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Pulling the trigger - shift from mind to heart
Old 07-27-2014, 04:07 PM   #1
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Pulling the trigger - shift from mind to heart

My date is set and it's only about a month away. Early retirement -- at 54 -- is finally here after so many years of planning and anticipation.

I've had an interesting (to me) realization. Up to this point, the process was largely intellectual in nature. I saved to the maximum, pushed my expenses down to the minimum, and ran the calculators again and again to test out scenarios.

Once I arrived at what seemed to be FI to support a frugal lifestyle, it flipped a switch from intellectual to emotional. I tried to downshift to a part-time job with the company, but it did not work for me, because I've totally lost patience with the personality frictions and dysfunctions inherent to corporate life. Every cell of my being tells me it's time to go.

Now, I don't want to think about the financial side much, other than optimizing withdrawals tax-wise on an annual basis. I feel that I've done all I can, and no matter what's ahead -- e.g., major stock market drop -- everything's going to be OK. Is this what others have experienced?
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:58 PM   #2
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Pretty much, yes. It is a huge change and I didn't anticipate how big a change it would be. But it's a nice change.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:05 PM   #3
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Now, I don't want to think about the financial side much, other than optimizing withdrawals tax-wise on an annual basis. I feel that I've done all I can, and no matter what's ahead -- e.g., major stock market drop -- everything's going to be OK. Is this what others have experienced?
Yep
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:23 PM   #4
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Yes, I'm having the exact same experience. I reached FI this year earlier than expected due to an inheritance. I decided to stay at my job until May of 2015 to save up a large cash buffer for the first few years of retirement. However, since reaching FI my patience for BS at work has completely disappeared and there are many days I just think I cannot take it anymore.

One of my more New Agey friends told me "Your soul has made a decision to leave" to explain the way I was feeling. It does feel like emotionally I've moved on and am not really present there anymore, just going through the motions until I can leave.

I recently was given the option to cut back to half-time and I'm considering it but I'm wondering if even half-time will be too much. I have to bite my tongue at work every day to not make sarcastic comments!
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:47 PM   #5
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I recently was given the option to cut back to half-time and I'm considering it but I'm wondering if even half-time will be too much. I have to bite my tongue at work every day to not make sarcastic comments!
Your reactions seem very close to mine. Once that internal switch is flipped by FI, there's apparently no going back. Because of that, I suspect you may find a part-time arrangement as unworkable as I did. It became clear to me that even the reduced hours would generate too much stress and frustration -- and nothing less than a full exit would do.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:20 PM   #6
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Your reactions seem very close to mine. Once that internal switch is flipped by FI, there's apparently no going back. Because of that, I suspect you may find a part-time arrangement as unworkable as I did. It became clear to me that even the reduced hours would generate too much stress and frustration -- and nothing less than a full exit would do.
Thanks for sharing your experience; it's so helpful to hear from others. My company offers the option to work one quarter on, one quarter off, and I thought that might give me the flexibility to try out retired life and do some nice long trips. However, probably it won't truly feel like freedom until I cut the cord completely.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:16 PM   #7
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Yes, I'm having the exact same experience. I reached FI this year earlier than expected due to an inheritance. I decided to stay at my job until May of 2015 to save up a large cash buffer for the first few years of retirement. However, since reaching FI my patience for BS at work has completely disappeared and there are many days I just think I cannot take it anymore.

One of my more New Agey friends told me "Your soul has made a decision to leave" to explain the way I was feeling. It does feel like emotionally I've moved on and am not really present there anymore, just going through the motions until I can leave.

I recently was given the option to cut back to half-time and I'm considering it but I'm wondering if even half-time will be too much. I have to bite my tongue at work every day to not make sarcastic comments!
Early on I considered part time work, once or twice again since then, and I still have an open offer to work a couple of months a year that I am reminded of regularly.

The more time I spend in retirement the less I am willing to ever consider occasional work. Just the thought of going back to a schedule, a deadline, and especially a boss gives me the creeps. Life is so good without them.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:09 PM   #8
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Just the thought of going back to a schedule, a deadline, and especially a boss gives me the creeps. Life is so good without them.
+1

To quote Khan, "I'd rather sell a kidney."
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:48 PM   #9
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Early on I considered part time work, once or twice again since then, and I still have an open offer to work a couple of months a year that I am reminded of regularly.

The more time I spend in retirement the less I am willing to ever consider occasional work. Just the thought of going back to a schedule, a deadline, and especially a boss gives me the creeps. Life is so good without them.
+2 I had a nightmare about that last night, and was so glad to awaken to another day of retirement.

Retired life is all that I ever imagined or hoped for. Now that I have tasted retirement, honestly I would never consider occasional, temporary, part time, or any other kind of work.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:18 PM   #10
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+2 I had a nightmare about that last night, and was so glad to awaken to another day of retirement.

