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Retirement delaying excuses
Old 05-15-2015, 04:12 PM   #1
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Retirement delaying excuses

Am I the only one who seems to be going out of my way to find excuses to delay retiring?

Unless there is a major market downturn, I believe I will be financially able to retire in about 1 year. The timing would be just after annual bonuses are distributed.

Excuse No. 1 - I’ve been looking at home repairs which I would like done before giving up my paycheck. The list has grown substantially from repairs to include several major improvements. All total, it will be about 1 year’s income. There is no way we’ll ever get the money back when we try to sell the house down the road. Since we plan to live in the house for the rest of our lives, resale value is not a major factor. Most of the improvements are wants vs. needs. I’m thinking I’m willing to go along with the nice to have improvements just for an excuse of why I need to work one more year.

Excuse No. 2 - the perfect upper management job promotion; which I’m well suited for and would enjoy, has opened up. The promotion includes lots of international travel which is at the top of my retirement to do list. I’d grown to accept the fact that I’d plateaued at work. The idea I wasn’t going to be further promoted actually was part of my rational to retire early. This unexpected job promotion opportunity is likely my last change for upper management. I’ve already let it be known I’m interested in the position (with an expectation of a 25% bump in salary). My thoughts are if I’m selected and accept the position, I should commit at least the next five years of my life to being gainfully employed. If I’m not selected, I can continue with my early retirement plan. Hopefully it won’t look like I’m leaving just because I didn’t get the promotion. Again I’m wondering if the excuse to delay retirement is a factor for my being so interesting in the job promotion.

While I may be financially independent, I just must not be mentally ready to retire at 50 or I wouldn’t be struggling with reasons to continue working.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
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"While I may be financially independent, I just must not be mentally ready to retire at 50 or I wouldnít be struggling with reasons to continue working."

Bingo. You have one more year syndrome, as most here do , or have had.

You will know when you are really ready.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:43 PM   #3
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You explain why you want to keep working but not why you might want to retire.

Fi doesn't have to equal RE.

Do what you really want to do!
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:47 PM   #4
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No, you are by no means the only one. There are many here with OMY syndrome. I would have had it too had I not been laid off and found myself with the strange desire to not find another job. Had that not happened, I think I would have continued working for several reasons, the main ones being -

1) It would have been really nice to have had more money saved up before pulling the plug
2) It would have been relatively painless to have continued working
3) Due to the rules of inertia, continuing to do the same thing would have represented the path of least resistance

As it was, I stopped worked at age 45, and actually retired (as in, began withdrawals from my portfolio) at age 47. Had it not been for the layoff, I think I would have continued working until 55 or perhaps even 60.
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Old 05-15-2015, 05:08 PM   #5
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About 2 years before I ER'd, I was the top candidate for what I thought was my dream promotion opportunity. But they changed the rules and required the new person to live in the area of HQ (northeast), and that relocation wasn't feasible for us so I had to take my name out of the running. I was super bummed at the time but knew it was the right decision. Looking back, I am so glad I didn't get it.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:37 PM   #6
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I am one of those that were infected with the OMY syndrome. If you haven't already, bake some of those excuses into your retirement budget... home upgrades, remodels, backyard projects, roofs, etc. rather than trying to get them all in while you are still working. I am approaching my 17 year anniversary at mega corp, and I always looked at promotions/new roles as a ~3 year commit. I am 2 years into my current role and plan on retiring next May (at 46). Good luck with the new role, but keep in mind that it doesn't have to be a 5 year commit.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #7
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"Due to the rules of inertia, continuing to do the same thing would have represented the path of least resistance" Agree...

Also, in my case, it's been fairly recent that I have confidence I'm FI...really a surprise I guess. I regularly run FIRECALC and other retirement calculators and keep saying to myself..."really??"

I only started tracking yearly expenses in 2013 and now have an idea how much it will take to live going forward. Just a few years ago, when I occasionally ran a retirement calculator I would always click "No" on the Social Security $ thinking it would make no difference (It does in my case). Darrow's Can I retire Yet blog has been helpful to me. And now, this Forum is great!

