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Net just passed $3MM, $2.9MM invested, cannot FIRE!?
Old 05-11-2019, 08:43 AM   #1
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Net just passed $3MM, $2.9MM invested, cannot FIRE!?

My wife knows this has been our aim for years. We have "arrived" at our number (and I have a $19k/year non-COLA pension at 65, not counted in the 2.9) and she is pissed that I do not seem to be pulling the proverbial plug on the high stress gig.

I am 46. She is 37. Spend is around $85k with lots of travel baked in. We have shed the McMansion and most earthly possessions already.

She is ready to see the world. I am too but cannot separate from megacorp (the people & THE CHECKs).

What's wrong with me anyway?

Any advice from those who have been in this spot?
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coltsfan53 View Post
My wife knows this has been our aim for years. We have "arrived" at our number (and I have a $19k/year non-COLA pension at 65, not counted in the 2.9) and she is pissed that I do not seem to be pulling the proverbial plug on the high stress gig.

I am 46. She is 37. Spend is around $85k with lots of travel baked in. We have shed the McMansion and most earthly possessions already.

She is ready to see the world. I am too but cannot separate from megacorp (the people & THE CHECKs).

What's wrong with me anyway?

Any advice from those who have been in this spot?
Youíre rooting for the wrong football team.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:57 AM   #3
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This topic comes up quite often, and while you'll find commiseration and "just do it already" in most threads, this isn't something we can answer for you. You need to do the work to examine why you want to keep working. It's probably rooted in one of these:

1) Something is anchoring you there. Prestige, guilt, hidden worries. Maybe you actually thrive on the stress? Maybe you are a master of the universe at the office? Nothing wrong with that. There were days even in my last months where I got that thrill of finding solutions or nailing that presentation. Figure out what it is you really love about it (and nope, you don't get to say "that's just it, I hate it!").

2) Likewise, is the idea of retirement, travel, free unstructured time, more time with your family... attractive to you? Or is there something deep down you don't like about the idea?

Either something is holding you working, or something is unappealing about leaving, or a bit of both.
Might be time for a few therapy sessions if you still can't break free. That would be a good investment.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:58 AM   #4
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A little hard to say who is correct as you are both young.

Did you do FIRECALC ?

Does she work ?
Any kids ?

I know a person that basically retired young, at the peak of her career, she didn't actually call it retire, just stopped working.

Now 15 yrs later, she is looking for a job and finding it tough, too old (employer view) to start at the bottom, too out of date to start higher up.

So if you quit working it could be forever.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:02 AM   #5
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Yeah, I just passed the $3M mark too last Friday. Didn't last long though LOL! But for 2 days it was fun. I understand it can be tough to "pull the plug". And what if in 2 or 3 years traveling gets "old"? And you friends have drifted away because they kept at the grind and you flew around the world having fun?
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:02 AM   #6
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You're 47; you have a lot of drive; you're not ready yet.

Not the end of the world.

Can you take a sabbatical?
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coltsfan53 View Post
I am 46. She is 37. Spend is around $85k with lots of travel baked in. We have shed the McMansion and most earthly possessions already.

She is ready to see the world. I am too but cannot separate from megacorp (the people & THE CHECKs).
what you might look into is if your company supports people taking a sabbatical.

I started my retirement with a six month PLOA (personal leave of absence). Still an employee - but all benefits ceased. You'll be paying for everything you have to pay for (healthcare most importantly). If you have stock options - the ones that have vested stay that way but the others "freeze", they don't disappear - they just stop vesting unless and until you come back.

Take the leave, do your stuff, track your spending down to the penny. At the end of the period - you'll probably know if you want to go back for sure, or if the life of Riley is for you and you'll have detailed spending that will prove to you that you can financially do it. That was important for my wife - I was convinced, but she wasn't. We now have a long history of spending in google sheets and the ability to analyze it. We know exactly what we *need* to live and we know exactly what we *want* to live on (so we can adjust SWR if need be in years where growth was negative...)

I extended my PLOA by six more months and then just quit outright after that. I had some health issues that made it real easy to quit. Anytime I think about going back - even part time at 20 hours a week for the benefits - I smack myself about six hours later and say "no way".
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:11 AM   #8
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You are doing great saving and thinking about the issue. I suggest you find a less-stressful job. You have not been happy for many years now (based on earlier posts). I suppose you are proving that money can't buy happiness. IMO you don't have enough saved yet to support $85k spend for 50 +years. BTW, less stressful does not have to mean less compensation. Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:05 AM   #9
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When I run your numbers in FIRECalc it showed 100%.
with 3M, 85000 WR and 50 years showed good to go.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #10
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I agree with DenverGuy42's recommendation of a sabbatical or, more generally, exploring options for reduced hours or a semi-retirement situation.

