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One year less
Old 05-06-2015, 02:45 PM   #1
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One year less

I think about this evey time is see the OMY (one more year) acronym.
I am in a very fortunate position, so this is not a complaint, but an issue I am struggling with. A number of years ago, after I got through a multi-year lawsuit and could finally begin to plan concretely for retirement, I figured Husband and I could retire in 2019. As I refined the plan further, I was able to reel that back to 2018 and then 2017 (not complaining….) About a year ago I took an exciting new job, and felt that I was making a minimum two-year commitment to the organization and my staff. Last summer, the plan improved, so that I was able to tell a happy husband that we could retire in June 2016 when I am 50 and he is 51. So this is my last job. He has just started a new job with his employer, and feels he has made a one-year commitment, but this will also be his last job.
But now, as I refine the plan even further, I realize that those commitments are the only things keeping us in our jobs. Financially, we don’t have to be working anymore (really not complaining….)
Neither of us has to care anymore about career development, or thinking about our next jobs, or about performance plans. Frankly, if our employers asked us to leave, I think we would both be quite relieved. But we are both professionals, and are not interested in slacking off or trying to get fired. Not our style.
Nonetheless, we are both struggling to keep caring, to continuing delivering in the way we are accustomed to in our careers. Because in the words of Bill Murray in Meatballs, “it just doesn’t matter”. I am doing my best, and doing what I can to mentor my staff and colleagues who are going to be here longer, but I don’t have the passion that I used to.
Anyone else in this enviable situation (not complaining…)? Any thoughts to share on this?
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:55 PM   #2
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Isn't it fun, when you realize you don't need them anymore? 😀
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:14 PM   #3
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We were in a similar situation. We had a long range (10 years or so) planned that ended with us retiring in the summer of 2017. As we got closer we moved it up to summer 2016 and then we moved it up again and we actually retired on my 50th birthday in Jan of this year. And yes, realizing that you dont need "them" anymore is the greatest feeling in the world.
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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Isn't it fun, when you realize you don't need them anymore? 😀
But a little bit less so when you realize that they don't need you either...

Colleague and I used to joke on the down days that 'our number' seemed to be getting less and less as things weighed down our buckets.

In the end, it's all good. The weather is fabulous, the living is easy and the world seems to be carrying on just fine!
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:26 PM   #5
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@OP ... Congratulations, first of all.

To your Q, we have a somewhat similar situation in that we had a plan that was accelerated by about 12-18 months by a corporate merger that led to a nice windfall.

FWIW, our solution has been to have a very upfont discussion with employer about timeline and deliverables within that timeline, giving them time to plan for succession/retention of staff. I've found some of that hard to do professionally, for two reasons: (1) I dislike having a decision 'made' and then deferring action for months; and (2) It's difficult on some levels to become somewhat of a bystander within your own team/org/function/company. That said, (1) will go away soon enough and when I'm troubled by (2), I look in the mirror and remind myself why that's the case.

In terms of advice, I can only suggest you and DH

(1) make certain you're mentally and emotionally prepared to leave (use the Answer These Qs Sticky on one of the other threads that someone will I'm sure post here)

(2) If those are all YES, then have the early, clear communication with your employer(s) -- sooner rather than later; and

(3) have 1:1 meetings with your staff once employer is on board and give them time to process the change .. and hopefully have employer ready to provide incentives and support to hold the top talent and hi-pots among the group if you all think that's a risk.

It is much more professional (IMO) to do that and far preferable to 'slacking off', etc. Taking the high road is your last best act and shows you care about them and your team ... way better than giving 2 weeks notice and walking out if you're in a senior and professional role.

I would add that if you take the long notice/high road approach and are walked out ...(unless you're in some high security or super-secret job) then your employer(s) deserve what they get.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:37 PM   #6
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My wife and I are in a similar situation. We don't need the money, so we have decided to save the pay checks from my last year of work (10 months left before FIRE @ 50) and use it as a philanthropic fund to give away the first few years into early retirement. It gives the workday and MegaCorp BS more meaning when I know it will be a six figure benefit to help others.


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Old 05-09-2015, 11:49 AM   #7
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Knowing I only had "OMY" (which actually turned into TMY) I thought that I would be much less stressed at work. That I could begin to breathe easy and not sweat the small stuff. I was hoping that the BS would just roll off my back. I had no desire to move ahead in the company. I actually wanted to slack off a bit and limit my work days to 8 hours.

