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Old 03-18-2015, 10:43 AM   #21
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I'm going through that process now. I FIRE'd two months ago and am adjusting to a life of aimless leisure. Even with a projected SWR of .9% with plenty of fat to trim and with DW still working, however, I still constantly find myself opening up the spreadsheet and running and re-running the numbers almost daily. I know that this nagging anxiety is completely irrational, and I hope to be able to eventually put it behind me.

Other than that, FIRE has been great. I have formed a habit of making a list of things (errands or fun stuff) to "accomplish" at the beginning of each week. This helps me stay focused on getting errands done while also planning out the fun stuff. It has worked out great for me so far.
You sound exactly like me. Although, my irrational daily spreadsheet routine is now down to once or twice per week. I've been pretty tight with spending the first 1.5 years. Actually made it a hobby to find new and creative ways to reduce spending without sacrificing anything. We're traveling less than expected and I keep deferring planned home improvements. This, despite FIRECalc telling me we can increase spending by half and still be 100%. The longer things continue to work out as planned, the more confidence I gain. So I hope to loosen the purse strings soon. But, what if...

I also make lists. This helps keep some focus in my otherwise meandering daily affairs. But I find that I add more items to the list than I complete. At first, I was bothered by this, but now I just kind-of let the days dictate themselves, and enjoy the freedom and the process of learning new things, at whatever pace I choose.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:46 AM   #22
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I am 5 years into retirement and like many others on this forum I experienced anxiety, exhilaration and terror during the first months/year of retirement. The mixed feelings and reaction are somewhat predicable and are justified. Given time most will meld into quiet contentment. My experience with spending was also similar to that of others where spending was greater during the first couple of years and then declined. My current WR is >1% and while I hear some criticism/encouragement to spend more I have found that the things I enjoy most are life’s simple pleasures, and those are mostly free.

As Kabekew stated “happiness is not about having things or going places, it's about the people in your life”.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:53 AM   #23
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I have found that the things I enjoy most are life’s simple pleasures, and those are mostly free.

As Kabekew stated “happiness is not about having things or going places, it's about the people in your life”.
+1. I think the first few years of our semi-ER were understanding the difference between what advertising suggests makes people happy, messages we have been bombarded with our entire lives, and what are the things that really make people happy - social connections, bonding with your pet, mastering a skill, enjoying nature, being a part of the larger community, exercising, sitting in a lounge chair in the sun with a good book, a day at the beach - these can all be free or at least pretty cheap.
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:13 PM   #24
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We are just now going to have to start dipping into funds that have been saved and put in Ira. It will be strange to be taking out instead of putting in. It is a bit scary!!
It sure is was. Been there, done that. Heh heh heh...
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:20 PM   #25
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no! beer.
Alcohol is a drug.
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:46 PM   #26
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I don't recall experiencing any fear leading up to RE (and all of the anxiety was about the end game at w*rk rather than what would happen after I retired), and haven't experienced any since I pulled the plug in 2013. I think part of it was that my j*b was very uninspiring the last few years, so I didn't fear losing anything, and I had everything to gain by leaving. And I had a vision/framework for my retirement years, without all the details filled in, and that vision combined with lack of constraints has served me well. One thing I've been well aware of is the possibility that I might lose sense of purpose or be bored, but this has never turned into fear since I've also committed myself to trying something new if I lose interest in something else. Creating one's own sense of purpose and keeping busy (but not too busy!) is a big responsibility, but is also extremely rewarding, and it sure beats some mega corp manager giving me these things.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:28 PM   #27
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I am 5 years into retirement and like many others on this forum I experienced anxiety, exhilaration and terror during the first months/year of retirement.
Ouch. Two out of three of those are very bad. Thankfully I felt only exhilaration when I retired. I was so excited to greet each new day I had trouble sleeping - just like a kid the night before Santa came.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:38 PM   #28
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Macallan. But I hear other Scotch Whiskies were just as well... ;-)
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:16 PM   #29
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One way to relax is to get on a Withdrawal Method that cannot fail (Well yes, if the whole economy fails, for the nitpickers).

It's called VPW and I am using it. It will most likely allow you to spend more money than others and is much safer than a fixed SWR. The tool is free and is available for download. It backtests like FireCalc and is the Best Retirement Tool I have come across yet. Run it and put your mind at ease.

Where is the house in Florida? I just got back from 3 months in the Bahamas where I winter every year now.

Variable percentage withdrawal - Bogleheads
Thank you Cut Throat. The home is a Gulf of Mexico access canal home in Cape Coral-->We are going to arrive sometime in July and I cannot wait. I will have a look at the variable withdrawal method you linked. Will dive into that tonight. Thanks again!

Doc
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:21 PM   #30
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We had a thread a while back about uncertainties in ER, and most people said the curved ball that they most feared would be an unexpected serious health problem. Yes, that happened to me, and quite a few other posters. And not all of them are still posting. That's how bad it could be.

