Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Is retiring without work backup "irresponsible"?
Old 10-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
Focus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 471
Is retiring without work backup "irresponsible"?

There are valuable insights in this post on the "Can I Retire Yet?" blog:

Early vs. Traditional Retirement

However, this particular statement rubbed me the wrong way:

Quote:
To be frank, given the uncertainties around modern retirement, itís probably irresponsible to leave a secure, good-paying career for early retirement, unless you also have the option to return to work if things donít go well.
__________________

__________________
Focus is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-01-2013, 11:08 PM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,827
With good, thorough, "bulletproof" planning, I just don't see it as being irresponsible at all.

As long as you know that you will never have to leach off of others, I don't think retiring early would be in the least bit irresponsible. If moving into one's parents' basement and dropping into their dining room at dinnertime is Plan B, then I think his point might be worth considering.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 11:12 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,856
Part of my ER plan was to assure that I would never have to work again. According to the Fidelity RIP program, my financial outlook only improves greatly after I turn 60. SO how could I be irresponsible?
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
What he said next:
Quote:
Unless you’ve saved a great deal of money, the range of possible investment returns, inflation rates, and health care costs over the long time spans involved in early retirement, introduce unknowable variables into most retirement equations.
I think he's generally right in this part, it's something we yammer on about here a bit. There really are a lot of things that could conceivably derail a retirement, even one that is well planned out.

But that doesn't mean it is irresponsible to quit working. Is it "irresponsible" to use assets wisely? Is your number of remaining days on this planet an asset? So, just how many of them should be traded for money? I'd say it's not "irresponsible" to quit working unless you are likely to become a burden on others (requiring them to trade away their own limited number of days to bail you out).

Quote:
“Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible.
- RAH
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 11:24 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
WestLake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 239
It's irresponsible not to save and plan for retirement many years in advance.
__________________
WestLake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,330
No one can really plan for all the possible eventualities. A hyper-ER (age 40 or under) would have much more risk that a more "tradional" retiree of 60. The need to return to the work force would generally preclude returning to any of the lucritive professions I'm familiar with except possibly medicine. I know in engineering that if someone is out of the field for 5 or more years they would not be seriously considered except during periods of hiring desperation. The best bet would be starting a business but that would have to be done with little capital. Since if you weren't broke, why would you need income?
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 07:41 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,965
The article is selling a book, by the same author. Funny how that's quickly highlighted to discredit the article/author in some threads here but not others...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 08:02 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,432
Call me irresponsible then. I've been called worse.

If things get bad enough for me to lose everything, there probably won't be many jobs around anyway. Not saying I have a such a massive portfolio that something couldn't go wrong, but you can't live your life in fear. Of course there's always meds.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 08:05 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
The article is selling a book, by the same author. Funny how that's quickly highlighted to discredit the article/author in some threads here but not others...
I somewhat agreed with the article when the previous posts were discrediting it. I don't see where you would be able to resume a good career after a substantial time in ER so you better have a pretty good Plan B. The one I recall from a poster I haven't seen participating for awhile was "a trailer by a trout stream." Their obvious end game was to forage for food and other essentials hoping the end comes as kindly as possible. If you aren't willing to go there, it is irresponsible to be a hyper-ER.
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 08:09 AM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 920
It is my understanding that most fails on a SWR are from suckage early on, which should align with when my ability to panic and attempt reentry into the workforce is at it's strongest in terms of still having connections, a relevant skill set, somewhat current industry knowledge, etc.

I wouldn't want to rely on being able to go back to work, or (even worse) my ability to both be cognizant the portfolio is in trouble early and admit it, but is something to have in mind.
__________________
tuixiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 08:12 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
Call me irresponsible then. I've been called worse.

If things get bad enough for me to lose everything, there probably won't be many jobs around anyway. Not saying I have a such a massive portfolio that something couldn't go wrong, but you can't live your life in fear. Of course there's always meds.
I agree with you too. I think we can all be "pretty safe" with the various calculators available as long as the option of some reasonable spending reductions are acceptable.

The big "who knows" are things that have happened to some countries in the past. Retirees in many countries have had all of their assets obliterated by hyper-inflation, revolutions and wars. The US, Britain and Switzerland (I think) are the only countries that have had continuously functioning stock/financial markets for more than the last 200 years.
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B View Post
The big "who knows" are things that have happened to some countries in the past. Retirees in many countries have had all of their assets obliterated by hyper-inflation, revolutions and wars. The US, Britain and Switzerland (I think) are the only countries that have had continuously functioning stock/financial markets for more than the last 200 years.
The Amsterdam exchange is 400 years old, but I'm not sure number of years is the most important metric anyway.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 08:50 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
The Amsterdam exchange is 400 years old, but I'm not sure number of years is the most important metric anyway.
It didn't work so well during WWI and II. If my assets depended on that exchange, I'd have been out picking up brass shell casings as a retirement job. There are many old exchanges throughout Europe. The problem is usually a period of interruption and a significant readjustment period when they restart.
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 08:52 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,884
Never underestimate the joy of dawdling around doing nothing
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 09:44 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiuxiu View Post
I wouldn't want to rely on being able to go back to work, or (even worse) my ability to both be cognizant the portfolio is in trouble early and admit it, but is something to have in mind.
This is a subtle point. I think generally we kid ourselves about how we will diagnose failure early, and move to correct it either by going back to work or other means.