Didn't happen ! The BS bothered me more. I became more vocal and tried even harder to "fix things". It was only yesterday, with 28 work days to go, that I was finally able to turn it off. My boss commented that he expected me to be more vocal on an issue. I responded that I finally realized that I no longer have skin in the game and that any repercussions of the decision would be his to deal with, not mine. I told him from here on out I would do what I was told to do, and let management make the decisions. I wish I had found this sense of "not caring" two years ago but it's just not in me.

Congratulations on the great pre-planning and the ability to breathe easy.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:18 PM   #8
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I guess one thing to consider is whether your organization is better off having you stay on for another year or put new leadership in place as soon as possible. Only you and your bosses can answer that question.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:20 PM   #9
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I can relate too. I was in a somewhat similar position and posted here seeking encouragement about a year ago. Several years ago the long term mega-corp project I was on (and hoped to retire on) went away. I quickly found another position in the company with some folks who I had worked with in the past. However, it was much more stressful and much less satisfying. Shortly before that we had been starting plans to retire at 60, and even bought our future retirement house. With the increased stress and increased lure of the house, I started moving up the planned retirement date a year at a time, just like you described. Then when I turned 55, DW suggested I ER then. I ran several models which indicated we could financially handle it. I gave an extended notice and did some mentoring to aid the transition for my replacements, and a few months later I was out. DW will also ER after she hits 55, then we will move shortly thereafter.

I would suggest you make a reasonable effort to mentor your staff and colleagues to help smooth their transition, but don't over-extend it. Determine a comfortable date to get out entirely, then get on with your life.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:33 AM   #10
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Knowing that you are financially independent but still have a good work situation can place you in a good position.

If something changes, ie new management who does not value what you bring to the table, you can be ready to go with a minimum of stress.

It sounds as if you are internally motivated and will be able to perform at a high level until something externally changes, or you make a conscious decision to pull the plug which often will be the result of an external change either at work, or in your personal life.

Congratulations in getting to this point.

-gauss
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:28 PM   #11
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Thanks for the good wishes and for the great ideas. There is a lot of food for thought here.

TallTim: thanks for those questions. Indeed, I have been working my way through these issues for a while now. As a Canadian, the investment and tax advice here is not of much use to me, but I come to e-r.com for the discussions on the psychological and social considerations around early retirement. I’m in government, so there are no incentives/bonuses to be offered, but I have had discussions with two of my managers whom I want to position to be able to compete for my job when I leave. I told them last year that I was “planning to leave in 2016”, and I have repeated that to both of them recently. (They likely assume that means I will be looking for another job in the organization.) This is in part selfish in that I want them to stay until I go. But I am also coaching them in applying for jobs at my level, and I have been able to get one of them into a leadership program. I don’t know whether either of them will be ready when I leave, but I want to do my best to set them up to be viable candidates. The culture here is four-six months’ notice of retirement. I may let the boss know sooner of my plan to move on using the same vague “planning to leave next year” phrase (moving around within the organization is encouraged).

Kickernick: that is a great way of looking at things, and I enjoyed your blog post on this. That is another good motivational technique.

Liveandlearn: I hope you’ll report back on how your last days at w*rk go, and how you first weeks of non-w*rk go.

Gauss: I definitely feel like I am in a good position. If anyone wants me to leave at any point, I’m good with that. It’s a nice feeling. Better than having to cling on to a position to meet some target date.

I don’t see any potential for getting laid off, so no big windfall package, but then at my level, you really only get a package if they are looking to get rid of you, and I’m doing pretty well in this job. I don’t have it in me to change my performance to try to get laid off.

I will come back to e-r.com to report on my progress over time. Husband and I have now picked a target date of May 26, 2016, which helps make it really real.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:39 AM   #12
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Got a golden handshake at 58. Thought that I would get another job for a few years or do some consulting. Thoughts were to put the money into the retirement fund and keep on working.

Events took over. We had enough money to retire early. Too much travelling got planned. I walked away and never looked back.

The issue was time. At 58 we took a look at how many good healthy years
we would have left and decided that it was better to reclaim some of them. So we did. Worked for us.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:41 AM   #13
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The OP's quote of "it just doesn't matter" resounds with me although that status is mentally deflating. My wife and I have always had financial goals and once financial independence was achieved it seemed silly to make new financial goals. The thread does energize me a a bit as it just occurred to me that we can begin saving for a retirement vacation home to have another fun goal. I'm 56 and my wife retired about 10 years ago and she wants a job to add renewed purpose to her days. I've pushed my retirement age from 50 to 60 primarily because of the ease of continuing my job and maintaining the earned income stream.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Live And Learn View Post
Knowing I only had "OMY" (which actually turned into TMY) I thought that I would be much less stressed at work. That I could begin to breathe easy and not sweat the small stuff. I was hoping that the BS would just roll off my back. I had no desire to move ahead in the company. I actually wanted to slack off a bit and limit my work days to 8 hours.