I was in a similar situation 12 years ago (though with maybe half the NW) and cut back from responsibilities at work, ultimately cutting down to a 60% schedule and allowing for some long overseas trips. Of course those counting back the years will realize this was one year before 2008 when 50% of my assets went*poof*. So I got religion, went back to 100% and saved hard for few more years. This was only an unhappy transient and I was back to part time by 2011 and fully retired by 2015 at 55.

My point is that s**t happens and going part time can provide you with the flexibility to deal with it if you are unsure about your ER situation. The other advantages are both the improved lifestyle from downshifting and the ability to try out retirement before fully committing. If your employer has any flexibility regarding your schedule I strongly suggest you explore these options.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:32 AM   #11
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Figure out your motivation for staying and whether staying will be a hindrance to your marriage.
Then decide.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:40 PM   #12
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Can you define yourself outside of your career? That was a hurdle that I needed to overcome and own.

Once I developed my new narrative in terms of volunteer activities that challenge me along with helping out aging parents and neighbors etc I became much more comfortable with the concept.

-gauss

p.s. I exited the working world when I was just a year or two older than you are now. No regrets whatsoever.

p.p.s Seeing multiple respected coworkers in their 50's die before they retired, even thought they either could have or were on the verge of it, also motivated me. These guys seemed to have good work/life balance so it can happy to anyone.
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:18 PM   #13
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I was in a similar boat when I had about $2M, except I was absolutely ready to not work (for a while at least). I was running an Americas sales team for semi-mega technology corp, and they wanted me to run the worldwide team. More $, more stock options, travel the world... the only thing is, you don't go to Asia or Europe for a 2-3 day trip. You go for a full week, which literally means 7 days on the road. I wasn't ready for it. My company didn't offer a sabbatical program (I can't really imagine one that does in sales), so I created my own sabbatical: I quit.

For about 9 months I didn't work. It was awesome. I didn't get bored at all. I puttered around the house, planned meals, went to the grocery store at 10AM on Tuesday, exercised a lot, did some travel. I figured I was out of the rotation, so working at a job like I had was really no longer an option...

Then a friend begged me to run sales in their startup. Okay, it was a fairly easy gig. Very little travel. Company sold after 6 months, I got a nice check and was sent packing. Another 6 month break, and an old boss asks me to come start a sales team at a mega-corp. Fast forward 3+ years: now I have (almost) $3M in assets, and I've gotten to travel the world with my bride with at least paying my flight and our hotel.

I figure I have about another year and I'll pull the rip cord. Should be well over $3M by then.

Your decision is a difficult one. Getting those checks every couple weeks and having reliable and probably very good healthcare (with no concern about what is going to happen with it) is intoxicating.

I'm still doing it because I like it, and at this point in my life the travel is good. But if the BS meter goes too high, I'm outta here. Worst case in about a year.

You have made it to the point that very few people will (well, outside of this group probably), which is the ability to retire early. Congratulations on making it.
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say what?
Old 05-11-2019, 01:29 PM   #14
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say what?

Let me guess -- you are on the Texans?

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Youíre rooting for the wrong football team.
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:30 PM   #15
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I understand it is a personal decision. I was interested in the mechanics involved in others' decisions. That's all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
This topic comes up quite often, and while you'll find commiseration and "just do it already" in most threads, this isn't something we can answer for you. You need to do the work to examine why you want to keep working. It's probably rooted in one of these:

1) Something is anchoring you there. Prestige, guilt, hidden worries. Maybe you actually thrive on the stress? Maybe you are a master of the universe at the office? Nothing wrong with that. There were days even in my last months where I got that thrill of finding solutions or nailing that presentation. Figure out what it is you really love about it (and nope, you don't get to say "that's just it, I hate it!").

2) Likewise, is the idea of retirement, travel, free unstructured time, more time with your family... attractive to you? Or is there something deep down you don't like about the idea?

Either something is holding you working, or something is unappealing about leaving, or a bit of both.
Might be time for a few therapy sessions if you still can't break free. That would be a good investment.
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieIG View Post
You're 47; you have a lot of drive; you're not ready yet.

