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Just Do It approach to FIRE
Old 10-25-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
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Just Do It approach to FIRE

One of my senior employees, now 61, has talked about retiring for at least 4 years. He has talked himself out of it due to not reaching his "number," two mortgages, health care issues, market crash worries, varying (small) pension calculations, no Soc Sec or Medicare eligibility yet and any number of reasons. Then somewhat out of the blue this week, even though he is no closer to having any of the issues that have held him back cleared up, he announces "it's just time, my last day will be on or before 12/31/09." He has a rough $ plan, but nothing cast in stone. He will do fine in retirement, and he experienced a sense of relief almost immediately.

Just interesting to me that after years of agonizing over $, in the end he made his decision regardless of the $ or any milestone whatsoever - he just did it...
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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I"ll be interested to see if I wind up doing the same thing when it comes to FIRE. What you described about your employee's MO resembles how I've sometimes handled big decisions in the past: I agonize, gather a ton of data, go back and forth for a long time, then one day it's just time to decide. And yes it is a huge relief!

When there isn't an obvious choice, sometimes I think of it as "choosing on faith." Making the decision can provide you with the motivation and resoluteness to help you do something, sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Another way of saying you can do anything you believe you can do.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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I saw this at MegaMotors a few years ago when a massive buyout was offered. I hopped on it in a heartbeat, but many of my colleagues went back and forth for months. Of course I had been planning an escape at 55 for years and had my debts very low and my investments high.

I think that their hesitancy was more grounded in a fear of how their status might be affected and how they would emotionally adjust rather than their stated financial uncertainty.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:31 AM   #4
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I'd always planned on bailing out at 55, and had been working toward trying to get all my ducks in a row by that time. Over the previous couple of years, I had spent more time and effort working toward that goal. Then, out of the blue, they offered an early retirement buyout when I was 50!

Although I had most of my duckies walking in line by the time they announced it.....there were still some that were still wandering around. However, I thought "What the heck...when those other ducks see most of their peers waddling off into ER paradise, they'll most likely fall into formation too."

Long story short...all the ducks got in line!

A few of my fellow co-workers handled it the same way as me, and it's worked out great for all of us! But there's one guy that just couldn't stomach the thought of everything not being perfectly in order, and he passed up the buyout....against his DW's wishes. The sad part is that he was in better shape financially than the rest of us!!! He's been able to see (and hear) how well everything has worked out for us, and he's been kicking himself everyday since the buyout offer ended! He says now that he's anxiously waiting for their next buyout offer. Those "in the know" say it's not going to happen again...ours was the last of the planned buyouts. He's scr*wed!
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:09 PM   #5
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:27 PM   #6
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I've known several folks who agonize for years and then suddenly just do it. The ones I've known are those that have qualified for an early pension (age plus years service >= 80). Often they hang on waiting for a "package" during the many times the company is shedding jobs. Sometimes it happens, other times they finally give up waiting for whatever reason and just do it.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I've known several folks who agonize for years and then suddenly just do it. The ones I've known are those that have qualified for an early pension (age plus years service >= 80). Often they hang on waiting for a "package" during the many times the company is shedding jobs. Sometimes it happens, other times they finally give up waiting for whatever reason and just do it.
This is the belt and suspenders guy's version of just doing it.

Ha
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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This is the belt and suspenders guy's version of just doing it.

Ha
Absolutely, and in these cases it is not so much about money, but more about the concern of not having enough to do in retirement or a worry that their self esteem will be lowered if they are in their 50's and not working in a job, or some other reason that they can come up with.
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:19 PM   #9
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I'm "Just Doing It" early next year. With both my compensation and retirement portfolio positively correlated to the market, I'm not going to achieve the "number" I planned on a couple years ago. But we built a "belt and suspenders" plan with plenty of levers we could pull if the markets went south. So instead of delaying, we're pulling some of those levers and going ahead anyway.
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It happened to me
Old 10-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #10
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It happened to me

