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Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 06:14 AM   #1
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Roadblocks

A question for those of you who ER'd or are far along the way: what was the biggest roadblock (psychologically, logistically, financially, etc.) on your path? Did anything significantly delay you and/or almost make you turn back? If so, how did you overcome it??
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: Roadblocks

Mental - I was 'in ER' for at least a year before my brain adjusted.

And chickenheartedness being what it is - I was unemployed or a private investor - until age 55 - when the first pension check made me 'officially retired."
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 08:46 AM   #3
 
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Re: Roadblocks

Excellent question! Once again I am the "odd duck".
I ignored all "roadblocks" (real and potential) and just
retired when I decided I wanted to. I expect not many
could do it. Kind of a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" approach, or maybe "I'll just work out the details as we go along." If you will permit me, here
is an analogous story. In 1991, I had about 6 weeks total
of motorcycle riding experience, and was leaving on a 2
week cross country trip. My wife said "Are you sure you are ready for this?" My reply was that I would learn
on the way. Same deal with my retirement.

JG
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: Roadblocks

Quote:
Excellent question! *Once again I am the "odd duck".
I ignored all "roadblocks" (real and potential) and just
retired when I decided I wanted to...Kind of a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" approach, or maybe "I'll just work out the details as we go along."JG
Why am I not surprised?
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 08:59 AM   #5
 
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Re: Roadblocks

Yeah Whisper, my ER experience could be a metaphor for my entire adult life. My supersized ego gets me in trouble, but it is surely nice to sail along really
believing you will just roll over whatever roadblocks
life throws at you.

JG
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: Roadblocks

Quote:
Yeah Whisper, my ER experience could be a metaphor for my entire adult life. *My supersized ego gets me in trouble, but it is surely nice to sail along really
believing you will just roll over whatever roadblocks
life throws at you.

JG
Well, one thing I've learned from reading this site is that there's a (very pleasantly) surprising degree of flexibility in ways to ER and how to ER.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 09:52 AM   #7
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Re: Roadblocks

While I'm not FI or RE yet, I would think that a significant roadbloack would be the psychological identification with a particular job or profession. There are many jobs where the degree of dedication to the particular field is so all-consuming that leaving the field can cause one to feel listless and without passion. I've read that death of a loved one and divorce cause similar feelings.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: Roadblocks

Compulsive disorder will keep me from ER unless I lose my job. Each time I think about it, I also think about the money I can save from my paycheck if I keep working. I am compulsively saving money and cannot stop.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 10:53 AM   #9
 
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Re: Roadblocks

Quote:
A question for those of you who ER'd or are far along the way: *what was the biggest roadblock (psychologically, logistically, financially, etc.) on your path? *Did anything significantly delay you and/or almost make you turn back? *If so, how did you overcome it??
Like unclemick it was mental. Also wondering if you had enough money. Working 5 more years would have added extra security.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 12:43 PM   #10
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Re: Roadblocks

I can't think of any roadblocks, but I'm only semi-retired. I've faded into semi-retirement (or away from work), so for me there has been no sudden shock.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 12:54 PM   #11
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Re: Roadblocks

Fear that it won't be "enough" and knowing that there's no going back. I did it anyway, but it was very difficult to do. It was the most difficult decision I ever made.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 12:59 PM   #12
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Re: Roadblocks

Quote:
Fear that it won't be "enough" and knowing that there's no going back. I did it anyway, but it was very difficult to do. It was the most difficult decision I ever made.
And no regrets I take it?
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 01:06 PM   #13
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Re: Roadblocks

Quote:
Excellent question! *Once again I am the "odd duck".
I ignored all "roadblocks" (real and potential) and just
retired when I decided I wanted to. *I expect not many
could do it. *Kind of a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" approach, or maybe "I'll just work out the details as we go along." *If you will permit me, here
is an analogous story. *In 1991, I had about 6 weeks total
of motorcycle riding experience, and was leaving on a 2
week cross country trip. *My wife said "Are you sure you are ready for this?" *My reply was that I would learn
on the way. *Same deal with my retirement.

JG
John:

You are the ZEN Master of ER. Perhaps that is one ER method that is truly under reported. Just retire, one day at a time, and eventually the process will make sense.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 01:27 PM   #14
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Re: Roadblocks

My FI spreadsheet clock continues to count down towards my unofficial retirement date next year.