One of my biggest concerns now is "what the hell am I going to do all day" once I RE...working on that now too. In 1 yr & 2 weeks I'll be 59.5 and can start draw down the SEP IRA w no penalty so that is a target. A big project I'm a Proj Mgr on right now is winding down at the end of 2015 and I know I could float 5 mos easy with our non IRA accts / savings.

Just got to get my mind wrapped around this!
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:23 PM   #8
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The promotion sounds like a great opportunity, but I wouldn't lock yourself in (mentally or otherwise) to a five year commitment. International travel can be great, but when it is part of a job it is a lot different than travelling on your own terms.

I'd say go for the promotion but don't sign a contract for longer than 1-2 years if they offer it to you. And hold out for as much of a raise as you can get. You might earn the money for your house upgrades in the first year, and then you can consider at that time whether you want to keep working or FIRE with everything you wanted (the experience as well as the extra money).
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:10 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses. Everything said is true. Interviews for the promotion are tentatively scheduled to occur before the end of the month. With a fall back plan of retiring early, it should be interesting.

My HR records actually have indicated retiring in the next 5 years for the past 1 to 2 years. Other than my current supervisor, I'm not sure if anyone is paying much attention to this statement in the records.
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:41 AM   #10
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My excuse is that I can't convince myself that we have enough even though multiple calculators and a fee-only advisor say that we do. The advisor's "average performance" projections show we'll have more in 30 years than we do now based on our required spending. Yet the little voice in my head says, "but what if we only earn 1% real return in retirement AND they means-test SS - we'll run out of money at age 95"!

Growing up poor really helped me save and be frugal which got us to a good place today, but it's also made me pessimistic when looking at whether we have enough.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:11 AM   #11
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One of my biggest concerns now is "what the hell am I going to do all day" once I RE.
Just think of the all things that you normally do when not working and all the things that you want to do but no time for them.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:17 AM   #12
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Thanks for the responses. Everything said is true. Interviews for the promotion are tentatively scheduled to occur before the end of the month. With a fall back plan of retiring early, it should be interesting.
Sounds like a great opportunity to lift your career, to boast your nest egg and to do international travel on company's expenses - Good Luck!
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:25 AM   #13
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While I may be financially independent, I just must not be mentally ready to retire at 50 or I wouldnít be struggling with reasons to continue working
Why limit yourself to just two choices, retire or continue working? If you are financially independent, why not consider changing jobs to do something you always dreamed about but never had the opportunity to do? You could also cut back on hours or start taking extended trips. Start exposing yourself to something other than work and see if you like it.

One of the reasons it is so difficult to leave work is because even though it may be a jungle, it is where our current expertise lies, while the options are new worlds full of uncertainty.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:38 AM   #14
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Since we plan to live in the house for the rest of our lives, resale value is not a major factor. Most of the improvements are wants vs. needs.
There's some good thinking. If it is really "rest of your life", an OMY could have great value for you. I see too many people improve their homes to sell so others enjoy, instead of spending the money for themselves to enjoy. You live in your house. It is big during retirement. Your want may be a need.

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Hopefully it won’t look like I’m leaving just because I didn’t get the promotion.
Who the heck cares what they think? You'll be outta there. Fuggetaboutit.

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The promotion sounds like a great opportunity, but I wouldn't lock yourself in (mentally or otherwise) to a five year commitment. International travel can be great, but when it is part of a job it is a lot different than travelling on your own terms.
So, so, true. Traveled with a friend recently overseas. He's on the road internationally 30 of 52 weeks a year. His passport has more stamps than the drawer of the USPS.

"been there, done that" is his motto.

But you know what? He was going to a well known international heritage site with us because he wanted to experience it with friends and family. A solo outing, or an outing with clients/workers is not as life-impactful.

His health sucks, he's gained weight, the trips are a real drain on his body and mind. In the end, it is mostly just a job.

There are significant downsides to international travel with work commitments.