Retired life is all that I ever imagined or hoped for. Now that I have tasted retirement, honestly I would never consider occasional, temporary, part time, or any other kind of work.
+3
I had a little part time job at a bookstore in San Francisco (sounds nice, right?) for 3 years as I was trying to decide if I really could retire early (at 58+-2 years). I finally quit, but I was concerned that I would miss the routine (only two days a week for 6 hours at a time).

Right after I quit, the "Mother ship" (we were a satellite location) store started instituting timed bathroom breaks and video monitoring. Of the employees, not the customers!

I'm so glad I'm out of there. It was fun for a while. I wondered if I might consider some other very part time retail w*rk, but nahhhh, even a little supposedly stress-free job comes with too many annoyances.

Now I listen to the BART trains pulling out of the station a few blocks from my house, and I'm very glad I'm not on them.
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:18 AM   #11
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I recently was given the option to cut back to half-time and I'm considering it but I'm wondering if even half-time will be too much. I have to bite my tongue at work every day to not make sarcastic comments!
When I pulled the trigger last year, I was given the option of taking a very part time role for 15 months. It's been a useful transition.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:56 AM   #12
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I've found that once you are finally past the financial hurdle and no longer working it offers you the opportunity to really follow pursuits which you truly love. Be sure to find something you are passionate about and pursue it, it will make your days full of joy and give your life purpose. There is way more to life than chasing dollars.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:53 AM   #13
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+1

To quote Khan, "I'd rather sell a kidney."
and true!!
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:59 AM   #14
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+2 I had a nightmare about that last night, and was so glad to awaken to another day of retirement.
Once you retire, I assume variations on the "I'm back in the office" nightmare replace the universal "I'm back in school taking a test without having attended classes" nightmare!
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:07 AM   #15
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Once you retire, I assume variations on the "I'm back in the office" nightmare replace the universal "I'm back in school taking a test without having attended classes" nightmare!
Yes, there is some similarity, isn't there! Now that I have been retired for a few years, I seldom have either sort of nightmare any more (thank goodness).
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:58 PM   #16
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Yes, I'm having the exact same experience. I reached FI this year earlier than expected due to an inheritance. I decided to stay at my job until May of 2015 to save up a large cash buffer for the first few years of retirement. However, since reaching FI my patience for BS at work has completely disappeared and there are many days I just think I cannot take it anymore.

One of my more New Agey friends told me "Your soul has made a decision to leave" to explain the way I was feeling. It does feel like emotionally I've moved on and am not really present there anymore, just going through the motions until I can leave.

I recently was given the option to cut back to half-time and I'm considering it but I'm wondering if even half-time will be too much. I have to bite my tongue at work every day to not make sarcastic comments!

I don't know if I am at FI (the numbers say yes but the heart isn't sure). However for years I knew that I could find another job if I lost mine so I have always had the least tolerance for BS and make lots of sarcastic comments...

I am valued for my honesty and can't seem to get laid off now
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:27 PM   #17
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....The more time I spend in retirement the less I am willing to ever consider occasional work. Just the thought of going back to a schedule, a deadline, ....gives me the creeps. Life is so good without them.
+1 and I really liked my boss.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:15 AM   #18
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I've found that once you are finally past the financial hurdle and no longer working it offers you the opportunity to really follow pursuits which you truly love. Be sure to find something you are passionate about and pursue it, it will make your days full of joy and give your life purpose. There is way more to life than chasing dollars.
Yes...You have done all your homework, and when you know it is OK...it's like a switch has been flipped. I have been retired 6 months now, and it has been wonderful. And I have been doing as XYZ mentioned. All I can say is it's like being in love again. I am happy all the time.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:47 AM   #19
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What a great thread.

I believe in my mind that I, too, have reached FI but I just can't make myself jump out of the plane and pull the cord. I got cut back involuntarily to part-time several weeks ago but I'm finding it has actually increased the stress. MegaCorp still gives me work with impossibly short deadlines, project managers call meetings at the drop of a hat and pout when I don't show up on my day off, etc., and there is a constant pall over my head that if I don't stay 100% billable I'll be shown the door. (I'm more than a little hoping that would happen as they have always paid severance in the past.)

Last night I got a wake-up call when I stumbled across the obituary of my best friend from college who died last year. Obviously, we had lost touch considering I didn't even know he died until 8 months later, but it was still a kick in the gut. I'm feeling my soul telling me it's time to go.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:58 AM   #20
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Ditto what many have already said. When I realized I was FI...I was done period. No way I could work with the Co. any more!

My only worry is how fast time is going - I've been retired for 8 years now! Loving it and want it to slow down....
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