Not the end of the world.

Can you take a sabbatical?
Very likely this will be the route
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:33 PM   #17
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In the sales game it is hard to do a legitimate LOA. Sales would slump. Customers would wonder WTH happened & calls would flood in. Impractical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverGuy42 View Post
what you might look into is if your company supports people taking a sabbatical.

I started my retirement with a six month PLOA (personal leave of absence). Still an employee - but all benefits ceased. You'll be paying for everything you have to pay for (healthcare most importantly). If you have stock options - the ones that have vested stay that way but the others "freeze", they don't disappear - they just stop vesting unless and until you come back.

Take the leave, do your stuff, track your spending down to the penny. At the end of the period - you'll probably know if you want to go back for sure, or if the life of Riley is for you and you'll have detailed spending that will prove to you that you can financially do it. That was important for my wife - I was convinced, but she wasn't. We now have a long history of spending in google sheets and the ability to analyze it. We know exactly what we *need* to live and we know exactly what we *want* to live on (so we can adjust SWR if need be in years where growth was negative...)

I extended my PLOA by six more months and then just quit outright after that. I had some health issues that made it real easy to quit. Anytime I think about going back - even part time at 20 hours a week for the benefits - I smack myself about six hours later and say "no way".
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:36 PM   #18
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I respectfully disagree with your take that "85k spend cannot be supported on 2.9MM."

I model the portfolio against the Great Depression. It's fine. And we can be flexible down to $45k if need be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveyS View Post
You are doing great saving and thinking about the issue. I suggest you find a less-stressful job. You have not been happy for many years now (based on earlier posts). I suppose you are proving that money can't buy happiness. IMO you don't have enough saved yet to support $85k spend for 50 +years. BTW, less stressful does not have to mean less compensation. Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:37 PM   #19
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Maybe 46 (and 37) is too young with only 3m even though your spend rate seems reasonable,,, for now? 3M just ain't what it once was and a 19k non cola annual pension won't seem like much in ~20 years. Assume you'll get something from SS at some point too? You guys are probably looking at 40 to 50 more years on this plant.

OTOH, I planned on 100k year when I retired at 60 but my spend rate has been double that or more. (Stuff happens) Still, I often kick myself for not retiring earlier than I did so it can be a tough decision.
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:44 PM   #20
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Like you, I am in sales -- no way a leave of absence works. My mega territory would quickly be a towering inferno.

I appreciate your perspective. It sounds as though we have many parallels and you have done quite well in a rugged game.

We age in dog years. I may have to do the self imposed sabbatical. See how it feels. I am 99% sure someone will try to pull me back in but I have a strong feeling I will never do it again. I would rather sit at the library reading a book or spend an extra few hours in the gym; go to lunch with my wife. I have paid my dues and then some. And she has put up with all of the crap that goes along with it (time away, et al).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unpaintedhuffhines View Post
I was in a similar boat when I had about $2M, except I was absolutely ready to not work (for a while at least). I was running an Americas sales team for semi-mega technology corp, and they wanted me to run the worldwide team. More $, more stock options, travel the world... the only thing is, you don't go to Asia or Europe for a 2-3 day trip. You go for a full week, which literally means 7 days on the road. I wasn't ready for it. My company didn't offer a sabbatical program (I can't really imagine one that does in sales), so I created my own sabbatical: I quit.

For about 9 months I didn't work. It was awesome. I didn't get bored at all. I puttered around the house, planned meals, went to the grocery store at 10AM on Tuesday, exercised a lot, did some travel. I figured I was out of the rotation, so working at a job like I had was really no longer an option...

Then a friend begged me to run sales in their startup. Okay, it was a fairly easy gig. Very little travel. Company sold after 6 months, I got a nice check and was sent packing. Another 6 month break, and an old boss asks me to come start a sales team at a mega-corp. Fast forward 3+ years: now I have (almost) $3M in assets, and I've gotten to travel the world with my bride with at least paying my flight and our hotel.

I figure I have about another year and I'll pull the rip cord. Should be well over $3M by then.

Your decision is a difficult one. Getting those checks every couple weeks and having reliable and probably very good healthcare (with no concern about what is going to happen with it) is intoxicating.

I'm still doing it because I like it, and at this point in my life the travel is good. But if the BS meter goes too high, I'm outta here. Worst case in about a year.

You have made it to the point that very few people will (well, outside of this group probably), which is the ability to retire early. Congratulations on making it.
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