Irresponsible is a strong word, and it applies more to ethics and morals than to anything else. If all that is being risked are an individual's or couple's well being, so be it, adults are allowed to go mountain climbing, etc, etc. which to me appears to be a whole lot more risky than retiring even very early.

So irresponsible? Who knows. Risky? Almost certainly yes.

When a human strongly wants some behavior, and wants to at least to pretend to being rational about it, he will very often allow only a truncated set of possible future states. Then he can reason, feel good that he did his due diligence, and still be guaranteed of having his desired action approved. This however may not have a lot to due with how well it works out over time.

The other thing I am not so sure about is this idea that if you don't crap out early, you are OK. I'm approaching 30 years, and it still seems to me that a number of very negative events could make my continue pleasant retirement a question mark at best.

I do think that a reasonably well financed retiree's life has more risk from his body giving out than his portfolio, but not I'm not sure. We all will die, whereas it is likely that very many of us will not run low on money. It does seem that most of us have likely heard of more relatively young people who came down with heavy duty illnesses, than formerly retired people who had to go try to find a paycheck.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
Focus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
When a human strongly wants some behavior, and wants to at least to pretend to being rational about it, he will very often allow only a truncated set of possible future states. Then he can reason, feel good that he did his due diligence, and still be guaranteed of having his desired action approved. This however may not have a lot to due with how well it works out over time.
An interesting, astute observation. It appears to me that the urge to exert control over one's situation or environment -- sometimes well hidden but there nonetheless -- appears to be a universal and primal human trait. And we see that expressed in our financial planning and the extent to which we try to quantify and control the unknown, which in the end can override any best-laid plans. Retiring early is ultimately a leap of faith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
We all will die, whereas it is likely that very many of us will not run low on money. It does seem that most of us have likely heard of more relatively young people who came down with heavy duty illnesses, than formerly retired people who had to go try to find a paycheck.
Very true. I think averages in terms of estimated lifespans and the like provide false assurance. I've seen too many people die early -- and without warning -- or have to deal with major illnesses. It's definitely a major driver in my aspiration to retire early.
__________________
Focus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 11:21 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B View Post
No one can really plan for all the possible eventualities. A hyper-ER (age 40 or under) would have much more risk that a more "tradional" retiree of 60. The need to return to the work force would generally preclude returning to any of the lucritive professions I'm familiar with except possibly medicine. I know in engineering that if someone is out of the field for 5 or more years they would not be seriously considered except during periods of hiring desperation. The best bet would be starting a business but that would have to be done with little capital. Since if you weren't broke, why would you need income?
I don't worry about this because I have done it in the past when I was off work to have kids. Being off actually gave me an advantage over my former co-workers because I could go back to school and study the areas of IT that were new and in demand. Then I hung out online in forums where people were actually doing the kinds of work I wanted to do and they gave me all sorts of mentoring and free advice.

I guess if I lost my mind in retirement I wouldn't be able to do that again, but otherwise I think between online classes and being a knowledge worker I could always find some ways to support myself even without leaving the house. I just have to be able to type and think.
__________________
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
chief04010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 64
I don't really have a problem with this article with the exception that I feel it is difficult to place retirement in two catagories as he has done. I guess it's the over simplifacation that early retirement or traditional retirement is all there is. I have found that retirement is not one size fits all or even two sizes fit all. The author seems to start well when he described the various scenarios but then he says ok here are two, pick one. Also the statment " Unless you’ve saved a great deal of money" seems pretty vague, how much is a great deal of money? Pecentage of income, over 1 million, or Mitt Romney rich? Anyway that's my two cents.
__________________
chief04010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 11:59 AM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,032
Like others, I feel that the word "irresponsible" is used inappropriately here (I might feel differently if I had a family to support). Is retiring early risky? absolutely. I've been out of the workforce for several years now and I know that it would be all but impossible for me to go back to my old, good paying career (which was never secure). That's a fact, and one that should not be minimized. I took a chance and there is no going back. Maybe it'll blow up in my face down the road and I'll have to deal with the consequences of my decision. But that's what taking risk is all about.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2013, 12:26 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,326
I actually went into work that paid much better per hour than the old megacorp job. If you like taking classes and learning new things there are always new careers that pay well where the demand exceeds the supply.
__________________

__________________
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:48 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.