 5 mins from my house! I can def use this!
Even better - it is good everywhere. We live in NJ. We were visiting DD in Vegas a few weeks ago and had a couple times when DW and I were on our own needing to kill an afternoon or evening. Across the street from our hotel was a Regal Cinema - brought up the app, clicked and went right in. At first I signed up just for myself to be sure it worked and was legit. A month later also signed up DW.

Costco still has their promo going with MoviePass - $89.99 for full year instead of the $9.95/month. It also includes Fandor subscription.

https://www.costco.com/MoviePass-and...100395930.html
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Old 01-20-2018, 12:01 PM   #17
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Well I was very young when I hit FI, less than 40. So I spent a couple of years planing things and carefully combing through all the issues. I had kind of jokingly, years before, mentioned how cool it would be to retire before the new millennium. And at some point that became a real target, although at times, like in 1997, it seemed it might take longer to pull it off.

Still, given the possible very long retirement period and the fact that I would be living off of investments alone, I felt compelled to move slowly and carefully. I did manage to retire a few months before my 40th birthday in 1999.

I did explain to DH that if I retired I wanted him to be available to travel with me all the time. And so he would pretty much need to give up his part time consulting business. He seemed a bit surprised at first, but then agreed with enthusiasm, although it did end up taking him a couple of years to wind down and close out his part-time (occasional) gig.
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Old 01-20-2018, 12:18 PM   #18
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Dawg: I'm with you, so no fount of answers. My ER target is May 2018. However, I have read a lot here and have some plans. I'm sure others will chime in.

I have the "advantage" of a toxic Megacorp helping me make my decision. I think it is much harder for self-employed. Anyway, here's some of my plan and ideas on your points.

1) Initially, I'm going to "just be" at least for a few weeks. I need to learn who I am again. This may be a wind-down cold-turkey, but many here have reported success.

After that, I want to do things I NEVER have time for. Exercise. Walking. Home improvement. Favorite charities. Etc. For the competitive part of me, I look forward to hiking more peaks, taking longer bike rides, etc.

2) Who to play with. DW is going to ER nearly the same time. We have some plans to do things together. I have a few 60+ friends too. They're cool! I'm 55. They have caught wind of my plans (I didn't tell them outright, they just caught my vibes) and are ready to have me join in some fun. I also have an ER friend (58) who I hope to do things with. He is busier now than when he worked. I think that's a mistake, he's overdoing it. BTW, I'm 55.

3) DW and I need to work on this together thing. We do fine on weekends, but I think we need to have intentional time apart. That will be something we work on together. No answers yet.

4) DW is similar and says she wants to learn. I suppose it will give us something to do. Or not. I'm fine with it the way it is now. But she also doesn't expect "excess" on the budget, so perhaps you and your spouse will need to work on that, among other things.
Wow do we work for the same MegaCorp? I feel like when I finally FIRE I will need to take a few weeks to a few months to simply decompress. I have been so stressed out for so long I feel like I'm not even the same person anymore. DW definitely deserves better from me.

As you've said I have so many plans for catching up on my to do list around the house, volunteering for a couple of ministries in our area, a couple of classes I would like to take, getting back into a workout routine and so on. December seems like a long way off, but I'm sure it will be here before I know it...
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by WestUniversity View Post
Wow do we work for the same MegaCorp? I feel like when I finally FIRE I will need to take a few weeks to a few months to simply decompress. I have been so stressed out for so long I feel like I'm not even the same person anymore. DW definitely deserves better from me.

As you've said I have so many plans for catching up on my to do list around the house, volunteering for a couple of ministries in our area, a couple of classes I would like to take, getting back into a workout routine and so on. December seems like a long way off, but I'm sure it will be here before I know it...
Probably not, but their executives share "wonderful" ideas with each other at those wine and cheese events at the clubhouse.

Everytime Megacorp2 comes up with some crazy idea to squeeze the employees, it always shows up at my Megacorp 1 year later. Like clockwork.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:23 AM   #20
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Hey DawgMan,

My life has followed some similarities to yours. I co-founded a company and had some lucrative years. And although I wasn't a hardcore type A, I was driven and heavily associated my identity and self-worth with my work life.

After selling my company, my plan was to start another company. Long story short, I ended up retired instead (actually I fell into part-time / occasional consulting) and became increasingly FI - earlier than planned - as years pasted. On to your questions:

How did you type A's wind it down?
At first I felt guilty - and maybe a little worthless - for not working more. I kind of hid the fact that I was not working much. It helped that I stayed active in some business groups and did some consulting. Each year I have lost some the old drive. 10+ years later, I've come to peace with things, and my consulting work helps satisfy my desire to stay in the game and be little productive.

Who did you play with?
It's awkward. I still don't have any friends my age (50 now) in my position. But honestly it was similar as a business owner, as I'm guessing you know. Staying connected to some entrepreneurial friends helps as they tend to match my life more than others (flexible hours/lifestyle, similar mindset...). And the wife and I hang out a lot.

Was your spouse ready for you to be around?
Yes. Lucky me I have an amazing wife.

Did any of you have to really educate your spouse...?
Yep. Over the years I insisted that she get more involved. Now we talk all the time about finances, goals, our future. Tip: Consider telling her this is super important TO YOU. That in case something happens, you need to know she can handle the financial aspects of life on her own.

Hope this helps, and congrats on making it happen.
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