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Is being "over" working justification enough?
Old 01-02-2017, 11:00 AM   #1
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Is being "over" working justification enough?

Seems I can't get enough encouragement from those of you on here who have taken the leap into early retirement and are loving it. I just turned 57 and will be cashing my first retirement check Feb. 1st! Been fortunate to have had well paying State job for the past 25+ years, but am just tired of the same old routine and feeling like I'm living my life on a treadmill. I no longer want to spend my days doing work I no longer care about for a new boss who is openly sexist. Problem is, I've worked pretty much since I was 16, even through college, so am feeling a little insecure about walking away from a good paying, fairly low stress gig. Money wise, my DH and I will both have decent pensions, medical insurance, plus we have some rental income. I've tracked our expenses, developed a budget and while we may have to watch our expenditures a bit more, especially until my SS and Colas kick in down the road, feel we can manage. We have lots of things planned for our retirement and I am excited about that! I just seem to be feeling extra pressure because I've been the primary breadwinner most of my life and just can't seem to get over this nagging feeling that we're not really ready for me to take this step.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by TNBound View Post
and will be cashing my first retirement check Feb. 1st!

feeling that we're not really ready for me to take this step.
If you're cashing your check, it seems that you already took the big step. All you can do now is make the best of it. If you were not happy with what you were doing and the time felt right to leave, you probably did the right thing. If you're concerned about money and feel like you still want to work, there is plenty to do that will satisfy that need. You wouldn't be the first to quite your main career and go on to something else like contract work, consulting, starting your own business . . .

You're understandably concerned about the next phase in your life and the unknown. Hard as it may be, relax and let life come to you. It will and you'll be fine.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:11 AM   #3
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I retired Sept 2nd during a voluntary severance at 57 years of age. It was a decent job, but I was really tired of doing the same trivial things day after day. When the chance to walk away with a little extra money came along, both my DW and I decided it was time for a change. So far, no regrets. Of course the market has been kind which has made the decision a no brainer. Basically I worked for about 34 years and it was time. And lately seeing all the different 'famous' people die at young ages helps to remind me that I would rather have some time doing what I want.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:15 AM   #4
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It sure is!! (at least for me). PLENTY of justification.

I dove into my engineering career with a passion - enjoyed every minute of everything I was doing. This lasted for 30 years of deep personal satisfaction (you are using technology in your cellphone that I helped develop beginning all the way back in the '90s).

Over the last few years, however, my outside-work interests have grown to the point of work just being a distraction and getting in the way. Work "requirements" and the work environment preventing me from doing things my way while at work, and keeping me from doing other things outside of work.

No singular point of complaint about the work world, just feeling very weary of the BS, a bit burned out, and work is now becoming a means to an end (retiring and doing whatever I darn well please).

A little less than 2 years left for me -- JUSTIFIED!
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:25 AM   #5
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10 years from now, when you look back at 2017, what do you think you'd like to see? Another year slogging at a job that isn't rewarding, or your first year of retirement and the corresponding experiences, travel, activities, etc.?
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:53 AM   #6
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What other justification do you need!!

Seriously, you've been at it since you've been 16 in some fashion and you're not creeping toward 57.

I totally understand your trepidation, as I was pretty much the same. I've always had a steady paycheck coming in and the thought of not having one was daunting.

As many here will say the best thing about being FIRE'd is freedom. I retired last April for pretty much the same reasons as you, except I'm not as nice as you, lol I always say I hate, loathed and despised my job by the time I left.

Now I have a p/t job working in a bakery. I love it, I always wanted to own my own bakery but decided I didn't want to make that commitment this stage of my life, so this lets me live out my little fantasy and get my Disney mickey bar money.

so welcome to the dark side, if you've run the numbers and it's ok. you'll learn to relax
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:28 PM   #7
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Retirement is one of life's major events. You're in transition, that's all. It's the psychological and emotional part you're experiencing, which is normal. I love Andy Grove's phrase regarding what he did at Intel, which I used as a metaphor for my own retirement transition experience: "First let chaos reign, then reign chaos." In a way, retirement creates a sort of chaos in our lives as a lot of "structure" suddenly disappears. Then, over time, we replace that with our own. You will do fine.
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:03 AM   #8
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You don't need a justification, unless your justification is for yourself. Retirement is very liberating. You worked for a long time, and were lucky enough to be able to save money to support you when you could no longer work. That there is more than enough there to maintain your lifestyle.

Now you are on a new adventure (or at least this is how I think of it). Be open to new ways and ideas, choose that which is comfortable, and don't forget to watch the sunrise and the sunset - you don't have to be anywhere right away, do you?

- Rita
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:27 AM   #9
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I retired sooner than a friend of mine. I remember discussing retirement and at that point she questioned my decision. The regular stuff "What will you do with your time?", "I like the feeling of involvement w*rk offers." Her having since retired loves the freedom. One time she promised to go back to visit where she w*rked to connect with old colleagues, but that never happened.

I say, she saw the light .
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:33 AM   #10
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All justification you need is that you can.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:24 PM   #11
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Walking away from a well paying job is always tough. Is it worth the politics that you have to bear, the feeling of not being productive, boredom, etc.? Would you rather to at work or doing something else that you enjoy? Does more money make you happier or more secure?
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:30 PM   #12
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Sounds like you have the RE financials figured out. Therefore, the only question is can you imagine yourself being happier doing something else with your time than spending more of it at your current job? That's all the justification required. Congratulations!
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TNBound View Post
I just seem to be feeling extra pressure because I've been the primary breadwinner most of my life and just can't seem to get over this nagging feeling that we're not really ready for me to take this step.
I can relate to most of what you say, and was very much in your position six months ago. So far I haven't regretted my decision.

I'm probably a lot different than the majority here. I consider myself to have "RE" but never considered myself "FI." I've done enough planning that I should be OK, but it's by no means certain. Politics, health, anything can change my plans. But it's no less certain than when I was working.

Nor is it certain that I won't work. What I am sure of is that my next job will be on MY terms. Maybe something completely different. Maybe back to my old employer as a temporary contractor. I'll figure that out when I get a chance. Right now I'm too busy with other projects to think about it!
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:03 AM   #14
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I took a homemaker sabbatical for 6 years when our kids were babies, and it turns out that I'm one of those people who needs to work outside the home for optimal happiness.

I eventually went back part-time. Point is, if it turns out that working makes you happier, you can go back to work doing something. So the exit isn't a one-way door. So enjoy being retired, and recognize that it's ok to go back to work if it turns out you want or need to.
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:18 AM   #15
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Many "experts" seem to think retirement is an all or nothing thing-that you just stop w*orking one day. It does not have to be that way. You could "retire" and still find something else to do that would be enjoyable, and reduce your dependence on withdrawals.

If you are close to FI, you can begin the withdrawals, yet work part time, or consult, and make a huge difference in your financial picture. As an example: if your home isn't paid off, you could work just enough to make an extra payment or two to principal each month. Or, use the "paycheck" to continue saving (IRA, Roth) for extra peace of mind. Meanwhile, you have the "honeymoon" period of a new job to get a little further ahead financially.
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:41 AM   #16
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There is an adjustment period. I was burned out and ready to go years before I retired, but I still had to adjust. You have left something that you have done almost all your life. But, it's not so much as to what you are leaving behind...but what you are going to. You now have a new life. How many people get the chance to do that?
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