Two years ago I went through a bad time at work and decided to retire. I agonized over it for 2 months and was almost paralyzed with indecision. Finally I took a month off and decided that I could not retire yet. (I'm working part time and my pension would almost be equal to my pay) The deciding factor was I still enjoy most of my job and the financial aspect was not as important as the self worth I recieve on the job. Most importantly I could not believe just how difficult the decision was. I am still planning on working for another year until I reach 60 and building another life for when I leave work. I guess the bottom line is I don't have anything to retire to(no grandchildren yet) and working part time allows me to spend time with my husband. I consider myself very fortunate to have most of my needs met.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:12 PM   #11
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I had paid off my mortgage in 2002, reached my $$$ number in 2004, but had a hard time making the decision to retire because work (programming) was in one of its 'pleasantly relaxing' periods and it was tempting to build some cushion into the numbers. I knew it would not last too long (26 months in this case) before some major unpleasantness struck and allowed me to go with no angst.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:40 PM   #12
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My 'plan' was age 63. They layed me off. I was sooooo ticked off I made it work at age 49.5(jan 1993).

I have other versions depending on my mood. I.e had a tendency to call myself 'unemployed' till age 55 and a small pension check gave me courage to attend retired employee functions.

Really went up uptown when I later discovered the ER forum and adopted the 'classy' Early Retirement label.

heh heh heh - kept a low profile in prior years.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:30 PM   #13
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My 'plan' was age 63. They layed me off. I was sooooo ticked off I made it work at age 49.5(jan 1993).

I have other versions depending on my mood. I.e had a tendency to call myself 'unemployed' till age 55 and a small pension check gave me courage to attend retired employee functions.

Really went up uptown when I later discovered the ER forum and adopted the 'classy' Early Retirement label.

heh heh heh - kept a low profile in prior years.
Here in metro Detroit, aka Unemployment City, I get pitying looks when I tell people I am retired. I'm sure that they are saying to themselves "sure you are, sure you are" .
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:26 PM   #14
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Absolutely, and in these cases it is not so much about money, but more about the concern of not having enough to do in retirement or a worry that their self esteem will be lowered if they are in their 50's and not working in a job, or some other reason that they can come up with.
I think the real reason for many is that they don't hate their jobs. I fell into that at the end of my career. After several years of just cringing at the thought of going into work, I got myself into a new group and involved in some activities that were interesting and involved working with folks I enjoyed being around and I did a reasonable amount of some enjoyable international travel. Plus I knew if I waited, I might get canned and that would likely involve a buyout. (There were no voluntary buyouts.) So I stayed on past the date when I could have FIRE'd and eventually MegaCorp declared our project done, canned most of us, and I got a package.

If I had been in my prior job assignment at MegaCorp, which had gotten quite stinky, I'm sure I would have bailed quickly after FIRE goals were met. There were no issues of fretting over potential lowered self esteem or boredom in retirement. Just the issue that finally, after years of grinding assignments, I got into one that was enjoyable, paid well, sent me on interesting world wide travel and my urge to quit at the first opportunity diminished.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:45 AM   #15
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Well I had a few elements in order. I could technically have retired when I hit 55 but youngest son was still in high school. The house was paid off, DW retired a couple years before me. Dear son ended up choosing an affordable state college, had a small ($25K) buyout opportunity and the big one...4 months earlier I had spent a night in the cardiac ward with heart irregularities (a-fib), I was 57. I decided the money I had was going to be enough and this was the time.
A lot of folks don't seem to pay attention to these 'warning' medical events but my dad had a stroke @ 60 and only a couple good years before his health really declined and he died @ 70..
I really liked my job and it would have been nice to be adding to my retirement funds with the market in the toilet, fortunately I shifted DW's & my retirement funds to more conservative investments from nearly 100% equities. We lost 18 point something % in the market decline and have not quite caught up yet; we've never looked back. Work was good, retirement is better.
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