Didn't happen ! The BS bothered me more. I became more vocal and tried even harder to "fix things". It was only yesterday, with 28 work days to go, that I was finally able to turn it off. My boss commented that he expected me to be more vocal on an issue. I responded that I finally realized that I no longer have skin in the game and that any repercussions of the decision would be his to deal with, not mine. I told him from here on out I would do what I was told to do, and let management make the decisions. I wish I had found this sense of "not caring" two years ago but it's just not in me.

Congratulations on the great pre-planning and the ability to breathe easy.
+1. The politics is still a burden and bothersome. I still do not have a good handle of it. Being assertive and vocal about issues or being ignored is not my strong suit. Avoidance is not effective and can be detrimental to your career or health. Nevertheless, being FI is definitely a plus and opens other options.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:53 AM   #15
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I will come back to e-r.com to report on my progress over time. Husband and I have now picked a target date of May 26, 2016, which helps make it really real.
Please do and congrats!
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Live And Learn View Post
Knowing I only had "OMY" (which actually turned into TMY) I thought that I would be much less stressed at work. That I could begin to breathe easy and not sweat the small stuff. I was hoping that the BS would just roll off my back. I had no desire to move ahead in the company. I actually wanted to slack off a bit and limit my work days to 8 hours.

Didn't happen ! The BS bothered me more. I became more vocal and tried even harder to "fix things". It was only yesterday, with 28 work days to go, that I was finally able to turn it off. My boss commented that he expected me to be more vocal on an issue. I responded that I finally realized that I no longer have skin in the game and that any repercussions of the decision would be his to deal with, not mine. I told him from here on out I would do what I was told to do, and let management make the decisions. I wish I had found this sense of "not caring" two years ago but it's just not in me.

Congratulations on the great pre-planning and the ability to breathe easy.

Knowing I have (near) enough to retire, I have now become more vocal about defending my groups, employees against finger pointing, credit taking peers (enough a**holes there) in the division. I feel like I need to fix the culture a bit and leave it in a better state for my employees before I quit.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:32 PM   #17
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Knowing I have (near) enough to retire, I have now become more vocal about defending my groups, employees against finger pointing, credit taking peers (enough a**holes there) in the division. I feel like I need to fix the culture a bit and leave it in a better state for my employees before I quit.
You have the right attitude. Good luck in defending your group and improve the corporate culture.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:33 PM   #18
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Similar feelings here. DW retired a few years ago with the understanding I would work until 59 or so. The job stresses are no longer a major factor. However my loyalty to my customers has been a continued driving force in working more hours than necessary. This was no problem until my last performance review. Evidently it is apparent to every one that I am not going to be around for long. Therefore I was the sacrificial lamb thrown under the bus. But let's make lemonade out of lemons.

Today, I spent the day at the lake helping with our baby granddaughter and answering a couple phone calls. The companies stupidity is not my problem.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:53 PM   #19
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Last year I set a target date of around now to retire All the models and financial advisers indicating that I could comfortably retire. But I decided for TMY (two more years) and moved my target to 2017. I have found much less job stress and most of it now caused by my own interests. For example, I can now pick projects I choose based on ones that seem interesting vs. ones for promotional visibility, so any "overwork" is due to my fascination with wanting to learn/understand/teach something rather than outside pressures.

In addition, continuing to work has been beneficial, as we have had both expected and unexpected financial layouts that we are able to cover from this years income and not touch our savings/investments - we'll still be saving this year but not at the 30-45% savings level we were doing in the last several years.

My job is somewhat of a hobby, so perhaps that is helping my attitude.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:50 PM   #20
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I had a bit of a relation this week when the boiss assigned performance commitments to me and my staff for the year. They are demanding, but not unreasonable. I realized that I don't want her to know that this is my last year because iI don't want her to lower her expectations of me. That wouldn't be fair to my staff, the organization, or to taxpayers, who are paying my salary. So I will continue on as if my performance matters to me since it matters to the aforementioned parties, and advise her closer to the end of the year that I'll be leaving at the end of May.
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