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New Retirement Survey-It's not about the Money
Old 11-13-2015, 10:40 AM   #1
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New Retirement Survey-It's not about the Money

This is an interesting article on the results of an extensive (>10,000 respondents) survey by Fidelity regarding what prompts us to retire and how we think about it. Not a ton of new info in here but, a few surprises (for me at least), and worth a read.

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/...e=email_weekly

Some key points & thoughts on them.

- It's not about the money but, instead about freedom and the ability to enjoy life.

At a certain point, I think this is true. But, only for this self-selected audience and similar folks on E-R.org, Bogleheads, and the like (see below).

- The survey only included respondents who believed they had some control over if and when they would stop working full-time.

Although an extensive survey (>10,000 respondents), this would not apply to a large portion (majority?) of Americans.

- There seems to be a values shift as people near retirement.

This is just the old "time > money" or, "full BS bucket."

OK then, the myth busters (below) are...
It's about freedom, wives have had enough of us*, there's no magic age and, again, it's about freedom.

* More time for golf.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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Once the basic money matter is settled, for me it's about how much time and freedom I have to do all the things I like to do.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:02 AM   #3
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Once the basic money matter is settled, for me it's about how much time and freedom I have to do all the things I like to do.
This.

It has to be *enough* about money that you can run the numbers and feel financially secure without a paycheck. But it shouldn't be *so* much about money that it leads people who "have enough" and who have "HAD enough" to succumb to OMY Syndrome "one more year" after "one more year".
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:02 AM   #4
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"By late pretirement (less than two years out),...Many feel that their physical stamina declines along with their mental sharpness...."

Sounds like people who would like to continue working, but can no longer hack it. Whereas, I would say they waited too long.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:07 AM   #5
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I agree about the freedom. The ability to choose how one spends their time is magical.
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New Retirement Survey-It's not about the Money
Old 11-13-2015, 12:23 PM   #6
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New Retirement Survey-It's not about the Money

Quote:
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I agree about the freedom. The ability to choose how one spends his time is magical.
+1 (fixed the grammar for you, also could have said "her", but not their) yes I am an annoying grammar nut.


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Old 11-13-2015, 12:32 PM   #7
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... yes I am an annoying grammar nut.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:29 PM   #8
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I agree about the freedom. The ability to choose how one spends their time is magical.
But I do think the opening line is equally as important, this survey was conducted among people who felt they had some control over their retirement. translation: they've worked out the money part.

you can't have one without the other I think. The ability to choose how one spends their time is a choice that is not available to all
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:15 PM   #9
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"Among recent retirees, those who left their primary career in the past two years, almost 80% say it’s easier than they thought to live comfortably in retirement and 85% say it’s the most rewarding time of their lives. Only 10% say they are worried about being bored"

I can't highlight/bold/underline this enough. I think more people would try a little bit harder to retire early if they TRULY knew how AWESOME the freedom is!!!
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:17 AM   #10
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Another factor I'm personally seeing is that once I was ABLE to retire my tolerance for BS dropped significantly and it's takes much more energy to "deal" with things. Instead of saying "well I have to deal with this" I say "wait... I don't have to deal with anymore... Why am I doing that again?"

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Old 11-14-2015, 06:56 AM   #11
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"Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs" strikes again!
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:06 PM   #12
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Another factor I'm personally seeing is that once I was ABLE to retire my tolerance for BS dropped significantly and it's takes much more energy to "deal" with things. Instead of saying "well I have to deal with this" I say "wait... I don't have to deal with anymore... Why am I doing that again?"

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Totally true, but there's a risk of becoming a disagreeable, grumpy old guy. Make sure to practice rejecting BS, but doing so with class.


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Old 11-14-2015, 07:14 PM   #13
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+1 (fixed the grammar for you, also could have said "her", but not their) yes I am an annoying grammar nut.


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"yes, I am an annoying nut."

There, fixed it for ya........ Most of us are in this category but only a few of us will step up to it. Congrats!
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:17 PM   #14
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This.

It has to be *enough* about money that you can run the numbers and feel financially secure without a paycheck. But it shouldn't be *so* much about money that it leads people who "have enough" and who have "HAD enough" to succumb to OMY Syndrome "one more year" after "one more year".
Right, but for folks to say "it's not about the money" is just wrong. It's always about the money, either you have enough or you don't
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by petershk View Post
Another factor I'm personally seeing is that once I was ABLE to retire my tolerance for BS dropped significantly and it's takes much more energy to "deal" with things. Instead of saying "well I have to deal with this" I say "wait... I don't have to deal with anymore... Why am I doing that again?"
That certainly happened in my case but greed got in my way for a number of years. I put up with (tolerated) the BS for another 7 or 8 years after I was FI before I just couldn't take it anymore. Now I'd gladly pay back the money I made after FI, to get those years back.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by petershk View Post
Another factor I'm personally seeing is that once I was ABLE to retire my tolerance for BS dropped significantly and it's takes much more energy to "deal" with things. Instead of saying "well I have to deal with this" I say "wait... I don't have to deal with anymore... Why am I doing that again?"

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Only you can answer the question as to whether how you're handling this situation passes the common sense test or not. The trade off between your time and employment related benefits is a tough one to measure once you've reached FI. But once the time has passed, there are no re-do's. The time is gone.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:50 PM   #17
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Right, but for folks to say "it's not about the money" is just wrong. It's always about the money, either you have enough or you don't
Yep. Were it not for the need of resources to support oneself and/or others, very few would subjugate themselves to the wills of others for compensation.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:01 AM   #18
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Right, but for folks to say "it's not about the money" is just wrong. It's always about the money, either you have enough or you don't
It's too bad the OP misquoted the article with his/her title right off the bat. The article states several times "for many people, the decision to retire is not just about money" - and that is true for many, if not most voluntary early retirees. Retiring early means the retiree has left money on the table by voluntarily forfeiting additional years of income, and taking on more years in retirement - so clearly not just about the money.

And "enough" is a SWAG for most of us, there is no clear threshold, only a rough guess.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:19 AM   #19
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Right, but for folks to say "it's not about the money" is just wrong. It's always about the money, either you have enough or you don't
“When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” ― H.L. Mencken

How true! Whenever I quit a job, I was always unhappy about something other than money. However, it was really about me thinking that the employer was not paying me enough for that trouble. They could always bribe me to stay by making an offer I could not refuse.
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
"By late pretirement (less than two years out),...Many feel that their physical stamina declines along with their mental sharpness...."

Sounds like people who would like to continue working, but can no longer hack it. Whereas, I would say they waited too long.
Or they're unwittingly checking out of their job and thinking about their future. It might not be a physical thing at all.
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