Unlike JG, I like my FI nest egg to be very comfortable so I set up my spreadsheet to easily delay my retirement date. Changing my date, incremently increases all my projected savings components (payroll, CD interest, stocks, 401K).

Over a year ago, I began mentally distancing myself from my job so I feel, leaving it won't have quite as much of an impact on me as it would have several years ago.

But,

I am beginning to get a bit nervous as the clock shows fewer days, weeks and months (I have all 3 being calculated as I am a bit of a control freak). Like some of us pre-ERs, I am nervous about not having enough money for the next 40 years. I would certainly feel a lot more conformtable continuing to earn my salary for another +++ months or years as I save over 70% of my after tax/401K salary (being single and very frugal). I'll try to keep to my projected timeline but I may delay my departure for 1 or 2 months to recoup some of the 18k for an unexpected recent house improvement expense.

MJ

PS: I figure if I continue to work for another 50 years, at a young age of 106, I finally might have a very comfortable nest egg to be buried with.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 01:33 PM   #15
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Re: Roadblocks

Quote:
And no regrets I take it?
Not yet... but only seven months down and ___ years to go!
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 03:30 PM   #16
 
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Re: Roadblocks

Cut-Throat provided the perfect segue................
"working 5 more years would provide extra security"

Of course, but you will be 5 years older and you might be dead, or worse. I could have made piles of money by continuing on. Didn't do it, and it was exactly the right
decision. BTW, retiring was one of the easiest
decisions I ever made in my life, as well as one of the best.

JG
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 05:47 PM   #17
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Re: Roadblocks

When I ER'd in '89 I had already been operating
a laundromat for 20 years on the side. The
knowledge that I could expand that business
if necessary gave me a great deal of confidence.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-17-2004, 06:23 PM   #18
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Re: Roadblocks

At the risk of challenging a frequent and respected poster here, it is a lot easier to say 'damn the torpedoes' and just ER when you have a working spouse. It's a lifeline, at least pschologically, if not physically. Very few people can just up and ER and roll the dice. Planning with detailed spreadsheets and budgets is the norm, not the exception.

I've reached 55 and can ER today with a discount on my DB pension plan. We look at our yearly expenditures from our Quicken database and are generally budget conscious without actually having a planned budget. We can almost manage on the current value of the annual discounted DB pension today allowing us to grow our investments some more for the day when pension payments won't be enough due to inflation. So finances are not a key driver for determining retirement timing.

But I am not retiring today. I've set a goal of between mid-2005 and mid-2006 for retirement depending on how well (or not) I continue to enjoy my work. Mid-2006 would drop pension discount to 15% and would round off to 35 years in the energy industry. That's a nice milestone to walk away with. I've pretty much already developed the mental attitude that I do not need to work, have no desire to advance more in the company, and don't care much about retaining any personal relationships with the people I work with after retirement.

So to Whisper's original post, I'm prepared financially at current time to retire. I'm not quite prepared mentally to retire but have set a target so that I can continue my current mental preparation for the big day. The biggest issue seems to be logistic preparation as spouse and I will re-patriate (at least part time) to Canada to retire and we do not yet know where we specifically want to be or what kind of housing we want. I suspect it will be this logistical issue that will really determine when I walk out the door for the last time.

I also think that despite having already started mental preparations for ER, I suspect I will still be somewhat like UncleMick and require upwards of another year after commencing ER to fully adjust.
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-18-2004, 05:58 AM   #19
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Re: Roadblocks

Quote:
I've reached 55 and can ER today with a discount on my DB pension plan.
Thx for the post. Out of curiosity what does DB stand for and what do you mean by discount? You mean the "penalty ratio" for taking your pension pre-65?
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Re: Roadblocks
Old 12-18-2004, 06:56 AM   #20
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Re: Roadblocks

DB means Defined Benefit pension plan. The discount is related to the degree my monthly pension is reduced 5% per year (cclculated on a monthly basis) from age 60. Should I retire at precisely age 57, this would result in a discount of 15% from entitlement at 60. If I retired at age 57 + 2 months, then pension discount would be 14.2%.
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