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View Poll Results: How long after FI did you retire?
Less than 1 year 27 26.21%
More than 1 year, but less than 3 35 33.98%
More than 3 years, but less than 5 20 19.42%
More than 5 years, but less than 10 18 17.48%
More than 10 years 3 2.91%
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Poll:How long after financial independence did you retire?
Old 05-21-2013, 01:18 PM   #1
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Poll:How long after financial independence did you retire?

For those of you who are retired, how long after you became financially independent did you retire? When I say retire, I mean stop working for money altogether, either full time or part time. (If you are still working, but you have been financially independent for more than 10 years, you can select the last option)

It seems that there are two schools of thought on this question.... Some people retire as soon as they are financially able, while others find that their work becomes much more tolerable after they become financially independent because they know they don't need the paycheck anymore, so they don't care about the bs anymore and their stress level drops dramatically, and they find that work becomes much more tolerable, so they continue to work for a while. There are also people who enjoy their work, and they continue to work regardless of whether they need the money or not. (Think Warren Buffett or Steve Jobs)
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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I can't identify an specific FI date. There was a point where I could have quit work and had a "good" probability of a "basic" income. Working longer moved that up to "more than basic" or a "high" probability. Working still longer got to "some nice luxuries" or "near 100% confidence".

If I had quit work very early, I wouldn't have felt that I could do much in retirement. So, unless I really hated my job, why not keep working?

Events at work (downsizing all around me) forced me to do the first calculation at 50. We could have survived, but I'm sure I would have looked for another job. I ended up quitting at 59.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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I could have voted 10+ years, but I don't know about future.

I am still working, and helping prepare kids for the college. The little one is still 10 years away.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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I worked for about 2 years after FI, because I was waiting for eligibility for federal retiree medical. I did not know what would happen with private insurance costs, so had to keep working until I got that locked in.

Edited to add: But then once eligible, I didn't let any grass grown under my feet. I became eligible for federal retiree medical on a Saturday, and retired the following Monday, two days later. The only reason I waited the two days was to make sure there was no question about my eligibility.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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When I stopped work I didn't think we had enough for full ER and it was only a break from work. It took a couple of years to convince myself, although that got easier as time passed and not working became more enjoyable.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:52 PM   #6
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I am not sure I can identify a specific FI date, either. I did not track my total investments on a daily basis. However, I did have a target value of my company stock which I would cash out and use to invest in a bond fund whose monthly dividends would cover my monthly expenses. Using that as a starting point, I ERed 4 months after it hit that value so I answered (1) in the poll.
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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.

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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6.4 years for me. My decision to retire was brought on by a rather sudden feeling that work had more negatives than positives. So, since I was financially OK I decided to start a new phase of my life.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:35 PM   #8
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For those of you who are retired, how long after you became financially independent did you retire?
5 months after
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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Not retired yet

I hit FI in my mid 30's, but ER wasn't even on my mind at that time. Then the financial crisis hit, my portfolio plummeted, and I decided to work hard to try to cover my living expenses with ordinary working income so my portfolio could recover. Now the portfolio is back in great shape and I'm 41. I think I'll call it quits on my 45th birthday, and then hopefully enjoy a peaceful 50 year retirement.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
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I found that I enjoyed work more after I was FI an knew that I could tell them to "FI" if things became intolerable. Interestingly, once I was FI I was more outspoken and candid on work issues than I was before and both my colleagues and clients seemed to appreciate and value my views more. Obviously one still needs to be sensitive to how the candid message is delivered - you can't be a bull in a china shop and run over people and expect to have your advice accepted.

There was also an element that I enjoyed my work, colleagues and clients and was hauling in good dough and they treated me well so there was not much reason not to work.

I finally retired once we got down to one house and I just had other things that I wanted to do with my time.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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I've known I could quit for quite a few years, but less than 5. I kept working because I still had a kid at home and so couldn't travel much, which is what I'd like to do more of. But the perfect storm hit: last kid leaving to colleage and I'm being asked to train my replacements in India.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:53 PM   #12
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Almost immediately. I held out for as long as the owl could keep from crunching the Tootsie Pop.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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2.2 years. Work was going so smoothly that I could not turn down the extra financial cushion. When everything changed at work in 2006 I was ready to go with a lot more $$.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #14
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I lived on the dollar amount of my pension for about 2 years before I pulled the plug at age 57....and I banked EVERYTHING else.....

Just wanted to be sure I could live on my pension for the most part, which so far is working very well.....!!!!

I LOVE being retired!!!!! I love to get up really early now in the early summer and the mornings are so beautiful and I can relax with coffee and gaze at the mountains and lake behind my home and think "this is the life!!!!"
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #15
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About two years after I was confident that I had enough to FIRE on.

I was (and remain) uncertain about what my number should be which lead to some hesitation about pulling the trigger with the end result that we probably (hopefully!) have more than we need.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:09 PM   #16
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We were not financially independent when health scare forced the decision to retire and take a chance at age 53.
It was at a decision time for me to expand my new business and possibly leave DW with debt in the case of my demise (cancer) or to bow out and minimize the loss.
We downsized, sold home, and split the year living in MFG home community in FL for 6 mo., and in a campground for 6 months. (actually, the happiest years of our life)... a frugal existence for the first 10 years, although we didn't even notice.
The "means" that we lived below, added up to the security that we feel today... 24 years after taking the plunge. While we now live in a regular home, and still have the camp and the Florida home, both of these early decisions will become part of the assets to see us through our remaining years.
Have never gone back to work, although that was the back up plan, until age 65.

If the original question was "Should I take the chance?", I'd say do it, and never look back.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #17
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I became FI following an inheritance but worked for another 7 years. There were things I wanted to accomplish at work and things I wanted to put in place for myself before ER.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:21 PM   #18
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I realize I have difficulty with pinpointing FI. When DH retired 3 years ago he took a lump sum on his pension and I ran the numbers and I could have retired at the same time so I guess that was FI. Of course, theoretically he could have taken the lump sum earlier but it would have been less money.

However, while I went part-time at that time I kept working as we had some outstanding financial issues (house we needed to sell and acquiring a new house) that I wasn't sure how it would shake out financially. I am still working part-time although I think I will leap to full retirement sometime this year.

The thing though about FI is that it isn't just a number. That is, one couple might have $750,000 and looking at lifestyle say they are FI. Someone else might want $1,000,000 to be FI and someone else might want $3,000,000 or more.

If you think to yourself it would be nice to have $1,500,000 but you decide to quit at $1,000,000 and reduce the lifestyle then where was the point you became FI? Or what if you keep your number of $1,500,000 but know you could retire on $1,000,000 if you changed your lifestyle? Are you FI or not? Are you FI only if you decide to retire on $1,000,000?
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious View Post
For those of you who are retired, how long after you became financially independent did you retire?
How are you defining financially independent? I think I am FI right now but not entirely sure because of the uncertainty of future portfolio returns.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #20
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I worked just under 10 years after FI . My husband died and I really needed the social aspects of work . I had always wanted to retire in my 50's so with my 60 th birthday looming I took the plunge . Unfortanetly that was in 2008 so I almost immediately lost a huge chunk of my portfolio but I hunkered down and survived .
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