Don't sweat too much about money. It's only money, folks.
NW-BOUND,

I know all too well that of which you speak. I have seen it first hand multiple times in my 25 years on the beat. Everything pales in comparison when your health is threatened. It sure puts a lot of things in perspective in real short order. Thanks for reminding me.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:31 PM   #31
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+1. I think the first few years of our semi-ER were understanding the difference between what advertising suggests makes people happy, messages we have been bombarded with our entire lives, and what are the things that really make people happy - social connections, bonding with your pet, mastering a skill, enjoying nature, being a part of the larger community, exercising, sitting in a lounge chair in the sun with a good book, a day at the beach - these can all be free or at least pretty cheap.

Hi Daylate...

This is why the wife and I built a house in SW florida...why spend money on travel in the budget when I have one of the best places in the world to call home. 1 freezing temp in 120 years, 340 days a year with sunshine. What is not to love. (oh...no state income tax!) No florida sucks posts please.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:32 PM   #32
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Thank you Cut Throat. The home is a Gulf of Mexico access canal home in Cape Coral-->We are going to arrive sometime in July and I cannot wait. I will have a look at the variable withdrawal method you linked. Will dive into that tonight. Thanks again!

Doc
We spent the winter in 2011-2012 in Cape Coral Also. On a Canal Also! Great Real Estate values in that area now!
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:11 AM   #33
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Hi Daylate...

This is why the wife and I built a house in SW florida...why spend money on travel in the budget when I have one of the best places in the world to call home. 1 freezing temp in 120 years, 340 days a year with sunshine. What is not to love. (oh...no state income tax!) No florida sucks posts please.
I have always enjoyed Florida for vacations. Love the weather and beaches.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:42 AM   #34
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I retired 6 years ago at 51 and had the same feelings of anxiety about spending down the money. I started with a conservative budget and slowly increased it over the years as I became more and more comfortable.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:16 AM   #35
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Congratulations on planning your affairs so that you can pull the plug at age 49!


I think you'll be very glad in the long run that you are able to enjoy the years in early retirement while you are much younger and healthier than most people. At 49, you probably don't have many of the aches and pains that will come later. And you have lots of energy. No doubt this is going to be worth a great deal to you.

Leaving W*RK brought up some of the feelings you mentioned.

Now, I'm three months in, and things are falling into place and getting easier all the time.

I'm surprised to find that my focus is way less on money than I thought it would be. Thankfully, it's more on enjoying activities and my day. Money seems to be way less important than I thought it was in my working days. I'm spending way less because I'm finding all the free/cheap things I couldn't do because they are only available to retired people who don't work during the day. Spending has a lot of flexibility in it.

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Old 03-19-2015, 06:20 PM   #36
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Try not to stress out too much over the financial stuff. Taking care of your health is way more important. I got into more exercise, gardening, healthier eating, healthier cooking after I retired, and it has paid off. The money won't matter 10-15 years from now if your health is deteriorating because you didn't pay enough attention to it. I know lots of retired folks who are fine financially, but who really can't enjoy life much because their health is poor. I'm five years into retirement now, and the money situation is fine - I spend very little time thinking about money these days. I spend much more time on the above things, plus planning my next project or activity.....
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:29 PM   #37
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Try not to stress out too much over the financial stuff. Taking care of your health is way more important. I got into more exercise, gardening, healthier eating, healthier cooking after I retired, and it has paid off. The money won't matter 10-15 years from now if your health is deteriorating because you didn't pay enough attention to it. I know lots of retired folks who are fine financially, but who really can't enjoy life much because their health is poor. I'm five years into retirement now, and the money situation is fine - I spend very little time thinking about money these days. I spend much more time on the above things, plus planning my next project or activity.....

And sometimes even if you take care of your health it doesn't cooperate.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:33 PM   #38
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+1

Surviving that experience did a lot to boost my confidence in making it to the end without running out of $. Making it to the 10 year mark without major depletion of our portfolio has also been a big confidence builder.
Me too , I saw how low my portfolio could go and life still went on .
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Old 03-20-2015, 03:58 AM   #39
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Thank you all for all of the thoughtful responses. I am glad to know many of you had the same worries before pulling the plug (that sounds mean??) I guess it is a bit comforting to know my thoughts, worries and excitement are right in line with most of the early retirees on this board. Again, I appreciate it.


Floatingdoc
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:32 AM   #40
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My big fear was in getting COBRA setup. We had some appointments just after quitting at the end of last month. I got a call from the doctors that they were having issues getting pre-certification because the insurance was inactive. Well, it should be... buy will activate retroactively. HR says you may need to pay and submit the bill. The insurer notes that they will not pay certain charges if they require pre-certification... and don't have it. So... ok, it might not be much money, but....
On the other side, I have been telling DW that we should upgrade our older car (10 years old) but still runs well. This is out of character for us, we would keep it longer based on how it runs. She has a replacement that she would like... good for our outdoor pursuits, but twice the price of anything we've bought before. I'm looking at how many cars we may buy during the rest of our lives and our 1.5% WR (which does not include car expense this year)... and saying what the hell, why not. BTW, our spending has greatly dropped since she RE at the beginning of the year.
No I am not typically prone to spending... DW surgically removed my shopping gene 31.6 years ago. But you can't take it with you.
So, I guess... no I have not had that feeling yet. But we can tighten up if we need to.
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