If you retire now, perhaps your body will be able to handle walking the Great Wall. If you instead stay at your job, you may visit China, not have time to experience the Great Wall, and grow old, fat and full of arthritis so when you want to go later, you can't.
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:15 AM   #15
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If you retire now, perhaps your body will be able to handle walking the Great Wall. If you instead stay at your job, you may visit China, not have time to experience the Great Wall, and grow old, fat and full of arthritis so when you want to go later, you can't.
Gee - he's only 50.
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:32 AM   #16
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Thanks for the responses. Everything said is true. Interviews for the promotion are tentatively scheduled to occur before the end of the month. With a fall back plan of retiring early, it should be interesting.

My HR records actually have indicated retiring in the next 5 years for the past 1 to 2 years. Other than my current supervisor, I'm not sure if anyone is paying much attention to this statement in the records.
I would go into the interview assuming they are paying attention, with an answer ready if they ask about it.

Reading your post and responses, it appears preparing for that short exchange is likely to sharpen your thinking on RE significantly.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:08 AM   #17
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I would go into the interview assuming they are paying attention, with an answer ready if they ask about it.

Reading your post and responses, it appears preparing for that short exchange is likely to sharpen your thinking on RE significantly.
Yup! It would be very interesting (or enlightening) to know why am I even thinking about this job that may hold me back 5 years for retirement.
Is it because this is an opportunity of a life time to get into upper management, a chance to travel on company expenses, or a great way to boast my nest egg?
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:10 AM   #18
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One of my biggest concerns now is "what the hell am I going to do all day" once I RE...working on that now too.
I can't fathom ever having some spare time on my hands and wishing that I was at work instead doing any of a dozen different things.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:15 AM   #19
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Why limit yourself to just two choices, retire or continue working? If you are financially independent, why not consider changing jobs to do something you always dreamed about but never had the opportunity to do? You could also cut back on hours or start taking extended trips. Start exposing yourself to something other than work and see if you like it.

One of the reasons it is so difficult to leave work is because even though it may be a jungle, it is where our current expertise lies, while the options are new worlds full of uncertainty.
Agreed, FI doesn't require you to put RE at the top of your list of options, its greatest value I think is allowing you to put the same old same old at the bottom. It doesn't have to be "now for something completely different", FI gives you the leverage to change your work to suit whatever else in life strikes your fancy. Right now you're giving your employer a chance to keep you by offering you entree into an upper management position that you know you'll enjoy. This may or may not happen, if it doesn't can they do anything else to keep you? If they can't find a way to deliver on your wish list, then it may be time to pick an exit date.
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:32 PM   #20
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Am I the only one who seems to be going out of my way to find excuses to delay retiring?

Unless there is a major market downturn, I believe I will be financially able to retire in about 1 year. The timing would be just after annual bonuses are distributed.

Excuse No. 1 - Iíve been looking at home repairs which I would like done before giving up my paycheck. The list has grown substantially from repairs to include several major improvements. All total, it will be about 1 yearís income. There is no way weíll ever get the money back when we try to sell the house down the road. Since we plan to live in the house for the rest of our lives, resale value is not a major factor. Most of the improvements are wants vs. needs. Iím thinking Iím willing to go along with the nice to have improvements just for an excuse of why I need to work one more year.

Excuse No. 2 - the perfect upper management job promotion; which Iím well suited for and would enjoy, has opened up. The promotion includes lots of international travel which is at the top of my retirement to do list. Iíd grown to accept the fact that Iíd plateaued at work. The idea I wasnít going to be further promoted actually was part of my rational to retire early. This unexpected job promotion opportunity is likely my last change for upper management. Iíve already let it be known Iím interested in the position (with an expectation of a 25% bump in salary). My thoughts are if Iím selected and accept the position, I should commit at least the next five years of my life to being gainfully employed. If Iím not selected, I can continue with my early retirement plan. Hopefully it wonít look like Iím leaving just because I didnít get the promotion. Again Iím wondering if the excuse to delay retirement is a factor for my being so interesting in the job promotion.

While I may be financially independent, I just must not be mentally ready to retire at 50 or I wouldnít be struggling with reasons to continue working.
Maybe these are just valid reasons to not retire at 50. Why call them excuses.

Just enjoy the security and peace of being able to retire at anytime you want.
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